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TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, OR SUFFERING FOR WRONG DOING?

06 Dec

By Terry Loving

1 Corinthians 5:2 “And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?”

When light is shed on the wicked deeds of unscrupulous preachers, they find a way to blame others for their misdeeds. Instead of owning up to their private sins which became public knowledge, they play on the heart strings of their congregation – “The devil made me do it.” “I am under attack.” “The media is lying on me.” “People are misrepresenting the facts.” And so on and so on.

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In the case of Eddie Long, his private sins were made known to the whole world, and his defense was:

 “I’ve been accused, I’m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man,” he said. “But this thing, I’m going to fight.”

Long added that he’s “not the man that has been portrayed on the television. That’s not me.”

“And I want you to know one other thing,” he told the cheering crowd Sunday morning. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”

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If Eddie Long was truly unjustly “accused” and “under attack” – then he would have done what he promised to do – “FIGHT!” Instead, he settled via mediation with his four accusers – and the unveiling of a fifth, Centino Kemp (paid $150,000). Now I am not belaboring this part of the issue, just clarifying the difference between Christian suffering through trials and tribulations due to worldly persecutions – and our reaping what we have sown. There is a major difference.

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Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

 James Chapter 1

“My brethren,…. Not only according to the flesh, he being a Jew as they were; but in a spiritual sense, they being born again of the same grace, belonging to the same family and household of faith, and having the same Father, and being all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus:

count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; not the temptations of Satan, or temptations to sin; for these cannot be matter of joy, but grief; these are fiery darts, and give a great deal of uneasiness and trouble; but afflictions and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel, which are so called here and elsewhere, because they are trials of the faith of God’s people, and of other graces of the Spirit of God.”

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“Many are the afflictions of the righteous; through much tribulation they must enter the kingdom; it is a great fight of afflictions which they endure, as these believers did; their trials came from different quarters; they were persecuted by their countrymen the Jews, and were distressed by the Gentiles, among whom they lived; and their indignities and reproaches were many; and their sufferings of different sorts, as confiscation of goods, imprisonment of body, banishment, scourgings, and death in various shapes: and these they “fall” into; not by chance, nor altogether at an unawares, or unexpectedly; but they fell into them through the wickedness and malice of their enemies, and did not bring them upon themselves through any crime or enormity they were guilty of: and when this was their case, the apostle exhorts them to count it all joy, or matter of joy, of exceeding great joy, even of the greatest joy; not that these afflictions were joyous in themselves, but in their circumstances, effects, and consequences; as they tried, and exercised, and improved the graces of the Spirit, and worked for their good, spiritual and eternal, and produced in them the peaceable fruit of righteousness;”

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I read where one blog commenter stated the following – unedited:

“Bishop Will survive they have had a tough marriage way before any of this last storm. Bishop Long is a great leader he is under going trails & tribulations so God is remaking him at this time..My prayers are with him & his family & Newbirh church family….”

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I do not mean to come down on people, however, I wish they would speak where God speaks – the Word, and stop trying to speak the mind of God. How does this person know that “God is remaking him at this time” is beyond me. Remaking Eddie Long into what pray tell? – Hopefully, a repentant man who denounces false teaching and his undercover lifestyle. In my opinion, this situation is more of “be sure your sins will find you out,” rather than Long suffering due to public persecution.

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Wesley’s Notes

“Your sin – The punishment of your sin. Sin will certainly find out the sinner sooner or later. It concerns us therefore to find our sins out, that we may repent of them and forsake them, lest our sins find us out, to our confusion and destruction.”

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Eddie Long plays on the spiritual and moral weakness of his followers, and could probably get away with murder – literally. In many ways, he practices emotional abuse, and brainwashing with lies and deceit. Eddie exploits the kindness of his members, and he knows that they worship him – more than they worship Christ. For, if this were not a fact, he would have been rebuked by the leadership, and held accountable by his congregation as a whole.

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The attacks and accusations concerning Long are not attributed to persecution for the “sake of the gospel.” The so called trials and tribulations that he is supposedly “suffering” are the makings of his own warped decisions – having sexual relations with other males, cheating on his wife (adultery), spiritually raping unsuspecting souls, and lying about all of it. His house of cards is crumbling, not because five young men accused Long of sexually exploiting them, but because it is true what he did. I refuse to live in denial – he is guilty!

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Jesus warned his followers that they would be hated because of Him, but he who stands firm until the end will be saved. Part of our reasonable service to Christ is to share in His suffering.

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“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.”

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There are two types of suffering in the above passage – sharing the sufferings of Christ for the sake of the gospel – and suffering because of sin that you committed. At some point, the “murderer,” “thief,” “evildoer,” and the “troublesome meddler” will suffer in some way. Their punishment could be jail time, the death penalty, a beat-down, or many other forms of retribution. Most of all, all who commit such acts will ultimately answer to Almighty God.

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Exodus 22:2 “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;

1 Peter 3:17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

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Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“And even the best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins. There is no comfort in sufferings, when we bring them upon ourselves by our own sin and folly.”

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Wesley’s Notes

4:15 Let none of you deservedly suffer, as an evildoer – In any kind.

