A Call for Christian Accountability and Ethics

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Christianity, by its very nature, is the way of Christ, and this way is a narrow one. It is a highway of holiness in which Christians are expected to be salt and light to the world.

This is why when a Christian leader (someone who has been appointed to teach the Word of God at any level) has credible allegations of crime levied against him/her, the response of the Body of Christ to it sends a strong message to those within and without the church.

It cannot be denied that Christianity has been a strong historical and cultural force which shaped the Nigerian political and religious sphere. This is why the decisions that the Nigerian Christian body make regarding serious allegations such as rape against a popular pastor, tells us the kind of society we want to build.

In the midst of the baffling controversy of the alleged serial adulterer and rapist, Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Christian Organization of Nigeria (CAN) gave a press release that contains a number of howlers, none of which should come from a Christian body that values justice, truth and moral integrity.

In the release made public on Saturday, they wrote:

As we seek the help of CAN Elders and the Holy Spirit in resolving the current problem, it is our prayer that both parties will sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of the Church and for the greater glory of God.”

I sincerely don’t understand what they meant by the call to “sheath their swords” and stop the “media war”? Are CAN members oblivious to what this issue is all about or they are deliberately trying to twist the narrative? I suspect the latter.

Do they think Busola Dakolo’s allegation was borne out of personal vendetta or was she his only victim?

Is this a “media war” instigated by a scorned woman or the exposure of a sexual predator in the pulpit?

It’s indeed a disappointment to find a supposed Christian organization playing cheap politics with the lives of the wounded flock.

In the release, they made an appeal to Romans 5:8,11 and 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 as if this hoopla is all about Biodun’s sins. This is the same “we are all sinners” line that Biodun’s defenders have been chanting all across the public space.

And I wonder if someone ever informed them that there is a big difference between sins and crimes.

According to a legal dictionary, crime is a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties. In a plain sense, when there is a crime, there must be a penalty.

But not all sins are crimes though all crimes may be sins. Therefore, the redress of crimes cannot be the same as sins. Not in every instance. With the exception of those under Sharia dictates or Mosaic laws:

Fornication is a sin, not a crime.

Adultery – sin not crime.

Not paying tithes – sin not crime

Breaking the sabbath – sin, not crime.

Eating shellfish or pork – sin, not crime.

Homosexuality – sin, not crime (though some countries criminalize it).

Sorcery – sin, not crime.

Gambling – sin, not crime

Alcoholism – sin, not crime.

But when you are talking about rape, paedophilia, theft, perjury, murder, destruction of private or public property, money laundering, financial embezzlement and so on, you are talking about crimes. That’s the way the world works. Deal with it.

Some sins can result in crimes, such as sorcery being used to murder and fornication which can include sexual acts with a minor or sexual predation – which is an accurate description of a pastor taking his flock as sexual preys.

When a crime is uncovered, it shouldn’t stop at mere apology to the aggrieved, it should also be adjudicated in the court of law:

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake” (Romans 13:3-5).

Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:9-11).

Therefore, the first act of injustice against all the victims of Biodun Fatoyinbo is to reduce his crimes against them to mere “sins.” That’s a callous, mendacious and unchristian attempt to minimize the injuries he inflicted on others.

Furthermore, in all the accounts given by his victims and numerous sex partners, there were often large pay outs and monetary gifts. It will be vital if this is equally investigated.

The organization he heads is registered with a non-profit status, and to the best of my knowledge, he doesn’t have any allied industries or entrepreneurship schemes that serve as sources of great income. So where was the money coming from?

If the money he showered on these women were from the tithes and various offerings and other public money donated to his ministry by people who thought they were “connecting the power” for their breakthroughs, then he should be penalized and have his tax-free status revoked. 

A church leader expending “God’s money” on satiating his lust is gross betrayal of public trust, lack of financial stewardship and abuse of spiritual authority. Is there a Christian body with enough integrity to call this evil by its name?

I have read posts by church goers who highlight his benevolence, Bible knowledge and miracles that have come from his ministry. What is in dispute here is not his giving to charity or ability to teach the Bible. Anyone can do these without necessarily been born again.

And since the name of Jesus and the Word of God are effective any day, God will always honour the faith of His people even if the vessel ministering to them is as false as a 13 dollar bill.

At this stage of our Christian experience in Africa, miracles should no longer be the yardstick of genuineness.

Some Christians, in their desperation to launder the image of their hero (and it’s all about him), appeal to us to cover the crimes of our leaders just as Muslims do for theirs. This is the lowest watermark that people will sink to.

I must ask, since when did Christians – who are called to be the light of the world – began to model their ethical codes after the religions of this world? Indeed, it’s written in the Islamic hadith that if a Muslim covers the sins of a fellow Muslim, Allah will also cover their sins on judgement day.

Aside from the ethically flawed implications of that charge, the whole idea of sins being covered on judgement day is completely alien to Biblical eschatology and soteriology.

What does the Bible say we should do about evil or grievous sins being committed in Christian leadership?

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal. 2:11).

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11).

Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” (1 Tim. 5:20).

This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).

And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds” (Rev. 2:21-22)

Nothing here about covering up crimes or criminals to protect the image of a person or church. It is actually our exposure of them that shows the world our revulsion and makes it clear to others within the church that such actions are contrary to the Faith.

If you take a look at civilized climes, you will find that accountability in the church is not often overlooked.

Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Robert Liardon, Eddie Long etc. were all exposed for their sexual indiscretions at one point and they publicly confessed their deeds, and in the case of Bakker, served his sentence for financial misappropriation.

Even David Yonggi Cho, the icon of South Korea, publicly confessed his misdeeds and was sentenced to prison for his financial embezzlement – and the earth didn’t cave in neither did the sky fall to the ground.

But why is it that when it comes to our dear country, influential church leaders are excluded from any degree of scrutiny and accountability? Why do we prioritize image and status over truth and justice?

Here again is what the Bible says about Christians like Fatoyinbo who use Christianity as a cover for their unclean practices:

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person” (1Cor. 5:11).

Paul even said such an evil person should be expelled from the church (v. 13)! This should cover all those defending and protecting sexually loose persons in their churches with the veil of shame.

The church in Nigeria needs to take some hard, unpopular stance in order to restore its sullied image before the world.

We cannot be denouncing corruption outside the church while making allowances for it inside the church. It is a travesty of the noble examples we should be giving to the unregenerate.

Most sex predators don’t work alone; they usually have enablers, whether in word or deed. There is always someone who saw or knew something but chose to look the other way. They need to break their silence on this case because judgement will start in the house of God.

From the accounts of Biodun’s victims, his wife, Modele, “Pastor Flo” and the elders of the church (“the COZA 12”), are all aware of Biodun’s numerous sexual assaults over the years. These are the devious people helping him in covering his tracks and giving him a makeover after each of his sexual vampirism.

These are the people who “strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life” (Ezekiel 13:22). No, Biodun is not the only alleged culprit of sexual predator and COZA is not the only slaughter pen in this country.

May the Lord expose them all. And may His healing balm minister to the lives of all their victims.

The Trojan Church and Mind Control

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Some of you may be familiar with the words “Trojan horse.” It was a strategy of infiltration devised by the ancient Greeks to defeat the Trojans.

Both the Greeks and Trojans were good fighters, and after series of wars, it began to look as if neither side could ever win the war. Then the Greeks thought of a trick. They started building a horse of wood. It became bigger and bigger.

The Trojans, watching from the top of their city wall, were puzzled. Why would the Greek soldiers spend their time building this giant wooden horse? One morning, the Trojans looked down from their wall and saw that the Greek Army had gone away. They saw no Greek soldier nor army tents. All they saw was the strange horse outside their gate.

The Trojans liked this beautiful wooden horse and they pulled it inside their walls. They thought the war was over, so they put their swords and spears away. They sang and danced around the horse and held a big party.

But when they all went to sleep, the tough Greek soldiers hiding in the wooden horse crept out and opened the gate of Troy to all the soldiers from their warships close by. Before the Trojans knew what was happening, the city of Troy was captured.

After reading several apologetic penned by Christians on the Fatoyinbo sexual assault case, it dawned on me that in the midst of these rationalizations, there has been a paradigm shift in our brand of Christianity. A shift from a Christ-centred Christianity to a man-centred, bastardized form of Christianity.

