“…above reproach…”

 

I was in my early 20’s when I moved to Atlanta in the mid-90’s. I was accustomed to doing community service work through my fraternity, and I wanted to do something significant with my time – beyond just hanging out when I wasn’t traveling for work. I decided to become a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Atlanta because the need was (and still is) very great. I was one of only a handful of black man who applied to be mentors that year, yet the system was full of black boys seeking mentors – and even “father-figures”, if you will.

I knew the demands would be great, but I wanted to make an impact.

In addition to completing a formal application, I sat through extensive behavioral interviews with the Executive Director, Director, and Supervisor of Mentors. They also conducted extensive interviews with my close friends and family members to determine if my character was consistent across my circles of influence. I attended classes, submitted to an extensive criminal background check and drug screening.

BB/BS of Atlanta even made surprise visits to my apartment and searched for illegal/inappropriate content (with my permission and assistance) – just to make sure that my living conditions were acceptable for my future little brother.

Certainly, the implications were great – the agency would entrust the care of a 12-year-old boy to me. This kid came from a single parent household with multiple siblings. BB/BS of Atlanta wanted to be certain that I would represent them (and myself) properly at all times – and that they could trust me.

They wanted to make sure that I was above reproach.

Certainly the requirements for church leadership are even more important – considering the pastor is entrusted with guardianship over the souls of God’s precious cargo:

Titus 1:7-11 (New American Standard Bible…emphasis added)

 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain

8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,

 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.

This truth is explicitly clear – which is why the video below is even more difficult to watch:

Dale Russell, the investigator from Fox 5 Atlanta news is a dogged investigative reporter who works a story until he gets to the bottom of it – no matter what the results are (here’s a link to Russell’s extensive investigation of Eddie’s mess - content is updated daily). Russell has already interviewed other young men who have been “taken care of” by Eddie Long (who DO NOT claim any sexual activity or coercion from Eddie), yet they still confirm Eddie’s pattern: gifts, money, prestige, access to power – then you’re cut-off.

Eddie took to the podium again Tuesday night (9/28/10) to give his sheeple more of what they want – pacification from him that “everything is gonna be OK”, and “they’re not coming after me, they’re coming after YOU…THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST!:

Sorry, Eddie, but the “whole Body of Christ” didn’t allegedly give Ambien and oral sex to teenage boys and young men. In fact, the “whole Body of Christ” also didn’t provide cash, cars, and extravagant gifts. Wait – the members of New Birth probably did provide those niceties (through the money they lay at Eddie’s feet twice a week).

I contend that Eddie’s newly invigorated “defiant stance” is a call to arms for support from the more unhinged sheeple who still claim him as their “daddy”. This kind of intimidation is nothing new for those of us who escaped the church mafia. We are threatened for exposing dirty secrets (I get death threats over exposing false doctrine – can you imagine if I was a victim of one of these over sexed power-hungry perverts?). The language Eddie is using gives the mind-numb minions license to “lay hands” on ANYBODY who “put’s their mouth on the Mand of Gawd” – even when we KNOW that scripture has been butchered in the past regarding speaking against “God’s anointed”.

And since we’re talking about butchered scripture, the serpent Carlton Pearson had to slither from under his heretical rock to throw his 2 cents in. Since most pastors are afraid to debate him coherently, his apostasy will go unchallenged. I’ve written about Carlton Pearson in the past, and one could surmise that Pearson (along with the sexually deviant and pedophilic demons that haunted Earl Paulk) are almost solely responsible for the heretical mess that has become of Earl’s neph-son D.E. Paulk. Interesting note: Pearson (whose closet door is almost translucent) enjoyed a cozy relationship with Eddie Long (and most of the other big-name alpha pimps out there), and TD Jakes (whose closet is being held closed with duct tape and bubble gum) is Eddie Long’s “spiritual daddy”. Are you starting to see a common thread here? I hope so… 

The bottom line is this: ANYBODY who claims leadership over the Lord’s people (read that line again…I wrote THE LORD’S PEOPLE) should not do anything to bring shame to His name – or theirs. That means being involved in evil, being around evil, being in an ambiguous situation that may cause someone to even assume you’re associated with something ungodly.

