Saturday, May 28, 2011

Watch This Pt. 7..."This Thing, I'm Gon'e Settle!"

In what will be the conclusion of a mini-series and seeming documentary on a form of clergy sexual misconduct, and modern idolatry, the Bishop Eddie Long and his accusers have come to what appears to be an amicable settlement satisfying the unconditional approval of his New Birth,  megachurch faithful and multiple extended followers all around the world.
"I am not gonna try this case in the media. It will be tried in the court of justice and dealt with in the court of justice"..."I've been accused, I'm under attack. I want you to know as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man; but this thing, I'm gon'e fight. And I want you to know one other thing, I feel like David, against Goliath but I got 5 rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet."
Privacy Is The Word

The bishop's words may have indicated "fight" and "court" but in the end, a court-battle was the last thing that the bishop wanted. As stated, the settlement avoided the disclosure of details and greater embarrassment on all sides. It appears to be a sealed affair at this point however, it is hard to tell as final agreements and conditions are being made (more than likely) for an undisclosed monetary amount and a measurable plan of action by either Bishop Long, the ministries involved or all parties. The young men, Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson , who brought the lawsuit may have been successful in their desire to stop Bishop Long from any further future perceived impropriety against others by exposing the bishop, but may have also, at the same time, lost credibility if monetary conditions are the only ones set forth as a result of the agreement.

As stated, we may never know the real requirements on either side of this agreement as it seems that the terms may actually be permanently closed. The lawyer for the plaintiffs B. J. Bernstein simply stated that there would be no commentary:
"...on this matter, now or in the future."
The Man Worship Continues 

When we first talked about this story in our podcast, "What Has The Church Become?" I explained that the worshipful nature of how the church received Long especially in light of the scope of the allegations, was disturbing. At the 8:00 AM Service, the crowd cheered and praised him for almost a full 2 minutes and greeted him as if he had conquered the last villain on earth.

The members of New Birth persist in a form of idolatry of the bishop. What we can readily observe is beyond pure support for a member of the Body of Christ. Many of them have entered into a place of unconditional acceptance where there is clearly no standard of accountability required for the bishop. In other words, some of them have basically told the bishop, "we don't care what you do, we'll follow, believe, and support you no matter what!" Neither of these sentiments are biblical, nor do they display the nature or love of God. Yes, God loves unconditionally, but unconditional acceptance breeds responsibility. Where there is no responsibility in response to unconditional love, there is only abuse and excess which will always lead to greater evil.  

The failure to understand the requirements of unconditional love is disturbing. Not just for New Birth, but for for all them that seek to define the difference between honoring their leader and standing by their church and worshiping an individual and exalting an individual over and above God, HIS standards and HIS precepts. Much of the commentary about the bishop from his members is almost indiscernible from worship directed toward God himself.   

For example, the Atlanta Journal Constitution  reports members to state:

As it pertains to the undisclosed nature of the settlement:
"I'm still steadfast,"..."I know what he's done in my life, and I know what he has done in the lives of others." ~ member Rasheedah Oliver
This sounds like an individual talking about the God of heaven. Unfortunately, this sister is talking about Eddie Long and rationalizing what he has done in her life and done in the lives of others to be the standard by which she is committed to the ministry and ultimately the bishop.  As it pertains to the possible improprieties and scope of the allegations themselves and private settlement, another member stated:
"It doesn't make me think he's guilty or anything,"..."I decided when this came out that I loved my pastor unconditionally. Even if he came out and grabbed the mic and said ‘I'm guilty,' it wouldn't change the way I feel about him. I wouldn't be angry like a lot of people are. You can't walk away after 15 years of being a member of a church."..."He's done 1,000 good things,"..."and he may or may not have done four really bad things." ~ member Kamelya Hinson
Once again, this sister states that it wouldn't matter to her if the bishop told everyone that he was guilty of all charges, she loves him and is attached to him without condition. She further states that no matter the 4 "really bad things" that he has done, he's done an insurmountable number of good things, therefore he and it is OK.

