Well, the Eddie Long sexual abuse case has been settled, but is far from over. Though the legal proceedings have been sealed, what was done in the dark shall be brought to light. The public statement by one of the victims has left an indelible image in those who have viewed it. The young man expressed how he felt violated by one in whom he placed his trust and struggled to get Eddie Long's scent off his skin.
This is the same Eddie Long who proclaimed publicly and fervently what an abomination homosexuality is. If that is the case, them Eddie needs to remove his abominable hindquarters from the pulpit for he has disqualified himself for approaching the sacred according to his own standard.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully (Psalm 24:3-4).
Some followers believe that he and those like him simply need prayer. Well, scripture never calls for us to pray for false prophets.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The word warns us not to follow such leaders lest we receive the wrath of God that is certain to fall upon them. Sounds counterintuitive for a God of love and forgiveness. That same God also has a sense of holiness and justice.
Jesus himself did not pray for those outside the kingdom I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine (John 17:9b-c). The purpose of prayer is to conform the subject's will with God's. God will deal with those working against him. Hypocrites will receive a double portion. Don't go soft on them.
So whether your pastor is molesting children, exploiting women, embezzling money, or otherwise abusing his or her authority, your responsibility is not to save them, but to get yourself to a place of safety. It is amazing how some get caught up in the cult of personality so much that they are willing to go down with the pastor (no pun intended). Save yourself!
If the one who is leading you is not of good moral character, then you are following them on the path of destruction whether you know it or not. You are under no obligation to follow any person in the flesh or their sinfulness. The quality of life that the person professing to abide in Jesus is a reliable indication of who they are actually following.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire (Matthew 7:16-19).
So many times have I wondered why the words delivered by certain individuals, although eloquent, have no potency. Simply put, they ain't living right. As Psalm 24 illustrates, one has to have moral standing to ascend to the high places in the Lord to receive words with quickening power. Anything less is simply noise. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).Let those who have ears hear.
Eddie Long’s teachings never jibed with my spirit and I discussed why in Good Preacher Gone Bad. I attended seminary in Atlanta and felt a certain revulsion to him from the beginning (this was even before the ratty wig and muscle shirts). It’s a shame that my fellow preachers are so bound by a professional ethic that they refuse to speak prophetically about his ministry. The sheep need not only to hear what they should expect from a good shepherd, but also how to hold their spiritual leaders accountable.
Moreover, the community at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church refuses to denounce what happened to the victims or eliminate the system that led to their exploitation. Why is there an assumption of entitlement for Eddie Long to remain at the helm? Why are they so worried about how they will pay their bills in the absence of their mortal leader? Why are innocent souls so dispensable? But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6).
Communities of faith need to be more concerned about the coming of the Lord, which will make recompense for what was done. In the meantime, (b)eloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1). Likewise check yourself to make certain you are following God and not man. People will always disappoint on some level, but God never fails.