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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. Guster

    Alverant,

    I just quoted a statement from Hawking. Do with it what you will. I never said the man believed in the same God I do. He just couldn't believe the universe was a random accident. Still no explanation from any atheist as to why we are all here.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Merely asking a question doesn't validate it's relevancy nor, in this case, does it mean that the default answer is "Goddit".

      July 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, by your logic, why are any of the following here; diseases, viruses, bacteria, earth quakes, floods, cancer, smallpox, malaria, down syndrome, you get the idea. As far as I know these thing are not human inventions they were here long before us. If your GOD made this a place for "his children" he picked a very dangerous place, kind of you putting your own kids on an island filled with poisonous snakes and expecting them to survive on a four by four platform, and then getting bad at them when they stop believing that you have their best interest in mind.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  2. Gary

    Gusterd , take a college course in Geology and learn something about Pangia,mid oceanic ridges,erosion escarpments,animal fossils and fossil fuels ,plate techtonics natural selection and of course evolution. .....I will provide proof and evidence .....all you can do is regurgitate lines from a religous text.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Guster

    Ah, you guys are all riled up now. Must be hitting some nerves. Like I said before, I admire the faith of atheists.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Gary

      Guster, I am agnostic not atheist. I have no proof God dosnt exist. God could appear right before now ...I wouldnt be that suprised if God exists.....I wont be convinced until I meet him. If I do meet him when I die and he says depart from me I never knew I will say I was on earth why didnt you present yourself to me?

      July 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • NL

      It's not faith, but more of a calculated risk assessment. We choose to live our lives without the fear of god reprisal because all of the available evidence indicates that there is about as much chance of a god being real as there is of an Eskimo being bitten in his igloo by a Tarantula.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jessica

      Not an Atheist – nor do I believe in GOD (hard concept but stick with me). Why should I have FAITH that GOD does or does not exist? there's no logic to it. Like you, I just roll the dice and hope that the sense i've made out of the world is right. It's entirely possible we are both dead wrong. You just arent willing to fathom that, so I understand why you admire me...i've got my eyes WIDE OPEN...and you dont, it's got to be hard going through life wth blinders on...only seeing exactly what you wan to see. I can def understand the admiration, I just think its about as fake as your belief system.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Guster

    Lou,

    You guy's wouldn't last two seconds in a world void of the morality derived from Judeo Christian principles and values. The very fact that you lock the doors to your house at night proves you don't really believe that we don't live under certain moral principles. When you lock your doors at night or when you go to work in the morning you are imposing your moral standards on your neighbors. You are telling them that it is not acceptable to come into my house when I am sleeping and take my things or hurt my children. What if your neighbors don’t believe stealing is wrong? Maybe they need the food in your pantry. Who are you to prevent them from taking your stuff while you sleep? Why do they have to live under your moral standards? You guy’s are the ones who want it both ways. You want a world with no God but you would run and hide behind the moral standards of those who do in a heartbeat.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • LouAz

      My neighbors are all fine people.
      I have to lock the door to prevent your god's angel from sneaking in at night to kill me !

      July 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      I was never a believer and neither were my parents nor are any of my children. I was taught not to steal, lie, or cheat not because GOD doesn't want me to but because it hurts other people. If what you are saying is true then the only reason that you are not out stealing from your neighbors or doing far worst things is because you think GOD doesn't want you too, not that you think any of those things are wrong. This line of thought is as old as man, is something good because GOD says it is or does GOD say it is good because it is good? Consider the following; GOD told the Israelite (according to the Israelite) to kill every man, woman and child including the animals in Canaan except the virgins (take those for yourself, wonder what he meant by that), is this act of Genocide right or wrong?

      July 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Jessica

      Guster – "You guy's wouldn't last two seconds in a world void of the morality derived from Judeo Christian principles and values." – what proof do you have that these "morals" come from judeo-christian principles, versus predate it?

      The entire basis of your argument is that without religion, we'd have no clue how to behave with each other. I disagree, there are PLENTY of human societies on this planet that have never HEARD of your God, those two faiths, and have societies with moral codes. How in the world did they do it???

