Now that the lawsuits are settled, Bishop Eddie Long and his congregation must cope with the ambiguous circumstances and move on. Despite the muted expectations that the New Birth Church Missionary Church will soon wreak havoc, over the past few weeks it has become evident that the infamous Bishop still has many supporters.
A recent video has surfaced where a woman from New Birth Missionary decided to drop a few stacks for the Bishop during Sunday’s sermon. After the woman interrupted, she brought forward the stack of cash. Next other members of the congregation decided to rejoice and follow suit. The Bishop exclaimed, “That’s just the first fruit. I see everybody bringing that to the altar.” And did the congregation move.
Recently, the infamous Georgia mega-church preacher settled out of court with four young men who accused him of sexual misconduct. In a statement posted on the Web site church officials said, “This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.” Last year when recent reports and allegations broke out about the pastor, people were shocked and quickly begin to shun unyielding criticism on this allegedly adverse issue.
For those who attend church, homosexuality is nothing new in the midst of it all. No, it’s not an official addendum to the church covenant but if you participate in church regularly, you know it’s an unspoken truth. Simply put, institutional acquiesce. Pastors, deacons and blood-bought Christians alike have even developed other phrases to soften the blow when referring to this “alternative lifestyle.” You’ll never hear the word homosexuality uttered from the pulpit. Despite the Bible’s clear and absolute rejection against homosexuality, it still exists.
Religion is important to many people, no matter what side of the sexuality spectrum you fall on. This is the contributing factor as to why homosexuality and religion do not mesh well unless it’s swept under the rug or ignored; such as Long’s case. Appears the Black church has found itself back on the media’s agenda. Stories like this plague the Black church, especially with the advent of technology, and will garnish unneeded negative attention. Even if these allegations were not true for Bishop – the saints are praying – this will sure begin to spark more and more already rumors and stories connecting church leaders and homosexuality – among other contradictory lifestyles.
Even among the religious sector, there are bigots and false teachings. Religious antics, semantics and scandals like this really discourage people from jumping on board and running that good Christian race. Figures like this are seeking publicity. They are seeking to encourage the rest of the world (and some believers) through misleading blasphemy conviction.
What do you think of the support between the Bishop and his followers? Can the Black church actually hold leaders accountable for full disclosure of their sexuality when accusations like this arise, if it indirectly encourages the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy?