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T.B. JOSHUA – A NATIONAL HERO?!

Source: ayakaonline.com
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by: Tari Ekiyor
July 7th, 2010
One very relaxed evening, with nothing else to do than seek refuge in the (sometimes) blessing called 'mindless television,' my channel surfing steered me to a broadcast by none other than the Man in the Synagogue himself, T.B. Joshua.

My finger immediately rammed down hard on the remote button, to get away from the channel even faster than I got there. Can you blame me? This is a man that judging from everything I had heard about him, was nothing short of the devil Incarnate. And by the snippets I had heard him utter here and there, not even a smooth-talking, Al Pacino-like devil incarnate, but one whose English isn't fluent and drops the H-bomb in every other sentence.

So as you can imagine, the odds were against me watching that broadcast; not forgetting my fear that as I watch it, some weird hypnotic power would come over me and I'd start chanting “Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Emmanuel”. But as always the gentle voice in my heart, which is on some mission to understand, prevailed, and before I knew it, my traitorous hand was punching the remote and taking me back to the broadcast. The first thing I noticed was the grandeur of the Synagogue Church. It was nothing like I had imagined; huge, spacious, clean and with tasteful décor.

The crowd was also very well organized even as some of them were being ushered toward the altar to receive an anointed touch from their Leader. Next, my ears picked up on some of the soft-spoken words being preached by T.B. Joshua, and as one whose raw material is words, I soon entered into the realm of processing the words he was uttering. Then the unthinkable happened, I caught myself nodding in agreement to something he was saying. I caught my head halfway into the nod and regained my judgmental composure. Not too long after, a voice I recognized to be mine declared “True” to something this man, who I've been told is an occultist and mass brain washer, was saying.

Wahala!! Right there in front of my TV, in the safety of my home, I was being brain washed!! Once again I summoned up my judgmental composure and assumed a defensive position. Then things were taken up a notch, as they decided to tell the story of one of their members. Aahh these guys are good, they know who is watching and they've fine tuned their tactics. I applauded them; what better bait to hook a writer with than a good story?! The sucker for a good story that I am, I still didn't change the channel. Instead I tucked myself into a more comfortable position and got ready to say “time time” as soon as they said “Once upon a time…”

The narrator, backed up by motion pictures, went ahead to tell the testimony of a crippled man who had been trusting God for a car to make transportation more convenient and comfortable for him and his family. The man wasn't on a wheelchair, but he moved around shuffling, as his two legs were facing each other, making movement very difficult for him. The man was also a recipient of the benevolent T.B. Joshua's ministry, as he was one of those given N50, 000 in the church. So he took his N50, 000, and by faith went off to fulfill his dream of owning a car. Unfortunately for him, the owner of the battered 505 he wanted to buy laughed hysterically at him as he sought to buy a N200, 000 car with N50, 000.

Determined to fulfill his desire at all costs, he told the car dealer that the N50, 000 he was holding in his hand was given to him by T.B. Joshua and was no ordinary money, but 'anointed money'. That stopped the car dealer at a rung in his laughter and he confirmed again and again from the crippled man that it was indeed Joshua who has given him the money. Being a true businessman, the dealer decided to, well, make a deal. He told the crippled man that he would give him the car on one condition; that he take him to see T.B. Joshua. The crippled man agreed and was soon riding away in his newly acquired 505.

The dealer was also interviewed; he revealed that his motive for selling the car to the crippled man at that price was because he knew that once he met Joshua, his life would never remain the same. So to him, it was simply an investment to bigger things.

This is by far one of the most fascinating stories I have ever heard. That one man's name alone, carries with it such immense power to achieve miracles on these streets of Lagos?! The next question I could ask myself was…why? Why does T.B. Joshua in spite of all the controversy surrounding him, have such great power and influence over an astounding number of people both in Nigeria and abroad? The media has not been nice to him, Church leaders have openly called him a heretic and occultist, yet his name still has the ability to make a struggling businessman give up a whole N150, 000 to a poor cripple!!

The answer was right there in front of me to see. Temitope Balogun Joshua speaks the language of the people. He speaks the only language a starving man can understand – a hot meal in front of him. In the same vein, he speaks the language of the widow, the physically challenged, the orphan, and basically everyone that society has failed to cater for, in our collective quest to pursue 'my own'.

I found it quite interesting while researching for this article, that I had never heard any report about T.B. Joshua, the Philanthropist, who has established active outreaches and ministries that cater to countless demographics of the less privileged.

I wonder if the National Honor (OFR) was given to him on account of that…Hmmnnn…

Anyway, the media can spend the next 10years painting T.B. Joshua as even the devil's father, but for as long as the Synagogue is the place where answers to all issues- from basic hunger to more complicated healing from H.I.V.- are found, there is nothing anyone can do about it, the “Man in the Synagogue” is here to stay.

Is T.B. Joshua an occultic or a heretic? I don't know, and quite frankly, I don't care. But what I do know, is that if all the people and Institutions who have gone so much out of their way to ostracize him and have the whole world believe that he is the embodiment of 21st century evil, should focus on meeting the needs of the people who he is 'brainwashing' or 'Initiating', then they would be ridding him of his power.

People need help, and would go anywhere that opens their doors to welcome them with a kind smile and a promise. Whether that promise would eventually turn into a nightmare, doesn't concern them at the time. Wherever the spirit by whom T.B. Joshua operates is from, God or the devil, it sure knows the secret to touching and ultimately, possessing the hearts of the masses or anyone who is suffering.

Hmmnn…maybe we all have a lot to learn from the Man in the Synagogue.

Tari Ekiyor takes great pride in her very-important sounding roles as a Writer, Blogger, Columnist, Screenwriter and Media Content Developer, while also striving to maintain the most important of them all – Lover. She is in a deeply satisfying relationship with Life and is in love with the beautiful city of Lagos, where she lives.

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