The “Fall from Grace” of Pastor Ted Haggard

Update July 2009: It seems that Ted Haggard has repented of his sin. Please visit
this insightful interview by Lee Grady. One person I really admire in this is Ted’s wife Gayle who has stood by him and behaved like a real Christian woman.

Original Article from 2006 follows:

I was really saddened in my spirit with all the recent revelations of deception and immoral behavior of one of America’s leading pastors, Ted Haggard. We cannot blame the news media for this, nor the former male prostitute who revealed it. Had it not been that man, it would have been someone else. No, the “blame” for such a situation in one sense lies with all of us – not only with Ted. I remember reading one of Ted’s books about 9 years ago and I was struck with his sincere love for souls and generous attitude towards the body of Christ. Obviously a very gifted and charismatic leader, he gained a large following in his years of ministry and helped a lot of people to find Christ.

What disturbs me most is that he is closely associated with the so-called “new apostolic revolution”, which is supposed to be somewhat of a restoration towards biblical, apostolic New Testament Christianity. Whilst I believe in the ministry of apostles and prophets today, I question to what extent we are truly walking in the “intimacy” with Christ we profess when many of our leaders, some of which would have perhaps known Ted on a personal basis, either could not or would not see the nature of his struggles and help him before these kinds of things could happen. With all the emphasis on the restoration of gifts, where is the operation of discernment of spirits?

If some of Ted’s friends in the ministry were Prophets, would this thing not have been preventable? Or does God often leave us in the dark about whether our leaders are morally qualified to lead the flock of God? There are very strict guidelines for eldership/leadership in the New Testament, laid down in 1 Timothy 3 and the book of Titus chapter 1 verse 7, for example. SURLEY it is God’s will for us to know each other well enough that we know when a person among us is morally ready for the challenges of Christian leadership? Even deacons are supposed to be proven and tested before they serve.

1Ti 3:8 Likewise the deacons are to be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of ill gain,
1Ti 3:9 having the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be tested, then let them minister without reproach.

There cannot be a true “apostolic revolution” unless and until we first really know who is even qualified to be a deacons in the church, by New Testament standards. Let us then confess that when we anoint one another as “apostles” we have presumed to grasp at more than we were actually ready to receive. If God has truly anointed someone as an apostle, the fruit will be there in a short time, we don’t need to go trumpeting around how much we believe in the so-called “apostolic” ministry of this one or that one.
Elders also, according to Titus 1:9, must be “holding fast the faithful Word according to the doctrine, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict the gainsayers” as well as a host of character qualifications.

There are a lot of doctrinal controversies still going on amongst Christian leaders, even within the pentecostal/charismatic movement, which shows that as yet, taken as a whole, we still don’t really know what we are talking about in many things in which we differ. God may have brought us a long way in the last 40 years, but we, taken as a movement, cannot presume to have come yet into that which is truly “apostolic”. There are people operating in what might be called an “apostolic ministry” but from what I have seen, and I’ve been in most continents of the world, such gaping holes still exist in either character, or capacity to bless, or both, that we would be wiser to cover our faces than pretend to be in some sense gurus of apostleship and ecclesiastical restoration.

The correct response for the Body of Christ therefore is this: we must HUMBLE ourselves. If we fail to live lives of purity, if we cannot agree on what is and what is not of the Holy Spirit, and if selfish ambition and the love of titles and influence rather than brotherly love marks many of our relationships, then it is time for a deep searching of God. It is time to recognise our need for change.

Perhaps Pastor Ted’s “fall from grace” will actually prove to be a “coming into grace” for when confession and repentance truly come, then God’s true grace comes. I have prayed for Ted as I am sure many others have, I have prayed that he will not despair, and that he will end up in a better place and a more useful place for God than ever before.

Let us not be content with building a visible and influential ministry, if that is what God has called us to do, but let us take note that before all else we need to remade by God into his likeness and image. Many of us, myself included, want God through us to bring the knowledge of salvation to the world. Let us pray that God work in us greater and greater depths of his saving and sanctifying power. For it is God who works these things in us. Let us cling to the cross, so that what is corrupt may be put to death and the resurrection life of Christ can truly be manifest in us.

What do YOU think?


About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.