Now, the sad thing is that each of the 4 lawsuits contained over 100 counts of improper, unethical and ungodly behavior by the bishop against his victims. Most of the suits included coersion, misappropriation of funds and even one that claimed that the bishop not only performed oral sex on his victims, but that he also performed oral sodomy. This member skirts by some of the most low-life accusations that could be brought against a person and states that none of that matters, even IF he is guilty and reduces some over 400 counts of impropriety and clergy sexual misconduct to simply "4 bad things"...

This is unbelievable! This is IDOLATRY! This is having another God beside, before, and in the presence of, the ONE AND ONLY God of creation. Without doubt, this is against the word of the Lord God himself as he has outlined not only the 1st Commandment but the entire word of God as God mandates our object of worship to be toward him and him alone.  
Isaiah 45: 5-6 ~ "5-I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6-That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else."
Where Is The Time Of Reconciliation And Restoration?
2 Cor. 5:18-19 ~ "18-And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19-To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
With the seriousness of the accusations against this pastor, which not only alleged ungodly behavior, but revealed severe and pervasive psychological issues for either the accusers (if lying) or the defendant (if accusations are true), one would think that at a very least there would be some time given and an extension for all sides and parties to heal. 

What really drives this point home is that obviously, the bishop in his initial response, did not deny the core allegations against his person or ministry. What he certainly did deny was the allegations of sexual abuse and manipulation levied against himself. Remember, that the allegations included the bishop used money and fame to manipulate the environment, flash material possessions to impress, and use his status to gain access to emotions and feelings that were otherwise off limits. The allegations were also that the bishop used his influence, title and position in a manner unbecoming of bishopric and pastoral leaders. 

However, the spokesperson for the church simply stated that the decision to settle as opposed to fight in court was made

"to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry." and that "This resolution is the most reasonable road for everyone to travel," 
What this means is that business regarding this was handled like any other business that should be handled to position the ministry to move on to the next grand adventure. Reconciliation and restoration were not goals of the settlement. "Moving forward with plans" was the whole objective. What this also could mean is that there was enough damaging information on both sides of the case that in the end it would more than likely resemble WW III as opposed to a church, a Christian leader and 4 abused and disappointed followers.

Either way, this is certainly much less than God would require of any and or all of us when confronted with this or similar issue.

Conclusion

We are thankful that this ordeal seems to be over, however neither the Body Of Christ, the modern mega church or any of the parties involved, nor members were edified as a result of this case. We were only brought to more of an open shame.

Some say, "why talk about it, let's move on". That sort of sentiment causes them that buy into it, to miss what God is trying to show us. I believe what he is saying is that our Idols are inadequate and anything built and established by flesh and materialism will not and cannot stand judgement of the Lord. Evidently, neither this pastor nor this church and ministry could stand the judgement of men, yet alone the judgement of God. However, believe me, he will judge. 

Revelation 20:12-13 ~ 12-And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13-And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."

Blessed!

22 comments:

  1. Wow--you really hit the nail on the head--I can't imagine that the "Bishop" won't lose at least a couple thousand Church members.It all sort of reminds me of the first time Michael Jackson settled his allegations out of court.I also think back to when Paul Crouch was involved in his sex scandal,after that you didn't see his wife on the same stage with him for years.I wonder what the interaction between the "Bishop" and his wife has been like?
    Also- what kind of spin will he give the settlement in today's message?

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  2. As shocking as this show of blind loyalty is under the guise of 'unconditional love' we must remember that the scriptures foretold that people will not put up with sound teaching and heap to themselves teachers that will tell them what THEY want to hear! I am appalled @ this attitude excusing this so called man of God behavior like he is above the law I wonder if this man would have done these things to one of their family members would they still be so loyal. It is quite obvious this woman and others like her are following man and not Christ, it also shows that this person doesn't understand the scriptures concerning the conduct of leaders in the Church, after '15yrs' she should recognize SIN whwn she sees it. This is really sad when people attend services with bibles in their laps collecting dust.

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  3. Amen Jerry!

    I don't know how the people can reconcile it any other way...I mean to say things like "David was a man after God's own heart and yet he sinned egrigiously" is aside from the point.

    Supposedly, we have what David was only looking forward to. In addition, there is a thing called discernment that should kick in and warn us when we are building and supporting mand and sin in man.

    Isa: 42:8~"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

    These folk have lowered the glory of God to the image of man and feel that they are justified in doing so.

