Big Religion and Bishop Eddie Long

It’s a dark rainy Wednesday on the Island of Corfu. I’m sitting in my usual spot at the most beautiful Starbucks in the world watching it rain. For a tennis pro rain means no work (unless you have indoor courts) so it’s another day off around here.

I just spent the last 5 minutes or so watching an interview with one of Bishop Eddie Long’s alleged victims and it’s riveting. You can see the video here. If that young man is lying he should be in Hollywood starring on the silver screen. I’ll be interested in reading your reaction to this interview.

My opinion and it’s just that but I say fast Eddie will wind up writing at least four huge checks and the entire matter will go away without him missing a beat. No one but about two dozen people will know what really happened and all parties will be sworn to secrecy.

That’s how big religion works my friends.

Big religion revolves around power and money. It also revolves around a charismatic articulate preacher and Eddie is as charismatic and articulate as they come. Keep in mind that Eddie is also a millionaire who uses others money to support his community. That goes a long way my friends.

If Eddie Long were a small town preacher in Podunk wherever he would have already been removed from his pulpit without any official statement read by him or his lawyers on CNN. The cause of Christ would certainly have been considered. If the four were indeed victims they would seek healing and the pastor would be looking for employment elsewhere. Instead it’s lights, camera and action.

That’s big religion at its worst finest my friends.

Big religion will protect fast Eddie’s sorry backside just like it has protected others who have faced similar scandals. He won’t be thrown away like a hot dog wrapper at the ballpark like we’ve witnessed in other cases. He won’t be publicly shunned or vilified daily because big religion will make this all go away as if it never existed. The only ones who will remember are the victims.

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13 thoughts on “Big Religion and Bishop Eddie Long

  1. Good post Phil.
    I agree with all you have said. Unfortunately a lot of times money triumphs over justice in this world.
    I watched the video and this young man sounds very credible.
    i believe there is a lot of this type of thing going on in the “church” that just gets glossed over or the victims get blamed.

  2. Many will probably not agree with what I have to say but this is supposed to be a place to voice opinions so here goes. Yes, I agree with the article “Big Religion and Bishop Long”. However, I would like to add to this by saying regardless of what happened, the bottom line is that I believe people are tired of hypocrisy, preachers and I must say Christians saying what they believe and not following it themselves (if they can actually follow their own advice). Yes, I know we yearn for this utopian society where everyone does what I like (I hope you get the joke there) and the cliches that Christians aren’t perfect but just forgiven excuse BUT the thing that bugs the heck out of me is the constant abuse by some Christians, pounding a moral message into the followers that they themselves cannot follow.

    I am 51 years old and have been a part of MANY Christian communities from a wide variety of persuasions and have yet been able to find ONE, and I mean ONE who can follow the dictates they themselves have made regarding moral living.

    I am bothered more by the destructive messages they send to many, condemning lifestyles that they themselves cannot follow. In short, PLEASE Christians, get real.

    I am not coming out for or against this man or the gay movement or the straight movement (if there is either one of them). I am just tired of seeing many Christian classify human beings based on their moral values and how this devalues the life of the person. IF this man did what he did, the travesty is all the years he has preached an anti gay message and then living it himself. As the news stated, IF this is true, it would be the ultimate in hypocrisy. This has happened more times than you can imagine. So please GET REAL. If you can’t live it, don’t preach it. If anything you are discrediting the very thing you preach.

    Before you reply with all your famous Christian phrases about loving sinners but hating sin, Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, and burning in hell, I have heard them all and replying with these quotes will say nothing to me. Please think about how you live your own life before you tell someone how to live theirs.

    • Hi Ralph,

      Thanks as always for your comments!

      When you say we shouldn’t condemn Eddie Long based on these allegations you would be correct because we don’t have all the facts. What happens if he is found guilty of these allegations? How would condemning this man be considered hypocritical?

