News Alert |

TBC Staff, 2/6/07: Disgraced pastor goes for master's degree in psychology [Excerpts]--Former National Association of Evangelicals president and pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling convinced he is "completely heterosexual" and told an oversight board that his sexual contact with men was limited to his accuser.

Haggard broke a three-month silence in e-mails over the weekend to select members of his former church. In the message, Haggard revealed that he and his wife, Gayle, intend to leave Colorado Springs and pursue master's degrees in psychology through online courses.

Among other things, the overseers urged Haggard to enter a 12-step program for sexual addiction. Haggard's "restoration" is being overseen by another panel: megachurch pastors Tommy Barnett and Jack Hayford, and H.B. London, who runs a Focus on the Family ministry to pastors.

London said he was not surprised Haggard was considering the psychological field. "Many of us that go into the healing, helping professions do so out of some sort of dysfunction or traumatic event in our lives, and we want to do what we can to help other people avoid what we've gone through," he said.

[TBC: The only thing that is surprising about this article is that Haggard is not "confessing" that a demon made him carry on a sexual affair with a former male prostitute. That's the usual rationale given by those involved with C. Peter Wagner's Strategic Spiritual Warfare movement (see TBC issues May & June '97...), a group heavily connected with Haggard and his church. But we suspect that wouldn't play well in the press.

On the other hand, the myth of psychological counseling still has the world and the church duped. "Three weeks of intensive counseling" gave him insights from the professionals, whose degrees and licensing necessitate that they ignore sin and place the root of the problem and the blame elsewhere (e.g., his parents, a childhood trauma, or some experience buried deep within his unconscious). Now he and his wife want to become professionals as well.

Tragically, the leaven of delusion spreads. Overseers recommend the unbiblical, occult inspired "12-step program for sexual addiction." Focus on the Family's London sees hope in Haggard's desire to join the "helping professions."]