home
RSS
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. tony

    Oh thank god for the power pf prayer by kind, honest, religious people. Now we can thank them for stopping WW I and WW II in their tracks, having all our good godly priests live to 300 and and never any deaths or injuries from natural causes like hurricanes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes or parted Red Seas. Anf of course no childhood deadly illnesses.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  2. prohibition harms

    He sure gives reigion a bad name but what the heck the catholics have been abusing kids for a long time. And they think they are the kings too. Now let's have it out with the kings of religion.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  3. Richard

    Funny, the guy who peddled these 'Holocost Torahs" just admitted they are fakes. How appropriate for kingfish Long to be carrying one.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  4. tom

    "Well how'd you get to be king, then?"

    "The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur...."

    Wait, wrong clip.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  5. JustAnOpinion

    "Televangelist" says everything that needs to be said about this fraud.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  6. sara

    ...and he should hide in Shame. I knew these people were strange. Anybody looking outside of themselves for God's saving grace is insane. I watches each Sunday morning as these "sheep" jam up the traffic. LOL

    February 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  7. Big George in Big D

    Another showy black at work!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  8. look@thisfool

    This has Vince McMahon written all over it.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • pockets

      hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha

      February 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  9. JLR

    Do what now?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  10. TravelSheryl

    Messianic Judaism (Jews for Jesus) is NOT Judaism.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • pockets

      "King" Eddie, and yes he gave sooo much to his parishoners, and oh yes, he gave sooo much to those young boys he molested also. Hmmmm I wonder what those young molested men are thinking now. Don't you?

      February 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • pockets

      And so it is writen in Ralph 2:45, "that the black man will wrap himself in finery and spread the cheeks of the breathern and bury his way home."

      February 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  11. Bob

    There is only one King in my book and that is Christ Jesus.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Well THAT was lame, Bob!

      You need a better book.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • xatira

      @ WELL: There is no better book. Our book explains history, speaks the truth, and tells the future! What other book can do that?? None.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Big George in Big D

      Amen!!

      February 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      If "God" wrote the Bible then he needs a better editor and fact checker. He kinda got the whole "beginning of life on Earth" part wrong.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your book mythologizes history, speaks truth in metaphorical adages like Aesop and predicts the future with less accuracy than Nostradamus.
      Do you think Revelation is prophecy?
      7 headed dragons that spew water and eat pregnant women?
      Locusts wearing crowns and armour that have the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion?
      The Bible predicted Jesus' return within the lifetime of the apostles, but we're all still waiting... (by the by, the biblical definition of "generation", as in "this generation shall not pass" is defined in Psalm 90 as 70-80 years).

      February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • pockets

      "King" what about the Moron's err I mean Mormon's and Joe Smith, and when you die you get your own planet? Well, what about it? And in the case of the Arabs you get 76 wives and 76 mother-in-laws to.......RIP Hitch, you were right all of it, Religion does Poison Everything....

      February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • fred

      @xatira

      "Our book explains history" -> No it doesn't
      "speaks the truth" -> Definitely doesn't
      "and tells the future!" -> Kepp dreaming

      February 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Greg

      "Our book explains history,"

      No it doesn't, it's been scrutinized and even the Smithsonian concluded that It is not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      If the God portrayed in the Bible is the real deal then I'm throwing my allegiance with Lucifer. He at least had the common decency to rebel against God's genocidal, misogynistic, psychotic despotism.

      Plus I bet the parties are way more wicked down South.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bizarre

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      I repeat: There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • xatira

      Thank God for Big George. @ All others: It's really sad that you have nothing to believe in or stand for. You refuse to belive that you're a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Thinking like that will not get you into heaven...there is only one mediator between God and man. And His name is Jesus! You, too, will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord one day! And you will regret that you were too stubborn to humble yourselves!! May the Lord have mercy on you!

      February 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Just because we don't believe in or stand for the same things as you doesn't mean we stand for nothing.
      "Belive or burn" isn't a very convincing argument.
      Get off your high horse.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bizarre

      xatira,

      It's nice for you that your fantasy gives you comfort. You are certainly free to have it.

      It is not nice to try to frighten and threaten others with your imaginary boogie man, however.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • fred

      @xatira
      “It's really sad that you have nothing to believe in or stand for.”
      I stand for common sense, rationality, and being true to myself and others.
      “You refuse to belive that you're a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.”
      I find it sad that you live your life with such fear. If it a result of your parents indoctrinating you at an early age, then shame on them, if you came to think this way on your own, then I’m not sure anyone can help you now.
      “Thinking like that will not get you into heaven”
      There is no heaven, and no hell
      “...there is only one mediator between God and man. And His name is Jesus! “
      Your god and the stories about him are nothing more than a myth.
      “You, too, will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord one day! And you will regret that you were too stubborn to humble yourselves!!”
      No I won’t.
      “May the Lord have mercy on you!”
      May you be healed one day of your delusions.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • fred

      @xatira
      “It's really sad that you have nothing to believe in or stand for.”
      I stand for common sense, rationality, and being true to myself and others.

