Well, I found my 10-foot pole, so I'm going to post my thoughts in response to Mark's response to the meeting with Paul and Rose regarding Rose's response to Mark's response to his initial response to the Ted Haggard issue. Got that?
1. I do not believe that the trials that James is referring to in James 1 include the consequences of our inappropriate behavior. Yes the consequences of our mistakes may be trying and uncomfortable, but they are simply the result of inappropriate behavior, not the testing of our faith.
2. I am amazed that after all of the discussion, Mark has yet to acknowledge his actual offense. The issue was never that his comments were misapplied to Mrs. Haggard. The issue has always been that his comments were fully understood, as stated, and applied to the pastors' wives he so degradingly mischaracterized. The generalized manner in which he spoke of these women was wrong and rude.
3. Regretfully, the protestors have been characterized as a dangerous group of misfits, "living an alternative lifestyle," on a vindictive witch hunt to ruin Mark's witness to the lost people of Seattle. Whether you agreed with the idea of a protest or not, I felt that the people involved were not extreme.
4. Concerning Billy Graham and Charles Spurgeon, now we know where the critics-as-teachers verbage came from. Once again, we are reminded that the issue in Mark's mind is that he is so oft misquoted and misunderstood.
5. Regarding Carolyn Haggard - there you go, I bet you could hire a woman to fix the whole problem. :)
6. This was a good statement - "inflammatory language and such need to be scaled back." Then we are again reminded of how tragic it is that Mark is so often misperceived, misunderstood, and taken personally by those who find his remarks offensive. Plenty of blame-shifting happening here.
7. Finally, it is not his theology! That is not what offends people. We understand differing theology. The problem is his rhetoric. They are not the same thing, and it's kind of slippery to imply that people have a problem with your theology when they confront your rude behavior.
Humility, transparency, being quick to take responsibility and quick to apologize - these are qualities that I find admirable and to be respected.
Thankfully, there was plenty of that in Rose Swetman's gracious blog post.