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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Falwell Claims: "I never knew Ted Haggard"

Jerry Falwell said on the Situation Room that he didn't know Ted Haggard, but had met him. However an email to supporters on June 3, 2003 states:

The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the NAE and pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said at the meeting, "Since we are in a global community, no doubt about it, we must temper our speech and we must communicate primarily through actions."

The paradox is that none of the Christian leaders I mentioned were in attendance at this organized rebuke, which was titled, Consultation on Evangelical Christian-Muslim Relations. With the exception of Franklin Graham, who is a member of the NAE, none of us were even invited. In fact, I learned of the meeting only after being contacted by reporters from the Washington Post and the New York Times who were doing stories on the event.

I later learned that Rev. Haggard, who was only recently elected to his position, was not fully aware of the serious charges that would be made. Having talked with him since the meeting, I am convinced of his sincerity when he declares the event was not intended to be a personal rebuke of anyone. In fact, Rev. Haggard advised Mark DeMoss, publicist for Franklin Graham, in writing that he personally agreed with Franklin's critical comments about Islam.

However, other NAE executives - perhaps craving a bit of the national spotlight - had scheduled the meeting before Rev. Haggard was recently elected president.

No one believes these other officials were naïve when they painstakingly invited the major media to such a meeting. Clearly, their intent was to slam everyone who has criticized Islam and pat themselves on the back for taking their own designation of the high road.

Thankfully, NAE officials also reiterated their commitment to witnessing in the Muslim world and criticized the "naïve" approach of the World Council of Churches, which has attempted to blur theological lines in its efforts of inclusion.

Jerry Falwell and Ted Haggard were also co-sponsors of Battle Cry Ministries events. Battle Cry Ministries has now erased Ted Haggard from their site. He's still listed in google's cache.