“Shun, as you would the plague, a cleric who from being poor has become wealthy, or who, from being nobody has become a celebrity.”
Well, well, well-Ed Young Jr. , who harangues the men to act like men in his congregation, just put on his little girl panties and had videos removed from VIMEO, claiming "copyright infringement." What a pile of codswallop! Tom Rich, over at the FBC Jax Watchdog, first reported on this story a few days ago. Here is the link. The comments at the site are fascinating. Way to go, Dawg!
As some of our readers know from our previous series on Young, I was a member of Fellowship a number of years ago. So this story holds no small measure of fascination for me. We promised our readers that we would update this story as events unfold. And with Ed at the helm, combined with his love of media face-time, you can bet that this will not be our final post on the matter.
There is some controversy that the removal of the VIMEo videos may be a violation of Fair Use laws and there are some folks looking into the matter. There is a possibility that these videos may go back up. We will keep our readership posted.
I bet our astute readers can figure out which videos are MIA. That’s right. The ones that showed him giving a sermon on how to sign over routing numbers and automatic deductions to Ed, whoops, I mean the church. You can read about this asinine sermon on TWW entitled "It's All About the Money" at this link. However, thanks to Ed’s inability to stand the courage of his convictions, you won’t be able to watch the embedded video.
That’s OK. Here’s a quick synopsis of events. Ed appears to be a bit concerned about money flow into his church ever since he was discovered living in a mansion, owning a beautiful condo in Miami, flying around in a private jet, using an espresso machines that most of his congregation could never afford, driving sweet cars and generally making bank with his salary. Apparently, his congregation, which once figureded in the 20,000 range, saw some slippage when a number of members took exception to their pastor living high on the hog on their tithes and decided to bolt. We received a number of comments on this blog, purportedly by some of said renegades.
“Tithes?”, you say. Yep-ol Ed claims he has all of these wonderful playthings because he gross tithed all of his life. And he wants his church members to have nice stuff as well. How do you obtain such niceties? Gross tithe to Ed’s church! And, just so you won’t be tempted to use your tithe to pay for food or your creditors, he wants you to give him your checking account number and your bank routing number. And dear Ed will remove the money from your account to HELP you be godly and, in so doing, you can get a mansion, just like Lisa and Ed.
This informative video showed Ed, bleeding heart that he is, giving an expository sermon on how to fill out the tithe card. On big screens, located around the auditorium, there is a check featured with all the significant numbers circled. Then he lets everyone know that, if they don’t tithe, they are stealing from God. He even said that people who don’t tithe to God might even steal from their fellow church members. You know, once a thief, always a thief. Takes one to know one, I always say.
Needless to say this did not go over well and he received bad press, all over the blogosphere as well as all over some pulpits, for his lack of social graces. We received comments at TWW, which you can read, which report that more people are leaving Ed’s flock. I am not sure how many more excuses people need to exit stage left. The ones who are left are living testimony that there are suckers born every minute.
I guess this action is supposed to be damage control but it will not work. We refer you to a story we did on secrets called “Shhh Don’t Talk." Here is the link.
Pastors believe that they can deep-six sinful actions on their part by telling people not to talk about it . They spiritualize this mandate by calling it “gossip” and, of course, gossip is unbiblical, isn’t it? They define gossip as negative speech pointed in the pastor’s direction.
One would think that pastors, along with politicians, would learn from famous bad examples that you cannot keep negative press at bay for long. John Edwards (sorry, he's in the news here in NC again today), Mark Sanford, Ted Haggard, Eddie Long, etc. are living testaments that bad news travels fast.
Mark Twain said “Always tell the truth, that way you won’t have to remember what you said."
Ed Young should put the videos back up and do one of two things. Either say “So what-I stand behind it” or “I am so, so, so, so, sorry and can you forgive me?” Then he needs to sell the mansion, plane, condo and espresso machine and do a David Platt or a Francis Chan. He would redeem himself immediately because people love a good redemption story and are usually quite willing to forgive.
Pastors, in general, need to stop hiding behind lawyers and start acting like real men instead of wusses. Yes, a church might get sued for copping to the truth. So what? The church is held in God’s hands, not ours. If we really trust Him, we will relinquish control and actually start acting like Christians instead of Infomercial pitch men.
I know that my tone is sarcastic but I have to admit that I am tiring of Ed Young Jr.'s game. He appears to be just another charismatic pretty boy who has used the church for personal financial gain. However, his veneer is starting to wear thin and he is morphing into the person he used to preach against-just another "same ole, same ole."