T.B. Joshua: Unveiling Another Side Of Nigerian Churches

LAGOS JUNE 20TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The death of Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua is one that cannot be forgotten very quickly. Inasmuch as it has been described as a colossal loss particularly in the Nigerian religious circle, many have been taken aback at the alleged non show of sympathy by some Christian leaders, further pronounced a sort of divide. 

Some also alleged that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which was said to have ‘reluctantly’ sent a condolence letter to his widow, is not being exemplary as it displayed what was contrary to its motto, “That all may be one”, while the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) reportedly did no better by staying mute. 

Primate Elijah Ayodele, leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, last Wednesday, said he was disappointed at the attitude of some Christian leaders, vowing not to join CAN or PFN. In a reported statement through his media office, he was quoted to have said: “Christians are the problem of the church; everyone will die one day but it’s unfortunate that a Christian brother died and the so-called big pastors can’t say a word of condolence. Is that how good leaders act? What they have done is wrong, what does it take CAN, PFN to come out, when the death happened, to pay condolences? 

“The likes of Chris Okotie went ahead to call TB Joshua a wizard, some called him devil while he was alive, was it God that revealed that them that He is working for the devil? Why not bring evidence? God is going to condemn lot of pastors. Christians are the problems of Nigeria, they don’t have love, they have different doctrines, and some preaching are not even biblical. 

“When the beloved son of Pastor Adeboye died, TB Joshua sent condolences and ordered a one-minute moment of silence to honour the deceased, but now that he is dead, what have they done? These are part of hooliganism in Christianity, it’s quite unfortunate. I’m highly disappointed in Pastor Adeboye who is seen as a prominent Christian leader for keeping silent on this. Every one of us will die someday.” 

He continued: “This is not the time for hatred, there is so much hatred in Christianity and that is why I will never join CAN, PFN or any Christian association, they are associations of envy and hatred, they claim that they went to Bible school, is that what the Bible taught them? If at all TB Joshua offended anyone, why can’t they forgive him? They should all change, they are getting older. 

“CAN, PFN are just association for the government and for personal gains. These associations are not biblical. I have no apology, I don’t want anyone to like me, I am saying this the way I feel, this is a time when we need love and unity in Christianity but those that are the supposed leaders have killed the spirit of love in Christianity. The administrators of this association are selfish, greedy and totally self-centred. “We need to support one another, let the bigger pastors help the lesser ones to grow, that’s what we need in Christianity not all these associations causing division.’’ 

CAN Clarifies Position 

SUNDAY INDEPENDENT reached the President, Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle through his assistant on media and communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, and he said it was not true that the body did not react, though he noted, “we had never been releasing any condolence letter to the press”. 

Meanwhile, CAN letter sent to Pastor Mrs. Evelyn Joshua dated, June 6, reads,” Dear Ma, LETTER OF CONDOLENCE ON THE DEMISE OF PROPHET T.B. JOSHUA 

“The news of the demise of your darling husband, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, who was until his transition at the age of Fifty-Seven (57) was the leader and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) came to us amidst great shock and sorrow. We are particularly sad because the deceased showed no trace of illness prior to his demise after an Evening Church Service on Saturday 5th June, 2021. We commiserate with you, the children and entire members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on this irreparable loss. 

“Prophet T.B Joshua was one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel and ministering to the needs of the downtrodden. He was renowned for his philosophical simplicity and humility. His death is not only a loss to the family and the church, but to Nigeria and the world at large. 

“There are indeed no exact words of comfort at a moment like this, but we humbly enjoin you to take solace in the Will of the Almighty God, who works in us both to do and work according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13). We know that Our Lord Jesus Christ in whom there is all sufficiency, and whom you have been serving wholeheartedly will make all grace abound unto you at this trying moment (2 Corinthians 9:8). 

“On behalf of all members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), we commiserate with you, and the entire family on this loss. It is our prayer that the Almighty God grant Prophet T.B Joshua an eternal rest in his creator, and may God’s perpetual light continue to shine on his path (Amen). 

“Once again, please accept our heartfelt condolence. For the King, Signed His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo AyokunleThe President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).” 

On its part, PFN President Wale Oke, through his media aide, Mr. Kayode Oladeji, said the allegation that the body went mute should be dismissed, having that “CAN which is the overall umbrella body issued a condolence message on T.B Joshua’s death”. He as well distanced himself from the insulations that big pastors were threat to Christianity in Nigeria. 

