By Dayo Johnson, Akure, Rotimi Ojomuyela, Ado-Ekiti, Ola Ajayi, Ibadan, Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Following the serial allegations of rape against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, Sunday Vanguard spoke to some pastors on the strategies they have devised to escape beautiful women temptation.
Avoid meeting women in secluded places, odd times – President Baptist Conference/Ondo State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) – Rev John Ayo Oladapo
“There is no way a pastor can run away from attending to women in the church because they form an integral part of the church and they need attention more than the men.
“Pastors are seen as trusted oracles of God that can keep secret; that’s why a woman would pour out her mind to her pastor when going through challenges. “Many women see their pastors as the first people to share their problems with.
“But when counselling women, pastors should avoid doing so in secluded places and not at odd times. They should restrain from emotional attachment.
“All pastors face temptations but if you suspect any foul play, you can refer the woman to either your wife or another female church leader.
“Pastors should always be on their guard to avoid women of easy virtue because they are many in the churches.
“The moment you suspect that the woman you are counselling is deviating and introducing other things more than what the scripture says, as a pastor, flee”.
Shun unhealthy contact with ladies – Pastor Seyi Osanyinbi of Power and Glory Tabernacle, Akure
“We are all products of our belief system. Many started on a weak foundation. How pastors come into leadership is very important and it will predict how far they will go.
“Many pastors have not dealt with the sin nature, they still walk in flesh.
“We all come under temptation and we are vulnerable. Pastors should avoid surrounding themselves with ladies, women, avoid unhealthy contact with them, don’t encourage improper dressing by ladies and women, be steadfast in the word of God and be sensitive because life is a warfare. And, more importantly, pray always for deliverance over temptation.
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Run away from every appearance of temptation—Rev Paul Tunde Tioluwani
Reverend Paul Tunde Tioluwani of the Bible Way Christian Church with international Headquarters in Ibadan
“The Bible says if a man is born again, he becomes a new creature, old things are passed away and all things have become new. Before I met with the Lord, I was a chain smoker and I drank a lot and I couldn’t say that I was innocent when it comes to the issue of womanizing. But once I had a real encounter with the Lord, I don’t do such things again and never found myself in places where they are done.
“It is not that because I am a man of God, if I take a bottle of beer, its content won’t run down my throat but because of my position and because I have had an encounter with the Lord, I cannot take such bottle of beer. I run away from it.
“It takes a man of God who has really had an encounter with the Lord to resist the temptation of attractive women.
“And let me tell you, once a man of God observes it naturally that a woman was making advances or that he is unduly getting attracted to a woman, he should run. This is what the Bible says. Of all the sins a man can fall into, the Bible admonishes that a man must run when it comes to fornication. Joseph didn’t think twice when he was confronted by the temptation of his master’s wife before he fled.
“That you have the spirit of discernment does not even solve the problem in the case of being tempted by beautiful women. The best is when you perceive or observe that such is happening, which is just a natural feeling, run. That is the best solution.
“Prayer also is one of the keys to surmounting such a challenge. The Bible says that with prayers, challenges can be conquered and that we should pray without ceasing.
“As men of God, we must continually pray against such temptation because many of these attractive women are actually sent to destroy men of God. Not all of them are normal human beings. Many are sent from the marine world with the sole mission to destroy men of God.
“Another issue is that some men of God do not really have an encounter with the Lord. Some of them nowadays are mere motivational and inspirational speakers who package themselves to do the work of the Lord.
“And the packaging isn’t the way to do the Lord’s work; you must have the real encounter. Many of the so-called packaging preachers preach not the kingdom of God but rather preach prosperity and other worldly pleasures of life instead of preaching the salvation message of the Lord.
“This shows that they are still their old selves before they came into Christendom.
“Doing God’s work demands a lot of self-denials, exemplified in fasting, seeking His face continually, resisting to do a lot of things other people do and preaching His word truthfully: it is not all about bread and butter that some of our nowadays preachers indulge in. It is a spiritual battle that constantly rages”.
Some women deliberately tempt pastors – Pastor Mathew Alalade of CAC Oke-Iye Osogbo
“Pastors are also human who have flesh but the power of God’s anointing always keeps them away from temptation.
“Some pastors don’t attend to women in private; they rather attend to them in the presence of their wives or the women’s husbands.
“One does not have to run from women in the church because the intention of some women is to tempt pastors, hence the need for pastors to remain steadfast in the prayer.
“Temptation is meant for men of God and some fall for it to learn of the mercy of God and their lessons to be able to understand the grace of God”.
‘A woman’s body is a temple of God’
A priest in the Catholic Church, who preferred anonymity, disclosed that women should not be seen as elements of temptation but rather as a temple of the Lord.
He disclosed that the sex scandal in the Church should not be escalated because it happens almost everywhere, though a certain degree of decorum is expected in the Church.
“One needs not run away from the female folk; rather, they should be treated as partners in the development of the Church”, he said.
“Apostle Paul has already provided a solution to the relationship between males and females in the Church. He said, ‘see every woman like your mother and every young woman as your sister’.
“So going by this view, it is better not to see the opposite sex as tempting but we should rather see the presence of the Lord in everyone”.
Don’t allow women to be too close to you – Oyo State Chairman, CAN, Rev Benjamin Akanmu
“The best thing to do is to be careful when dealing with the opposite sex. You have to keep off totally. You don’t allow women to be too close to you. Even, if there is any need for counselling a woman, I make sure there are other people with me.
“If you want to go on visitation, go with some elders in the church. Don’t go there alone. You know if a woman wants to destroy a man of God, she would simply say he raped her, even when the pastor did not do anything like that. And, unfortunately, there is nothing for the pastor to prove his innocence and people will believe the woman.
“Another way to prevent temptation is for the pastor to preach against half naked dressing in churches. If a woman dresses indecently, you don’t keep quiet. You must not allow such women to move closer to you”.
Attending to a woman in a solitary place is dangerous – Pastor Oladipo Oluwadamilare of the Redeemed Christian Church of God
“What we hear about sexual immorality in the house of God is the sign of end-time and men of God.
“We have to exercise caution because the devil is creeping into the Church in this end-time. We men of God should pray for special grace to see us through. We should avoid being trapped by the devil. “As a man of God, there is a limit to how you relate to women. You can’t avoid them, but you don’t remain alone with them in a solitary place. It may turn to massive embarrassment”.