I really hope this was before the whole scandal...
He took advantage of his position, destroyed so many lives in the process, and
they are crowing him for a job well done!
Are they that stupid
Indeed, we are living in the end of days.
I hope more stuff comes out and hopefully he can go to hell and burn
to ashes for all I care.
New Birth ceremony with Torah disrespectful, Jewish leaders say *| ajc.com
Jewish leaders say New Birth ceremony was disrespectful
Christian Boone, AJC-18 hrs ago
A ceremony held Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in which Bishop Eddie Long was wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and carried upon a throne, has the Internet abuzz and Jewish religious leaders offended and questioning its appropriateness.
"He's a king. God has blessed him," said Rabbi Ralph Messer before covering Long in a scroll "[that] may still have the dust of Auschwitz and Birkenau." Messer referred to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland where millions of Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
Messer said his parchment, a handwritten copy of the holiest book within Judaism, was 312 years old. His mention of Auschwitz-Birkenau implies his scroll was one of those recovered from the camps when they were liberated by the Allies toward the end of World War II.
It's impossible to authenticate Messer's claim without examining the texts up close, said Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B'nai Torah in Sandy Springs. While rare, Torahs can be easily purchased, even on eBay, he said.
Regardless of whether the scroll is what its owner says it is, its usage in a ceremony ordaining Long as "a king" is offensive to many Jews, said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The ceremony, viewed more than 129,000 times on YouTube, "in no way represents any Jewish ritual that I'm familiar with," Nigut said. "We do not proclaim individuals to be kings."
In a statement released Thursday through New Birth, Messer said critics misunderstood his intent. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is attempting to reach Messer, whose ministry is based in Colorado.
"My message was about restoring a man and to encourage his walk in the Lord," Messer said. "It was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king."
The YouTube video, at least, seems to indicate otherwise, Heller told the AJC.
"We wouldn't wrap a Jewish person in a Torah scroll and declare him king," he said. "As a Jew, I find that use of symbols very off-putting."
The messenger is as controversial as the message, Jewish leaders say.
Messer, according to a biography on his organization's website, is "pioneering a work to bring the ‘Good News' of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in the Torah to the ends of the Earth." He is active in the Messianic Judaism movement, which fuses evangelical Christian beliefs with elements of Jewish tradition.
"The Jewish community does not associate itself with the Messianic congregations," Heller said. "We don't feel like this does due justice to either the Jewish or Christian community."
Messer's biography says he has ties with prominent evangelicals including the Rev. Kenneth Copeland of Lubbock, Texas, and Paula White, pastor of a charismatic mega-church based in Florida. It says he has made frequent appearances on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
In his statement Thursday, Messer said Sunday's presentation "was simply a way of bringing honor to a man who had given his life to the Lord and had given so much to his church, the Atlanta metro area and throughout the world."
"Lifting him on the chair was to acknowledge and honor him," he said, adding it is consistent with rituals performed at Jewish weddings and Bar mitzvahs.
Long, who last May settled a sexual coercion lawsuit filed by four former New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members, likely took comfort in Messer's restorative message.
"You can't attack [Long]," Messer said Sunday. "He's sealed. Wherever he turns, the power of God is there. ... It's not him, it's the king in him."
As Long sat behind him, perched on a throne under a spotlight, Messer chanted repeatedly, "It's a new birth," eliciting cheers from the congregation.
Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.: Eddie Long Is Not a 'King'
I am writing this response to a YouTube video circulating widely on the internet in in which Eddie Long, the troubled pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta GA is apparently crowned king with the ritual use of a Jewish Torah scroll. (The reader may know him for the recent scandal in which he was accused by five young men of sexual misconduct. After initially denying the allegations, he went into settlement talks with them.) A number of specious claims are made during the ritual which I would like to refute.
