Monday, 16 December 2013

T.B. Joshua: Vilified by the Church, Celebrated by the Poor

Condemnation would be the right word to describe what I stand to receive by this piece, alas, I'll have to view my opinion before I’m condemned. My first knowledge of Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, is that of a man who openly display that he's indeed an agent of the devil and this much was said about him in different Christian gathering though his name are scarcely mentioned in the churches but the man and his church is said to be a taboo for every real Christians.


Then I grow to know the good from the bad, though still having at the back of my mind all I have heard about the Ondo State born prophet which is majorly that he's devilish, and that any anybody seen walking or associated with him is seen as having relationship with the devil. Recently the prophet who is being referred to have the "man in the synagogue" is gradually becoming popular among the people and this raised series of questions on who he really is.


The bible says in Mathew 25: 42-45 “for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” Then he will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” The illustration above was according to the bible given by Jesus on how he wants his own to behave towards those who are in need.


A survey round the country revealed that most of the men of God are guilty of not taking adequate care of the poor in their surrounding leaving them uncared for rather than meet their need they will rather take from them. It is common knowledge that churches are now being administers as if it is a public liability company with the success based on how much was made and this has encouraged diversification of church resources towards areas like schools and the rest.


While it look more like an offence for churches in Nigeria not to have a school where members of the congregations are talked or ordered to enroll their children for a fee higher than those schools that are founded by their owners for monetary gains, it is surprising that Prophet T.B. Joshua that is generally addressed as the devil by most Nigerian pastors have been coming to the aid of the poor to pay their children's fees after their different churches had talked into making contributions towards the establishment of these schools and later deny their children chance to study in the schools due to high fee they have to pay.


The bible shows clearly how God want the poor to be treated, it also show that there is many benefits for those who deemed it fit to assist the poor. In Proverb 14: 31 the Bible stated that 'He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God', this further reveal the perception of God on the poor and this has over the time showed the disposition of most Nigerian pastors to the words of God as regard to the poor is not too good and this informed the reason most of them will see the ministry of Prophet T.B. Joshua as devilish as he actively does the will of God as regarding tending to the need of the poor.


There has been the cry in many Christian gathering on the rate at which people throng his Ikotun church in search of miracles, it is known that those seeking for miracles are not only restricted to the Synagogue Church but also nearly all churches in Nigeria, there is a saying that 'If you want to preach to an hungry man, first attend to his hunger before giving him salvation', what has really been working for the highly criticized man of God is his ability to adapt to the teachings of the bible that says the poor should be cared for and this has been attracting those in need to his church while he in turn meet their immediate need using the opportunity to also meet their spiritual need.


Another like that is his decision not to go into the most common business among Nigerian pastors which is the establishment of schools which is being run by the pastors for the purpose of training children of politicians and wealthy Nigerians as the fees are usually too high with no scholarship arrangement for the poor within their congregation, rather than delve into establishment of schools like other churches he formed a football academy to take more children off the street, his venture has yielded positive result as Nigerian International, Ogenyi Onazi who plies his trade for Italian side Lazio is a product of the church.


Though there are many who foretell events, he has over the time proven that he's the best that can be in the country and this has further boosted his image as regards to those in government all over the world, a situation that has led to him being called all sort of names by various churches.


The whole world in at the moment preparing for some other series of festive activities that is Christmas and New Year celebrations, many of the poor are sure of celebrating courtesy of Prophet T.B. Joshua's philanthropic activity, no wonder he's still loved despite all the criticisms he received from most Nigerian Churches. Someone once said his giving is aimed at getting publicity and my simple honest answer is for him to tell that to Charles Olumo, popularly called 'Agbako' in the Yoruba speaking movies, he's the Nigerian movie icon that is dying of hunger before the Prophet came to his aid, another like that is the current assistant coach of the Super Eagles, the Nigerian national team, who is not ashamed to be identified with the man of God.


My little understanding of the bible made it clear that human are not to judge as those who judges will also be judged, which makes me wonder if those criticizing this man of God for being friend of the poor are using the same bible? I can't really place the reason the man has been enjoying so much condemnation from those they are supposed to be in the same body of Christ together just because some sees it as a business where they collect without considering the poor. No wonder the man in the Synagogue, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua is a man so vilified by the Church but so much loved by the Poor.

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