Recent public statements by megachurch pastors in response to a
scandal-ridden peer reveal differing perspectives on repentance,
restoration and ministerial ethics.
Last September, four men—all
former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta—claimed
the church’s pastor, Eddie Long, used gifts, trips and money to coerce
them into engaging
in sex acts with him. Although no criminal
charges were filed, Long settled with his accusers last month, leading
some church leaders who had previously reserved judgment to speak out.
On June 5, fellow Atlanta pastor Creflo Dollar urged his World
Changers Church to refrain from gossiping about the Long scandal and
warned disgruntled New Birth members that they would not find a
listening ear at his church.
“That preacher’s still anointed to do what he was called to. He just had
a wreck. The blood will take care of his issue just like it will take
care of yours,” Dollar stated. “And I just can’t believe that people would leave their
preacher because he had a wreck, instead of praying for him.”