Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PASTOR BRADY JONES OF NEW LIFE CHURCH AND MIKE JONES

In light of the revelations of Ted Haggard having sexual relations with one of the young men in his congregation when he was Pastor of New Life Church, here is a letter to his congregation at New Life Church by its current pastor Pastor Brady Boyd:
Dear New Life Family,
In the days ahead, there will be new press reports of allegations made by a man who knew Ted Haggard through his involvement with New Life Church. This man has decided to speak to the media about his alleged relationship with Mr. Haggard. Since these allegations were first brought to our attention, New Life Church leadership has reached out to him with compassion by providing him with pastoral care, professional counseling, and financial assistance. We did this with the hope that he would experience healing and move forward with purpose in his life.

At that time, he and church leaders agreed that publishing his allegations or our church’s assistance to him would not be in his best interest. This decision was made not as an attempt to conceal wrongdoings, but to protect him from those who would seek to exploit him. His actions now suggest that he has changed his mind.

A few weeks ago, when the news of the upcoming documentary about Mr. Haggard surfaced, this man informed me that he was considering telling the media the details of his relationship with Mr. Haggard. He was obviously upset about the reported content of the documentary and wished to tell his story.

After Mr. Haggard’s fall, we received reports of a number of incidents of inappropriate behavior. In each case, we have tried our very best to do the right thing, including disciplinary action when appropriate. Our concern has been and continues to be for every person affected. We renew our invitation today for anyone who believes he or she has been hurt to please come forward.
Our current elder team and all of our overseers have been aware of these allegations and have given us wise, prayerful counsel every step of the way. I regret that we have to revisit the unpleasant issues of the past, but I am convinced we are on the path of healing and great days are ahead for all of us. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support.
Love,
Pastor Brady
[See here.]

As Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out writes:

“Authorities should investigate to ensure that this volunteer was not manipulated or coerced into silence,” said Besen. “The leadership of New Life has little credibility and should not simply be taken at their word. At a minimum, Boyd should resign for using his position of power to pressure a vulnerable member of his congregation into silence.” [See here.]

Hear Mike Jones' point of view. Although he exhibits too much maudlin defensiveness, in my opinion, his brief description of his dealings with Pastor Brady Boyd is instructive:

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2 comments:

Ken R said...

Those with just an ounce of intelligence know that this person was hushed up by New Life Church. There will be more people that will come forward to tell their story I'm sure.

Evangelicals/Fundamentalists/Conservative Christians simply cannot accept gay people as they are. To them we are simply broken. Sadly, it is their belief system that is broken and they need to look long and hard at what they are doing to GLBT folks. The movie Prayers for Bobby is one perfect example of their broken belief system.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Ken: Thanks for this. I've always been convinced that the hateful perversions of so much of the institutional Church in respect to LGBT people has influenced, not only its gullible and often equally hateful followers, but has tremendously impacted non-Christians as well to the point where Gay people live lives of needless shame and self-loathing and where all too many families feel it is the right thing to do to reject their own children.

I'm convinced these homophobic clergy and their followers won't change their attitudes unless and until Gay people and allies demand to be treated with dignity and respect; avoid those homophobic churches like the plague that they are; select one homophobic church in each community to continuously picket on Sunday mornings; harness their energies to agitate for the same civil rights as any heterosexual individual and families enjoy under the Constitution as citizens in this society.

Homophobes, professing Christians or not, will change their attitudes once Gay people win equal rights. Change in "attitudes" don't usually precede change in "behavior"; rather, change in "behavior" usually precedes change in "attitudes."

We saw this same phenomenon played out with women acquiring the right to vote, with African Americans guaranteed the same civil rights as White people by the U.S. Supreme Court, and I expect the same results will occur once the Courts rule that "separate is not equal" in regard to Gay civil rights.

And the decision to grant full equality of Gay with Straight people's civil rights must come from the Judiciary, and should and must not come from any vote of the will, or tyranny, of the majority in this Democratic Republic, as we saw with the removal of Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights when Prop. 8 in California was passed by popular vote.

Equality before the law is essential and demanded in this society and is a Constitutionally guaranteed right! No Gay person, or anyone else for that matter, must be allowed to be treated or allow him/herself to be treated as some second class citizen, or even settle in any way for the indignities attendant upon the granting of incremental rights.

Only when the Judiciary rule to follow the Constitution and treat Gay people accordingly, will homophobic people's attitudes change.

As for the homophobic clergy and other such professing Christians, they will continually be shown to be unGodly and irrelevant and lose what credibility that they currently enjoy by all too many gullible people!