Remember Eddie Long’s coronation as a king two weekends ago? It turns out that the Anti-Defamation League, a group that protects Jewish rights and customs was pretty upset about it.
“We were appalled by the video of Bishop Long being celebrated in a fake Jewish ritual…There’s no Jewish ritual that bears any resemblance to what went on at the church last Sunday,” said Bill Nigut, ADL’s Southeast director. “One of the things that struck me after I got over being dumbfounded by this fake Jewish ritual was that there are many members of the congregation who witnessed that and were cheering and applauding… Frankly, I felt bad for them because I don’t know that they had any idea that what they were watching was an illegitimate ritual that bears no resemblance to a real Jewish ritual… I think that what we would like most from Bishop Long is to say, I understand now I participated in a ritual that didn’t have anything to do with Judaism.” Needless to say, they weren’t exactly thrilled over the whole thing. In Long’s defense, I did get the feeling that Long had no idea that Messer was going to do that. In fact, Long didn’t appear to be as thrilled as the congregants, though he may have just felt humbled by it. He may have even been embarrassed. Bottom line is – he rolled with it, and didn’t say anything about it. Until now.
Bishop Eddie Long has apologized to the ADL for what had happened. “The ceremony was not my suggestion, nor was it my intent, to participate in any ritual that is offensive in any manner to the Jewish community, or any group. Furthermore, I sincerely denounce any action that depicts me as a King, for I am merely just a servant of the Lord… While I believe that Rabbi Ralph Messer has good intentions during his message at New Birth, I understand that the ceremony he performed on Sunday, January 29th, caused harm to the Jewish community, for which I am deeply sorry,” Long had written in response to Nigut. The apology was well received by Nigut who said, “I thought it was a very heartfelt, sincere, humble apology… “I was very gratified by Bishop Long apparently recognizing what our concern was.“
On another note, Rabbi Hillel Norry of Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta said that the whole ritual was bogus, and that no such coronation ritual exists. He doubts the age of the scroll, and that it had somehow escaped the concentration camp. Angus Johnston of StudentActivism.net agrees with him, saying that Messer isn’t Jewish and that no such ceremony exists. “The ‘priceless’ Torah scroll Messer wraps Long in is almost certainly a fake. As you can see at (updated) 5:08 in the video, the thing is held together with scotch tape,” said Johnston. This also isn’t the first time Messer has performed this ceremony. He’s done this to pastor Randy White (Paula White’s ex husband) at Without Wall International Church, the church from which he later stepped down.
Eddie Long is no stranger to controversy. This only adds to the tangle. And if it should be that he never molested those boys, apologized and denounced the coronation, reconciled with his wife, and fixed all of these things, he’d still be guilty of teaching damnable heresy. Pastor Eddie Long needs to denounce and apologize for teaching the Word Faith heresy. He needs to repent and believe the gospel, because it doesn’t matter how lonnnnng (pun intended) his list of offenses is. Jesus Christ is a greater Savior. People will quickly jump and say, “Oh yah, so a murderer can just believe the gospel and have his sins forgiven?! Yah right!” Yes he can. And he doesn’t need to jump through hoops, whip himself, do good things for the community, hug weirdos, or feed the blind. He just needs to simply believe that in light of God’s law that is broken constantly by humanity, Jesus Christ, the second person of the triune nature of God was born of a virgin, lived a sinless and perfectly obedient life in regard to that law. Then Jesus was placed on a cross to suffer the wrath of God. He was buried for 3 days and rose from the dead, having victory over death. Those who believe this will be justified. What this justification means for the believer is that Jesus’ perfect life is credited to them, meaning God won’t see their sins anymore. He will only see Christ’s perfect obedience. Secondly, Christ’s death is applied to the believer in that the wrath that should have befallen such a one had befallen Christ in their place. Thirdly, as Christ had been raised to life, believers will one day also raise to life for eternity. Seems too good to be true? It isn’t. Christ did this as a gift to all those who believe. Unbelievers, on the other hand, will be cast into eternal destruction, suffering the payment for breaking God’s laws. No offense is too great, no sin too wretched. To make an objection to that is to call into question the very perfection and worth of Jesus Christ. Pray for Bishop Long, that God might grant him faith and repentance.