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Another Bishop Long controversy erupts
November 19th, 2010
03:08 PM ET

Another Bishop Long controversy erupts

Some subscribers to a gospel magazine weren’t too happy when they recently got an issue with Bishop Eddie Long on the cover.

The November/December Gospel Today cover featured a sharply tailored Long, smiling confidently, with the headline: “Bishop Eddie Long At The Center of The Scandal That Rocked The Church World.”

Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta, was accused by four young men in September of using his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships.

Some Gospel Today readers thought the magazine was downplaying  Long's allegations, and others thought they shouldn't have featured him at all.

The biggest problem readers had was Long's relationship with "Gospel Today" - he's the chair of the magazine's board.

Teresa Hairston, the owner of Gospel Today, went on the magazine's website and took critics head-on.  She posted some of their comments, and defended her actions.

One reader told Hairston:

I got my latest issue of Gospel Today; with [Bishop] Eddie Long on the cover. I read the article and said to myself hmmmm seem like some sugar coating going on. Turned back to the 1st page and saw where the Bishop of his Church in NC is on your Board of Directors, I looked down and also saw that Eddie Long is on your Board of Advisors, I said all of that to say this. The best thing your magazine should have did was to not comment.

Another reader told Hairston:

Eddie Long did not belong on the cover… You are trying to plead his case.
Did you see the Oprah show? Abuses are real and yes the church / pastors are involved… I agree there are many local pastors and churches doing great work in their communities we never see them on your cover.

Hairston didn't back down. She went online and blasted the mainstream press for how they covered the Long scandal. She said the church community should treat the accusations against Long “according to the Word of God.”

Hairston told readers that her magazine did not explore the legalities of the Long scandal, and chose instead to present a “biblical perspective."

Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long’s resignation! They’re not even members!!

The controversy over the magazine cover was broken by a new website called “Preachers Bureau of Investigation.” The website offers the latest news on preacher’s scandals around the country, and bills itself as an advocate for exploited church members.

The PBI's primary targets are prosperity preachers who often live lavish lifestyles while preaching that God rewards the faithful with material riches.

The PBI site allows people to anonymously report “out of control pastors” or priests to the larger church community. It features  a running update on the latest preacher scandals to hit the religious community.

PBI’s editors says Gospel Today made a mistake by putting Long on its magazine’s cover.

One PBI editor’s wrote:

The outcry of complaints about Bishop Eddie Long cover feature is getting louder as many question the timing and the motives of the magazine. I don’t think he belongs on your cover. In my mind you have taken a position. Have you thought about telling the victims' stories? That would be the only fair and fitting thing to do as a responsible news source.

The Gospel Today controversy has larger implications.  It’ll be interesting to see how other Christian media entities treat Long in the days ahead. Will these organizations continue to feature him or cut their affiliations with him?

Trinity Broadcast Network, for example, has featured Long on its network . Will they continue to do so as this scandal unfolds? Or have they already decided to jettison his program? So far, it's unclear.

Unfortunately, they’re not saying.  A TBN spokesman has refused to return CNN calls to answer that question. But those questions will continue to linger over any Christian personality or organization that has a public relationship with Long.

Stay tuned for how the church community - not just the legal system - treats the allegations against Long.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Pastors

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Ann

    What is the problem here people??? I don't have to prove the existence of My God or disprove the existence of any god. Get a life - find your own life - stop trying to belittle those who believe!

    December 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  2. Smitty

    @ David Johnson
    By definition delusion is (1)False belief: A persistent false belief held in the face of STRONG contradictory evidence. I for one have never seen STRONG contradictory evidence that there is not a God. (2) Mistaken notion: A false or mistaken belief or idea about something. How do you know I'm mistaken? I don't think my beliefs are false. Do you think your beliefs are false? How do you know that you're not the one who is delusional?

    November 25, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  3. Frogist

    "Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long’s resignation! They’re not even members!!"
    Sounds like they are headed the way of the Catholic Church. She is pretty much saying this is an internal matter and we'll deal with it according to our religious ideas. Outsiders like... oh I don't know... the law should not have an opinion. Really? I question the morals of the "richer than thou" churches already, but this takes the cake.

    November 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Well said...

      Peace...

