All Articles Tagged "eddie long"
In SMDH news, Creflo Dollar (that name, that name) gave a rousing hour-long sermon this past Sunday, in which he stated his support for Bishop Eddie Long in light of the fact that he settled his sexual abuse case for an unreported sum rumored to be in the millions. Dollar also informed any members of New Birth Baptist Church that he doesn’t want them there and that they should return to Long’s side immediately. He claims that Long simply had a “wreck”, but that he will be forgiven and will still go to Heaven”.
(AJC) — Fresh off the settlement of a sexual misconduct scandal, Bishop Eddie Long appears to have gained an endorsement of sorts from a fellow well-known megachurch pastor. Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in College Park gave a lengthy sermon Sunday about redemption and forgiveness. Then he spent several minutes talking about a fellow, unnamed pastor who had a “wreck.” In a video of the sermon posted on YouTube — viewed more than 34,000 times — and also on the church’s website, Dollar appears to tell members of Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to return to the Lithonia church.
(The Grio) —Bishop Eddie Long should step down.
In recent weeks and months, I have had much to say about withholding judgment in the wake of alleged sexual improprieties with young men in his church. Even as Long stood before his congregation and defiantly vowed to fight the civil charges, I remained cautious. I urged restraint in the face of the salacious details that emerged. I, too, needed a healthy dose of patience.
My mother and family live in South DeKalb County, Georgia where New Birth Baptist Church is located. I still own a house there. So this crisis, literally hit home. Now, as the case has been settled for a rumored $15 million, there is no way to discern the truth.
(AJC) — The Rev. Bernice King will announce on a radio show Tuesday that she is stepping down as an elder at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, an action apparently unrelated to Bishop Eddie Long’s recent settlement of four sexual misconduct lawsuits. King intends to disclose her plans to radio host Rhodell Lewis on Praise 102.5, and on mypraiseatl.com between 4 and 5:30 p.m., according to an Effective Media Group news release. King is leaving with the blessing of Long, pastor of the Lithonia Megachurch, and had been planning this move for a couple of years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
Good afternoon, luv! We were just minding our own business skipping around the web and we found a couple things we thought you might find interesting.
One of the mistakes we tend to make in our community is failing to realize that churches are businesses. True, they are organizations that foster spiritual growth and development in our communities, but when the pastor leaves the pulpit and the choir removes their gowns, money is counted in the backrooms and decisions are made about what to do with that money.
Like any other business, churches have utility bills and capital expenditures to pay. However, the uniqueness of a church is it is also a non-profit, which means there are regulations to abide by in order to maintain its tax-exempt status. I recently asked my Facebook friends the following question: “Which is more important—the comfort of the pastor or the growth of the church?” Ironically, many felt the comfort of the pastor was more important. But here’s the trick: a responsible non-profit allocates at least 70 percent of its revenue toward the programs it was formed to develop. The other 30 percent would go toward administrative costs. The pastor’s well-being should be in that 30 percent. Unfortunately, we catch a case of spiritual vertigo and slide the pastor’s well-being into the 70 percent.
Churches are obligated to use that 70 percent to train drug users, convicted felons, orphans, domestic violence victims, and the homeless on interviewing skills, G.E.D. preparation and financial literacy. In some cases, they even provide jobs and housing. Thus, we must admit, churches do serve as a lifeline to the black economy.
According to a study by Livesteez, black churches have generated over $420 billion since 1980. Based on these numbers, we would assume that $336 billion went to supporting the black community. Conversely, if we scale back those numbers, we would see that black churches also claim to support relief efforts internationally. This can be a red flag because most congregants are unable to personally travel to a small village in Angola to validate the church’s claims.
I used this example to illustrate the concept that sometimes when churches claim to be black, it doesn’t mean that they are entirely supporting the black community. Instead, some of them are just half-baked imperialistic organizations with black preachers and black people in the pews with much of their funds being exploited to scratch the backs of its leaders as the community is left with open hands.
In the case of Bishop Eddie Long, he allegedly used his influence to satisfy some twisted urges. Immediately after the allegations were made public, Long boastfully declared himself to be ‘David’ with a satchel full of stones. But, as I remember the story in the Bible, David never settled! Long did. Long may now be slightly at rest, but the congregation and on-the-fence believers are not. Here is a situation where Long demonstrated his leadership style to be more about his comfort as opposed to being in the best interest of the church body.
What we can now expect to see is skeptic corporate giving, members’ doubt in tithing, and people who were once interested in the church becoming discouraged. Churches are often an optimal solution for supporting the black community and its economy, but with self-centered decisions made by apathetic pastors, we can only continue to expect our offerings to go towards the stones in the pastor’s satchel.
Devin Robinson is a business and economics professor and author of Rebuilding in the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation and Blacks: From the Plantation to the Prison. Contact him at email@example.com.
(Atlanta Journal Constitution) — Some current and former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church expressed relief Thursday that sexual misconduct lawsuits against the church and its prominent leader, Bishop Eddie Long, have been resolved. Attorneys involved in the four lawsuits against Long, the LongFellows Youth Academy and the 25,000-member Lithonia megachurch said the case had been settled but declined to comment further. The case is expected to be dismissed “with prejudice” — meaning the defendant cannot be sued by the plaintiffs again in the same alleged offense — by close of business Friday, said Barbara Marschalk, who represents New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and LongFellows Youth Academy. B.J. Bernstein, who represents the four men who sued Long, New Birth and the academy, also confirmed the lawsuits had been settled. The academy was named in three of the suits. Long, pastor of the Lithonia megachurch, which has an international following, had denied the men’s allegations through a spokesman shortly after they first became public in September and told his congregation he planned to “vigorously” fight them.
The boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is finally telling his story in an autobiography set to be released this summer. And in it, he relays some shocking information: that he was molested by a former boxing coach when he was a teenager.
In this passage that appeared in the New York Times, Leonard describes the second encounter with the Olympic coach, when he and the coach were sitting in a parked car discussing the meaning of winning a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics.
“He was flattered, filled with hope, as any young athlete would be. But he writes: “Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”
In the past year alone, high profile cases and celebrities have illuminated just how common sexual abuse is in the lives of many. The Eddie Long scandal once again put the spotlight on the hypocrisy of church leaders. After four former Congregation members accused the Bishop of sexually molesting them, Long continues to defend his innocence and continues to lead his congregation.
Earlier this year, Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke also told of sexual abuse by a family friend. And just days ago, CNN news anchor Don Lemon not only came out of the closet as a gay man but also publicized his experience with sexual abuse as a child.
Which leads us to wander, just how common is the sexual abuse of children and what exactly drives so many adults to sexually abuse children?
You thought we forget about you Eddie, didn’t ya? Well, we actually did til news emerged today that the case will no longer be settled out of court. A trial is expected to commence in the fall.
The Bishop was accused last year of sexual misconduct by four former New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members. Long has continuously denied the accusations although it’s safe to say that the majority of the public is suspicious of his innocence. As you may recall, one of the accusers leaked photos of Long wearing a tight body suit that Long sent to him.
Long has continued to work at his Church and up until today, it was believed that the worst was behind him. According to Mediator Elmer Gobel, who spoke to Atlanta’s WSB TV 2 news station, it doesn’t come as a total shock that mediations fell through in this case.
“It’s not the kind of thing that you sit down at a table and 10 minutes later everybody’s agreeing,” he said. Maybe Long didn’t have enough money to satisfy the demands of his accusers, or maybe there were other non-financial matters that both parties couldn’t agree upon. Whatever the case, Long is in for another whirlwind of media attention if this case does see its day at court.
Try this thought experiment: Maybe the clergymen who raped young boys in the Catholic church and the self-anointed bishops who (allegedly) used their youth ministry as grooming grounds for sexual partners – Bishops Eddie L. Long and Jonathan Alvarado – are not bad seeds. Maybe these predators are products of an antiquated institution: organized religion.
What I would like to suggest is that much of humanity is lacking a necessary driver for the continued success of our species: logic. And organized religion is both an offender in this regard and an effect of this peculiar class of brain function diminishment. It’s not even really a diminishment as much as it is a thwarting of the brain’s ability to adopt newer and more nuanced processes.
Ordinary run of the mill churchgoers are the epitome of singular thinkers. Other than their strict adherence to the outlandish myths of the Bible, a grown man in the belly of a whale and all that, they behave as, well, simpletons. They are obedient servants, not fully developed and autonomous beings. Sin leads to hell. Obedience leads to heaven. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Yes, it is intuitive of mankind to parse through external stimuli and internal dialogue with linear lenses. From an evolutionary perspective, this linearity has increased our survival rate in a world where danger, more often than not, presents without warning. See tiger – Run! See bear –Run! Our evolutionary process, a shaky jumbling of jerks and leaps forward, and not the seamless glide toward perfection that so many Darwinists purport, did not allow much space for thoughtful pontification. Those who tarried too long to inspect the tiger or bear were torn to tiny bite-sized bits.
In prehistoric times – when seconds mattered — making instantaneous judgments devoid of time consuming thought was the difference between survival and certain death. When only instants mattered, being nimble and reactionary were far more valued traits than were being thoughtful and deliberate.
Now, however, we live in the 21st century where our inventions have, for the most part, equipped us to tame our environment. Yes there are hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes and even the occasional bear, but for the most part, intellect has long surpassed impulse as the most highly regarded of human traits.
Salaries correspond to the complexity of the job and acceptance to elite institutions corresponds to test scores and the diversity of qualities of the student. Even in the shallow intellectual pool of sports, doing things quickly is not enough given that what separates the wheat from the chaff is strategy. Even to become a sports star, you need to move fast and think fast.
But when I watch congregations in black churches sway back and forth to the sultry sounds of a gospel hymn, or when I watch white parishioners sit motionless as their priest leads them along in monotonous droning, I’m reminded of every zombie flick I’ve ever seen. The zombified gray creatures are earth travelers, driven by the primal impulses of the hypothalamus, an area of the brain mostly responsible for emotion, thirst and hunger. In both manner and intellect, they resemble the prehistoric man.
You can argue with me and tell me that there are smart and “good Christians” in the Church who do good work at both the church and Fortune 500’s, but while you’re at it, be sure to tell me why Bishop Long is still a pastor at New Birth Church and why the Catholic church played musical chairs with pedophilic priests instead of removing them.
For years, the leadership within the Catholic Church hid the crimes of its priests and even when they began to seep out, as all secrets do, many churchgoers believed the priests over the children. Just as many New Birth devotees believe their pimped out preacher over the boys who’ve come forward. It’s obviously the hypothalamus at work here.
The church is dead with primitive perspectives. Ash to ash, dust to dust. And decay inevitably gives birth to mutated incarnations. So instead of attacking those who seek justice for the truly innocent or dismissing the actions of the lion in the pulpit who hunts the defenseless lambs in his own church, maybe churchgoers should turn inward and determine to what extent their own resistance to applying logic to perfectly logical events created the perfect environment for predators to flourish.
The hatchling was given new life by the flock. If the church aims to redeem itself and prove useful to the community which it claims to serve, it’s time that members of the church stop holding up the mirror of judgment to the rest of the world and take a moment to inspect their own reflection.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, Spatterblog.com and BreakingBrown.com.