The unidentified man who, (in the YouTube video to which I had access he is identified subsequently as Ralph Messer), represents himself as a Jew. He may well be some sort of Messianic Jew, a person who claims Jewish heritage and recognizes Jesus as the Son of God, but who is not part of one of the major Jewish movements: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, Renewal. He does not, however, represent recognizable Jewish thought or practice in his (mis-) representations of the Torah and other Jewish sancta -- or for that matter, New Testament and Christian biblical interpretation and theology.
The claim that Holocaust Torahs cannot be insured "because there are no more" is patently false. They are regularly insured as are other one of a kind objects d'art, i.e. the works of Picasso.
The Torah cover is not a "foreskin." Hyper-masculine, hyper-sexualization of the Torah reduces the holy Torah to a problematic phallic symbol -- God's? or Long's? -- and categorizes the most destructive behaviors associated with New Birth ministries in recent years. Grammatically and symbolically, the Torah is feminine in Hebrew and is personified as "She," as in "She is a Tree of Life," in Prov. 3:18.
The Temple in Jerusalem was not a synagogue or Beth Midrash, where Torah scrolls were kept and studied.
The Torah wrapper is not referred to as a "belt of righteousness."
The tree in the vision in the book of Revelation whose "leaves are for the healing of the nations," (22:2), is a fruit tree -- not a Torah scroll -- and the text does not say that there are "39 leaves" as claimed in the video.
The claim that "only one of great authority" is given a "finger" to touch the scroll is patently false. Any bar or bat mitvah, girl or boy, woman or man, who has completed the rite of passage, can chant the Torah according to the (minhag) custom in their congregation. Torah scroll pointers, called "hands," (yadayim), not "fingers" are common gifts and possessions in Jewish families and communities.
The claim that 90 percent of the Jews in the world have "never seen, approached or touched" Torah scrolls is utterly without foundation. The Torah is taken out of the Ark during Shabbat and other services; it is processed through the assembly twice where people reverence it (Her!) by touching and kissing it/Her.
The frequent references to significant numbers may be an attempt to mimic the Jewish mystical tradition of Gematria that elicits meanings from numbers and their contexts. The speaker is devising his own system without reference to any of the classical texts in Judaism, frequently by simple free- and word-association.
There is no verse in the scriptures where Jesus calls himself "the eternal government of God" as claimed by the speaker.
The point that "these" -- presumably Torah scrolls or just Holocaust Torah scrolls are only given to "cities in need of anointing" is false. Individuals, families and religious communities own and commission Torah scrolls and keep or give them as they see fit, to synagogues, Jewish seminaries and other schools and museums.
Even if the speaker identifies as a Jew and has Israeli citizenship, he does not speak for "the Jewish people," "the land of Israel" or "the state of Israel."
His address of Eddie Long as a biblical or Israelite king is without foundation in the scriptures or in reality.
The notion that there is such a thing as a "king chromosome" is a fiction, as is the claim that it is kohenic, that is priestly; the Israelite and Judean monarchs -- there were queens as well -- were not priests.
The man's articulation of what "God wants," is to say the least unsubstantiated outside that particular setting.
The man never says how he knows that none of Long's ancestors or relatives has ever seen a Torah scroll.
While there are some traditional reflections on the human body -- including DNA and chromosomes -- in the mystical Kabbalistic tradition, the speaker is crafting a verbal montage without reference to the classical texts or their theologies.
He attributes a quote to "Jewish doctors" stereotyping an entire community as conflating cellular biology with his Hebrew mysticism without actually naming or quoting any single "Jewish doctor" who holds such an opinion.
The "crowns" in Torah scrolls stem from a particular -- now-normative -- calligraphy style, but other types of calligraphy have been used through the ages to produce legitimate Torah scrolls.
The claim that the kings of Israel were crowned with Torah scrolls wrapping them has no foundation in the biblical text. According to the bible's own chronology the written Torah did not come into existence until the reign of King Josiah in the sixth century BCE (2 Kgs 22), some four hundred years after the time of David. However, the great second century rabbi Hanina ben Teradion, was however wrapped in a Torah scroll and burned alive in his martyrdom. Perhaps he has confused or conflated the traditions.
