7 Sexual Lines No Pastor Should Cross

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7 "dos" and 7 "do nots" for pastors to avoid being snared in lust traps.

Recently, we did an article on “7 Women Pastors Need to Watch Out For.” Someone who just read it wanted to know why we put the blame on the women when pastors are more likely to be the sexual predator. “Google that,” she suggested, “and see for yourself.” My only defense is that in the body of the article, we said, “Sometimes women are the victims; sometimes they are the victimizers.” However, my critic is correct. And thus, what follows …

I’ve known more than one pastor who was a sexual predator. And, if it makes the reader feel any better, every one of them is out of the ministry now.

My observation, however, is that no serial adulterer occupying the pastor’s office entered the ministry with such sordid intentions. He fell into sin and one thing led to another. (Sound familiar? It’s how life works.)

So, what follows is for young ministers in particular who have not been snared in the lust trap and wish to make sure they don’t. (For your information, I invited my wife Margaret to add her observations.)

Here are seven lines pastors do not want to cross.

1. Do not use cologne.

Women are sensitive to fragrances, my wife says, which is why they wear them in the first place. When a man wears them, he sends out a subtle signal, the type no wise minister needs to be emitting.

2. Do not hug women.

One pastor said he hugs no one between the ages of six and 66.

To the minister who argues that, “Well, I am a toucher and people need to be hugged,” I reply:

a) Granted, but let women hug women and men hug men, if necessary and appropriate.

b) In most cases, your “touching” indicates some physical or emotional need in yourself, and is not what healthy ministers do.

Even if your intentions are pure, you make yourself vulnerable to charges of inappropriate touching. And—do not miss this—in the minds of many, to be charged is to be convicted.

Best to guard against these dangers.

3. Do not be in your office with a woman alone.

A pastor of a large church told some of us why he does not counsel in his office. “All she has to do is run out of the office screaming and your ministry is over.”

When someone catches him following a worship service with, “Pastor, could I come by and talk with you about a problem?” he answers, “Let’s sit in a pew right over here and talk now!”

Their visit is in public, but far enough removed from people so that no one hears their conversation.

Joe McKeever After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. These days, he has an office at the First Baptist Church of Kenner where he's working on three books, and he's trying to accept every speaking/preaching invitation that comes his way. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. Usually, he's working on some cartooning project for the denomination or some agency.

More from Joe McKeever or visit Joe at http://www.joemckeever.com/mt/

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  • Ernest Wamboye

    I love the article and the great guidelines that are very practical…HOWEVER…Don’t use cologne?? Don’t accept compliments?? These two are a tad odd from the list.

    • Joe McKeever

      I don’t think I said “don’t accept compliments.” It was about flattery that crosses the line. I assume we can all tell the difference in flattery and a true compliment. As for the cologne, a number of pastors’ wives have messaged me to ‘amen’ that. I would never have thought of that, but it’s from my wife. Women are more knowledgeable about these things than we men are.

      • Ernest Wamboye

        Thanks for clarifying on the compliments. I now understand. I’m still a bit skeptical about the cologne, but I trust your wisdom Pastor :-) Better safe than sorry! Keep up the good ministry work.

        • alhatesreligion

          The best rule I believe is to avoid all that is illegal, immoral and unethical. If what you do outside these realms is up to you-but always remember to be guided by the Holy Spirit

  • Billy Tang

    I like this concise list. I think whether we think we need them or not, something I found important was that none of them hinder ministry in any way. Conclusion, if it helps even a little, its worth doing/not doing.

    • alhatesreligion

      Good insight Billy-we must always sift what we say and do through a biblical filter-the important thing is to do what honors our God.

  • PASTOR JOY

    THIS INFO BLESSED MY SOCKS OFF! EVERY POSITIONAL LEADER NEED TO DIGEST THIS WISDOM. REALLY!

  • Dayo Akintunde

    Great write-up!
    This is very practical!
    Well done Man of God Joe!

    • $22716193

      Fully agree Dayo Akintunde.

  • jefferson

    From the bottom of my heart,i just want to say thank you for this reawakening article and advice.God bless you and your ministry sir.

  • Chuck Brannaka

    I would make one very important suggestion. Have regular sexual relations with your wife. Paul has some very good counsel for everyone: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does, Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1Cor 7:4,5 NKJV I have found if we do not have regular sexual relations I am under so much more temptation. God has given us counsel, we should follow it. If you have a wife that does not understand this principle I would suggest that you seek professional counselling quickly.

  • Peter

    Am a single and was living on some of these nuggets and it helps. Thanks for adding up on cologne ,hugs and compliments. It really kills the calling.

  • msj

    I agree with it all….BUT. ..”don’t wear cologne.” Really? ????

  • Berber

    I agree the cologne thing is a little much…trust me, some men HAVE to wear it. Otherwise, this article is pretty spot on.

  • Taiwo Opajobi

    This is wonderful. May the Lord help us all in Jesus’ name. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Devin Turner

    Powerful! Much appreciated!

  • http://www.joshblackmun.com/ Josh Blackmun

    This is all common sense. The trouble is those who fall in these ways abandon common sense. 1. It is a spiritual battle that could be summed up in 1 step, no 7: work on your spirit man. 2. How about working on your relationship with your spouse to the extent that you are full, complete, and satisfied, thus deflecting temptation altogether? BTW – point #1 is ludicrous; perhaps representative of the OP’s cultural or generational bias.

    • Don Peake

      I agree 100%. Well said Josh!

      • http://www.joshblackmun.com/ Josh Blackmun

        Thanks Don! I rarely post on here and don’t like to stir things up on the internet by disagreeing with posts, I typically just ignore them. But his is important and if there are any young ministers our there they need to read this. I’ll go out on a limb and ab my own #3 as well – get accountability in the form of mentor-ship. Men find a spiritual father you can meet with, call on, and be accountable to. Women find a spiritual mother, same.

        • Joe McKeever

          As for the #1 being ludicrous, remember you and I are men, and we have no idea how women receive these signals. See my note above to Bill (about pastors’ wives affirming this point).

          • Twinsfan1

            Joe, you point out something that is too often missed and ignored: that women see, hear, and receive things differently than men. Just because MEN don’t think cologne is a big deal doesn’t mean women don’t. Same with hugs, as you pointed out. Guys – Joe has mentioned that WOMEN are agreeing with this suggestion from HIS WIFE. Doesn’t that say something to you? Or are you willing to throw out counsel from females – and tread dangerously around them for the sake of your unwillingness to listen? The objections to this suggestion are ludicrous, in my opinion. If your wife likes your cologne, doesn’t that tell you that other women will like it as well? Maybe you should be a bit less defensive about something you don’t need and can easily get rid of for the sake of protecting your integrity in ministry.

    • http://www.crazyrev.blogspot.com/ C.Brian Ross

      An old Sunday School teacher of mine used to say, “The problem with common sense is that it isn’t very common!”

  • BillLion

    Cologne…LOL. Other than that, pretty solid! ;)

    • Joe McKeever

      You might be surprised, however, to know how many pastors’ wives who read that have messaged me privately to ‘amen’ the cologne business. It was news to me, but as I say, my wife contributed that thought.

      • BillLion

        It strikes me as funny, but hey, if that’s legit than I suppose it’s a small measure considering what’s at stake.

  • alhatesreligion

    Most of what is written here is good-points 1&2 are a bit goofy-so we better watch for scented shampoo or simply wash our hair with a bar of Ivory soap. Don’t hug would be better said be careful how you hug-learn a proper stance-to avoid hugging conveys a bad message-so I guess when people greeted one another with a kiss in the NT they were violating some rule of scripture-nope, we are a people of love. What we need is what some of your points mentioned about being self-controlled.
    We need to be cautious about falling into legalistic over the top control tactics.

    • David Chapman

      ^^^ what AHR said. Honestly, it kind of tarnishes the whole article.

    • Joe McKeever

      A church historian told me the business about “kissing with holy kisses” in the NT began to be abused over time–to no one’s surprise–so the church instituted a rule that men would kiss men and women would kiss the women, and the practice died a natural death!

      • alhatesreligion

        I’ve not heard that before. But I must say I’m not surprised we just have a tendency to abuse everything. It’s sad we have to have these conversations. Thanks again for keeping us talking-it keeps us on our toes and even if we don’t always agree it’s good to know the art of conversation is not dead. Peace & blessing to you Joe.

      • David Chapman

        Wow. So we should disregard the WORD OF GOD because over time the practice was abused? Did you really mean that?

        • $22716193

          Pastor McKeever is correct and is not ignoring God’s word with this counsel. He is also correct that we often use scripture to justify questionable/sinful behaviors. As ministers, it is simply common sense to avoid any appearance of impropriety with the opposite sex – including hugs and kisses. That’s what your spouse is for.

  • Brad Johnson

    Thanks, Joe. Didn’t let the men off the hook, reminded me of why several roles/duties at previous churches felt so strained.

    • Brad Johnson

      oops! did not read the above. was commenting on the link to the “7 women pastors should watch out for”.

  • CO2

    Interesting points. You should write a other article to address the challenges of the single pastor which have similar issues but may struggle without having a spouse there and may have the additional challenges of dating so publicly.

    • Joe McKeever

      Good idea, but having been married over 51 years, my friend, someone else will need to write the article. :-)

    • Pat

      I was married to a Pastor, that secretly was dating women in the church. He also, produced false divoice papers, to marry. Women need to be aware that there are Pastors and Preachers that used their positions to date certain women in the church.

  • Pr. James George Oommen

    I think the counselling session too can be better handled if the pastor do it by phone and thinking as if that call is monitored and recorded.

  • Dana Arledge

    These suggestions of the “do’s” and the “don’t’s” are some of the best I have ever heard.

  • Dave

    Pastor Joe, that is great advice and the kind of Godly advice that the younger Pastors will appreciate as they navigate through the traps of Ministry. I have been a full time Pastor since the 90’s and been married to the same wonderful minister for 33 years. My wife understands the dynamics of ministry and we have rock solid values concerning interaction with the members of our community and in particular the opposite sex. To put safety measures in place is so sensible even if you hold to the belief that ‘it’ll never happen to you.’ . I have always maintained that stance and then actively pray to the Lord that He will sustain me, keep me pure and safe. He gave me a Godly wife and accountability partners in other men in the ministry and I value them all. Blessings… Dave

  • revkw

    Good advice. What about advice for a single, female pastor? Some is obviously the same but would like to hear that addressed. It feels like a difficult road to protect purity. I’ve been told I over do it… is that possible?

    • Joe McKeever

      I don’t feel qualified to address this issue for single, female pastors. Perhaps some reader will take the challenge. Thank you.

  • Pastor Abraham Oluwadoyin

    Those points are down to earth and penetrating!

  • Joe McKeever

    I have left replies to several of your comments below. Thanks for your response. When the article was first posted on my website a few weeks back, I was lambasted by some women preachers and their mentor who were highly offended that I suggested putting space between the pastor and the females in the congregation, saying it was resorting to the old “taste not, touch not” business Paul addresses in Colossians. Glad to see there is none of that in any of your comments. — It’s a tough issue and the devil is winning major victories. Meanwhile, some want to ignore it altogether.

  • Dan

    I have never put on cologne for church service because of this. Women are attracted to it point blank & that is why they make colgne. I found after 10 years of pastoring that my wife appreciates It and when we go on dates and use it she feels special knowing that is reserved for her. Thanks Joe for the great article.

    • Ozy

      Are you saying women become mindless and powerless at the scent of cologne on a man? That’s what it sounds like. I think women can be strong and mature enough to simply acknowledge when they might like a cologne and move on.

      • Dan

        Ozy, I am not saying that women are mindless and powerless at all. I am saying it is an attractant…also an unsaved woman might not be mature enough or strong enough to move on or a newly converted woman also. @ Hank adultery and having an illicit relationship doesn’t just happen w/ beautiful women…point blank it does attract some women & you better beware. Again great article Joe.

      • savv

        People who believe in the power of the cologne’s scent have seen too many Axe commercials.

        • Ozy

          Good one!

    • Hank

      I wore cologne all the time when I was single, and I have never had the problem of beautiful women flocking to me. Must have worn the wrong kind.

      • Vanessa

        Lol! Look out for old spice next time.

  • PokiEd

    Dear Revkw: regarding advice for women in ministry, in particular single woman,

    As you noted many of the issues are the same. One thing I think is important is that many of these temptations or abuses are not about sex, but rather a quest for conquest or intimacy, or affirmation of self-worth. Many people who seek an encounter with a person in ministry are motivated by the quest to find a since of elevation by being intimate with someone who is looked up by many people, or seen as a person of influence, or someone who is “so smart.”

    There are many motives for people seeking such relationships, or giving into such temptations, and in my opinion the sexual aspect is the tool or method used to fulfill deeper needs or objectives, not the chief drive or goal.

    As a single woman a person needs to realize that many single guys are typically searching for a relationship with a single lady, and one’s appeal is even stronger when other people are expressing even legitimate respect and appreciation for a person in ministry. Add to that men who are unhappily married, and your appeal is heightened even more. So alertness on the minister’s part must be activated at all times because someone who is sought after for their abilities or position subconsciously become an even bigger “catch” if it can be accomplished. Further, as a person influencing others for God, Satan wants to negate your service of God by baiting you to fall morally.

