Posts Tagged ‘Eddie Long’

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.

Dear Bishop Long, I showed my junk and blamed the devil. Love, Armor Bearer #15

Amidst the kerfuffle of Bishop Eddie Long’s escapades with his armor bearers, somehow this lovely story got lost in the mix.

Evidently, the more wide-open a door is for crap to fly through it, the more church turds sprout wings and flutter out of the belfry.

Exhibit A: This story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that discusses a former staffer who was sent a questionable picture of God’s blessing.

Tama Colson, who is described in the lawsuit as a married resident of Georgia, claims a male supervisor  showed her photographs of a male sex organ on a cellphone. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta,  Colson alleges  she was harassed,  demoted and later discharged from the Lithonia church after she complained.

Of course she was. You think they want someone around who accept personal text messages? No way.

If the lawsuit is accurate in the affidavit, a supervisor in the TV department decided to whip out his smartphone and show her just how stupid he was. Her response, “What the hell is your problem?” To wit, he grins and walks away.

Later, her department became subject to the New Birth TV department, she was demoted to secretary and was subsequently given her walking papers.

Yeah, that’s taking authority, eh?

No street fight, just a spiritual one will do

Don’t look now, members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but all those swolled muscles of Eddie Long’s won’t do him any good.

How do I know? He said so… while implying he will hide behind the puny arms and clear bifocals of his lawyers. Or, in other words – his words read in the Atlanta Journal Constitutionhe will “not be pulled into a street fight.”

Long said he is “not going to be pulled into a street fight” and that he doesn’t hate anyone. But he directed his listeners to turn to a passage in the Book of Job that read: “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

As his devoted flock cheered, Long joked that he accidentally led them to the wrong page. “That was the Holy Ghost,” he said, flashing a smile as the sanctuary echoed with laughter.

Yeah, funny how the Holy Ghost allows those kind of clandestine threats to come out from a pulpit. Yeah, that sounds like the Holy Ghost to me. A man so divine that he would allow a preacher accused of gay rape and being an overall bad dude to proclaim, “Let the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”

As if, the wicked are those puerile boys who have collectively claimed under oath that a “Mand of Gawd” would have the unmitigated audacity to act in such a way. Yeah, that’s wicked all right.

If they are lying, then they deserve a world of destruction. But if they aren’t, and this case ends up in a room of attorneys vying for a cash grab because someone is skeered of a guilty verdict, then the only clothing of shame is going to be the next pin stripe suit Long uses to cover his muscles.

Enough of the rant. Back to the story…

So, instead of vehemently denying the charges that could pummel his family and plummet his charge, Eddie Long chooses to wax theological and avoid the issue in hopes for more dramatic applause.

Mazel Tov, brother.

Long’s sermon made no obvious references to his recent troubles. Long, however, mentioned that a church mother told him that he had to be the most “prayed for person in the world.” He said she reminded him to also pray for himself. He talked to the congregation about prayer and said: “God is listening for your sound.”

I admit. I abhor this story, not only because of the heinous charges this poses against anyone who is called according to the precepts of God. Moreover, because of the blind arrogance the defense of these charges has created.

You know, the Holy Ghost also said something else:

“Do not touch my anointed ones, And do my prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22 NASB)

MEMO to Eddie Long: We are all his anointed ones. We all have a purpose. And we are all vessels of his Word… his prophets. I pray these charges are false for the benefit of your family, your church and the millions of believers that have supported you through the years of your ministry.

However, if you “touched” God’s anointed ones and caused his four “prophets” a lot of “harm” then a street fight is going to be least of your lawyer’s… eh, your concerns.

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.

NEWS FLASH: His statement cometh.

“Categorically Deny.” Two words in issued while submerged in hot water scream another two words louder in the human vernacular than any other, “I’m guilty.”

Of course, that’s what Bishop Eddie Long‘s lawyers had to say late yesterday as he posted a well-crafted and certainly sincere statement to his website.

All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.

Eddie Long sans cleric outfit

Maybe it's a P90X before and after shot?

Well, that’s reassuring. Granted, this media feeding frenzy of him boinking armor bearers (my assumption on the armor bearers can be read here) and sending pictures of the Bishop all swolled in spandex (more on that in a moment) has the Christian nation in quite a kerfuffle. One famed and scarred preacher in particular (again, keep reading for that gem).

However, as a pastor, I suppose Bishop Long is only used to showing out on Sundays, so he will wait until then to visibly “categorically deny” these heinous charges:

I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time.

Again, that’s nice. I mean, if I was a member of his church, I would certainly feel fine about him waiting almost a full week to tell me he’s not guilty.

Before we throttle that crisis communications strategy, let’s review. Better yet, let’s allow ABC News to do that:

I’ve been around the Church for years. Decades even. And nowhere in my experience with consulting pastors do I see a passage of scripture that suggests rocking the UnderArmour to impress your sheep. Does that help them graze more effectively? Do you get more well-shewn Kashmir sweaters if the flock is exposed to the “gun show”?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Back to the statement.

Bishop Eddie Long is hemorrhaging over this alleged incident, and yet, he allows his attorneys to make public statements for him… and that’s supposed to make it all right?!

It’s bad enough he doesn’t care enough to immediately respond to this mess, he is having a gaggle of white folk talk noise to his highly not-so-white congregation. Yeah, that’ll do it. You dolt.

It is completely obvious why he “feels the Lord” telling him to wait until the Sabbath to respond? In all his years of impromptu preaching, even the verbose Eddie Long will need a ghostwriter for this message. It will caked with legalese and PR speak… you know, like any good Congressional representative busted for the same thing. (What? Too soon?)

There will nothing genuine about this retort because it didn’t come from him. The only that clearly did come from the Bishop are those pictures and the aggressive needs delivered by now four men.

However, he pleads for mercy and understanding… and patience… has earned Eddie Long one fan: Meet Ted Haggard.

The man who hand-led his family through a harangue of male prostitution, drugs and oh yeah, “categorically denying” it every step of the way has decided that what Eddie Long needs is his valuable endorsement:

Good times, Bishop Long. Good times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, no? But hey, we still have this:

Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.

And the world brother. Because believe me, we will all be listening. You know, just the way your lawyers planned it.