So after a turbulent week Bishop Eddie Long stepped to the pulpit of his New Birth Church this Sunday morning to address the allegations of sexual abuse levied against him by 3 young men. We recently gotten word that a 4th has come forward.
This is pretty much the entire sermon. Long doesn’t really start addressing the charges until 7 or 8 minutes into pt1.. In pt2 he’s pretty much letting folks know that he intends to fight back and that he’s under attack. Long notes that he’s not a perfect man and he never claimed to be, but he is not the man being portrayed on TV. He promises to fight the charges.
What I find interesting is that we don’t really hear about the young men who accused him. Let’s say they are lying, that would indicate a certain type of sickness that needs healing and prayer. Let’s say they are being truthful, well those young men were violated in the worse way and need love and prayer.
The other thing that’s interesting and this is not unique to Long, but so many seem to have an obsession with homosexuality. What I mean is that one can read scripture and conclude that sex before marriage is sinful, home sexuality is sinful, lying is sinful etc.. Yet at the end of the day lots of time and attention is spent on the ‘sin of being gay’. Why is that?
We don’t have folks picketing couples who co-habitat. We don’t have folks damning folks for lying or baring false witness even when pointed out. But have someone who is gay and all hell breaks loose. Long was one of those folks who really underscored why he felt this was such a sinful ‘behavior’ , why not the other things? His outspokenness on gay sex is what got everyone’s attention especially when he was accused of partaking in the very activity he so aggressively damned.
The other thing that was interesting was during the sermon, Long had his armed security kick ‘media’ out the church which holds 25 thousand. Spelman professor and author Jelani Cobb who frequently appears as a guest on CNN was one of those ‘media folks’ escorted out. That’s crazy when you consider that Long has had no problem being out there for the media. Now suddenly its an issue when he gets ‘unwanted’ attention?
The other day author Hadji Williams said something profound. He reminded us that we have made many of our pastors rock stars and perhaps we shouldn’t be viewing them through the lens of celebrity. He noted that to do so speaks volumes about our values. Are we praying to the pastor or to the God the pastor preaches about?