Letter to Bishop Eddie Long, et al re: Soulforce

GCMW: Letter sent to Bishop Eddie Long from Minister James Pennyman, Atlanta

Dear Bishop Long,
Hello and good day to you. I hope all is well at the receipt of this email. Please bear with me as I present my concerns as a 7 year member of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church . I know you probably receive emails all the time, so I will try not to bore you with all the petty details. To begin, I just want to say that I am extreamly[sic] shocked and suprised at the handling of the situation with gay-activist group Soulforce. Never would I have thought that the doors of New Birth would be open to unashamed and prideful individuals such as Soulforce for their American Family Outing Tour. For some time now, this group has traveled to many different colleges and now churches, inquiring to have “dialogue” with leadership of these institutions. What I am finding funny is that they have not targeted Mosques or Synagogues….hmmm.

Is it because they know the Muslim religion will not tolerate open homosexuality in any form…but I digress. Some of the Christian colleges turned them down and would not even allow them to come onto their properties because they understood what Soulforce was about. I am finding it very disturbing that the churches on Soulforce’s list so far, has opened their doors to the individuals…individuals who, without any form of repentance, have become idolaters of their sexuality rather than Jesus Chris t. These individuals are traveling across the South and Midwest to spread their form of the Gospel…a gospel that does not call for holiness, rather, it calls for an imagination-stretch of Bible interpretation. An interpretation that allows for couples of the same-sex to engage themselves in sexual relationships with the expected blessings of God as his children. We are truly in a time where “every man does what is right in his own eyes.”

Well, apart from Soulforce(understanding that such persons are going to do what they are going to do regardless), my real disturbance came when my mentor, DL Foster, his wife and I came to the church on this past sunday, hoping to see Elder W. Prude prior to services @ 10:30. Unfortunately, that was not arranged and we were met by Mr. William Turner. Mr. Turner was very cordial in his greeting of us. However, when Pastor Foster inquired about a meeting with Soulforce and New Birth officials, he denied it and did a verbal dance around the question, making analogies that did not correlate to the yes/no question. He did say that he “did/did not” meet with Sylvia Rhue, a member of Soulforce, for breakfast. His words were that it was/was not an official meeting. If you read the way I’m typing this, this is how it was being presented…like a professional marketing director…someone who knows how to talk double talk. I don’t mean to be demeaning, but he was very demeaning to our intelligence. Both Pastor Foster and I knew what was happening as Mr. Turner was talking. He was giving half-truths, which equates to an untruth. Would it not have been preferable to have just told us we are unsure, as opposed to giving us half-truths? I’m a grown man. Therefore, all he had to do was tell me, “Yes or No or I don’t know.” I would have been fine with either. But to speak to us as though we were not intelligent enough to follow along with what was being said was very demeaning and insulting. Then to my surprise I see the pictures up on their American Family Outing web site. That was a meeting to me. William Turner said that you were not even here and that you were not meeting with Soulforce. It was apparent that he did not hear when one of the ministers mentioned that Bishop was at church that day, coming from his long trip from Dubai . When I saw those pictures I was actually hurt…as a member of this church, to see my Bishop rubbing elbows with those who make a mockery of Chris t, yet claim to be Christians. Those who, as the Bible says, “count the blood of Chris t as a common thing,” by their unrepentant lifestyle. Then to know that Mr. Turner lied or misrepresented the truth to us regarding the “meeting/not meeting.” I was actually astonished. That really took me for a loop to where all I could say was “Wow. What just happened?”

Bishop Long, for almost 6 years I have been ministering and walking with people in the church who struggle with same-sex attractions(SSA), under the leadership of Elder Weems (whom I miss dearly). This is my calling and I will take it to the grave unless the Holy Spirit moves me to do something else. I am very well versed in the issue from many dynamics. People like Soulforce and other activists do not like contending with people like Pastor Foster and I because we know the real intent behind their tactics and we know how to address them in debate if necessary. Our motive is not to get our names in lights or to get money from churches…far from it. My one and only motive is to serve, upbuild and protect the Kingdom of God from wolves in sheep clothing, who will spread a false gospel, possibly to young people who may be in an impressionable and confused state of mind. And to warn the church of those who do not have their best interest at heart. However, it appears that those like myself and Foster get pushed aside while self-serving gay activists get the star treatment.

