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New Life Church Behaving Responsibly

I’m not one to spend a great deal of time criticizing the media for their treatment of Christianity, but I do think that in general journalists in this country have a really good idea for what’s not the most important story, and as soon as they detect such a thing, they print it immediately. That’s why I like to look at stories from multiple sources because then I can gather together the few facts, and the scattered actually interesting things that they all print.

A case in point is the MSNBC story 2nd Colo. pastor quits over ‘sexual misconduct’ which informs us that another minister at New Life Church has resigned over sexual misconduct. It turns out that the sexual misconduct was by an adult with another adult, both unmarried, several years ago. I’m not trying to make light of the sin here, but considering that New Life Church has around 200 staff members, the possibility that someone had committed a sexual indiscretion within the past six or seven years was pretty good. It is something that should be dealt with, with a key factor being that it is thoroughly contrary to the expressed standards of that church, but is just isn’t news.

But there was some real news in the story; it was just not deemed worthy of the headline. The report says:

The church’s outside Board of Overseers was asked to examine the “spiritual character”? of its 200 staff members after Haggard resigned last month from the church and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

“We recognize there will be increased scrutiny of our church in the wake of the scandal,”? Brendle said.

Now that’s responsible behavior, and it’s good news here. We’re not going to have perfect churches, and we will have scandals involving church leaders as long as human beings are leading churches. That’s not an excuse; it’s just a fact. We need to deal with problems as they occur. Hypocrisy is serious sin, and we need to be especially careful about living up to our expressed standards. But in the case of Ted Haggard and New Life Church, the church structure responded promptly and efficiently and dealt quickly with the problem. Then they went the extra mile and brought extra scrutiny on themselves.

I think that responsible handling of a situation is more newsworthy than one young adult leader who was guilty of a sexual indiscretion.

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