Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eddie Long Not Commenting After Latest Revelations By His Accusers

Well, this Eddie Long situation is like a song with no ending.

This thing just won’t die. Every time you kind of think it’s over, its not.  I have a feeling this story will have other chapters to it, so I’m guessing I’ll probably be posting something on Eddie Wrong at least one more time in the future.  Anyway, my 2 cents:

After receiving an out of court settlement earlier this year, two of Eddie Long’s accusers are now going public, recently speaking to an Atlanta TV station about their ordeal, and giving never-before revealed background information of their encounters/history with the “Bishop”. That’s deep. Seriously, who does that? In all my life I’ve never seen someone who collects on an out-of- court settlement, then purposely break the confidentiality agreement in order to “tell their story” because they feel they need to get stuff off their chest. Two things strike me about this:

1/ Those who have been disparaging and dismissing these men as just money-hungry liars need to really check themselves. If these men were all about the money, why would they put their $ettlement on the line just so they can “get their story out”? (... especially if this “story” was a lie they made up anyway, so they could get a payoff in the first place?) That would make no sense at all.

2/ It’s painfully obvious that these young men are very damaged emotionally and spiritually. And as they themselves have said, getting a pocketful of money hasn’t healed the wounds, as seen from this quote via

“The truth should’ve set [us] free,” said Parris. “I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything would go away. I was terribly wrong. I’m living a lifestyle meant to crash.”
The money is irrelevant, LeGrande said.

“I’m going to tell the world – money does not buy happiness,” said LeGrande. “When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number.”

“I feel like burning [the money],” he said.
(Article here)
...and from

"We still fight it every day because it's our life. People don't understand we're real people out here, we're not just victims. We're just trying to make it. We're trying to become men, without a father," LeGrande said.
The other thing money can't buy? An apology, which they said they never got from Long, even during the confidential settlement.

“Why is the person that I loved the most with all my heart, still, after all this is done, you can't look me in my eyes and say ‘I'm sorry.’ You can't pick up a damn phone to say ‘Yo, I know I messed up,’" Parris said.
They hope their book will help encourage other victims to come forward. And help each other to reclaim their lives.
"I just told the truth, that's all I did. Last time I checked it didn't come with a price tag," Parris said. (Article here)

Long now has the right to go after these men in court, to recoup the settlement. Early indications are that he seems uninclined to do so at this time.

In a letter to his congregation, Bishop Eddie Long said he will continue to "honor and abide by my commitment of confidentiality" after two former church members came forward with new details about their relationship with the charismatic pastor.
(Article here)

Smart move on his part, I suppose. But these two accusers also have said they plan want to write a book. So it will be interesting to see if Long allow it to be published, or if he’ll will he seek an injunction to prevent that, since it would be a further violation of the confidentiality agreement (not to mention a source of further embarrassment to him).  This could all get even more interesting. The very things Long didn’t want to be said in open court (hence, the settlement) would be said in a book that could easily sell tens of thousands of copies, if not more. 

Either way, Long’s chickens are still coming home to roost. As the scriptures say, that which is done in darkness shall come to light. I’m not sure if I should feel sympathy for this man or not, but frankly, a part of me does. Essentially his misdeeds have backed him into a corner, and the longer it takes for someone to come clean, he harder it is to come clean.  Of course, I feel more sympathy for his victims/accusers, and also the many thousands of members of New Birth, past and present, who’ve been impacted by this ongoing saga.

There are no winners here. None. There is nothing for anyone to gloat or rejoice in.  I firmly believe predators in the pulpit should be exposed, which is a key reason why I’ve had such a keen interest in this case. Men like Long do immeasurable damage to the name of Christ, the Kingdom of God, and to thousands of souls influenced by their actions.  In the end, Long’s church will never be down to zero members; many have left, but some will always stick by him, whether or not they believe he’s innocent of these accusations. However, I feel that there’s enough truth out there now so that most people with a decent level of discernment have already put 2 & 2 together, and have a good sense of what we’re really dealing with when we look at Eddie Long. The charade is over, and the mask has been removed, even if Eddie Long is still in denial about how bad it’s gotten. 

Long still needs to come clean. He does not meet the biblical qualifications of a bishop (1 Tim 3:1-7); that much is clear. Unless he comes clean, anyone who continues to support this man is essentially enabling him. For him to continue business as usual does his parishioners no good. And it does him no good either. Long deserves our prayers. I’d hate to think he’s become reprobate, past feeling, and beyond reach. I’d still like to see this thing have a happy ending somehow, some way, although it’s hard for me to realistically imagine how it could. But God is able. May His will be done.   

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