…that he’s not taking this “sex scandal” thing laying down!
Just days after a 4th lawsuit was filed, the Bishop stood before thousands of his supportive congregants Sunday, where he vowed to “vigorously” defend himself against the accusations of four young men who claim he coerced them into sex.
Long took the pulpit at precisely 9 a.m., dressed in a khaki-colored suit bearing the New Birth emblem. He emerged with his wife and held her hand for the next two to three minutes as the crowd stood clapping.
Long vaguely addressed the congregation and awaiting media while reading from his ipad.
Transcript + video of Long’s Sunday morning message & brief press conference below:
As long as man has to deal in life, you will find that life will be unfair, the rain’s on the just and the unjust. And we are all subject to face distasteful and painful situations.
Bishop Long — Eddie Long — and you can put your name in that blank, will have some bad situations. The righteous face painful situations with a determined expectancy. We are not exempt from pain, but He promises to deliver us out of our pain.
Solutions or situations of destruction, pain caused by floods, pain caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, Katrina, those that had to be relocated, lost things in a day, the stress, the challenge of painful situations.
Some in here, situation of disease and sickness, have been to the doctor, got reports that wasn’t favorable, that’s why we do our confessions in this the ending of that 21 days to bring you into wholeness. Painful situations. Situations of disappointment, many have been disapointed. Hopelessness and unmet expectations; situations of death, there’s parents in here who’ve lost children and people who were suddenly taken away in car accidents or unexpected things. Situations of deception, when one has been betrayed by those that they love; situations of divorce when love turns into resentment; situations, and the greatest pain of life is to love somebody that doesn’t love you back.
Without a doubt there are painful situations in life that are inescapable. Protections from painful situations are absolutely impossible. Trust me, I tried to find them. Preparation is the most important, but the response to painful situations is, also. Matthew 6:33 says seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things will be added unto you.
We cannot always control and avoid painful situations, but we can control our response to them. We must decide in the midst of all that occurs, that we will maintain our righteous focus and spiritual witness. Some possible responses as I close and move.
You can curse it, and allow the situation to make you bitter.
You can nurse it and allow the situation to make you a blamer.
You can rehearse it and allow the situation to be relived and make you a worse person because you continue to go over it and over it and live in that pain.
Or you can reverse it, and allow the situation, response, to cause you to be better.
We will not allow the present pain to cause us to abandon our righteous commitment and stand.
Someway and somehow we will become better and we will walk through this painful situation.
The remedy for a painful situation is described by David in the best way that I know how to make it through rough times. Yea though I walk through the valleys and the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You art with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. David, the writer, gives us an insight of how to make it through a painful time. Because he seems to be focused on something higher than the pain. We can make it through these times if we stay focused on the spiritual things that have brought us thus far. And we can make it through by the focus on power.
So I just took the power and took the first letters of that word and this, New Birth, is our focus.
No. 1 is the P for the power of prayer. We must be committed and stay committed to prayer. Not just for me and not just for my family, but also for everyone concerned in these allegations and all that is going on. We must stay prayerful for the nations and prayerful for our president. We have a wonderful opportunity and it is election time in Georgia. It’s very important. We cannot be distracted and not go to the polls because we’re trying to chase folk down. Early voting is now. You can go and vote. Because Jesus teaches us that even we have to love our enemies and pray for them, too.
The next letter is O for outreach. We cannot allow these things to distract us from our mission to seek and to save the lost. We are going after the lost. And some of you who think I’m lost … and your need to see God, there’ll be an opportunity to come down to the altar. We must continue to minister to those who are lost.
The W is for worship. We must focus on the power of worship. New Birth, we have some powerful worship here and we ain’t gon’ stop having it. There’s been healing going forth, deliverance going forth. All kind of things that happen in the power of worship. And you just need to focus yourself and look back on the wonderful dimensions of worship that God is continuing to take us in.
The E is for encouragement. We must be there to encourage one another. The Bible says David had to encourage himself. He had to do that because he was alone. We are not alone. There’s a whole lot of folk up in here, up in here, up in here. And there’s a whole lot of people that we can use to encourage one another.
And finally the R is for resolve. We must not forget that our strength is not in man, but in the Lord. We have come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. We have a reliance on the holy spirit. And the scripture teaches us that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk….
There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that?s being portrayed on the television. That?s not me. That is not me.
By the counsel of my lawyers, they have advised me not to try this case in the media. I am not gon’ try this case in the media. It will be tried in the court of justice and dealt with in the court of justice and please understand because that’s the only place I think I’ll get justice, but being in the hands of God.
Please hear this. Please hear this: I?ve been accused. I?m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing I?m gon’ fight.
And I want you to to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I?ve got five rocks and I haven?t thrown one yet. [CLICK HERE for full transcript.]
At the end of his sermon, Long dropped the mic and exited stage left.
He called the past week the most painful time in his life and quoted from Psalms 34:19, saying “Many are the afflictions, but the lord delivers him out of all of them.”
At a media conference afterward, Long made a short statement with his attorney by his side but did not take questions.
During the brief press conference, Long said, “I am going to fight, fight very vigorously.”
Long was scheduled to appear on the Tom Joyner Morning Show last week, but that appearance was canceled at the last minute by his attorney, who went on in his place.
The scandal has rocked the church, although he appears to have the support of many members. Only time will tell in this situation…