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. Brion

    The general premise behind most of the discussion thus far is that if one can disprove some claim of the Bible, then one has dismissed the legitimacy of the Christian faith. The claims most commonly addressed regard evolution and the age of the earth. Let me take a moment to respond. I am limiting myself to these two issue to make thinks somewhat manageable.
    The assumption that the Bible makes a claim about either the age of the earth or evolution is wrong. Even most conservative-evangelical scholarship has arrived at this conclusion, even if the Church is still a bit behind. Our knowledge of scripture has been significantly augmented in the last 200 years by the discovery of a multitude of comparative Ancient Near Eastern documents. These discoveries have reshaped how we understand the intention of the biblical writers.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Brion

      If you are really interested in it then I suggest you do some research.

      July 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  2. Brion

    I am embarrassed by some of the comments of my fellow brothers and sister in Christ. I recently completed a master’s program in biblical studies and I am about to begin applying to PhD programs in Hebrew Bible / Ancient Near Eastern studies. Perhaps this may establish some credibility. Perhaps not.

    I wish Luke was still around as he makes for some lively discussion.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  3. Brion

    Regarding the age of the earth:

    Most commonly, uninformed folks use the Genesis genealogies to come up with a general estimate for the age of the earth. The original and most noted example is Archbishop User who famously concluded that the earth was created on October 26, 4004 BC. This is obviously absurd to our modern sensibilities. But you really cannot blame him. He was doing sophisticated work for his time. And he had no access to the plethora of Ancient Near Eastern texts we have today. Now we know that genealogies in the Ancient Near East did not work the way they do today. They frequently skipped several generations and had little concern about offering a literal account of family lineage. This is especially evident in Genesis as the writer presents a stylized genealogy with an equal number of generations between Adam, Noah, and Abraham. The writer’s motive was theological, not scientific or theological. You must take the biblical writers on their own terms. It is unfair to say they make a claim they in fact never made.

    In conclusion, the Bible makes no claim about evolution and the age of the earth. And so much of the conversation above has unfolded under a false pretense.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • Joe

      October 4004 BC or 2.5 billion years BC. Whatever?

      July 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • Brion

      Not sure what you are trying to communicate?

      July 27, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  4. NC Lawyer

    What is his new church called? The Church of Right Wing Hypocrisy and Hatred?

    July 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  5. Brion

    *meant to write "theological, not scientific or historical"

    July 27, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  6. GodisFake

    If you believe in a sky fairy, you should probably be riding the short bus 24/7. bobross: Are you KIDDING ME?!?

    July 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  7. Cindy

    There will come a day when everyone wilol know that God exists. And it will be a more than terrible day for those who choose not to believe.
    Yes I believe and being gullible has nothing to do with it.

    July 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • shinden58

      Rent the movie "The man who invented lying" You might change your toon. The movie has a lot of comparisons to what we hear from religion today.

      July 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • NL

      If there was evidence enough for God's existence to be obvious, then everyone would believe, right? Until then, how can some of us be blamed for being skeptical?

      July 27, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  8. denise

    why even discuss this anymore...i mean those of us that believe are going to heaven and the rest are going to go to hell. We wont even be bothered with each other anymore...let's just all get along for the short time we are here and when we part ways with Luke and some others we can wave and tell them how nice the weather is where we are going.

    July 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Guster

    John Quest,

    As to your comment about paying for the sins of our ancestors, what we do today often has consequences of future generations. We as a counrty are going to be paying for the sins of BP for decades, if not centuries to come. The way we pollute our environment is causing cancers in people in record numbers. The processed food we eat, smoking, drinking, the national debt we are running up ect. All of this behavior can easily influence future generations.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  10. Guster

    John Quest,

    Because Hitler was not acting out of an intention of love. That is the difference. If a large, drug crazed bully kicks in my door in the middle of the night, hell bent on harming my wife and kids I might be forced to kill him. Although I am taking a life, my intention is out of love for my family. It is not "wrong" to kill given this very specific senario. On the other hand if I don't like the fact the my neighbor is successful and only shares his secrets of success with his extended family, it would be wrong to "erradicate" them and claim they are a "cancer".

    July 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  11. Guster


    Why do you mock something you don't understand? Your statements indicate you only believe things other people tell you about Jews and Christians. You believe them on faith, the very same thing you have a problem with when it comes to people of faith. Hmmm... You know we have a book you can reference to fill in those gaps. Its a best seller.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  12. Guster

    John Quest,

    Hitler was a delusional maniac and the Jews were not a "cancer" needing to erradicated. Jews exist in many countries and those countries are just fine with them included. Hiltler was the embodyment of evil and threatened the entire world with enslavery and desrtruction.
    Actually it is the atheist that should shutter at the mention of Hitler because if there is no inherent standard of right and wrong the world had no right to intervene in the affairs of Hitler and judge him to to be in error.

