C Peter Wagner on Ted Haggard

As disgraced former mega-church pastor Ted Haggard makes a modest comeback, a word of caution from neo-Pentecostal ” spiritual warfare” expert C Peter Wagner:

C. Peter Wagner, who came to Colorado Springs at Haggard’s behest and cofounded New Life;s World Prayer Center with him in the late 1990s, said he thinks Haggard’s spiritual restoration is incomplete.

“He said in his letter to his congregation after he was fired that he is a liar and deceiver,” Wagner said, adding that because Haggard didn’t finish the restoration program, he’s not fit to preach. “He must have someone confirm him in the body of Christ” before he can preach again, Wagner said.

Presumably Wagner thinks that someone such as himself should be the one to make the judgement-call; in which case, hopefully no-one will remember his words about Todd Bentley, the revivalist on whom he lavished the following supernaturally-laden and gushing words in June 2008:

“This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.

“I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”

Alas, less than two months later, Bentley was found to have been having an affair with a female staffer, and he has since slipped back into obscurity; for some unaccountable reason, God failed to tip Wagner off about this when conveying his prophetic endorsement.

After the Haggard scandal broke in 2006, he was passed over to a “restoration team”; one of the team’s members, Rev. Mark Cowart, warned that “Ted is not in touch with reality”. Cowart, by contrast, had previously battled Satan by ordering the graphic mutilation and destruction of Pokemon toys in a church service for children. Haggard severed his connection to the team early in 2008.

(Hat tip: Religion Dispatches)