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February 3rd, 2012
09:13 AM ET

Bishop Eddie Long crowned 'king'

By John Blake, CNN

Atlanta (CNN)–Bishop Eddie Long has been called anointed, but he was recently awarded another title, as shown in a video that’s gone viral. He’s now a king.

Long was wrapped in a “Holocaust Torah” and crowned a king during a recent Sunday ceremony at New Birth Missionary Church, his suburban Atlanta congregation.

A visiting rabbi wrapped Long in the Torah, which he said was recovered during the Holocaust. The rabbi then directed four men to lift a seated Long in his chair and parade him before the New Birth congregation.

Long wiped tears away as he looked over his cheering congregation.

“He is a king. God’s blessed him. He’s a humble man, but in him is kingship, royalty,” Rabbi Ralph Messer shouted.

Word of the pastor's crowning ceremony spread across the Web. Last year, Long settled out of court with four young men who accused him of coercing them into sexual relationships.

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A rabbi and Christian scholar questioned Long and Messer, the man who led Long’s crowning ceremony.

Messer said during the ceremony that the Torah was a “priceless” 312-year-old scroll that had been recovered from the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He said he wanted to honor Long “on behalf of Jewish people, and the land of Israel.”

Rabbi Hillel Norry of Congregation Shearith Israel in Georgia said the ceremony was “ridiculous.” There’s no Jewish coronation ceremony where someone is wrapped in a Torah and made a king, he said.

“We just don’t do that. We treat it with deference,” Norry said of the Torah. “It’s not a shawl, not a crown. Don’t treat it that way.”

Norry said Messer doesn’t appear to be an ordained rabbi in the Jewish faith. He also doubts that the Torah that Long was wrapped in is actually 312 years old, and had somehow escaped detection in a concentration camp.

“The Torah is the size of a person. It’s not like you can hide one,” he said.

Brent Strawn, an associate professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, said Christian pastors are not treated as kings in the New Testament.

“They are almost always spoken of as servants,” he said. “This is exemplified by Jesus in the New Testament, when he wears the garment of a servant and washes his disciples’ feet.”

Long declined to speak, but his spokesman released a statement from the rabbi who led the ceremony.

Messer leads the Simchat Torah Beit Midrash congregation in Colorado, which describes itself as a community of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in “Yeshua,” or Jesus Christ. He said the ceremony was held to honor and encourage Long because the pastor had given so much to his church, and the world.

“It was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king,” Messer said in the statement. “Lifting him on the chair was to acknowledge and honor him. It is done all the time at Jewish weddings and bar mitzvahs.”

Long is one of the most well-known televangelists in America. At its peak, New Birth had around 25,000 members, and Long’s sermons were broadcast around the globe.

Two years ago, Long’s public image took a hit when four young men accused him of misusing his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relations. Long’s wife, Vanessa, filed for divorce last year.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Israel • Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (712 Responses)
  1. wisdom4u2

    Freakin troll....get the hell off this forum....and take all your stupid 'aliases' with you....as if, we don't know you're the same dumb jerk.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Eddie Long Cadillac

      I run yo ass ovuh...FOOL!! AW HELL YEAH!!! PRAISE DUH LAWD!!

      February 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  2. manhandler

    Religion just gets nuttier by the minute. These people are on drugs.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • rick

      and not good drugs

      February 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Eddie Long and Joseph Lowery

    HEEEYYY!! WAYZ DUH WHITE WYMENS!!!?

    February 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Colin

    Black America still lags behind white America in emerging from the supernatural nonsense of Christianity. Have a look at the poor fools in the audience, all being cheated and fleeced by this most transparent of frauds. I guess you can't protect people from themselves.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • nibbles

      Blacks can NEVER admit the are wrong or that another black person is wrong. They are about as intelligent as an orangutan and thats about it.

      Eddie has already drained some of thems savings account with a little stock investment that went belly-up. He is just cleaning out the remainder and then *POOF* he will disappear and I will LMAO!!

      February 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Hail Eddie

      nibbles,

      Well, ol' Eddie is spending that money and moving along the economic health of jewelers, car makers, wig-crafters 'n stuff.

      It's a shame for the po' folks who are taken advantage of, however, but they are free to give him whatever they please.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  5. Eddie Long Here

    Yaw aw keep talkin big mouf. Come on down to Eddie Long church tomorrow cuz I take ya back in the Bishop quotas and dump some of the eddie long doo doo in ya mouf!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  6. calvin

    God will Not Be Mocked! This is certainly Mockery!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Ain't that the truth?

      February 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • rick

      You call it mocking god, others call it fleecing the suckers

      February 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @rick ~~~ nah....that's what 'you' call it....he is mocking God.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Eddie Long Here

    Soon I will be buy a piece of land in cuba and it be called EddieTown. You KNOW yaw asses wish you could come butt HELL NAW...UP YAWS!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  8. wisdom4u2

    Sorry, but Rabbi Ralph Messer is a nut case. What a mockery of the 'law'! Long is NO King....he was suppose to represent our heavenly King of Kings, Jesus Christ, here on earth, and I don't believe he did a good job of that ....at all. Yes, I believe in forgiveness, but I see ‘King Long’ is still on the ‘Throne’, which belongs to ‘King Jesus‘. JMO!
    All hail King Jesus
    All hail Emmanuel
    King of Kings
    Lord of Lords
    Bright Morning Star
    And throughout eternity
    I'll sing Your Praises
    And I'll reign with You throughout eternity.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Eddie Long Here

    Friends. I got my money, my caddy, my swimmin pools, bling blings, white women, black boys and nothin you can do about it. Yes I like churlin but it dont matter. My conflagraton love me and suppote me so UP YAWS!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • HSB

      E.L.H., you are buck wild!!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  10. Rinsewind

    OK, before this I thought of Eddie Long as one of a long line of greedy schiesters using religion to make a buck, with a penchant for pedophelia tossed in–sort of a combination of a Catholic priest and Jimmy Swaggart. Now, however, he's crossed the line into psychopathic megalomania, in other words JIm Jones territory. I hope his congregation wakes up, and soon.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  11. Uncouth Swain

    Very strange story to end the week on.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  12. ray ray

    Why does The Good Bishop wear that dead black cat on his head?

    February 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • jay

      haaaaaaa......my thoughts exactly

      February 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • HSB

      Because there is no room on his lap. The torah is there.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  13. hadenuf

    What a sad commentary for the church members. This is would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. Eddie Long is a false prophet and buffoon..What a sham and mockery

    February 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  14. Eddy Long lost loveChild

    No daddy. i dont want it up my buttHole no moe.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Billy

    He should have chosen to be a Red-Wing. Kings are not doing very well this year.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  16. Dave, NYC

    ...Watching this, it's just not Eddie that is out of touch with the real world...the dude from the Jewish church. it does not take a genius to work out the Torah has clearly does not come from the Holocaust. Both of them disrespect Jews & Christians. Honestly, these guys are on another planet!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  17. Dan In Maine

    Well who is the queen . Every king has a queen.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Jennifer M

      Still Eddie.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • HSB

      Better question: They crowned him king of WHAT??????

      February 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • jimtanker

      The king of buggery.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  18. I love BIshop Long

    yaw b shur 2 come to chuch to worship Teh Wunderfull bishopss. he a goot man an love the churlin. he b huggin and kiss on em. he a kine man.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dave, NYC

      You are too funny mate!

      February 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  19. DrPaul

    THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  20. mdc

    This, more than anything else in our 'community', will be what destroys us.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
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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.