      “You refuse to belive that you're a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.”
      I find it sad that you live your life with such fear. If it a result of your parents indoctrinating you at an early age, then shame on them, if you came to think this way on your own, then I’m not sure anyone can help you now.

      “Thinking like that will not get you into heaven”
      There is no heaven, and no hell. You have been deceived.

      “...there is only one mediator between God and man. And His name is Jesus! “
      Your god and the stories about him are nothing more than a myth.

      “You, too, will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord one day! And you will regret that you were too stubborn to humble yourselves!!”
      No I won’t.

      “May the Lord have mercy on you!”
      May you be healed one day of your delusions.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  12. Ray

    2 Timothy 3
    3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 FOR MEN WILL BE LOVERS OF THEMSELVES, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS But denying its power.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • xatira

      Amen

      February 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • tony

      Tony.I- IIV. Get Real!

      February 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  13. IAMJUSSAYEN

    Are you serious? That Holy Torah has been desecrated.....This is not a man of GOD. Oh how quickly we forget. He is simply grabbing at straws to redemm himself of his unGODly actions against those men. For those of you that KNOW Eddie Long could not have done what those young men said....Think about this.... IF he didn't DO ANYTHING ANYTHING at all he would have fought to the bitter end to prove his innocence. You do not agree to a settlement if you claim they are liars. David and Goliath....HA! I am still waiting for you to throw the first stone not write the first check. He will receive his judgement in front of GOD the Father....HYPOCRITE.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  14. tony

    Fraud is a crime. That's a picture of a criminal.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • pockets

      A child molester in the guise of a man of 'faith'. Religion poisons "everything". RIP Hitch, you were right.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  15. some dude

    Well if this isn't a prime example of how blind religious people are I don't know what is.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Vanna

      This whole production would have been more believable if they had been playing "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls. Or "To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • pockets

      It is truly IGNORANCE PERSONIFIED. False idols? Molesters? A sick gay man? Not that there is anything wrong with gay men, but this one is mentally ill. Ask the boys he was with and the church settled the law suit with.......its all sick.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • pockets

      Its raining men hahahahahahah I love it Vanna.....good one....excellent

      February 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Jeff

      Exactly. This guy is a scam artist and the whole thing is patently ridiculous. It never ceases to amaze me how delusional people are that follow this kind of nonsense.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things !

    February 3, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • 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 11:59 am |
    • tony

      Well since god doesn't, that's a start.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • xatira

      @ Nope: Prayer does work, if you're a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ! The world has been given the free gift of forgiveness, but doesn't want it! So, why would the world expect to have their prayers heard by the true and living God?? The gospel really is not complex.

      "But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you?" Psalms 50:16-17 (NKJV)

      February 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • tony

      @xatira – You really think the world's peoples as a whole prayed for WW I and WW II and the two recent Tsunamis's???

      February 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Bizarre

      xatira,

      Yeh, and woe unto him who doesn't follow my command to kill every single Amalekite - women, children and babies.

      Don't you see that these were the words of ethnocentric ancient Hebrews, used to rally the troops. ANYONE could say that "God" spoke to them.

      There is no verified evidence for the supernatural beings and events told about in the Bible.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • xatira

      @ Tony: These things happen so that you will one day realize there is no safety or salvation found anywhere else...

      "I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things." Isaiah 45:5-7 (NKJV)

      If you actually understood the Word of God, you'd understand these things and life in general.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  17. Kwesoe

    Power- it gets to your head and pretty soon you start believing and doing things that you once thought were sacrostanct. Instead of seeking reconciliation and forgiveness, this miserable heathen considers himself a king. Shame!

    February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  18. pauljack

    This is the most moronic mess I have seen in a long long time.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  19. Get Real

    This guy is certifiable.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • fred

      as is every person in attendance.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • pockets

      A building full of 'wack jobs'...... 2012 and this Chit still is going on....my my.....next he will running for public office promising a 'chicken in every pot' >LOL tell me its a comedy please someone....its a joke right....hahahahaha

      February 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  20. Molly

    And people think Mormons are weird. Doesn't the Bible tell us not to worship Kings?

    February 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • trooper1

      This is a total outrage! it is just about blasphemous!

      February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Chad

      A king of what ? just what we need another man to worship ..............

      February 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Advertisement
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.