As we enter 2018 we cannot allow sexual predator prophets and church leaders to go unchallenged. This year our campaign against church leaders who abuse their position of power and influence for sexual misconduct will be relentless and we will name and shame them.
I was encouraged by the response that my first article generated, and I would like to appreciate all those brave women that stepped up to speak up. There are dossiers being prepared that will outline the heinous abuses that some of these high-profile celebrity prophets have been perpetrating. It is high time we put an end to such rank abuse. Warning shots have already been fired now I watch in horror and amazement as high-profile celebrities and pastors and prophets fall like the leaves of autumn; horror at the tsunami of sexual misconduct, and amazed at the Silence Breakers who no longer allow perverts to do harm with impunity.
Prophets are not immune from sexual misconduct and the ‘man of God’/member relationship presents unique opportunities for abuse. One case of sexual misconduct can erode the sacred trust that congregants have in all other genuine prophets or pastors, to say nothing of the irreparable harm to the victim. I have spoken to several women who have fallen victim of sexual abuse from church leaders. More and more of these prophets or so-called papas are engaging in sexual misconduct and what’s more shocking is that in some cases the so called spiritual mothers are facilitating and directing some of these sexual shenanigans further compounding fear in the victims who are left in no doubt that these are ritualist activities that have spiritual implication.
It will take years for most of these victims to regain trust or respect any man of God, and some, will never have the ability to trust anyone with a title prophet again. Because of the far-reaching consequences of clergy sexual misconduct, I thought I would take this moment to share six myths about sexual misconduct by man of God that need busting as well as six tips to avoid clergy sexual misconduct.
Myth #1: Clergy sexual misconduct is only when a Prophet or pastor has sex with a minor.
Clergy sexual misconduct (CSM) is not limited to paedophilia. CSM also includes adult sexual abuse and sexual harassment. It is CSM when any person in a ministerial role of leadership or pastoral counselling engages in sexual contact or sexualized behaviour with a congregant, client, employee, student, staff, member (etc.) in a professional relationship. CSM can include rape or sexual assault, sexualized verbal comments or visuals, unwelcome touching and advances, use of sexualized materials including pornography, and stalking.
Myth #2: Prophets do not engage in CSM.
CSM is a widespread problem in congregations of all sizes and occurs across all denominations including spiritual churches. There have been several instances of abuse in the prophetic churches where prophets have misled the victims into thinking that God had instructed or allowed the so-called man of God free licence to act sexually inappropriate (No blessings are sexually transmitted, and no demons are exorcised by sexual acts) so don’t be fooled.
Myth #3: Prophets sometimes have ‘affairs’ with church members.
The word ‘affair’ implies ‘mutual consent’ between two adults. Because of the asymmetrical role of prophet and congregant, any sexualized relationship between a prophet and a congregant (except for the prophet’s spouse) is clergy sexual misconduct and cannot be considered ‘mutual consent.’ Even if it is not physical coercion, the clergy is the one in a position of spiritual and emotional power and must be held responsible for the abuse of power.
Myth #4: Clergy sexual misconduct usually happens unintentionally.
My inbox is flooded with stories of abused women from a wide range of religions, mostly from the modern-day prophetic movement, who are narrating their stories of abuse. In most of the cases the sexual-predator-prophets (offenders), in a series of small acts, broke down the natural defences of the offended, and took advantage of a position of spiritual power to eventually sexualize the relationship. Victims, families, and the congregation, did not seem to notice, or if so, refused to confront the prophet with inappropriate attention given to the victim. Other contributing factors of CSM included a lack of accountability for the clergy, intimate knowledge of the victim’s personal challenges and secrets, and almost all the stories included multiple inappropriate text, or telephone conversations were the woman was asked to film herself doing not only inappropriate things but sexually degrading acts.
Myth #5: Spiritual prophets are above temptation.
Prophets have unique temptations. The role of prophet may attract a congregant to perceived power, fame, spirituality, caring and implied holiness any of which may fill a void in the congregant. As the prophet ministers to the attracted congregant, the prophet’s need for validation in ministry is increasingly fulfilled. The mutual satisfaction of needs may be conflated with a personal attraction in both the minds of the prophet and the congregant. The mutual attraction can easily become sexualized.
Myth #6: Those who belong to these prophetic churches have largely been silent about abuse.