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  4. Every pastor wants a congregation that will be loyal to him and the ministry. I am a pastor and I know this, BUT the problem is that a GOOD pastor does not want blind loyalty or individuals who will excuse and cover sins.

    Paul felt the same way. He said: 1 Cor. 11:1~Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

    The measure or standard was that of following Christ, not blind allegiance.

    If I molest one of the daughters in the church I should be held accountable and pay all that is due. Not have 1,000 folk stand up and say, " well, y'u-know, nobody is perfect and Supt. Burnett loved everybody and did so many good things." or "this one bad thing doesn't speak against all the thousands of good things he's done, therefore, I accept him without condition"

    Look at it, out of all the "good things" done there was ONE person who was terrorized as a result and will never be able to grow normally...look at all the damage and consequential fallout.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is that people can cross the line into idolatry quickly IF Christ is not the standard. Yes, there is love and forgiveness and that should be given too, BUT a person has to REPENT. Long ain't repented of nothing. Just moved into a new phase of ministry like the mega-ministry crowd often does. Marry/ divorce/ get caught/ don't repent/ make excuses and move on...the money covers all things.

    I simply say, support a REPENTANT leader until he is restored, but also heal the victims and minister to the fallout. Doing anything less is self-preservation and propping up idols.

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  5. The utter arrogance with which Eddie (I refuse to put the word 'bishop' before his name)handled this whole matter blows my mind. No confession of sin, no repentance, no taking time out for restoration, nothing. He just carried on business as usual, without fear of any repercussions. He knew his Sheeple were not going to make him give account, he knew he would lose few members because he knows the kind of Sheeple that he 'pastors'-those with itching ears. Those that exalt a man over the Almighty God. Those that exalt the preaching of a man over the Word of God. So if Eddie is found to be a sexual predator who preys on teenage boys, who cares? This is, after all, the church of Eddie, not a Church of God and therefore, whatever Eddie says or does is A-ok. Smh.

    The reaction of the members of Eddie's church is disgusting. New Birth members have shown more compassion for Eddie than they have for the kids who accused him of having sex with them. Where is the Christian compassion? Where is the Agape love? Where is responsibility and accountability? Where is the obedience to the Word of God?

    Ronnie

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  6. The comment from one of the members really struck me. She basically said she would follow him no matter what. Members usually see their pastors as God when there is no connection or relationship with Him for themselves. Due to the lack of getting connected to Him through the word, members depend on the pastor to 'reveal' God. After time, the pastor has become God without the member even realizing that is the case. This is how a pastor can say or do anything because the loyalty is not to God and the Real Truth, but to the Pastor's truth as he/she spins it because the member does not know the Real Truth for him/herself. That comment was so sad, but sheds light on why so many people remain in a congregation that is compromised. Thanks for the post!

    Living4Him

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  7. This is heart breaking isnt it? Is it any worse than the allegations themselves? If so not by much as this leaves the door open to more young men being compromised by the so called Bishop. Seriously, they have said that it doesnt even matter what he did! that leaves me in totall disbelief.

    What they fail to understand is that they themsleves should seek to judge the situation and see if is he fit to be a leader of the church accorinding to Gods standard.

    They are playing with fire because they will be held accountable for turning a blind eye to sin. If any other persons gets injured by this man, they will too be responsible.

    They do know the bible but they just dont care because there is something big and glamourous going down and they area part of it. I bet some of these clowns (sorry) cant even pay their rent!

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  8. Thanks for the post Pastor Burnett:
    We need more Chloes in the church today, but she would be villified in todays church, for being a 'snitch' because "the household of Chole..." reported to Paul the problems in Corinth (1 Cor 1:11) had it not been for her, there would be no Corinthian epistles, thank God she took action instead of looking the other way. Also her name is immortalized in scripture for what she did.
    Just as in Pauls day it was "I am of Paul, I of Apollos.."(1 Cor 3:4)
    But Today it is I am of E. LONG, I am of TD JAKES, I am of C. DOLLAR, etc; most churches are so caught up in the celebrity status of their so called leaders they refuse to see the sins that their modern day idols/gods commit-
    Paul would still say to the church 'I speak this to your shame, is there not a wise man among you, not even one who is able to judge between his brethern? (1 Cor 6:5)

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  9. Jerry,

    They look at a person as being "unloyal" and "negative' when you begin to ask for accountability. Some even say things like, "you don't have time to think about that, you should be working on yourself"

    Those are mind manipulation techniques. we can walk, talk and chew gum can't we?