From what I observed, the efforts of the believers arguing that the rape allegations against the pastor are false were nonetheless geared toward defending a human personality. It wasn’t about a quest for truth, it was more about upholding a dogma.

They are more concerned with a man’s public image than the broken state of his victims. It doesn’t matter what he has done, he just has to emerge spotless and glowing, or their entire Christian faith crumbles like a pile of pixie dust!

Their train of thought seems to follow these assumptions:

1. Pastor Biodun = Jesus Christ
2. COZA = Kingdom of God
3. Pastor Biodun’s sermons = the gospel
4. Pastor Biodun’s defenders = the children of Light
5. Pastor Biodun’s accusers = part of the devil’s gang opposed to #1-4.

One thing I want us to know is that the Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus (John 16:14). He doesn’t glorify a human personality or a church. And no where in the Bible is a local church equated to God’s kingdom.

The above patterns of thought are in line with the Trojan horse of cultic paradigms that have been smuggled into the church to brainwash people.

A current member of COZA told us how the Sunday service was nuanced after their pastor was exposed. Several beautiful ladies came forward to the altar to passionately “testify how our daddy is being used by God”, how he’s so nice, so humanitarian and anointed. It was all about one man. “Their public relations and damage control tactic is top notch,” he said.

This was the same thing Japheth Omojuwa observed the Sunday after Ese Walter’s exposé in 2013:

Why is this church overly loud today, is it because of God or because of man? The extraordinary praise and worship session – which I really danced to because of my weakness for praises – and the loud cheers and applauses had a note to them that never used to be there. This was no longer about God, it had become about “our pastor.”

I ordinarily would not tweet during a church service but I did on this day because I was so sure in my mind I was no longer in church. I realized I was in a theatre. Everything was a show and it was at best a world-class show. It was no longer about God, it was about ‘our church, our pastor’ …

Leaders of such groups know most people in their congregation will never walk away in disgust after they are exposed, not necessarily because they lack the strength or that personal integrity means nothing to them, but because the religious leaders embody the truth that works for them in some other ways.

In the case of COZA, there seems to be this palpable fear expressed by ex-members. A number of Biodun’s close associates have suddenly resigned, left the church, and abruptly refused to talk to anyone about what they saw or discovered.

A former lead drummer at the church headquarter insists that the pastor is involved in the occult. He would have remained in the church if Biodun was just a philanderer (he confirmed that he’s a rabid sex addict who even visits places he shouldn’t), but he had to flee for his life when he found out that he’s also in a cult.

If these findings are true, it only lends credence to the cultic power of mind control wielded over his victims and the entire members at large.

Many Christians are oblivious of mind chess games or the religio-philosophical system called “Hermetics” (from the name Hermes, the Greek god of the mind) utilized by authoritarian leaders.

They don’t understand how an ordinary cobbler can wield an incredible influence over the thinking of erudite professors and CEOs and make them drag on grounds or allow him literally use their bodies as doormats.

They can’t explain how a religious leader who is physically unattractive and repulsive can possibly rear a horde of female sex slaves who even fight amongst one another on whose turn it is to sleep with “God” in person and receive his “holy fluid.”

They don’t realize that some dangerous religious/cult leaders actually groom their followers and make them do their bidding by using a “trigger” – sight, word, smell or gesture, just as Ivan Pavlov used to control his dogs and make them salivate at the ringing of a bell.

They don’t understand the psychological dynamics of cult programming, like the one Jim Jones used and 900 people committed suicide with him. Before then, he had been sexually abusing some ladies and men among his followers and they still saw him as God’s spokesperson.

I once read a letter written by a married woman to an editor of a Christian magazine. She wrote something like, “My boss raped me, but I can’t see myself quitting my job. He has raped me twice again and I find myself encouraging, tolerating and even longing for it because my husband is cold towards me.”

This is the dynamism that ties many people to pseudo-Christian leaders. They know these men deny God in their actions; they dole out spurious predictions; they still sell their “blood of Jesus” in bottles and folks don’t mind getting trampled to death to buy their “holy water” and “miracle trinkets.” Yet, they can’t see any reason to walk away.

It’s not as if they are stupid, it’s because they are victims of mind control. Mind control is when certain thoughts or ideas are infused into the mind of a person (or a group of people) making them succumb to domination, manipulation and intimidation by an individual or organization.

