Posts Tagged ‘Eddie Long’

(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…

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It’s almost Six Degrees of Separation to source this riveting article, but I’ll give it a shot before I get rolling:

vanishing churchThanks to Another Brick on the Wall “Spiritual Pathway Ministries“, by way of the whole article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and discusses a Bob Pearle book entitled The Vanishing Church: Searching for Significance in the 21st Century.

All clear? OK, and away we go…

For the past couple weeks, we have plastered on the Wall a few ruminations about “Big Box” megachurches and even its progeny, “minichurches”.

And now this article about Pearle’s Vanishing Church stands in my shadow threatening to whoop up on anyone who talks smack in my direction.

He doesn’t hold that churches are literally “vanishing,” since there are all kinds of churches, often filled to overflowing, in our neck of the woods [North Texas]. “What I’m saying is that the biblical New Testament church is vanishing from society today,” he said. “Anything and everything is acceptable as long as it builds a crowd. Jesus wasn’t as interested in building a crowd as he was in telling the truth.”

Amen! And why all this brouhaha over exponentially growing houses of worship? It’s simple math:

On one hand, we have church overflowing of concert-quality worship, hypersensationalism, a disconnected waltz through the scriptures and a sermon that is more Tony Robbins and less Tony Campolo.

going-back-to-churchAnd on the other, we have a warehouse full of crushed velvet, ornate furnishings and lots of bling… and that’s just the “Frozen Chosen” sitting in the pewser, chairs.

Add the two together and you still get a bunch of folk en route lights and sirens to Luby’s Cafeteria who still can’t tell you what scripture was shared in the pulpit.

From seeker sensitive to televised tabernacle, the missing part of the equation seem to be allegiance to God’s Word. Well, better yet, just God’s Word.

Pearle — who rejects the label of fundamentalist — says declining membership in many mainline Protestant groups results from watering down core biblical teachings. He believes that evangelicals who do that will suffer the same fate. “You have to hear the bad news that we are sinners, before your receive the good news of salvation,” Pearle says.

People, we need a Savior, which is why we should celebrate Jesus Christ daily. We are “saved” and set free to worship God. However, most of us would rather go check out some dude crush expletives in the pulpit for shock value or hear the “Aw shucks the big guy upstairs sure loves you” show.

Now, THIS is the stuff worth shouting about in the sanctuary, regardless what size it is! Anyone?

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

Ah, man. Where’s a good playwright when you need one to talk to the Church? So, did TV land hear that adage? TBN? Daystar? Someone? Anyone?

It’s important to ask the two big faith-based networks because it’s their clientele pulling back the curtain and their shows for network TV.

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

Go ahead, name the preacher… to whom you used to give offerings? Jakes, Parsley, Meyer, White, Hinn, Robertson, Dollar, Long, Dobson, et al. According to this story in the USA Today, even the celebrities of Christendom are feeling the pinch in this economy.

The industry shows signs of contraction at a time when its future is fraught with uncertainty. And it’s not just the economic downturn that is causing turmoil: last year, a study found that the percentage of megachurches with a radio ministry dropped from 44% in 2000 to 24% in 2008. Likewise, the percentage with television ministries dropped from 38% to 23%.

When Christian television was created, its premise was to exalt God and see people edified. Nowadays, that formula for success is a bit askew as money seems to be exalted and preachers are deified.

To save on production costs and those picturesque, on-location remotes, these folk have made fewer shows for broadcast, which means the networks don’t get their coin.

See, it’s cyclical – you payer, donate to the ministry, they pay the network and a star is born.

In this economy, you don’t… and they don’t… and Christian television becomes a black hole.

You see, when folk presume you are dripping with cash, hand-made suits and all that bling, they keep their cash and you get stuck with a larger bill. MEMO to the megachurch megaminister: If perhaps you appeared more modest, people would find more than lint in that piggy bank bellybutton to give you. Just like it used to be. However…

“The industry is at a crossroads,” says Paul Creasman, associate professor of communications at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C., and a former Christian radio personality and producer. “The audience is dwindling, and they have to figure out what to do. But the Web is not the answer because older audiences don’t use the Internet… and younger audiences will go to the Web for content, but they’ll probably be less likely to donate.”