      Paul was a sinner saved by grace (like you and I) yet he still pointed out the sin and false teaching of Peter (Galatians 2:11-21). If I understand you correctly you’re saying this is hypocritical because Paul was also a sinner. Is this your understanding?

      I’m not trying to be confrontational here I’m merely trying to figure out where you are coming from!

      Thanks,

      Phil

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for writing and before I start again I thank you for having this and other sites available for commentary. I know my post may seem a little difficult to understand so let me try to explain. I am not here to judge the man or place, or on the other hand place a seal of approval on orientations. That is not the purpose of this commentary for me. The only point I am making is that Christians have a tendency of pointing fingers without looking at their own lives to see if they actually qualify to make accusations whether true or not.

      The only reason I don’t call him out as having sex with these young men is because I really don’t know (although it looks like a no-brainer) I am not going to say. We all know money corrupts. A powerful man could have used his power to seduce young men or it could be the other way around, Young men saw an opportunity to make money off a man of God…I just don’t know that is all, so, even if I did know the facts, do I then nail him to the cross for all to see and make an example?

      The ONLY thing that peaves me about this is that for years this man has talked hatefully about a community I know a lot of Christians have problems with, some don’t. IF the facts show that he did have sex with these young men, then the message he preached for years against it is what gets under my skin. Preaching against something you are doing yourself. It is not about whether he did it or not or about being gay or about having sex with his followers (although all this issues are important to discuss) it is about preaching against something you are already doing.

      About the perfect issue, well, as you know this pastor got up and used the “perfect” excuse himself to somehow justify his actions if the actions are true. Sometimes I feel we have the right to stone others and then later claim well I know I am not perfect so forgive me for killing you…I only had the best of intentions. Believe it or not many Christians walk around with this attitude.

      The passage you quoted in Galatians is well noted. Yes, maybe Paul was trying to make a point to Peter about his exclusion of Gentiles. If you note, Paul confronted Peter face to face, yes in front of them all since the issue was regarding all who were part of this issue. But I don’t recall him going to the Facebook of the time or the church in Corinth to talk about a problem he is having with Peter in Antioch. Talk about the problem and how to correct it YES, point fingers of condemnation at someone who did it NO. What purpose does that serve?

      Human nature is very interesting, no matter how much scripture you use because it seems to be an endless cycle of blaming others and then later getting caught for doing the same thing yourself. Meanwhile, scripture quotes literally fly off the wall from both sides but in the end, to me at least, it weakens the message because in the process, no one is really following advice in the scripture anyway.

      Maybe not a good comparison but in any other area of life, we usually don’t listen to what others say but watch what they do to make decisions regarding trust.

      This whole thing sounds vaguely familar:

      And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

      “They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
      Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
      This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
      So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8: 3-8

      Why didn’t Christ expound on how sinful adultery was? She was caught in Adultery right? She needs to made an example right? We need to show that right is right and wrong is wrong, right? Or was Christ talking about something else? I would take Christ’s words over Paul’s any day. I hope that clarifies my point.

      We all have a lot of growing up to do. Anyway…didn’t mean to take so long in this post. Thanks again

    • Hi Ralph,

      Thanks again for the comment and the clarification!

      Sometimes ministers as well as laity become what they hate. I’m not saying Long is guilty but I have seen this happen. Usually one of two things happens. Their personal devotion time is either shortened or in some cases non-existent and their prayer life is in the same place. Peter had this to say;

      1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

      The devil will attack and it is imperative that we stay close to God through daily devotions and prayer. Just writing this reply has reminded me once again of these two very important areas every Christian must be strong in. This is one of the reasons I’m happy to host these types of discussions.

      I’m certainly not going to throw stones at Eddie Long if he is found to be guilty but I will do all I can to provide as much useful information so we can learn from him how to avoid these type of situations so as not to fall into the same ditch. Remember what Paul told the Philippians?

      Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

      That’s why this blog is here…..to help one and all to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Whether its warning about a wolf or a false brother or whatever else is spoken about the goal is helping others to walk the straight path.