      There are also many species of animals that have exhibited "societal rules" which they function by, Monkeys/Apes are a great example. Meerkats are another great example.

      But im guessing you think GOD has just been whispering in their ear, helping them figure things out huh?

      July 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  5. Jessica

    Well one thing is clear – he's not anywhere near as stupid as his followers.

    July 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Guster

    Gary,

    How do you know I have never heard from God? Sounds like you are putting yourself in God's position. How ironic. Your faith tells you the complexity of a single strand of human DNA happened by pure chance. Take a college statistics class then come back and try to defend that position.

    July 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • Gary

      Guster how do I know. because all your posts are about a religous text. You never mentioned you actually met him. If you did I apologize. Was he nice? Tall? Next time you speak to him please ask him to say hello to your cyberspace friend Gary.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Alverant

      Since your god doesn't exist then it logically follows you never heard from him. As for human DNA, take a college biology class and learn not only how your statistics claim is irreverent but how human DNA did NOT occur by pure chance (and without the need for a "intelligent" designer).

      July 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, Natural Selection is not by chance. The existence of a GOD would be by chance because GOD would be "uncaused".

      July 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • LouAz

      Guster, please PROVE to us that you did NOT hear from god. Careful.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  7. Guster

    "The initial state of the universe must have been very carefully chosen indeed if the hot big bang model was correct right back to the beginning of time. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings just like us." Stephen Hawking.

    Lou,

    I take it you have heard of Stephen Hawking. I wouldn't classify him as a religionist. Just a genius who's understanding of the cosmos precludes him from being an atheist.

    July 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Gary

      Guster still no proof God exists. who made God ? and if there is a God a book written 2k years ago no proof was inspired by God. You base beliefs on faith and faith only. That is fine. your right ...just dont mix faith and facts

      July 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Alverant

      Guster how do you know the God Hawking was referring to was the same God in that book of fairy tales you call a bible? If you looked a little deeper you'd find he said that his "God" was abstract term used as a metaphor and not the petty vengful deity you worship.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "I'm not religious in the normal sense. I believe the Universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws." Hawking

      I think Stephen Hawking has said himself that he is agnostic, hardly "...a genius who's understanding of the cosmos precludes him from being an atheist."

      July 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, the quote was from BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6595521.stm

      July 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  8. Guster

    Lou,

    Your statment that "He has made a mess of things for 2000 years" only exposes your lack of understanding concerning the nature of God. People have made a mess of things for 2000 years. Read the scriptures without your "pastor" Christopher Hitchens interpreting for you. Or better yet just simply explain to me what caused the matter to explode and result in an ordered universe?

    July 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • LouAz

      Hitchens ? Never heard of him. Ordered universe ? No one believes it is ordered except "people of faith".

      July 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • LouAz

      "nature of god" ? Well, look around. About a third of mankind is trying to kill another third of mankind, all in the "name of god". and the other third is starving to death. Is this the "nature" of your god ? C'mon, you can't have it both ways. You don't get to pick and choose the pretty parts and say that is because of your god, and say the ugly parts are due to man. I don't think god(s) should mess around. Either he is all good, as you keep saying, or he/she/it does not exist. How can your perfect god(s) create imperfection – MAN ? Scripture ? Ha !. God is supposed to be self evident. Tell me about malaria and mosquitos.
      Tell me about sending an "angel" under cover of darkness into the camp of the Philistines to slay them. Is that the "nature" of your "god(s)". Well, you and Teddie Boy Haggarty can keep him to YOURSELF !

      July 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Gary

      Guster...sorry your 'scriptures" were written by men. Not by God ...Guster you believe in a book and a congregation of fellow idiots and call it church. Your religious text was written by men some 2k years ago. no proof whatsever any God had anything to do with its content. Also you have never met a God. Seen a God or heard from a God. ...You just trust what is in your book as truth but you have no proof to back it up.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  9. Brave Sir Robin

    @JohnQuest,
    No need, for I am a believer in the one true god. A piano falls on my car because I forgot to look up when I parked not because I have not giving my all for His Holy Noodliness.

