Why Synagogue Members Should Be Happy That T.B Joshua Was A ‘Wizard Of ‘Endor’

By Suyi Ayodele

LAGOS JUNE 22ND (NEWSRANGERS)-There is a concept known as  “ija ilara”- strife occasioned by envy. Our elders say such a strife does not end easily. Why? How do you explain to your triggered that you are better than your colleague who is doing well where you are failing?.  This exactly explains why some pastors and perceived gatekeepers of Heaven are finding it difficult to let the spirit of T.B. Joshua, the founder of  the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN enjoy deserved rest. Check it out: everyone of the ‘anointed men of God’, who has told us the side of hell fire Joshua is occupying now, are those who failed in all the areas where TB Joshua had excelled. In marriage, Joshua stood faithfully committed to his only wife, Evelyn. In contrast, some of his critics are hunting for their fourth woman, with the same diamond wedding ring. While TB Joshua anointed with oil, his sworn enemies and “knowers” of his destination drip in hair curling activator. In communication, while you may need an edition of the Oxford English Dictionary to interpret their highfalutin and pendantic pomposity, Joshua spoke simple and short sentences, though in smattering English which his followers understood anyway. In terms of giving, Joshua gave and gave to millions, turning the fortunes of whole families around for good by those acts of rare generosity. But in contrast, the ones who knew when Jesus broke the neck of the SCOAN founder organised political razzmatazz to give. Maybe some quick confessions here would suffice.

One, I never met in person the late T.B. Joshua, who passed on June 5, 2021 at the age of 57. Two, I am never a devotee of SCOAN, nor do I subscribe to any of the doctrines of his church. Again, cumulatively, before Joshua transited early this month, I never watched or listened to his sermons for up to two hours. My closest encounter with the Arigidi Akoko born pastor was indirect, through a family in 1997. I will expatiate on this encounter presently. So, whatever I write here, is not to defend Joshua by any shred. I decided to do this today because each time I read all the noise that has greeted the passing  of the SCOAN leader, three things come to my mind. First is a story told by a friend; second is my late mother’s refrain and lastly, the injunction that God is the ultimate judge of mankind. I begin with the story. It is a very short and witty one and it underscores the hypocrisy in Christendom and every other religion where self-righteousness is deemed the key to heaven. My friend worked then in a company with a pastor, a self-professed, committed  man of God. Both had cause to travel outside Lagos, their company’s headquarters, to a state in the South-East. Each checked into their different rooms at the hotel and agreed to meet the following morning. My friend got out of his room earlier than the agreed time before his pastor-colleague. What he saw shocked him. Coming out of the pastor-colleague’s room was a damsel, in her most cavernous mood. And following in close tow was the pastor-colleague. According to my friend, seeing that there was nothing to hide again, he drew closer and whispered: “Blessed is he whose sins are covered”. That was Psalm 31, verse one. Each time my friend and I remember this account of  sheer hypocrisy, we laugh heartily.

My late mother too had a refrain to describe religious hypocrisy. Anytime an Anglican communicant did whatever she considered unbecoming of a Christian, she would volunteer: “Olorun li moni ke hi sin hun” – Only God knows who truly serves Him. In essence, we all should leave God to judge who His true worshippers are. And again, “blessed is he whose sins are covered”.

The noise and controversies that greeted the transition of TB Joshua, especially from his fellow Christian brothers and sisters alike, have kept me wondering if indeed, there are no gatekeepers of heaven among our pastors here in Nigeria. To the best of my understanding, whatever hatred, animosity and or resentment the late preacher suffered while alive and in death, came as a result of people’s interpretation or misinterpretation of his strange mode of worship. The most poignant of all the disapprovals of his activities bordered on what many termed as his ‘fake miracles.’ Do I believe in miracles? Sure, I do. Do I believe in Joshua’s miracles, I answer yes! How did I know that TB Joshua’s miracles were not fake? I witnessed one, though not directly. That miracle is the third reason I decided on this piece today. I may not be able to give the details of the event because the family involved did not appoint me to ‘testify’ on their behalf. I will just attempt a sincere narration of what transpired.

It was around 1997. I was at the University of Ibadan then for a higher degree. A man was brought in from the village on a Wednesday in a very bad shape. The plan was to take him to Synagogue, as Joshua’s church is known. I was one of those who felt medical attention was more desirable than a miracle in one swamp. The man was moved to T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue on Thursday morning and was brought back to Ibadan on Saturday. I testify here today: we could not recognise the man who came back to Ibadan after the visit to the Synagogue. There was no single trace of what afflicted him. I confess here that I still cannot fathom what power or  ‘spirit’ Joshua used, all I can say here is that the problem vanished!