It’s like being in a wakeful somnolence. Just like a mind high on psychedelic drugs, you are oblivious to reality and your perception of good and evil is blurred. Each time you open your mouth, you only rehash the scripts given to you by the person who mentally programmed you.

It’s the reason that Christians who ought to be outraged at the evils being perpetrated in the name of God rather pick up their weapons to fight those pointing out the truth to them. Jesus paid a terrible price on the cross to purchase our freedom, why allow men to enslave us?

“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1Cor. 7:23). Paul said to the church in Corinth, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). This is not blind following, but one that is conditioned on the Christian’s discernment that Paul was truly following Christ.

You are not under any obligation to defend or follow the example of a man who lives contrary to the tenets of the Bible and your Christian conscience because of miracles or prosperity or whatever. We have one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). No clergyman died for your sin.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” is the admonition given to us (Heb. 12:2). No pastor, priest or prophet is the author and finisher of our faith, and we are not to fix our gaze on them. If your gaze is fixed on men, when they go astray you will also go astray.

Indeed, there are true men and women of God, “who labour in the word and doctrine” (1 Tim. 5:17) and we are to listen to them and respect them, but we must never give them a place in our lives that should be reserved only for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Breaking free from religious mind control entails that you receive the truth of God’s Word and decide if you want to walk away or remain in that bondage. You need to ask God to forgive you for putting a man on a pedestal meant for God and prayerfully break off every hold of mind controlling spirits, hypnotic and post-hypnotic triggers over your life.

Seek for a healthy Christian fellowship where there is accountability, genuine love for the flock, where believers are being properly discipled to grow into spiritual maturity and leaders are not acting as “lords over God’s heritage” (1 Pet. 2:5).

In my next post, I will be discussing the biblical ethical codes that undergird accountability in leadership.

The Fifth Column and Predatory Wolves

Over the past one week, ear-tingling accusations of sexual assaults have erupted against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) here in Nigeria.

Several women who were former members of the church have come forward to reveal how Biodun raped them (with the most recent occurring in 2017) and the church hierarchy covered up the reports to protect the alleged culprit.

COZA is not your average “down the street” kind of church. It is a sophisticated church that caters to a clientele of upwardly mobile youth population; one pastored by a sleek, urbane, attractive and charismatic preacher.

These revelations – which aren’t new, by the way – sparked protests at COZA church branches and the man in the eye of the storm has taken a leave of absence.

For days, I read several posts and comments on social media desperately cobbling up defenses for the accused. What I find striking, however, was the core of Christian sentiments embedded in these writings: Christians blithely defending a pastor with some of the silliest excuses and dismissing all accusations of sexual misconduct as lies cooked up by the devil.

From all I’ve read from these social media attorneys, I noted the following threads of assumptions:

(1) A pastor cannot be involved in a criminal act such as rape.

(2) If # 1 is implicitly true, then your “Christian obligation” is to defend him to the hilt.

(3) But if you don’t practice #2 because you don’t subscribe to #1, you are worse than an infidel because even Muslims shield their clerics when they commit crimes.

(4) If there are several witnesses testifying that a reputable pastor is a criminal (i.e. # 1 is false) then blame the victims, discredit their accounts, impugn their character and demonize their person.

(5) If # 4 proves too hard a task, then bring up the “we are all sinners” or “he without a sin should cast a stone” card.

(6) If all these don’t yield the expected results, then turn the pastor into a super martyr of a diabolical conspiracy. This still falls back on # 1, that if you are a church leader of any sort, you can’t really be guilty of any crime.

In a series of posts, I will be debunking these false assumptions. My stance on this matter has been made clear from the start, and it’s based on the consistent pattern of sexual malpractices in the accused.

Old Wines in New Wineskins?

It’s no secret that Biodun Fatoyinbo was formerly a cultist before he professed to be converted. He once admitted in a sermon that he had murdered many people in his past as a cult leader. A former member of COZA had this to say:

My thoughts on Biodun Fatoyinbo is very clear. I attended [the] same school with Biodun. I also attended his church from Wonderland Gardens to Kwara Hotel to Stella Obasanjo Hall. I left the church because I had had it up to my chin and if I didn’t leave I would have been arrested one day or would be trending for interrupting his sermon and screaming at him…

Biodun was a cultist, in fact, the hit man for the Black Axe Confraternity and he raped many girls before he gave his life to Christ. This is a confirmed story because his number 2 and 3 [fellows] were my neighbours in Osi Road in Adewole Estate while I was growing up.

