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Dear Bishop Long

Oct 12, 2010 — Categories: ,

Dear Bishop Long: As a fellow pastor, I am glad to see that you are studying scripture and praying as you confront the allegations of pastoral misconduct from four of your young followers. I see that you are comparing yourself to David as a young man in battle with Goliath. I appreciate your identification with David, a young man battling powerful odds. However, you might find it interesting to study the older David, the flawed and imperfect leader we read about in II Samuel.

Dear Bishop Long:

As a fellow pastor, I am glad to see that you are studying scripture and praying as you confront the allegations of pastoral misconduct from four of your young followers.

I see that you are comparing yourself to David as a young man in battle with Goliath. I appreciate your identification with David, a young man battling powerful odds. However, you might find it interesting to study the older David, the flawed and imperfect leader we read about in II Samuel. David, the powerful king, who, upon seeing Bathsheba, decided he would take her. David, who impregnated Bathsheba, then tried to manipulate her husband to believe that he was the father. When that failed, David had Uriah, her husband, killed in battle so that then he could “have” Bathsheba with no interference.

This is the David who did everything necessary to have what he wanted. He took advantage of one of his subjects who was given no choice in the matter. He misused his considerable power.  Sometimes it is difficult to see ourselves in this story and to see how easy it can be to lose sight of the boundaries in our roles as pastoral leaders.

When you study this passage, be sure to include II Samuel 12:1-15. This is the important part. This is where David’s friend, Nathan, risks telling the King the truth about himself. Nathan uses a metaphor about a rich, powerful man who takes a lamb from a poor farmer in order to serve his guest. The King took what he wanted and took advantage of the poor man. David is outraged at this injustice and suggests that the rich man should die for it. Then Nathan speaks truth to power: “You are the man.”

Finally, David sees through the mirror clearly and realizes he is the man, that he has sinned against God and his neighbor and that God is not pleased. If you are fortunate, you will have a Nathan in your life who can help you see clearly that when there are boundary violations in pastoral relationships, it is the misuse of power.

Your sister in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

Document Actions

To Bishop Long

Posted by Marvin Eckfeldt at Oct 13, 2010 12:18 PM
Right on, Marie! You tell the truth as it is. If only Bishop Long and those who follow his leadership could see the truth for what it is.

Bishop Long

Posted by Jackie at Nov 02, 2010 12:09 PM
When those outside the faith attack, I get it...however, when you who are supposedly THE CALLED attack each other, I have problems.
Am I saying Bishop Long is innocent,no I am not..however, neither am I saying he's guilty..What we should be doing is praying for him and those young men. Pray that when the truth is revealed (if it is) all those involved will have some form of resolution that will grant them healing. If Bishop is guilty, I pray for him that God would restore him...because the most important part of all this is the souls of those involved.

Bishop Long

Posted by Marvin Eckfeldt at Nov 10, 2010 05:39 PM
Jackie, I want to affirm Marie's viewpoint and her blog comments. I am pained by what I read about the whole situation with Bishop Long and those who are his accusers. I do hope the truth will be revealed, because the "truth will bring freedom". My personal response is one of dismay because of how it appears Bishop Long is responding and what I see in the reaction of his followers. I do pray for all involved and I await a clearer perspective and if the line has been crossed, expect justice to bring healing.

Eddie Long

Posted by Sheila L Gray at Oct 13, 2010 12:18 PM
You got that right!

The Bishop and David

Posted by Christie Smith Stephens at Oct 13, 2010 12:18 PM
Thank you, Marie. You are Nathan yet another time!

Letter to Bishop Long

Posted by Eileen Norrington at Oct 13, 2010 07:13 PM
Very well stated, Marie!

Bishop Long

Posted by Patricia L. Hunter at Oct 13, 2010 07:13 PM
We can only hope there is some Nathan in his life who will speak the truth to him and that he will listen to. Well said Dr. Fortune.

Rev Long

Posted by Rev Custis at Oct 15, 2010 04:30 PM
Right on Rev Marie. We need more Nathans in the Faith Community. Willing to speak truth to Power.

Eddie Long

Posted by Alesha at Oct 19, 2010 12:28 PM
This is well composed. I hope that Eddie Long will digest this information from the wise counsel and get the help that he needs. He must be honest with self, his people and God.If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
 

Dear Bishop Long

Posted by Rev. Al Miles at Oct 19, 2010 12:44 PM
Thank you for your truth, Dr. Fortune! It was the "Nathans" in my life--sisters and brothers who so loved me that they risked speaking their truth--that finally helped me take full responsibility for the wise and unwise choices I was making as a powerful man of God. And, as a result, I then became the spiritual leader God always intended!!

Blessings,
Rev. Al Miles

David

Posted by Pastor Lonnie Davis at Nov 02, 2010 12:10 PM
First, I enjoyed the story of David. However, whether Bishop Long is innocent or guilty he shall face the judgement of Amighty God. I truly believe this fact.
Now, the bible says that David was a "Man after God's own heart" and I believe it was because David was a "Lover of the Truth" and once he heard the truth he immediately confessed and repented.
Second, I can see arrogance and pride from many so-called "Followers of Christ" (Bishop Long included) who have offices of authority in denominations and churches and as in the world politics the people protect them and cover up their sins.
Third, God shall get the glory from all of these situations. Sin is sin. We as humans like to compare our sins with others and make theirs greater than ours. I thank God for the Ministry and Word of Reconcilion. We must remember Ephessians 6:12. Let's "Wait on the Lord." I pray for those young men who say they were manipulated.