Posts Tagged ‘black church’

As those of us who grew up in the black church know full well, things are done a little differently at times.

The Spirit needs to flow more heavily through a family member of the pastor. The big girl is kept in the choir to make it look bigger in some places. And every Sunday is a fashion show that would put ‘Operation Runway’ to shame.

New Birth pastor gets just that on the cover of Gospel Today magazineBut never have I seen something the likes of what Bishop Eddie Long has allegedly been doing in order to save face amidst some much needed PR.

Any Gospel Today subscribers in the house or on the Wall? Before you answer that proudly, check the latest cover story:

Bishop Eddie Long at the center of the scandal that rocked the church world.

According to the story I read in CNN’s Belief Blog, many subscribers were feeling like throwing this publication into the fiery furnace upon seeing – and reading – this article.

Some Gospel Today readers thought the magazine was downplaying  Long’s allegations, and others thought they shouldn’t have featured him at all. The biggest problem readers had was Long’s relationship with “Gospel Today” – he’s the chair of the magazine’s board.

Listen, I realize this phrase may not be in the Bible, but I believe the publication’s CEO “Dr.” Teresa Hairston needs to hear it anyway: “Conflict of interest.”

I’m sure that may have come up in journalism class. If not, then perhaps, “PAYOLA!”

How about that one?

Evidently, it didn’t and Ms. Hairston is popping her neck about this ballyhoo:

Hairston told readers that her magazine did not explore the legalities of the Long scandal, and chose instead to present a “biblical perspective.” Yeah, that’s quaint, namely when you pen this blast from your ivory towers:

Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long’s resignation! They’re not even members!!

Sorry. I’ll save that memo for the police and the lawyers of the alleged victims who are seeking justice on their behalf. Because if Long did half of what they accuse him of doing, a resignation is going to be the last thing they ask handed to them on a silver platter.

Write that. Pen that. Quote that.

Mess like this in the hallowed pulpits across America needs to cease immediately. We should demand more of our leaders and not become inundated with a feeling of “Yes man” and “People pleaser.” Our job is to worship the Lord and respect the elders of the Church… not the other way around.

Of course, the light’s on but no one is home unless this is “handled according to the Word of God.” I’m no Bishop, but here we go:

It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit. (Hebrews 2:1-4 MSG)

Yes, indeed. A MEMO to Eddie Long and Teresa Hairston: “Get a grip!” Don’t look at me. It’s in the Word of God.

I’m under attack.

This was the summation of Bishop Eddie Long’s long-awaited and legally approved response from the much ballyhooed pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. As if the swolled Bishop had a kingdom resting atop Stone Mountain in Georgia, he gives yet another aged rally cry used from scandalous preachers in the past.

It’s the most ragged page out of their ruddy playbook. You see, it’s not the sin they committed; it’s the fiendish acts Satan has committed against them.

At least, that’s what they want you to believe because why else would the media, the lawsuits and the cries of a rather perturbed country come against the “Mand of Gawd?” See for yourself:

From the Washington Post story referred earlier:

“Please hear this: I have been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know that I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” said Long, who also preached a short sermon on surviving painful times. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” the bishop said to roaring applause as he dropped his microphone on the pulpit with a thud, took his wife Vanessa’s hand and left the stage.

The story forgot to mention the rose petals thrown at his feet, the serfdom bowing at his presence and the trumpets saluting his retreat in the sunset as well.

Leave the pomp and circumstance aside, it doesn’t take away the fact that this is yet another alleged and shamed preacher who used the power of God given to him for the service of the Lord’s kingdom to use for his own megalomaniacal purposes.

There is another serious problem:

Long never directly said he is innocent, but he made clear that he would not leave New Birth, and church leaders vowed to stick by him. “We stand behind our pastor. And there is a period behind that,” church elder Darius Wise said.

We are but sheep, right? And sheep are known for one other thing, besides providing some sweet sweaters… they love the taste of Kool-Aid. Regardless of the flavor, it all tastes the same. Whatever the Mand of Gawd says it tastes like, that’s the winner.

Eddie Long vows to fight the drama

Bishop Eddie Long, left, embraces a friend Sunday at his Georgia megachurch. 'I am not a perfect man. But this thing I'm going to fight," he said.

