Ted Haggard, fallen icon of the Evangelical counter-culture, is trying to make a comeback. Like another Ted of an earlier decade, he's "repented" ("I am guilty. I am responsible," ... "I got off track, and I am deeply sorry and I repent ... I'm moving along in a positive direction") while managing to slag off his detractors at the same time. It seems being caught with your pants down is OK as long as you're firmly clutching your Bible.
Haggard was the poster boy of judgmental sanctimoniousness until he got caught in a gay sex scandal. It was, of course, a one-off aberration, and the church treated poor Ted without adequate Christian compassion, yadda yadda yadda. Now it seems Ted is rebuilding his celebrity status with a side-order of martyrdom. There are interviews pending on Oprah and Larry King Live, and a doco called The Trials of Ted Haggard. Yes, Ted was a victim too, and who are we to cast the first stone?
The problem with that line of reasoning is that Ted is himself a world record holder in the sport of stone hurling. And now it emerges that Ted has been bonking more than a lone gay prostitute.
Somebody has been telling porkies.
Bonhoeffer talked about the perils of cheap grace, which is a message mainline Christians might do well to hear, but maybe the message biblicists - of whatever variety - need to hear instead is on cheap repentance.