Friday, May 27, 2011

Scandal in the Church by Shana Jay

Scandal by Shana Jay

                           “What’s worse than a wolf in sheep’s clothing? A wolf in shepherd’s clothing”

Bishop Eddie Long has been on the hot topic lately (besides Arnold Schwarzenegger) since he settled out of court on allegations of sexual misconduct.  Four men sued him stating that Bishop Eddie Long coerced them into having sexual relations.  There was a you tube video of one of the young men Jamal Parris who seemed sincere and above all believable about his encounters with the Bishop describing him as a “monster”  Jamal stated Bishop Eddie Long used his power over them as their pastor and “spiritual father” to seduce them.
            He said that he was afraid of loosing the only father figure he knew was constant in his life and this is why he continued his relationship with him.  Everybody got wind of this and went to town on Eddie including me.  I tried my best to be careful in putting my mouth on someone who is a man of the cloth and a member of the clergy due to the backlash. I thought about Elisha and the She-bears. 
If you’re not familiar with the story it can be found in 2 Kings 2:23-24. I never heard the story until a guy I was seeing at the time shared the story with me.  Forty-two little children teased Elisha (who was a man of God) about his bald head. Elisha cursed the little children in the name of the Lord and two she-bears came out the woods and ripped the little children into pieces. I thought it was the funniest story I had ever heard in my life. I didn’t believe it until he called his mother who was an evangelist and she shared the story from a different perspective (in other words she scared me).
 Even though Eddie Long is a Bishop he is also a man first when you look past the titles you have to know he is not perfect.  I don’t condone what he is said to have done but what struck me was the fact that he settled this matter out of court instead of taking it to trial. He never denied anything which was not a good look on him.  I noticed that when allegations arose about Michael Jackson he didn’t settle the case until after his bout in court. This is what led me to believe that maybe Mike didn’t do it.
 I can remember my mom telling me to be mindful of every decision that I made. She said that my decisions/choices not only affected me but everyone around me too.  Prime example Jesse Dodson and the Lester street massacre; you know it’s bad when his own mother disowned him.  Now the events with Bishop Eddie Long and whether he did it or not will forever loom over his head.  
This situation alone has made it even harder for those “Christians” who are in the business of recruiting souls for Jesus. People are already under the impression that the black churches and their leaders are all about money. Now these allegations of having a sexual predator in the pulpit ministering over the church are an even bigger slap in the face. It’s very discouraging when you have finally convinced other people that all pastors are not the same.
 In closing, I as well as others have to watch and be mindful of how we carry ourselves and the decisions we make because there will always be somebody watching.  Here’s a thought:  The trick of the Devil is to temp you into doing things that you know you shouldn’t. When you get caught up he will leave you stranded in your mess. He will feed you to the angry mobsters and firing squad causing chaos in your life. To add insult to injury he will ask the Sweet Baby Jesus on High “Did you see what he/she did?  Ha!! I told you he/she would fail.”

Shana Jay 

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