Living In Lo-Debar: The Miscommunication of Religious Politics

Last night I received an email last night on Facebook email that led me to the blog of Rai King.  The article was sensationally entitled “Taking A Stand Against a Child Molesting Pastor.”  I went on to read the article and realized that this was a piece written naming Bishop Johnathan Alvarado of Total Grace Christian Center as a child molester.

Whoa!

Strong words.

I put the blog post into context and began connecting the dots.  Rai King is the wife of Shaun King, pastor of the Courageous Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  Rai King acknowledged in her post that her and her husband had formerly been associated with Johnathan Alvarado.  Actually her husband used to be on staff at Total Grace.  There was a falling out of some kind and the two parted ways.

In the interest of full disclosure, I used to keep up with Pastor King.  In fact his blog, Shaun In The City used to be on my blogroll and I used to follow him on Twitter.  Only reason I stopped following the brother and took his blog roll off of my blog was that he began to get preoccupied with two major events: the Atlanta floods (fall 2009) and the Haiti earthquake.  He began to stop tweeting and blogging about various other issues that I tend to like to read and talk about.  It wasn’t anything personal against him, just as a matter of personal preference.  In fact, I send kudos to him for being involved with those two events.

From other people in the city, I began to learn of his parting of ways with Bishop Alvarado, so when I’d read a blog here or there, or even when I went to hear him at King Chapel during Holy Week 2009 program schedule, it just seemed to be a tinge of bitterness that he had toward Alvarado.  Although he never called out Alvarado by name, it seemed like it was there.

I also learned about the nature of Bishop Alvarado as well.

This was a pastor who was known for having a mouth on him so to speak: he called a spade, a spade no matter the venue.  Alvarado, as told to me, was a pastor who was known for calling out fellow clergy for their misdealings.  I had even heard of his antics whilst being professor at Beulah Heights Bible College from other students–he just called them as he saw them.  That is to say, Alvarado didn’t exactly go quietly either after he and Shaun King parted ways.

Whatever the case may be, to say I was shocked and appalled at the blog that Rai King wrote is somewhat of an understatement.

I guess I felt the need to  make a comment because, well, the Kings decided to make it public.  I went on over to Shaun’s Twitter page and realized that he had went on an impassioned rant about child molestation and the connection between Atlanta being an international hub for child and sex trafficking and mega-churches.  (For the record, King never drew any apparent connection.  I’m not saying that their isn’t, but even I was hard-pressed to see what it was.)  And he went so far as to actually name Bishop Alvarado a child molester.

So I paused and thought this through.

In fact, I thought back to the last major scandal that graced our recent social consciousness in the ecclesiastical arena, and of course my mind went back to Eddie Long, another Atlanta megachurch pastor.  In my blog post “And The Walls Come Tumba’ling Down: The Religious Politics of Eddie Long,” I took the time to parse the different levels of reaction towards such charges: those who believe we should “cover the man(d) of God,” those who actually believe he did it (and would probably throw a charge of homosexuality in it) and those who are outsiders who use this an opportunity to unfairly criticize religion and church people in general.  So I filtered this new charge of allegation against the old one, and thought through and came to the conclusion that the two are incomparable.

While there is a culture of silence that is crippling and maiming the ecclesiastical community when it comes to issues of sex and sexuality, I’m not convinced silence is the apparent culprit in this case.  From my perspective this is the unhappy marriage of religion and sexuality taking up residence in Lo-debar.  For those of you still scratching their heads, Lo-debar was location mentioned in 2 Samuel 9 where Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, is to come from.  Most use the metaphorical connection between the fact that Mephibosheth is has two lame feet paralyzed from youth and the fact that Lo-Debar has a literal translation from teh Hebrew Masoretic text of “no word.”  (Debar being the Hebrew word for “word” often times in the opening phrases of a chapter or book saying “And the word of the Lord….”)  If I can translate myself, I would say “no communication.”  I think often times when having the discussion where religion and sex and sexuality intersect we find ourselves often times in a place of no communication at the worst of it all and miscommunication at the best of circumstances.