    The principles for protecting your life and future are the same, regardless of whether male or female, but the types of vulnerability differ between males and females. I do think that it helps to realize that the major driving forces behind these types of things is human ego, more than human hormones. Keeping one’s hormones or choices regarding inappropriate sexual behavior is easier than keeping our egos corralled and under the control of Christ. Sexual immorality brings a person under the control and influence of the other person who seduces them. It is losing yourself and your integrity, for a short-term ego boost, a bowl of soup (cf. Esau).

    Hope this helps.

  • Dirk

    I wonder if some of these 7 might vary by generation and culture – particularly the ones most often called into question by the comments so far. My hunch the cologne issue is one of those. If you are in an environment where it is common among men and doesn’t really stand out – it is different than if is something uncommon… A bathing suit at the beach is fine, but it is immodest at the airport….

    I think the hugging line is cultural in nature. I am not a natural hugger, but I have learned to hug because one thing people are dieing from is a lack of healthy supportive touch. I was in my late 30’s when I started hugging some of the older widows of our church. It has gradually expanded from there – and now I follow the Lord’s leading on who to hug when. But these are very clearly non-suggestive hugs, but supportive friend hugs. Typically my hugs are side hugs, but there are times when they go all the way to to full embraces where the other person’s feet leave the ground (but that is with the 5 year olds :-)

    • Hank

      But I like wearing my bathing suit at the airport… : (

      • Grady Walton

        Hank, you crack me up:-)

  • RAMJR

    I remember when Billy Graham said he would not even get in an elevator with a woman alone. The value that the Bible teaches is women are to be taught, the young, by the older women…and men taught, young men, by the older men.
    I remember hearing the value of a young man doing just that. He went to one of the pastors telling him how much he really likes his girlfriend, and when he is with her what he wants to do. The pastors comment, “Well, marry her.” The reaction from the young man was excuses of going to school, not ready for marriage or even having a job. The pastors comment, “Well, break up with her.” To which the young man confessed how much he loved her. Then came the value from the pastor. He gave him the excuse, he gave him the only answers…Then he said, “Look, you know what God said about sex before marriage. You know it is a sin. You know your thoughts and your words have already formed the excuse you are trying to come up with, and temptation will always be in mans/womans thoughts. It doesn’t mean you take the next step in sin, that you chose. You can’t chose what women wear, what actresses expose on television and movies…but you purchase the ticket. You don’t change the channel and you make the decision to violate your commitment to God, and the covenant any woman has with God in remaining a virgin until after marriage. So, your choices are to have sex, which is a sin, break up with her, which won’t confront the feelings you have, or to confront your feelings head on, Biblically by the two of you going to a married couple that you know is following God, and finding out, first hand what your actions will produce. You could end up getting her pregnant, you could end up breaking up or you could end up stronger in your walk with God, through the instruction of Godly led sources and resources to guide both of you.”

  • Deana Callins

    Our “Liberty” freedom from All fear has been fulfilled and completed (By) One; Jesus Christ. Believe it and Receive “His Words”. For (He) Is The Way, The Truth, and The LIFE!
    Colossians 1:20
    And having Made Peace ‘through’ the Blood of (His) cross, By (Him) to reconcile All things to ‘Himself'; By Him, I say, whether they be things (in) earth, or things (in) heaven.
    1:21 And (you) that were sometime alienated and enemies “In your own Mind” By wicked works, Yet Now Have (he) reconciled.
    1:22 “In the Body” of (his) Flesh, through Death. TO Present (you) holy and “Unblameable” and unreproveable (In) “His Sight.
    1:23 IF YOU CONTINUE (In) The Faith; grounded and Settled, And “Be Not” Moved Away (from) The Hope of the gospel, which (you) have HEARd. (That ‘you have’ Read &Received in your heart concerning the things, Jesus, has said and delivered to you).
    Think on these things. Remember (in whom) “you have” received deliverence once and for all time. Pray without ceasing.
    * My Declaration* I can do Nothing of myself, but I CAN do All things ‘through’ Christ who strengthens ME. God bless you. :):):) smile your loved. So Be Loved!!!!!!!!!

  • RAMJR

    I had to make another comment. If we look at the selling value of perfume and or cologne, it is not of a value of ‘for your wife’ or ‘for your husband’. I remember the cologne ‘High Karate’ (if I remember how to spell it) and after putting it on attacked by dozens of beautiful women. So the mental value of putting on cologne is not the value to purity of marriage and certainly is not of the value of virginity until after marriage. Next time a commercial comes on to create a ‘purchase point’ of cologne/perfume look into the visual and feelings it is presenting. I don’t believe many. if any, will be presenting marriage.

    • jpc853

      I still am not sure about the cologne thing but you are right about the marketing, most recently how about Axe body wash? There commercial was all about the “ladies” attacking the men who put it on, good point

  • Jonathan Hughes

    The body being fallen will have the lust of the eyes etc. That is because the eyes see never being satisfied. It is the condition of the flesh and blood body. Don’t get caught up in the I did this and that and I did not do this and that. That says the works that you did were your own. The people that are rejected will say didn’t we do?The pharisees were also caught up in this law and that law too. A person can bury themselves in those man made laws. Don’t have the qualities of 1 Corinthians 13:4,KJV don’t be like Christ when his light shines on you. For if you don’t hope all things will be cynical about all things. If there is no kindness murderous hate. People are making the person who does not have sex as being pure. That is false. That in turn makes the nude form to see as being evil. That makes the covering of it a good work and absence a good work. See where I am going with this? The qualities of charity are not in it. There is no forgiveness no mercy in it either. Jesus wants us to be balanced having temperance. Sex is not a sin but don’t be obsessed with it. Nude is not evil but it is not good for the body to be nude all of the time. Food is good for the body but over indulgence is not good. Water is good but to much flushes all of the minerals out of the body causing water toxemia. See what I am saying? Respect the wife of another, but we all know sex happens. Forgiveness is essential. Without it war will be certain.

  • Bryan

    Do not hug a woman. Do not compliment a woman. Do not wear cologne (because “women are sensitive to fragrances”). These are fear-based guidelines and, frankly, kind of insulting to women. You make it sound like women are threats to a career rather than people to be pastored.

    • Ozy

      I agree with you Bryan. I understand the steps for protection, but it also comes across a bit carnal. Carnality is living in our own strength. If we are trying to avoid accusations, that’s going to come regardless. Even Jesus was falsely accused of certain things. I know steps like this may limit the potential of bad situations, but it also limits deepening friendships and being real with others. It’s like the old rule of driving alone with the opposite sex. The expectation was that the person who is not driving should sit in the back. This approach has always seemed childish to me.

      • Pastor Ariel

        I agree with you Bryan. Ladies seemed to be construed as people who have no morals and control and will simply fall for clean and caring pastors. Vanessa is also out of line to think that simply complimenting a woman can be crossing a line and flirting. Complimenting is encouraging those who need it. Genuine serving accepts vulnerability but never shun away simply due to the danger. This makes the Holy Spirit look like simply a passive spectator in the struggle and temptations of pastors. He is there to convict and empower. When Jesus was on earth He allowed himself to be washed and kissed on the feet by a woman. As a man, i know it’s full tempting effect which i believed was felt by our Lord (Hebrews 4:15). But He did not forbid it instead used it to encourage and minister to her. He overcame not because of His divinity but because of the Holy Spirit’s help. We can also be assured of that help from the Spirit as we minister with our vulnerabilities.

        • Twinsfan1

          It’s amazing how some of you men seem to feel qualified to speak for women, and when a woman speaks you feel qualified to tell her she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Hmmm. That’s NOT insulting to women? I’ve been married long enough to know that I DON’T understand women as much as most young fellas seem to think they do.

    • Vanessa

      Prevention they say is better than cure. I am a woman and yet i can see how complimenting a woman can be crossing the line. In many cases, complimenting a woman can be misconstrued as flirting. Best to avoid it entirely.

  • Jonathan Hughes

    Had the meditation of the hearts of men not been on saving the body warring in an attempt to save it their would be no war. What meditation have we ignored, and which one have people indulged in? Pointing to scripture to war against people is not meditating on peace seeking sacrafic of the flesh. Jesus commends us to compliment each other. To think of another as being better than you are.
    King James Bible<>Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. People think that having more than one wife is a sin. No where in the KJV does God inform us that having more than one wife is a sin. Why does the church say it is? People talk about not crossing the line. Jesus would not cross the like to hate anyone. Jesus would not cross the line to oppress anyone not arresting anyone not using scripture to point a finger to condemn but that line the church crosses all the time. That is why there are lines crossed when police kill, handcuff, beat, electrocute, pepper spray half blinding people and arrest them. legal system, and military crossing a line Jesus would never cross too. Pay attention to the line Jesus is looking at.

  • http://www.chadeddy.com/ Chad Eddy

    I appreciate these posts. I believe they are sincerely helpful to many pastors. But I expected more “lines” that pastors cross that make them at least seem to be predators, rather than good solid guidelines for moral behaviour. A saavy pastor can appear to be innocent, yet give the creepy vibe to women (and men) he comes into contact with.
    1. Eye contact is useful, and powerful. And lingering eye contact is creepy. When a woman needs to be the first to blush and avert her eyes, the pastor has knowingly or unknowingly either creeped her out or intrigued her. It’s a power play on the pastor’s part. Be careful with your eyes. And for that matter, don’t gaze at her chest either. Women can tell.

  • Joseph

    Thanks for the insights Joe. In the culture that I serve, hugging is a regular way of greeting. Of course, I have seen this abused as well. There are ways to hug to convey distance as well as closeness.

    Also, one area that you did not mention, was the reality of our same-sex culture and ministry context. To me, I think this will be an interesting and challenging task as we as pastors draw lines with men.

  • carolinaconstitutionalist

    I have a question. What about a single person who works in the church? What becomes appropriate for a single male who is gaining attraction for another member, need I say “female member”?

    By the way, I don’t ever wear cologne at church because of asthmatics.

    • Jerry

      do you ever wear cologne? since there could be asthmatics at the grocery store or anywhere else in public places as well.

  • Lynn

    I also see many of these guidelines to be fear-based – the fear being of themselves. As a single woman in ministry, with mainly male leaders, I am continually frustrated that I cannot have a one-on-one conversation without there being a “fear of something” happening causing them to place so many boundaries that I am not comfortable to speak. To me, many of the fears are not of the woman, but of themselves and of what others may perceive of an innocent conversation. I believe that it hinders ministry. I agree with not sending signals that could be misconstrued, and also putting safe boundaries in place (windows in office, public places, side-hugs if appropriate, accountability, etc.). However, I do not believe that a male pastor needs to prevent himself from meeting with and ministering a woman one-on-one within those certain boundaries. In this day & hour, we should also be watching men alone with other men as that will also be misconstrued. just a few thoughts…

  • P.D.

    Dear Joe; Your advice is excellent. Don’t back off on any of the issues. All, young or old will do well to take heed. I am twice widowed, been in the ministry for over 45 years, and I can tell you it is no different for the young or the old, married or single. Those who are wise will take heed. Those who are fools will reject knowledge and warning. Some danger zones you did not touch on are texting and social conversations between opposite sex. These can quickly degenerate into sexting and phone sex, both of which are popular with the younger generation (and I might say the older generation too). All anyone needs to do is read the Book of Proverbs. Keep up the Good Work. Never mind the rebellious who reject knowledge. They will find the path that leads to hell and the chambers of death. Prov. 7:27. Ps. 141:5, “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be and excellent oil, which shall not break my head”….. God bless you for this article.

  • Paula McLeod-Smith

    Generally there is some wisdom in these suggestions but I find them overwhelmingly based in fear and 20th century male-dominant perspective. I’d suggest further reflection needs to be given to the culture we live in today. More and more men and women are working together in business and in the church with equal levels of spiritual and practical responsibility. To try to function on a team using these rules serves to divide the team and diminish its effectiveness. I’d suggest an open team conversation about how best to support each other in healthy and productive relationships and to get the team involved in creating the boundaries and approaches to addressing mis-steps. Then call each other to address any issues where they may be seeing red-flags either in themselves or between other members of the team. It may seem easier to set rigid rules about what we should do or should not do to keep us ‘safe’ but I’m not sure it’s an overly effective way to help us to live rightly.

  • Ranay1

    I am an ordain “woman” pastor. Most articles I read on this site assume that all pastors are male. Therefore many advices given here do not help women in full time ministry…I feel sad.

    • Deana Callins

      I totaly understand you. It’s still one of the biggest things we have to overcome. And the Lord will give us the Victory soon. We just have to be patient and when we arrive. Be helpful and thoughtful to other women who also been through. Break the cycle. It’s going to be alright. No worries. It’s In God’s hands; and we are valuable to “Christ” Ministry.

    • jontrott

      Amen, Ranay. Just know there are a *lot* of men and women in the Church who have female pastors, egalitarian marriages, and like you would like more articles helpful to women. That said, maybe *you* could as a female pastor write an article on sexual temptation from that point of view. Just a thought, but it might be helpful!

    • kofy

      Don’t feel sad my dear, é only way U can advise yourself is to read your bible all day and be strong in CHRIST…Cheer up!

  • Grady Walton

    #8 Transfer to the hermitage of the Benedictine monks:-) But seriously, I must disagree with the implication that once the sexual line is crossed, the pastor’s ministry is forever over. I have seen pastors cross that line by having affairs with women and men. Usually, the fallen pastor is removed from ministry to enter a lengthy process of restoration to relationship with God. Sadly, most of these former pastors do not complete their restoration and manage to finagle a way back into full-time paid ministry as a church pastor, often with a different church or denomination. This sends a dangerous message to young pastors that the consequence of crossing the line can be somewhat avoided. Pride and ego are big obstacles for a fallen pastor to overcome. After all, what fallen lead-pastor of a large successful church can accept the fact that he might have to go out and get a lower-wage job doing menial work?

