“I don’t know what it is with the church. When you have a wreck, you expect for God to forgive you and everyone else. Don’t let the preacher have a wreck, now. Then you become self-righteous and you become judgmental and you’re gonna leave the preacher for his wreck, when you done had more wrecks. That preacher’s still anointed to do what he was called to do. He just had a wreck. The blood will take care of his issue, just like it will take care of yours. And I just can’t believe that people would leave their preacher cause he had a wreck, instead of praying for him.” ~ Creflo Dollar, Pastor of World Changers Church International

It’s unfortunate to watch a historic institution slip by the wayside and disintegrate into an embarrassment. From the million dollar homes, cars, and yachts pimped off the wallets of black women to the blatant moral corruption, it’s about time that the black community say “enough” to Bishop Eddie Long and Creflo Dollar. It’s incendiary that four young men allegedly had their childhoods ruptured by Long’s sexual abuse and Dollar audaciously declares the incident as a simple “wreck.”

While we’ll never know if Long would’ve been declared innocent or guilty in a court of law, simple logic concludes that an innocent minister wouldn’t fork out a multi-million dollar settlement on the backs of his congregants. He would fight to clear his name and the dignity of his church. But clearly, it’s easier to shame people into supporting a minister after a sex scandal.

Dollar continues, “…And if you’re from that church that you know I’m talking about and you’re trying to join here, I don’t want you to join here. You need to go and join where you’re supposed to be. I don’t want you here. That is my friend. That is my brother in the Lord. And if you came from there, you get on back where you’re supposed to be and do what you’re supposed to be doing.”

To this day, Long has yet to issue a public apology to those four young men or his church. When a pastor is “anointed” to be a spiritual leader over a congregation, he automatically must take responsibility for his actions and admit when he’s made a drastic mistake. He owes his followers an apology for falling short. And just maybe if he were authentic about his mistake, his congregation would accept Dollar’s “he’s not perfect” rhetoric and continue to support him. On the contrary, my advice would be to pray from a distance.

I could only imagine the level of betrayal that his congregants feel. If I was a mother and member of his church, I’d not only be concerned for my spiritual welfare, but also the spiritual and physical welfare of my children. There’s no indication that Long is seeking therapy to ensure that another “wreck” won’t happen again. And frankly, his hypocritical stance on homosexuality has yet to change. Any man preaching against something he practices wouldn’t get my ears or dollars every Sunday.

It’s not that pastors or any spiritual leader have to be perfect. They don’t. But certainly, we must draw the line somewhere. When pastors abuse power and use it to manipulate children, the buck must stop with us.

Frequent Clutch contributor Jamilah Lemieux writes:  “It seems that yet again, we are choosing to worship at the altars of charisma, charm and affluence, as opposed to doing what is right for our children. Long’s followers seem to be captivated or perhaps hypnotized by their leader and have found themselves unable to separate the concept of God’s forgiveness from the earthy need for accountability. For whatever New Birth may have done good for the ‘hood,’ Long’s reward should not be an unchecked hand that is used to touch our young people.”

It’s about time that we step up and dismantle the platforms of men who participate in or defend unacceptable behavior. And yes, this responsibility falls beyond the members of Long’s New Birth and Dollar’s World Changers Church. We should advocate that BET and any other network pull all of these men’s sermons from programming. Additionally, commercial sponsors should step up and refuse to support. While Long and Dollar’s ministries will forever cultivate blind sheep, through our actions, we must empower those four young men and those exiting members that choose to see.

Unapologetically, Long is preparing to build two additional churches to expand his ministry. That is the equivalent of an act of war.

Do you think the black community is ready to put these two con artists out of business? Or should their congregants be left to the consequences of “stupid is as stupid does?” Speak on it.

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  • Patrick Pete

    There are a number of things going on here. One is historical. Another is with respect to faith. And lastly, it is cultural. It is the convergence of these factors that has created this perfect storm which is the black megachurch, its leaders and its resulting negative impact on our culture as people of color.

    Historically, the church has served as a focal point, for much of whom and what we are as a people. It has been the central place for the development of the norms, mores and values that have come to define the African American experience. And I would go so far as to say it was necessary, given our situation. The need for a shepherd was central to our ability to survive close to half a millennia of slavery/dehumanization. So it is almost ingrained in us (culturally, not individually) to place the leader of the local church in a place of esteem. The role of pastor was (and can still be) one of a shepherd and this bore out significantly in our history. Many of our greatest leaders were pastors, Bishop Richard Allen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., just to name of few. Add to this our inherently spiritual inclinations as a people and it is clear why we place our religious leaders in such high esteem (Note: this is not only endemic of Christianity, but all faiths within African American culture (See Elijah Muhammad, NOI)). The problem with this, is that it also bears a dark side. When you place a leader in such a position, it is nearly impossible for that individual to be able to maintain the humility and meekness demanded of the position, especially when money and power becomes involved (See King David, Biblical Example).

