Posts tagged ‘Bishop Eddie Long’

June 21, 2011

An Open Letter to Creflo Dollar

by MullOverThis

Thank you, Creflo, for revealing your feelings and suggested guidance for New Birth members who left Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth.  In doing so, you have also revealed a tremendous problem with the “Doc” syndrome and the boys club amongst pastors/preachers.   Please know that the problem has been forewarned to the Body of Christ in the Word of God, so many of us are not alarmed. Some of us are merely disappointed but will continue to be loyal to God, not the loyal to manipulative “game” Docs engage in, as demonstrated in your plea for New Birth members to forgive your friend.

First of all, Mr. Dollar, church loyalty from parishioners should never be based upon who is your friend, or not your friend.  THE BIG ESSENCE OF CREFLO DOLLAR and who you decide is friend-worthy does not credential or validate whether or not sound people with sound minds should pledge their allegiance to a pompous man who has not demonstrated a modicum of humility to the people of whom you expect loyalty. Pay attention Grand Super Doc, Creflo.  Your friend may still be going to heaven and is human just like the rest of us.  But, before he gets to heaven, he’s got some explaining to do to the Body of Christ.  When your super-buffed and wilfully dressed to show it friend cut the fool enough for him to squirmishly admit he wasn’t perfect, he admitted that there is some stuff going on.  We’d rather not have to know it, but since it amounted to lawsuits, Super Grand Doc, and he is supposed to be a Bishop, you know how this is supposed to work.   

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June 16, 2011

Weiner Resigns

by MullOverThis

Why?

Because of all the hoopla the party now faces, due to Weiner’s sexting misappropriations?  Or, his resignation may be a final breath to the nonsense-turned-fiasco because instead of addressing the mess with a modicum of integrity, the otherwise likeable New York congressman allegedly lied about the incident/s.

Like many of his predecessors-politicians with extramarital or freaky-deak shenanigans gone public-Weiner had to accept responsibility and step aside.  For what, I’m not certain because in the total scheme of things, this kind of stuff seems to be a marital more than a governmental problem.  Yet, the public and party insiders who care about the pressures from constituents seems to expect politicians to take the self-inflicted irreparable damage end and resign.  Expectedly, Weiner, in a brief statement, took the prescribed course and unloaded the continued ammunition the Republicans would have against the Democrats.

What is particularly admirable is that whether or not Weiner is genuine in his apology for the lack of discretion evidenced by the juvenile sexting and online parading or not, he had the wherewithal to know that some acknowledgment and an apology to those who relied upon his leadership was necessary.

The great grand pompous Bishop Eddie Long, who has some rocks that he hasn’t yet slung in his slingshot like David used in annihilating David’s seemingly giant enemy, ought to take some lessons from Weiner.  After lying and running his mouth to the press, Weiner made a public apology to his wife, his family and those who stood with him in his career as a public servant.   While the standard of integrity and accountability in the church should be so much greater, the Bishop Eddie Long who had a sexting component to his scandal and alleged sexual escapades with young boys/men has yet to make any public statement demonstrating any amount of humility or admission that at the very least, Bishops don’t take pictures of their buffed bodies and send them to their parishioners (especially when the men who are supposed to be chaste are married and have children).

The handsome sum in the millions (alleged) for settling the lawsuits-again, millions-is a huge rock in a Bishop Long’s slingshot.  However, Bishop Long’s slingshot seemed to have a boomerang effect.  I commend all of the people with common sense who are leaving New Birth and refuse to sit under a leader who would settle in the millions rather than let the truth be made known. Remember, for those who receive restoration for being overtaken in a fault, there must first be acknowledgment of wrong and repentance.  True repentance means the behavior must change because it is WRONG.  Arrogance and regrets for being busted won’t do.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20066740-504083.html

Nuff said.

Mulloverthis.