  • Vanessa

    I think these basic suggestions should be adopted by any man who desires to diligently walk in the Lord, not just Pastors. Complimenting and interacting with other women unnecessarily should be avoided.

  • Sharon Gilbert

    To be honest, the steps of a good man are ordered by God , if a pastor cannot wear a nice cologne that he likes, as long as the smell is not a problem to people, because sinus, ect, then dont wear a nice suit, my believe is that a pastor wearing a nice suit, and he is well attired is no difference from wearing cologne, so what u wear or dont wear,has nothing to do with weaknesses of the flesh.satan is not looking for people who wear nice cologne, he is looking fo people who believe in righteousness and holiness, so pastors be strong in the lord, my best advice, when a woman approached in ways that u are not comfortable, if u have a wife, tell here’s,dont keep it to yourself, or tell another person, and make sure that u pray with her along with that witness, because woman can be very persistent, and to avoid reproach on d church, or embrassment on yourself and your family, dont hide it.God bless all the faithful leaders to be strong in the lord, my last point, my opinion, dont kill me for my opinion, no man should be appointed as a pastor if he is not married

    • Aaron

      Jesus, the apostle Paul -never married and happy:)

  • PsOz

    I receive our brothers counsel their is wisdom that informs. However their is a higher way to live for us all as leaders and shepherds. We need to live up to the high calling through Gods empowering Presence in our lives not down to the lowest common denominator of rules and regulations, don’t be like the foolish Galatians who were bewitched to return to the old way of life tied to the corpse of the law. Be free by the Power of the Holy Spirit to lead, to guide, to relate as a redeemed person purchased from the power of sin and death by a blood that cleanses us from all sin; Be one who is created in the image of a relational God, who like the Father to the prodigal, kissed, embraced, hugged his way through the objections of a sinful son. We are not sterile emotionless beings of authority. We are to Treat others as Christ treats them and us.

    Live out of an identity as a Saint, not a sinner with a reformed habit and a sin management plan, you are all Saints who have left the ways of darkness to walk in His glorious light, filled with His Grace. His grace is not my licence to sin but my empowerment to have Christ live through me to bring his life and love to others.

    Be like Jesus he welcomed Children to sit with him and for him to lay his hands on them and bless them, he let John the beloved disciple a close male friend lay his head on his chest in front of other men, he let Judas kiss him (presumably on each cheek as custom in middle east), he embraced Peter as he was sinking literally in water and in his own self pity of being ashamed, he let a prostitute and another woman show him such adoration that he let them touch him with their hair, their tears and dare I say their cologne (perfume). O you say this was the perfect Christ he could do this it was safe for him and for those he touched. The problem is the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:17 “In this world we are Like Him”. Not like the rules but like the God/Man Jesus.

    So the safety for us and for all those we connect with, is not in the rules its in our pursuit of being “Like Him” our identity and our practice being Like Him. That’s what makes me a very safe Pastor. And Yes I have a window in my office door, because its common sense and I want to be transparent like Jesus. Am I perfect no, but as I mature I’m allowing more perfection (Jesus) to live through me. God bless you leaders keep pursuing the Prize Phil 3. Love from Australia.

    • Wendie

      “Live out of an identity as a Saint, not a sinner with a reformed habit and a sin management plan,”
      Enough said :)

  • Deana Callins

    It’s important to reflect DAILY on our own relationship with the Spirit of The Living Lord ‘first’. It’s easy to get off track in the world we live in today. We have so many temptations in many different forms coming at us, but “We also Have” a greater Lord and his greater Power within us to not ‘Fall’ for anything. The Doors to our spirit and soul Are the Eyes(what we see), Ears(what we hear). Guard your Heart (by) setting boundaries on what you (receive); meaning the things you look at and listen too. First we have to get Self (spelled backwards) Flesh out of The Way. Jesus(Holy Spirit) Is The Way! Relationship with a True GENTLE’MAN. It’s sooooo good to have someone (we) can Trust, Faithfull, and Does Not Change His Mind or feelings about us. A Great Shepherd of the flock. If even one of HIS sheep is lost. Jesus surely knows how to Find it and take it back to himself; for himself. That Nothing “BElonging” (to him) Shall Be Lost Forever. Because of (his) Never ending Love & Mercy of Grace. We Are HIs’ Sons & Daughters (A parent never give up on their children)
    As Sisters & Brothers In Christ (Neither should we give up or beat up on each other).
    Nobody has lived without faults, But Jesus!

  • Grady Walton

    These are good suggestions. However, one observation I’ve made from decades in the pew is that often the instigator or predator does not come from the congregation. The predator is in the pulpit. As we know, predators have the cunning ability to seek out the weak and vulnerable. Perhaps the focus shouldn’t be so much on the threat coming from an aggressive woman or man in the congregation (think histrionic personality disorder), but more on predatory behaviors coming from the pastor. Predator pastors crossed the line a long time ago. Thank goodness they are few and far between. By the way, I disagree with the author’s statement: “No church member understands the stresses you and your family have to endure. That’s why no one ministers to pastors better than other ministers.” I have seen volunteers under just as much stress as the pastor. I’ve been able to minister to pastors. Besides, this attitude just perpetuates the loathsome segregation in a church between pastors and church members. I thought we were all one body? I am fed up with being treated like I’m just a customer who doesn’t understand the headaches of management. Spare me!

    • Tim

      Sure, members can help in ministering to pastors; may God bless you richly for that. I’m sure the author meant no disrespect. Please continue to be there for them. People go through different “things” in this fallen world in which we all live. I know you may disagree, and that’s okay; but, trust me and others when we say one will not truly understand the stresses endured by pastors/ministers and their families unless you are one or are in their family. It’s a lot more than “management.” I have witnessed them in other ministers’ lives and personally. Again, God bless you for caring enough to minister to your pastor. I’m sure he appreciated it.

  • r.terrell45@yahoo.com

    I greet you aall in the name of Jesus, this is good. I belive in the body of Christ one way to fight this type of temptation is too have the brother and sister approach, , many have fallen in this area including myself. Today I, m proud to say that God has delivered me from this kind of temptation and sin. When I encounter women in the church today I honestly see them as my sisters in christ. I, have a lot of female colleges in the ministry and I love all of them and never cross the line in my mind But the keyis I ask God to deliver my 1. Because I love God and wanted too obey him 2. Did not want this to be a hindrance in my walk God and my ministry 3. Integrity is important

  • Manofaith

    Cool title for your article, Joe, but a couple of your points are definitely off the mark. Firstly cologne is not a sexual line that must not be crossed. If it is, then so is wearing nice clothing (You know how much women like a sharp dressed man), or wearing your hair in any fashionable style (Women have a thing about nice hair; not only that, “bald” men are thought to be virile and attractive as well), or God forbid, you wear nice shoes, (Women love a man with nice shoes on.) I could go on, but you get my point. If the women in your church are overcome with lust because you dab on a little “Old Spice” then they need some Old Fashioned deliverance! This approach also diminishes the women in your church to mindless fleshly automatons with zero self control easily tempted at that first whiff. I do give you props for listing “cologne” though, since your wife and you have a “thing” about cologne. Secondly, hugging is a grey area. I have been in churches where hugging was simply a part of the culture and it shouldn’t be considered a sexual line being crossed, in fact not hugging in some churches might convey an issue to be addressed. On the other hand, if hugging is not a part of a church’s culture then, I grant you hugging might convey the wrong message in that environment. One other point; I believe a man or woman who has great success in losing weight should be noticed and celebrated. If one is indeed a caring and compassionate pastor, s/he would be remiss to ignore it, especially if they were praying and believing God for victory in this area. As their pastor, I can and should rejoice with them without being paranoid about crossing an invisible sexual line. I think the other points in your article are well taken and are good advice. We certainly do need these types of practical articles but ultimately, we need to center our minds on Jesus and allow him to live through us as we walk in righteousness and true holiness by His strength. (Philippians 4:13)

    • Joe McKeever

      I have had friends terminated from their pastorates because someone accused them of inappropriate touching/hugging. So, it’s not a theoretical issue. And I’ve had notes from pastors’ wives thanking me for the note about cologne. I would never have thought of that in a hundred years. It’s the preachers who insist that the cologne business is silly; most of the women are agreeing.

      • William Womack Jr

        OK Joe, I’ll concede the “hugging” point if that’s where we are in our churches now, particularly in a litigious society like ours. Also, I do have a special cologne I where only when I’m with my wife so I understand where you’re coming from. Thanks for your insightful articles. We appreciate your words of wisdom one of the Generals. God bless you!

      • Larry Pearson

        Joe, i know it may sound redundant but another article that is needed today in this time. Growing up in New Orleans , I learned a lot. But this i do know. My Daddy told me that if one argues with a fool over 5 seconds then 2 fools are arguing. The Word of God is like a lion it will defend itself. Keep up the great posts. Forty-five plus years ago seminary professors would have never given the advice as boldly as you have presented it. Sadly, many that will need it may scoff it off. However, should any one person profit then it is worth the time and effort you have given of your earned wisdom.

        • Manofaith

          Larry, there are more than 100 comments on Joe’s article, and he has been kind enough to respond to many of them and to either clarify or reiterate his points. Even Joe would not consider his opinions to be the infallible Word. Joe has been gracious enough to join the discussion and we are grateful for his wisdom. (That’s the whole point of DISQUS, by the way!) So, for you to insinuate that we are fools; either those of us who post comments or to Joe for engaging in the forum is probably the most “foolish” comment anyone has ever posted!

          • Larry Pearson

            The comments were severely taken out of context. First , you allege i hold that Joe is infallible or foolish for posting. Those are your words not not mine . Secondly, there is no reference to ” fools” mentioned except obliquely to myself nor do i regard anyone that posts comments as “fools.” As i take you have posted that the most” foolish comment “ever posted” was mine, probably. I strongly disagree and leave it at that. Joe is gracious to give of his wisdom but infallibilty-no!

      • Borghy Holm

        I’m a woman, and I think the cologne comment is ridiculious. Maybe you guys should all stop working out too because we women are too moved by muscular guys? I do not think most of the women are agreeing. In all my friendships with women and years of leading women’s groups sharing deep struggles the issue of cologne being a temptation has NEVER come up. These pastor’s wives just need to be less paranoid. Cologne is not some magic device that will cause otherwise intelligent, God-fearing women to want to tear the clothes off of their husbands (many of whom are probably aging or overweight). You’ve all apparently been watching too many of those disgusting Axe commercials.

  • Wale

    Thank you Pastor for your article. Half word is more than sufficient for the wise.

  • Docbear

    I agree except for the cologne. The others are rock solid though. The issue is more complicated and not one sided, but we ministers must take precautions! All for His glory!

  • Bea

    Well, the Sexual Predator pastor we had is STILL in the ministry in Boulder City, Nevada. I hope he and his wife and sons get caught, even today.

  • Matthew Kurian

    This is bit OTT! I think this pastor has a problem in the area of women and he trying to see all of us through his perverted eyes

  • Jonathan Hughes

    If people were as careful about not warring as the church is teaching people to be careful about sex there would be no war. Guess which one is getting to much emphasis?

  • Edson Siwella

    . . sometimes wonder. . . .Elijah. . and that widow woman. . . (how many years?!). . and he was a real ‘he’ man. . and yet without falling into moral sin!!!. Anyway good points Pastor McKeever. . . how about adding “pray without ceasing” (IThes 5) and “pray that you may not enter into temptation . . . . .Yes otherwise these points become just a list of legalistic walls.

  • jontrott

    First, I have a hard time believing the author of this article has really battled sexual temptation, thought it through carefully with his eyes on self rather than on women, or considered his own biases re women. That said, I’m glad he at least tried. Pastoral sexual misconduct is incredibly damaging to all concerned and also incredibly common. Not just Catholics have scandal in this regard! But to specifics. Unlike the author, I *do* believe women should be hugged… as long as the venue is right. Hugging a woman behind a closed door, esp. if one senses either she or yourself might be vulnerable, is a bad idea. Hugging a woman in a public venue is usually a good idea.

    Look, if we’d doctrinally embrace women in the pulpit and in other leadership roles alongside men, I think our physical embraces would be a lot less problematic. The two-tier system placing women in an inferior, disempowered role beneath men also creates an environment where such imbalance more easily could lead to abuse. Two beings who function as mutually empowered brother and sister in Christ will be far less likely to abuse or be abused in their relational functioning.

    One unrelated issue I didn’t see raised here at all has to do with how the entire congregation deals with sexual issues. Is the potential for, and antidotes for, sexual misconduct discussed? Are everyday members of the church made aware of what mechanisms exist both outside and inside the church to deal with adultery, incest, physical violence, rape, and the like? These discussions are important. So are discussions about the effects of pornography on the mind of Christian men and women. Such a huge subject, and there’s much not only the article but also this short reply to it are leaving out.

    • jontrott

      Sorry, left off a few more thoughts….

      “Do Not Use Cologne.” My wife has no sense of smell, so I don’t usually wear cologne (unless I worked out and am attempting to mask sweat!). But really… this insults women. No woman is going to want to jump my bones because I’ve got cologne (or my favorite, patchouli oil) on. On the other hand, are my eyes looking at a sister in Christ or a sex object? That is, am I looking at her face or are my eyes wandering around her body? (I’ve seen pastors do that and it is beyond creepy — it is disgusting.) I use that example to again bring focus to my OWN motives, not the motives I am guessing the woman has. If I am sexually attracted to any woman, it isn’t her fault or her problem. It is my problem and I am to deal with it quickly, decisively, and with no blame assigned anywhere else but myself.