While the Torah poles are called, etzim, "trees," they are not known as "justice and blessing."
The speaker's claim that his speaking "life" to Eddie Long as a Jew has some meaning, is utterly without meaning.
The speaker's prediction that the ritual -- his antecedent is unclear -- will arouse either "death" or "life" in someone -- Long? Or the congregation? -- is his own Gnosticism, knowledge that is not shared by those outside that particular setting.
There is no precedent for presenting anyone, even a fictitious Israelite-ish monarch with the Torah wrapper.
The donning of the tallit, prayer shawl, is done by those who have completed their bar or bat mitzvah -- whatever it was that just occurred, it had none of the requisite elements of a bat or bar mitzvah. In addition the tallit is donned by pulling it over one's head and reciting the traditional prayer, which was not done. It is also not draped like a clergy stole.
The elevation of Long lifted in the chair by four men seems to have been borrowed from Jewish wedding festivities and has noting to do with coronation; there is no evidence of this practice among Israelite or Judean monarchs.
The Aaronic blessing (Num 6:24-26) is a blessing for the people and not a putative leader.
It is unfortunate that the speaker chose to plunder the sacred traditions of Judaism as he invented novel interpretations of biblical texts and imagery affirm and elevate an individual who had admittedly broken the sacred trust between pastor and congregant.
Someone I know sent me a text telling me how sad they were he died. I didn't even dignify that with a response, but I was this close to typing "I'm Not!"
I'm not one to discuss people's appearance and their health, but the guy was looking like death warmed over for the past few months.
Bishop Eddie Long dies of aggressive form of cancer, church says
Bishop Eddie Long dies of aggressive form of cancer, church says
1:17 p.m Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 AJC Homepage
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s senior pastor Eddie L. Long has died, according to the church.
He was 63 years old.
"Today it is with great sadness I announce that our bishop has transitioned,” Bishop Christopher C. Smith said.
The expectant crowd, many already informed by social media and text messages, wailed and shrieked at the official announcement.
"He's no longer in pain,” Smith continues. "He's no longer dealing with the complications that he had to deal with."
A statement released by the church Sunday morning confirms Long died early Sunday after “a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.”
A memorial service for Eddie Long is planned Jan. 25 at his church
There had been much speculation about Long’s health after he posted a video last year of him looking extremely thin. He never publicly disclosed the nature of his illness.
Twelve-year church member Nia Pillow, 20, said Long was more than a bishop to her. The film artist and cinematographer said he helped launch her on her career path when she was 13 and asked to help operate the church cameras.
People thought she was too young, she said.
"Everybody said no, but Eddie Long said ‘yes," Pillow said.
The statement adds Long maintained his commitment to God as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit.
Long was absent at several services during recent months but was present during Christmas and New Year’s Eve services.
First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, Bishop Long’s wife of 27 years said she is confident through her belief in God that her husband is now resting in a better place.
“Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” she said.
Long delivered his final message to New Birth as the church ushered in 2017.
“He told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested,” the statement says.
Long was named in a 2010 lawsuit by former New Birth members Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who alleged the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relationships.
The court case was dismissed and Long settled out of court.Aaliyah Butler, 41, said Long had helped her personally.
The mother of four, who was leaving the church with her young daughter Sunday after the announcement of Long's death, said he "mentored" her oldest son, now grown, when he was younger and had gotten into "some trouble."
Long talked to the boy, Butler said, "and I think his mentorship helped lead him on a direct path."
Now, 24, her son is trying to start his own used car sales business.
Butler addressed the molestation allegations indirectly, referring to them as the 2010 "attack," which to her was against not only Long but all Christians.
