July 25th, 2010
05:51 PM ET

Status report: Ted Haggard's new church

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/living/2010/07/19/co.haggard.new.church.kusa%5D

Fallen evangelical leader Ted Haggard says the church he founded last month is quickly gaining new worshippers. KUSA reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Scandal

soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. ELECT

    The fool says in his heart there is no God! The wisdom of God is foolishness to those that are perishing!

    July 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • NL

      So says the bible, in it's own defence.

      July 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  2. LouAz

    Some of this discussion is interesting, but there is one major error that keeps being repeated. That the earth is flat is not some ancient histiorical religious belief. It is the current position of the Republican Party and all of its followers that the earth is flat and according to MitchBitch McConnel and Orangie Bohner irrefutable. You betcha !

    July 27, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  3. jdnzero

    @ Luke, Bobross:
    What do you do for a living? I wish I had as much free time as you two – I see your posts all over CNN. It sure is fun 'debating' these issues, but I don't have the time to be as eloquent or outspoken as you.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Luke

      Economist for major Wall Street firm.

      July 28, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  4. cjr

    once a creep- always a creep! organized religion has done to hurt people than any war. how about trying personal responsiblity for a change

    July 27, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  5. LRoy

    Is this a new church (implying a building) or a religion (implying a belief).

    If he's utilizing a bible (pick any version you want), then it's not new. If he's preaching God's word and a "Christian" belief, then it's not new. Only a different twist of an old idea.

    Religion can be proved scientifically, but faith cannot. It is impossible to separate the two.

    Catholics rejoice we have the original religion.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • JohnQuest

      LRoy, Please define "original religion".

      July 27, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • NL

      Even Catholicism is not the original form of Christianity. Look to the book of Acts and Paul's letters for the very original form. It can be argued that Catholicism grew out of these roots, but so did every Christian sect then, even modern-day American evangelicalism. It's an ever evolving religion, changing with the cultural environment.

      Now, please explain what you mean by religion being proved scientifically? The psychological need to be part of a group? You know, you can become a sports fan for that!

      July 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  6. rainier08

    `Ity's not that people of a relgious nature are by definition gullble. Its when they just blindly follow " preachers " as though they are rock stars Anyone who believes Haggard is now de-gay-afied and can just resume their gay hatred again are not gullible...they are mindless.

    July 27, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  7. CJ

    Only insecure people who don't want to face their own mortality would believe in God and religion. In millions of years and dozens of predictions, there is not one shred of evidence to prove there is a God. These religious zealots and Evangelical ministers are misleading the "herd" and all the while living a very hypocrital life. If you take the Bible literally (and I don't), true Christians should be living and acting like Mother Theresa and if what the Bible says is true....the only people going to Heaven are the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel....which are only the JEWS!!!! So folks, get a clue, listen to reason and common sense, and quit handing out money to these religious frauds (and there are many of them). You are being used and abused and controlled in hopes of a hereafter.....which isn't going to happen!

    July 27, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  8. Gary

    just like this belief blog...I have watched religious T.V.for entertainment purposes. Several times I have called the 800 #'s and given them hell big time. especially ...Bob Tillman and Benny Hinn. Televangelists are right up there with Hulk Hogan and the W.W.F. Fake and entertaining

    July 27, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  9. Joseph MA

    Luke, you seem to have good knowledge of a lot of things. Have to say that you make reading these blogs interesting just for some of the knowledge shared, though I don't share your faith in atheism.

    Luke, Bible is not a science book. So you can not take disproven scientific fact from Bible to show that it is all invalid.

    The intention of the inspired writers were not to reveal any scientific facts but to reveal facts needed for slavation. The creation as explained in Bible was addressed to the people of the time and explained in a way they could relate.

    Theories would be there always on how much of the Biblical view of creation still applies to science and how. But the gist of it that has stayed for sure is that "God is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, alive, infinte etc and God is Love. God Created everything out of nothing. God Loves man"

    And inspite of all your knowledge which you have tried to explain in a very nice way, even you have to acknowledge that Science has not established that everything came to existence due to random forces alone. Until that happens atheism would be nothing but just another faith.

    The only difference is an atheist just uses the existing scientific knowledge to drive home a view they can't prove. It could be really frustrating for an atheist for sure because that is where it stops even with all the work. But the fact is as long as a possibility of such of God with all qualities exist, anything else (like noah's story etc) becomes possible if God wills.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • LouAz

      "reveal facts needed for slavation" ! Ah ha ! Make slaves, control slaves, breed slaves ! Freudian slip ? Typo ? Not. FACT !

      July 27, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Joseph MA

      That is what you get when something is taken out of context. One can read and learn nothing that way.

      July 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • LouAz

      Taken out of context ? That is hilarious. You and your religion take single passages out of your ONLY book all the time and try to tell everyone what that means and how to live their lives. Yea, yea, yea, the inerrant word of your god as written in his only book. You "pick and choose" constantly. I'm sure it never occured to you that such a god with only one book is pretty one dimensional. Life, and the universe, is not.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      It is more hilarious to see someone trying to read a book without first learning the language it is written in.

