Global megachurch leader Enoch Adeboye cites Robert Morris’ fall as cautionary tale

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, 82, is the general overseer of the Nigeria-based Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, 82, is the general overseer of the Nigeria-based Redeemed Christian Church of God. | YouTube/ Divine Encounter

Global megachurch leader Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who serves as the general overseer of the Nigeria-based Redeemed Christian Church of God, recently warned members of his flock to “flee youthful lust” while alluding to the collapse of Gateway Church founder Robert Morris’ ministry over allegations of child sexual abuse he committed in the 1980s as a cautionary tale.

“The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:22, flee youthful lust. When it comes to sexual temptation don't fight, run,” said Adeboye, who is the global general overseer of churches in his ministry, including in Africa, Europe and North America, in a recent sermon shared on YouTube.

“Remember, a couple of years ago when they accused one man of God of rape? I told my children, I said, I don't believe he committed rape. ... He did something, no doubt about that, but that he did it by force? [No.],” he argued.

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Adeboye then explained how he warned his own children, especially the boys, to be vigilant when it comes to sexual temptation.

“I warned my children, particularly the boys, I said, if the devil comes against you, tell the devil to get lost. When you see a girl smiling at you in one coy-coy way, run, because you can't win the battle. … Some of you say, daddy what are you saying? Are you saying you are running from [sex]? I say [run] fast. Without your anointing? Does your anointing turn your body to stone?” he asked before point to the story of Samson.

“Samson was anointed. Singlehandedly he killed 1,000 soldiers. A woman finished him,” Adeboye declared.

“I hope the boys are listening. You see that woman smiling at you everywhere you go? She's there smiling and she's not your wife. Run!” the megachurch leader said.

“And for you girls, when you see this boy who comes and begins to say, when I look at you, where have you been all my life? It looks as if the sun has just come out. He's calling you sunshine. By the time he [is] finish[ed] with you, you won't even know the difference between sunshine and sunset. You may laugh, mark my word,” he insisted.

Adeboye noted that even at the age of 82, he knows he still cannot be too careful when it comes to sexual temptation.

“Somebody said, 'Are you saying that even at your age you are still running?' Faster than before,” he said.

“Why? Because the closer you get to the finishing point the more careful you must be. Write that down. I'm not joking. Can anybody still be interested [in] an 82-year-old man?” he asked.

“It's not interested in you for you,” he said, explaining how the devil works. “He’s interested in you so that he can put an end to all the great work God had done through you.”

And with that comment, he alluded to the allegations against Morris without naming him.

“Didn't you read the paper that a man committed an offense or something around 42 or so years ago and now his ministry is finished,” he said.

“Anybody tells you that whatever you’ve done is hid, it’s hid until the wind begins to blow,” Adeboye explained. “Don't say daddy didn't tell you. I've told you, [the] Bible say [s] flee youthful lust. Flee. He didn't ask you to stay and say grace will be sufficient. There's no grace for what God says you should run from. Maybe grace to run.”

Last month, Cindy Clemishire, 54, reported that Morris began sexually abusing her on Christmas Day in 1982, when she was just 12 years old. She says the abuse continued for four-and-a-half years before he was found out. But he was later allowed to return to ministry.

When questioned about the allegations by The Christian Post, Morris only confessed to being involved in “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” more than 35 years ago, and said he repented and was restored to ministry.

Clemishire insisted to CP, however, that she was no young lady when Morris abused her.

“I was 12 years old. I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home. He and his wife, Debbie, and their little boy, Josh, trusted and preached at the church that my dad helped start and then began grooming all of us to do this, which took me decades to wrap my brain around as an adult,” she said.

“It went on for many years. He says there was no sexual intercourse, but he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me, which I understand now is considered a form of rape by instrumentation. I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.”

Gateway Church is now conducting an independent review of the allegations years after Clemishire said she had first contacted Morris via his Gateway email seeking restitution.

"The leadership at Gateway received actual notice of this crime in 2005 when I sent an email directly to Robert Morris' Gateway email address. Former Gateway elder, Tom Lane, received and responded to my email, acknowledging that the sexual abuse began on December 25, 1982, when I was 12 years old," Clemishire said in a statement previously released by her attorney Boz Tchividjian.

"Again in 2007, my then attorney Gentner Drummond (the current Attorney General of Oklahoma) sent a letter to Robert Morris with the hope that he would help reimburse me for the thousands of dollars I had expended in counseling as a result of this abuse. His attorney acknowledged the dates as well and then attempted to blame me for the abuse," she claimed. "At the very least, both the Gateway pastor and at least one elder had specific notice that I was sexually abused beginning when I was 12 years old. Gateway had the information but intentionally decided to embrace the false narrative Robert Morris wanted to believe."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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