    We can call for accountability, be accountable and make the assessments that we should readily. Some don't want that dirty laundry aired. Their cover would be pulled.

    Like you, I say the church needs some stable minded individuals who know their place and mission who will HELP leadership be more accountable, not help leaders perpetuate their sins...

    I had one fella tell me about how he caught his pastor with another woman in the pastoral office. He said he drove around to wait until they were through and then when he got back began to minister to the pastor so he could be ready for Sunday service.

    What kinda GARBAGE is that??? That fella should have addressed the issue head on, then called for meeting of the senior Elders if the pastor was receptive and brought about healing that removed him from the pulpit for a season of restoration.

    The reason he didn't was because the pastor would reject him and then lean on the people to challenge the other's credibility. The pastor had a manipulative hold on the folk. Even if some of them saw him personally, they would make an excuse for it and say he really wasn't sinning.

    But who will be the hero for the church? Who will have courage enought to fight for the children and people that are damaged because of things like these?

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  10. :::stunned:::

    The glory has long since departed and now the apostate church and its false prophets continue on as if there is no God in heaven.

    Judges 21:25

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  11. Obnoxious blog reports the following:

    The young men had been demanding $20 million from Long, the church, and the Long Fellows Academy. However, the men settled for $15 million, which comes to a possible $3.6 million each. Depending on the fee arrangement with their attorney, who is said to get as much as %50 percent due to her not getting a retainer to take the case. If that is the case the guys will walk away with $1.3 million dollars each. A person that currently works very closely with Bishop Eddie Long has told Obnoxious, the bishop could only get his insurace company to cover $13 million and not one dime more and that it took him a minute to get $2 million in cash.

    That tells a story now doesn't it?

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  12. 2 Timothy 3:1-9
    Perilous Times and Perilous Men
    1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
    2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
    4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
    5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
    6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
    7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
    8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
    9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

    I'll just let the bible speak for itself concerning Eddie Long and these 2 foolish, deceived women (and all those that remain in this man's ministry, because Jesus is certainly not the Head of "Cult" New Birth)! Lord have mercy on their souls!

    Great Post Pastor Burnett, pray all is well with you! Sister Pat

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  13. These two women are blind!!! What if this had happened to one of their children - would they still pledge such allegiance???
    And this reference to David, a man after God's own heart fell into sin - enough already!!!

    I only can imagine if David could do it over again, he would have never gone up to the roof - better yet, he would have had only one wife as he was commanded by the Word!!! The sword never left his house!!! Almost every child that he had was cursed in some horrible way!

    So using David in this instance is not a “get out of jail free” card, but a warning to all leaders – obey God at all costs!
    And Eddie Long, you are just plain nasty!

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  14. Well, they say that the church is loosing members because of this.

    Not only has Bernice King left New Birth, but according to Pimppreacher.com, the parking lot is getting empty (Now they seemed to have closed this brother's You Tube account in response to his report. From what I understand Creflo Dollar claimed that his reports were libelous or something to that effect) and, so you can hear it yourself, Creflo Dollar simply called it a "wreck" says that all the members that came to his church (from New Birth) should go back and serve Bishop Long because of what he's done for them in the past. T.D. Jakes has even said that it is a "recent tragedy" and that Bishop Eddie Long is "up under some severe scrutiny" and that they just need to pray because facts and conjecture is confused. He simply concludes that we simply need "The Blood"!

    Now Sherri Shepherd ripped him and his actions calling Long guilty by his refusal to fight for what he told US was the truth...I don't blame her. She seems to make the most sense out of all that I've heard.

    I am determined to not make another post regarding this man or the issues surrounding him and his actions. It's sad that some of these guys just can't seem to get the vision or a good grip on God.

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  15. Told you, I'm NOT doing another post on this man, I would have no time left in the day.

