Bishop Eddie Long’s church has two different camps regarding the recent sexual abuse allegations brought against their Pastor. He still has followers who are supporting him, but now there is a group of New Birth Missionary Church members who want to see him step down, at least until the allegations are dealt with.
According to the San Diego County News, Bishop Long’s behavior has some members upset over the way he has handled this scandal so far. One of the first things mentioned by the two church members who were interviewed for the article said that Long should have made the church members aware of the scandal before it hit the media.
Apparently, the church members found out about Long’s sex abuse allegations with the rest of the world. His lack of keeping the members in the loop also occurred when the controversial billboard of Long went up without the consent of the church. Long’s billboard said, “Love like him, Live Like Him, Lead Like Him,” along with a gigantic picture of Long.
It sounds as if Bishop Long has created a world for himself where he calls the shots, and the Board of Directors of the New Birth Church will do anything he says. They were the ones who OK’d the billboard and the money to erect it.
According to the San Diego News article, the members of the board are “a meaningless group of folks who will rubber stamp anything Bishop Long tells them to.” The board consists of close friends and family members of the Bishop. This could not be better for Long when wanting to push something like this “pro-Long” billboard up.
Another problem that the church members who are circulating the petition have is Long’s lack of addressing the allegations definitively. Bishop Long’s address to the church was “vague, unsatisfactory, and lacking specific information in talking about the allegations levied against him,” and has many people in the church disturbed, according to the San Diego County News.
Long has never come out and said, “I did not sexually abuse these boys.” Instead, he appears to skip all around the subject, just saying enough that is true such as “I did nothing wrong.” Well, he can mean that in the eyes of the law “he did nothing wrong,” because all four boys were 16 at the time the alleged sexual contact took place, according to the website Get Religion.org. The age of 16 is the legal age of consent in the state of Georgia.
The petition is being signed by church members; the group is hoping to have at least 1,000 names by the time it is presented to Bishop Long. They are planning to present this petition to the Bishop and the Church Board members shortly after Nov. 15.
Reference: San Diego County News, Get Religion.cor