      And let’s be clear – sexual attraction is not in and of itself sin. That well-used Luther line, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair” applies here. I personally am attracted to certain women of a certain physical size, shape, and other specific features. That’s not such women’s problem! It is my problem. I avoid them, but not in a way that is rude or in any way communicates rejection or judgement. Other women do not affect me this way, even if one of them might (for God only knows what reason in my case — haha) want to affect me.

      There’s another issue here. As someone who’s first wife left him and who had to function for a time as a single Dad, I can tell you that hugs — being touched — often deliver one of the greatest safeguards *against* sexual misconduct. A hunger to be touched is real, and separable from sexuality. Singles, divorced, widowed, all can sin sexually… but on the other hand all suffer greatly if no one reaches out to them. And I mean reach out physically.

      Guard your own motives. Don’t be involved relationally with someone “in secret” (such as email / phone / chat boards and the like). I have women friends who are extremely close…. but my wife shares all those friendships as well as complete freedom (I reiterate it from time to time!) to ask me anything about my sexual thought life, my relationships with others, and my actions. With great specificity. That’s mutuality in a marriage and I’m thankful I’m married to a woman unafraid to exercise it as an act of love.

      • Manofaith

        Jon you need to write some articles yourself. Your replies are always insightful and enlightening. Love it when I see your name, I know some wisdom is forthcoming.

        • jontrott

          Too kind, sir.

    • Larry Pearson

      jontrott is full of himself! Like many, he can emit negative responses and a wolf may also lose its teeth but not its nature.He who knows not;and knows not that he knows not, he is a fool shun him.He who knows not and knows he knows not ,he is simple , teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows he is asleep -awaken him. He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise follow him.Sounds like many on this site are like persons that want a Christianity without an experience much like the sun tan lotion that is sold for a tan without the sun. Pastor Joe has given great advice to all! In my 45 years of pastoring, I have seen many, both male and female, fall into the pit Joe has described that were engaged in full-time ministry.Also many that were Church members. Please, do not paint the pump if there is poison in the well. I noticed jontrott encouraged a female minister to post an article. Well since he has all the words of wisdom why does he not step out of his safety zone and post his own. Pastor Joe is speaking from experience. Moreover the person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument!

      • jontrott

        “the person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument!”

        I suggest you ponder carefully that idea. Does a person’s experience of so-called “past lives” trump the biblical statement that it is appointed for us to die once and then face judgement?

        That’s a scary idea to hold. In the end, it sifts down to “whatever I feel is what is real.” Yikes.

        • Larry Pearson

          no past lives buddy! reality!

  • Aaron

    This article is retarded! Cologne if that is sexual the woman better get her head examined. Lets stick to some more real topics thank you!

    • $22716193

      So you don’t think sexual temptation in the church is a real issue? And you don’t think that cologne might be a potential issue with some women? You may not have a problem with it, but others do. Grow up.

      • Reginald

        Really?? You tell him to grow up; and yet you think it’s psychologically normal for a woman to want to get into a relationship with a man in a church simply because of his cologne????

        It is quite sad how there is such low respect for women in this article (and comments). It’s like there is a consensus that women in the church are lurking sexually depraved rapists. What if a woman runs across 5 men in church wearing the same cologne?

        No woman in any church can get any man in any church; without the man allowing it first……..yet only the maturity of the woman is in question here. Why?

        • $22716193

          As usual, you miss the point Reginald in this histrionic reply.
          Did you pay any attention at all to what the author said about cologne? And did you read his responses to other commenters who questioned him about cologne? Apparently not as he said this observation was from his wife’s perspective and that he would not have thought about it on his own. It wouldn’t have occurred to me either or a lot of us guys for that matter. Dr. McKeever also said that he had a number of e-mails from other pastor’s wives who agreed with his wife’s view on this (my wife had the same sentiments as well). And that’s the point: men often have blind spots when it comes to sending out unintended signals to the opposite sex. Women see and sense things in a different way than men do. It doesn’t mean that anyone who uses cologne is going to fall into sexual sin. It just means that as ministers and leaders in our churches, we should be sensitive to the fact that others are sensitive to the issue. It also has nothing to do with having “…such low respect for women…”. It is simply how differently we are built as men and women.

          Your comments in the second paragraph are simply ridiculous and over-the-top. No one intends to fall into sexual sin, but the potential is always there for both sexes. Dr. McKeever is speaking primarily to men as most of us here are men, but the same applies to women as well as we share equal responsibility for keeping ourselves sexually pure. He makes a lot of sense on all the points he lists and just because you disagree on the cologne thing doesn’t make it any less valid of a concern to a number of women in our congregations. So, yes…grow up.

          • Reginald

            To be true here……..the last two words of what you said “grow up” IS the actual point that is being avoided. I said that because “sensitive to the issue” of obvious insecurity by catering to that insecurity is NOT GROWING UP. My Lord Jesus freed me from the requirements of Law (Romans 7:6) by His blood sacrifice that I nor anyone else would pay for me. Do you really expect me to subscribe to being bound all over again by another set of Law; based on those in the church that are insecure in their relationships and unstable in their understanding of the power of the indwelling and convicting Holy Spirit? Is this really where we are? Do we think that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us, so we could walk around on eggshells; in fear of a Brother or a Sister’s hangups on the expression of the love of Christ?

            Holiness is not defined or restricted by the outward appearance or the absence (or presence) of an outward aroma.

            Don’t get me wrong here. My wife’s opinion matters to me and I love her enough to take any concern of hers seriously and take heed to whatever reactions or lifestyle changes I need to make for her; because she is half of me. At the same time, I would exhort and encourage my wife to grow from her insecure feelings and trust the presence of God in her husband. However, I absolutely refuse to spend my life in the church jumping through the hoops of Law that come from every woman in the Body of Christ.

            I ask that you look at my post listed above; where I breakdown my actual objections to most of his list. It is not just the cologne.

  • Pastor CSL

    I worked in both the medical and the corporate world before being called to ministry. In both areas, wearing any cologne which could be smelled by someone standing next to you was considered inappropriate. Now that standard may have changed in recent years with some of the more casual corporate atmospheres. However, for there to have been that standard back then shows that there are reasons why wearing a noticeable cologne can be an issue, sexual issues aside.

  • StefWyn

    Well this was different. We see Jesus doing life with woman, Mary Magdalene might have been seen as one of His diciples. I use colgne and I love it to smell good, because my wife loves it. This article is really old testament style. All the do’s and dont’s the rules are too much.
    Jesus helps us with this by saying in Matt. that the problem starts with the eye and the heart. You become a sexual predator because of what goes on in your heart not you smell..or touch. If I dont want anything to do with other woman than nothing will happen, it is as simple as that.
    Do what needs to be done, but be carefull of your hear, should you have trouble with other woman then go home, put colgne on and go and see a male counselor.

  • preachrobert

    The act is not the problem, it is the heart. We live in a world that is sex crazy, so then everybody in minisrty must be diligent to be Christ-like. we must protect the ministry, our marriages and our motivation. both do’s and dont’s are good…but they are no substitute for the Holy Spirit’s keeping power.
    God will tell us what is of Him and what is not if we will listen and obey. If I read this Bible correctly brothers, God made man first. It therefore starts and stops with us!

    The article is fine but as with all things good; the priciples need to be internalized. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The writer is just echoing what Paul says to us…for i know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. Let him who think he standeth beware lest he fall…give honor to whom honor is due.

    • Reginald

      Exactly my point sir! You are correct! We are missing the point and the goal, if we trust LAW; which is not even in the Bible, more than the presence of the all-knowing, ever present and convicting Holy Spirit inside of us.

  • Mike

    Thanks for the reminders Joe

  • Reginald

    Okay…….I have MANY issues with every point on this list; except numbers 3, 4, 5 and 7. Even though NONE of these 10 suggestions are from the Word of God at all, I see the wisdom in 3,4,5 and 7.

    I can sum up my immense disagreement with numbers 1, 8,9 and 10 with this single statement. The overwhelming thing that screams from this list is that a Pastor should be a different kind of Pastor for women than with men; because women cannot possibly have the spiritual maturity that a man can……….AND THAT IS SIMPLY DISRESPECTFUL ERROR.

    That being said, let me go through the rest of this list…..

    1. “Do not wear cologne” – This one is at a level of ridiculous that doesn’t even require a response; however I will offer a short one in the form of a question………..Are you really suggesting that the power of the convicting and maturing Holy Spirit in a believer, is less than the power of cologne?????

    2. “Do not hug women.” and “let women hug women and men hug men”. I suspect this “law” is to be offered as wisdom to avoid the possibility of physical attraction. It is incredibly naive logic and wisdom at best. Here is why. First, reality tells us that physical attraction is not determined AT ALL by physical contact. The other reason is that we are in the age where there are males in the church that struggle with the desire of sexual sin; by virtue of being gay. Likewise there are females in the church that struggle with the desire of sexual sin; by virtue of being gay. What do you do then? Does a Pastor avoid hugging a gay male congregation member? If they did, wouldn’t that be taken as discrimination in that Pastor; or does that Pastor stop hugging anyone? Likewise do all women in the church stop hugging all women in the church, if there is one female that struggles with lesbian urges? To avoid any of this, do we not allow a person that struggles with gay urges from joining the Body fellowship? Can you see the road this threatens to become? How LAW-full and Christ-less it is???? Jesus was alone with the Samaritan woman at the well; wasn’t He? Jesus allowed physical contact when Mary Magdeline poured oil on His feet and wiped His feet with her hair; didn’t He??? Don’t we find it strange that He was accused of being blasphemous, healing on the Sabbath, eating with tax collectors and sinners, proclaiming Himself to being the great I AM; yet no one accused Him of being inappropriate with women. Kinda makes you go hmmmmm…..doesn’t it?

    6. “Do not compliment a young woman on her appearance.” – We all go through in our christian walk and sometimes it shows in our countenance. When a Pastor gives a word to any member of the flock (male or female) and they get delivered by God, it is encouraging when they hear from their Pastor when they notice the change in their countenance; that they appear to be more at peace and joyful. It confirms to their spirits that they are exhibiting the outward fruits of their internal deliverance and growth………You know the Pastoring thing.

  • Miguel Rubio

    Great post, it is such a great contribution to all ministers. Thanks Pastor for sharing your wisdom.

  • Adegbe Umoru

    I have been further enriched spiritually on this topic- ” The 7 sexual lines No Pastor should cross”. I’m to add here that different people respond to issues differently especially when it comes to sex. I remember some years at a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International( FGBMFI) meeting that held in Portharcourt- Nigeria, our most respected Daddy in The Lord, Pastor Enoch Adeboye-GEneral Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God worldwide did advise young Pastors not to hug women that are not their wives. His reason being that since they’re not piece of iron that does not respond to stimuli, before they know it, the wrong current would have started flowing. The best way to deal with sexual temptation is to avoid those negative tendencies that may lure us into sexual immorality. This should be a general rather than an exceptional rule to Pastors. On the whole, may God continue to give us the grace to overcome all these pitfalls in Jesus’ name. Amen!

  • JD

    I understand the sentiment and reason for the article but it grieves me to read some of it. For the last five or six years of ministry God has been tearing down all of my man made ministry concepts and showing me how far the institutional church is from the way He intended it to be. In order not to be long winded I will simply say that the majority of churches are no longer families that pray, worship, eat and fellowship together. They are professional social clubs with hirelings to keep the machines running. Just the sad ideas that we should not hug, compliment or try to smell good show how far the church is from a real family.

    When I pastored a traditional church I never had the list on this blog but I pretty much followed a similar pattern, besides possibly the cologne part sometimes. I had to do things like this because we were not a true and loving family but rather acquaintances who were not giving up our lives for one another and seeing each other as true brothers and sisters. I finally left that behind and started a non-denominational church after the pattern of the first church in the book of Acts. We now have three house meetings each week and we all meet together in a community center on Sundays. We eat together in each of our house meetings as well as pray, worship and preach the Word. For the first time I am not walking around ladies nervous and I certainly am not worried about my cologne causing problems. I hug everybody after getting to know them without any problem. We encourage brotherly and sisterly love and caution our people to keep it pure. When we hug the opposite sex we do so from the side as a greeting and a welcome.

    The problems in the church are not hugging or cologne. The main problem is that most of what we think is the church is a counterfeit. Our program oriented social clubs and corporations barely resemble the church in the New Testament and most of our problems stem from this.

  • fafah

    that’s true,I am the same opinion to you,leave the temptation before all things,nowadays many pastor, leader … are sexual predator and demoniac

  • George

    Such great legalism. Don’t hug, don’t use cologne? Please. When I was a pastor, generally speaking the women came to me in front of my wife.

    • Apostle George

      George, you mean when you were a pastor…? Sounds like you are retired by now, congrat!; anyway, I understand the cologne issue is actually a contribution by the writer’s wife. It amazes me to know that women could be sexually activated by a mean thing like the “scent” of a cologne! It explains how extreme Satan could be in using its agents against the elects. And if the “Hugging” I know is what is described here by the writer, then it could be tempting to either huggers or both; you could feel the touch of a females’ breast on you when hugging her, and this is sexual in nature. Should be avoided. The pastor may hug with good intensions, but the lady you just hugged may not be too pure in heart as you are, and that could activate some urges in her towards you. Women actually feel very different when it comes to this….!