The man never avowed his innocence and allegiance for the Lord, only that he will fight for his own kingdom. Doesn’t he realize there is more at stake than the precious TV rights provided him by TBN and Daystar?

He has a family, a congregation, a gaggle of supporters… and oh yeah, the lives of four young men who believe Bishop Eddie Long used his authority in the Gospel to rape them.

That leaves quite the scar on one’s spiritual upbringing, you know. And there’s the tragedy with the megachurch these days.

They are not led by God, just for him.

Man, full of ruddy clay, riddled with angst and heaping with drama run these edifices… and are surrounded by a heaping troupe of Yes men.

Who will tell these dolts, “No.” If they value their job, not a soul. And whose to say what God is saying to these egomaniacs. Not all leaders of huge churches have this personality, but we have seen many that do… and they all follow the same playbook when confronted with scandal.

What’s the harm in taking a sabbatical to properly deal with this mess? Go away, get better and get beyond this drama. Think that will happen… uh, no.

And why? There is no competition for his throne. He has a legion of lawyers to protect him if there is an overtaker among the peons. And you waited a week to deliver your “David and Goliath” speech (of which the lawyers have used in statements as well).

Shoot, I was expecting “Unleash hell” sans the Maximus brutality. “Taking  authority” is his fabled tagline after all. Although I think the dude just needs to take a much needed vacation.

Yet, there he goes, off in his Bentley and a sack of five stones at his leisure. Hope you and your legal team have good aim, Bishop Long. Because if you miss, there are more than 25,000 people who will fall with you.

(Oh, how I wish I had more time in my day to blog about breaking news like this…)

For years in the “Chitlin’ Circuit”, wayfaring Christian soldiers have heard the eerie whispers of Bishop Eddie Long’s desire to create his own army that marched under a different flag – a rainbow one that wisped gently in the wind.

Yesterday, FOX News in Atlanta broke the news and the mothership ran with the information.

Masonry Shout Out to Pastor Foster at GCM Watch

The prominent pastor of a 25,000-member megachurch [New Birth Missionary Baptist Church] near Atlanta denies allegations in a lawsuit that he coerced three young men from the congregation into a sexual relationship, his attorney said.

Lawyers for two of the men, now 20 and 21, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in DeKalb County Court against Bishop Eddie Long. The third lawsuit was filed Wednesday. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sexual impropriety.

Although church vernacular is not pointed out in this story, I have $10 that says these men were young, impressionable “armor bearers.” They wanted to be the apple of Bishop Long’s muscle shirt and would do anything to be that way. Evidently, and allegedly, they did.

Go to any black church and you will find an uber-zealous gentleman dressed in a pinstriped 10-button suit with square-toed gators bought from a swap meet and jewelry that crawls up the sleeve when faced with water. You’ve seen them? Yeah, these are “Armor Bearers”.

MEMO to those pastors instituting this “biblically based” model of discipleship: It doesn’t exist. In fact, after David’s reign in 1 Kings, the word doesn’t exist.

Back then, some tool carried the literal armor of a king. Now, a better dressed tool carries the “sword” of the pastor and doubles as the pastor’s bodyguard. Assistants are important. Pastors who answer to the “Executive” and “Senior” pastor are necessary for order in the house of God.

Ironic how he is rumored to act like a shady Catholic priest

However, getting a kid who is susceptible to brainwashing because of a Daddy complex to serve the “Mand of Gawd” (shout out to my man, IST) is nothing but abuse.

And so, we have this story about Bishop Eddie Long (this is CNN’s version).

A spokesman for Long told CNN on Wednesday that the allegations are “a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues.” Long “categorically and adamantly denies these allegations,” said spokesman Art Franklin.

“Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” the suits allege.

Rumors of trips to foreign lands, open access bedrooms at the church and ample in flagrante delicto are also alleged. And at what cost? Another preacher bites the dust.

You know, it’s getting to the point the only people you can believe discussing and ministering the Bible are folk outside of a pulpit.

Hey wait. I think we’re on to something… Hmmm…

Benny Hinn and Paula White red handed, literally

I love my pastor, but I ain't holding his hand!

Sounds so seedy, doesn’t it?

Both went to Rome for a Vatican getaway, allegedly at the Pontiff’s behest (yeah, like he needs her advice).

