Lately, social media has been boiling with the trending news about a well-known pastor—Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, of one of the biggest churches in Nigeria, being accused of rape by a woman (Busola Dakolo), who alleged the rape happened years ago while she was still a teenager. Social media was divided with people supporting the man of God, while others showing their solidarity to the victim, with all of them culminating their support into this one statement—thank you for speaking your truth.
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Here we go again with this your truth, my truth thing, how do we determine who is speaking—the truth? The pastor also came out and spoke his piece; he claimed never to have raped anyone, in his past life or as a pastor.
The thing is, this pastor has always been linked to affairs and matters of that sort. So it is very easy to believe the victim’s story. After the social media uproar and some protests, he decided to step down, from preaching in the meantime, as this case continues to unfold and hopefully investigated.
My truth vs. the truth
As expected, when news like this breaks, everyone has their opinion about it, everyone interprets the situation to the best of their ability for it to make sense. A lot of people have accused the victim of lying and using this as a publicity stunt to boost her husband’s music career. Others had said the story makes no sense as her sister, who was said to be present in the house when the incident was taking place, did not hear what was going down. The victim has also been accused of having an affair with the pastor, and for promiscuity. The pastor, denying everything, has also not helped this case at all.
There were some witnesses she mentioned in her interview, but the general public is yet to hear from them. How can a man be prosecuted for a crime which happened years ago without evidence? And with the country that we live in, it is going to be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, except the witnesses testify against him, or if he sexually assaulted someone recently and the evidence is preserved.
Sin vs. Crime
Not every sin is a crime, but sexual assault (rape) is a sin, and also a criminal offense. The bible is big on forgiveness, and it is also big on justice. Romans 13:1-5 says—“let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not terrors 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.”
So there is no separation of church and state in this matter because both go hand in hand as it pertains to adhering to the laws of the land, since God has put these governing bodies in place, to execute discipline and judgment.
There are a lot of people condemning the minister to death or hell, yes he has messed up, yes there are consequences for his action, but as believers, remember no sin is bigger than the other; Ananiah and Saphira, died because they told lies. Sin is sin in the eyes of God. Let us allow God to handle this matter, through the authorities He has put in place, which is the court of law. The victim will get justice regardless of the outcome of this case. God sees all that is happening.
The Church, under attack
For those who think that the church is under attack, I beg to differ. Instead, I believe God is disciplining His church. We can’t claim to be the body of Christ, while sexual immorality runs deep within our organization. God has shaken His body, and the things that have no foundation, have been exposed. That is why the word says, that everything done in the dark, will come to light. Revelation 2:19- where Christ is addressing the corrupt church, says—“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality, and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her to a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and heart. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” The church isn’t under attack; it is undergoing disciplinary measures. There has to be a restructuring, so the work of God can carry on swiftly. From this scripture, you can see God is a merciful and also a just God. He is for justice.
On it being a Nigerian Church Problem
Sexual immorality happens everywhere, especially in big organizations. This is not a Nigerian church problem, because it happens all around the world where you have humans; this is a lust issue. That is why the Bible teaches us to live holy and pure lives. But if we are not willing to make the necessary adjustments to combat certain issues, then we would fall in any given circumstance, it’s only a matter of time.
Shows that we watch which promote sexual immorality, songs we listen to that glorify sex in an unholy way, the pornography industry, all these are contributing factors to the lust most people battle within themselves, people who we don’t expect to have such problems. There is a reason why the bible teaches sex between; one man, and one woman, under the covenant of marriage. But if we leave our sexual problems, to itself, then there are bound to be problems. Problems that would be as catastrophic as the one of this particular pastor.
Dear Christians, your pastor is also a human like you
There is this mentality, which swirls around many religious bodies, which is much more prevalent in Africa. People see their pastors, as those who are untouchable, incapable of sin, and as the gateway to God. The only person who stands between you and God is Jesus; no pastor, imam, prophet, seer, bishop, or priest. We are all the same in God’s eyes. Your pastor should reiterate the things you have been studying all week. Or answer questions, you might have after studying the word of God for yourself. If you are sick, and you have the faith for healing, you can get well on your own.
Or gather a few of your trusted friends to pray for you. You don’t need a man of God to come and lay hands on you; all you need is the word of God. I was so blessed to be a part of a church for many years, where we were taught our authority as believers, in Christ. I barely went to the pastors for anything, after I got that revelation. Christ is as close to you, as you want him to be. He is not at the top of the mountain somewhere, waiting for you to come to Him. He is right there, where you choose to acknowledge Him.
This same complex, the people of Israel suffered when Moses was their leader. They told Moses to be the one who corresponded with God; if not, God was going to kill them. This was a lie; if they drew close to God, God would have drawn close to them. Moses was just a man, as they were. Stop putting your ministers on a pedestal; know God for yourself, study the word for yourself. So even if your pastor falls, that would not be the end of your belief system in God, because it is deeply rooted and grounded in the personal relationship you have with Christ. And Christ would never fail.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.