    • $22716193

      Legalism is strict adherence to works based rules and regulations as a substitute for the grace and mercy that God has provided through the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. Legalism is a problem in churches, but it does not apply to the current discussion of a pastor offering advice to other pastors on how to avoid sexual temptation.

  • gbemi tjmst

    TIMELY AND PRACTICAL ARTICLE AND ADMONITIONS.This also justifies the issue of libido reality – control or mess– is global as we are all human beings .However Holy Spirit helps to easily melt out a strong lust -especially in spirit -filled graceful believers and pastors.May God melt away any lust

    or attraction that will not lead to our flesh of flesh and bone of bone.

    Gbemi Tijani,Ibadan ,22062013,615AM

  • Ayoyinka, London.

    Thank you so much for this soul uplifting and inspiring guidelines for ministers. Multiple annointing in JESUS Mighty Name. Amen.
    I will need you to continually pray for me. Im not a womaniser (to GOD’s glory, my wife is the only woman ever in my life) . The devil is seriously waging war as per my affection towards her and I need serious prayers to overcome this pressing issue. Thanks and GOD bless. Ayoyinka.

  • wainaina

    When the devil waves his magnet over us, let there be nothing inside
    us that responds to his enticements. May we say, “He has nothing in me.” And nothing “on” me.

  • Borghy Holm

    This part of the article was quite troubling to me, “I know a pastor who nevers hugs a woman between the ages of 6 and 66.” What a complete poverty of love and care! How sad that so many people who may need a fatherly or brotherly hug would be denied one for the sake of the 1 person out there who might have bad intentions or be too attractive. Why not just give innocent “side hugs” and use discernment to avoid hugging those people who could be problematic? A blanket prohibition on hugging is just really sad. Seems like a man-made rule trying to keep the flesh at bay, but those never actually work. Also I think the cologne comment is quite bizarre–I do not find cologne to be sending some irresistible message of seduction. If anything cologne just bothers my allergies. I also have lots of girlfriends and have led tons of women’s groups and have never heard any woman talking about how cologne is some magic bullet for her. It’s much more about the man wearing or not wearing the cologne.

    That brings me to another point to consider: what might be more helpful is for pastors to have a somewhat accurate assessment of their own potential to stumble the opposite sex. I told my pastor/boss that if any lady ever hit on him, I’d help protect his virtue and run her off! He said, “I don’t think there’s gonna be much of a problem with that for Grandpa here.” And you know what, so far, he’s right. There’s always exceptions, but generally some of us just tend to attract the opposite sex (and potential temptations) more than others. A 40-year-old pastor with huge biceps is probably going to attract more attention from random women than a balding one with a huge double chin. I know it might hurt the ego, but it is worth considering. For example, how realistic is it to worry that your typical 25-year-old committed Christian lady will decide to seduce a middle-aged, out-of-shape, married pastor? That’s probably just not a very big danger with most women; so why be paranoid about it with everyone? Just listen to the Holy Spirit and avoid those few that you discern are actually a danger. There could certainly be danger based on the pastor’s desires, but that isn’t the parishioner’s fault.
    My pastor seems to assess his risk levels, and he also makes it clear to everyone how much he loves his wife. They trust each other and appreciate each other. This is inspiring to all of us and is also protective against marriage intruders.

    • KJS

      I found that you can hug without comforting and comfort without hugging, why not try praying with them in their time of need. You will never regret being safe. I have pastored for 26 years, starting when I was 22 years old. The safety in having standards is something that I do not regret.

    • Ben C

      I believe you are not seeing it for what it it. As a young (and i do mean young) Pastor in training i have women looking for something more than a friendship almost every service. I dont say that to boast but to say that if you dont hold the line with the opposite sex, your in for some screw ups. Ask me how i know. Im just finally getting it through my head. Being “normal” and hugging all the women and not guarding myself isnt worth the call of God on my life. Better to have rules that are un-popular than to fall because of a woman, or be accused because you didnt keep enough distance. You can be friendly without being touchy and carrying on a relationship with a woman who isnt suppoused to be in your life. When it comes to men, i hug all my brothers christ. A “Bro” hug which is manly is okay in my eyes. The way i see it, Pastors need to guard themselvs and not make it easy for them to fall. Ask me how i know. If you dont guard, you need to be ready to lose the trust of everybody you love.

      • Joe McKeever

        Ben gets it.

      • $22716193

        Great response Ben.

  • Emmanuel Kotey

    Thanks a lot. These are words of wisdom

  • yodaho

    Words of wisdom, I don’t think so! I see them as words of fear. It seems the author probably had some issues in having contact with women and sexual matters, but if we act and think normal and do not habour lust or sexual desire in our hearts then normal contact with women should not be a everyday problem as this author makes it out to be. They are part of the human race you know!
    Men do not need to see every women (even attractive ones) as sex objects and if you do, then you really have a problem and need prayer. Also sex doesn’t start at 6 and end at 66. Again, poor advise.
    What any christian (not just pastors) should do is never to get themselves into a compromising situation and give into temptation. Anyone with a bit of common sense can see what to do.

    • Ken

      Sexual purity is every mans battle… If a man says he does not struggle , he is either not telling the truth or he has given up the battle. That is truth !

      Words with wisdom- a wise person will consider what is said and pray for more wisdom. Others, pick apart the words written in love and attempt to break them down and besmirch the writer.

      The Holy Spirit works in such a way in that he is less interested in this article and more interested in you and your walk… Please spend at least as much time asking for personal revelation by the Holy Spirit as you have spent criticizing this article.

      Joy! Ken

      • yodaho

        Do you know what every man is thinking? I know you don’t! If someone is going to write such one sided “advice” then I have every right to criticize it just as you have done to me! If I have to follow your advise, then since it took me about five minutes to write my reply, I need only to spend five minutes asking for personal revelation!
        I don’t believe the Holy Spirit is less interested in what is seen as putting people into bondage as those who need this article because they are struggling with sexually related issues. I feel sympathy for them and they should be the ones that should be seeking the grace of God to overcome these issues. Maybe you are one?

        • KnowIam

          Yoda- I am a man… so, I do have a pretty good grasp on what is on the minds of other men. I am also a pastor. As such, I also have great insight on struggles common to all men and women. If all it took was to “Say it aint so!” then we don’t need Jesus… but of course, sin is such that we [men and women] are not in control of our thoughts , words and deeds.

          I sense that I have offended you- Why?

          From your ‘handle’ I do not know your gender [ I'm guessing you are a woman]… from your response: I wonder this: ” Do you think some sins are worse than others?”

          Very respectfully, Ken Not sure why my profile changed, but nothing nefarious is intended.

          • yodaho

            Well, fortunately, you do not have a monopoly on life’s experiences and beliefs. Your guess was wrong just as your opinion (in my opinion), albeit you are entitled to it as I am to mine. I am actually a male and a retired pastor.

            The Bible encourages us to renew our minds and as we allow this to happen, so the predominance of sex diminishes (in the fleshy mind) and importance of spiritual things increase.

            The problem is that we have to allow this to take place in our lives and pursue spiritual things as Paul encourages us to do. No where do I read Paul saying we must not hug, etc and he gave lots of advice to men in the ministry.

    • $22716193

      They are words of wisdom and just because you can’t see this doesn’t mean they are “words of fear”.

      Ken is right in his response and your comments are very naive and, in my view, judgmental and unrealistic, considering the true depth of our sin nature and how depraved we really are. I guess David’s experience with Bathsheba means nothing to you, huh? A “man after God’s heart” fell into sexual temptation, so if someone who walked as closely with God as David did can fall, then anyone can fall at any time.

      It would be great if we could always avoid temptation and always do the right thing when we are tempted, but God knows how easily we can fall because our hearts are continually sinful. This is why the writer(s) of Proverbs cautions us in so many verses to do all we can to avoid sexual immorality, so I see no problem with the author doing this as well.

  • kim lee

    Great article. I wish this had been true of me in my younger years. Having failed in this area miserable and now resurrected to new life in Christ, I witness to the wisdom in these suggestions. Yes, even the cologne. Younger ministers take heed. You may not have any idea just how strong lust can be and it is addictive. The deceptiveness and aggressiveness of the enemy is not to be underestimated. It is a slippery slope and there is destruction and heartache at the bottom.
    So, don’t see how close you can get to the fire and not be burned. Find a mentor or an accountability partner and commit to rigorous honesty every day of your life.
    the Truth will set you free!!

  • MSJ

    I agree on all points (that are not anything new) except one. No cologne? Really? I wear cologne for my wife, but others get the “benefit.” I also dress good and try to stay healthy for myself and my spouse. Should I stop doing that too because some women are attracted to a nice suit on a “fit: man? Obviously not. After 33 years in ministry, I have NEVER seen an adulterous situation start due to a fragrance. Off handed compliments, yes, an actual fragrance? No. It’s not a “nose” issue, it’s a heart issue. But like you said, WALK AWAY from overzealous attention from other women and IF/WHEN it happens, tell your wife. Secrecy cannot survive under exposed light.

    • DC

      I personally think the cologne is spot-on. I am a young minister who is engaged to be married. My wife-to-be has made many comments to me about cologne and it’s effects on women.

      Will cologne make women run into a man’s arms? No. But can cologne attract the attention of a woman? Absolutely. As a minister, the latter is reason enough to avoid.

      As pastors and ministers:
      It’s one thing to look attractive,
      It’s another thing to attract.

      There is a fine line that we must walk between looking attractive and actually attracting attention or affection

  • Joe McKeever

    UPDATE. This article is being recycled from a couple of years back, which I appreciate. However, you cannot believe the times I’ve been raked over the coals–by women mostly–for the first one: No Cologne. Even when I’ve pointed out that it is from my wife and something I’d never have thought of, that does not satisfy them. So, here is the article once more, and I’m assuming I’ll catch more flack for including it. Oh well. (smiley-face here)

    • Thanks

      So your wife speaks for all women? Be careful and listen to God’s word not just the popular opinions out there.

      • Joe McKeever

        I would have asked more women but she’s the only one I’m married to.

        • DC

          I personally think the cologne is spot-on. I am a young minister who is engaged to be married. My wife-to-be has made many comments to me about cologne and it’s effects on women.

          Will cologne make women run into a man’s arms? No. But can cologne attract the attention of a woman? Absolutely. As a minister, the latter is reason enough to avoid.

          As pastors and ministers:
          It’s one thing to look attractive,
          It’s another thing to attract.

          There is a fine line that we must walk between looking attractive and actually attracting attention or affection.

          • Thanks

            A well dressed man can attract the attention of women, so we should dress tacky to avoid attraction.

          • DC

            If we’re playing this game…

            Being a male can attract women.
            Having a face can attract women
            Breathing can attract women

            So what then?

            You’re missing the point. Cologne adds the extra chance of attracting a woman, more so than dressing nicely because some colognes contain pheromones that are specifically meant to trigger sexual response.

            This is an article full of suggestions to male ministers who want to avoid the traps and snares of lust. It is not a strict set of rules. No one is saying that you can’t wear cologne. The article is just a suggestion, which you apparently disagree with.

            However, just because you want to wear cologne doesn’t mean that this point is invalid. It’s very valid for some situations, even if not for your situation.

          • thanks

            still so does a sharp dressed man, I have lots more compliments on how I dress than my colgne and none , zero compliments have been sexual advances. A little shallow thinking on women ability to control themselves seems to me.

          • $22716193

            Then count yourself blessed that you haven’t yet had this experience.

            DC is right. Take the suggestion from the author or choose not to, but don’t malign him just because you disagree with his suggestions. Seems to me that you would be wise to at least take the time and listen to an experienced pastor who has been through this situation before – even if you haven’t.

    • Terrence Carr

      It seems like if you posted this article before and everyone raked you over the coals for the “no cologne” inclusion with most of them being women that you would use wisdom and say my wife gave me bad advice and not repeat that bad advice again. Thinking that wearing cologne is stepping over a sexual line is just crazy. Regardless of what the cologne commercials say, no man has been picked up by a woman because his cologne.smelled so good.

    • $22716193

      Thank you Joe for standing strong in your beliefs and for your wise counsel on this very important topic for pastors.

  • pastorintraining

    I agree for the most part, but some of these come across as that women are only out for lust and can not control themselves. Precautions need to be made sure, but a couple seem to be over the top.

  • Ryan

    These are all good principles. I’ve applied these both at work, home and publicly. Better to be safe than sorry in many areas.

  • Guest

    Here’s a new one for your article. Social Media, women are attracted to words. They know fliriting when they see it and will flirt back, compliment, tease a man who is interesting and pays them some attention. They then become all too familiar with their pastor and it can lead to a relationship.
    It’s just not the “physical” now days.

  • Barkley

    I agree with the above article. I have been mentored by a very Godly man who said these same things to me (minus the cologne one).

  • http://www.truegraceinstitute.webs.com Jeff Hagan

    The first half reads to me more like “a list of what my wife said” than thought out advice, however, many of the items are true. It’s hard to over emphasize the importance of the point being made the article. With that said, “cologne?” That just seems silly. And hugging a woman is virtually impossible to avoid when one is a pastor, but how that hug is done and being sure there are witnesses when it is done is of great importance. I can attest to the complimenting of a woman causing trouble. It may seem innocent enough, but said to the wrong woman it can cause you a world of hurt! I feel no need to go into details other than to say I was completely innocent (as my wife can attest to) but the compliment was taken by this young lady and used as fuel at an attempt to destroy me. THE SECOND HALF of this artice, the actual steps to take, is right on the money. All in all, even with cologne and hugging, why not go ahead and be overly cautious? It may indeed save your ministry.