      No matter what Eddie Long is or isn’t guilty of the reality is he’s a false teacher. He’s not any different than Jim Bakker. They both use the Bible to place fear in the hearts of their followers in order to live like kings.

      You said,

      The passage you quoted in Galatians is well noted. Yes, maybe Paul was trying to make a point to Peter about his exclusion of Gentiles. If you note, Paul confronted Peter face to face, yes in front of them all since the issue was regarding all who were part of this issue. But I don’t recall him going to the Facebook of the time or the church in Corinth to talk about a problem he is having with Peter in Antioch. Talk about the problem and how to correct it YES, point fingers of condemnation at someone who did it NO. What purpose does that serve?

      Maybe but he did make this known outside of where this confrontation happened didn’t he? Antioch is certainly not Galatia but your point is well taken. Fortunately we’ve tried to talk about the issue without stoning Eddie and believe me when I tell you for some of us that’s not so easy. Hopefully the issues raised will make us all aware how much we need our Savior!

      Thanks,

      Phil

    • Thanks Phil,

      And you are so right on. That was my point. Whether it is someone who commits a trespass and points fingers at others or someone who likes to point at someone else and tell them how evil they are, as in another post you placed on here of I believe accusing you that you or someone they were going to hell (the Joyce Meyer blog), it again shows that integrity is lost.

      I believe unbelievers don’t really have as much a problem with the message as much as they have trouble with the lying and deceiving that is done by many who profess to be Christians and leading the way.

      And yes, there is a common thread in the Bakkers and Longs of this world.

  3. I tell you what, Ralph ( and everyone else who elects to turn a blind eye when things like this happen), Let’s nobody do or say ANYthing, then. Let’s all just live our own lives and not notice anything anybody does. That’s the best solution… rather, that’s the way to approach it. Since there is no problem, there needs to be no solution. (IF he did it, though his TEACHING is more harmful and is refutable!)

    Since, as you say — and many others IMPLY, unless we are PERFECT we have no basis for comment, no one can speak on it or quote Scripture concerning it anyway.
    That cancels out Paul, Jeremiah, Peter, John, and all the other mere men who pointed out and condemned the sinful behavior of those in their midst.

    Let’s just sit on our hands, shut our mouths and let the non-believers frame and topple the Christian agenda.

    • Maxdaddy,

      I am not saying that nothing should be said. Matters of human nature can be discussed at will anytime without a problem. I can talk about this just as much as you or anyone else. But I wlll not approach this discussion having any pretenses that I myself, you, or anyone else have enough answers to condemn anyone of anything. BUT coming together to discuss and learn is what matters. We learn more about ourselves as we discuss the issues.

      All I am saying is that Paul, Jeremiah, Peter, and John, and others like them, can say what they want BUT actions speak louder than words. Thus, in my opinion, this weakens the message since no one lives it.

      Let the evangelicals who disapprove of what happened condemn the sin or sinner as much as they want. in the end, their actions will speak louder for they are similar to the person who this article is about whom for years condemned the sin and yet, IF he actually committed the offense, would be as hypocritical as the rest of the evangelicals or anyone else who wants to point fingers of condemnation. Again, I am not taking up for Long, I am only referring to the hypocrisy of it all.

      Non believers will not have to do much to tear down the Christian agenda…I think Christians are doing a great job by themselves. Who was it Ghandi, I believe that said I would not mind following Christ if it wasn’t for his followers? or something like that. I am getting the feeling these days that many evangelicals live by the motto, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”.

  4. When you spend your life reaching your hand in someone else’s pocket, your either a thief or a pervert, or both.

  5. Like it or not these “Religious Robber Barons” have become the face of christianity to the mega-church masses and the secular world, and to say that this is an attack of the devil is a little like saying Bernie Madoff was a victum of an accounting error. Nothing that the secular world does can come close to discrediting the teachings of Jesus more than the men and women that the church/money system have elevated. I certainly cannot claim a perfect life but I do refuse to participate in the wickiness the church/money system has created.

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