So when all of the sudden out of the catacombs arrives an ill-mannered paparazzi photographer and snapped the two during their Italian tryst shopping for a glove that fit for two, the evangelical world stopped on a dime.

Naturally, both “independently determined” this report was utter poppycock (although they repeated each others’ press release), and the news kept on coming. From blogs to mainstream Christian media, no one believed them and everyone doubted them.

Hinn is a husband scorned by an ex-wife who thinks her own miniskry is taking off and White… well, she thinks she is at a swap meet outside Compton most of the time anyway so we will just move on.

Indubitably, they both took a hit and considering both are in the news more for what they are not doing for the Gospel, I would say this could create a ripple in the financial blessings of both of their worlds. Something had to be done… and wouldn’t you know it?

Benny Hinn came forward in an exclusive with Charisma magazine. Well, kinda.

Evangelist Benny Hinn recently admitted at a crusade in Oakland, Calif., to having a “friendship” with fellow minister Paula White while he’s still married after a tabloid pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13. But the well-known healing minister says the relationship is over.

Paula White and Benny Hinn still just friends

Yes, we're single and we like to mingle.

So, here’s a thought:

Brother Benny, what in the world do you call the “things” you have with fellow male ministers in the TBN circuit? Holy Ghost encounters?

No, you call them friendships, you dolt. You know, like the rest of the world.

You may roll with the Holy Ghost a lot more than most of us, but I’m fairly certain that doesn’t mean you are smarter than the rest of us.

Here’s a news flash – I’m married, and I have “friendships”. With women. [Cue scary music]. And guess what, I don’t fly them to Rome to buy Gucci, fool.

But just in case the Church wasn’t on to the rouse Captain Nehru was exhibiting, there’s more to this uh, “confession”:

“A friendship did develop,” Hinn said of White in Oakland on July 30. “Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.”

Dude, your wife split and Paula left her man while he was sick and bankrupt. A classy catch she does not make, but meh? Whatever floats your coifed hairpiece… eh, hairdo.

So, you were friends, big deal. MEMO to Benny Hinn’s internal PR-ish department: I have friends and I don’t fly their narrow behinds to Rome and hold hands longingly. Friends don’t let friends get caught by the National Enquirer. Only “Hollywood lite” folks with too much time on their hands. Well, in this case… in their hands. (Thanks, I’m here until Tuesday.)

To wrap up the interview, we have the most real words Hinn echoed:

“I don’t care how strong you are,” Hinn added. “I don’t care if the anointing of God is mighty on you. Nobody wants to be alone. I don’t care who you are. I am a human being just like you.”

Yes, Brother Benny. Yes, you are. You stink like us. You mislead like us. You lie like a dog like us. And you did all of them with this report.
“Birds of a feather flock together” is an old adage for a reason. It’s been true for so many years. You know who marries cops? Lots of other cops. Lawyers? That’s right, attorneys and the occasional paralegals.

So, why is it so hard to believe that national televangelists would not find more than just “common ground” in each other’s company?
That’s understandable… still rather gross, but at least we get it.

Admit that and you gain respect. Admit to a harrowing “friendship” as if you are some eunuch with a slow pulse and people laugh at you even more. Surely, you must have asked the Holy Ghost that one.

Well, then again, maybe not.

Without hesitation, if you were to ask me, “HiScrivener, what music do you prefer when you need a quick pick-me-up,” I would answer before the first verb came out of your mouth.

Sure, I like some old school hip-hop as much as the next (or even Nu Soul), but that’s not it. I fancy some New Jack Swing to feel good, or even classic soul to get a little chill. I have even been known to throw on “The Eagles Greatest Hits” or anything by Stevie Ray Vaughan when mowing the grass.

However, none of those melodious genres can put a smile on my face and a tap in my step as quickly as Southern Gospel.

Whether it’s something you would hear from the Gaithers or anything when the great Donnie McClurkin is waxing nostalgic on a live CD, praise that name of Jesus and this brother is feeling good.

So, when I visited another brick in the Wall, Wickle, and saw the name “Ray Stevens,” I was so in. Glad I did because although this song is a classic and helped me get my groove on, and the visions in the video are all too familiar, this genius song forces the Church to consider who it is we worship rather than the tools he uses.

(And I meant that as vessels… not dimwits. But eh, a little Freudian slip never hurt anyone.)