Eddie Long, King of Charlatans

It has to be said.  Eddie Long represents everything that is wrong with the decaying edifice that is the prosperity gospel mega-church movement.  I have friends that are or were once a part of that movement and who have high regard for Eddie Long.  I cannot share their enthusiasm for this man, who has systematically self-destructed over the past three years.

An outspoken critic of the LGBT community and leader of anti-gay hate-filled campaigns, Mr. Long’s credibility was destroyed when allegations of his having groomed young men in his church to become victims of his sexual advances surface and were settled out of court.  Such abuse of power would have earned him an ecclesial trial in any Church except the Roman Catholic, and he would have been defrocked.  The problem is that the money-making machine that is the prosperity gospel is full of self-proclaimed pseudo-messiahs of all sorts, and ecclesiastical supervision is non-existent.  If he had any integrity, he would have resigned his position at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but Mr. Long has repeatedly proven that integrity is not a word he understands.  At least he proclaimed that he would take a sabbatical and leave of absence from New Birth.  That sabbatical didn’t last very long.

The above link will lead you to a YouTube video in which a self-proclaimed “rabbi” who claims “dual citizenship” in America and Israel – the relevance of which escapes me –  proclaims Eddie Long a “king of Israel.”  The “rabbi” refers to the mantle – the cover placed over a scroll – as it’s “foreskin.”  The appropriate term is in fact “Mantle,” something one would expect a “rabbi” to know.  He also refers to the Gartel, or sash used to tie the scroll as its “belt of righteousness,” again a mistake any legitimate Rabbi would not make.  Long’s “rabbi” goes on to claim that the scroll in which he wraps Long during the ceremony was smuggled into Auschwitz “under the clothes” of holocaust victims and was recovered from the camps after liberation.  That suggestion is a physical impossibility given the size of the scrolls and the depths of the Nazi atrocities.  It represents a profound disrespect of the Jewish people that is frankly antisemitic, as do the comments on the video from the lackey who posted the video that claim the black people are the “real Jewish people.”   It is perhaps a measure of just how offensive the video is that the poster has disabled the voting function on the YouTube site.

I feel the need to be absolutely clear and let the chips fall where they may.  Eddie Long is a fraud, a narcissist and charlatan of the highest order – as are the rest of his colleagues in the prosperity gospel movement.  The only people who get rich following the teachings of the prosperity gospel are its preachers.  There is no temporal or eternal reward for handing over your life savings to criminals, whether or not they are dressed in clerical gowns.  Christianity has been perhaps irreparably damaged by these snake oil salesmen, and those of us who really care about the spiritual lives of human beings need to speak out.  Remaining silent in the face of evil is morally reprehensible.

Is it any wonder that institutional Christianity is imploding?

One thought on “Eddie Long, King of Charlatans

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s