Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors
Parishioners often build a firewall around a pastor hit by scandal, a Christian author says. But when does loyalty turn unhealthy?
May 27th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - The streets that were once choked with traffic are now bare. The church's sprawling parking lot is half full. Inside the stylish sanctuary, ushers sway to choir music in front of empty seats.

On a typical Sunday morning, New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta would be hopping. But on a recent Sunday, the sprawling church complex looked half-deserted and the mood seemed flat.

Six months after a sex scandal involving New Birth's senior pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, became public, the megachurch no longer packs them in. Yet there are loyalists, like C.D. Dixon, who have not joined the exodus.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Pastors

soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. Everett Wallace

    People stick with churches because they think this is the way to salvation. Here is food for thought, the Earth is the church and you worship GOD THE FATHER in your secret place where only HE sees you and HE will acknowledge your worship openly. You know you call these preachers spiritual fathers, the Only 1 who is the Spiritual FATHER is GOD THE FATHER no one else.

    April 28, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  2. Bonnie

    "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their END will be according to their works." 2nd Corinithians 11:13-15.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  3. sheila

    The problem is that people begin worshipping the messenger instead of worshipping the one that sent the message.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Bonnie

      So true! This is also why most so-called Christians have been misled to believing that Jesus is Almighty God instead of his Father. Jesus makes it clear; "Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them: "Most truly I say to you, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but ONLY what he beholds the Father doing." John 5:19. Please read all of chapter 5, and John 17:3.

      December 2, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Dan

      You are both dopes.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Charles

    Hi everyone, the great danger I believe ever since the foundation of christianity is two fold. One of those great threats has to do with the enemie ( Satan ), and the second, inevitably linked to the first, is non other than the nature of man itself. Satan hates Jesus-Christ as well as any human organisation representing his " Ideals and his Mission ". He hates anything that has to do with Christ's legacy to the point of wanting to erase Jesus-Christ from historic memory ( IF HE COULD). The problem is that he has used every single human treats he could to get there. What are those treats ? MAN'S PRIDE, thirst for POWER and CONTROL. Faith and self confidence are vital carachteristics of leadership; unfortunatly faith in God is very often used by Self Confidence in order to serve it's motives ( specialy in a context of Social Power ). MEN in Christian leadership positions have probably been attacked more violently than anyone else. The tragedie is that there pride always pushed them to give of an image of almighty power. MAN can not do anything other than to destroy his surroundings if he beleives in his own potential. This can not be emphasised enough, a Christian Church is not it's leader. Any Church leader is weake on his own, outside of Jesus-Christ and the power of prayer on the parishaner's part has got to be the most effective tool against Satan. The problem is that for prayer to work, the person who is prayed upon must be willing to let go of his ego and have enough humility and honesty to be forthcoming, and he also must be willing to repentent and do GOD's WILL. The first sin may have been comited by a woman, but boooy did MAN ever take the TORCHE !

    September 2, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  5. Just.Me

    Maybe true forgiveness is involved in these Christians' relationship with the God they believe in. If there was sin in the pulpit,and if God can forgive a pastor of adultery, etc, then without idolating the pastor, I can forgive too, provided that the pastor is no longer committing the sin and has truly repented of the act. I've never known a perfect human in my life.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  6. Arutheus Jackson

    Read the Book of Ezekiel chapter 34. When you worship the wrong god and you don't follow his laws . These are the results you get. His laws have not changed. Seek the truth and find your freedom.

    August 14, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  7. SCAtheist

    Brainless is all I can come up with

    July 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  8. total non sense

    Religion is lowring the IQ of anyone expose to it. as only pure idiots can beleive in magic and great wizard.... See, it is not that hard to figureit out.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  9. Dawgmom

    from what i can see, the believers believe in the person and not in the spirit............ they need something tangible to substantiate their belief and if that pastor 'talked' to them in a way that presented facts to substantiate their beliefs.... it's on... no matter what that person says or does.......... they will support him/her................... it's called Idolatry

    July 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      For a better understanding we invite you to visit our website http://www.gaychristian101.com

      July 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      There are some people that use our User Name to spread false and misleading information. Our website is http://www.aworlddeceived.ca and not http://www.gaychristian101.com

      This practice has already been reported to the appropriate people.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • AvdBerg gay christian advocacy

      There are some people that use our User Name to spread false and misleading information. Our website is http://www.gaychristian101.com and not http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      This practice has already been reported to the appropriate people.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  10. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    I guess this has got a lot to do with certain groups of people who have a COLLECTIVE MENTALITY which greatly impairs their LOGICAL THINKING!

    In many cases it's also an expression of OUTRAGE & SUPPORT against real/perceived injustices/discrimantion against the entire community by the dominant/powerful community.

    Educational levels, income levels overall social progress metrics surely play a major role in such community wide traits.


    July 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
About this blog

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.