    Here we go:

    "We want to let you know, the opening of this church in Denver would be in the same town as one of Bishop Long’s accusers, Jamal Parris. The start of a church near one of the accusers that ousted Long in the biggest way ever is a vindictive move on Long’s part, in our opinion, to harass Parris. We don’t know this for sure but Long has ‘thrown out’ on his accusers behind the pulpit many times since the allegations surfaced last fall.

    Before Sunday service ended, Long begged church members to give MORE money…he wants $500-$1000 donations to use as “seed money.” But several church members reached out to BMS and say they’re pissed!

    One member says she’s been tithing for more than 5 years and she can’t afford to give any more money, “a group of us are working to get Bishop Long kicked out of the church but it is so hard because some refuse to see the light.” “We have contacted an attorney to see what are our rights, we should not be forced to leave he should leave on his own.”


    New Denver church.OK, let's watch what God does.

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  16. Supt Barnett, I watched the Creflo "wreck" video and went into total shock!!! I cannot believe this man could dare to equate this heinous crime with a simple fender bender!!! I have a serious question that needs to be answered; how can Eddie or Creflo be saved? I'm looking at their fruit, and none it glorfies the Lord - someone please respond~

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  17. Lady D,

    It is beyond comprehension isn't it? It's beyond the imagination that someone would rationalize that a pastor and I said PASTOR, could have over 400 counts of impropriety including sexual abuse, coercion and misconduct, not to mention unethical behavior and financial dealings and all the other things that come along and come to light through the suits and when the pastor speaks he says, "I didn't have sex with those boys" (alas BILL CLINTON) and then settles what he said he would fight for not just $1.00, but for 15 to 25 Million Dollars....

    And Creflo can call that a "wreck" WITH insurance????

    Creflo is an idiot without apology for his unfeeling, uncaring, nonspiritual critique which he passes off as a spiritual encouragement...absolutely devoid of any spiritual insight or direction. Doesn't matter how you look at it...as a pastor, I understand encouragements to other folk members to "get over it" when a persons name wasn't called to lead a song on Sunday or when the pastor hugged another member but only shook your hand...HOWEVER, this mess is in a totally different league and doesn't deserve any rationalization.

    I said that Creflo was apostate and he has proven it.

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  18. Now, Look at this mess, Vanessa gone and the possibility of disease...Now if this is a smear campaign against this man further, they should be ashamed, but IF this is true, it looks like judgement and exposure to me. We say judgement will begin at the house of God. These along with the homosexuals claim to be of the House of God. Stand in line then...

    All I know that these guys should be careful if they don't have facts to back things like this up. I've heard some of these things for a miniute, but I won't write about what I don't reasonbly know or haven't or can't verify.

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  19. Supt Burnett, whether if it’s true or not – judgment is at New Birth. Mr. Long’s actions have caused much anger, confusion, mistrust, doubt; and yes rumors to fly. The same devil that tempted and deceived him is now destroying him. Creepflo is a sick and twisted man, and God will also deal with him and the other vipers of the WOF, prosperity gospel and false Jesus junk.
    Supt Burnett, I truly believe this is a warning to us all: Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life".
    To those that have been called by the Lord to stand before His people and teach His Holy Word, we have to guard ourselves with all diligence! Sin starts with a thought, and thoughts unchecked turn into actions. This is a sad and terrible ending for a man that would not check his pride. Like Saul, he did not consider his ways and paid a hefty price. And don’t think for one minute that none of us can crash and burn as well! We must live a holy life in private as well as in public, and keep our face in God’s Word and stay in prayer. And when tempted, do like Joseph-RUN!!! And if you have not been tempted in something, as my grammy use to say, “keep livin”.
    Be blessed~

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  20. Here we go again, everything Eddie all the time...the one supposed burglar speaks out as to what the break in was all about...evidence gathering for Bernstien (the plaintiffs lawyer) to even take the case. Now, how does she proceed with stolen evidence? OK, she didn't know it was stolen...All these folk dirty as a pig in a mud trap.

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  21. As I stated in the comments of Pt. 2 of this series, there was a 5th Accuser that is a gay young man that seemed to breing fear to the table at the time of settlement.

    This fella is gay without a doubt leading us to further ask can the bishop be believed that he was not on the DL? I don't know because I wasn't there to see it for myself,it sure looks as if that were the case.

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