Moving content online may be broadcasting’s future, but it’s a nerve-wracking endeavor that doesn’t necessarily pay the bills of the present. “Everyone (in religious broadcasting) is doing it,” he said. “And everyone is asking each other: ‘Are you making money at it? Because we’re not.‘”

Listen, in case it’s a news flash to some folk, ministries have to ask for money to survive. They rely on the kind hearts, open minds and yielding spirits of the Body of Christ to give. If the world can uphold causes like breast cancer, the MDA, HIV, Katrina and a tsunami, certainly a ministry shouldn’t be that far out of reach?!

The problem is that people don’t see the ministry being blessed, it’s the ministers. We have all seen the stories and heard the tales of woe. When those cease, despite the beneficence of some on TBN and Daystar who are doing it right, money will drop.

Kinda like pennies from heaven, and wouldn’t all of that be an experience man could learn from?

(Masonry shout out to Another Brick in the Wall, “Get Religion” for the nice magazine cover).


The man set atop of a hill has belonged to the same church for more than 50 years – First Baptist of Dallas.

I KNOW! Billy Graham has always been known for his Tar Heel ties, so who knew his home church was in the Lone Star State. (PR, anyone? IJS.)

Well, all that is about to change according to the Dallas Morning News.

Mr. Graham joined First Baptist Dallas during his first crusade in the city, held at the Cotton Bowl in 1953. First Baptist Dallas was then led by the Rev. W.A. Criswell, and was widely considered the preeminent church in the Southern Baptist Convention. But the globe-trotting evangelist has never lived in Dallas, and visited the church only rarely through the years.

And there you have the ubiquitous rub.

Sure, Dr. Jeffress (Dallas pastor) is sorry to see his most notable member uproot his church ties closer to home. And yes, Rev. Don Wilton (Carolina pastor) is humbled and honored to accept Billy Graham’s church membership in his twilight years.

But the story behind the story is this is a church has claimed a member who never attended for more than five decades!?

prosperity-gospel-for-dummiesNot that I am going to name any names, but you think this is the mystery behind all those outrageous numbers behind megachurches that claim tens of 1000s of members, all in an effort to keep up with the Osteens… er, the Joneses.

The modus operandi of these miniskries is typically, “If someone attends, fills out a card then they are ‘member emeritus’.Seriously?

What’s the shame in havng 9,500 REAL members of your church? But no! It has to be 25,000 because… why again? You expecting a federal grant and have member requirements? I can go for that, maybe. But if this sheep-on-steroids-counting is for the sheer awe of it all and to validate your fake ecumenical title, then I call B.S.

Just because you are among the privileged to have a prosperous megachurch, doesn’t mean the Gospel is spread any more effectively if you blatantly fudge who is warming your pews.

Which proves the moral of this quaint story: Once again, Billy Graham is teaching us the mysteries of the Church. Well done, sir.

Last November, there was a government sting operation of sorts with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sending some hate mail to six TV ministries. Maybe you heard about it?

Fast forward these many months, and Grassley has results, answers, thoughts and much ado about nothing, as seen here from the Dallas Morning News.

In short, he handpicked six known ministries to be dragged through a finance/IRS loophole to have their money placed under a microscope. Now, before the deluge of mail begins, my two cents: And?!

That’s it. No big litany of words sewn together in a tapestry of angst. You have six largely successful, powerful and blessed ministries – Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Paula (oh yeah, and Randy) White and Bishop Eddie Long – all being called upon for never disclosing their public finances, yet living lavishly. People talk, perception spreads and supporters get concerned.

MEMO to all evangelists coolin’ out in Easy Street: We get it.

God wants us all to be blessed. And although several of you (not just the listed) are doing it right by having a successful ministry and parlaying that into stimulating for-profit ventures like book deals, movie rights and public speaking appearances; others of you need to get straight (maybe, some of the listed).

I agree, personal finances should have no part in this scope, BARRING those funds aren’t accumulated largely by the offerings of others who desire to pay for your ministry, not your ghastly mortgage.

However, we’ve all seen the investigative reports on TV. Some of you better recognize… the longer you wait to become affiliated with the ECFA or some such, the larger that “loophole” is going to get. Maybe next time it will be set on fire and featured at the circus.