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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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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. Isaac

    really this is really sicking to think that these people don't know the word of God and God is no where in this mess how can the members still be apart of this circus this is a joke of a church now this is the modern day Jim Jones movement I am glad that Dr. King daughter left the Church before all of this non-sense took place this is an indictment on the Church of God we must all pray for the body of Christ for this really makes the church looks corrupt

    February 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Churches ARE corrupt. All churches.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer is miracles
    Prayer is multiples
    Prayer is morality
    Prayer changes things

    February 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nope

      -The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.-

      February 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Truth

      From one Christian to (apparently) another...........PLEASE stop posting this day in and day out, it's quite annoying.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Nah....you just keep on posting the Truth, sweetie!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      I'd like to teach the world to pray
      In perfect harmony
      Upon their knees
      Beneath the trees
      In love and humility
      At the throne of God
      We'ed all be awed
      And peaceful as can be
      For prayer we share
      With love and care
      Brings Jesus close to we.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Nope

      "Prayer changes things"

      "`-The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.-"`

      February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • ForPeteSake

      "From one Christian to (apparently) another...........PLEASE stop posting this day in and day out, it's quite annoying."

      I don't think the idiot gets it, their emotional maturity level is that of a 2nd Grader.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Don't Feed The Trolls

      No responses to "Atheism is not . . . " "just saying" "george" and any other versions of this moron please.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  3. Eric

    All organized religion is a con. Some are just a bit more upfront about it than others. But people like Eddie Long don't have to worry, there are plenty of sheeple who enjoy being fleeced.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  4. P T Barnum

    Give the people what they want!
    There is a sucker born every minute and never give one an even break!!
    The Greatest Show on Earth!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Eddie Longs hairy black ass

    COME ON...you know you want too! KISS ME. I said KISS ME DAM NIT!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Truth

    This guy disgusts me, false teachers are certainly abound, I can't figure out how anybody can fall for this.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Because they are ignorant of the ‘Truth’…..they are worshipping the ‘created’ whether than the ‘Creator‘…..really, it’s nothing ‘new’ under the sun.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      that would be *rather*

      February 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Because people who believe in religion are weak minded and will believe anything they are told without evidence.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~

      Don't expect an apology from any believer.....we’re smart enough to 'know' Who supplies our very breath.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • jimtanker

      No, youre deluded enough to think that your breath comes from anything other than the reaction of some autonomic functions of your body.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~

      Ummm, I guess you're a 'fool'! I'm sorry for ya.

      "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

      February 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Truth

      @jimtanker – Your pride and ego would be comical if it wasnt actually sad. I've gotten to know a few people in my life who hold similar views, needless to say they they're perfect no matter how bad they act, they love to complain about everyone else and how everything is other peoples fault instead of taking responsibility for something......They tend to be depressed deep down also......quite fascinating actually.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I'm sorry to hear that the people that you know are so dysfunctional. I, on the other hand, live a very great life, have a loving wife and kids, a great job and am happy every day to wake up and go to work and enjoy every minute of my free time. I know that this is the only life that I get to live so I will live it to the best of my ability.

      Maybe being around so many depressing people who are always talking aobut the end of the world and how some people will go to heII is depressing them. I know that it would get to me. I feel sorry for people who live their lives like that.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~

      "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

      February 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~~

      "Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor."

      February 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~

      "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out."

      have a nice weekend

      February 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Truth

      @jim – I don't go around preaching to end of the world or go around shoving my beliefs down anybody's throats. I find it interesting that atheists claim that Christian's are doing that all the time when I see the atheists being much more vocal about their beliefs.

      Additionally, if you're so happy then why to you post inconsiderate, intellectually dishonest comments? Do you just enjoy trying to get under people's skin? Those friends that I previously spoke of would also say that their life is perfect and they're completely happy, but their actions say otherwise.....kinda like what you said compared to the tone of your previous comments posted.......interestinggggggg

      February 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • jimtanker

      “If a man’s testicIes are crushed or his pe nis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
      –Deuteronomy 23

      February 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • jimtanker

      First of all, what intellectually dishonest comments have I made? Feel free to remind me.