      November 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  4. Mike

    The sad thing is, even if this guy did commit these horrible crimes, he just has to repent and a bunch of people will be willing to accept him again.

    November 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mike – That is kind of sad, isn't it?
      And if people didn't do these things in the normal course of things, this world would be pretty different.
      Not many want to deal with these psychological problems as such because we are constrained by them at the same time.
      To have equality under the law is rare. All the media hype probably doesn't help the prosecutors much, either.

      November 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "he just has to repent and a bunch of people will be willing to accept him again."

      As the leader of the church... I do not think so.

      November 21, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  5. www.jaxsprats.com

    This guy is a fool , a fraud to his flock

    November 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Only if he did act inappropriately with the young men. Otherwise, his flock has given him his lavish lifestyle. He hasn't hid it from them. If they are okay with it, who are we to say it is wrong?

      November 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @David Johnson
      Who are we, indeed? We have secular laws against fraud, embezzlement, child abuse, and extortion.
      I say it is wrong, and I would be surprised if there weren't other crimes hidden away in "Bishop" Long's personal history.
      I would be glad to see churches like that become illegal.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Sum Dude

      I don't know. If he is guilty of what he is accused, then he gets what is coming to him. But, because his congregation likes to see him "live large" is not a crime. Not a crime for him. Not a crime for them. They giveth. He receiveth.

      I would like to see churches taxed. It could help reduce the deficit. If we make them illegal, they would just go underground.

      You seem angry with me. Are you?

      November 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @David Johnson

      No, sorry, I was just taking your argument even further. I agree with you 100%. I just wanted to condemn "Bishop" Long and "prosperity preachers" like him a little more, that's all. Sorry if it seemed like I was mad. I just think we need freedom FROM religion, not like it's going to happen anyway....!

      I am quite sick of people using religion as a shield from being held accountable,... especially as they like to say things like "we are all going to be held accountable after death.", etc.

      It is worse than just having a double-standard, religions twist so many things about human behavior that there aren't many reasons to give any special consideration to most religions. They should definitely be taxed, as this would be supported by the Constltution.

      As for your second post:
      Just because someone has conned his followers into giving him money does not make it okay. It remains fraudulent and should be prosecuted. We're talking victims of indoctrination here. People who don't know any better. They need protection.

      As most criminal actions are already illegal, I was just extending the crime into a specific criminal industry for the sake of argument.
      "churches like that", being predicated upon the fraudulent activity as they seem to be, could be "banned" but that would not really change much of anything... other than repackaging the criminal activity under a loosely-defined label....meh.

      So you are right that making them illegal is unworkable, I was just going a little overboard with the criminal aspects of it all.
      Just having fun, dude! Just trying to think of ways the criminal fundies can be separated from the noncriminal fundies....
      Cheers! :P

      November 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  6. Tyler V

    I like how the magazine seems to think a "Biblical perspective" is giving him a pass. I thought the Biblical perspective was that elders are to have a good repuration with outsiders and to be above reproach... and to not even have the appearance of evil... Sorry, on issues like this I'll take the apostle Paul over a magazine editor anyday.

    November 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  7. Mark from Middle River

    "If we keep having this “disconnect” in our communications, wouldn’t it make more sense to avoid confronting one another?"

    S.Dude – It appears that we have talked before but it appears that now you are going by another name. Oh well that's neither here nor there. The fact is the same as last time we exchanged post here, your statements are so extremist that they much be challenged and put down like a rabid animal. If I correct last time you wanted all persons of faith wiped off the planet and when I challenged you on your statements your only responce was a plea for me to let you continue to spread your hateful post with out a word of challenge. ..... Sorta like you are doing here now.

    Of cource you do not like my post because I hope for a day of coexistance in society while you do not. To you , my words and challenges to yours make no sence because to extremist words such as coexistance, tolerance and possible peace are not in their vocabulary.

    So instead of whining and pleading for me to stop proving you stupid and hateful can you just man up and return to posting arguments.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mark

      Thanks for proving my points for me. I write an intelligent and loving post and you say I'm "whining and pleading" for you to "stop proving" me "stupid and hateful". Nice try, but I've seen your filthy work before....

