New Birth, in Atlanta Georgia, apparently. No, for real, watch this video wherein Jewish Rabbi Ralph
Messy Messer declares that, after being wrapped in a “Holocaust scroll,” Long “now is raised up from a commoner to a kingship”:
Now, don’t get me wrong: I like to throw on a tiara and prance around like a princess just as much as the next girl. But Eddie and ‘nem have taken shenanigans to a whole ‘nother level of make-believing. This right here is blasphemy and idol worship — and it is dangerous.
It’s blasphemous and idol worship to lift this man up as “king” of this church because, as Bible-believing Christians know, there is only one King of the church, and that is Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of the church (1 Peter 2:6, Mark 12:10, Psalm 118:22-23), and the King of Kings (Revelation 1:5, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 15:3). Granted, the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:17 that we are heirs of God and “joint-heirs with Christ.” That means that as Christians, we are royalty and we will inherit the Kingdom of God, just as He promised us we would. However, let’s not get it twisted. Nobody can wrap us in a scroll and declare us kings & queens; it is not by what we do or what others do for us or declare over our lives that makes us royalty. It is only by Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven that we who were once eternally separated from God because of our sin now get to enjoy complete relationship with God through Christ. There is absolutely no scriptural support for what Messer is doing in the video with Long.
The acts in the video are dangerous, not only for Long’s salvation — “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” — but also for the souls of all of the people sitting up in this church and cheering this foolery on. But as scripture tells us, Long will be held responsible for all of the souls he’s led astray, “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:7)
For those who are hesitant to condemn this “ceremony” for lack of understanding of Jewish tradition, Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, Hebrew and Old Testament scholar and professor, gives a pretty great blow-by-blow take-down of Rabbi Messer’s acts in this Huffington Post piece.
For those who are hesitant to condemn it because of that oft misapplied scripture “though shalt not judge,” please understand these simple facts: To call something out as “wrong,” is definitely a judgment of what is right and what is wrong. However, it is not “wrong” to observe this abominable blasphemy and judge it as what it is, an abominable blasphemy. In fact, scripture compels us to do these things. Let’s look to 1 Timothy 5:19-21:
19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
Verse 19 is covered because we have a video and we’ve all seen it for ourselves at this point. When the Apostle Paul refers to “elders” in this chapter, and verse 20, specifically, he is referring to church leaders who are acting in a manner out of line with scripture. These leaders, Paul explains, are to be “judged,” — or called out as doing wrong — in front of everyone so that the people will learn that sin will not be tolerated in the church. That is the reason God gave us the Bible, so that we would have an understanding of how He wants us to live on this earth. And Verse 21 explains that there is NO ONE who is too special to be exempt from chastisement. As Christians, we should act as God acts, “the Lord disciplines those He loves.” (Hebrews 12:6)
But often, in an attempt to be seen as “non-judgmental,” we divorce God’s grace and love from His judgment. These characteristics of God, however, are not mutually exclusive. God is as merciful and loving as He is just. He cannot stand sin and will not allow it into Heaven. No, we do not have authority to cast our neighbors into Hell or send them up into Heaven — that is not our call. But because we know that God is exactly who He says He is, a God of Love and Mercy AND Justice, we as Christians ought to be compelled to call out sin when we see it, for the sake of the salvation of those who are living in it / participating in it / oblivious to it.
Through the Holy Spirit, we receive discernment or “judgment” of what is right and wrong (John 16:13). But what is most important is the heart behind our judgment. To speak personally, I have compassion for those who are lost at New Birth (or the “cult” as Dr. Boyce Watkins calls it) because they don’t know the word of God for themselves. So when I call them out for celebrating this false crowning, I do it because I am scared for them and sad that they are being deceived. I pray for their freedom and that the Holy Spirit will prick their hearts and lead them out of that place.
I am having much more trouble having compassion for this deceiver Eddie Long (for what he allegedly did to the young men in his church as well as his continued presence at the helm of New Birth), the fools carrying him in that chair, and this random man who is wrapping him up in a holy scroll — and that’s a problem. The whole time I watched this, I was thinking like Habakkuk, God just trip one of those fools with the chair! Or let the scroll be rent in two to expose to the world the utter blasphemy that is occurring!! But that’s just not the kind of God we serve. Though He will not be mocked, He acts in His own time, and must already know that these people’s hearts are already so hardened against the truth that having Long fall out of the chair — though it would be amusing — would not open these people’s eyes to the truth at this moment. Finding love in my heart for Long in these various situations has been difficult, but he actually needs our prayers most of all.
So, to those who fear being “judgmental,” you are right to be hesitant– judging in love and judging with condemnation are two completely different things. As Christians on the outside of this situation, all we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of Long, Messer, the other men on the stage, the people in this flock, the boys who were allegedly injured by Long and their families, and all of those who may have been led astray as a result of these scandals. We must also read and KNOW the Bible for ourselves, so that when we witness wickedness, we won’t be led astray, ourselves. And most of all, we must remember that our salvation lays in the hands of ONE soul, and that is Jesus Christ — not any pastor, teacher, or human being.
As far as I’m concerned, “crowning” is for the UK and the maternity ward. Where do you stand on Eddie Long?
Updated: Long has apologized for offending the Jewish community and denounces being called a “king.” Does it matter? Long says he doesn’t endorse the ceremony, but didn’t he endorse it by obeying Messer’s commands, sitting in the chair, and letting these minions carry him around the stage? Did he apologize to his congregation in the pulpit and tell THEM he’s not a king? Because from the looks of the video, they may have walked away with a different conclusion. Interesting how he can acknowledge the complaints of the ADL but not Christian leaders who point out the Biblical flaws in his leadership. And really?! He had no idea what was going on? Who lets some random joe walk in and crown people? Why would he allow this and if he felt it was wrong, why didn’t he stop it while it was happening instead of apologizing a week later? So many questions…