*Bishop T.D. Jakes is ready to bless readers again with a new book that’s more like a guide to forgiveness and healing.
In “Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven,” he explores what he calls “the art of forgiveness,” in which he goes beyond the topical meaning of the word. Rather, he takes it apart, examines every facet of what it means to forgive and to be forgiven, offers examples as to what may have caused the crisis, and provides solutions on how to work through betrayal and accept true forgiveness, says elev8.com.
It’s a comprehensive road map to forgiveness, arming readers with the knowledge and spiritual instruction that will enable them to release from past offenses and acts that may be holding them back. “Forgiveness is essential if we are to grow into the fullness of who God created us to be…When we refuse to forgive, we basically insist on setting our standards higher than God’s,” explains T.D. Jakes. “Forgiveness isn’t about weakening you but strengthening you to live again and love again performing at your highest capacity unencumbered by yesterday’s maladies.”
Read the full review at elev8.com.
*Just a few days ago, Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was speaking out for Bishop Eddie Long. Rather than gossiping, he said, prayer and forgiveness is in order.
Now, according to Charisma Magazine, Lerone Martin, an assistant professor of American Religious History at Eden Theological Seminar in St. Louis is speaking out against Dollar for remarks he made during his June 5 sermon.
Four men—all former members of Long’s church now in their early 20s—claim Long used gifts, trips and money to coerce them into engaging in sex acts with him beginning when they were 17 or 18. Because the men were over the age of consent in Georgia, which is 16, no criminal charges were filed.
Although Dollar did not name names, he said “that preacher’s still anointed to do what he was called to. He just had a wreck. The blood will take care of his issue just like it will take care of yours. And I just can’t believe that people would leave their preacher because he had a wreck, instead of praying for him.”
Read more at Charismamag.org.
*Fresh off the settlement of a sexual misconduct scandal, Bishop Eddie Long appears to have gained an endorsement of sorts from a fellow well-known megachurch pastor, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in College Park gave a lengthy sermon Sunday about redemption and forgiveness. Then he spent several minutes talking about a fellow, unnamed pastor who had a “wreck.”
In a now deleted video of the sermon posted on YouTube — viewed more than 34,000 times — and also on the church’s website, Dollar appears to tell members of Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to return to the Lithonia church. He doesn’t identify Long or New Birth by name. He says the preacher in question is his “friend” and a “brother in the Lord.”
In the sermon, Dollar said:
“I don’t know what it is with the church. When you have a wreck you expect for God to forgive you and everyone else. Don’t let the preacher have a wreck, now. Then you become self righteous and you become judgmental and you’re gonna leave the preacher for his wreck when you done had more wrecks. That preacher’s still anointed to do what he was called to do. He just had a wreck. The blood will take care of his issue just like it will take care of yours.”
Read more at AJC.com.
*Rock climbing walls, kids’ spaces that resemble small Disneylands, bookstores and state-of-the-art sound systems represent today’s Black church – supersized.
Black mega churches draw huge numbers of worshippers and receive millions in collection plates. Black Mega churches are successful corporate entities that seek to service all the spiritual and social needs of their communities.
Black mega churches’ pastors are major corporate CEOs shepherding large business bases. Mega churches are characterized by congregations of from 10,000 to 25,000 and spectacular buildings which house sanctuaries, day-care centers, bookstores, and health centers.
Most resound with crowds and activities seven days a week, and own businesses, subdivisions, and separate community activity buildings. Almost all mega churches have TV pastorates, feature high-tech video along with foot-tapping music.
There are less than 50 nationwide, but Dallas-based Bishop T.D. Jakes, Houston’s Kirby Caldwell, Atlanta’s Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar and Los Angeles’ Charles E. Blake have grown their memberships by preaching material success and sales their books, festivals, and movies. Their congregations have expanded into businesses such as: schools, assisted living facilities and ex-offender re-entry programs.
Some African Americans leaders find the growth of these congregations worrisome; saying these pastorates focus on messages of personal prosperity and turn their backs on the struggle for civil rights.
Read the full story here.