      And your statements are so extremist – you label everyone who doesn't agree with you as an extremist. Well, gosh, you're a bit slow, aren't you? As well as a raging hypocrite. Kinda par for the course in the Republican party, isn't it?

      And you'd like to put me down like a rabid animal.
      Well, where's your call for coexistence? Where's your tolerance?
      Where's your fucking "middle ground"?

      Nah, you're just a bag of extremist claptrap masquerading as some kind of nut. You hate the idea of coexistence. You hate having to compromise, hate conceding any facts in your posts. No matter who you talk to, your posts show you to be someone who hates. A lot.
      I can let my hate go, but you can't. You are my brother troll, but you refuse to coexist with me. You pretend to call for a middle ground while being rabid in your opposition to ANYTHING from the "other side".

      Nah. You're wildly delusional, Mark. You can't even get it together. You can't even apologize when you know you've done wrong. You're fucking hopeless and pathetic. I have no hope left for you at all. God is probably going to send you to hell, too. Except that you can't prove he exists. None of you can. You are a bunch of deluded whackos.
      And you want me to find a "middle ground" and coexist with you?
      Yeah, right.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      " You can’t even get it together"

      S.Dude – Remind me, who is the one cursing and swearing between the both of us.

      If one has to resort to swearing and foul language then his argument has already lost and as a result his only option is an attemept to get the the one who bettered him to drop to his level.

      Good grief S.Dude, you feel that calling folks delusional is a "loving" post or responce ? Now this is the point I knock you down again my student.

      You said : " And you’d like to put me down like a rabid animal"

      I said : " your statements are so extremist that they much be challenged and put down like a rabid animal"

      So to challenge you my student, did I say put you down or your statement. Admit defeat, admit your uncontrollable rage and then we can help you move upon your lifes path.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      PS. CW's comments and how he labeled David a God'hater, I can see how it can be seen as bad because david's post on average does not have the visaral rage that post such as yours do. I would not have used such terminalolgy because if I am correct it would saying that someone hates that to them, does not exist.

      Hope this helps S.dude

      November 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mark

      Heh heh :P

      November 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  8. CNN "moderation" filter tips for everyone

    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:

    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination.
    You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ----------–

    ar-se....as in Car-se, etc.
    co-ck....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m.....as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, etc.
    cu-nt....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    ef-fing..as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w.....as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck......!
    ho-mo....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny...as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p.....as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    koo-ch...as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
    pr-ick...as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe....as in gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x.....as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sp-ic....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, etc.
    ti-t.....as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
    tw-at....as in wristw-atch, etc.
    va-g.....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re...as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f.....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this is complete.
    -----
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:

    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    hell
    masturbation
    penis
    pubic
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles
    ---
    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

    I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, look for and fix the problem, delete your cookies, and then hit "post".
    If you don't want to use dashes or other characters and seriously want your words to remain correct, you can paste in the proper code strings to take the place of any letter. To do this, either google "html ent-ities" (without the dash) also known as unicode strings or go to "w3schools.com/tags/ref_ascii.asp".
    Look for simple tables that show the alphabet with the associated character string and replace any letter with the string – and it will post the correct letter without falling afoul of the nasty filter.
    Example: fuck (I used the characters &,#,1,1,7,; to form the "u") 8O

    p.s. All "Smilies" supported by this blog can be found at: en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    November 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    "I use this word, not to call names, but as a statement of fact."

    Hmm.... you use the term a "statement of fact" then at the end of your post you say ....

    "All cannot be right. But, all could be wrong. There could be no god."

    ... Could be, could be..... That wipes your "statement of fact" argument completely off the table. To your argument of all can not be right. My view, and I get great disapproval of it from my fellow Christians.... what if they all, at least in the Abrahamic religions.. are dealing with the same God and just different ways of talking and interacting with him.

    The problem is that through out history folks have called groups or elements of society that they do or did not like or agree with such names to de-humanize them. They call all Jews money stealing rats, Blacks are monkeys and apes, Whites are devils, Hispanics lazy ... the hateful list, as you know, goes on and on. The problem is that it is what is necessary to destroy or exterminate the targeted group. The nazis had scientist stating as "fact" that the Jews were an inferior race and that the reich was doing the world a favor by eliminating them.