  1. Yvonne Powell says:

    Money and sex seem to be the temptation hardest to resist. But there is no temptation that God’s Holy Spirit cannot give us the victory, if we acknowledge that we are being tempted. Have we as the church of Jesus Christ made it so hard for people, especially in leadership, to seek help and admit there are problems, which give rise to pride.This guy is no greater sinner than any of us, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. His is more on show for all now to know about but it does not change the love of God for him. He can turn from his sin and be restored. Whether or not he could stand before God’s people depends on how we see ourselves as better than those who fall into temptation or not. I pray that he is truly repentant. If he is not able to help himself then he should seek deliverance as it would seem to me that demonic forces are controlling his flesh exsistance. The flesh of mankind is the last thing to die even when we claim it has it has a habit of raising itself up again.

  2. I’m a “new Christian” and my opinion on this matter is this…When the news broke I prayed for the pastor,before he admitted anything.When the news broke I prayed for the pastor and his kinda confession.In the end it isnt me that needs to forgive him.I dont know what he has done and its not my business to know.God knows his heart and God is the only one the pastor needs to confess to.He doesnt need my forgiveness,only Gods.If the pastor is truely repentant for his sins,which btw are no worse than the ones we all commit everyday,then God has forgiven him.I pray for strength for his wife and family also.I pray they trust in the one and only true God,Amen

  3. Sue Purchase says:

    Our Pastor mentioned about the allegations towards Pastor Ted Haggard and encouraged us, as the Body of Christ, to pray for him and offer grace, mercy, and compassion. So often we dangerously enter into judgement, become “religious” about anothers’ sin and then beat up the wounded.

    Christ’s heart was always about restoration, both physically, mentally and spiritually of His children. Let’s not forget that repentance, and restoration are available to ALL of us, when we sin.

    Far better is it, for the sin to be brought into the Light so that freedom can come.

    Lord, bless Pastor Haggard, I pray that you will be with Him in a powerful way. Restore him according to your Word. Defeat the efforts of the enemy to seek to destroy this man. I also ask Lord that you put your hand over the mouth’s of your children who would speak harshly about this situation, that they not curse in their words. Have mercy on us all. Thank you Lord that you are above sin and man’s opinions.

  4. Jean Dulaney says:

    What gall from pastor Haggard. His family and church are the only ones to feel for… but I can’t imagine that there weren’t many, many blatant clues. So far, I haven’t seen any genuine contrition on the pastor’s part. This kind of sin indicates a deep spiritual perversion. The church was correct to kick him out. Don’t think sexual sins aren’t pervasive in churches today. Such hypocrisy. Satan’s having himself a real field day, no?

  5. Pastor Ted Haggard is a wonder highly anointed man of God, who has done much for the cause of Christ and the leading of literally thousands to salvation over the years.

    The Apostle Peter, one of the three most closest men to Jesus denied the Lord three times. Jesus told Peter, “When you are CONVERTED, strengthen the brethren.”

    All twelve of the Apostle forsook Jesus when He needed them most. Literally DENYING Him before men.

    Jesus said, “If you DENY me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven.”

    Pretty serious charges brought against the twelve closest men to Jesus. But eleven repented and were restored to ministry.

    I too pray that he doesn’t fall into dispair and deep discouragement over the news of his moral failure coming into the public.

    I DO NOT condone the sins that Pastor Haggard has over time fallen into. But my heart breaks for him, his family, his church. Because we most often “shoot our wounded” instead of “pouring in the oil and the wine” of grace and mercy. The Word says that if we do not show mercy to others, we will not receive mercy from the Lord when we need it.

    I feel that the sins in all our lives, if they were made public would have some of pulled from public ministry. If not, they would bring imbarrishment to the name of Jesus and the chruch. It is only the daily process of sanctification, the working with the Holy Spirit Who works with us to change us from what we are, into the image of Jesus, OVER TIME, that gives me hope for myself. It is knowing that I can confess my sins and He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness. It is knowing that if I fail Him 70 times 7 in a day, and I humbly go to Him and ask for forgiveness, He will IMMEDIATELY forgive me. He will then IMMEDIATELY begin the restoration process to get me back on track and able to use the lesson of this failure to minister to someone else who may fail in the same manner.

