Creating New Religions – Eddie Long is Crowned a King

Eddie Long is a pastor at a mega-church in Georgia who was recently accused of indecent sexual behavior with young men in the congregation.  He settled out of court, took some time off and now has come back to be pastor.

According to a Washington Post blog:

Megachurch leader Eddie Long is making waves once again after a video being circulated on the Web shows him being crowned “king” in an elaborate ceremony, the Associated Press reports. Other religious leaders have called the video “repulsive” and “inappropriate.”

Long is wrapped in a Jewish Scroll of the scriptures by a preacher who is sourcing Jewish customs and traditions as well as some DNA justifications for Long’s Kingship within himself.  The video (see below) is wrong on many different levels:

(1) It has nothing to do with Jesus, and everything to do with re-establishing Long’s authority in the church.  I don’t know who plans and coordinates worship – but doing this bizarro world religious mash-up in front of  a congregation, rather than having an intimate time of prayer and seeking God’s will as a leadership team in private, is beyond me.  All I can fathom, is that this was done to glorify Long to greatness – not God.

(2) It is obviously produced more like entertainment than sacred worship (which would be about glorifying God, not Long).  They have it all scripted out and people move in and out of the scene like a play.  The props are bright and colorful.  While worship does entail story telling, this collaboration of facts to justify Long’s leadership is a spectacle of celebrity, it is manipulative.

(3) Lastly, Long just accepts everything as it is.  Is this planned by him?  I’ve been in churches where things got a bit out of hand charismatically, and the pastor, charged with the order of the church, brought people back to reality.  He cared about the people going off track, so he corrected the situation by ending it, explaining from scripture how we are to worship, and moved the service along quickly – the focus remained on Jesus’s authority, Jesus’s Glory – not any person or their ability to entertain the congregation.
This deeply saddens me because this makes news and this is all many see of Christian worship.  They see what goes wrong.  But the tens of thousands of congregations that reverently and honorably give their time to be in God’s presence on Sunday mornings and times throughout the week, the same people who do service throughout the community and care for people in countless ways – and this is what is presented.  Good pastors die all the time, great people sacrifice for others daily, people are praying for the sick, and bringing a message of hope to the world – and all we see of ourselves in the mirror of the media  is this – the oddity that is hardly recognizable as Christianity.  Judge for yourself – here is the video:
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