    Can you not see that your statements are not that much different from theirs. If you were in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin then I would just shrugg and go on my way. What good does it do for me to go into pumpkin patch and say your belief is not the same as mine and that you are deluded? I can go and talk civilly to you...state my beliefs and views.... if you disagree then does that mean that there are not other things that we could agree on so many deep levels? See, by calling those persons of Faith all "delusional" what you lose out on is the chance , the opportunity to find other aspects where philosophies and views can meet.

    Think about it, if I wanted to repaint the school to erase graffiti and I was gathering volunteers and I saw you in the pumpkin patch that night.... To me I would rather have a friend who I respectfully disagreed with on a view, who I could still find approach and say "we differ on views, but that you are still a cool person but, once you finish you vigil, would you like to come volunteer and paint the school?" Could I or would I feel comfortable asking for your help if every-time I encountered you I said that you were delusional and that it was a fact?

    In closing, you mentioned the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin episode but it is from that episode that I gained a part of my philosophy.... and here is how :)

    David, it was not Charlie Brown in the pumpkin patch... it was Linus. What Charlie Brown had to do was follow what the other characters were saying about how stupid Linus's faith in the great pumpkin was and write him off or stand by his friend that for this subject, both he and Linus just disagreed and their friendship continued. If you do not have Faith then while I feel sorry for you and hope that one day you and others find that relationship with God, I am not the type of person that goes around saying that your soul will burn for eternity. Who knows, you might be a NASCAR fan or something else and I might have an extra ticket to a race and I might want to give it to a fellow fan.

    Ecch.... I could ramble on and on.... The message is that words can kill. Words from those of Faith and those of non-faith. Be very careful.

    PS: Sum Dude, .... sorry, I am just one of the "brainwashed" that decided to post to kick your backside. :) Let go of the hate dude. But funny response....

    November 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I can not believe that made it through the filters on the first shot without a "moderation" hold.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mark
      One of the reasons I do not like "talking" to you is that your arguments are almost always intellectually dishonest. Since you are one of the "brainwashed", this is perhaps understandable.

      Another reason is that your attempts at humor never seem to be appropriate in either content or delivery.
      You are like my brother-in-law who cannot help making grossly inappropriate jokes – we ignore him when we can, as this tends to be the most effective way of "moving on" past jokes like that.

      If we were to meet and talk of other things, I'm sure we could get along pretty well unless your delusions and your intellectual dishonesty showed themselves in your half of the conversation.
      Then my reactions would probably show some revulsion towards your mental shortcomings even though they are probably not your fault.

      I thought my post was pretty good and asked some good questions.
      You mistook my arguments and rhetorical questions as being some sort of indication that I viewed everyone in a group the same way. You completely missed the points and questions I was asking – again.

      If we keep having this "disconnect" in our communications, wouldn't it make more sense to avoid confronting one another?

      Am I the only one here? Aren't there other people you can argue with?

      I keep asking you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave me alone. When will this ever mean anything to you?
      Why can't you let it go?

      November 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mark
      Maybe I should have asked you why you did not "call" CW on his/her labeling of everyone as "God-haters"?
      Double standards again?
      Sorry. Giving you "troll-candy" is hard to stop.
      Nevermind.

      November 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from the Middle River

      You said: "I use this word, not to call names, but as a statement of fact."
      Hmm.... you use the term a "statement of fact" then at the end of your post you say ....
      "All cannot be right. But, all could be wrong. There could be no god."
      ... Could be, could be..... That wipes your "statement of fact" argument completely off the table. "

      Definition of delusion – Psychiatry – A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence.

      All believers are delusional. My last sentence that "most if not all, are delusional, is a acknowledgement that I can't know for sure. I cannot prove a negative. But, like Santa Claus, I believe there is a preponderance of the evidence that god – any god – does not exist. Hence, all believers are delusional until proven otherwise.

      You said: "To your argument of all cannot be right. My view, and I get great disapproval of it from my fellow Christians.... what if they all, at least in the Abrahamic religions.. are dealing with the same God and just different ways of talking and interacting with him."

      I agree with your fellow Christians. Even the different denominations of Christianity, are in effect different gods.

