Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Calvin Book 1, Chapter 9
Recently, while on Oprah, Ted Haggard revealed,
"I was dying. I had settled in my mind exactly how I was going to commit suicide. I was preparing, and in my life, Jesus came to me and he said, 'Now, now I can save you.' "
This is a sad admission. I do not rejoice in the revelation that Mr. Haggard was on the brink of suicide, but I also do not rejoice that he still thinks that he has a special line to Jesus. Haggard needs to read Calvin's 9th Chapter of Book 1 of the Institutes entitled "Fanatics, Abandoning Scripture and Flying Over To Revelation, Cast Down All the Principles of Godliness".
Calvin begins this section by saying, "...those who, having forsaken Scripture, imagine some way or other of reaching God...". You see, Haggard, with all his pretended "humility" here is really asserting something very arrogant. He is saying that the Word of God is not sufficient on the one hand, and that God specially speaks to him on the other. The man is not a Christian, but rather, as historically labeled, he is a "Libertine". He believes that he gets special messages from God and in that belief he continues to promote the idea that the Scriptures are not enough for people.
I hope that folks will look at this false teacher's life and see that his heresy is destructive to godliness, as Calvin asserts here. This section of the Institutes could have been a helpful corrective for Haggard, noting so clearly that the Spirit and the Word will never be divorced from one another, and that the way to hear the voice of God is to hear His Word. What an insult to Christ, His salvation, and His Word...