Another preacher of the gospel is facing challenges to his character. Bishop Eddie Long has received several allegations that he used his spiritual authority over young men in his congregation to perform sexual acts. This is a troubling situation not only for Long personally but also for his 25,000 member church family. This is also troubling for the church in general, and I for one truly hope and pray that these allegations are false and that this minister can be vindicated. There are sad similarities to the Ted Haggard story in that both of these ministers are well-known for their opposition to gay marriage; Haggard’s denial and ultimate confession of a homosexual affair did come to light. So, there is that connection and possible repeat performance.
Long has resisted the urge to discuss this matter publicly under the advice of his lawyers, but does intend to talk to his church about it Sunday. I would imagine we will all hear about then. I just hope it’s not another Jimmy Swaggart “I have sinned” performance.
It is important to note, however, that ministers of the gospel are flesh and blood human beings and are prone to sin and “falling” into temptation. Stories like this one surface from time to time, and the fallout for such an occurance is substantial. All of us as pastors and vocational ministers should be wary of our weaknesses and call upon the Lord for strength each and every day.
I have never met Bishop Long, but I certainly wish the very best for him and his congregation as the truth is revealed not only for him, but also for those who are accusing him of this behavior. If he is guilty of this indiscretion, however, he should resign or be removed from his position of leadership and influence.