January 11, 2008

MORE ON THE GRASSLEY 6: BITTER, But Over Prosperity Teachings?

by MullOverThis

Someone sent me the following article a few weeks ago.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/12/27/prosperity.preachers.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch

Before we delve into the crux of the article, three true stories come to mind.  First, I remember years ago when the HSN first came on television and it was so unconventional to have round-the-clock shopping, and without leaving home. From the convenience of a family room, I clicked the remote control for a console 25 inch television and ordered my first gold link bracelet for $108 dollars.  It was  8 inches in length and 14kt Italian gold.  When I received the bracelet delivered to my front door, I was so excited.  I opened the packaging and thought it was a prank. The bracelet was so tiny, I was livid.  The bracelet was precisely what the network advertised, I just didn’t pay attention to the weight and the width of the bracelet.  There really was no bargain at all and I learned a crucial lesson:  pay attention to detail and some consumptions are best made in person where I can inspect the product.

Second, last year an on-line news journal headlined a NJ family who lost their home because the bank foreclosed on the property. After dancing through an illustrious tale of re-finance after re-finance and the increasing inability to pay the note and living off of the equity in the home, the family had to deal with the embarrassing reality of losing their suburban life.  The slant on the article was to capture a look at the ills of the sub-prime mortgage industry.  So an unethical broker who kept urging them to re-finance became the scapegoat.  The homeowners talked about the pressure they were under to keep re-financing.  The truth is they had thousands of dollars in consumer debt, did renovations and improvements that they could not afford, and paid maintenance bills with proceeds from re-financing, while having more children.  They made horrible choices living beyond their means, and wanted to blame the broker and the bank for making them sign hundreds of signatures, over and over again.  This is a prime example of bad habits and the blame game.

Third, there was a single mother in her late twenties who owned her own business and missed a couple of months in her apartment rent payments.  One day she went to church and the pastor made the statement, “you ought to live where you pay rent” (this was in reference to young men should pay their bills and be stable in their decisions, then God will allow them to be stewards over more, and become homeowners).  A number of months later, I drove this young lady and her child home, and she asked me to drop her at her place of business.  I told her I would wait to take her home, because it was extremely late and in a questionable neighborhood.  She explained that she moved into her place of business with her child, because God spoke to her through the same statement the pastor made months before, which she took completely out of context.  Since she did not make her apartment rent payments and kept the business lease payments up to date, God, in her mind, was speaking to her situation.  She made a major life decision and credited the pastor for giving her those asinine directives.  This woman who was responsible for the life of another human being, heard what she wanted to hear.

So when I read this article, I realized that there has to be some sob stories to make these televangelists be the super rich preying on the innocent poor as they’ve been dubbed.  Again, it is difficult to forgo common sense to end up putting these televangelists on the dartboard and piercing their images with each dart that hits the bulls-eye. 

Now, Ms. Bitter over Prosperity Preachings is an accountant who gave a substantial amount of money to the three televangelist ministries, and ended up borrowing money for food from her friends and using payday loans to survive when the blessings she was looking for did not come.  Accountant and payday loans do not work in the same equation unless there is a ‘”not equal to” sign involved.  Although we don’t have the full story, there has to be some fiscal insanity irrespective of any wooing these televangelists could have done to get this poor woman’s money.  As a member of the finance community, she would have been better off going to file an emergency claim with a social service agency, an  independent Charity, or knocking on a church door for some help.

According to the AP, Ms. Fleenor, the “victim” said, “I wanted to believe God wanted to do something great with me like he was doing with them…I’m angry and bitter about it. Right now, I don’t watch anyone on TV hardly.”  What was Ms. Fleenor’s perception of what God was doing with the televangelists?  They wrote checks to God and woke up a few weeks, months, even three years later and “blew up”?  That she would give to God and take the time, dedication, and diligence to build the families, churches, communities and works as the have? None of those ministries she contributed to, or any who are under the microscopic eye of Senator Grassley and his committee, are people who got Rolls Royces, private jets, mansions, face-lifts, image consultants, or millions of viewers overnight.  All of these ministries were built over at least fifteen plus years of  faithfulness to ministry.  What was God doing in them? He was and is prospering them for obeying the principles of the Word of God that do not gravitate towards a personality.  They work according to our faith, but faith without works is dead.  In other words, we must put our faith in action.  That does not simply mean to write a check because I want God to give me X or make me like Y. God is not a genie or Santa Claus. We all have our own paths in life.

