Gospel singer Yolanda Adams has come out in defense of Bishop Eddie Long after Pastor Kim Burrell accused him of bringing homosexuality into the church.
Several men have come out to accuse Long of coercing them into having sexual relationships with him while they were still teenage members of his congregation. The bishop settled with his accusers in May 2011, although his attorneys denied the claims and said that he had served as a spiritual father to the boys.
Some have speculated that Long had been infected with AIDS after he announced in September that he was undergoing a "health challenge."
In her sermon, Burrell described Long's condition as "heartbreaking."
"It is an embarrassment to the Church. 'Cause nobody would be making that you have AIDS unless a homosexual man didn't come out and reveal what you did behind closed doors ... they have yet to deny it," she said.
In a Facebook post, Adams decried Burrell's criticism of Long.
"As a Person who has Gay Relatives and Friends, I had to put these Words in the Atmosphere to combat the unwarranted and unproven attack on My Friend Bishop Long," she said.
"Hateful Words are never profitable to the Cause of Christ in the World. Jesus said 'They will know you by your Love,'" Adams added.
Burrell faced a backlash after a clip of her sermon went viral on the internet. In her sermon, she suggested that Christians who engage in homosexual behavior could die in 2017.
Burrell explained in a series of videos that her comments were directed at her church. She said that she never referred directly to the LGBT community, and she also denied accusations that she said all gays were going to Hell.
She was supposed to appear on Ellen DeGeneres' show to perform with Pharrell Williams, but her appearance was canceled after the clip surfaced online.
Burrell explained that the video that went viral was not the entirety of her sermon, and she asserted that it has been edited to make it seem that she has a personal agenda against people.