Period. Exclamation point.

If the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Atlanta can ensure that their mentors are above reproach – why can’t the sheeple who allow vipers like Eddie to slither into the pulpit do the very same thing?

May God have mercy as He continues to rip the veil off of the foolishness that is purported in His Name…

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18 Responses to ““…above reproach…””


  1. 1 Broken Pastor September 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

    ST
    You are right on. Maybe, just maybe, you and others like Jonathan Walton the Harvard Divinity professor in his CNN article yesterday are ringing the alarm loud enough to get independent churches to line up with biblical mandates for leadership.

    Maybe…. Well we can certainly keep on praying and working.

    Graced.

    • 2 speaking truth October 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Maybe so, BP but I am completely convinced that a true slave will ALWAYS seek a master. Even as we seek Christ as slaves to the Gospel, others will seek more men to satisfy their fleshly desire to belong to “a group”.

  2. 3 Rebecca September 30, 2010 at 10:50 am

    After viewing that small video clip from New Birth Church from this past Tuesday 9/28/10, my heart is heavy.
    I want to reach out and speak to those in leadership who are close to this situation and feel obligated to keep him or what you know “covered”, because that is what you’ve been told or what you believe is right. I truly understand what you’re going through and I pray for you to seek God and follow Holy Spirit and what He reveals in The Word of God and not what you’ve been told to do.
    I sat where you are sitting now and even though what I experienced involved a ministry that was on a smaller scale, I understand.

    When God ALLOWS something in the life of who we consider to be our “Spiritual Leader” to be exposed, how you as a leader respond is a matter of life and death to you, your family and others.

    Many people are looking at YOU, not just Eddie Long. How you respond will effect them. I know. After leaving, (the place I served for many years), a number of people called me to say, “I knew something wasn’t right, but because I trusted you and your judgment, and I knew you were close to the pastor that as long as you were there, I was supposed to stay.”
    But, when you left, I knew that my “instincts” were right.

    When something of this magnitude takes place instead of a heart of repentance and humility what do you see?
    What I saw is “The “Show” must go on.” Why?

    I don’t know the motives of Eddie Long’s heart, only God does. But, one reason the show must go on, and you continue to have church as usual is to not upset the people and have them question anything. For as long as the people keep coming the money keeps flowing. This grieves my heart beyond words.

    Do you know why the leader can’t step away? The risk of losing what he thought he had built is too great.
    Read I Samuel chapter 15 and examine it carefully. How did Saul react? You’ll see that even after realizing God had rejected him and was removing the kingdom from him, all he cared about was how he looked in front of the people. He begged Samuel to come with him to worship and offer sacrifice in order to “keep appearances” so the people would be convinced that everything was OK.
    God allowed Saul to remain king for many years after He had rejected him, yet God was not with him.
    It is dangerous to remain in that kind of environment.

    People of God … members of New Birth this is a Joel 2 moment, but do you see it?
    Jesus is walking among the lampstands. Don’t be so proud to assume that He won’t remove your lampstand, unless you repent. It is dangerous to stand with Jezebel. Your family will suffer, even if you are not participating in sin with her, because you stand and cover the deeds of Jezebel you are accountable.
    Read REVELATION chapter 2.

    Where are the leaders who minister in the Lord’s presence? Why are they not standing and weeping between the entry room to the Temple and the altar, crying out …
    “Spare your people, Lord! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, Where is there God?”

    Your soul is more valuable than being a part of any earthly empire. Your loyalty and devotion belong to Jesus Christ and not another. I pray that you will be set free from a man pleasing spirit and that you will choose to follow your “true” Daddy ~ Abba Father in Heaven.