Just to begin to tackle some of the principles in giving and receiving, the Kingdom of God pretty much works like the laws of agriculture.  In order to get a harvest, a farmer must have seeds and plant them.  This takes work to prepare the ground so that it is good and involves pruning, watering and oversight. When a harvest comes, a farmer does not give all of his harvest away. If he does, he will not eat, or cry after getting payday loans.  He must preserve some for his own table, and plant seed into his own ground again  so that he will produce a harvest in due season.  Next, a farmer may desire a harvest in crops that he does not plant.  He may sow, or exchange goods into another farmer’s land, and WHEN there is a harvest in another farmer’s crops, expect a return–not when they get tired of waiting.  One of the number one mistakes entrepreneurs make is they give up right before the new business turns a profit. One reaps what one sows.  This principle cannot be limited to giving, but certainly applies here. 

The article further purports, “The message flickered into Cindy Fleenor’s living room each night: Be faithful in how you live and how you give, the television preachers said, and God will shower you with material riches.”  That’s funny, because I have never gotten this message in isolation flickering into my television night after night. And I don’t suffer from the requisite delusions or paranoia to believe that “the man” or the televangelist division of the  FBI superimposes my television programming with Creflo, Copeland, Meyer, White, and Long teaching, or Ms. Fleenor’s with “give me money and you’ll get or become whatever is running through your mind when you think it should get to your front door”.  Nor do I believe they strategize to be aired in poverty-stricken markets so they can get money.  This thinking presumes that poor people are idiots, and fails to take into account that poor people are the ones WITHOUT MONEY to make greedy fat cats richer.  Everybody needs the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom and how to live as God intended his children to until Jesus comes again.

Now, we have no way of knowing what this message Ms. Fleenor received meant to her. But principles of multiplication and productivity (what people are calling prosperity gospel) are based upon what our priorities are (seek ye first the Kingdom of God), our faith,  our faithfulness as good stewards over finances (in paying bills, paying them on time, owing no man [not having debt], no usury, no unjust weights and balances, no unjust motives or practices), and, our stewardship over all things pertaining to life and ministry (our families, properties, businesses, education, works for the Kingdom of God). 

At least five of these ministries under fire teach extensively about the Kingdom of God and giving. They would all be well-advised to start using more of this teaching when making on-air requests for partners and offerings to defray duplicitous branding, because there are the “Ms. Fleenors” out there watching.  This situation is also a textbook case for the need for all believers to have a local church home. No one should be sitting at home waiting for some overnight fix to issues we’ve worked lifetimes getting ourselves into–in many circumstances–through writing a check.  If we do donate, it should be to perpetuate the works the ministries are doing all over the world while we WAIT PATIENTLY on God to bless us for meeting the needs of the Kingdom of God, LIVING AS FAITHFUL STEWARDS. 

Now it would not make sense to watch a weight loss program, buy the product, eat the food according to plan, work out, and then get mad at the weight loss company because your waist is expanding instead of shrinking.  If you know you have a fibroid tumor but didn’t know the diet food is what makes fibroids grow, your weight loss program is not going to give you the visual benefits you might expect until you get rid of the fibroid tumor that went from a small pea to a watermelon on the diet.  The weight loss program might not make disclaimers for such interferences because to some degree, folks expect folks to know their own situations and make decisions accordingly, and cannot account for such peculiar circumstances.  So, Ms. Fleenor may be bitter, but there would have to be a whole lot more information to pin the tail on the prosperity donkeys or guinea pigs. 

Moderator’s note:  I hope that Ms. Fleenor has a loving church family, or finds one.  Good pastors and elders help to prevent these types of experiences, because they are able to provide sound teaching and counsel believers according to the Word of God and their personal situations.

December 18, 2007

Nagging WatchDog Groups Lead to Senate Finance Committee Probe of Six Televangelist Ministries

by MullOverThis

The United States Senate Committee on Finance, led by Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley, is conducting a probe on six televangelist ministries.  And the nagged are: Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries; David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries; and Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries.  Yes, I said “nagged”.  Kudos to Creflo and Long for requiring the Senate Committee to issue subpoenas or give it a rest. Kudos to the twentieth exponential power for Joyce Meyer telling them to click the on-line button because her ministry’s financial reports for the past few years is already public information.