  • Mark

    The same rules apply to a female minister even though the article is specifically written to male clergy.

    • Terra

      Thank you. I was just going to comment about the same thing as I am of the ‘other’ gender.

  • Disappointed Pastor

    What a simplistic & shallow way of looking at being a man of integrity in ministry. Why not encourage pastors to develop themselves, address their issues rather than telling them “don’t wear aftershave”. Look at the reasons Pastors cross the line, prevention of the character issues rather than removing flammable material from a already burning building.

    • Joe McKeever

      Please look around, disappointed pastor, and notice how many brethren of yours are falling by the wayside. Anything at all you can do to prevent more casualties will be good. The fact that you cannot do everything should not be a hindrance.

      • dimejar

        So we should quit wearing suits because some women are attracted to good looking men in suites. What abou certain colored shirts. Etc. Where does it stop? Certainly you have some very good advice but

        • Niyi Akintade

          I think this is not about philosophizing this whole issue otherwise we would have loads of issue to trash out. These tips are even beneficial to those not pastoring.

  • musician

    From a woman’s perspective: I’ve been in church nearly every Sunday since birth! (60 years & counting). This is wise advice to pastors (wear your cologne when you go out with your wife). The enemy will use ANYTHING that could entice men or women. He is always at work seeking whom he may devour. And, yes, scent can stir emotions. If a woman is not feeling loved and valued at home she is vulnerable to feeling an attraction to her pastor who shows her, rightly, that she has worth. ALL of us must be on guard, run from the appearance of evil, and keep ourselves from being in certain situations where we could be lead into temptation by the evil one. I believe this is good advice to any pastor.

    • Joe McKeever

      Thank you. I hope many of our pastors read your comment.

      • Eagled Eye Warrior

        as much as i understand the spirit of this article and it’s intention i want to admonish that if we walk closely to Father He will helps,if we focus on Him and who we are as the righteousness of God in Him(Jesus) and not be focusing on sin and avoiding sin so strongly the Bible says as man thinks in his heart so is he.then if we as ministers we walk around thinking continually how to avoid sexual sin then maybe this is why so many ministers are falling how about thinking and declaring i am DEAD to sin and that i am the righteousness of God in Him(Christ Jesus) understanding that a divine transfer took place and Jesus righteousness has been imputed to me let us extend our faith as ministers of the Gospel and believe who the Word of God says we are.

  • DJ

    I personally think the cologne is spot-on. I am a young minister who is engaged to be married. My wife-to-be has made many comments to me about cologne and it’s effects on women.

    Will cologne make women run into a man’s arms? No. But can cologne attract the attention of a woman? Absolutely. As a minister, the latter is reason enough to avoid.

    As pastors and ministers:
    It’s one thing to look attractive,
    It’s another thing to attract.

    There is a fine line that we must walk between looking attractive and actually attracting attention or affection..

    • Tyler Mase

      This is unbelievably illogical. And everyone who thought DJ’s comment was good is, apparently, unable to see the fallacy in his statement. The whole premise is flawed. To say that dressing well is “looking” attractive, but cologne is just attracting… WHAT? Do you understand the fallacy of this logic? Attraction is attraction. Maybe women shouldn’t wear makeup or earrings because they look attractive on her. Maybe the preacher should dress like a homeless man, and make sure to have yellow teeth because the opposite is “looking” attractive. LOOKING attractive is “ATTRACTING” people to you. Either you are trying be attractive an create a positive impression or you are trying to look unattractive in order to ward of those sex-crazed women folk. C’mon… give me a break here. Don’t you see the word attract in both the clothes statement and cologne statement? Honestly, this is truly one of the most irrational things anyone has said so far. How far do you go in dressing attractively?….. Aren’t you terrified that you might inadvertently attract the unwanted attention of a female? Everytime I wear this very soft looking corduroy jacket, One of the single girls on the worship team comes up to me before church and rubs her had on the arm of my jacket and says, “I really like this jacket.” She always does it in a room full of people and she doesn’t mean anything by it. I”m old enough to be her father. But don’t get distracted and miss the point. My jacket is MORE attractive to her than my Armani cologne. (It was a gift from my wife) So apparently you really have to be careful not to dress in nice clothes lest silly women laden with lusts, rip them from my body. I find the whole line of thought you proposed hilarious and naive. There is no fine line between looking attractive and attracting attention or affection. That is a rationally inconsistent statement. It’s OK to look attractive so long as it doesn’t attract people???????

  • Reginald

    I mostly agree……..Most of these are good advice. However number two sounds more from a place of legalism than wisdom. It leaves no room or the possibility for maturity or ability to distinguish the difference between holy or unholy expression of love.

    Ecclesiastes 3:5 ~ A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
    A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

    I speak from first hand experience. If we rely on the Holy Spirit as our Helper, He will lead in the time and manner of the holy embrace and warn and protect from the unholy embrace.

    Romans 16:15-16 ~ Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.

    In this passage, Paul gave exhortation to the brethren to greet one another (male and female) with a “holy” kiss. Adding this distinction with the exhortation indicates a calling and responsibility to know the genuine difference between holy and unholy expressions of love……….And when you do learn the difference……..”let love be without hypocrisy…..”

  • Jeff W

    The only one I don’t follow is 2. But how you hug people and when you hug people is very important. Human touch is important.

  • Saved2trek

    All these are valid suggestions. But, the title should read “Male Preachers”. Since this article is specifically geared towards males and not we female preachers. We have some similar and yet some very different cautions. I never meet with men or women, young or old, alone. I have had to turn down lunch mtgs. with men who don’t want to see how inappropriate it would be. I’ve had males and females express their love for me. I’ve had stalkers. Men who have menaced me verbally and with body language, when I’ve told them that… “I don’t feel the same towards them,;and no, given time, this won’t change.””I don’t care that you feel God telling you that I’m the one for you. He hasn’t told me that.” Another caution, I don’t add a husband (any husband) as a FB friend unless his wife already is my FB friend.
    The only thing I disagree on is the missing adjective in the title. Maybe, you can now give us a list of cautions for female ministers. ;-)

    • Tim Bushong

      Maybe because most folks who take the intent of the author of Scripture seriously are already inoculated against the idea of a woman pastor. Kind of like Paul or Peter or luke or John or…

  • LBTS’13

    I always felt like any older than elementary school and the perspective of several folks gets mistaken. Jr. High and high school is ok only if initiated by the young lady, and the parents are present. You certainly don’t want to reject honest affection and make the young person uncomfortable, but boundaries should be clear.

    I know of a young minister who just about adopted the rambunctious daughter of a couple who went to our church. The pastor had her over to the parsonage all of the time, babysitting for the pastor’s children. Times when the pastor’s wife had to be away inevitably happened. Accusations came. A church split, and the remaining half of the church left the denomination. This is so sad, dangerous, and preventable.

  • AJ

    Every suggestion here has merit. Especially the cologne one. Often colognes will contain pheromones that are specifically meant to trigger a sexual response/arousal. I wear cologne; on dates with my wife. I also give women hugs; women who are old enough to be my grandmother. I have been a youth pastor and the need for young people to know what appropriate affection is greater than ever before. When I give a female student a hug, it is a side hug and very much in an open area with lots of people. Pro_15:5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. There is a lot of wisdom in this warning. But do it right.

    • Tyler Mase

      This whole thing is nuts. I’ve been wearing cologne everyday for 35 years of ministry. Not cheap cologne either. I don’t take a bath in it. Just a little cologne goes a long way. The fact is it does create a positive impression in males and females. I’ve never had anyone other than another man tell me they liked my cologne and ask me what kind it was. If you have problems with integrity and lusting after women, then cologne is the least of your problems. I had great training for ministry. My psych classes were led by a professional and he taught us well. Rule number one. They are distressed and as a counselor you are always in a position of moral obligation to never let a conversation take the wrong trajectory. Legally you are always responsible. I don’t care if they come right out and say they are madly in love with you. Your first thought should be….. “they came in here because they are not mentally and spiritually healthy.” Don’t give credence to their ridiculous fantasy. If psychologists can understand they are first and foremost the responsible one in the room, so can ministers. I’ve had women tell me they want to leave their husband and be with me. My response has been, “you are living in a fantasy and it’s just lust.” Don’t act on lust and it will eventually go away. And, it does. I’ve had the same women a year later say, ” I can’t believe I actually had an attraction to you!” It doesn’t hurt my ego, in fact it’s just as funny to me as it is to them. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. It’s not a complicated formula. If you don’t understand how to resist temptation, and if you are so spiritually immature that it’s risky for you to be alone with a woman in the office for counseling, you probably should NOT be in the ministry. If you can’t abide by the same rules of professional conduct as a psychologist, how could you ever be a spiritual leader?

      • AJ

        Tyler Mase, I really don’t know how to respond in a way that would not sound juvenile. I hope your sermons have more love and compassion in them than this post did.

        • Tyler Mase

          AJ, I hope you get this, but thinking the cologne remark had some merit, was juvenile. First and foremost almost NO colognes have pheromones. Secondly, the ones that do have them have no documented evidence of facilitating sexual attraction or chemistry. Do your research. Of course it’s not good to hug a woman unless as I did this morning, hugging an 83 year old woman at the end of the service when she came up and hugged me first as an expression of her gratitude for the sermon. Seriously, this is not about compassion or the lack of it. When I told several women that an article for pastors said that they shouldn’t wear cologne around women, every single one of the cracked up laughing including my wife. This is just ridiculous on it’s face. The thing that I find most distressing is that you think it is somehow unloving to say that if you cannot abide by the rules of professional conduct for a psychologist you shouldn’t be in the ministry. How could a saved, spiritually mature ( in theory) well educated student of the Word of God, who has the advantage of the Holy Spirit, somehow think it’s OK to refer out a woman in need of counselling to a psychologist who in most cases is not a Christian, or is a nominal Christian? Do we expect that the unbelievers should have more discipline and self-control than a Pastor.? We are called to add to our faith “SELF-CONTROL”. Peter goes on to say that if these things are in you and abound you will never stumble. I do not expect to and would not expect anyone to sit under the teachings of a Pastor who at the very least, has not ADDED to his faith SELF-CONTROL. This is not an unloving thing to say. In fact, it out to be said more often. We should not have preachers in our pulpits that do not have at there very minimum, the self control we are asking of a unsaved psychologist.

  • DC

    For those making the argument that “if we shouldn’t wear cologne, then we shouldn’t dress nice or comb our hair..”:

    Consider this:

    Being a male can attract women.
    Having a face can attract women
    Breathing can attract women

    So what then?

    You’re missing the point. Cologne adds the extra chance of attracting a woman, much more so than dressing nicely because some colognes contain pheromones that are specifically meant to trigger sexual response.

    This is an article full of suggestions to male ministers who want to avoid the traps and snares of lust. It is not a strict set of rules. No one is saying that you can’t wear cologne. The article is just making a suggestion, which you apparently disagree with.

    However, just because you want to wear cologne (which is fine) doesn’t mean that this point is invalid. It’s very valid for some situations, even if not for your situation. Don’t discount it for all situations because it doesn’t apply to your situation.

    • thanks

      I guess I get what you are saying but if you are out wanting to pick up women them ministry is probably not the best and was not your calling. Why you would go out in public rather it be a date with your girl friend or at church and choose those colgnes specifically meant to trigger sexual response unless that is want you want to do to, have other women look at you. Common sense to me would suggest wearing a small dash of colgne not taking a bath in it.

    • piro

      No wander why people have abandoned the churches today. If you preach that cologne ads to the temtation and so on, you are not dealing with what people need, but with what they can hardly imagin. So out of touch with the reality, like Romney sayd about Obama today.

      • Camino1

        Laughed out loud at Romney saying someone else is out of touch with reality.

        Thanks!

  • americanwoman343

    The notion that you should never be alone in your office with a woman is, Im sorry, ridiculous. Are you planning on pastoring half the church only? Are you planning on being pastor to ANYONE who works in a workplace these days (a place where the idea that you’d refuse to meet with a colleague on such grounds would be reason for dismissal)? If you will not be alone with a woman in a room, then you must also not be alone with any men (what? You think you couldn’t be falsely accused of molestation by a man?). Otherwise you’re telling me you really only want to deal with men anyway, and probably that you think women are all seductresses. Your pride in these rules is troubling. I notice Jesus freely met with women, and never made such rules…how about we rely on his example?

    • Mike Fuller

      Americanwoman343, I assume that you are not in some kind of ministerial role yourself. I’m a pastor’s kid and I have seen how men and woman can scandalize for some greater purpose that they only know. These tips will help young preachers who are starting in the ministry to avoid much headache and lawsuits that some women and men, who are not concerned with their integrity, try to get money or power or blackmail from the preacher. I have seen this happen a lot until my parents implemented some of this tips years ago. Again, the bible says don’t let you good be evil spoken of. People who are in ministry that love the Lord take this serious because they understand that one scandal or one false accusation can ruin there ministry.

      • americanwoman343

        actually, I am in a pastoral role. I am careful about who I meet with and when and how, but not based on arbitrary rules that automatically rule out half (or more than half) the church. I certainly DO understand that one scandal can ruin my ministry, and also that I am vulnerable in certain situations. I think it’s best that I meet with most people in the library at church, where there are lots of windows, and I don’t meet with anyone alone in the building if they are not staff. At the same time, I’m well aware that anyone can say anything even if I never met with them – and the only time I’ve been propositioned, it was by a woman! Yes, we need to be innocent AND shrewd, as Jesus said – but arbitrary lines barring women from the pastor have been quite harmful to women. Not only that, but in this day, when people work with men and women all day long, it just looks spiteful and hateful TO women. I think such rules are undermining ministry and we shouldn’t congratulate men for adhering to them. Actually being holy is much harder than such rules. And as I said, Jesus flagrantly violated them. It was the Pharisees who thought rules like that were such a good idea.

