National Association of Evangelicals after Haggard – What Next?

The Rev. Ted Haggard crumbled down amid allegations of gay sex, drugs, and a host of other sensationalized tales of misconduct, all brought forth to the media by a male prostitute who laid claim to a three-year relationship with the National Association of Evangelicals’ former head.

While Haggard has only partially admitted guilt, the situation in its entirety is a stark reminder of man’s sinfulness and a dark exposure of how deeply the sin of homosexuality has taken root in the American society. If the accusations are indeed true, now would be the time for the Evangelical community look within its own walls and battle against the culture of sin that looms before the Church of Christ.

The National Association of Evangelicals is a group that is 30-million strong with over 50 years of history. However, in the last few years, its headquarters has moved to an office within Haggard’s New Life Community Church with its staffers fully employed by the church. This failure on the part of the NAE to operate independent of any one church or person is among the most critical mistake the organization has made – a fault that must be acknowledged and amended immediately. As such, the NAE board must elect its interim president now, instead of vacating its top position, and quickly relocate away from any individual church.

Today’s emergency meeting of the NAE’s 12-member Executive Committee is a good start, but the organization must move forward by quickly choosing a new successor and moving out of the New Life Campus. Furthermore, the NAE needs to take this opportunity to employ checks and balances that would prevent such a monopolization of ownership from occurring again.

There is a saying that every crisis comes with a greater opportunity. The crisis Evangelicals face in the midst of such accusations against one of their most influential leaders may indeed seem disheartening and irrevocable. However, by fighting more adamantly against the culture of sin and by setting a new direction for the NAE, the Evangelical community may come out of this calamity as man would the refiner’s fire. After all, no matter how sensationalized the reports and how deep the sin, it is Christ – not Ted Haggard – who is the head of this Church.

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