I had never heard of Eddie Long before yesterday. He is being accused of coercing young men into sexual acts. I know nothing about him or his ministry or his theology. So, I'm going to withhold judgment until all the details come out. But, this whole situation is a classroom for us all. Here are some things I'm learning:
1. The world loves it when pastors mess up (or are even accused of messing up). It seems as if everyone is just waiting for a reason to say, "I knew he couldn't be trusted." Pastors, its not just your own reputation that is on the line in your behavior. You represent your Savior and the people for whom He died.
2. Its not just the opposite sex that we have to be careful how we relate to anymore. Traditionally, good advice has been, "never be alone with a woman who is not your wife or mother." With the rise of the popularity of homosexuality, we now have to even be concerned with being alone with anyone.
3. "Above reproach" is not just a qualification for being an elder, it is a command that goes beyond just staying out of trouble. To be above reproach means to live in such a way that accusations would be so outlandish that no one would ever believe them. Anyone is vulnerable to false accusations. But, being above reproach means that when those accusations are explored, zero evidence is uncovered.