Most of these ministries have already stated that as far as they know, they have complied with IRS Not-for-Profit requirements.  Because we can give our opinions in these types of forums here it is: if the governor of my state came to my front door asking me about why I didn’t report or purchased something I felt I had every right to according to IRS and corporate guidelines, I’d ask him why did he want to get into my business.  Just because some watchdog groups are drunk with fighting a fight that the sovereign God is perfectly capable of checking HIMSELF,  and have plagued the senator’s office with information to silence preachers who have been labeled “prosperity gospel preachers”, does not mean the ministries have to buck and comply. If there is a discrepancy, IRS rules, codes, audits and policing mechanisms need to change.  If these ministries are grossly out of compliance and into thievery, then these leaders won’t have to take the jet or be chauffeured in a Bentley or a Yugo to get to minister to prisoners.  They’ll either roll out of bed in their jumpsuits or write hefty penalty checks that better be holy and filled in the sanctified bank. 

Now, I don’t advocate anything that I know nothing about. I am still not clear what the tenets and doctrines of the prosperity gospel are about.  As a Bible teacher, prosperity is certainly part of the plan of God for all of His creation from Genesis to Revelation.  (This is another couple of blogs.) Urging the Senate to override procedural safeguards through fully empowered agencies because of substantive disagreement with what these ministries teach is not a precedent any religious institution should employ. The concern can’t really just be suspect money handling when Long and Paula White were already harrowed in their local areas and had to be IRS proof.  I submit for consideration that suspect money handling in the church is not a mainstay of the mega-church. These are the ministries with compliance officers and functions.

The real treat in all of this is according to letters issued to the ministries and the press release from Senator Grassley’s office, this  inquiry addresses concerns of abusing tax-exempt status, misappropriating funds given by donors,  whether these family or “back pocket” board members are merely figurative, and reporting of lavish gifts personally and to the ministries.                                              http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=CapitolGains.Detail&CapitolGain_id=a21ffd20-d8d5-fbb3-21e5-793073fe92b5.  Yet, the judge and jury is already out with folks referring to this as an embarrassment to the church.  Hold your horses, Tonto!  We haven’t even gotten underway with the “knitty gritty” yet. The same folks who buy tennis shoes at a gazillion percent mark-up because their whining children must have the brand name cannot be griping. The ones who pull up to their humble church where their pastors and leaders are on salary and live off of ten to sixty-five percent of church revenue can’t be the ones either.  None of these probed ministries exhausts revenue for personal sustenance but do have works all over the world. Many communities in Africa have consummable drinking water because Joyce Meyer, and not her critics who have not come into the land and dropped any wells, has appropriated funds from donors and other streams of income to make a difference in the world. Not the type of difference that people who complain, but do nothing to help solve problems, make. I’m talking about a notable difference that meets the needs of people. So do I care that she or her ritzy guests to the ministry headquarters hoists herself on a $23,000.00 commode to engage in excretory bliss?  Absolutely not.  Order pizza while you’re on it Joyce, if you are bringing in 124 million dollars annually and some local pastors live off of six times more of their annual revenues, not profits, than you do and don’t even pay the church bills on time.  I don’t turn up my nose at the high-end commodes at fine restaurants either.  The ambiance of the executive suite of a mid-sized US corporation does not change because Christians run it. I personally wouldn’t suggest a $4.99 early bird plastic lid special at the ministry offices to appease people, most of whom can’t match the works of those they obsessively criticize.  And, finally,  God didn’t ask for the plastic or moderate commode level in anything He designed and asked His people to build for Him.  Everything in the temple was the $23,000.00 commode level, the finest materials.  When Solomon was rewarded by God for asking God for wisdom to rule God’s people, God gave him riches.  The lavish favored King didn’t grieve God and neither does any other steward that is meeting the needs of those who need Jesus.

 The real people who see the poor giving their last and spend it without accountability are the churches with Goofey accounting systems in play-play land, and every person who has a role in finances or is anointed to preach has the same last name which coincidentally matches the Pastor.  I don’t believe that the same Jesus that permitted the costly oil to anoint his feet (that his disciples thought should be sold and the proceeds used for the poor)  would mind that people who have put in over 25 years in ministry world-wide enjoy life at the level of their productivity. So this is one person that will be waiting to see what the end of this is before rushing to judgment.

To see the letter to each ministry, click here: http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=15b0ac11-1321-0e36-ba95-dfc2c00db9c2&Month=11&Year=2007