So, to end, I will say that I am deeply disturbed by the turn of events. I really had no idea that my church would entertain such persons. Soulforce was only doing this as a marketing ploy and to add credibility to their cause by meeting with the “mega-church leaders.” They succeeded. Now, I don’t know what was said at the meetings/non-meetings, so I will give the benefit of the doubt that not only the love of Christ was shown, but also there was a stand for righteousness and holiness. I read the Southern Voice article, and I agree, the media has spoken poorly about you as it pertains to issues with the gay community. But that is to be expected when one preach the unadulterated word of God. As soon as one compromises, then the media will sing their praises. It is my hope that you will respond and that I will not receive a form letter to this from a secretary. If you do not respond, I won’t be moved. I will simply write it off and move on. I thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
James Pennyman

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12 thoughts on “Letter to Bishop Eddie Long, et al re: Soulforce

  1. Overall this letter is good.

    But this can’t be simply written off. The meeting should not have occurred and although it did, it was forbidden to tape/video record it. Every report shows Long compromised himself greatly during the meeting. NB representatives have stated they are considering the request from Soulforce to teach classes, which proves the compromise because there should not be any consideration at all.

    At some point one must say enough and leave Eddie Long.

    He did a 180 with Cynthia McKinney, from denouncing her and supporting her political opponents, to unofficially endorsing McKinney when Majette defeated her. (With his [paraphrasing]”we don’t need someone who is trying to find the restroom” line. Although he endorsed people against McKinney in the past that would have been new to Congress like Majette.)

    He did a 180 with Louis Farrakhan. From telling all to avoid Farrakhan and all he promotes, to yucking it up with Farra-the-Con and allowing him in the NB building for a “black” meeting.

    He did a 180 on petitioning government with grievances. From claiming when the Iraq war started that “we don’t protest” when people asked him to speak out about it, to holding a “march” (which was a protest) in 2004 about homosexuality and other issues he wanted to move government’s hand on.

    Now he’s done a 180 with the homosexual groups that falsely claim the Lord’s name.

    Regarding all the political matters, I’m not mentioning those to say he should endorse candidates or protest a war at all. (I was not even against action in Iraq personally.) I just mention all that I’ve stated to show the proven pattern of Eddie Long to be a total hypocrite to all he says. And the end result is that he is continually failing to uphold scripture.

    To me the most concerning turns from him were his meetings with Louis Farrakhan and Soulforce. These are alliances he’s made that cannot be ignored. They cannot be glossed over. We know from 1 Corinthians 5 that Long is taking on much leaven.

    1 Timothy 5:19-21 (New American Standard Bible)

    19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

    20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.

    21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.

    It is best to be away from Eddie Long, not under his leadership.

    And given what we know he’s been up to, one must wonder what he was doing in Dubai and who was he doing it with?

    I was also a 7+ year member of New Birth. As in past tense and I was out way before any of this latest mess occurred. It was apparent Eddie Long was on the broad road. Eddie Long is NOT Moses, King David or one of the 12 Apostles. Nobody owes him continued allegiance. Our allegiance is to Christ and I don’t want to meet the Lord with Eddie Long’s name anywhere near me.

  2. We must remember that the Pimp racket is a well organized enterprise. Like any enterprise you must adapt to the changes in the business climate in order to continually grow market share. Eddie Long is merely being a smart business man and recognizes the fact that now is the time to embrace other components of society. In other words the conditions are right. So to answer your question IC, “At some point one must say enough and leave Eddie Long”. Not so. Eddie understands that a % of people will leave the Church but recognizes the great potential for growth within the homosexual community. It has been shown that gays have higher levels of discretionary income. Eddie is rightly embracing these other facets of society to grow his empire. Rest assured those who are truly filled with the Holy Ghost will leave. Fortunately for Eddie those seats wont be empty very long as a new revenue stream will fill the pews.

    Please don’t think I am endorsing Eddie Long. My point was to merely point out that when the true Gospel is not preached then why should anyone be shocked over this. The Pimp game is a racket shrouded behind the cross. Bishop Eddie Long is no different then SoulForce. Both claim to be “Christian” yet their intentions are not. Both have agendas and the true Gospel is not it. What we should be angry at is the fact that Pimps and others are hiding behind the Gospel as a means to their own agenda.