A lot of women who have been abused by these flamboyant prophets have been labelled all sorts of names. Some have been said to be demon possessed and working at destroying the ministry and soiling the names of good prophets. The truth of the matter is abused women in these churches have been speaking out, but they have been drowned and silenced in the most brutal of ways.
Six Tips to avoid Clergy Sexual Misconduct (CSM)
Tip #1: Don’t engage in conversations via text on platforms that delete and destroy proof of conversation.
There are Apps and communication platforms such as Line, CoverMe and Telegraph which have become favourites for sexual predators who seek to cover their tracks by destroying any sexually inappropriate texts and videos that they share.
Email, text messaging, phone calls and other forms of personal communication can be channels of CSM. Avoid conversations of a personal nature by having more than one person in on the communication.
Tip #2: Discuss relationship questions with mentors or colleagues outside of the congregation.
If you have any question about ambiguity in relationships or boundaries with individuals in your congregation, discuss the nature of the relationship with a trusted experienced colleague outside of your congregation. Be honest about sharing your personal feelings with your support group/mentors about a relationship. Naming temptation to others takes away its power over you and enables you to construct effective boundaries.
Tip #3: Avoid meeting alone with anyone.
Find places to meet people where you can be observed by others. Meet people in your office only if you leave your door open and someone is within eyesight. Meet at a public place. Make sure you choose the setting. Don’t go on frequent drives alone with someone else. Don’t go by yourself to a home visitation.
Tip #4: Keep current on the best practices to prevent abuse
Attend sexual harassment/abuse classes. Take the Sexual Abuse – find someone outside the church circle of friends whom you can trust and speak to about any situation of abuse.
Tip #5: Keep physical contact professional.
Avoid physical contact with individuals unless it is in a public setting. And even in a public setting keep physical contact short and appropriate.
Tip #6: Beware of giving and receiving personal gifts.
In some cultures, gifts can be mis-perceived. They may take on more meaning than you intended.
Shots fired I speak as the General of God
I have taken it upon myself to stand up for the many women who have been sexually abused in the church by those entrusted to lead them. For far too long Prophets have abused women with impunity and they have hidden behind the grossly misquoted scripture “TOUCH NOT THE ANNIONTED OF GOD”
Are there any ‘anointed’ persons today?
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1:20-22).
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (I Jn. 2:27).
These verses are unambiguous …The entire body of Christ is ‘anointed’, not just certain people in the body, and all Christians have the same anointing… the same Holy Spirit.
Too many prophets today misquote scripture in a vailed attempt to validate threats such as “don’t touch God’s anointed” or “You are blaspheming the Holy Spirit” in an effort to silence critics who expose their sexual abuse and un-Scriptural teachings. They claim the victims of their sexual abuse are speaking against a ‘Man of God’. This bears a striking resemblance to the situation in 1 Samuel where Saul, whose position was threatened, pursued the man who was innocent. Moreover, when David became king he accepted rebuke and correction from Nathan the prophet. He did not say, “don’t touch God’s anointed” to protect himself.
When someone says they are “anointed” or “led by the Spirit” but consistently sexually abuse congregates and threaten those who want to speak out, you can be assured that they’re not being led by God’s Spirit nor is the truth in them.
Furthermore, if you are really anointed you don’t have to make threats since it is God who protects His anointed, “Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:6-7).
Interestingly Paul, who was questioned, never once hid behind “Touch not God’s anointed” or “do my prophets no harm”. On the contrary he applauded the Bereans and called them “noble” for checking Scripture to see if what they were being taught was truthful. If someone is truly anointed, they would want to encourage people to discern what is true and what is not. They would encourage people to pursue the truth no matter what.
Sadly, there seem to be few Bereans in the church today. People are quite willing to tell others not to touch the so-called anointed but never spend the time to give time to fellow congregates who say we have been sexually abused and see if there is any validity to the cries of rape and sexual abuse.
It is so easy in this day and time for these sexual predator prophets and the purveyors of false doctrines to quote a verse of Scripture and have their listeners swallow it hook, line and sinker, little realising that the verse is way out of context and their interpretation of it is far removed from its original meaning.
Another common protest thrown at those who take a stand for the truth is that we are not supposed to judge. However, there are innumerable verses in the Bible dealing with false teachings and refuting the errors. Hebrews 5:14 tells us that mature believers, those who are of “full age,” are those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern (judge) both good and evil.” In 2 Timothy 2:17 Paul not only warns of the heresies of two men, he also names them. Jesus Himself said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). “That you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3).
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:150