What you may not have heard is that Ted Haggard, the Colorado Springs megachurch pastor who resigned amid a sex and drugs scandal two years ago, has left the "Spiritual Restoration" process set up by his former church and Focus on the Family. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports:
New Life Church said Tuesday that former pastor Ted Haggard has prematurely ended a "spiritual restoration" process begun when he was fired for sexual misconduct.As someone who spent a full five years in sexual reorientation therapy, I feel quite a bit of sympathy for Haggard as he struggles to find congruence between his orientation and his religious convictions. I wonder how he is doing, how his marriage is doing, how his family is doing.
New Life said in a written statement that "the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and (New Life) maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry."
Haggard and his family moved to Phoenix last year. As part of a severance package that paid Haggard through 2007, he agreed to leave Colorado Springs and not talk about the scandal publicly. But Haggard made public an e-mail asking for financial support, drawing a rebuke from the restoration team.
He had agreed shortly after his dismissal to the restoration process, which was expected to include counseling and prayer and last five years or longer.
Hat tips: Good As You, Dispatches from the Culture Wars