It’s clear that communication doesn’t exist when one’s Twitter timeline is dedicated to calling out someone, particularly someone who you had a spiritual relationship.  And then his wife jumped in the foray with her blog piece.  Both are entitled to their opinion; I’m certainly not trying to abridge their free speech, but honestly, to put it bluntly, I just thought it was tacky.  As Rai King said, some news reporter called to get some information concerning rumors about child molestation allegations.  After Shaun King heard from someone who was said to have been victimized by Alvarado, he felt compelled to say something about it.

Right.

Are you just as confused by the levels of “he said, she said” and hearsay as I am?

Now Shaun King leveled some serious issues concerning child molestation and our church culture of silence, but of course much of that took a backseat to the fact that he actually named someone in his allegations.  What makes this different than the Eddie Long case was that in Long’s case, the accusers were named and went public and we knew who they were.  In this case, frankly, the only person discussing it is King himself.  Neither the Atlanta Journal-Constitution nor any other major Atlanta news outlets have made the decision to cover the story–perhaps with good reason and erring on the side of journalistic integrity.  Frankly, if a news reporter is calling some third party about the veracity of a lawsuit filed and settled out of court–when I’m sure court records are public record–it makes even me question just how much of a story this truly is!

Being who I am, I tweeted Shaun King directly and asked where was this vitriol during the Eddie Long case to which he tweeted:

@theuppitynegro I actually made some public comments. Difference was this time I know the victims. Seen the facts. I didn’t in Long case.

And in a follow-up tweet:

@theuppitynegro But, I have spoken out against molestation, trafficking, abuse, and more my entire adult life. Read all 30k tweets to see.

I finished up by saying:

@ShaunKing i’m with ya brother being against molestation, but, iono, calling out Alvarado like that just seems–tacky.
@ShaunKing As an outsider looking in, it just seems like this wasn’t so much against child molestation as it was against Alvarado
@ShaunKing But God bless you and your ministry and hopefully all works out for the good on both sides: victims and victimizers.

I have long since been an advocate of agitating and righteous indignation on behalf of justice and the righteousness of God, but one shouldn’t use the catalyst of sexuality in order to advance one’s personal agenda.  Sorry, from the outside looking in it looks like Brother King has a personal axe to grind against Alvarado.  Perhaps if this had been the stance King had taken against Eddie Long then I could understand, but King certainly took a much more conciliatory tone toward discussing child molestation on his blog. So I’m left wondering, again are King’s motives about speaking out against child molestation or defaming the name of Jonathan Alvarado.

Well, honestly,  I don’t know.

All I can go is off of what I’ve read online.  What I’ve observed has less to do with the personhood of Shaun King and his wife and more to do with a general breakdown of civil behavior.  It’s just a bad look to do that. So Uppity, why are you doing what you just accused Shaun of doing? Well, let’s look in the manner I’m doing it: I’m trying not to do ad hominem attacks against him, and I’m trying to use this example as a case study of a larger issue about religious civility.  Beyond that, this is a cultural issue and I’ve certainly branded myself as a cultural critic; it’s not much that I really consider off limits.

Pastors and preachers in the black church tradition have made a habit of calling out those who they don’t agree with.  From calling out white oppressors by their names (think former Alabama Governor George Wallace to Birmingham public safety commissioner “Bull” Connor), to my own memories of a public spat between my former pastor and recently deceased pastor Arthur Brazier of Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, Illinois.  One famous fight was between a faction of black preachers including Martin Luther King and Gardner C. Taylor versus the then president of National Baptist Church, USA Joseph H. Jackson in 1961–and it was public!

So while I’m not against the religious politicking that goes on, I am concerned about unfounded claims.  The nature of the accusations against Alvarado seem salacious and sensationalized accounts–as of now.  For whatever it’s worth, it seems to me to be a reason why a reporter was calling around because so far the story seemed bogus.  For all I know, as by daybreak of me publishing this story the AJC breaks some news story about another Atlanta bishop who has fallen from “total grace.”

I understand Shaun King’s passion for seeking justice for the defenseless children that could possibly have been molested, but in the midst of the passion, one must use discretion.  Justice could be sought out privately.  Justice in this case could simply be making sure that the culprit sees the inside of a courtroom, not necessarily seeking one’s own vigilante justice by smearing his name on Twitter.  It also means waiting until all the facts come to the fore, or rather, enough facts to move forward with one’s assumption.

Whatever the case may be, we have to be a responsible ecclesiastical community.

All of us, myself included.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

Editor’s Note, 3/17: It has come to my attention that WSB News in Atlanta carried a story on 3/16 that the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office has launched a review into alleged criminal charges against Bishop Alvarado, mainly spurred by Shaun King’s Twitter timeline.  As of this post and update, Alvarado has not been charged with any crime, nor is D.A’s office conducting a full-scale investigation.  It seems as though Shaun King is getting the publicity that he was seeking.  For the sake of King’s integrity and future endeavors, I hope Alvarado is found guilty just so Shaun King can be proven right.  Otherwise, Shaun King’s name will be tarnished in most circles–and rightly so.

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29 responses to “Living In Lo-Debar: The Miscommunication of Religious Politics

  1. Great prespective. Pure journalism and very candid about some hidden undertones in the body of Christ

  2. I am applauding (internally) at the discourse of your commentary. I came to some of the same conclusions as you. The apparent absence of the communication piece was very alarming to me. In my mind, if a former pastor of mine whom I had respect and honor for had been been brought to my attention concerning something so serious, my first inclination would have been to meet and have a serious conversation with that former leader to, at least, hear his side of the story. There was no effort done in that which indicated to me a presence of bitterness, vindictiveness and maybe even pain. Twitter rants always amuse me because its speaks to the rising depth of cowardness among men and women.

    Anyway…I’m rambling. Thank you for this point of view. I agree with 100% of what you had to say. I appreciate you for verbalizing so eloquently and clearly!

    • @christianbrothaspeaks

      I think we confuse taking a deliberate approach with remaining silent or being inactive. I can certainly understand the inclination to be quick to action and do something especially when we feel children’s lives are at risk, however to act impulsively with no semblance of facts can be almost equally as damaging to one’s own reputation and the ability to speak up again when the situation may desperately need someone’s voice. Here’s my point which I deliberately didn’t say in the blog because I didn’t want to result to personal attacks against Shaun King and his family, but Shaun King benefits NOTHING from saying something or remaining quiet, which leads me to ask, why say something then?

      It comes off as opportunist and petty on his part to go so far as to name an accuser, and to do so solely. I think such a rant and blog post would have been much more justified if a victim had made the decision to come forward or at least some news story had leaked. In this case, just a bit petty. Smh. This because Shaun never blogged anything about child molestation over the years to the extent that he’s taking up the cause now. Even following the Eddie Long case, he really didn’t deal with it as an issue. And that’s fine. It’s his prerogative, but to do so now seems highly opportunistic.

      However, I wish both Alvarado and Shaun King well in their endeavors.

  3. I’m a big fan of your blog and also a fan of Shaun King, so this entry piqued my interest in particular…

    While I’m all for speaking against wrongdoing, it was particularly messy using social media to publicly call someone out. I didn’t know the background information you know, I’m not TOO familiar with the politics of Atlanta churches…nobody’s that bold up here where i live at (although my pastor gets called out on social media quite regularly lol)…

    Thanks for writing this…I still support King, just not the way he went about it. He’s a fairly young pastor who doesn’t give a damn about ‘protocol’ which is good sometimes but problemtatic in this situation. I just hope he can exercise wisdom in handling delicate situations such as this one in the future, and hopefully this doesn’t turn out too badly for him or any of the other parties involved.

    • @ Dei

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yeah, I really had nothing against King’s ministry per se–it just wasn’t for me. I was hopeful it was since he was so young, but it wasn’t, so oh well. However, I do question his judgment to do something such as this.

      But if you ever follow my Twitter, I’m big for calling out preachers. My favorite whipping post boy is Jamal Bryant. But guess what? I don’t call him a child molester. I don’t even go on about his past adulterous affairs. I just keep it friendly comedy and talk about his loud suits and shirts and ties and his catchphrases–all harmless as far as I’m concerned.

      Speaking of, is Jamal Bryant your pastor? :-)

  4. That was a great perspective and I agree. I’m all for justice as well and I believe that if Pastor A did what he did, he should received due punishment. While I understand that King feels as though he needs to be a voice for those that are being abused and his wife is using scripture to back up her stance, why is it that they forget Galatians 6:1 that says: Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (NASB) What happened to going to that person and if they don’t hear or if they don’t take the necessary steps to right the wrong done (if there is any wrong being done) THEN and only then do you bring it to light. My only thing about being so quick to pick up tar and feathers when it comes to someone’s sins and faults is that while you’re seeking someone’s demise be careful that your sins don’t find you out. While you’re digging holes for someone else to fall in, you might uncover some bones that you may have tried long to hide….

    • I am honeslty torn about this issue. @Dei You said “What happened to going to that person and if they don’t hear or if they don’t take the necessary steps to right the wrong done (if there is any wrong being done) THEN and only then do you bring it to light.” How do you know that he, and others, did not try to go to him personally?

      • @ chris

        I don’t know about any other cases where this happened, but the way the story was told on Rai King’s blog and the Twitter TL that is @shaunking, Shaun and his wife didn’t go to Bishop Alvarado personally. This combined with the fact that the two had been on the outs with each other ever since King resigned from Alvarado’s church. King didn’t want to, nor see the need to go to him privately. As I write this Shaun King’s Twitter TL is all abuzz as he’s pushing back on charges of being an opportunist, and where was he during the Eddie Long scandal and offering christological explanations as to why he’s justified for making such a public fuss about this, and publicly defaming Alvarado.

      • @theuppitynegro I see. Thank you for your reply and information. I have no reason to defend either side on this case especially since I certainly do not have first hand knowledge of the validity of Shaun’s accusations. I just hope that people do not forget about the children who have made these claims. It sends a horrible message to them, for them to have admitted to something like this and see everyone showing sympathy and compassion for the accused (I say accused intentionally since he has not been proven guilty to any of us.) Also, I must ask myself: Why would a man risk everything, i.e. his family, church, reputation, finances (since he is facing serious fines if this is false) etc. by making a statement that he knows could be untrue? It just doesn’t seem logical.

        Secondly, you stated that he did not speak out about Eddy Long. Do people have to speak out on EVERY act of injustice related to a social problem for them to have credibility? As I get older and evolve, I am learning about new causes that I am outraged by. I had no idea until recently that Child Sex Trafficking was so rampant in this country. Should I not advocate for it to end just because I did not do so in the past?

        I don’t know yal. I’m just presenting another argument and I welcome responses and thoughts.

      • @Chris

        For Shaun King’s sake, I hope he’s taken up a righteous cause. As of now, based on a DeKalb county judicial website, apparently an investigation has been launched (but I’m really reaching on that, I have no sure proof if any steps have been taken towards a crimnal indictment or even civil case against Bishop Alvarado).

        Many people have publicly fallen out with others because they feel they have been scorned by them. Bishop Alvarado told Shaun King he wasn’t ready for ministry, or something to that effect. Whatever the case may be, Shaun resigned and started his own ministry. Now, understandably, that’s something that’s very personal and it doesn’t shock me that Shaun would be personally hurt by it. Beyond that, I know of Alvarado’s reputation in the city of Atlanta–he’s known for being a minister who’ll call names of people he doesn’t agree with for whatever reason be it theological or otherwise. I do think King is letting his anger rule him in this situation along with his personal disposition toward Alvarado in general.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with this blog. In reviewing King’s rant I said to myself, “now if I was a member of King’s church how would I feel if my spiritual Father was behaving in such a childish manner? I’d feel like he was my peer vs my leader” I believe that you hit the nail on the head in your review and conducted yourself with tact & coth. Sadly two things it appears King lacks

  6. heckkkkkksssss no, Jamal Bryant isn’t my pastor. LOL

    I’m in Cleveland and my pastor’s theology is a lil more coherent than Jamal Bryant’s lol. He just happens to pastor the biggest church up here in NE Ohio, and he catches a lot of flack on youtube (got whole videos on him), twitter, facebook, etc…) eh it’s whatever lol.

  7. Excellent post. After reading much material on this issue (or non-issue depending on your perspective), this approach gets it right.

    My heart is grieved, however, for a few reasons.

    1) I hate bickering between clergy. Whether its over doctrine, theology, women, territory, etc, it’s a black eye to the faith and gives ammunition to the enemy. It’s even worse when it’s a one-sided argument.

    2) This is publicity my alma mater does not need. Shaun King and Johnathan Alvarado are both Morehouse grads. King is much closer to my age. His legend was he was an awesome orator, but I knew nothing of his preaching/pastoral abilities. Actually, I forgot about him until he came back on the scene with Courageous Church. I was surprised to find out this week he spent any time at Total Grace. Don’t know the extent of their fall-out, but I guess King will share in his blog. Nevertheless, I wish Shaun would take the advice of others and fight the hell out of the issue and not the individual. This character defamation obviously will hurt him more than Alvarado, especially if, as he claims, Alvarado admitted this to his congregation. If he admitted it and they still allowed him to serve, calling him out on Twitter will not force him to step down.

    Lastly, you spoke to the King/Alvarado relationship and the fact that he didn’t take the same stance with Long even after alleged victims came out. What scares me about this whole thing is that Alvarado and Eddie Long too have a history. Alvarado played at New Birth for years and actually met his wife there. I don’t know how that relationship ended when he started Total Grace. Although they are both innocent until proven guilty expect in the court of public opinion, I pray this is not a case of “birds of a feather”. I do know my Pastor has been in ministry for 30+ years and during his tenure, he has never been caught in a scandal. Regardless of the outcome, something can be said for NOT putting yourself in a position to be scandalized.

    As for your comments on anoher Morehouse brother of mind, no comment!! LOL

  8. A classmate of Shaun and I echo some of the sentiments of my Morehouse brother above. Clergy bickering kills me. As a minister myself, I’ve seen it rip ministries apart and kill any momentum churches have in the area of social justice (i.e. ministry that is more about “out there” than “in here”).

    My first time reading this blog. Seems very even-keeled and pretty objective on this issue. Praying for all involved here and that the real issue (hurting children) is addressed properly.

    • @ John Richards

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Since it’s my personal blog, I usually don’t shy away from showing my bias and not apologizing for it. So sometimes it does hit pretty hard, but I guess that’s the joys of having one’s own blog. Nevertheless, I do try to present opposing views and try and be even-keeled when approaching my opinion.

      But yes, usually I hear this issue when it comes to some churches that are in favor of having a directed social justice awareness versus others that don’t. So the nature of pastors calling out other pastors doesn’t shock me one bit as I said in the blog itself. But still, even in many of those cases, the preacher or pastor that calls out another one is pointing to some usually public action that everyone understands and generally they don’t take the route of doing the personal attacks. Usually they save those for the Jerry Fallwell’s and Pat Robertson’s of the world. lol

  9. I think you may find Pastor Shaun King’s final words on Johnathan Alverado on his blog post today interesting. Tell me, “Who is suppose to speak for the children?”

  10. You have no idea how your treatment and analysis of this issue has blessed me. I cannot believe that Shaun has taken to these kinds of actions “in the names of the victims”. The unfortunate thing about all of this is that the victims get lost in all of this. Instead of having a conversation of healing and prevention for the victims it becomes about who’s gay and who’s not gay when that’s not even the main focal point. We should be arming our kids with information and each other as well. I wish Shaun would have tweeted about that instead of allowing his personal vendetta to blind him.
    I believe that he believes he is doing the right thing. I just think he is misguided.

    • @ Robert

      Agreed. I THINK his heart is in the right place, but just blinded by his own personal feelings toward Alvarado.

  11. I’ve been reading all of the tweets and blogs and have been biting my tongue for the longest about this situation. I have attended Courageous church since the beginning and have a special place in my heart for the church and the Kings, and this truly saddens me. I truly think they will look back on this and regret this; not that they have said anything about the cause or the sin, but them judging and attacking the accused sinner. If you look back, Shaun was vocal about the Eddie Long scandal but said who were we to judge and they were only accusations. Why did that not light his fire to fight against pastors committing taking advantage of youth in the church and covering them up?

    I have seen all of my Courageous Church friends hop on the Alvarado bandwagon and go on rants about a man and not potential victims that could be hurting or a world wide problem of the children being taken advantage of sexually by people they know and respect.

    I feel that he is letting his personal hurt and feelings influence the mindset of a whole congregation (and whoever else is willing to listen) in a very pushy way. And although one of the reasons I feel in love with Courageous is that they fight hard for local and global and local causes, I refuse to fight or judge a man pr situation that I know nothing about besides what a man who has ‘beef’ with him has to say.

    This has truly turned me off and I am very saddened and disappointed with the way things have been handled.

    • @ God’s Girl

      Despite me speaking hyperbolically on Twitter and making jokes, let me use my pastoral care and say honestly, from the depths of my soul, that I am sorry that for you as a church member of Courageous Church that you have been put in the position that you are.

      I’m not going to tell you to leave the church or that you should stay; those reasons are solely up to you. However, if you do make the decision to stay, I do believe it’s the job of parishioners to support their pastor. Now support doesn’t mean “cover.” That is to say you did wrong, we know you’re human like the rest of us, and we forgive you, now let’s move on and do the work that we’re supposed to do as followers of Jesus in this world.

      And yes, Shaun did say something about Eddie Long, but as you said, took a much more conciliatory tone, which of course to those that have followed Shaun over the last few years, certainly raises a question as to what’s changed.

      But, God be with you and Shaun and his family as well.

    • I am a member of Total Grace, and I joined before Mr. King departed. Not much was said about his departure, and Bishop Alvarado wished him well openly. These allegations are surprising, and I am waiting until the DA or Assistant DA completes the informal or formal review. While everyone has an opinion about people and things — I wait for evidence and final documented conclusions.

      I have read the posts, Twitter feeds, and blog entries pertaining to this situation. It appears that Mr. King is very angry at Bishop Jonathan Alvarado, and the anger shows to be a deep hurt.

      I would like to say that at no time since I’ve been there in attendance has anyone stood in that pulpit and confessed to any sort of act or crime. If so, my words would read ex-member. Period.

      The teachings that have come from Total Grace are that our salvation comes from God and not man. Bishop Alvarado may have started Total Grace, but the congreation makes up the other half of the church. Having said that, I will wait on the evidence. If there comes a time that Bishop Alvarado has to step down if these allegations are true I’ll keep in mind where my salvation lies: with no man on this earth.

      I worship God, and not a pastor. So, I will be able to move on if I have to do so. I will pray for all involved especially any alleged victims mentioned in Mr. King’s blog, Bishop Alvarado’s wife, and his children. As Mr. King touts about 24-hour security, I’m sure that’s the case on the other end as well.

      When we stomp so hard to walk, and yell so loud to be heard (across International channels like the Internet) we lose sight of what and who we are fighting for and against. But, public recognition is gained in some form or fashion.

      So, at the end of the day do we want to be known as the man or woman that outed that other preacher, or do we want to be the Church that fought against abuse for those that need the help?

      • @ Nick

        “… or do we want to be the Church that fought against abuse for those that need the help?”

        Couldn’t be said better.

  12. I really struggled with whether or not to reply to this post. I have heard tale of many blogs written about this issue, and have refused to even look at them for the ridiculous content I’ve been told they contain. I refuse to waste my time dispelling some of the outrageous, flat-out lies supporters of Alvarado are putting out about my husband and I.
    However, I found this post to be interesting, and for the most part, balanced. So I’ll allow myself to jump into the fray-even if only for a moment.
    There are a few things I’d like to address:
    1- I’m so bothered by the idea that there are those among us who think child molestation is an issue to be handled with tack. I stated before that I care about neither in most situations. I am a graduate of Spelman College and know when to be a “lady.” This, for me, was not such a time. One of my first thoughts when we CONFIRMED the allegations was that it wasn’t fair that people who were currently attending Total Grace were potentially putting their children in harms way because they did not know what manner of man Alvarado was. That’s simply not fair to them as it wasn’t fair to us. So my goal in exposing him was to alert anyone who cared to know that their child may be in danger.
    2-We have NO axe to grind with Johnathan Alvarado. None at all. We are happy, busy, successful people with a church to run, and a slew of children to raise. We did not ask for this, nor go looking for it. We completely divorced ourselves from the world of Total Grace and everything in it. We left Total Grace for a number of reasons. And I won’t pretend that it was an amicable departure. But it was also not something worth being bitter over. We’re perfectly fine. So what would I have to be mad about?
    3- People are really misusing this scripture about restoration. If someone among us falls, and is REPENTANT, and turns from their ways, and sins no more (as Jesus told the woman at the well), then restoration is in order. NONE of this has occurred in this case. He has been allowed to victimize children for 20+ years. How long should we keep quiet about it in an effort “restore” him? How many children have to have their lives torn apart before it’s ok to speak out?
    4-To my knowledge, Bishop Long is not accused of crimes against children. I was under the impression that all of the men were of consenting age when he had relationships with them. So, it’s therefore not a crime. I could be wrong. But that was my understanding.
    5-The victims in this case are not speaking out because they have all signed agreements not to as part of the out-of-court settlement. There are other victims, however, and my solemn prayer is that they will have the courage to come forward so that justice in the court of law can prevail.
    Anyhow, my goal with this comment was to clarify. Please understand that this situation has come at great cost to us. We knew that going in. We were well aware of what happens to the whistle blowers.
    The full light of this may never be known. I said so at the end of my blog post. For one thing he has very strong connections in the Dekalb police department-including having served as chaplain to the sheriff’s office as well as having a police captain on the church payroll. In addition, you have things like sealed court records, and statute of limitations that make these cases very difficult to prosecute.
    Having him prosecuted would send a strong message, but was not my goal when I outed him. I stated my goal above.
    There are those who will never understand what we’ve done and will always contend that our motives are unpure. We didn’t do it for them though, so we can live with that.

