Many of you may have already witnessed the video [embedded above] of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s pastor, self-proclaimed bishop Eddie Long, being coronated as a “king” by self-professing rabbi Ralph Messer. (If someone can provide me with proof of either man’s credentials, I will gladly retract what I just wrote.) The video has gone viral on YouTube and its accompanying story has been picked up across the country by several media outlets.
There are so many things wrong about this scenario that it almost defies a critique. It borders on the surreal.
I would like to add a few of my thoughts.
First, we have no King but Jesus. There may be men who wear the title, but only one Man can lay unquestionable claim to being king.
Second, Eddie Long is just a man. He is a fallen sinner like the rest of humanity. He has had his share of trouble over the years, ranging from multiple divorces to investigations of misusing his tax exempt status to multiple allegations of homosexual pedophilia. In addition, his preferred title of “Bishop” is dubious at best. His ministerial and educational credentials, much like his moral convictions, are found wanting. And we do not have time to mention the false gospel of “health and wealth” that Long peddles weekly from his pulpit.
Third, the “rabbi” in this video, Ralph Messer, as well as the ceremony he performs, has been called into question by an authentic Jewish rabbi. I am no Hebrew scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I recognize phony when I see it. This whole ceremony, in my opinion, reeks of bogus.
Fourth, and perhaps the thing that saddens me most, is thousands, possibly millions, will see this video and use it as ammunition to slander the church. They will see a crowded sanctuary of Christians affirming and allowing a very troubled man, not just be their pastor, but be crowned their king in a ceremony that defies logic or Scriptural basis. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of the fall out from this debacle.
A royal mess indeed.
Additional reading: Eddie Long crowned ‘king’; religious leaders aren’t impressed