Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A CHRISTIAN. I am not an atheist, a naysayer or even a “spiritual but not religious.” I am a Christian, and I mean the type of Christian who was raised in the church, baptized in the pools, at every sunshine band, YPWW and purity class …Christian. Grew up going to church 8 days a week (and yes I said 8 days) kind of Christian. So when I utter these words I do so with a certain hushed tone…and maybe even a short of anger and disgust. The Eddie Longs of the world is why the church is becoming irrelevant. There I said it.
Those who know God and have their own REAL and personal relationship with God, are turning away from the “church.” The church has started to not resemble what God’s love represents. Like Gandhi once said “”I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” And those in the Church who don’t really know God… the Eddie Longs of the world represent God and they lose their faith all together. I have known this for a while, but I never put my faith in men anyways.
In fact, I thought I was past the point in my life where people could surprise (both for the evil they do and the good) me. So, when I first heard the allegation I was a bit concerned and hoped it wasn’t true. When I saw the text pictures sent to the young men I was uncomfortable. Why would a MAN send any young boy pictures of him through a cell phone, let alone why would a Pastor sending them to boys in his care? Something just didn’t sit right. When I heard the “Good Bishops” sermon the following Sunday, which was a play on meaningless words and carefully crafted to not admit or deny anything (he basically pleaded the 5th amendment) I was disgusted. But when I watched his mindless flock erupt in applause after this empty speech where he didn’t even say he was innocent, I was officially SURPRISED. Eddie Long is not what’s wrong with the Church…the parishioners is what is wrong with the church.
No matter which angle I try to understand this, as a church insider, as a preachers daughter, as a pastors daughter, as the district missionaries granddaughter, as the choir member, as a parishioner, as a bible toting Christian (and I am in fact all of the aforementioned), I am confused. I can care less if Eddie Long is gay. In fact, half the men in the church choir are gay and everybody knows it (accept their mother, wives and sisters)… shrug. I don’t care about people being gay; everyone has the right to live their lives as they so choose and quite frankly I can find more in the bible about judging other people than I can about a person’s sexual preference. But I digress. Where Eddie Long is concerned, we are not just talking about a person’s sexual preference; we are talking about a man who potentially used his position of power to seduce young boys. While it is easy to view these adult young men as Goliath (wait…that’s not easy at all)… it is however quite easy to view them as David…since they were in fact just BOYS when this all began. So knowing that these were just boys, I am confused how an entire congregation would not at the very least ask the pastor to step down while the allegations are being investigated. And to applaud the man who didn’t have either the courage to repent or the conviction to declare innocence…yeah, that surprised me. I am surprised at how deeply people root their identities in other people that they render themselves unable or unwilling to see that person for who or what they really are. Blind faith in a man? WOW
I hope these weren’t the same Christian who shook their head when allegations came out about the Catholic Church? Or the same Christians who would curse a person out for even disciplining their kids, let along molesting them. Then I see comment about how he is only human and all people make mistakes and it is our duty to pray for him. A Pastor who has been accused of repeatedly molesting young men who are in his care and whose spiritual development he over sees, who has committed adultery …several times and with little boys, is not “only human,” he is a man who spiritual walk with GOD is so off track that he should no longer oversee that walk for others. He is out of line for even staying in his role as pastor.
Should he be vindicated…GREAT, but while the allegations are out there, he should not continue to lead the church. People wonder why we are in such a spiritual crisis and why there is such a mass exodus from the church and Christianity…this is why! Because we let men who may not be of God represent God. Yeah…the church needs to stop sweeping this out the back door (pause).