  3. 4 djdesignz September 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    What does it say when God’s children aren’t safe in the place He’s established for us to worship HIM!!!? How much longer will God tolerate men doing THEIR thing in His name?

    Your absolutely right… “leaders” who believe that the sheep belong to them are arrogant and misguided! They belong to the Lord and we shouldn’t be surprised when God has to remind man of that fact! For HIS names sake, He will perform that which is necessary to prepare the Bride!

    So regardless of what WE as Believers want to believe, in the end… the Body of Christ will be one and WE as Believers should welcome anything God does to accomplish that! The problem is, in the law of nature the thing replicates itself. Apple seeds produce apple trees, fish beget fish etc.

    So to in mega churches, the model replicates itself because its an environment full of itself! In human nature, what you follow you become. That’s why Jesus commands us to follow Him! That’s why Paul said follow me as I follow Christ! Get the picture? So if the “leader” is saying… “I am the model, you can be like ME! You can attain to MY level of prosperity or success if you follow ME!”

    The sad truth is that many of the sheep continue to live and struggle in or just above poverty. While the “Mand of God” continues to prosper by dangling the carrot of “This can be you if you have the faith to believe!” So it’s no mystery what the sheep are chasing and why we are unable to see the Truth! Our focus has been the “Mand of God” instead of the only Begotten Son of God who is Christ Jesus!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  4. 5 gcmwatch September 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    “TD Jakes (whose closet is being held closed with duct tape and bubble gum)”

    My left eye just about popped out when I saw that. IST, flesh and blood couldnt have given you that sentence.

    Carry on soldier of the Lord.

    And lest we forget….

    Look at what his rotund oneness was doing and you’ll understand why he is acting so spiritually deep right now.

    • 6 Rebecca September 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      gcmwatch,
      I appreciate what you do along with ST, “Sounding the Alarm” for God’s people to Awake to Righteousness.

      I just hit the link on “lest we forget” comment and was sickened by TD Jakes commentary on this passage of scripture.

      “Ruth turns to Naomi and says “I shall not leave thee.” She makes her statement to this woman…that sounds somewhat, somewhere in between poetry, intimacy, and borders on lesbianism. People don’t even know how to explain what Ruth said to Naomi. It makes them uncomfortable. They’re afraid to talk about it. They don’t want to teach on it. Same thing with David and Jonathan…where there were same-sex relationships getting too close, people don’t even know what to say.”

      It seems that the person who would come up with this interpretation has been given over to a reprobate mind.
      I pray that the LORD will deliver His “True Church” from such deception.

  5. 7 marriageafterhisheart September 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I was sent a link to your blog by way of terry@breathinggrace. It was such a good meal that I am still digesting it…. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, now I am on to peruse your blog for seconds….

    in Christ

    jamala thomas

  6. 9 Brother K September 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Brother, I’ve been most impressed with the grace you and some of our fellow New Birth refugees have been demonstrating in your personal blogs as well as in comments on other websites. I’m sure those left behind might expect you to enjoy the schadenfreude but you’re proving with your actions what you’ve maintained all along in your writing: ministry models such as the one we’re watching unravel right now are injurious to all involved and there is no joy in having to be the one to point that fact out.

    On another note: I remember being there at NBS when Eddie had one of those ‘ring services’ for Andre and I felt more than a little discomfort at what I was watching. Reading about the hideous twist that same ‘service’ allegedly took with these young men has made me feel downright nauseous. Can you remind me of the circumstances/purpose of that little exercise? I mostly remember that it happened the same Sunday the AJC broke the story of how Eddie cleanly laundered 4 million bucks tax-free through a charity he’d set up…feel free to drop note off-board (or edit this comment) if necessary.