    Now this was not much of a problem for many of our leaders prior to the 60s, because our place in U.S. society, in and of itself, came with a sense of humility just by our station as a race in this country. The problem came when the elevation of our place in American society coalesced with the advent of the megachurch phenomenon beginning in the late 50s to early 60s and exploding in the 70s. Ironically, this initially was significant in our ability galvanize during the Civil Right era (large black churches were critical), but our gains in that area didn’t translate well to managing how those gains would impact us going forward.

    Unfortunately and regrettably, I have to agree with some of the comments here. It is our mimicking of the larger white church establishment that has us in the place that we are in today. The megachurch is uniquely white in terms of how it developed here in America. But when we talk about it in the context of the African American experience I do not believe it is a model that serves us well, in my humble opinion. And here is why.

    Church within the African American community serves a central function as a place of cohesion within our culture. While cohesion can happen within the megachurch, it is not built for relational richness (you can be at a megachurch and not even know many of the members). So from a social dynamic, the focus has to move from the community itself to the infrastructure of the organization. Why, because as the relational connections become weaker because of the size of the church, the organization’s infrastructure becomes the central place of connectivity in the church. Subsequently, you find megachurches morphing into religious organizations that look more like American businesses than faith communities. Simply put, it becomes a logistical issue. I do not believe faith communities scale well into megachurches. The larger they get the more likely, the most important things (community, love for each other, support) become casualties, but here is the problem (and it is exacerbated within our culture). As the membership grows, the money grows, the influence and prestige to the world increases and now the leaders of the church are in danger of compromise.

    For these reasons I am not surprised at what Eddie Long did or how Creflo Dollar reacted. It is not surprising given all of the aforementioned, but even with all that being said, the solution is very simple.
    Any believer who follows a man should first know for themselves who and what they are following. These men are taking advantage of a problem within our culture which is we still maintain certain aspects of our past. The shackles that were removed in the 19th century and removed systemically in the 60s have yet to be removed from us mentally and emotionally, so we will follow a leader like the Pied Piper when the very Word they proclaim to be prophets of, clearly speaks to the contrary.

    Creflo states in the video he doesn’t understand why anyone wants to sit Eddie Long down because he had a “wreck” when most of us have had multiple wrecks. Well, Creflo because the Word tells us that those who are in places of leadership and teachers are held to a higher judgment (James 3:1). When you get up, call yourself a man sent by God and place yourself in that esteemed position, than much is required of you (Micah 3:5-7) when you disqualify yourself (1 Corinthians 9:27). I could be wrong because I couldn’t sit through the whole video, but I doubt if Creflo quoted Scripture to supports his argument. If he did, please forward to me. Thanks and God Bless!!

    • Good extensive rundown. I appreciate someone taking the time to express their opinion in a careful thought out rational response. More of our people or Americans in general should pay closer attention to our so called spiritual leaders.

  • Michelle

    maybe god is saying the black church is wrong. I’ve often wondered if jesus meant for us to be separated and pandering to our own rather than pander to who we feel is best for our lives as christians. if we need to learn from each other we need to learn from others through jesus and open up. when my husband first told me of his gay sickness i needed support like never before and was not able to talk to anyone about that (thank god I did not talk to our pastor about that!) but i needed help and was afraid to approach anyone in our church due to embarrasement. i ended up going to another church nearby (not a black church) and received help for the unraveling of our home. while i appreciated that it made me think that as christians we are indeed family and need each other in so many way. we have needed extra support due to all the many years of oppression but is that whats best as things stand today? I see evil in many faces and colors and being part of black culture can’t be lost if you are truly in jesus flock. anyway i am making some point here that i feel I needed to reach out beyond my own comfort area and not trust only in the man of god in front of me.

  • God’s Soldier

    This is an amazing website….no you need to be ashamed of yourselves….then you have the NERVE to put •We moderate comments and prohibit personal attacks, threats, spam, lewd images, or the promotion of your personal website.

    You give hyprocrites a bad name!!!

    • Patrick Pete

      And as a Christian, I am ashamed that you would call yourself God’s soldier. Not sure what “God” you are talking about, but if it is the God of the Bible, then you need to read your Bible. The job of the saints is not to protect those who call themselves godly when their actions are contradictory to that very ideal. It is to be clear to differentiate between those who profess Him only and those who profess Him in word AND deed.

      Not a single statement articulated in this article is outside the lines in terms of calling out those who use God’s (that’s the God of the Bible) wonderful message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to advance their own personal agenda.

      Not sure who you are, but I seriously question whether you are a soldier of church organization or a soldier of Yahweh. A soldier of church dogma or a soldier of the message of Jesus articulated in the word of God. Both are two completely different things.

      One last thing, a lot of people who have been faithful to a church organization and dogma will go straight to hell. Conversely, a lot of people who haven’t spent as much time in church, but are obedient to God’s call to them will. I think you should spend more time examining yourself than disparaging comments without giving an articulate, enlightening reason why you are disparaging them. If this article is hypocritical than articulate why.

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