      Then, as if to make it better, you throw the book away saying that it doesn't make sense.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Joseph MA

    "The Catholic Church has always taught that "no real disagreement can exist between the theologian and the scientist provided each keeps within his own limits. . . . If nevertheless there is a disagreement . . . it should be remembered that the sacred writers, or more truly ‘the Spirit of God who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men such truths (as the inner structure of visible objects) which do not help anyone to salvation’; and that, for this reason, rather than trying to provide a scientific exposition of nature, they sometimes describe and treat these matters either in a somewhat figurative language or as the common manner of speech those times required, and indeed still requires nowadays in everyday life, even amongst most learned people" (Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus 18).

    As the Catechism puts it, "Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things the of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are" (CCC 159). The Catholic Church has no fear of science or scientific discovery."

    "The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers" (CCC 283).

    July 27, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  11. ICEMAN

    @ LUKE the big bang suppose to had given birth to all the elements so in a way it started the process for evolution. Everytime a star dies "Super Nova" there are elements that come from that and it is said it would be capable of evolving living things, so what you was saying to Bob all of it ties in when you put it in the big picture right? Scientist that didn't believe in God now are saying that they believe in God "some not all". The reason they are saying this is because they feel this whole big picture is to complex to just start with a bang. And if you think about it if i was God and wanted to make a universe what would i do snap my fingures and BANG BIG BANG if you are in to this BIG BANG.. I am a christian but i love what you said about the Religion and the Map thing that is so true. If i was in china i think i would be into Budda but i'm not and ride allday every day with Yeshua. Hey um why are people saying on here like the bible tell that the earth is flat? the Bible doesnt state that nowhere in the bible in fact it states that the earth is round and hangs on nothing

    July 27, 2010 at 6:29 am |
    • Luke

      I dont think I understand most of what you just said. As for the flat earth; the Church used to be the government in that time and taught the flat earth theory. While it was not in the bible, it was impled by the church because it was the best idea of the planet at that time. They continued to teach this idea even after it was proposed that the earth is round. I mean – it took until 1992 for the Roman Catholic Church to accept the helocentric model (the earth goes around the sun, and not the other way around). What makes you think they were any quicker to accept the round planet model?

      July 28, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  12. Jeepers

    Did anyone see that documentary about him? It was sad. He was a broken man...trying to make a living selling insurance and keep his family together. He probably just doesn't know what else to do besides preach. What's that saying about the mechanic having the worst running car in town? Lot's of people are good at helping other people and not themselves. His specialty just happens to be telling people how "god" wants them to live. The problem is that Ted Haggard's idea of what "god" wants us to do is nothing more than Ted Haggard's method of controlling his environment...which includes other people.

    That pretty much sums up what I think about almost every minister I've ever met. Some of them don't realize that's why they do what they do and honestly have the best of intentions, but some do realize what they're doing. They are the ones to look out for. They want to control people and they're malicious about it. It's a position of power over weak subjects who are taught not to question your supposedly "god-given" authority.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:53 am |
  13. Geeman

    No one who believes in God enjoys being called gullible. With that said. I will say as a Christian, I cannot and will not judge Haggard because I'm not perfect. Will I go to his church – no. Will I financially support his ministry, probably not. Will I pray for him and his ministry, you bet. Couldn't hurt!

    Does God exist? Does fact contradict faith? Does science prove God does not exist?

    All of these questions lead to this ultimate question – Why are we here? Why do WE even exist at all? And what happens to us after death?

    I'll end with this ... There are many aspects of our lives that we have absolutely no control of. And it's not due to an ignorance or a belief. For example, I had no control of what race/nationality i was born into. My parents didn't either. Nor did my great great great great grand parents. They were handed down what was given to them. But by whom (or What for that matter)? Was it nature? Was it God?

    It takes work to have faith (the evidence of things not seen; the substance of things hoped for).
    It's easy to live by fact only. You find/see it in front of you, and you're done. But to "strongly" believe something you can't physically prove and truly life by it – WOW almost impossible if you're ALWAYS looking for sign.

    If I died today and found out there is no heaven or hell, even though I believed in it most of my life, there's no harm done. I'm just dead and gone. Lived a happy good life and didn't hurt a soul even though I believed a lie. BUT if God exists and heaven and hell are real, I'm in heaven and my beliefs confirmed.

    There's no harm in believing – it just takes alittle work. I'd rather be a believer in Jesus being considered gullible and die going to heaven than be an atheist and die going to hell.

    The Bible says – Fools say to themselves, "There is no God".

    July 27, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  14. Questioneverything

    Until Ted Haggard admits to himself that he's a gay man and makes an honest decision to come out of the closet, he'll fail at everything he does. His church may be growing because people are curious and by nature nosey but I seriously think that he hasn't learned anything throughout his whole ordeal. He's blamed everyone else but himself for his downfall. He blamed some guy that allegedly molested him. He's blamed Satan. He's a gay man who's ashamed of who he truly is due to his conditional love from his faith and peers. I don't wish him luck. I don't wish him ill either. I basically look at him and feel pity.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  15. sdgman

    Why would anyone in their right mind want to hear what this lowlife has to say? Who paid for that barn and the property? Where is his money coming from. He's a snakeoil salesman.

    July 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • NL

      I use to watch lots of Christian TV, and as far as I can tell, most of the guest speakers were (reformed) lowlifes. Christians just love a good Prodigal Son story. Those who have little difficulty not sinning just aren't very inspirational, it seems. They couldn't start a church, sell Christian books, or sing Christian music as successfully as someone with some "worldly experience."

      July 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  16. Laoying

    ThinkRationally and Luke, thank you for your well thought out posts. bobross2, while i disagree with you but respect your beliefs, I do however appreciate your participation in the above dialogue.

    July 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  17. hedshel01

    The other day I was debating a gentleman about the existence of god he is a Christian. He said to me in an angry tone "Do you really think that you have any control of your life?" I thought to myself for a second and I was thinking I really wish I had a path laid out for me, life would be easy. Anyway, I replied in my typical passive aggressive way "Yes, I do think I have control of my life and if you don't believe you have control and that God has a plan, then you are lucky, because when you get sick there is no need for you to go to the doctor, and health insurance you don't need that either you should be rolling in $$$" As a species we need to start giving ourselves some credit.

    BTW Ted Haggard is a lying, conniving POS!

    July 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  18. stevenjaba

    Luke, I read about half of your comments, and I want to comment that you come across as a very, very judgmental person. Perhaps that is the effect you are trying to have though – to stir things up.

    July 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Luke

      stevenjaba – I am, inherently, judgmental of the naive and ignorant. I do, however, attempt to educate rather than crush under my thumb. Those that attempt to educate themselves and engage in meaningful debate, on the other hand, are worthy of argument. When someone states "just a theory" and has demonstrated that they have no idea what a theory is, I judge them and point them in the direction of a 7th grade physical science book so they don't make the mistake again. When someone thinks there was a global flood and a man gathered all of the animals on a boat to ride out the storm, I point them in the direction of the zoology section of a library, where they will learn that there are 30,000 different species of spiders alone or that the wood worms would have eaten the boat. Then when someone wants to argue about evolution, but thinks it has anything to do with the origins of life or the beginning of the universe while spouting out big words like thermodynamics, I remind them that evolution has absolutely nothing to do with everything they said, and tell them to pick up their child's 10th grade biology book and read the section on evolution again – they might learn something. Sorry, if you think that educating the ignorant on topics they don't understand is bad thing. If that's the case, we're all doomed. And yes, I do like stirring the pot. So?

      July 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  19. Gary

    Luke, and Johnquest I agree wholeheartly with your posts. I realize the burden of proof lies with the believers.

    July 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  20. Lee

    Your statement that we are taught about God is not totally correct. In every culture, even those that are cut off by other civilizations believed in a God. Scientists have even said there is a part of the brain that contributes to a believe in a higher power. I think most of you here seem to be directing your hostility to the Christian form of believing in God. If that's so, then don't call yourself and atheist, call yourself anti-Christian. Be honest with yourself but don't make up things to try and prove your point. Every society, every culture that ever existed believed in a God. Ask yourself why? What would be the biological purpose for a belief in a God? If you still don't believe, that's ok, that's your choice. Don't bash the rest of us who do and even have science to back it up.

    July 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • verify

      Human beings are social mammals. They desire a leader (of the pack, if you will). Leaders will arise in each unit – e.g., family, tribe, city, nation, etc. Humans revere and depend on the perceived wisdom, beneficence and protection of the leader. The key word here is *protection* ... the need to survive.

      After the human ultimate leader position has been filled, these people are drawn to the idea of creating something higher still… something wiser, more powerful, more benevolent – more protective. The list of gods created by people throughout the world over the ages is huge. It is interesting that these gods possess human emotions and desires – love, anger, demands – as well as superhuman, magical powers. There is often an ‘afterlife’ for true followers.

      This behavior does not prove that there *is* something more/someone bigger out there, just that man *wants* there to be. We do love our super heroes!

      Stories of shamans, oracles, prophets and priests, who have seen or talked to these beings, abound. The tales are often quite elaborate and eventually began to be written down, and became even more elaborate with the passage of time and with input from more people.

      Just as with selecting human leaders, where jockeying for position and strife occur, people with a need to have their ‘super-being’ be chosen to be the ‘best’ have become very contentious (to say the least).

      July 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I was with you up until, "and even have science to back it up."
      Care to present it?

      July 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.