      You said: "The problem is that through out history folks have called groups or elements of society that they do or did not like or agree with such names to de-humanize them. They call all Jews money stealing rats, Blacks are monkeys and apes, Whites are devils, Hispanics lazy ... the hateful list, as you know, goes on and on. The problem is that it is what is necessary to destroy or exterminate the targeted group. The nazis had scientist stating as "fact" that the Jews were an inferior race and that the reich was doing the world a favor by eliminating them.
      Can you not see that your statements are not that much different from theirs. "

      All that you mentioned, are not beliefs. I did not choose my skin color or my race. Nor can I change them. But, I can change my mind. I don't have to be perpetually deluded. Neither do the believers.

      The Nazi and racists were/are deluded. There are Christians who hate gays. They are deluded. I am happy to point this out to them. Each one can change their beliefs.

      There are undoubtedly many/some things believers and I could agree on. But on this one subject – belief in a god – the believers are deluded.

      It doesn't matter if it was Charlie or Linus who was deluded. The point is, The Great Pumpkin never came. There are a lot of Christian Fundamentalists waiting in the Pumpkin patch for their Great Pumpkin. This has been true for over 2000 years.
      The Christian Right are working toward their Christian Nation. Jesus would be the Head of State. Only the Christian Right will be able to hear Jesus. They will tell us His will.
      The Christian Right hopes to achieve politically, what Jesus has never given them by returning.

      All of this will be built upon a delusion.
      It is not a matter of live and let live.

      Cheers!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Sum Dude

      You are my brother, and I mean you no harm. I have told you how much I respect what you post. Believers are never going to agree with you or me. Your post about CW and his comment is spot on. Don't be so quick to back off your position.
      You were totally right. Believers are deluded.

      Cheers!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @David Johnson
      Cheers, bro! To all our absent friends as well!

      November 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      Hey Brotha'.... Just wanted to drop in and say hello to you, David Johnson, NL, Frogist and all of my other cronies.

      I have been pretty busy with work this week, so, it hasn't allowed me the time to post.

      However, I should be back on soon.

      Hope you are well Sir Dudester.... Plus, I needed to rest my head from all of the bangin'.. :-)

      Peace 8O !!!

      November 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All – 8O
      Good to see you! I was wondering what happened to you. I thought you might have got a concussion or something. :P

      November 20, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      Hi Peace2All: Don't work too hard now. Take care of yourself. Been wondering where you went off to, you and Luke.
      BTW I love Linus. He's my favorite Peanuts character. He has heart and strength and sweetness. The moral I took from that story was, your friends will be here for you, even if the Great Pumpkin never comes. No matter how far from the norm your beliefs are, you're not alone.

      November 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Hey CK..!!! Yeah, it's been a pretty darn busy time for me. It will be for the next couple of weeks as well. I am trying to get in some 'extra' posting time when I can.

      So, how are you...? I a-ssume that You, and DJ, NL and Sir Dudester are 'taking care of business'... yes...?

      Anyways, hope that you are well...

      BTW-The 'Dude' will probably tease me on this, but I am with ya' on Linus. I have always kinda' viewed him that way as well. And... similar moral take on the story. Interesting...

      O.K.... Time to get our D.N.A checked... Hmmmmmm... :-)

      Take care...

      Peace...

      November 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    @Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

    As an Apostle, you should be able to blow me away, with your argument(s). Tell me Apostle Eric, can you prove god exists?

    November 20, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • searching for truth

      Can you or anyone please share with me why you don't believe there's any higher power? I am searching for the truth. so far, I cannot honestly say I've found anything that can prove with no doubt that "God" does not exist. I am still trying to understand who or what is the force behind the 'good/evil things' in our world.

      I don't think that the existence/non-existence of God can be proven by using scientific methods. I have experience some things that left me to believe there's more out there than what my eyes can see.

      I have seen people that were 'demon-possessed', have heard a lot of stories about ex-freemasons that interacts with lucifer, people that had near death experiences, people that have seen angels, people who can turn human beings into real zombies, (i cannot prove/disprove these stories). I just don't want to simply say these people are delusional without trying to find the truth for myself...

      at the end, if there's a God, I am only gonna be responsible for my soul.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:40 am |
    • NL

      searching for truth-
      Why not believe in a higher power? Well, it's not difficult to believe that the universe has more pockets of life out there, and that some of that life is more advanced than we are, but this lends itself more to believing in UFO aliens than supernatural deities who have always been. It's also not too difficult to believe that we are not so far advanced over our fellow earthlings. Cultures living closely to nature tend to view the divide as much narrower than we who live in more urban societies. So, perhaps, because we perceived such a huge gap between us and the animals we speculated that there must exist an equal or larger gap between us and something even greater than we are?