Unity Of The Church Indispensable – Kumuyi, Others 

Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM), during one of his tour to churches, called for renewed hope in God, saying the Lord will rewrite the history of the church in Nigeria, following the wave of divine visitation, spiritual awakening and unprecedented revival currently moving across the church in Lagos to break all denominational barriers and to empower the body of Christ. 

Kumuyi, made this known back at the Ministers’ Development and Networking Summit, tagged, “Growing your church”, held at the African Bethel Cathedral, Ikorodu, in conjunction with CAN. 

According to Kumuyi, the church in Nigeria is being weakened by denominational barriers that have rendered it unproductive to deliver the heavenly divine of winning the world to Christ. “Instead of fighting a common enemy, the devil; we are fighting each other. We are looking down on each other; we are pushing each other away until the church is not even sure on which ground do I stand,” he said. 

At the summit convened by Kumuyi, he said the vision of the summit is to make the church in Nigeria strong by injecting power into the local churches. Viewing that the church in Nigeria is losing relevance, he stressed that the need to develop the ministers especially at the grassroots remains paramount. 

Speaking on the topic, “Undeniable power of united faith in the Saviour”, Kumuyi said the church in Nigeria must be united in faith to lead sinners to the savior, Jesus Christ. According to him, recovery will come by leading the people to their saviour, stating that “the pursuit is to make the body of Christ strong in Nigeria”. 

Pastor Dare Omole, Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Christian Church, Lagos also the Chairman of Koinonia Ministerial Network (KOMNET), shared that KOMNET seeks to foster healthy ministerial relationships amongst gospel ministers. 

Further speaking with KOMNET in a prior interview with SUNDAY INDEPENDENT, he stated: “KOMNET is a group of ministers of the gospel who come together under one umbrella to entrench unity in the body of Christ. In KOMNET, we are united and we are trying to bring other men of God into the fold for the purpose of unity. It is a group of Apostles and there are some things we have seen in the body of Christ which are not right which we want to put in place in Christendom. 

“There are lots of things going on around some pulpits today and you begin to wonder if they are pastors or ‘babalawos’. So many pastors are doing things out of the scripture so we are out to put order in the body of Christ. We are praying for the nation while studying the past and the present. We stand against anything that is not biblical.” 

On some Christians being partly responsible for corruption in the land, he added: “Yes. There are some men of God who become perpetual silent once they start getting offerings and they no longer tell the truth. Even with the present predicament of the nation, how many men of God are speaking? The few that are speaking are being castigated by others. There can’t be progress even in the body of Christ in the absence of unity. We have seen cases where some men of God speak out against evil and the following day fellow men of God will speak against such men of God. This can only happen in Christendom, you can’t find such in the occult world.” 

Elder (Dr.) Napo Emuchay, President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) Nigeria Region at the first regional meeting recently in Lagos revealed its guiding slogan, as he told SUNDAY INDEPENDENT, “We are working all working on equal terms… We are working with the principle, ‘Nobody’s superior; nobody’s inferior’.” 

For Pastor Simeon Afolabi, Serving Overseer of the First Love Assembly, Lagos, fostering unity amongst Christians is part of what Revival Promotion Partners (RPP), an interdenominational group that supports his ministry focuses on. said orderliness and wholesomeness amongst Christians is vital. 

He stated in a media chat: “We had a prayer meeting sometimes ago and I told them the strength of Islamic religion lies in their oneness. If the Sultan who is the supreme head of all Muslims in Nigeria says tomorrow is the new moon and Ramadan starts on Sunday that cuts across every state. There are denominations in Islam as well, but it doesn’t matter what denomination you belong to, once the supreme head speaks that settles it. That privilege we don’t have in Christendom. And it is global. No matter what denomination you belong to, once the Sultan speaks they follow it. 

“The Pope is the head of the Christians in some quarters, even if he does make a decree, does it cut across? Back home we have the CAN, PFN and the heads of these groups don’t have a binding authority over the subjects in quote. Sometimes we have used the liberty of the spirit, everyone is led by the spirit. I believe if we are able to gather ministers together and we get scriptures and see as it is written in the gospel of Luke ‘the things that are most certainly believed among us…’ 

“We don’t seem to have a consensus, one man removes his shoes because the Lord told Moses to remove his shoes, some believe in sprinkling the anointing oil. If we have 50 pastors with 100 members each, if are able to influence their perspectives, you have influenced the minds of 5,000 people and it would go a long way to bring about the unity issue you have raised.” 

Daily Independent

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