    On the other topic; I think therefore I exist. God (uppercase) in my mind is the omniscient, omnipresent being, creator of all universes, and inventor of Semolina wheat.

    rAmen!

    July 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  10. Guster

    I actually admire the faith of atheists who post on these forums. The level of faith required to believe the universe exploded into existence for no reason and by pure dumb luck we are all here typing on our keyboards takes a level of faith few believers could ever hope for. I would love to go back in time to that pool of primordial ooze and meet my ancestors. We believers could all learn lessons of faith from our atheist friends.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • LouAz

      What makes you think you have the understanding "to believe the universe exploded into existence" at the will of your "god(s)" ? If he did, he has certainly made a mess of things for the last several thousand years.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, it does not take faith to trust science. I a scientist make a claim (he or she says that there is an inhabitable moon behind Saturn, but we can not see or detect it) nobody automatically believes there an inhabitable planet in behind Saturn. We test that claim over and over again, only an independent observation and analyst will "PROVE" the claim true. I think we both can admit the the idea of a GOD can not stand up to that level of reasoning.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Brave Sir Robin

    To the Disbelieving minions of false gods,
    I am a pastafarian and i worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true church worshiping the one true god. He has touch me with his Holy Noodliness. I have seen him with mine own eyes and have witnesses his miraculous glutenations (with a lovely fresh marinara and a hint of anchovy)

    Your Humble Servant
    Brave Sir Robin
    rAmen!

    July 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Brave Sir Robin, if a piano falls on your car tomorrow will you become a believer?

      July 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • LouAz

      I tried that god once . . . too much garlic for my taste.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Liutgard

    *Since this story was about Ted Haggard*, I'd like to make a remark about him and his 'new church'.

    Ted left the denomination he was in (marginal oversight as it was, it was still oversight) and started his own church so that he could operate without oversight. Nobody is watching him, nobody is there to yank his collar if his actions are questionable. He refuses to be under any authority, with the exception of God, I suppose. This is a man who has proved himself untrustworthy, and his former denomination felt that he should not be in the pulpit. So he's decided to go his own way. Don't trust him.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  13. JohnQuest

    I have read all of these post on CNN and participated in a few, they all seem to assume that we have an innate idea of GOD, I don't think any two people can debate anything unless they both are using the same language (same meaning of a word or phrase). What do you guys mean by the terms GOD and exist?

    July 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  14. Gary

    Ted Haggerd not only insults God he insults all Gays on earth now...Gays were born that way and there is nothing wrong with it .

    July 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Gary

    GI John I will include you in with the false prophets while considering existence of God. You seem to be just like them.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  16. Truth

    Religious people are so gullible, you almost have to admire this hypocrit. I mean as long as he talks about jesus, god, Zeus and various other fairy tales he finds enough brain dead minds to follow him.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  17. Gary

    GI John as an agnostic I can not prove you wrong either. I can realize facts and understand many fallicies in the bible , quran and all religious texts ...but I can still not prove ...nor do I want to that God dosnt exist. In fact I wouldnt be too surprised if God did exist. I think if he dose exist he has much more common sense than any religous leader gives him credit for.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  18. GI JOHN

    @Gary

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

    Actually your wrong Gary,Luke, and Johnquest. Us "believers" are under no obligation to prove anything to you or anyone else who chooses unbelief. Our only obligation and service to our Lord is to spread the Gospel. While I respect what bobross2 is trying to do....this is not what Christ commamnded us to do. As for Ted Haggard, Jim Baker.....you doubters act like this is some big surprise that proves the Bible wrong. People like this confirm prophecy about the church in the end times. Before you make such ridiculous statements you should really study up on what the Bible says about false teachers, false prophets, and those who peddle the Word of God for a profit. Its all there. You continue to confirm the Bible rather than dicredit it and you don't even know it!