      Secondly, I am trying to open people’s eyes. If I can help just one person come to reason and forget about all of this religious foolishness then my work here is done.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~~

      "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."

      February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Sin doesnt exist, just like your god, heaven and heII.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @jimtanker ~~~~

      Wow! I see your whole problem….you’re dumber than demons…even ‘they’ believe and know who Jesus is…they just don’t trust in Him…much like you.

      “When Jesus sent the demons out of the Gadarene demoniac (Matthew 8:28-33) the demons recognized Jesus, calling him the "Son of God," and they took definite action. They fled! Their actions, while they were certainly motivated by their belief in Jesus were missing one important piece. Their belief did not produce trust in Jesus.”

      February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Truth

      @jimtanker

      What intellectually dishonest comments have you made? "religion are for weak minded ppl who will believe anything they're told without evidence" – If you think it's as simple as that then you're an absolute fool. There are many strong minded extremely intelligent religious people, and there are also many weak minded religious people. The same hold true for atheists buddy.

      Also you said "If I can help just one person come to reason and forget about all of this religious foolishness then my work here is done" Doesn't that sound familiar? Kinda like something, omg, a religious person would say......Regardless, why would you care about changing one person's mind? One random person on a message board won't affect your life at all and in the end you've simply wasted time on a message board. Go live your life, get out there ole chap, your time is limited!

      The irony in your post is astounding due to the similarities of many religious posts, yet you claim to be so different. You're exactly the same, just on a different team lol.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • jimtanker

      While the two may sound philosophically similar, religion and my trying to help a person live a life based on logic and reason are two wildly different things.

      If I change one person to start thinking rationally then he may change the people around him. Eventually this country and the whole world will wake up from the daze that it is in and we can then start to progress away from all of the wars and ignorance that religion breeds. I know that you don’t believe any of this and you are going to bring up all kinds of stupid things that you think are true to attempt to refute me but save your carpal tunnels. You are the one wasting your time. Human kind will someday wake up and your kind will fade into humorous obscurity.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Truth

      @jim

      Nice job not addressing your intellectually dishonest claims also. You even managed to throw in another one with the whole "religion causes all our wars, wah wah wahhhhh," Do you know how trite and inaccurate that statement is? It could so easily be refuted, btw if religion weren't around mankind would find other stuff to cause war and the end result would be the same, hate to burst that simple minded bubble you live in.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Truth: You said, "btw if religion weren't around mankind would find other stuff to cause war"

      The other stuff has a chance at being falsifiable.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @Jim tanker ~~

      You are gravely uninformed.…belief in a God has been around since the Creation of this world, and will continue to be around for all eternity. It’s such a shame that you will have to give an account for teaching your children ‘wrong’…..for even ‘mother nature’ gives praise to Our Heavenly Father on a daily basis….you need to OPEN your own eyes and stop walking around with your eyes wide shut!! Think about your kids….and give them HOPE.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Please show me exactly where I wrote “religion causes all wars”. I would really like to see that.

      This is another example of how the mind of a religious zealot works. They force themselves to believe things that don’t really exist and use that as the basis of their argument. I didn’t say what you wrote so your whole argument is moot.

      Please try again, this time use logic and reason to back you up. Ooops, sorry. I thought I was talking to someone else. Yes, that was an ad hominem attack.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @ “wisdom”

      This world wasn’t created and there never was a god. If you have ANY evidence whatsoever that what you claim is true then please present it. You will be the first person in the world to ever do so.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • sam

      wisdom sounds so much like HeavenSent, she should just break down and go ahead and start adding 'amen' to the end of every post.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Well then....YOU don't exist....or your kids...because I don't believe you do! LOOK around you....everything you see was created by someone...duhhh!!