    What did happen in some scriptural accounts of God dealing with evil is a direct parralel with the world t
    aking a moral stand against an evil bully in Germany bent on the worlds conquest.

    The mental gymnastics aren't on this end.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, I agree it is wrong to kill, but you said that "Destruction of cities and groups of people were sometimes neccessary to eradicate evil threatening to undermine the development of humanity. So although seemingly an act of violence could easily be an act of love in the grander scheme of things". How is this different from the way Hitler and his boys thought?

      July 27, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  13. Guster


    Or... maybe they were telling the truth. Hey, Thomas saw the proof! There you go. That's one person. There is a cool Geico commercial about "honest" Abe Lincoln who had to tell his wife that the dress made her look "fat" beacuse he was so honest. How do we know Abe was so honest? I have never met Lincoln. I don't know anybody that ever has. He lived hundreds of years ago, so how does anybody know what kind of person Abe was? I would guess most people would never question the fact that the man was really honest. We all seem to accept the witness of the folks around him. People that witnessed things he did and passed that information along through the centuries so we could know how honest Lincoln was. Think about it.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • verify

      The story of Thomas has not been verified, I only used it as an example.

      There is no pressing need for you to believe that Abe Lincoln was honest. And certainly many question it.

      Again, this "God", if it is all-knowing, knows *precisely* what it would take to have each of us believe. It can't, it won't, or it simply doesn't exist.

      July 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  14. Futon Torpedo

    If people want to follow this freak then let em.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  15. Guster

    John Quest,

    I understand your comment about diseases, earthquakes, cancer, smallpox ect. Although I admit what I believe is based on faith, my faith understands that God did not create the world you describe. He created a paradise free from these things (garden of eden) and it was through His childrens "free will" that the world is now the way it is. Man made a choice, we are all now living with the consequences. The good news is that He will some day restore the world to its original design. It will be open to people who want to share the joy of their creator. Again, it is by faith that I believe this.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, are you saying that humans created viruses, bacteria, and the like? I thought those things were here before people. If what you say is true, then you and I are paying for something that someone did 6000 years ago. Then it must be okay to lock your neighbor up because his (great, great, great, great grandfather) stole a horse from your (great, great, great, great grandfather).

      July 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  16. Guster

    John Quest,

    It took me years of studying ancient Jewish culture and years to go over Old Testament scripture line by line to get a better understanding of the way God interacted with His creation as why certain things happened the way they did. Destruction of cities and groups of people were sometimes neccessary to eradicate evil threatening to undermine the development of humanity. So although seemingly an act of violence could easily be an act of love in the grander scheme of things. If I have cancer it will be painful to remove it, but might save my life. In world war two sometimes cities including women and children were completely destroyed. Yes it is unfortunate but Hitlers evil intentions needed to be stopped at all costs. The worlds very survival was at stake.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Jessica

      "Destruction of cities and groups of people were sometimes neccessary to eradicate evil threatening to undermine the development of humanity." – yet you fail to consider that this is what Hitler was doing? how? why? I've heard the jewish people are the "chosen ones"...so why are you christian? seems self-defeating no?

      July 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Guster, You did not say if Genocide is right or wrong, however by that thought, you have just rationalized Hitlers excuse for removing the cancer from Germany. If the same logic is applied to all groups (and it should be) then Hitler was as moral as the Jews. See how insane it can get and the only way to get by this is to do some logic gymnastics.

      July 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  17. LouAz

    This is all like argueing with a FAA Inspector. It is like wrestling with a pig in mud . . . after awhile you realize the pig enjoys it ! Enough tilting at windmills and reasoning with rocks. Adieu.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  18. Guster


    If I jump off a tall building, I'm quite sure I will splat all over the ground when I reach the bottom. Although I can't "see" gravity I can learn from the people that have come before me that gravity does exist.

    God has revealed Himself to humanity many times. The people who He revealed Himself too were witness's and passed along that knowledge. If I go rob a bank and there are just one or two witness's that saw me do it, I will end up in jail.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Gary

      Guster , Good points...

      July 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • verify

      Those people who "He" revealed himself to might have just been hallucinating... or even lying.

      This "God", if it is all-knowing, knows *precisely* what it would take to have each of us believe. It was good enough for your legendary Thomas (who required rather gory, grisly proof). What are we...chopped liver? We do not seek to be more 'blessed' than Thomas. Proof.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • NL

      Gravity is easy to believe in. That there is a deity pushing someone down towards the earth would be another matter. What things has God supposedly done that cannot be explained through natural or man-made means?

      July 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  19. Sybaris

    Religious people are like abused women, they go to absurd extremes to rationalize their beliefs all the while telling everyone how much "He" loves them.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  20. Guster


    I agree that what I believe is based on faith. Just the same as what you believe is based on faith.

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

      Guster then were are in agreement ....hope you have a great life and even better after life one day.

      July 27, 2010 at 4:20 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.