Josine, I didn't read the entirety of your first comment, or your second. I normally don't read exhaustive comments on social networking sites. But I appreciate the extensive thought, time and energy you have put into them.
I am amazed at the way the word prophet is used in many of the replies, comments and shared thoughts. To begin, I believe that it is necessary to define the word prophet--
According to the website, Wisegeek, the word prophet is defined as follows: "The term prophet has several definitions and is based on issues of faith and belief. Loosely, a prophet is one of two things:
1) He or she receives a direct message from the divine, which is meant to be communicated to others.
2) He or she is able to somehow tap into divine knowledge and make predictions about the future of the world or about individuals.
This latter definition could also be termed a seer or psychic. People who do not believe in a divine being would likely define a prophet as a person who falsely believes he has communicated with a god or gods. Even adherents to particular religions make the distinction between real prophets and false prophets. This definition will focus primarily on the term prophet as those who believe in some version of a creator or an intelligent presence view it.
Finally, in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, people believed that prophecy was once not uncommon. Prophets that these religions share in common include Noah, Abraham, called Ibrahim by people of Islamic faith, and Moses. Both Christians and Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, having direct contact with God’s words. Further, Muslims believe that Muhammad is the final prophet, who speaks directly of how God should be worshipped, although Imams in the Shi’a faith are the representations of how the Qur’an must be read and interpreted."
Now, having shared the above information, how many of us fit the term prophet? I do believe that just because a person is a saved sinner this dose not necessarily prevent that person from being able to communicate the word of GOD. After all, I bet many of you answered in the affirmative with respect to my query-- God speaks to all of us and it is up to us to be still and know--
Do man really ever believes that the Bible means what it says: Or is he always convinced that it says what he means, we all have filters that we use to understand. Those filters we use in our daily lives based on our own experiences, and surroungdings.
Really, are we so caught up in the times, to where this is shocking, he is a MAN, who like many before him Temptation got the best of him. Anytime an indivual has money power and influence over someone, things are going to happen. Simply because he is in the Pulpit does not mean he is a Saint. Get over it, if your faith is well founded (in GOD) these actions has no bearing.
I think as people we tend to believe that those who are "called" to lead in our churches are "perfect". The truth of the matter is regardless of church status, we all are on a journey to becoming better disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus, which means that no man or woman is completely free from sin while on earth; therefore it is unfair for us to think our leaders are perfect - they are human and succomb to desires of the flesh just like anyone else. Jesus is perfect. Men and women are not perfect.
I believe that the bigger issue is this sense of power that these ministers of mega churches have. These ministers of these non denominational churches are owner of their own privately held coporation. They answer to nobody. They cannot be removed form their own church because it is theirs to begin with. The Deacons are just yes men appointed by these ministers. They have no real power at all. Because these ministers answer to no one, they feel they are above everybody and as their influence and power grows, so do their egos. Is it really necessary for a pastor to drive a Bentley or a Maybach? I mean really, what is the significance? Would Jesus drive a nice car or would he use that money to help the least among us? I have always been wary of preaches who hype themselves as a "Man of God". One of my criteria has always been does he have a servant disposition. Would he stoop down and wash another man's feet without hesitation or for show?
As for Long, if he is guilty of this, then yes he is a false prophet without hesitation