The news of “Bishop” Eddie Long has gone around the world by now, no doubt. Many of us are debating this whole debacle–with friends, family, co-workers, and church family. Of course the media and bloggers are devouring it as well.
What is the meaning of this thing that has happened to this “pastor”, at this time and in this way? Is God warning us about how we are to serve Him, from the pulpit to the pews? And if God is talking to us through this great falling down off the throne of Eddie Long, do we as Christians have ears to hear what “thus saith the Lord”?
I wanted to find a guideline of sorts, written by some obscure laborer in God’s vineyard. Someone who may have a bit of experience or knowledge about this issue of bad pastors. What should we look for in a good pastor and what we should look OUT for in a bad pastor. Since all Christians are to serve the Lord, then we all should seek to know His will, which is readily available to us in His Word. I was able to find a good link concerning the things we should look out for in a pastor. The following article was very thorough and well written. I’m sure there are many more things we should be aware of but this seemed to be a good start, in my opinion.
This can’t be overstated–as Christians we have to be familiar with the Word of God! If we don’t want to be taken advantage of by the abundance of wolves flexing their muscles, their intellect, even their knowledge of the Bible, we need to know the Word for ourselves. Rather than being overwhelmed by this, we can start small. Start in the book of John. Or go back to the book of John. Study a chapter of it, and think about what it seems to be saying. Meditate on passages that grab your attention. Reread them. Look up the words you don’t understand. God will surely reward you with a deeper understanding of that chapter! After you have studied, then no one, whether a pastor or not, will ever be able to lie to you about what God is saying in that chapter!
We don’t want our natural human emotions to be manipulated so cruelly by greedy cultic charlatans masquerading as Christian “Bishops” and “Prophets” and “Pastors”. We can’t afford to be spiritually devastated because we wouldn’t make time to understand just a bit of the Word of God and to learn a bit of what God has given us! The cost of that kind of devastation is much too high and it can take many years to overcome it. Sometimes a person will never be able to overcome it! Imagine the number of people in the Bishop’s megachurch who may be too devastated to even come out! Too broken to admit what is truth staring them in the face. The “Bishops” of the world will most certainly come and pimp you and leave you half dead if you allow yourself, through ignorance of the Word, to be pimped! Don’t allow it! The following article breaks down the types of things one might see in his or her pastor if he or she is moving towards idolatry.
Praying to a Loving God is the thing we can do and it doesn’t cost us anything except the effort to do it. We don’t have to be a part of a megachurch to talk to God. We don’t need a theologian to instruct us on how to talk to God. We don’t need degrees in ministry to speak to the Lord. We can just say whatever is on our mind to the Lord in a respectful manner. Ask Him to help us understand what’s going on.
I pray that in the midst of this horrible attack on the integrity of the church, that we as Christians would do even more to come together and love one another. That we would also have the courage to speak up with a heart of love and an eye towards restoration (if possible) whenever we see our ministers doing that which we know is wrong. I pray that we work hard to allow integrity and commitment to God to guide us as we strive to do God’s will here in the earth. Let’s not fall for the lies that those wolves in sheep’s clothing will continue to bring to us, and let’s not allow them to manipulate our natural desires for their own greedy gain.