        • pastorintraining

          Read the article again, he had suggestions about meeting with women,( his used examples very close to what you just used) other than the bold headline he actually explained ways to meet with women safely maybe read the entire article instead of scaning headlines.

        • Mike Fuller

          Wonderful. I just digress my comments seeing that you are in a pastoral role. All I can say is that Jesus was blameless and sinless and the political leaders of the day still found a way to maneuver and manipulate the people to believe a lie rather than the truth. Let’s not give the devil anything else to work with. Whether in Sr. leadership or associate leadership, being in leadership has its challenges….comes with the office…. I just want to encourage you to continue to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Be careful in everything that you seek to do. Love the People. Never trust yourself. and always always live holy

  • Foster

    I find it very difficult to agree to this. Its very challenging but that does not mean we solve the problem with this approach of not meeting women in an office. In my view, we have to pray and ask for the presence of the holy spirit in all our pastorial works. We need spiritual directions in all such engagements.

  • Camino1

    When I started ministry over 30 years ago I read about Billy Graham’s guidelines and attended Bill Gothard’s pastor conferences. I can honestly say that I think those principles have helped, not just me, but our congregation remain more drama-free than most I’ve been around.

    Still, I think that far more important than all of these is a life of contemplative prayer. Without engaging his presence we lose touch with why we keep rules.

    I never really thought about cologne, mostly because it seemed like a waste of money.

    Finally, I’ve been hugging women, attractive and not-so-attractive every week for 3 decades and will continue to do so. We are family and I think I could send worse signals by changing my practice. Perhaps what matters is your community/church culture. We have to know that they are “holy hugs.”

    Now, more than ever, hugs are a part of daily life and I’m going to venture to say that anyone who cannot hug pretty much anyone is out of touch with younger people.

    • Tyler Mase

      Please…. didn’t you read about Gothard’s scandalous problems with women. Rules don’t help if your heart isn’t right.

  • Diva

    I find most of these suggestions ridiculous. It puts the minister in the position of making choices based in fear, which is exactly what Satan wants. This reeks of legalism and pietousness.

    • rwm

      1 Peter 1:17 piety and reverent fear are signal virtues.

      • Diva

        Fear of the Lord, yes, but not fear of yourself or others. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Tim 1:7. And true piety is a virtue indeed, but I consider “pietousness” as the appearance of piety without true piety, which is falsehood. One has to give up doing things “for appearances’ sake” when one is ministering. Appearances are only outward images. Man judges outward images; God judges the heart. Do these things for God, not for man.

        • Dusty Speiser

          No, this article reeks of wisdom and the love of God and the brethren. Wisdom is part of the sound mind Paul was telling Timothy about. There are boundaries in love, and in the Christian life, and those boundaries are not “legalism”. The command, “Flee fornication”, or, “Run from sexual sin!”, (1 Corinthians 6:18), is not legalism, it’s godly instruction and wisdom, and to reject or dismiss it is absolutely foolish. Having said that, legalism and licentiousness ARE often linked one to another, and often lead one to the other. But that does not invalidate good, godly boundaries.

        • Dave Jeal

          I think its common sense really Satan will try to ensnare ….why walk in to a trap when you can avoid it ?

          • Diva

            By your logic, any connection between men and women in the church constitutes a trap. I disagree VEHEMENTLY. Almost all of this article puts the blame on women and says that we can’t be trusted to treat our pastors appropriately.

            Additionally, this article focuses on the outward appearance of the situation rather than on instructing the pastor to keep his heart in line. Sin begins – ALWAYS – within our hearts, not on the outside of our bodies. When someone sins in the flesh, it’s because he did not protect his heart.

            I would much rather see an article addressing proactive choices and actions that pastors can do to protect their hearts – things such as thanking God in their prayers every morning for a different aspect of their wives, always being honest and open with their wives and families, lavishing loving affection on their wives, celebrating with gratitude all the things their wives do, etc.

          • Dave Jeal

            i didn’t say that Diva the enemy will use whatever he feel like to attack us usually where we have a weakness I think the article is a rule of thumb rather than an exhaustive how to stay out of trouble .Being sensible around sex seems sensible as we are all created as sexual beings and are all fallen ?

        • Ken

          Many of the things are self edifying and of no value to God. Perfectly fine for a pastor to do… The question is “should he?” Paul writes all things are legal for me to do… But not all things are edifying to God (my paraphrase). Paul also says he won’t eat meat or other if it may cause a brother (or sister) to stumble. Paul is not being legalistic here… He is being loving. How do you reconcile this? Oh and I am a pastor and a hugger- and I won’t be changing that… But, I know who hugs and who does not- fist bumps are always welcome.

          • Diva

            How foolish would it be for a pastor to turn away a hurting woman in order to preserve the appearance of propriety? That, in my book, is far worse than his hugging her or meeting with her in private. That kind of rejection is so harmful. What Paul was speaking of was actions which affected only him, not those in which his “pious” choice could potentially negatively impact another person. (E.g., he was speaking of avoiding meat for himself, not himself and another person.)

            We can’t just assess our actions in a vacuum. We also have to be aware of the intention behind our choices. If all we are concerned with is appearance of propriety, then that is vanity and should be put behind us.

        • Rev. Jacki Belile

          Deeply appreciate Diva’s comments.

    • Crosby

      Totally in agreement with you. though the The Man of God need to protect himself, he need not operate under fear.

      • Morgan

        Why are you in agreement. Rely in Jesus, not unempowered psychology. Ridiculous.

      • Morgan

        Agreed!!

    • Morgan

      Agreed, thank you.

  • yotm

    To be charged is to be convicted.

    Sounds like guilty without trial.

    • Morgan

      The author is guilty, at least of desires in his mind, this he is convicted.

    • Morgan

      The author is guilty and has issues if his own. He needs godly assistance.

  • Diran

    Quote instructive and very helpful

    • Morgan

      Not helpful, shallow and unchristian. No reliance on Jesus or Holy Spirit. Shameful. A disgrace.

    • Morgan

      Yes, if you’re in a seminary class. NO, if you are a Christian. Wake up.

      • Diran

        I wish to respect your opinion Morgan, BUT I am not changing mine. The write up is quite instructive and very helpfull. You take a break and let everyone draw their conclusions. God bless you.

        • $22716193

          Ditto.

        • Algoria

          Well said!

  • George Buddy Black

    This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read or at least ranks in the top 5….talk about bondage to the legalism and institutionalized religion. No thanks i will walk with Yahweh and abide by his teachings.

    • $22716193

      Highly disagree with you. So you think the author doesn’t “…walk with Yahweh and abide by his teachings…”, and yet he quotes applicable scripture from Proverbs? Please. There is lots of great advice in this article and nothing said here is “legalism” as I see it. Just lots of solid counsel from a guy who has spent years in the trenches of ministry.

      • Morgan

        Agreed, the author, and his supporters are shallow legalists, at best.

        • $22716193

          Not sure where you are coming from in this thread Morgan. You agreed with George Buddy Black in his original comment that the author was a legalist, then appear to agree with Ken who took an opposing view, then agreed with me only to call me a legalist.

          Whatever you really think about this topic, you misinterpret what legalism means. The author is not telling anyone how to run their ministries or judging them if they disagree with him – which is what legalists do.

    • Ken

      Yeah and all that crap that Paul wrote was useless gibberish regarding abstaining from things may cause a brother to stumble … Via condios on your lone wolf walk brother – the world is better place because of lone wolves sucking it up – and flying straight. (So humble , and proud of it) you need to lighten up- and come along side someone struggling to appreciate what it is to walk with Yahweh. (But I could be wrong )

      • Morgan

        Agreed!!!

    • Morgan

      Agreed!!!!!

  • Becky

    Aren’t these obvious? As a woman I think they are and btw pastors when u do any of these – it makes women really uncomfortable.

    • Morgan

      Really. You are that weak and shallow. Sounds like you have the problem, not make pastors. Ridiculous! Get real!!

      • Morgan

        Wow. Totally agreed. Author has the issue.

      • phil

        Its encouraging. Pls keep it up.

    • Morgan

      Are you that weak and shallow if a Christian woman. ?? Seriously? Get baptized in Holy Spirit.

  • Algoria

    This article seems to be helpful and common-sensical. I’ve occasionally disagreed with Joe and at least once said so in the comments, but this is generally good advice in my opinion. Anything that readers feel isn’t good advice can be disregarded. As the saying goes, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.” But are there really many “bones” here?

    To those with their heads in the proverbial sand, thinking that there is no risk when all around us many Christians and even pastors are falling into sin, you are sadly mistaken. This is serious. To those who downplay this because you have no problem in this area, good for you for being immune to sexual temptation, but if you have eyes and an intact mind you must have noticed that there is risk here for many others.

    Also, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Take some care how you understand this. It’s great if you never have a problem in relating with the opposite sex, but you may not always be as immune as you think you are.

    • Morgan

      Sensual, yes, logical and godly no. Understand the difference. God bless.

  • Kwo Pee Yot

    Did you mean NO hugging women at all?, If your answer is yes then you need to speak to John Burns because he has other better options than this. However the article in general is encouraging, thanks.

    • Morgan

      The article is ok. But very southern baptist, and not Jesus like

      • Morgan

        Shallow and weak, to say the very, very least.

      • Morgan

        Sorry, correction. Ungodly article. The author had the issue. Seriously. He needs assistance.

  • Joe McKeever

    This is fun reading, guys (and gals). — About my wife’s suggestion that pastors should not wear cologne–something I’d never have thought of, since I don’t wear fragrances–I told her people are calling it ridiculous and some are highly offended. She said, “Well, who do men wear cologne for? Not for other men. They do it for women. I rest my case.” — Thanks for everyone who commented, and particularly those of you who suggested that I wasn’t being legalistic, just trying to give some helpful guidelines. And to those of you who found the whole thing all about fear and legalisms, I guarantee you that 90 percent of the preachers who have failed morally would have agreed with you BEFORE they made their mistake. Best to be safe. That’s all I was trying to say. Again, thanks.

    • MarciH

      Just one thing. I assume your wife never wears perfume, since, using her own logic, the purpose of perfume is to attract men (that’s how every perfume is marketed). So unless, she never wears perfume, she has no basis for telling any man he can’t wear cologne. While most of your suggestions may have some merit, this one seems extremely silly. Maybe a pastor wears cologne to smell nice for his wife. Especially with the common usage of cologne and perfume, this injunction just seems ridiculous and a turn off.

      • Morgan

        The author had deep residing issues of his own. He needs to repent and get out of legalism. Eat meat, don’t satisfied with milk. Grow up.

    • Morgan

      A little paranoid aren’t we?? What have you done? Obviously you have an issue.

      • rhoffs

        Show the writer some respect. Judging by your comments on here, it seems like you have an issue. As the writer said, he is just trying to give some helpful guidelines.

      • $22716193

        No, rhoffs is right. You are obviously the one with some issues – particularly with tolerance for dissenting points of view from your own. You rant about the author’s supposed legalism, and yet you judge him while implying that he has done something wrong. In another comment you made on another thread, you took a pot shot at his denomination (Southern Baptist). Log…eye…? Hmmm.

        There is nothing paranoid about the author’s comment above or legalistic about his suggestions in this article. You’ve missed the main point of the article altogether. It is not about making rules. It is about doing we all we can ahead of time to prepare ourselves (both spiritually and with the actions we take) so that we can better serve our congregations when dealing with the opposite sex. Is this really so hard for you to understand?

        I submit that many have been helped by the author’s advice, so I applaud him for his effort to try and help pastors address this sensitive and important topic with clarity and tact and also for having the courage to speak the truth in love – even to those like you who blasted him for it.

        • Morgan

          Maybe thou dost protest too much.

          • $22716193

            Thou art a troll.

    • yodaho

      Wrong, we do it for ourselves! To come to such a conclusion that men just wear cologne to attract women shows you watch (and believe) too many TV adverts. I wear and I believe other men do so in order to smell pleasant, good. Nothing worse than body odor especially if one is an active person interacting with people on a regular basis as most, if not all pastors do.

  • A. Powell

    Very true message. God bless

    • Morgan

      Not true. Legalistic. Shallow. Psychological. Not Christian. Weak author.

  • Whale

    Very insightful piece. Satan is never tired of using the same age-old devices because they are still working. Pastors know all the scriptures to bind demons and evil angels but seductive women cannot be bound- you run away from them! No wonder God says…”flee fornication”. There is no strong man anywhere where women are concerned: there is only a man who knows how to run away! So, all the nuggets given in the piece are practical and precautionary. I will stick to them considerably.

    • Morgan

      Stick to it, and be shallow! The author had the problem, not you. Grow up. Eat meat, don’t just drink milk.

  • Claris

    “b) In most cases, your “touching” indicates some physical or emotional need in yourself, and is not what healthy ministers do.”
    Thank you Sir.

    • Morgan

      Grow up. You obviously long for more. This is NOT Jesus like. Great psychology. Horrible Christianity. Don’t listen to this paranoid author.

