Last week, Atlanta megachurch pastor Eddie Long chose to settle with four young men who accused Long of using gifts, trips and money to coerce them into engaging in sex acts with him rather than fight the allegations in court.
Today, Steven Strang, the publisher of Charisma, reports that he had featured Long on the cover of one of the editions of his magazine and even published one of his book. As such, when he heard rumors in 2006, he attempted to confront Long about them but Long refused to meet with him:
In 2006, I heard rumors about Bishop Long allegedly being involved in homosexuality. Long had built a great church in Atlanta. We once featured him on the cover of Charisma and his influence went far beyond Atlanta. I had great respect for him and published one of his books.
Since he was speaking at a large expo we were sponsoring a few weeks later, I felt I needed to talk to him. I tried repeatedly to make an appointment to warn him that there were rumors and to ask if they were true. He refused to talk to me and canceled the speaking engagement. Saddened, I just quietly took his book out of print and withdrew any support we had given him.
Stang says such scandals are “an embarrassment to the body of Christ” … but he remains thankful that Long at least “continues to say homosexuality is wrong”:
Only God, those young men and Long know if the charges are true. If they are, I hope he’s truly repented and will lead his congregation in righteousness and humility. Thankfully, he continues to say homosexuality is wrong and he desires to serve the Lord.