He gave his life to Christ and became supposedly born again. That Biodun sleeps with women and girls serially is no news. I personally know more than 5 friends who he has slept with while being a pastor (Don’t forget I was a foundation member of COZA and I have those girls on speed dial if necessary)…

Biodun was a serial rapist as a cultist and being born again might not completely erase traces of that in him. To be honest, COZA was a fishing spot for us back then. [If] you needed a clean, fine, well-dressed girl who said she loved God, COZA was your destination. Tales abound.”

Whether Biodun truly became saved but later reverted to his old ways or he was never converted at all, I cannot say. Only God knows that.

But I want to draw your attention to the fact that his church appeared to be convenient enough to be a “fishing spot” for sexually immoral “Christian” males and females.

Also, from the uniform testimonies available, it’s clear that a foul continuity exists between Biodun’s past and present sexual depravity, though now perpetrated in the name of God, and with the authority of his position.

After the first public victim of Biodun’s sexual predation, Ese Walter, spoke up in 2013, Japheth Omojuwa, a Nigerian public speaker, blogger, columnist and a sporadic member of COZA, privately investigated the allegations.

He exchanged several emails with Ese, and after his article was published, received emails from many ladies (some of whom were formerly COZA members in Ilorin) as well as an Abuja-based counselor narrating their experiences with this pastor:

One of the women – who admitted she was seeking counseling not because she felt abused by the pastor but because she felt used and dumped, because the pastor had abandoned her – had much to say.

She said that it started when she went for counseling with pastor Fatoyinbo. That, they exchanged numbers and they started calling each other at odd hours. It went from phone sex to the bedroom. There is no need to give the graphic details of the wildness she said transpired.

“The second story as relayed by the Abuja counselor was exactly like the first, from marital counseling to wild sex. This second person is actually married, and remains married. One of the ladies admitted she was so addicted to him she threw all caution to the wind.

“The money according to them was another attraction they’d not deny. They didn’t say they were abused, they said they felt used and dumped. She said the pastor has a huge appetite for sex but gets bored easily and this explains his constant change of girls.”

I believe that the Church of God, particularly in Nigeria, has been kept in the dark about certain biblical realities.

First of all, the narrative of holy and spiritually strong brothers being derailed from their glorious destinies by a horde of beautiful Delilahs – though real – is hackneyed in our collective consciousness and it should be suspended.

Reality is equally the other way round: a sexually predatory preacher that is as handsome as Absalom, powerful as Samson and wise as Solomon who systematically targets, manipulates and sexually defiles his victims (whether female or male). Yes, there are also “male Delilahs.”

Amos 6:3-5 describes the system of spiritual abuse perpetrated within the congregation of God’s people:

Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, Who cause the seat of violence to come near; Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your couches, Eat lambs from the flock, And calves from the midst of the stall; Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David.”

The expression, “eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall” aptly conveys clerical sexual predation – church leaders who use their authority and position to sexually prey on members of their congregation.

There are men in Christian churches who are sexual vampires; they specifically hunt for the weak, the vulnerable and the young, and they use their nubile bodies to reanimate their own psychic powers. They maintain their hold on their victims using fear, power and mind control.

The “single story” of the demonic female versus angelic male – a staple of many Nigerian movies and books – has blinded many Christians to the reality of pastoral wolves in sheep clothing devouring the flock, poisoning the pasture and desecrating the vineyard with abominations.

That false narrative is a cultural stronghold that has conveniently protected many agents of Satan within the churches. Many of us were conditioned to conceive of satanic infiltrators in the camp of God’s people as only female in gender.

This underlying mentality is what drives many church goers to blindly side with a pastor should any female accuse him of sexual impropriety.

A pastor/priest/prophet can also be an adulterer, homosexual or paedophile. He can be a criminal – rapist, child trafficker, armed bandit, drug baron, murderer etc. He can even be an occultist, satanist or sorcerer! He may have been into all these vices before he was regenerated and reverted to them at some point, or he was never really regenerated from the get go.