"A lot of people left; a lot of people stayed," she said, adding that she never considered leaving the church she has attended for 17 years. She also said she will not leave now that Long is gone, though, she said, "it is a sober moment for us."
Long is survived by his wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, four children: Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor; and three grandchildren.
The family appreciates support and respect of their privacy as they prepare along with New Birth for the homegoing service to honor Bishop Long. The date and other details will be announced in the near future.
Men who sued Eddie Long for sexual misconduct address bishop’s death
- Christian Boone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
From the moment they went public in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution more than five years ago, the young men who accused Eddie Long of sexual coercion forever altered the bishop’s outsized legacy.
As word spread Sunday about Long’s death after an extended bout with cancer, everyone wanted to know what his accusers — four young men, all in their mid-to-late-20s now — thought about the charismatic pastor’s legacy.
“We’ve been hearing from people from all walks of life — the media, celebrities, gospel singers — wanting to hear what we think,” said Spencer LeGrande, one of four former New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members who filed suit against Long in 2010. A fifth accuser, Centino Kemp, came forward as the lawsuit entered a mediation process. An undisclosed financial settlement was reached soon after.
LeGrande, now living Charlotte where he co-owns a thriving sneaker cleaning company, and two of the plaintiffs, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg, told The AJC Sunday that when the time is right, they’ll have their say.
“As much as we’d like to make a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long, we’ve all decided to remain silent, for now,” Long’s accusers said in a joint response given exclusively to The AJC. They said Jamal Parris, the fourth former New Birth member to sue Long, also consented to the statement.
“We’re all brothers in this,” LeGrande said.
Their statement concluded, “Our perspectives will be addressed in our book, Foursaken, which we hope to release soon.”
LeGrande said they’re still shopping for a publisher. The book will focus on their lives after breaking ties with the controversial bishop, who consistently denied the allegations against him.
LeGrande was 15 when he met Long at one of New Birth’s satellite churches in Charlotte, he told The AJC in 2011. The sermon, on the importance of fathers, left him in tears.
“When I started crawling, that was the day [my father] left,” LeGrande said.
Long filled that void, LeGrande said, telling him “I got you … I will be your dad.” Soon they were talking regularly on the phone.
The lack of a strong male influence was a common thread that bound Long’s accusers. Parris told The AJC in 2011 his father was abusive and rarely present. He said he met the bishop, whom he said he would eventually call “daddy,” when he was 14 and new to Atlanta.
Both men said they were 17 when the sexual advances began. By then he had taken them on several trips, to Kenya, Honduras and the Bahamas, among other exotic locales, introducing them to world-famous celebrities and lavishing them with new cars and their own apartments.
Their relationship with Long affected each man differently, but profoundly. Parris told The AJC in 2011 he was battling suicidal thoughts — “I’d love to take pills and never wake up,” he said.
Long never addressed the scandal directly, but in a sermon earlier this year he, too, had briefly entertained taking his own life.
“I had a moment…I had a moment…I wanted to kill myself and was ready,” he told his New Birth congregation, referring to a time when he said he felt “condemned from the four corners of the Earth.”
“My family loved me,” he said. “My church loved me…Regardless of what anybody said, love lifted me and carried me. And you didn’t judge me.”
Now it appears his accusers will have the final say on the most trying chapter in the life of New Birth and its bishop.
What Kind of Welfare, Witchcraft Hocus Pocus Hoedown is this?!
This article sums up my feelings on the black church and all the gay men who are in them perfectly. I made a decision to stop going to church years ago due to all the hypocrisy and bullshit that I witnessed. I don't go to places where I'm not welcomed.
How the Death of Bishop Eddie Long Exposes the Black Church’s Dangerous Hypocrisy
Written by Ernest Owens
The death of Bishop Eddie Long struck a nerve with me that I would have never imaged. Perhaps it was the hypocrisy found in Kim Burrell’s anti-LGBT remarks earlier this month or the fact that I now see more Black clergyman popping up to support President-Elect Donald Trump — who also has a VP that believes in LGBTQ conversion therapy. Maybe it's the deep distrust with faith communities that have given me a bittersweet reaction to Long’s passing.
