The Image of the Christian church-The Bishop Eddie Long Debacle
|Bishop Eddie Long (Image taken from the world wide web)|
Fact or Fiction?
Did Bishop Eddie Long in fact disgrace his church and Christianity by using his power and influence to coerce four young men to engage in sexual acts with him? These are the allegations but are they true?
At this present time no one but God, Bishop Eddie Long and his accusers, really know. What we do know is that there are allegations that have been made against this pastor that are jaw dropping. These are allegations that have no doubt caused a lot of stir among his church parishioners and members of the general public. The allegations that he used his influence as a pastor to coerce young boys into engaging in sexual acts with him are so severe that they leave the pastors reputation as a ‘powerful’ spiritual leader, hanging in limbo. The situation wreaks of hypocrisy to the fullest extent of the word.
Who is Bishop Eddie Long and why does this even matter?
Bishop Eddie Long is the founder and pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia Georgia, USA. This Christian mega-church is home to a membership of over 25,000 members. Considering its humble beginnings with 300 members in 1987, it is safe to say that the church as grown exponentially. Bishop Long owns an enterprise including a 10,000 seat church complex. The Bishop is a business man, he earned his undergraduate degree in business and has incorporated his Christian roots and his ‘mission’ to use his spiritual gifts to expand his church. He has done this with much success for himself.
The fact that he is a professed Christian and preaches Christian values to others makes these allegations unsettling to anyone who believes in Christianity and/or the value of integrity. Bishop Eddie Long’s influence is huge, people come to church when they are broken, they seek out their faith when life is uncertain, they look for something to believe in. When a Christian pastor of his status claims to live and believe in certain values and later demonstrates through his conduct that he does not, the result can be devastating for some.
The Pastors image
I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes up the charge to become a leader, in any capacity. I grew up in the Church and understand the power of a pastors message. The leader of any religion should be someone that is respectable, lives what they preach and leads by example.
My trouble with the pastors image is that many pastors have given really good pastors a very bad name. There are many religious groups where the conduct of the leadership has unfairly cast shadows of doubt on the entire group and their fundamental beliefs. You know how it is, there is usually one bad apple that spoils the entire bunch.
I believe someone who has the eloquence, conviction and ability to lead should absolutely do so. My only concern is that if you choose to be a leader, do it with integrity. Live what you believe and for Pete’s sake stay away from inappropriate conduct.
The pastor to some people is often elevated to ‘God’ status, and in my opinion this is a huge problem with churches today. A Pastor should inspire but should under no circumstances be worshiped. He or she is after all—only human. Mortal like the rest, flawed like us all.
Innocent until proven Guilty
Despite the noise that is circulating, why should we avoid being so quick to judge? Because the truth is, people are accused of things every day. Sometimes they are even wrongly convicted. At this present time the verdict is not out. Bishop Eddie Long is vigorously defending his name. Let justice take its course and until then, judge not lest ye be judged.
Here’s what Eddie Long has to say about this situtaion: