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Current Events
According to CNN:  Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-based megachurch leader, has reached an out-of-court settlement with four young men who accused him of sexual coercion, representatives for both sides said Thursday. B.J. Bernstein, the attorney representing the men, said in a statement that the lawsuits against Long and his church have “been resolved.” Bernstein’s two-paragraph statement said that neither she nor the accusers would talk about the lawsuits “now or in the future.” Art Franklin, a Long spokesman, said Thursday that the pastor settled because it “is the most reasonable road for everyone to travel.” via Bishop Eddie Long settles with accusers – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs. In other words… money changed hands, right? Question:  If this is indeed the case, doesn’t this show some admission of guilt? If not, why in the world would you give money to four accusers? What would you have done if you were in Eddie Long’s situation?  Four people accusing you of horrible things? Let’s say you ARE completely innocent.  ALL of the charges are totally UNTRUE. Do you EVER agree to a monetary settlement? EVER? I can’t imagine that I would.  But then again, I’ve never been there. What do YOU think?  What would YOU do?

Current Events
Televangelist Benny Hinn is being sued by Strang Communications, alleging that Hinn violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an “inappropriate relationship” with Without Walls pastor Paula White. Strang (now Charisma Media) is saying that they should receive about $250k of unrecouped royalties.  Evidently, they’ve asked Hinn for payment, but he refuses. The complaint:  Benny didn’t work hard to promote his books.  One book, Blood in the Sand, published in 2009 got Hinn a $300,000 advance.  But Benny didn’t make appearances scheduled to promote it. In other words… Benny took the money and ran, it appears.  Or at least didn’t do what Strang expected him to do to promote the sale of the book  (that they had paid him the advance to do). On the relationship itself, Hinn says that he didn’t do anything immoral.  But maybe he told the publisher something privately that he hasn’t yet said publicly.  It’s hard to tell since the suit seems to be a breach of contract for not promoting rather than moral failing.  I’m sure much more will come out in the more public hearing. via Benny Hinn Sued by Strang Co. | Liveblog | Christianity Today. Thoughts?

Current Events
A woman in Michigan has won a sizable monetary judgement against her church..  Here’s the deal.  Mount Hope Church held a service in which Judith Dadd got a little too much of the Spirt and fell, injuring herself… Sounds like a Benny Hinn push gone bad. But anyway… in her lawsuit, Ms. Dadd claimed her pastor defamed her when he accused her of insurance fraud, faking her injuries, and renouncing her faith.  A previous jury had awarded Dadd $317 in damages for her injuries as well as slander, libel, and false light. The most recent court decision affirmed Dadd’s negligence claim (worth $40k), but reversed the damages for libel, slander, and false light. You can read the article here. Hmm… lots of questions here. 1.  Would God allow you to hurt yourself while worshipping him?  I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of this kind of worship-related injury before. 2.  What responsibility does a church have in this kind of instance? 3.  Can we agree that it probably would have been good for the pastor not to accuse of insurance fraud and faking injuries? 4.  But what if she really was faking injuries and committing insurance fraud?  Should the pastor have been justified in calling her out if that’s what she was doing? 5.  Maybe we should change the terminology from ‘slain in the spirit’ to ‘impaired in the spirit’.  If she would have actually been ‘slain’, there would have been a lot more damages. Ok.  Time to turn off my mind.  It’s getting me nowhere. What do YOU think? Todd

Current Events
At least three businesses have filed lawsuites against the Crystal Cathedral in recent months, claiming the church owes them more than $2 million dollars. According to a report in the Orange County Register, lawsuites were filed in February and March by an equipment finance company and broadcast outlets. An Indiana based equipment company says the CC defaulted on payments as early as April of 2009 and by December of last year, CC owed them close to $2 million.  According to a company spokesperson, the lawsuit was filed close to a year after the church had stopped paying. Two television stations say the church owes them about $100,000 each.  Both stations say they’ve asked and demanded payment, but have received nothing. Sheila Schuller Coleman says that the church needs ‘an influx of new gifts to be able to honor” their current accounts payables with vendors. According to news reports, the CC has a $55 million budget deficit, but hope to bridge that gap with the sale of properties in the Southern California area. You can read more here. QUESTION:  Has your church (or a church you worked with) ever not been able to pay their bills?  What did you do?  And what would you do right now if you were in Sheila Schuller Coleman’s shoes? Todd