    Kyle

  3. Kyle, excellent analyis that could and should be applied to the church at large. “Including” homosexuals (with the higher than average discretionary income) in the church is a “smart” business move. source

    The normative statistics for a homosexual in the USA include a Bachelor’s degree: For gay men, the median household income is $83,000/yr. (Gay singles $62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of $46,326, per census data. For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000/yr. (Lesbian singles $52,000; Lesbian couples living together $96,000); 36% of lesbians reported household incomes in excess of $100,000/yr.

    It also identifies those who are willing to abandon scripture for mammon. Its the next level of disgrace for the church. Jesus said no man can serve both God and mammon.

    As you said the times are ripe for it. Contrary to what the gay christian movement believes and is pushing for, the pimps WILL let them in…for a price. They are no more concerned with them as people needing Christ than they are the previous targets. They are simply new revenue.
    Those of us who will tell them the truth even at the risk of being rejected and scorned are minimized.

    Remember the story of the man who had a servant girl with a spirit of divination from Acts 16?

    16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
    19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

    Notice in vs 19 the real reason for their outrage.

  4. This is something that is beyond just Bishop Eddie Long and beyond the GCM. Paul Crouch has entered the Chinese market with his poison. Yet, Christians still are killed, bibles are confiscated, and mandatory abortions still persist in China. Again, the question needs to be asked. What was the true purpose for TBN to get into the China market? Jack Van Impe now quotes the Koran on his show and calls Muslims his brothers. Why?

    Now the answers. We can glean from Fast Eddie the reasons why as I mentioned and Pastor Foster validated. But let us look at Paul Crouch and TBN. Paul understands that China has the largest population in the world. He also knows that China is going to be the worlds economic superpower within 2 decades. He rightly cornered a market that may not be profitable now but will soon be. Now what about Jack Van Impe. Jack knows that both Christians and Muslims believe that in the end it is Jesus who returns to Earth. However, the similarities after that couldn’t be much different. However, Islam is the fastest growing religion and will soon overtake Christianity in once predominant Christian nations.

    The reason I added the afore mentioned examples was to expound upon the topic. Why? Very simple. The inclusion of apostasy only strengthens our denouncement of them individually. Think about it. Your judged by the company you keep. If we find Pimps, religious leaders, other religions. and various lifestyles all in agreement then we can assuredly say that each one individually is errant.

    This leads me to a very important question for Pastor Foster. After one year did you think that your blog would have expanded from Homosexuality in the black Churches to what we speak of today? The reason I ask this is because once one begins to connect the dots we find Satan’s hands are intricately woven into apostasy at large. Now obviously you know this, but what I’m really implying is that what was once perceived as isms and schisms within even various heretical movements are now moving towards agreement against You, I, and every other true bible believing Christian. Basically Pastor Foster your stance on Homosexuality will not merely render you an attack by just the GCM but rather a whole tidal wave of criticism from many heretical movements at large.

    Kyle

  5. My prayer is that Eddie Long , T.D. Jakes and others like them repent and return to back to their “first love” and “first works”! Repent and go back to preaching and teaching the unadulterated Holy Word of GOD!

    Up here in DC, I know a lot of Saints that remember when Long was a nobody and I know Saints in Pentecostal cirles that remember Jakes when he was a nobody, and they said these men were preaching the Truth! I truly believe somewhere way back, these men of GOD started off “RIGHT” in the LORD–but with fame and fortune comes “PRIDE” and losing focus…when you have built a kingdom, you can get caught up in the now and lose focus…King David did, but David did repent…David’s sin cost him dearly…he lost his sons and daughter, except Solomon.

    They may have to give up or lose their “Mega” status and the “Mega” benefits, but their souls will not be lost…Matthew 18:8…it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire…..

  6. Jakes got into bed with Bush and has since invited Eddie and many many many others to join in and they have GLADLY; so whatever these people and others want they will get from them. They wanted the money and prestige and the bigger barns and now they have to play along with the boys in charge.Just about every black church in america is covered by somebody who is covered by somebody, who is covered by Jakes. It all goes back to Jakes which goes to Bush etc, etc, etc. They don’t want God to cover them they want JAKES. WHAT A HOT MESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. These people have some nerve calling themselves Soulforce.. In other words I’m going to force my soul and my beliefs on you. They are not humans they are Satans demons in the flesh. The name they call themselves is so intentional and so obvious to me they didn’t choose it because they like it they chose it because of what it represents. They are very cunning and appear to be so friendly and nice and loving, don’t fall for it they are devils. Stand firmly on God’s truth concerning them to their face and the real them will appear. When I look at their pictures I see creatures not humans they look wicked. These are Satans spawn. Stand firm on God’s truth I am continuously praying for you