      There are a lot of things that could be remotely possible, but what kind of a life would you have if you feared them all as much as some people fear God?

      November 22, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • Frogist

      @searching for truth: Then search for the truth yourself. That is the point of everything. Seek your own path instead of having some preacher or priest tell you what your path MUST be. You're on your way by recognizing you don't have the answer. Now it's a just a step to realizing nobody else has the answer either. We're all searching, but some of us stopped because someone else told them searching was wrong. Someone else told them they have all the answers. But no one has the right to tell you to stop searching.
      I can't throw away the possibility that there is more in the universe either. But I believe we as humans can understand it one day by being curious. I have that hope. I do believe there is a possibility of god, but not as others have told me s/he/it exists. Their versions of "God" don't match what I need god to be. I chose to be an agnostic because of that. But it doesn't really feel like I chose it. I was always searching. I was always me. I just never fit with what other people's ideas were. I am what I am. And so are you.

      November 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @searching for truth

      You Said:--"Can you or anyone please share with me why you don't believe there's any higher power? I am searching for the truth. so far, I cannot honestly say I've found anything that can prove with no doubt that "God" does not exist."

      ME--As an agnostic, I truly keep my mind open. I think that what a lot of my friends, such as NL, and Frogist, and David Johnson, and myself don't agree with is the God as described in the Bible. It just goes against every fiber of our being. Some may even feel certain that there is absolutely nothing at all, but of course that is their beliefs. I think if you keep searching for something that makes sense to you, instead of trying to 'prove' or 'disprove' the existence of a 'higher power' might be a better way to go. Just keep your mind open, and continue to evolve your thinking with the sciences that are out there and possibly you will come up with a 'model' of a 'higher power' that works for you.

      You Said:---"I don't think that the existence/non-existence of God can be proven by using scientific methods. I have experience some things that left me to believe there's more out there than what my eyes can see."

      ME-–That may or may not be true. Just because you 'don't think' that the existence or non-existence of God can be proven is just your 'opinion.' Again, this is an area you might want to be a bit more open-minded.

      You Said:---"I have seen people that were 'demon-possessed', have heard a lot of stories about ex-freemasons that interacts with lucifer, people that had near death experiences, people that have seen angels, people who can turn human beings into real zombies, (i cannot prove/disprove these stories). I just don't want to simply say these people are delusional without trying to find the truth for myself..."

      ME--- Again, I would caution you as to putting your personal interpretation on all of these events and phenomena. Be open... you just really don't know what these truly are.

      You Said:--"at the end, if there's a God, I am only gonna be responsible for my soul."

      ME---That 'may' or may not be true. However, I do wish you luck in your searching and seeking. Just friendly advice that you can take or leave, since you asked some salient questions. Just try and keep an open mind, and I imagine you will find your way or beliefs that work for you.

      Good luck...

      Peace...

      November 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • Susie B. Smiley

      Can you prove that God does not exist? You sound like a foolish person. The Bible states that a fool says in his heart that there is no God. I believe that there is a God because He has done great things for me. Miracles and wonders are being done in my life now. No human is perfect so that shows that when you are in need and great thngs happen just in the nick of time, that's God working through us. Try Jesus. He's alright.

      November 23, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  11. Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

    Smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. This work of God is so timely to save those that truly believe. As long as the house of Baal stands in its boast, the sheep will remain in bondage. God is doing this smiting all over the world as separating the sheep from the goats. Only those pure in heart shall see God.
    http://apostlestoday.net/

    November 20, 2010 at 3:19 am |
  12. Gary

    being gay is normal. Being a evangelical preacher is sick and evil. Jim bakker,Jim jones,Jimmy swaggert, david koresh,Joel Osteen,Osama bin ladin , Mark Tilman,Benny Hinn, are nothing more than typical evil religious maniacs.