      February 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @Sam ~~~~

      Yes!! Amen and Amen!!! Jesus IS Lord.... not Long!!!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  7. Gev

    Here is a response from a Messianic perspective http://roshpinaproject.com/2012/02/02/messer-crowns-eddie-long-as-king/

    February 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  8. Ice T

    Dayum...it b awl crazy up in here!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Eddie Wong

    U bin here 4 hour, U LEAVE NOW!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  10. TXpresby

    CNN editors – would you please do your job and take down on the racist comments on this post!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Uncle Sanchez

      You are the racist, ya nig ger.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • CNN Moderator

      Freedom of speech.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  11. Flavor Flav

    Dat it. Eddie, GIMME BACK MY CLOCK.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  12. Eddie Longs and Michael Jacksons Tallywacker

    Aww yeah...mmmm hmmm...git it boys...keep sucking dat big tang...mm hhmmm, oh thats goot...AW LAWWWDD, ize about to fill dat mouf wif sub Jesus Juice. AAAAA MMMMEEEENNN!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  13. LAVERNE

    This is a joke. Right? Long is making more and more of a fool of himself with this spectacle. The best thing he can do for himself and the rest of humanity is to "JUST DISAPPEAR". What's with his congregation? Are they totally blind, in the worse case of denial I have ever seen, or just stupid? Why would intelligent, sane people continue to follow and support this man? Mama used to say, "It takes all kinds to make a world". I guess this whole mess shows just how true that old saying can be.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  14. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    If this piece of Shiite is a king................then we should crown him! Preferably with a baseball bat!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  15. William Demuth

    I hope one of the boys he buggered slits his throat.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Linda

      William, You must be a christian!

      February 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  16. Eddie Longs Tallywacker

    Yall stoopit. I could stand up day and take uh shyt on duh flo and dim nig gahs would riot ovuh who git to eat duh Bishops SHYT!! PRAISE DUH LAWD!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  17. Jennifer Levy

    Ummm...he's wrapped in a tallis. He's holding a Torah,

    February 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal

      If you watch the video, they do unroll the Torah and wrap it around this idiot and proclaim him king. Way to go Eddie – it's difficult to insult 2 religions at the same time, but you manage to make it look easy.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Jennifer M

    Don't worry. God knows better.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  19. Woman of Integrity

    I am so glad, that God in his great love is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance! That same God is also a God of wrath, and in due time, will execute due Judgement. Right now it's show time for all those who want to compromise the word of God.. but that time is fast coming when God will say, SHOWTIME IS OVER!!! NOW IT'S MY TIME!!. Woe unto those who will have man lift them up as King, when we should be servants unto a Holy and True God.. Jesus said, IF I BE LIFTED UP, I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME. Keep on lifting up yourselves.. demonic worshippers!!! God is about to expose all the filth that is going on in churches where men can only fool men, not God! Eddie Long, forget thou not, King Herod was also lifted up but worms took the better part of him in the eyes of all the people..Acts chapte 12:23. Be ware!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • rick

      seem like more jesus-is-coming-look-busy schtick. how long has this second coming been coming?

      February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ rick

      Ahhh….duhhh!!!

      Jesus said:
      "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father……”
      “"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come……So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

      February 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • TR6

      @wisdom4u2@ rick:” Jesus said: "No one knows about that day or hour…”

      Jesus also said “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." –Matthew 16:28 (KJV) “

      But he hasn’t keep his promise

      February 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @TR6 ~~~~

      You are about as 'numb nuttie' as they come!!!!!!
      Wha'cha mean "He hasn't keep his promise." and it's 'kept'....hellooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
      They didn't 'taste' death, you mo ron!
      They were able to see the Son of man coming into His kingdom.......duhhhhh! unlike YOU
      There is NO death for the believer!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      "nor the Son, but only the Father…"
      -- So much for the Trinity.
      -–So much for omniscience.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  20. Eddie Long Here

    OH YES Lawd...I gun take ALL DIM NIG GAHS MONEY!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:53 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.