My hope is built on nothing less
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
Hebews 12: 1-3 (Amplified Version). 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(A)
3Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
As I listen and read the media reports surrounding the recent scandal involving yet another church leader, this time Bishop Eddie Long and three young men he allegedly coerced into having sex with him, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a hair client of mine about the Catholic Church scandal. The young woman a was former Catholic and like a lot of former ___________(fill in the blanks)was discussing her dissatisfaction with the Catholic church and church in general, especially leaders. As I got ready to respond in with a word of encouragement (my usual style of responding) , the Lord impressed upon me to ask her who the author and finisher of her faith was. At first I thought, Lord isn’t that rather harsh? But being obedient I told her want God wanted me to. As always, when I do my part God does His by giving me the rest of what he had for her (as well as a word of encouragement for myself). I went on to her remind that no, leaders aren’t always correct in how they behave, but, we still have to remember who our REAL leader is and that our faith and trust should stay in Him always, even in times like these, when we’re let down by those whom God appoints to watch over us and whom we have placed our trust in, because they will fall (I promise you), because they’re just human like that.
Not having been raised in church, I have respect for men of the cloth (church leaders). I’m like the Roman centurion (Matthew 8: 5-13), in that I recognize God honored authority, BUT, I have a problem when that authority gets abused. When systems are corrupt, it leaves victims, their families, and other honest leaders to clean the mess that gets left (and trust me there is mess to clean up afterwards). Public scandals are often the result when someone disobeys the private dealings of the Holy Spirit and God hs no choice but to pull the covers off that individual. Am I saying that this is the case with Bishop Long? We’ll just have to wait and see how this whole saga plays out and remember to keep praying for EVERYONE who is involved. Because if these allegations are true, then it would mean that three young men have been victimized by Mr. Long and they need our prayers as well