A few days ago, social media was on fire with reactions to another controversial tweet from the twitter handle of Pastor E.A Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God.
One of my sons once told me that he was always excited to resume in the office every Monday because he would get to see his secretary again. I told him to fire her immediately. Nothing and no one is worth your marriage.
The tweet provoked a lot of outrage from social media users. A group of them wondered why the son was advised to sack his secretary especially in a country where jobs are hard to come by. They wondered why the woman was made the scapegoat in a situation she probably had no hand in. Another group thought that sacking the secretary, was the best thing to do as it meant that a potentially sexual relationship between the two, had been nipped in the bud.
In a way, l am glad that Pastor Adeboye’s tweet happened.
It has stirred up a conversation that l hope will bring about a much-needed change on our pulpits. For as long as l can remember, women have been made to take the fall for a man’s actions and inactions. Women have been blamed for a man’s inappropriate behaviour around a woman. Unfortunately, the sermons from our pulpits, haven’t done much to change that. When you hear some pastors preach, you would be tempted to start believing that God hates women. They make the failure of a man, the responsibility of the woman. It is either his mother failed in her responsibility as a mother or his wife failed in her duties as a wife or some woman somewhere doing something that caused him to misbehave.
For as long as l can remember, our pulpits have encouraged men to view women as triggers to their sexual lusts and weaknesses. As a result, instead of working on those weaknesses, they would rather make excuses, blaming women; “oh, it wasn’t my fault. That woman seduced me with her Delilah wiles and l just couldn’t resist. You know l am a man and we are moved by what we see.”
I want to believe that pastors are following the reactions that have followed that controversial tweet. If they are, l sincerely hope that they have sensed that, It’s high time a balance was created on the sermons that flow from the pulpit.
Men need to be reminded that they are adults who should hold themselves responsible for their actions. Women should not always take the fall for their lusts and so-called weakness of the flesh.
I can’t do some of the things l want because they would be interpreted as me sending a wrong signal to the men around me. I can’t dress the way l want because that would be me causing a brother to fall into a pool of lustful desires.
The Funny thing is, no matter how much a man lusts after a woman, the feelings die immediately he is told she has a deadly disease. Except he is also a carrier, he will most definitely keep a good distance from her. If he can control himself in such situations, what is there to suggest that he cannot control himself at other times too?
Why aren’t more pastors preaching that good old’ self-control, one of the fruits of the holy spirit, can be attained by all, irrespective of gender? Why does the way l ‘twirl my hair,’ for instance, be the reason why that man fell? Why do l have to be put in a box all the time because l need to ensure the men around me don’t fall into any sexual temptation? How did a woman become responsible for a grown man’s ability to control his desires?
It is even more appalling that over time, their sermons have conditioned women into blaming other women, for the actions and inactions of men in Christendom.
Some woman in the church, complained about me to a friend, one day.
‘May is tall. Why do you allow her to wear heels? She will wear those heels and when she is walking in church, the men will just be looking at her. Tell her to stop. She is causing them to fall into sin.’
My friend’s response was one she didn’t expect.
‘How can l stop her from wearing heels? She was doing it before we met. Besides, that’s one of the things that attracted me to her. So l see nothing wrong with it. If the men are looking, l am glad they are looking.’
That shut her up.
But you see?
Instead of accepting that the men ‘allegedly’ looking at me, could also stop looking because they had the ability to, she put the onus on me to make them stop. If l stopped wearing my heels, the men would stop looking. What happened to use their hands to pluck out their eyes?
Of course, it doesn’t only end in fashion. I know a lady, a very good singer who after leading the choir in a ministration one Sunday morning, got a note from one of the main pastors in the church. He asked her to stop twisting her voice in the manner she does when singing because she was seducing the men in the church and causing them to lust after her. This was a young girl who was using her talent to God’s glory. What did she get instead? A demonization of her God-given talent. Need l tell you that that note drove her into depression?
Women cannot express themselves the way they want because men will be filled with lust if they are allowed to. And because we must ensure that all the men in our churches, make heaven, we have to appear in drab, unexciting ways, wear drab fashion and act piously. We have to watch our every move. We have to do the things we would rather not do. Lest we cause that brother who is joyfully running his heavenly race, to stumble and fall. Then when he does, we are guilt whipped into contrition to ensure that his blood is not upon our heads, on judgement day. Women who no longer give a hoot, are tagged Jezebels and Delilahs. Devilish women sent from the pit of hell to lead men to hell.
Pastors need to stop portraying men as some weak babies who cannot control what happens between their legs. They need to stop painting men as helpless creatures who do not have a say in how their emotions respond to an attractive woman. What they have achieved with their one-sided messages, is a long generation of men who have refused to stand up and take responsibility. Little wonder, cases of rape and sexual assault have more people blaming the victim.
The messages from our pulpits have taught men to remain complacent while laying culpability for their sexual lust and weaknesses, at the doorstep of women. Which is why l am glad that Pastor Adeboye’s tweet happened. I hope the conversation it has generated, will bring about the much-needed change in the sermons that flow from our pulpits.
The writer can be reached at email@example.com