  • Judy Muir

    I’m 65 and a Biblical Counselor and have walked with the Lord for over 40 years. I say…….right on! Don’t be stupid pastors and think you are exempt from being tempted and seduced………you aren’t! Neither are you God’s gift to women or responsible to rescue them all. Hand them over to another woman to work with and if that is a problem to them…………then you REALLY don’t want to be counseling them! I KNOW……….I am a woman. Let the older women teach the younger women.

    • Tyler Mase

      Bologna,
      You obviously are not a well trained or licensed counsellor or psychologist. Another name for a “Biblical Counsellor” is a FRIEND who gives advice.
      I don’t care if you are 65 or 35. You are probably not equipped for, ADD, OCD, PTSD. Bi-Polar, or Schizophrenia. I am a male counsellor and carry license and insurance. I also happen to be a Pastor. Your dogmatism on not counselling someone of the opposite sex is remedial, and insulting. I have managed just fine for over 35 years. BTW, if you are going to quote a verse, don’t just quote the part you want to bolster your point of view, quote the whole verse because it is relevant, particularly in this case. “Let the older women teach the younger (not how to handle their OCD) to be chaste, discreet, love their husbands, love their kids…. This is not a mandate for women to counsel every problem they have. That makes about as much sense as saying a woman should only see a woman podiatrist, because it involves being touched. If you have an illness, If you are struggling with Anxiety or Clinical Depression, don’t see someone of the same sex. See the very best Dr. you can regardless of their gender. Sometimes that can even be a pastor. I know plenty of pastors who are also licensed psychologists.

      • MyoungSr

        I am surprised at the angst of your post Tyler. When a person initially goes into counseling seeing either / or (male or female) might work just fine. But the longer you are IN counseling the more vulnerable you tend to become. The more vulnerable, the more attachment, etc..(let’s save words here. You get the drift.)

        Secondly, I am happy that you have managed just fine as a “well trained or licensed counselor or psychologist of 35 years”, but the records show that not all counselors do as well. Which is THE reason for this conversation and article.

        Additionally, most MEN just will not seek counseling before an ‘event’ occurs and few will stay with counseling even once they are ‘forced into it’ from an embarrassing or tragic event.

        I am, again, surprised that you, as a well trained and licensed counselor or psychologist of 35 years to accuse the author of dogmatism and to insinuate his view is remedial and insulting and I feel It is unprofessional and condescending for you to say as much.

        On the other hand, the opinion of many professionals in the medical field is that many of the licensed counselors, clinicians, psychologists and psychiatrists are nothing more than just that: licensed. And many times their effectiveness rises to the level an advice columnist at best and a witch doctor at worst.

        I am sure you don’t fall into those categories, but, please, show some grace.

        • Tyler Mase

          Pastors cannot spend all their time counselling. If it’s not a quick fix I have to refer it out. But I refer it to someone who is licensed and well trained. I refer it to someone who gets positive results most of the time. That’s why this whole article is silly. No pastor should have the time to meet with someone more than a few times. If you do, then your church is probably not growing because you are spending too much time giving an individual too much attention. Please understand, if you can’t handle talking to a woman or you are afraid to wear cologne. Get out of the ministry now before you do serious damage to you and others.
          That’s why these comments and this whole issue is rediculous and remedial. Have integrity of heart or do something else. My point over and over again is that a pastor should not be weaker than a psychologist. A pastor should understand the rules of professional conduct and not have a problem in adhering to them. If you are not more together mentally and spiritually than those seeking help get some help yourself or get out. If the blind lead the blind they both fall in a ditch….

          • MyoungSr

            Well, put. Thanks for clarifying and giving a context to your earlier remarks. I understand what you mean. Too many pastors ‘play the role’ without the gift, ability or proper availability.

            Coincidentally, some of the training I received (many years ago) was through a Baptist pastoral counseling program. I believe it was designed to prepare a pastor, etc., to ‘minister’ to emotional and spiritual needs. The thing that concerned me besides the brevity of the course, was the implication that I could now ‘help’ someone through counseling. Since those days, regulations and laws that deal with counseling have defined what you are qualified to do and what you cannot do, including what you can call yourself and your ministry. During the course, we were instructed to refer a person to a Licensed Clinician, Therapist or Psychologist if the person seeking help demonstrated signs of serious distress, depression, anxiety or anything other than needing a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on.

            I guess I am trying to agree with you by saying that even good training and great tools can be misused or misapplied.

            Thanks for your remarks.

  • piro

    Not wearing cologne is a very strange thing for normal people who do not want to smell bad in ifront of others. Having my pastor smelling sweat…wouldn’t be nice. Huging also is a comon custom in places like Spain, Brasil, Italy etc. Not huging might be disrespectful. They even kiss in the cheek. Nothing rong with that. Why do you have to go too such extremes when everything the Bible says is: be faithful to your wife!!!!!!!!

    • Morgan

      Agreed. Be a man, not a satan follower. We have Holy Spirit power. Author is hiding something. !!!!!!!

      • Matt

        This man is not “hiding” something. He’s just trying to give some advice. You can agree or disagree, but let’s not make it more than it really is.

    • lrnr

      agreed.. a Spirit-filled leader knows how to act and respond with discernment. Following this set of rules will turn everybody away from their leader… another thing… be culturally sensitive…

    • yodaho

      Exactly!

  • Justin

    This article in all its well intentions, is not showing people how to allow Christ to be the Lord over their lives. When Pastors or people are completely surrendered to Christ and your Pastor better be, before trying to lead others. These things are not an issue, why because you are aware especially being a leader everything you do is in the light of the Judgement seat of Christ. We have to stop trying to take control of the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to lead our lives. If you are truly called into the ministry than you know your life is not your own anymore. When we are completely focused on the will of God in our lives keeping are eyes on Jesus, and not ourselves these things are not issues. The only way these things are issues is when our minds are not on Christ. Now if you have carnal Pastors than yeah they need these rules, but spirit lead and filled Pastors know who is the Lord of their life and lets God lead them. These issues shows our little faith or no faith at all in the power of God.

    • Morgan

      Thank you. Agreed!!!

    • Tolu Adelusi Kiroro

      I totally disagree with you. When the bible say we should guard our hearts with all diligence, this is just one of the ways we do it. For as long as we are still flesh and blood, temptations would come. But by observing this guidelines we reduce oppurtunities to fall into sexual sin.

      • Justin

        I respect your opinion, but the Bible doesn’t tell us to sin less, it says sin no more. Now I wasn’t implying that we can do that on our own. What I was implying was instead of making man made rules adding on to the law like the pharisees did, which Jesus himself spoke out against and said woe to them, we have to surrender to God, I struggled with this very thing for years, and I am living proof how God took those things away and I am free. Now as far as temptation, it is always going to be there, but when we surrender to Christ the Holy Spirit helps us fight against it. The sin isn’t the temptation the sin is giving into temptation. Can we defeat sin? No of course not that’s what Christ did on the Cross, but can we bring our flesh in submission to Christ and fight temptation? Yes that’s because that’s what the Spirit does inside of us. You guard your heart by being submissive to Christ. Man made rules or guidelines will never conquer our evil desires. Check out these scriptures for yourself and I pray and hope this brings more clarity. The Word of God must be the supreme authority above any man made guidelines to fight the wickedness of this world. God bless and may God’s spirit continue to indwell in you.(Colossians 2:23) (1 Corinthians 10:13) (Galatians 5:24-25) (James 4:7-8)

  • brianskirk

    Of course, your essay assumes all pastors are men.. Which they are not.

    • Morgan

      True. But women are not to be pastors. Read the Greek. Thanks.

      • don

        Wo, seriously Morgan? Ok, no Internet fights, let’s all just agree to disagree on this one instead of typing things we’ll all regret and repent for later. Especially all you awesome female servants of Christ! :-)

      • Jina Appa

        I’m with you, Morgan. Read Paul’s letter to Timothy. This is not the time nor place for this debate (which there shouldn’t be) but I do agree with you.

  • Judah16

    I think a better 7 may be the following (for married pastors women or men):

    1. Don’t flirt with women/men
    2. Avoid pornography
    3. Avoid one one one situations with women/men (also taught to educators).
    4. Avoid spending more time with any woman/man other than your spouse.
    5. Avoid intimate conversations with someone other than your spouse.
    6. Avoid internet conversations and texting with woman (unless you are single and dating)
    7. If married, attend counseling at least once a year with your spouse.

    • Morgan

      Agreed with all but number seven. Thank you.

      • Judah16

        Totally understand. I was just trying to make seven. I would willingly eliminate that as well as it is the only place I don’t follow my own advice.

        • Jina Appa

          I’m not sure why #7 is a bad thing? I think it’s a great idea for you and your wife to sit down with a professional (I mean a counselor/therapist/another pastor, etc) and do an “annual”. Maybe I’ve missed something.

          • Judah16

            Thanks Jina for the response. I think it is a good thing to do, I just don’t think it fit the list. Avoid avoiding counseling might have fit better. I am a missionary overseas and have realized it is what people avoid but often need most.

      • Judah16

        Thinking about this and wondering why would disagree with 7?

    • yodaho

      Very well put in context to living this life.

    • Jina Appa

      Now this is a list that’s dead-on! Thank you Judah!

  • Tumie

    Grace n Peace be with you all. after reading the article and the many comments below I came to a junction as a Woman of God. The article on its own I believe is meant for those who needs a word of guidance and self discipline to those who believes prevention is better that cure. But as a WOMAN my question to fellow brothers is what is a WOMAN perceived to be in the now Church of Christ. Are we viewed as wolfs or what? Are we viewed as the most sinful or what? What is that we as WOMAN had done wrong or are doing wrong to be viewed as predators in the House of Go?. Are we any less called as men or what? Does not the Bible say we are called – Ephesians 4:11, John 2:16. let us learn that the WOMAN inside the church are a prophetic picture of the church. Paul said” Let the man preach” not the male or female but both. A male is house in which the Spirit lives in and Woman is the residence in which the Spirit of the Lord reside. We are equally called to ministry and its up to every servant of God to constantly guard their Hearts against sin and All has been given Authority over sin and to pray for Holiness and Righteousness. So it is up to every male Servant to pray aginst the lust of the things of the world John 2:1 and stop portraying WOMAN as predators and in the same sense We as WOMAN let us rise up against falling into being used as male predators in the House of God by falling into such silly tricks and raise our daughters with the right morals. the time is now when this disrespect over WOMAN stops in the House of God it disgraces the Body of Christ. Where is Love in the body of Christ if we who are called by Name of My Father Jesus Christ we view each as unholy creatures and others as Holier than thou.

  • WeepingProphet

    As a 68 yr old happily married male pastor married to my first and only wife living in a perverted twisted world I apgree with the concepts and principles presented herein. Thanks Joe. “Avoid all appearances of evil,” We are not our own and we do what is good for the body Christ and what is Glorifying to Him. “Flee youthful lusts” I still have them folks, so I flee for my good of, my family’s, my church and for the kingdom of God.

  • http://www.everyonelovessex.org/ BryanASands

    Well said!

  • Rafa517

    Thanks for the great advice. And Morgan, maybe we need an article titled: 7 steps to edifying your brothers and sisters in Christ, with your words.

  • pastor rick

    I appreciate the concern and wisdom shown in this article although I have to say I disagree with #1 and #2. My wife buys me cologne to wear at church and i hug most everyone in in our church, men and women. Everything else I’m totally on board with.

  • Tigner J

    Encouraging words – food for thought.

  • Pacifico Mission Wacay Jr.

    Great wisdom, good article!

  • Francis Asare

    As humans everyone has various tolerance level for different tempting situations, what will ensnare Mr. or Miss A might not pose any problem to Mr. or Miss B. We ought to know ourselves and what can easily ensnare us. some deal very well with Women or men but can not handle money very well, what I mean they easily embezzle money entrusted into their hands; some can handle anger but are unforgiving, the list goes on and on but as Apostle Paul says we have the right to all things but not all things are helpful, and if there is something that you do that will ensnare another it is better not to do it so as to save that person. People talking about legalism, them we should not listen to Apostle Paul since some of his sayings are legalistic such as 1 cor 10:14, 1 Tim 3 and so on which gives clear rules. If we have the Holy Spirit and therefore do not need guidelines then equally we do not need counselling and advice since most of these things will ask you not to do certain things so as to solve an eminent or impending problem. Thanks be to God who have given us the Holy Spirit to confirm what is right and acceptable to God, Amen.

  • Sam Dollar

    Such a great article. God bless you so much in your ministries. You have taught and inspired me a lot

  • Darwin E. Stanton

    Now I am impressed. Got to love this article! It is spot on.

  • Siphetho Dube

    thank you so much for enriching insights,that you have just shared.They are worthy hearing as ministers of the gospel and to all the followers of Jesus Christ.

  • Jina Appa

    I’m sorry but I’m going to hug my Sisters-in-Christ if I want to. I’m the pastor of a very small church and my wife hugs the men and I hug the women. How can you call yourself a family if you don’t trust one another? These folks have been attending our church for years (some for decades). Am I to just turn a blind eye and say “No, let me just shake your hand now”. Sorry, no-can-do on that one. Besides, I’m the king of “side-hugs”. Praise be to our Lord and Savior Jesus!

  • Seven

    hmmm, this article obviously assumes that all pastors are married. What about a single pastor who finds himself attracted to a woman? Should he run away too? What if he desires to marry someday, how will this ever happen if he spends all his time avoiding women, and changing the subject when complimented?

  • Yaa Owusua

    interesting

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WATCH: Try This Thanksgiving Tradition With Your Family

A wonderful idea for making memories and growing spiritually with your family this Thanksgiving holiday.