You had to know this one was coming ever since the first allegations started surfacing. Now it's already up to four with who knows how many more out there. No way I could let this one lie dormant without speaking on it. Especially since I had somewhat of a vested interest. Although minute, but still. And no I don't care that it's just accusations for right now. There is enough information out there for "Bishop" Eddie Long to be the runaway recipient of the Bungles award for this week.
A person would have to have been oblivious to the news to have not heard this story. Atlanta megachurch leader "Bishop" Eddie Long is being sued by four men who say he lured them into sex by taking advantage of his position. At least a couple of them are alleging that these acts took place while they were still minors and that he paid them off with gifts such as tuition and free trips to keep the affairs quiet.
Now we honestly don't know yet if these allegations are true or not. That's why I won't take the angle of Long potentially being a hypocrite. He has long been an vocal opponent of homosexuality so it would make him look even worse if he was participating in it himself. That and the fact that he is also married with four kids. However, I won't go down that obvious road since, in all fairness, these things haven't been proven yet. Unfortunately for him, there are other things regarding this story that are still ample to qualify him for recognition this week.
Like the fact that he should not have put himself in this position in the first place. I can understand a pastor being proud of the fact that he got in shape since the Bible even says our bodies are temples and all. But sending pictures of himself to other men in the congregation? And quite honestly, he shouldn't be sending them to anyone at all. It is HIGHLY inappropriate for a man of the cloth to be sending out pictures of himself posing in skin-tight clothing. There is only one inference that can be made from a person doing that so he had to know how damaging that could be.
Or how about the fact that when they started coming out, he remained mum altogether. He had the chance to go on the Tom Joyner Morning show and/or even have a press conference to address the charges and he reneged on both. Maybe it's just me, but if someone accused me of something that heinous, I would IMMEDIATELY be screaming from the mountain tops about what a pile of horse crap it was. I wouldn't be able to do it fast enough. So why isn't he? I'm guessing it has to be because he sees the writing on the wall. He knows these men would not have come forward unless they have some pretty good evidence that what they are saying is accurate. I'm guessing that the pictures we have seen so far are just the tip of the iceberg.
Then I found out that Long's church sits on 250-acres and it made me even more nauseous. Why would one church need that much land unless some of it is used for houses for some of its members? There are people who are out of jobs and homeless. They would be happy just to have four walls to call home and here is this church sitting on that much land so that thousands of people can flock to one man claiming to be a vessel of God. I am willing to bet that Long's home is just as opulent. To be fair, this particular point doesn't apply to only Long. There are other folks like Creflo Dollar that are in this same category.
What I really hate about this story is it is yet another reason for heathens to say that is the precise reason they don't go to church. One man's actions should neve prevent a person from fellowshipping with others in the name of the Lord. Honestly, it shouldn't even cause you to change church homes. I speak from experience. When I was attending a church here in Des Moines the pastor was involved in a scandal of sorts that eventually got him ousted. If the church supports the wrongdoing that's one thing, but if they don't then its obvious the body is truly about the greatness of God rather than the greatness of the individual.
It was right out here that I once professed how a song featuring "Bishop" Eddie Long has moved me. It was "Freedom of Preach" by Ludacris. Long's sermon in there was powerful enough to move anyone and provided proof of how charismatic he could be. But he is just a man. He should not be propped up on any pedestal to be worshipped regardless of how gifted he is with his words. And if it turns out that he was using that position of influence to manipulate those men then I certainly hope his church does the right thing. Especially if he refuses to do it himself.