    Ted Haggard is just a flesh and blood man. He is somewhere along the road was tempted by the Devil and started to live a double life. Don’t you know the shame and the misery that he had to have been in all this time, knowing that the Word says, “be sure your sins will be found out”, would one day apply to him? Do you know the guilt and sheer horror of knowing what this was going to do to his wife, family and church when this sin was brought to light?
    I am amazed the pressure alone didn’t drive him to commit suicide, rather than have to face what he is facing now.

    My heart breaks for this flesh and blood man, who truly loves the Lord and His people and is feeling like most of the church is against him.

    The Word reminds ME, “Let him that stands, take heed, lest he falls.”

    Let us love the sinner and hate the sin. Let us restore this man of God with all grace and mercy as we would expect from the Lord, and NOT FROM HIS CHURCH.

    Prophet Martin Young
    Orlando, Florida

  6. Jean Hynes says:

    My heart aches for this pastor who, like all of us, have feet of clay. It was so much on my heart that I wrote him a letter and enclosed a document that I have on “Feet of Clay,” with the hope that it will bring some comfort to his heavy heart. I’m sorry for his family and his church family, as well. I pray that God will heal the pain and that God’s grace and mercy and love will bring him to a place of repentance and restoration.
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

  7. Pastor Ted Haggard is a wonder highly anointed man of God, who has done much for the cause of Christ and the leading of literally thousands to salvation over the years.

    The Apostle Peter, one of the three most closest men to Jesus denied the Lord three times. Jesus told Peter, “When you are CONVERTED, strengthen the brethren.”

    All twelve of the Apostle forsook Jesus when He needed them most. Literally DENYING Him before men.

    Jesus said, “If you DENY me before men I will

    I too pray that he doesn’t fall into dispair and deep discouragement over the news of his moral failure coming into the public.

  8. Tish Starks says:

    Dear Michael;
    It is very upsetting to hear abour Pastor Haggards fall….from Grace.
    You have said you welcome others comments, and so being in ministry myself,will take the time to respond, to your comments.
    I would like to say, you do have a good heart.

    Well, for sure we live I know in my heart in End Times.

    This is going to happen, and yet!, it is very hard for some of us to take in.
    Resisting the devil, would seem for some just too hard.

    My concern is that the world that is not saved, will view this as intolerable.!
    I have to say, so ”they-should”!…After all, if people in ministry can not walk a straight line,’who-can’.

    You know I never write about how I feel, but Michael I am upset at your view…esp when you said”end up in a better place and more useful for God”.

    No Michael…no.!
    Please do not even go there, Pastor Haggard is lost, and does need compassion.
    BUT! the one we must focus on now is GOD.
    HE is the real victim here!
    Not Pastor Haggard….sorry but I care more about GODS feelings right now, because like ALL of us, we make choices.

    I would wanted to cry out ”what pain! must GOD feel’…when I read your statement about how Ps Haggard could end up in a better place?

    No Michael, I have compassion….but this is so serisous, as people who are not saved….may just now turn away from GOD.
    Gosh! I’m so upset for GOD.
    I want to beat my chest, and cry out!!!

  9. Pastor Dwain Whitehurst says:

    My heart is broken for him, his church, and ministry.
    I would point out that there is within the best of us some bad and within the worst of us some good. The sin that he has committed does not take away the good that he has accomplished.

    The Bible says that Pride goes before a fall. I must humble myself before God and the Congregation I serve. I must always be open and honest and submitted to the Body of Christ. It appears this pastor has done that now.
    Much damage could have been avoided had he done so long before now.

    I ask, How can we develope a place and an openess within our fellowship where such oppeness can exist. What would have happened if he had made a confession years ago of his secrete sin and weakness. Would he have found love and forgivness and help, or rejection. Was he unable to
    confess because of the atmosphere we have within the Body of Christ?

    Perhaps it is time to restore the Confessional Booth to the Protestant Evangelical Movment.

    Someone said that the Army of God is the only army that finishes off it’s wounded. There are many wounded in this case. Let the healing begin.

    Dwain Whitehurst, Pastor
    Snowdown United Methodist Church

  10. One mistake modern christianity makes is to equate gifting with an “office” or “position of authority.”

    There is no connection between a gift and authority in the New Testament in terms of church government.

    This is whu the home church is flourishing…

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