“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.