Suppose the Church actually is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, then why is Nigeria still the third most terrorised country globally after Afghanistan and Iraq, and the world’s poverty headquarters despite its many natural and human resources? You may want to blame the government. But I will place the failure of our society at the feet of the Church, especially with Nigeria known to be the second most evangelised nation on the earth after the United States of America. If you doubt my position, then you are not properly connecting the dots since the passing of Prophet T.B. Joshua.
On the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit came and 120 people receive the Holy Ghost Baptism, the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ was born (Acts 2). While our religious friends emphasise speaking in tongues as the evidence of the power that came on Pentecost, I see genuine love amongst the brethren as the transforming force that made the Early Church impact society the way they did. At a point, there was no single person in need in the Church (Acts 4:34) because the offerings that came were redistributed to meet the needs of the brethren. And even when a complaint arose due to neglect of the Grecian widows, Peter quickly set up a committee apparently headed by Stephen, so that the welfare of all and sundry were adequately taken care of in the House of God (Acts 6:1-7).
Moreover, they “break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47). Indeed, the display of genuine love was so bright that non-believers in Antioch called the remarkable members of the Early Church Christians to signify they were a perfect replica of their master Jesus Christ (Acts 11:19-30). I give this background to remind us that genuine love for one another has been the foundation, selling point and transforming force of true Christianity, not necessarily tongues, preaching, healing, deliverance and other practices we do in the name of the Lord (I Cor. 13:1).
Unfortunately, despite the current boom of the Church in Nigeria, the society lacks love. The hatred is palpable to the point you wonder what light the Church in Nigeria is shining. Of course, since the successful mischaracterisation of the evidence of true Christianity to now mean elegance of cathedral buildings, private jets, power to solve people’s problems and power to curse, it seems the love for one another has finally died out. Unfortunately, as the hate and competition on the pulpit become fierce, it is increasingly difficult for those in the pew to understand genuine Christian love and forgiveness. No wonder it seems our prayers and the declarations by our “Men and Women of God” are falling to the ground as Nigeria do not seem to be getting any better.
It also worth noting that while the Men of God showcase their endless prosperity, most of their members whom they promise breakthroughs if they give their resources are amongst the 53 million Nigerians still living below the poverty line as of 2021 (www.worldbank.org). And like the politicians that introduced the concept of “Hate Speech” to gag the people from demanding accountability, our “Men and Women of God” have successfully introduced the concept of “Touch Not My Anointed” to ensure the people follow them without asking questions. So, when they talk about loyalty, followership and even rebellion, it is another programming software to keep the people subservient. Well, I intend to talk more about the “Touch Not Mine Anointed” and “Father-in-the-Lord” “ponzi” schemes currently ravaging the Nigerian Church in a later episode. But for now, I will focus on how the death of Prophet TB Joshua has finally exposed the Church.
Do you know that Prophet TB Joshua was once a Vice-President and head of one of the blocks in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)? Unfortunately, neither CAN nor PFN acknowledged the Prophet while he was alive. Instead, he was excised from the Christian body. But as someone put it recently, while these Christian organisations vilified Prophet TB Joshua in public, they collected his money through several means behind the scenes, including payment of dues. And since they made it seem that they dissociate from the Prophet on doctrinal grounds, the sheep are supposed to believe without asking questions.
Unfortunately, unlike these self-righteous spiritual overlords who are mostly guilty of many unethical practices that have no basis in the new testament, TB Joshua was never found culpable of any of the following, which are common traits of our Nigerian Chief Priests, High Priests, and Chief of Staff to Jehovah:
1. T.B. Joshua never kicked people out of SCOAN to make room for his wife and children as successors.
2. The Synagogue of All Nations (SCOAN) never experienced a Church split typical in the churches of many castigating the Prophet.
3. TB Joshua did not have to place a curse on a “Son” or “Daughter” in the Lord who chooses to leave his ministry.
4. TB Joshua never destroyed those who served in his ministry because he felt they are expired, and they have to go.
5. TB Joshua never used the pulpit to settle scores with his members and other “Men and Women of God”.
6. TB Joshua did not show the world how rich his God was, but how Loving and Caring Jesus Christ is.
7. TB Joshua never typified extravagance; he was an epitome of humility.
In conclusion, as Nigeria continue to wallow in corruption, insecurity and poverty, it is time we reflect again on the impact of the Church. In a subsequent `episode, I will explain how the Church raised godly men who out of love for God and humanity transformed Europe and founded and built America. But as long as our self-righteous deputy-gods-in-chiefs fail to love when it is not convenient, the Church will continue to be a LAME DUCK in the face of growing adversity. It is time for self-reflection and repentance so we can truly bring genuine love back to our pulpits. We must endeavour to focus on Christ teachings about love demonstrated by the parable of the Good Samaritan and Jesus extravagant love for sinners like Zacheus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew the Tax Collector, and even those that nailed the Saviour to the Cross. That is why I know that if our Lord Jesus were around, he would have taken the front seat at Prophet TB Joshua’s burial to demonstrate to the people and the world yet again that True Love Conquers Hate.
The man TB Joshua will forever remain in our hearts. His memory is blessed (Amen).