    November 19, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Gary

      I am behind gay rights 100%. I play cards every Friday, with a gay couple. They are funny, warm, and intelligent. They are my friends.

      BUT, being gay is not normal. It is acceptable. No one should be beaten, mur dered, made fun of, or discriminated against for being gay. But it is not normal. People are born gay, of this I am sure. There should be no blame assessed.

      But, gay – $exual attraction between people of the same $ex – is not normal.

      You are so right about people such as Benny Hinn. He lives a lavish lifestyle, because people are desperate to be healed. I have nothing but contempt for people such as him.

      Cheers!

      November 20, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • Sum Dude

      From dictionary.com:

      nor·mal
      –adjective
      1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
      2. serving to establish a standard.
      3. Psychology.
      a. approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment.
      b. free from any mental disorder; sane.
      4. Biology, Medicine/Medical.
      a. free from any infection or other form of disease or malformation, or from experimental therapy or manipulation.
      b. of natural occurrence.
      ....
      –noun
      7. the average or mean: Production may fall below normal.
      8. the standard or type.
      9. Mathematics.
      a. a perpendicular line or plane, esp. one perpendicular to a tangent line of a curve, or a tangent plane of a surface, at the point of contact.
      b. the portion of this perpendicular line included between its point of contact with the curve and the x-axis.
      -----
      Perhaps "normal" is correct according to some of the definitions. (I left the math definition in as a pun).

      November 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  13. More stupid crap

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    November 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  14. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d17Df5eHVLI&w=640&h=390]

    November 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  15. Edward Nashville, TN

    Unfortunately a lot of wrong has been done in the name of religion orhas been justified by it. Be it Muslim terrorist or preachers, who use the bible to prey upon vulnerable people. However;I don't see the need for athiests to jump in and start bashing Christianity for the acts of one man. People need to be vigilant.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Bugmenot

      S-Dude is afraid of anyone who truly belives differently than he

      November 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Susie B. Smiley

      How do any of you kow whether these guys are telling the truth? You don't take the word of some because a person is innocent until proven guilty. Nobody know whether this minister is guilty but those involved. keep your opinions to yourself. Who died and made you people God? Time will tell because whatever is done in the dark will come to the light. Stop being so impatient. You need to pray for all involved.

      November 23, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  16. CW

    @ David Johnson...and all the God h-at-ers

    It's truely sad....if this pastor did what he is accused of then he should pay the price. If comes out that he didn't do anything then he should take a long hard look at things.

    By the way....David Johnson....let me ask....who are your role models....probably not any men of God b/c you have shown that you don't believe...One day you will I hope.

    November 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @CW – Do you hate what you don't think exists?

      For example, do you hate Baal, Odin, or Ahura-Mazda knowing they do not exist?

      Or would you hate the evil done by the worshipers of those non-existent gods?
      Say, if your village was ra-ped and plundered by Odin-worshiping Vikings?
      Would you hate Odin? Or would you hate what the Vikings did to your village?

      If they said they were just doing what Odin said for them to do, that they were just being faithful to their "god's" commands, would you hate Odin? What would you do?

      Could someone like you ever see such simple and obvious nonsense in the delusional assumptions you make about other people outside your religion?
      That the way you view your world and the people in it just don't make sense to an outside observer who sees your delusional thinking as delusional?
      Could you ever understand something like that if you were not brainwashed to do the opposite?

      November 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CW

      Sum Dude said all I would have. He just said it better than I would have.

      Cheers!

      November 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Sum Dude – The use of calling folks delusional is very closed minded. You see those of us of faith loss any account of your post or question because of your focus on the negative. It is well in your right but there are many on this planet that know that things are not always as black and white as you put it.

      My question is what if the next day another Viking village came and helped to rebuild your village or actually went after the first village and gave their own lives to get back your women that were carried away.... what would you do?

      Its a weak, seriously week argument to only offer that everyone in a group operates the same way and believes in the same interpretations. It is how we as humans have gotten this far in life. We know that Bin Laden does not like the Western World...so let us use your analogy and replace Vikings with Muslims. Ok, September 11th.... That day Muslims who were EMTs and Police and Fire Department officers rushed to Ground Zero and to the Pentagon. Some lost their lives in the aftermath. The coming months post 9/11, many Muslim Americans strapped up their boots and went to war for their country.