  8. This is absolutely sad that an organization such as soulforce who is an openly, unrepentant, so-called gay christian organization is allowed to participate in dialog with a church. Let alone six of them. As you’ve stated correctly in your letter my brother, you don’t see them going to the Islamic mosque or the Jewish synagogues for dialog, because they know that they steadfastly oppose and out right reject such practices. Its clear as day that they are not concerned about serving the God of the Holy Bible, rather they are focused on a social agenda. I’m sure that if they could hook up with a secular organization, or other LGBT organizations of other religions, they would do it at the drop of a hat if it meant that they would get their way. Sad to say that it would be better for the Osteen, Jakes, Long…etc to drop the Christian label all together, than to do this in the name of Jesus. This is sad and very dispicable. I pray that those of us that are in the way will continue to be strengthened by the hand of the Everlasting God (Yeshua), and for those that are on the fence – that the Lord will restore them through repentace so thier souls can be saved.

    Keep Up the Good work, Shalom!

  9. My God! I am in no way a fan of Osteen, Jakes nor Long, but I am a fan of the love of Christ.
    Was it not Christ who said, “come, let us reason together?” After learning of Bishop Long’s meeting with Soulforce, I gleened a bit of respect for him. Why? Because I thought it very big that he, for whatever reason(s), would meet knowing that there would be such scrutiny.
    What I hear in the letter and blogs here are folk who have put more trust in man than in God and have suffered what was sure to happen, disappointment. From candidate endorsements, to faith based dollars, to the rally/march, to the baiting members by dangling the hopes of winning…ooops, being blessed with a new car or bills paid etc., Bishop Long and his contemporary Rev Ike counterparts sustanability has always been doubtful to me. Why? Because when we fail to preach the inclusion of ALL of God’s children in the amazing grace of God’s love then we fail to uphold Christ. Thus, we no longer can be identified as Christian. Might I add that Evangelist Bernice King sitting under the leadership of Bishop Long is a griveous dishonor to her parents and what they lived and died for.
    Okay…I digressed.
    I have read each blog here and one is more entertaining than the previous, but there was one that I found to be more humorous, sadly so, than the others.
    Brother Kyle, LGBT people ARE blessed people in that they may indeed have more “discretionary” income. However, it’s a foolish thought to think that just because Bishop Long has made comments that were not laced with the venom of the past that LGBT will slowly flock to his church is preposterous. Unfortunately, there are many hundreds of LGBT at NB right now who for various reasons have maintained a membership in what should be a house of safety and healing for ALL. So they’re used to being pimped. :-)There are far too many churches around the metro area that have opened their doors to the LGBT community.
    The gripe I am really hearing is that each of you New Birthians, with your flags, rings, tags and other cult like paraphernalia, gotta reconcile with yourselves that you haven’t been pimped. Ironically, I don’t blame Bishop Long at all. When one relinquishes their right to think for themselves, just like sheep… So, Bishop Long, I’m not mad at you at all. My prayer for you is that you will lead people to a real and loving relationship. A relationship where love is the main attraction not a new Kia, a promise of votes to a political candidate, or a bill paid.
    Thank you all again for keeping me entertained.
    To God Be the Glory!

  10. My father once told me never argue with a fool, because from a distance no one will be able to tell who is the fool. Therefore I will just say that in order for all people to get along, we must stop talking at each other and start talking with each other.

    Remember that Love is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and without open, respectful communication love can’t survive.

    Be Blessed

  11. I’m going to assume the reply here from Mr. Turner is to Leslie…..especially the “fool” part.

    Leslie, you missed it all together. No one here has placed their faith/trust in a man. NOT to get into a long reply, but this “love” doctrine is a bit misapplied in so many ways, and since this is one of those instances, I’m not even going to bother.

  12. Wow, William Turner this is more of that double, triple and out the side of your neck talk you were so adept at while we stood FACE to FACE at your church.

    Im not sure who you are calling a fool: yourself, your father, us, James, New Birth, Eddie Long, Soulforce?

    You probably dont know because you specialize in marketing. Or lying, Or obfuscating facts.

    Who wants to talk to someone like that when we already know, based on your prior documented behavior, that you are incapable of such conversations of “mutual respect and openness”?

    To jump start your little soliloquy here with a veiled insult is proof of that if nothing else.

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