The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

How Spiritual Leaders Get Through What They’re Going Through: Lie or Leave


Iyanla Vanzant (The Huffington Post)

True or false, right or wrong, good or bad, the average human being will at some point live some degree of inauthenticity. Whether at work, at home or in public, we have been trained to believe that who we are at the core of our being is often unacceptable. As a result, we work diligently to live up to – and sometimes down to – what others have made us out to be, whether or not it is an accurate reflection of who we are. Should we be bold enough to attempt to tell them that we are not, we cannot and we have no desire to be who they require, they get mad and threaten to withdraw or withhold their love. That’s when we panic! Once panic sets in, our choices seem limited: knuckle under to the expectations or walk away. Misery results when we knuckle under. It is difficult to live being someone you are not. It is even more difficult to tell the truth when you are taught that who you really are is unacceptable. Heartache and anger are often the outgrowth of walking away. If we can’t be authentic with you, we can choose to be authentic without you. This approach almost always leads to spending a great deal of time in anger. There are other choices; however, once fear, panic or anger sets in, they become difficult to identify.

I have been in deep contemplation about the allegations hurled at Bishop Eddie Long. I am not at first concerned with whether or not he has done what he is accused of doing. That is his business and his Creator’s business. My job is to love, in good times and in bad. I have learned the hard way to mind my business, without judging who people are and what they do. I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold. Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be. My heart goes out to the young men who have lodged the allegations of inauthentic living against the bishop. If they are telling the truth, they are being demonized for it. Their motives are being questioned, and their humanness is being put on trial in the court of public opinion. As it relates to them, there doesn’t seem to be any space for the probability of truth. Should we allow it to be so, it would mean that the bishop has betrayed us and we must judge and attack him.

My heart is also tender for Bishop Long. Having been in a position of leadership, I know the sting of the arrows that are thrown at you. I know what it feels like to be judged while having your connection to, and admiration of, a community threatened. But, what if? What if this bishop or any bishop, cardinal, priest or pastor has a truth that has been withheld? What if the natural human fear of being rejected, abandoned and unloved motivated him to live within the confines of external expectations? What if this bishop or any other person within a church community is a good human being whose human needs and desires are considered unacceptable in the eyes of other human beings, specifically those in the church? Where does that person go to tell the truth? Is there space in the minds and hearts of his peers, or community to hear, accept and release judgment about what his truth may be? Could be. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

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October 12, 2010 Posted by | Commentary, Current Events | , , | Leave a comment

The Eddie Long Scandal: Betraying The Memory of MLK


Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

David A. Love (The Huffington Post)

… But Bishop Long’s sexual orientation ultimately is not the subject of this commentary, although it provides some valuable context. Now, if these accusations are true, then Bishop Long is at least guilty of hypocrisy and self-hatred. And if the charges are not true, he is still an anti-gay minister who has damaged many people. Either way, he is a prosperity preacher who preys on the black community and shames the legacy of the civil rights movement. And that’s most of what we need to know.

When the Southern Poverty Law Center decides to write an intelligence report about you, you know you’ve done something wrong. SPLC calls Bishop Long “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.” In one sermon, he says to gays and lesbians, “God says you deserve death!” The message of “hate the sin and the sinner” are strong words in a religion that is supposed to teach love, healing and redemption.

Long believes that homosexuality is spiritual abortion, “a manifestation of a fallen man.” He believes that if black gays and lesbians feel alienated and abandoned by the black church, the problem is not intolerance against them but their own sins. But before these people go to Hell as he contends they are, Long is trying to cure gays and lesbians (except himself, we can assume). And his church bookstore sells the works of authors such as the homophobic James Dobson of Focus on the Family — no friend of the black community.

And Long’s misappropriation of the King legacy is shameful. Coretta Scott King’s funeral was held at New Birth in 2006 rather than at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King family’s church. Civil rights giants Harry Belafonte and then-NAACP-chair Julian Bond were so mortified by this fact that they boycotted the funeral. After all, Mrs. King was a supporter of gay marriage, and she called it a civil rights issue. The late Yolanda King, the oldest child, took after her mother in that regard, but Bernice King, the youngest child in the King family, called Long her “new father” and symbolically passed a torch to him.

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October 4, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Was The Real Sin Of Sodom?


The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, a paint...

Rev. Patrick S. Chang, Ph.D.

To many anti-gay Christians, I’m nothing more than a “sodomite” who is damned for all eternity. It doesn’t matter that I’ve spent the last decade immersed in the Bible, ancient biblical languages, and the Christian theological tradition. It doesn’t matter that I’ve dedicated my life to preaching, teaching, and ministering to all people, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The simple fact that I’m an openly gay man makes all of that irrelevant. To anti-gay Christians, God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in chapter 19 of the Book of Genesis is a warning to people like me.

Ironically, I believe that these anti-gay Christians actually have it backwards. The true sin of the Sodomites as described in the Bible has nothing to do with same-sex acts per se. Rather, the ancient Sodomites were punished by God for far greater sins: for attempted gang rape, for mob violence, and for turning their backs on strangers and the needy who were in their midst. In other words, the real sin of Sodom was radical inhospitality. And, ironically, it is often anti-gay Christians who are most guilty of this sin today.

The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah begins when two angels, disguised as travelers, arrive at the gates of Sodom. They meet Lot, a relative newcomer to the city, who insists that they spend the night in his house. The other men of Sodom learn about the two strangers in their midst. In contrast to Lot’s gracious hospitality, which includes preparing a feast for his guests, the men surround Lot’s house and demand that he turn over his guests so that they may “yada” them (Genesis 19:5). Anti-gay Christians have interpreted this Hebrew word narrowly to mean “to have sex with” and thus have interpreted the sin of Sodom as nothing more than engaging in same-sex acts, as opposed to “rape” or “molestation.”

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October 3, 2010 Posted by | Biblical Studies | , , , | 1 Comment

Eddie Long Can Repent By Apologizing For Gay Bashing


Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Embattled mega church preacher Bishop Eddie Long came as close to confessing his sexual debauchery as any debaucher could come without actually confessing. He cryptically told his singing, shouting, handclapping flock that he wasn’t a perfect man, and that he would face some painful situations. This was a good step forward for Long. He didn’t do the usual soft shoe, duck and dodge around the issue. Or worse, defiantly claim that he was being persecuted for being a pure and righteous man of God. Or even worse still, break out in a teary eyed plea to family and flock for forgiveness.


Long set the standard of bigotry and bias for a new generation of conservative fundamentalist mega black churchmen on gay rights. An apology and outreach won’t undo that. It can though be a step toward his personal repentance. God, I’m sure, would approve.

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September 26, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , , | Leave a comment