If you’ve kept up with the latest scandal in the news about Bishop Eddie Long, then you know he has come under fire for some serious accusations. Some of his male parishioners claims Long’s been sexually involved with them for quite some time and has given them materialistic advancements.
Although he has a mega-church, located in Atlanta, Georgia- it’s televised and solidifies him as a televangelist. Bishop Long has grown his congregation to 25000 members. That’s extraordinary from his starting number of 300 members. He’s been preaching for over two decades; but now his ministry is being questioned with if the sexual accusations are true. If they are, then he stands a chance of losing some of his flock and maybe even his position as bishop. Devout parishioners are true and entrust their pulpit authorities’ or religious leaders’. Sometimes they see no wrong even when you have people like Eddie Long whose “leadership” is in jeopardy.
People often look to the church as the only place where morals, principles, values and upstanding community lies. Although we’ve seen a slew of mega-churches fall from grace, could it just be that their leaders are just to blame for their indiscretions, with no reflection on their churches. But this question comes up: Do you think that a devout, religious parishioner could take the leadership role after a famous leader has stepped down; could it save the institution’s reputation and maintain the notoriety?
On the other hand, do you remember Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, founders of the PTL Club? I can remember this being a scandal to recall. They ran an evangelical television show which was successful, brought down by a sexual scandal involving Jim Bakker and Jessica Hahn, conspiracy, and mail fraud. After it was all said and done, Jim Bakker faced Federal prison for some 40-plus years. The only difference from him and Eddie Long is that Jim and Tammy Bakker had their own TV network and they raised money as televangelist’s. And Bishop Long has a church with faithful members’ of 25,000. The only commonality involving their hypocrisy is that they both were and are being accused of sexual scenarios.
How about Jimmy Swaggart? Remember his scandal with a prostitute and how he was quickly removed by his Assembly. What do we say about all of this? Of course, this doesn’t resonate with all religious leaders, just those who aren’t perfect after they’re caught and accused.
If you know anything about the Holy Bible and its content, then you know that it holds a lot of sacred inter-denominational verses, life- lessons, characters, life trials and tribulations which can prophesize life itself. It even speaks of punishing and forgiving indiscretions and trespasses. So when we look at those religious leaders, is it fair to ask if they practice what they preach? Or, are they just clergyman with theological degrees– out to build wealth with bad intentions?
Could it be that mega-churches are corrupted by their own riches of materialism; covering up with ministries just to reel in vulnerable, unsuspecting souls? Are leaders using Christianity as a way to become rich or play God to keep the dollars flowing? I had one reader who ‘fessed up about his intentions to swindle people into providing him a lifestyle based on preaching Christianity! I hope he didn’t continue that charade because “what’s served up might come back to choke you.’
Well let’s face it–in these perilous times of economical strife, people are prone to do anything for money-even if that means tricking people into reaching into their pockets to support their God. It’s downright sickening and makes people question the leadership; because without leadership, who’s going to preach the sermon, the Bible truth, and follow it to the “T”?
In part, who will people turn to if sexual scandals, homosexuality, false prophets, financial dependency and deception plague our leaders’? It’s a question that’s challenging our intellect because if the religious domains fall, what’s next?