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Geneva Study Bible

(15) The third difference: the godly are not afflicted for their evil doings, but for righteousness’ sake as Christians: by which it comes to pass that the cross, seeing it is a testimony to them of faith and righteousness, ministers to them not an occasion of sorrow, but of unspeakable joy:

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Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

But let none of you suffer as a murderer,…. The punishment for murder was death by the law of God, Genesis 9:6

or as a thief; whose fine or mulct, according to the Jewish law, was a fivefold or fourfold restitution, according to the nature of the thing that was stolen, Exodus 22:1

or as an evildoer; a breaker of any of the laws of God or men, which are of a moral nature, and for the good of civil society:

To suffer in any such cases is scandalous and dishonourable, and unbecoming the character of a Christian.

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1 Peter 2:20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

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Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

For it is better, if the will of God be so – That is, if God sees it to be necessary for your good that you should suffer, it is better that you should suffer for doing well than for crime. God often sees it to be necessary that his people should suffer. There are effects to be accomplished by affliction which can be secured in no other way; and some of the happiest results on the soul of a Christian, some of the brightest traits of character, are the effect of trials.

But it should be our care that our sufferings should not be brought upon us for our own crimes or follies. No man can promote his own highest good by doing wrong, and then enduring the penalty which his sin incurs; and no one should do wrong with any expectation that it may be overruled for his own good. If we are to suffer, let it be by the direct hand of God, and not by any fault of our own. If we suffer then, we shall have the testimony of our own conscience in our favor, and the feeling that we may go to God for support. If we suffer for our faults, in addition to the outward pain of body, we shall endure the severest pangs which man can suffer – those which the guilty mind inflicts on itself.

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Many abusers go to jail for the crime of domestic violence. Once there, they realize what a harsh reality they have put upon themselves, and they want out. They will plead with the one they abused to drop the charges, and forgive them – with false promises of never repeating such a vile act. Of course this promise is short lived – which is why prosecution does not rest upon the testimony of the abused – a good thing.

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Abusers will also gather around them loyalist who believe in their innocence, and will support them even though the facts are very clear. Eddie Long abuses the love and support of his congregants to view those whom he hurt as the enemy. Once this happens, it is easy for the members to believe that Long is being “attacked” or falsely “accused.” This is especially true when the media reveals his secret sins to the whole world. The media does what it is designed to do, dig up dirt. They are not the cause of Eddie Long’s troubles – he is.

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Long was able to maintain a following because of his past “good deeds.” However, as the above quote from Barnes Notes on the Bible state, “no one should do wrong with any expectation that it may be overruled for his own good.” Good deeds will never overrule or erase our sins.

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New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

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Another thing that bothers me about this situation is, people are praying for Eddie and Vanessa Long to stay married. I believe marriage is sacred, however, Eddie have given his wife scriptural reasons to exit their marriage. I believe the members are more concerned about appearances than what this woman has, and is suffering. If she goes through with the divorce, that is another layer peeled away from the onion that his members do not want to face – he was wrong. If she stays, then the New Birth church can move on as if no sin by their leader has been committed. Living in denial is much easier than facing the truth.

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Many abused women live in denial as well. Too many stay for the “good times,” and overlook the atrocity of the violence. New Birth is endeavoring to keep the “honeymoon” stage alive, as well as many abused women. It is easier than tearing down their lives and starting over. Unfortunately, many abused women have no way presently of safely leaving, so their situation is the exception.

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In conclusion, trials and tribulations are expected when we follow Jesus Christ – but we must make sure that the sufferings are not of our own making. If they are, we must own our mistakes, and bridge the gap between heaven and earth through repentance. The members at New Birth are not viewing this mess their minister made through scriptures, but by their own emotions and misplaced loyalty. If they were truly following the Word, they would call their minister to repentance so that his soul will be saved in the end. As long as they continue to uplift him in his sins, Eddie Long and all those like him will be in danger of hell fire.

New Birth is concerned about damage control – but at what cost?

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1 Timothy 1:10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

1 Timothy 5:20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.

Titus 2:2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Matthew 3:8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

NOTE:   For it is better, if the will of God be so – That is, if God sees it to be necessary for your good that you should suffer, it is better that you should suffer for doing well than for crime. God often sees it to be necessary that his people should suffer. There are effects to be accomplished by affliction which can be secured in no other way; and some of the happiest results on the soul of a Christian, some of the brightest traits of character, are the effect of trials.

THIS DOES NOT REFER TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE.

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Accuser in Bishop Eddie Long Sex Scandal Pens Tell-All Book, Screenplay

Centino Kemp, the fifth accuser in the Bishop Eddie Long sex scandal, has written a book about his affair with the megachurch pastor, titling the work The First Lady. The book is co-authored by T. Benson Glover.

He describes the book as a story of “love, lust, power, extravagant living and travel, betrayal, deceit, rape, down-low homosexual lifestyle, molestation, church corruption, secret societies, suicide attempts and religion.”

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EDDIE LONG SAGA – TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL

EDDIE LONG SAGA – WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS?

“Creflo Dollar Defends Eddie Long; Rebukes Unforgiving Followers”

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Eddie Long’s Wife Calls Off Divorce

Updated: Friday, 17 Feb 2012, 6:03 PM EST
Published : Friday, 17 Feb 2012, 4:42 PM EST

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http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, OR SUFFERING FOR WRONG DOING?

  1. jamie

    December 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Well written.

     
    • ssofdv

      December 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Hello Jamie,

      Thank you! Please come back to visit again – there is always something new here.

      Peace

       

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