When I saw the news break on social media, I automatically took to Twitter to see the reactions. Many were celebrating Long as a “spiritual warrior,” a “mentor,” and a “church leader.” No one, in the first few moments his death became public, would dare speak on the allegations surrounding him reportedly coercing young adult men for sex. No one would speak on the congregation members who would denounced and publically attacked these men for speaking to the media. And nobody would talk about the hypocrisy of his church and how they defended a man who has held anti-LGBTQ positions while seemingly living a double life.
This morning, I had enough with allowing church folks on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed fail to recognize their double standards at the expense of my emotional tillage. I called it out, all of it. I went off about the Black church and how it likes to erase LGBTQ folks and our trauma out of the narrative. I explained how “love, grace, and mercy” is only given to those who preach hetrosexism, but not for the same-gender loving and those afflicted by sexual abuse. It was a Sunday, so I gave a social media sermon that went viral. Enough was enough and I wasn’t having it.
The reactions I received online ranged from those saying they were going to “pray for me,” telling me I was “disrespectful” for “speaking ill of the dead” and victim-blaming of Long’s accusers by saying “they only wanted money.” And despite all of the church folks judging me severely for my “abomination lifestyle,” it only furthered my point that the Black church is still a hostile environment that isn’t inclusive or honest about the members of its congregation and what “love, grace, and mercy” truly looks like.
I grew up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Houston, Texas. Every summer, grandmother used to take my brother and I down to Moro Temple in Marianna, Arkansas. There were no Wal-Marts, CVS, or McDonald’s in Marianna — just gas stations, churches, and folks who were raised in houses in the same zip codes as their great grandparents lived. We went to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and sometimes Saturday. I knew I was gay my entire life — I believe my whole family knew as well. Every Sunday, the pastor would lay hands on me and tell me to keep a prayer in my head of something I wanted “healed.” And each week, it would be the same thing — “Gay heal me of being gay.” Another Sunday, another fail. Eventually, I realized that nothing was wrong with me and that what actually needed to be healed were my finances, friendships, and family. But for many of the other boys in that church — they weren’t as resilient.
I’ve spent a great deal away from the church and it’s men like Bishop Eddie Long that was responsible for that. Long was notorious for leading anti-LGBTQ marches in the name of the Lord and he preached bigotry in the name of Jesus. His congregation backed him every step of the way. I grew up seeing black queer people being told they were not worthy. A pastor once told me that my “lifestyle” would send me straight to hell.
And yet, I also would see the ministers in the pulpit prey — not pray — on the vulnerability of queer men. I had friends who privately dated the pastor’s son or tell me how they met a deacon on a same-sex dating app. The allusion of the closeted man wasn’t just proliferated in the church, but flourishes there. Why would anyone want to live their truth in a space that condemns it? Why would anyone feel safe in a sacred territory that will cast the first stone while saving another one to throw later?
The silence of those who have had those conversations for years was shattered with the death of Bishop Eddie Long died. I was one of those individuals who often keep to myself on matters of the Black church as a way to show solidarity. But when will the church ever have my back? When will those who say they love me actually defend my existence? “Hate the sin, not the sinner,” is a condescending way of passing hate and isn’t anything worthy of acceptance. I am a child of God. I am not an abomination, but another example of the creator’s divine intervention.
I send my condolences to Bishop Long’s family, but I also mourn those impacted by his bigotry, hypocrisy, and discrimination. I pray that Long had a change in his heart before his passing — but I also pray for the victimization of those still living in a church that has wanting of the “love, grace, and mercy.” May their hearts and minds change as the world begins to as well.
What Kind of Welfare, Witchcraft Hocus Pocus Hoedown is this?!
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)