I have held my remarks about the scandal and lawsuit against my church as long as I could. I have received numerous phone calls, text messages, tweets, emails and other content regarding what is going on in my church and choose to respond here and be done with it. I am not perfect and do not profess to be. I am forgiven of my sins a child of God, working everyday to live out my purpose and destiny believing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me despite life’s hardships and circumstances. I will P.U.S.H. (pray until something happens).
What do I know?
I know that no matter what is brought to light Jesus is still Lord, God sits high as He looks low and the Holy Spirit is able to guide those looking for it into all truth even as this entire thing unravels. Despite the ugly accusations, questionable images, manipulation, deafening silence, legal posturing, shock, evil and unnecessary remarks God is still in love with each and every person on the face of this planet including Bishop Eddie L. Long, Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande as well as any other young men who may come forward with more accusations and their attorney Brenda Joy Bernstein.
I know that the word of God has already laid out how disputes, grievances and transgression against one another is supposed to be handled and that those ways have not been implemented in this instance. This disobedience to the word of God has opened the door to pain of a magnitude and reach that has yet to be fully seen.
About Lawsuits between believers regardless of position, title or reason for dispute
1 Corinthians 6:1-8
1DOES ANY of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)? 2Do you not know that the saints (the believers) will [one day] judge and govern the world? And if the world [itself] is to be judged and ruled by you, are you unworthy and incompetent to try [such petty matters] of the smallest courts of justice?
3Do you not know also that we [Christians] are to judge the [very] angels and pronounce opinion between right and wrong [for them]? How much more then [as to] matters pertaining to this world and of this life only!
4If then you do have such cases of everyday life to decide, why do you appoint [as judges to lay them before] those who [from the standpoint] of the church count for least and are without standing?
5I say this to move you to shame. Can it be that there really is not one man among you who [in action is governed by piety and integrity and] is wise and competent enough to decide [the private grievances, disputes, and quarrels] between members of the brotherhood,
6But brother goes to law against brother, and that before [Gentile judges who are] unbelievers [without faith or trust in the Gospel of Christ]?
7Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you). Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due? Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?
8But [instead it is you] yourselves who wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren [by so treating them]!
This should be our response to whoever is outside of God’s parameters for behavior in this situation
Galatians 6: 1-3 Amplified Bible
1BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also. 2Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].
3For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.
Colossians 3:12-14 (Amplified Bible)
12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].
13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].
14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].
What the response to the lawsuit should have been when presented
Matthew 5:39-41 (Amplified Bible)
39But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too.
40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also.
41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles].
I know that although this appears to be about a man, two lawyers and several young men it is hurting and affecting an entire congregation and being used on a grander scale as an attempt to bankrupt and destroy an integral part of the community that has helped thousands of people around the world. It is also affecting people who confess the name of Christ who are not a part of the congregation because of the negative light it sheds on someone who has achieved notoriety and a certain level of fame inside and outside the Christian community of faith.
What do I think happened?
As an overcomer of the emotional and physical ramifications of rape, sexual molestation, neglect and abuse I know first hand the pain and internal turmoil left by being exploited, hurt and unattended by those entrusted with your care (parental and legal). As a former foster child I know how the legal system can exploit you and spit you out as soon as they are no longer responsible for you with no regard to how you will fare. I also have seen as a teenager and now adult the lengths people will go for a buck. Michael Jackson comes to mind as well as others who have been accused and exonerated of wrongdoing. I think the only people who really know what happened behind closed doors is God, Bishop Long and these and any other young men whose case information has not been injected into the media frenzy orchestrated to date, I have for all of them the same thing I have for those who hurt and helped me 1st Corinthians 13 love.
How do I feel?
I feel that no matter what the outcome of the trial great damage has been done to the Body of Christ. I have cried, shouted, screamed and prayed about the pain my sisters and brothers in Christ have expressed in discussing not only the accusations but the execution of a public trial by media with the ENTIRE world weighing in on a matter that should have been dealt with in the court of law if JUSTICE was the primary and sincere motivation for action on the behalf of the accusers and their representation.
I feel that unsavory and unnecessary practices of manipulation have been executed by a brilliant literary mind to bring about a resolution that is not completely about justice for young men. I feel a body of believers connected to the heart of God, a family and faith have been attacked unconscionably without thought or merit to how the lives of thousands of individuals including the accusers will be affected in the long term once the topic is no longer trending and the cameras stop rolling.
I feel like each time more information is “leaked” or given to the press about the case it does more toward the cause of publicity and attempting to influence the public’s opinion than it does to bringing out the truth. Each new bit of sensationalized information feels like someone has taken a medieval torture bat with spikes on the end to the part of the Body of Christ most closely connected to New Birth which means the whole body ultimately suffers because we are all supposed to be one.
What I Will Do from Here On Out
I will continue to pray for the healing, restoration, remembering and revival of the Body of Christ. When I take communion I do it to be a pivotal participant in helping to put the Body of Christ back together again and overcome the dissension and division that has been set in place by denominations, culture, social rankings, politics and other weapons formed against it. The remembrance is not a memory exercise it is spiritual surgery being done as God breathes His abundant life into the Body of Christ.