    • 10 speaking truth October 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Brother K!!! – glad to hear from you bro! I pray that you and your tribe are well (and the little one’s are growing like weeds). Been praying for you and yours, bro…

      I do remember the “ring ceremony” at NBS. I’m sure Eddie’s alleged “covenant ceremonies” with young men was slightly different – but the aim was the same: the ring with the NB “trident” symbol is a sign of a “covenant relationship” with Eddie/New Birth. He also declared before the congregation that Landers had his back, and Eddie has Landers back (if you remember though, NBS presented Landers with a different big gaudy ring as a sign of “appreciation for his pastorate”…yup – you paid for it to, bro. Apparently it was taking Eddie to long to bling him down, so Landers had his staff go buy another one). And yes – it was around the same time that the AJC broke the story about Eddie skimming off of his own charity – and Landers defiantly defended him.

      Same song, different verse…don’t be such a stranger anymore, bro!

  7. 11 ezekiel September 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    ISP, I’m a long time reader and first time poster. This Eddie Long thing looks so bad on all of us. It gives heretics like Carlton Pearson room to swoop in with his false gospel and talk about “the church” which is NOT the Body of Christ. Great post, that scripture should be on the door of every church and church office. That is how we are to keep from shaming the gospel.
    ISP I would love to hear your testimony of how you came out of your fraternity. I’m currently at a college campus and am new to the whole greek thing. From what I’ve researched greek life is not as innocent as they claim it is and is completely incompatible with Christianity. I know that is not what this blog is about but I think it would be a great tool to hear about what happened when you left your fraternity.
    thanks for your blog.

    • 12 speaking truth October 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      ezekiel,

      I never denounced my fraternity – I’m still a member (though I am not an active member). I know that many have debated the potential conflict between Christianity and fraternal organizations. I also have friends who have resigned from/denounced their allegiance to the Masonic Order based on concerns regarding ritualistic worship and more (I’m not a Mason so I don’t know what goes on within the group). I can attest that my fraternity has not put me in conflict with my core Christian values (except for certain aspects of time committment which in the past conflicted with my worship schedule – in those instances the frat lost). I did not participate in any ungodly rituals, nor have I sworn allegiance to my frat above all else. I won’t necessarily dismiss them all out of hand (again, except for the Masons because documented evidence to the contrary).

      Regarding the activity you see on campus with the frats and sororities represented there, you’ll have to exercise sound judgement regarding affiliation (we all tend to act “differently” when we’re away from om and dad for a considerable amount of time at tha age). I will tell you this – anything that gets in the way of your relationship with God through Christ…ANYTHING…needs to be put away. As I said, I’m not an active member, but it is because of life priorities – not doctrinal conflict.

      Thanks for asking…

  8. 13 ezekiel September 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I apologize, I should have put IST instead of ISP. sorry!!

  9. 15 GaryV October 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    We’ve been calling on Fast Eddie to repent for his heresy for years…..but heresy isn’t born of misunderstood Scripture. It’s born of an unrepentant heart. Eddie’s heresy and perversion are not the disease, but the symptoms. His perversion of The Gospel, Christ, the Atonement, and his office came from the same source as his sexual perversion.

    Out of the abundance of that perverted HEART he spoke perverted doctrines and committed perverted acts.

    My heart breaks for those young men…………and for Eddie Long.

    • 16 speaking truth October 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      GaryV,

      Brother I’m sitting here nodding my head in agreement as I type a reply – you hit the nail on the head! There is a CLEAR connection between falling away from sound doctrine and falling into all manner of ungodly behavior and activity. It pains me to think that folks can compartmentalize heresy and sin as though a false teacher and a closeted homosexual pastor are diametrically opposed. You’re right – we’re seeing the symptoms of the disease…we haven’t addressed the disease yet.

  10. 17 Pat October 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Judgment begins in the house of the Lord.

  11. 18 TheEndTimesAreUponUs November 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    take a look at Neil Ellis’ Fake Prophecy for Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church before the scandal became public. if this is not the face of a guilty man,then i dont know what is.

    http://theendtimesareuponus.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/is-this-the-face-of-a-guilty-man-eddie-long-is-caught-off-guard-by-a-fake-prophecy-meant-to-decieve-new-birth-church-members/


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