      If we used a simple and closed minded philosophy as yours then we would see only the muslims flying the planes that september morning. Those of us in the real world know that there were more Muslims killed , along with their fellow Americans than which flew the plane. So if Vikings came and plundered my village, I would not hate all Vikings and the moment I see Vikings doing good in the name of Odin, then I would have to be mature and come to the understanding that Scripture and belief can mean something different to different people.

      So, Dude, if they came to help your village, in the name of Odin, what would you do? Can your hate overcome your emotions when you see a Odin worshipper returning your child to you? Or will your hate only see the one who took her away?

      See to us who are trying to just live each day by day and are tired of folks from all the extremes, be they Christian, Muslim or Atheist. In the end it is you folks who we see as delusional because yall' only see peace as when everyone thinks and believes as you do. In other words, when anything different in looks and beliefs cease to exist.

      November 20, 2010 at 2:39 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Mark

      I'm sorry, did you think I was talking to you? I wasn't.

      November 20, 2010 at 2:55 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River

      You said, "calling folks delusional is very closed minded."

      I use this word, not to call names, but as a statement of fact. People who believe in a god are delusional. There are 5 main religions, and ~2000 different denominations of Christianity. All of these are convinced, that they worship the one true god. They believe their prayers are answered and they feel their god in their hearts. All cannot be right. But, all could be wrong. There could be no god. Or, we could have not yet discovered the one true god. So, most or all of the believers are deluded.

      If I, like Charlie Brown, sit in a Punkin' Patch all night waiting on the Great Pumpkin, would you not call me deluded? There are believers who have been waiting for their Great Pumpkin for 2000 + years.

      Cheers!

      November 20, 2010 at 8:10 am |
    • Will

      @David...

      I find it so odd that those who don't believe feel COMPELLED to to belittle those who do. It's a personal choice. If you don't believe then you don't. Live your life. But it almost rings hollow to feel the need to convince others how "silly" it is to believe. One doesn't need to subscribe to the idea of a supreme being. Fine. But if you were really comfortable in that idea, you wouldn't feel the need to belittle those who believe opposite of you.

      It seems more you're trying to convince yourself AND everyone else simultaneously.

      November 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • reply

      sum dude sounds scared of mark... jus sayin

      November 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @reply – Trollin', eh? Heh. :P

      November 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Well said Mark.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:37 am |
    • Mike, not me

      @Dave do you mean delusional people like

      Sir Francis Bacon
      Nicholas Copernicus
      Galileo Galilei
      Johannes Kepler

      November 22, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  17. stevie68a

    Thousands of innocent children die of starvation everyday, and you think god cares about your bank balance? This is what the
    so-called "prosperity gospel" seems to ignore. These not reverends tell people what they want to hear, and they so easily fall for
    it. Perhaps you ought to remember the fishes and loaves story, and pray to jesus to feed the children. Nothing will happen, since
    jesus is imaginary. jesus is imaginary! Shout it from the rooftops! "Prophet" means "Profit". Just a con game.

    November 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    Why I think the Bishop Long exemplifies Christians today.

    Certainly he is role model for our children.

    Every generation or two, god gives a prophet. An example for all to follow.

    Amen brothers! You believers are so lucky!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  19. Iqbal khan

    "What Jesus Really Say"..... Read and download for free! on Amazon.com this book is about 35 dollars

    http://www.islamhouse.com/p/193556

    November 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Save your time and money and read the following:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs/tenets.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      November 20, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  20. Tiffany

    Oh Lawd.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • gordon

      The slavery mentality of New Birth members doesn't allow them to make a judegment call on their master Long. According to I Tim 3 Long should have been removed from the pulpit by elders. Members so worship this man that they don't care if he molests young men in his church. Long will pay off these boys & move on to others secretly. There is no cure. His desires must be fulfilled. New Birth doesn't care. God & His rules have been pushed aside for this boy-pimp black preacher. New Birth members are pathetic.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |
    • Terry

      this man is a disgrace to his community and his faith. when will people open their eyes and wake up to realize that he is nothing but a wolf in sheeps clothing?

      November 23, 2010 at 4:31 am |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.