Bishop Eddie Long, Ralph Messer Another “What D. Heck” Moment…
I’ll admin, the Holy Spirit has asked me to do some seemingly weird things before. I have no doubt in my mind that God’s ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. So, one should expect that at some point, God will ask you to do things that go beyond logic or that might even go beyond our natural reason. After all we serve a supernatural God, so the supernatural should be an everyday experience in the life of a Christian. However, what happened at New Birth Church in Atlanta this past week was neither supernatural nor logical.
For the 16 people in the world that have not seen the video you can view it here. In it, you will see a Denver minister (I hesitate to even call him that, much less a “rabbi”. According to several news stories I’ve read he has admitted to not being a formally ordained rabbi.) named Ralph Messer walking through a supposed Hebrew king coronation ceremony in which he demonstrates the “crowning of the king” using Eddie Long, pastor of New Birth. The video gets most ridiculous when they proceed to lift up Eddie Long (accused sex offender, embezzlement of church money and who’s wife has threatened him with divorce because of his shenanigans) on a chair and parade him around the stage announcing him as king. Don’t take my word, look at the video for yourself.
Now, I have heard sermons being taken out of context before. Preachers have been accused of heresy in the past because of one line or two taken out of a sermon they preached. Good intentions or not, this so called demonstration was at best bad judgement, at worst a mockery to the Jewish people and Christians alike. There is enough footage in the video to see for ourselves that this ceremony was not taken out of context, but an actual acting out of what Eddie Long and some other pastors believe about themselves all along. Eddie Long just had the audacity and boldness to say and do it.
In his letter warning the church of false teachers Jude writes:
“These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” (Jude 1:16)
Now before you accuse me of being a faultfinder, let me clarify. I do not include pointing out false teaching and heresy in the same category as faultfinding. Scripture clearly commands us to point out false teachers, expose them and their teaching. (See my latest post on “Why doctrine matters“) We shouldn’t tolerate false teaching, ignore people like this nor sweep these issues under the rug. We have done this for far too long and its time we begin to defend the faith and put an end to this behavior that is harming the reputation of the church and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. As if we didn’t have enough obstacles to our preaching…
The truth is that silliness like this goes unchecked because of the forum its being brought in. As Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine wisely stated in his recent article on the subject, we must begin to guard our pulpits. Teaching in the church is a great responsibility, especially since it is being done in a public forum. Churches like Long’s have no apparent accountability to stop heresy from going forth from the pulpit. The large, mega church context makes it even more difficult for a member of the church to either ask questions about the teaching or put a stop to it all together should it become off based. Its even more of a sham when the churches own elders and leaders allow these people to have the floor.
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you feel that churches today care more about entertaining their audiences than instructing them in the truth? How do you feel we should respond to public mishaps like Eddie Long and others who receive such wide spread negative media? How can we help pastors and leaders to hold to sound teaching and not associate with false teachers that seem to be running rampant in American Christianity? Share your comments below in our comment section.