The Colorado Springs Gazette's Mark Barna has a point: both Rev. Don Armstrong and his Springs-based compatriot Ted Haggard have evinced "an ability to inspire congregants."
Armstrong turned Grace and St. Stephen’s Church downtown into a dynamic, financially sound ministry respected by the Episcopal Church....
Haggard and Armstrong became the reasons many people joined the respective churches. At best, they were viewed as powerful, visionary leaders.
At worst, leaders of a cult of personality.
Just so: Exhibit A --
[T]he better argument that Armstrong might be bigger than his Christian message is the unbending loyalty he has among parishioners at St. George’s Anglican Church, which, since March 2009, has met in the Mountain Shadows area.
Armstrong's recent plea-bargaining process, together with his subsequent and squishy interpretation of same, had Barna reaching into his 2006 folder to find Armstrong waxing charitably, if clairvoyantly, over the subject of "Pastor Ted's" fall.
I am praying hard for Ted. Somebody like Ted, who’s so prominent, is going to be under constant attack from evil and temptation. So it’s hard for any of us to understand the level of temptation or the level of attack he’s had to deal with, but if this is the case then he walked up to the edge and was victorious, and I think we ought to celebrate that.