Last time I checked, Eddie Long was a man on these streets. A man. Not a martyr. Not a savior. Not a saint. He's a man. While he may be more familiar with the word of God than most, he's still a man. Though he may seem to be more disciplined than most, he is still a man. Bishop Eddie Long is a man.
The accusations he's facing are not of my concern. Guilty or innocent, it's a sad situation and I wish the best to all parties involved. My issues aren't with Long's friends and family who are supporting him whether these accusations are found true or not. My problem lies with the staunch defenders who have placed Eddie Long on a pedestal of God-like proportions. This is a problem I've seen a lot in the "black church" since I was a kid. Too many people look at their spiritual leaders and see God, instead of a messenger.
Eddie Long, no matter how many Sundays he stands in that pulpit, will never be immune from imperfection, or temptation. He is no better or worse than any man or woman who resides in the church congregation. Every week, there is a drug dealer, a gang member, a homosexual, a down-low man, a prostitute, and a pimp sitting in a church somewhere and they are no different in Gods eyes than the man preaching to them. The demons that reside in the same people he councils, reside in him too.
People are afraid to humanize their spiritual leaders because it forces them to accept their own imperfections. When a man you think can do no wrong, possibly does something wrong, where does that leave you in the eyes of God? The answer: the same place you've always been. If you accept God and you're faithful in your beliefs, then you know that you are never more than a prayer away from forgiveness. The same goes for your spiritual leader.
Eddie Long, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, and Joel Osteen aren't any different from the hundreds of thousands of people they minister to. They walk into the church on Sunday with the same humility as the people who were clubbing, drinking, and having sex the night before. A church, when stripped of its title is only a building. A minister when stripped of his title is only a man. I don't know what Eddie Long has spent his money or his time doing, but I know that whatever sacrifices he's made in his life will never amount to dying for my sins. Jesus Christ did that, and the last time I checked, Eddie Long was no Jesus Christ. He's just a man.