As I look at this Eddie Long situation, I am reminded of the call of the church to help the hurting and the weak. The Black Church likes to see itself as a refuge for the weak. However this “program” is alleged to be an affront to the weak.
The church cannot afford to allow another day to pass where its leaders are allowed to attack the sheep and then the hurt and ailing sheep are encouraged to forgive and forget while the predator goes on to the next person.
Yes, this situation has some serious issues. If Bishop Long is ultimately found not guilty of the charges, we have to wonder about the accountability. Why is Bishop Long alone with these children without anyone else there. It is simply good sense as well as proper to have more than one eye to look out for each other.
And if he is found guilty, then this is a serious black eye. The weak getting fleeced by the strong. If he is guilty then he has forever given up any opportunity to be a leader of children. God may forgive a contrite spirit, but the church must protect the “least of these.”
Forgiveness can no longer be used to
If he is innocent, then it is a reminder to those of us who are clergy people to remember to always do whatever is in our power to keep from being accused. And if we are accused, let us have someone who someone(s) who are there to remove any thought of impropriety.
And if he is not innocent, I hope that the church will begin to do its real job. And that job is to stand with the weak and the hurting. The world may love the powerful and strong. But you are not like the world. Today, let us resolve to stand with the hurting. That is what Jesus would do, and dare I say it, that is what Jesus is doing right now through those who have the audacity to live Kingdom centered lives in this present evil world.