I have experienced firsthand what many of the members of New Birth may feel as the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long surface. Ten years ago, CNN broke a story exposing my pastor from Houston-based mega-church Brentwood Baptist. The report included recorded voicemail messages provided by a young man from Atlanta who was reportedly in a relationship with my pastor. The report stated that the young man came forward because my pastor stop paying the young man’s $1,000 monthly allowance.
Hearing the allegations against Bishop Long, reminded me of that time in my life. I also thought of the times I visited the Lithonia-based New Birth, as well as, the Huntersville location. Those were joyful times. I so enjoyed the bishop’s messages.
The last few days have been tough for me. Not only did it open the pain of my past encounter in Houston, but it unearthed the confusion that I once felt. At the time, I misappropriated where my faith should lie.
I am reminded of the lesson gleaned from that time. Matthew 4:10, references where our worship is rightfully placed. This passage, along with several others i.e. Psalms 146:3, make the point that our worship, faith and guidance should focus on the Word of God not spiritual leaders.
I realized any leader called to lead a congregation or group of people, is still human. Whether we conclusively learn what happened isn’t the issue. Our faith in God should remain steady. We must pray for Bishop Long and his families. Regardless of the outcome, we must understand that despite all the accomplishments, the beautiful structures, the ministries, etc. Bishop Long as well as other leaders are human beings subject to potential flaws. As the body of Christ, we pray remembering where our trust is rooted. We position ourselves to support in the areas of most need through our prayers.
Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.
Watch Bishop Eddie Long’s response to the allegations.