    • @ Rai

      Thanks for your response. My prayers are with you, your husband and Courageous Church.

    • @rai: the bottom line is that it was extremely tacky to use social media as PASTORS of a growing ministry to “out” or “call out” someone no matter what was done. I do not condone any type of abuse of children under any circumstances! If you and Shaun were truly concerned with those who were affected, you’d have reached out to them instead of attempting to destroy another family with your words. You’re essentially fighting fire with fire which only leads to a bigger fire.

      How would you feel if your family had accusations (of any kind) against you and another pastor or congregation member said some of the hurtful things that you all said? I don’t think you’d like that too much, so next time, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and allow the law AND God to handle their business.

  13. I definitely agree that his comments were tacky along with his wife’s. As pastors they probably should refrain from addressing their public opinions and offer more guidance and support to those who are affected by the alleged situation.

    Pastor King definitely lost all credibility with me personally when he 1) cancelled a speaking engagement with me the morning of and posted a FB status about taking his family to the circus and 2) hosted a church function at Morehouse where he claimed Israel Houghton would be there as a special guest when in actuality Israel recorded a video message.

    I don’t agree with ANYONE abusing children in any way, but, some type of decorum needs to be shown to be an example to his congregation and others who look to him for encouragement and inspiration.

    I guarantee if this were some situation in which he were caught up, he wouldn’t want anyone slandering his name, his wife, or his children.

  14. I understand your concerns in the way Shaun King and his wife addressed this issue, but as I’ve thought about it I’m siding with them on this issue. I think one of the reasons they did it so publicly is because of fact that the Bishop is allegedly settling with victims behind closed doors, thus silencing them and allowing himself to stay on the pulpit. This alleged incident is a crime that people go to jail for. If I were a member of that church with children I would be thanking the Kings and pressuring Bishop Alvarado to say something about these claims. What I find is so interesting in this case and also in the Eddie Long case is that these bishops never deny anything happened, they just say they will fight it. That to me is incredibly suspect. When a claim as inflammatory as this one has been made and it isn’t true, don’t you want to discredit it as quickly as possible? I just think that maybe you focused your efforts on the wrong issue. Also in the article I found below, it seems that the DA has been investigating this before Shaun King started tweeting about it. I believe the reporter that tried to visit the church on the two different occasions must be the one to have contacted Mr. King, so it wasn’t Shaun Kings tweets that spurned the investigation. All in all, I just don’t think there is a “proper forum” to out somebody as dangerous as this Bishop appears to be. The public has the right to know and these bishops cannot be allowed to be sheltered by the pulpit. It really disgusts me.

    http://www.gadailynews.com/news/63953-da-looking-into-metro-atlanta-bishop-johnathan-alvarado.html

  15. I have been following this since it was firsted started. Just wondering what the status is? Thought you might be able to help??

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