A vile individual can join a church, follow through denominational motions and formats and modify his external self, but his vile nature still remains unchanged or even worse. More like an old wine in a new wineskin.

The Fifth Column

The phrase “fifth column” was frequently used during World War II, and its origins are particularly interesting. In 1936, during the civil war in Spain, a Spanish general was leading an attack on a city occupied by his opponents.

Another general came to him and asked, “General, what is your plan to take the city?” The first general answered, “I have four columns advancing on the city – one from the north, one from the east, one from the south, and one from the west.” He paused, then added, “But it is my fifth column that I expect to take the city for me.”

The second general said, “Where is your fifth column?” The response: “Inside the city.” The fifth column comprised traitors who would ultimately undermine the city’s defenses.

This is how Satan and his demons strategize their warfare. They fight from without, but their most potent war is launched from within. This occurs at the individual and church level. The enemy launches his “internal strikes” within individuals and plants his troops within the church to do the same.

In this age of mixtures, many satanic troops are operating from the echelons of Christian leadership to the pews in polluting, weakening, deceiving, frustrating and preying on many unwary souls.

The Bible consistently warns us about such infiltrators in the midst of God’s people who will counterfeit almost everything present in true Christianity. Jesus warned:

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

These wolves will not always come in the office of a “prophet,” they can also come as pastors, teachers, evangelists, theologians, brothers or harbingers of truth.

Their packaging is irrelevant. They will always look like us and speak the language of the sheep to be let into the sheep pen. But it’s only a matter of time before their sheep clothing succumbs to moths.

Later, Jesus told the disciples a parable:

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared” (Matt. 13:24-26)

Jesus explained that the field is symbolic of the world and the good seed (or wheat) stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the one who planted them is the devil. The words of the Sower in verse 30 is instructive:

Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”

That means, until the end of the Church Age, there will always be tares of the enemies – fifth columns – mixing with the people of God.

Even the Lord Jesus had a fifth column among the disciples: Judas Iscariot. He was a part of the inner circle of Christ’s disciples. He preached, cast out demons, performed miracles and was with the Lord for 3 years. Nobody knew his true identity as a traitor except Jesus.

If Satan could use a fifth column among the apostles of Christ who were eye witnesses of His Majesty, then why would he have much difficulty using many within the contemporary church for his nefarious works?

In Acts 20:29-30, Paul the apostle passionately warned the leaders of the Ephesian church:

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

The words “among you” and “from your own number” indicate that these savage wolves will attain positions of leadership within the church. In 2 Cor. 11:14-15, we are also informed:

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.”

This means satanic infiltrators are usually the most charming, caring, cute and talented personalities within the church. This utterly refutes the widely held theory that an influential, wealthy, anointed and humanitarian individual cannot have a devious, sinister or criminal side.

Just as God has His servants, Satan too has his own ministers; they too have their own ministries, their own followers and their own schemes.

Paul also talked about being in danger “from false brothers” (2 Cor. 11:26). Brothers whom he thought were servants of God willing to help, but were actually enemies ready to betray him to those seeking his life. They are the “enemies of the cross of Christ” who bring disrepute to the image of Christianity (Phil. 3:18).

2 Peter 2:1 says: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

These are some of the assignments of Satan’s troops in the Christian fold. Their job is to undermine Christianity from within; to lead people astray with false teachings (like cheap grace, “Hebrew Roots” legalism, mysticism) and seduce others into sinful acts.

Jude 1:4 says:

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This is why it’s presumptuous and ignorant for Christians to quickly take on a “circle the bunkers” approach to legitimate reports of evil committed by a reputed Christian leader.

It’s dangerous to assume you know a person’s true nature because you see him (or her) ministering from a pulpit everyday or laying hands on the sick on TV.

A public figure can have a dark side which you may never see. That Biodun Fatoyinbo is a pastor – even if superbly anointed – doesn’t make him inherently innocent of sexual crimes.

Now, in my next post, I will be discussing the dynamics of mind control that often keep people sheepishly following after predatory leaders, twisting themselves into ropes and mutilating Scripture, all in a bid to defend them as spotless.