Following that incident, anytime I am in company with people, where the issue of Joshua’s miracles are discussed, my response to the accusations that he used other means to do those things he did has always been to refer them to the Bible.

Jesus Christ was once accused of using other powers to cast out demons. His response, as captured in Luke 11:18-19, is very apt here. ‘If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. Now, if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges’. If Joshua indeed used other means to perform miracles, can we ask his critics this: ‘by which powers do you do your own miracles, too’. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), under the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, began the controversy around 2009 when the religious bodies refused to admit Joshua into their folds. Oritsejafor hinged the decision on their doubt that Joshua was a genuine child of God. He also queried Joshua’s claim that he was ordained from his mother’s womb. “I gather he said he was converted in his mother’s womb and I don’t see anybody like that in the Bible. It is a conscious decision you make and it doesn’t happen in your mother’s womb”, Oritsejafor was quoted as saying. If T.B. Joshua claimed that, he could be right and he would not have been the first to be so ordained. The book of Judges 13:1-7, particularly, verse 7, records Samson as being ordained from the mother’s womb, ditto for John the Baptist whom the Bible in Luke :15 said was “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb”.

Another reason advanced for Joshua’s denial of membership of CAN and PFN was because in Oritsejafor’s estimation, Joshua must be ‘pastored’ before he  could claim to have been called into the ministry. “If T.B. Joshua can tell me when he got converted and how he got converted, then we would consider him. Anybody who is a Christian is a Christian because he received Jesus Christ at a point”. The question here is who “pastored”  or mentored our Lord Jesus Christ? We were simply told that He got into the Synagogue in Jerusalem and he started teaching. Could it then mean that the high priests in the body of Christ in Nigeria were merely sore displeased with Joshua like their progenitors were with Jesus Christ if we go by the account of Matthew 21: 15?

But the most mordant of all the attacks on T.B. Joshua, dead or alive, was the one penned by another televangelist, Chris Okotie, Founder of the Household of God Church International Ministries. Titled: “Emmanuel, wizard of Endor has been consumed”, Okotie referred to Joshua as “The wizard at Endor who assumed the title Emmanuel and had  “been consumed by divine indignation”. Deriding SCOAN congregants  as disciples who bewailed  “his ignominious exit.” Okotie ‘saw’ how “Jesus our mighty gladiator has broken the head of the dragon with his mighty blows. He has descended from the mountain of spices with the fiery sword of his indignation”. He saw the hammer-wielding ‘Jesus’ “Glorious in his apparel and traveling in the greatness of his strength, he goes conquering and to conquer the adversaries of his church”. The MOG, Okotie, wrote these vitriolic comments, three days after Joshua passed on and his wife and children were still ‘bewailing’ his untimely demise. Pay attention to the magisterial content of that piece and you will see envy, or jealousy, or the combination of the two and a high dose of hatred. But Christianity cannot but suffer this kind of attitude as long as we cannot separate anointing oil from curl activating oil. Let us accept that Joshua was the devil Okotie told us he was, what happens to the message of love that Christianity preaches? What about the African culture’s prescription of empathy for a woman mourning the loss of her husband of several years, and the children turned suddenly fatherless? In the Yoruba culture, there is a poignant  saying: ‘bi a ba nja, bi ka ku ko’ – that we have a dispute does not mean a party should be wished death. Joshua, we were told, passed on after a prayer session with his congregants. That is what is  described as  ‘fi owo ro’ri ku’ – dying peacefully in the Yoruba belief system. Every member of SCOAN should be proud of how their founder lived and passed on. They should be happy that T.B Joshua was a ‘Wizard of Endor’, who  knew that ‘a bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach’. And like Oritsejafor said in his 2009 critique of Joshua: ‘Jesus did not say by their words you will know them; he said by their fruits you shall know them’. The whole world knew T.B. Joshua  by his fruits. While we express our deepest condolences to Madam Evelyn and the children, we urge SCOAN leadership to see that those things Joshua stood for endure. May the soul of the departed find sweet repose.

Suyi Ayodele is the Columnist of Tuesday Flat Out Of Nigeria Tribune

Please follow and like us:

Related Post

Short URL: https://www.newsrangers.com/?p=72431

Posted by on Jun 22 2021. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

News Rangers TV

Recent Gallery Slideshow

Follow me on Twitter

Photo Gallery

Designed by News Rangers ICT Department