    July 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Gary

      GI John , bilbe is just a religious text written 2100 years ago several changes made through out history. w/king james names of apostles give anglo saxon names......wether I have read the bible or not which I have makes no difference it is still just a book ...no proof none @ all is God inspired....so many interpretations by so many different scholars and sect of Christianity ....proof mormon,babtist,methodist,catholism,angelican,pentacostal ect list goes on and on.....True you do not have to prove anything to me or anyone else ....You are free to believe anything you like . but it is just that you choose to belief a BOOK written by men as word of God.....You have never met God, You have never seen God, You have never heard from God.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • Ben

      Then you have no right to complain when we non-believers think you're certifiably insane. Like... "should be in a mental institution" insane. I do not trust the judgement of any devoutly religious person because you're clearly not capable of discerning reality from fantasy and fact from fiction. You either see the contradictions and lies infront of you and force upon yourself massive cognitive dissonance or you are intellectually incapable of understanding and detecting such contradictions and lies.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Jessica

      GI JOHN – "those who peddle the Word of God for a profit" – do you go to church? I just was wondering what GOD says about the idiots who give churches their money, since nearly every church turns a profit.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  19. LouAz

    Based on how we have treated each other for the last 6,000 years of recorded history, Teddie Boy Haggarty, and no one else would recognize god, or jesus, or the holy spirt if they bumped into "him" in a phone booth. Oops, we don't have phone booths anymore. Just what do we have now that is so good from all these "one true religion(s)" and "one true god(s)" ? Face it fokls, your "god(s)" has not delivered "peace on earth" as promised. Maybe you need some new god(s).

    Perhaps this will get some replies about how happy "I" am with "my god" and if you just listen to Teddie Boy, or my (pedo)priest, or witch doctor, or shaman, and read my "only" book, then I too would know why you are so happy. Well, you are in complete denial that religion of ANYKIND has not delivered peace on earth.

    If the only peace is after death, then all you religious fanatics (and you are ALL FANATICS) should end it now and go be with your god(s). But you don't have the absolute belief to do that do you ? You want to hedge your bet don't you ? What if your "wrong" ? Uh oh ! There were "religions" before jesus, and "religions" after jesus. Your "religion" is what your mommie and daddy told you, and that is what their mommie and daddy told them, etc, etc, etc.

    Religion, god(s), super power, creation, death, spirits, voodoo, hoodoo, doodoo are not for children. Yet each of your "religions" beat it into your children. No wonder so many grow up with the FEAR OF GOD(S) in them. If all children had to wait until they were 18 or even 21 before someone was allowed to "tell them of the wonders and power" of their god(s), there would be damn few christians, muslims, jews as the "story" is just not reasonable to an unbrainwashed adult reasoning mind ! It is just nonsense !

    I know, you really believe in you god(s). Tell us the first time you remember hearing of your god(s). It was as a CHILD most likely. Introspection is really tough. Especially when you head is filled with bumper sticker slogans and short stories about something or somebody that lived several thousand years ago that always loves you. See how it works ? See how your head gets filled with adult fear of hell and damnation and spirit(s) and that you have something called a "soul". No matter what happens, "god loves you". What a powerful idea to put into the forming mind of a child. All mumbo jmbo, stuff you really can't put your finger on, and no one else can either. They just tell you "have faith". The promise is eternal salvation and joy and happiness. Really now, does that seem reasonable ? What for ? Why ? Nonsense !

    Only church I ever saw that made any honest sense was Flip Wilson as Reverend LeRoy and his Church of What's Happening Now ! Bless you all.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • LouAz

      I forgot, please put $5 in the collection plate near the door as you exit. It costs us lots of money to keep jesus in poverty, and the poop needs some new dresses and gold pointy hats. Yaaaaaah-weh !

      July 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      So, people believe in God because he/she was brainwashed like that as a child? If so, there shouldn't have been any atheists around because they all would have been brainwashed. Or are you saying atheists are the only smart people around who realized it and others have not?

      Is there a special scientific discovery that the world devoid of the atheists haven't seen yet which gives that information?

      July 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • LouAz

      Sorry, Joe. Made a reply but the "thought police" didn't care for it so you will never know. Life is like that.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  20. Steve

    If there is a god, then it has a very good sense of humor to make the entire universe look like no gods exist.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:37 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.