Who Is Playing God By Sitting In Judgment Over Late Pastor T.B. Joshua Who Has Gone To Be With The Lord?
It is no more news that in August 2021 that the General overseer of Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention Deliverance Ministry, Prophet Chukwuemeka Odumeje, warned Pastor Chris Okotie, Senior Pastor of the Household of God Church in Lagos, for making snide remarks about the life and times of late Prophet Temitope Joshua of the Synagogue Church of all Nations.
As monitored in a Facebook church service on Sunday at the time, it was gathered that Odumeje, who calls himself “man of war”, “the liquid metal”, “the fight”, “the lion”, “Indaboski” and “Bahose”, vehemently expressed his displeasure about Okotie’s snide remarks against Joshua, who was deceased.
At this juncture, it is expedient to say that the inspiration to express this view in favour of Pastor T.B. Joshua of blessed memory could not have come at a better time than now that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in a fresh exploration, claimed it has uncovered evidence of widespread abuse and torture by the late clergy. This is as BBC In the early hours of Monday, released a documentary about the experiences of some former members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, including five Britons, who alleged that late Joshua committed array of crimes while alive, including forced abortions and rape.
As gathered, BBC said it came across several eyewitness stories of Joshua busing physical force or torturing individuals, including beating and chaining children, after a two-year investigation. According to the multinational broadcasting company, there were also a seeming horde of ladies who said that Joshua had assaulted them; some of them alleged they had been raped for years inside the Synagogue.
In addition to the numerous claims of forced abortions inside the church after Joshua was accused of raping women, there were first-hand reports of Joshua’s “miracle healings” that were seen by millions of people worldwide.
At this juncture, it is expedient to recall that the facts unveiled in a long read authored by Matthew McNaught, titled “From Lagos to Winchester: how a divisive Nigerian pastor built a global following” is starkly contradictory to BBC claims in its report that is unarguably nerve-wrecking.
McNaught in his opinion wrote, “On the second day of TB Joshua’s funeral in Lagos, his disciples took to the stage. A microphone was passed around as more than 60 disciples introduced themselves by name and nationality. They came from 18 different countries, among them Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, the US and the UK. Some seemed barely out of their teens; others were in late middle age, having spent decades serving Joshua, the millionaire Nigerian pastor and self-proclaimed prophet being laid to rest. A senior Nigerian disciple, recently promoted to prophetess, began her tribute. “How to describe someone so indescribable?” she said. “How to define someone so indefinable? Human and divine?”
Given the foregoing, it is not a misnomer to ask if the investigative team of the BBC were selective or biased in choosing the respondents who claimed that Joshua wasn’t who the world thought he was. Otherwise, how come Joshua wasn’t hated by his ardent followers the way BBC report suggests?
Without sounding exaggerative in this context, Joshua was so much loved by his members and non-members who vicariously followed on Emmanuel TV. How come BBC’s Findings seems to be the opposite?
In fact, the love non-members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations expressed towards him; even in life and in death was literarily so thick that it can be sliced with a knife so much that a pastor in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government, Area of Delta State was nearly beaten to death by angry market women for claiming he had prophesied the death of popular Nigerian prophet, TB Joshua.
The itinerant pastor who is a regular preacher at the market had gone there on Monday to carry out his usual routine, which was to preach, prophesy and invite people with special challenges for special prayers but got the beating of his life from angry market women.
According to an eyewitness, when the pastor started preaching, he was having no issue until he claimed he had prophesied about a year ago that TB Joshua was going to die prematurely because he was not a true man of God.
The witness said, “When he started preaching, nobody answered him, those interested were just listening until he began to criticize the late TB Joshua.”
He said that TB Joshua was not a true prophet and that he mentioned last year that he (TB Joshua) was going to die prematurely.
At this point, some of the women start shouting at him to preach his message and stop criticizing others, especially the dead, but instead, he continued and before you knew it, he was attacked by the market women who could no longer stand it.
But for the timely intervention of area boys who rescued him something funny could happen to the pastor.
Even in less than 24 hours since the Report was unveiled by the BBC, it is been trailed by mixed reactions as not a few that sympathizes with his mission during his earthly journey considered the BBC findings on him as baseless and calumniating.
For instance, a Facebook user, Bintu Ogboi Omoregie, posted on the social media platform thus: “A dead man that can’t defend himself, I will continue to love you sir for the good works in giving out to the needy, you went as far as going to the desert where the acclaimed saints pastors couldn’t get to just to help those hungry and dying.
“I’m not a saint either to judge you because I haven’t been able to do half a quarter of what your finger has done.
“I respect you a lot even in death”.
In a reply to her post, Nduka Uhiere-Ebite wrote, “Why will they wait until he dies before they make the investigative documentary….?” while another replier to her post”.
Still in the same vein, Mike Nmoka wrote, “I never knew the Godly virtues of TB Joshua until he died because he was largely misunderstood and hated by other men of God.
“We were brainwashed to see him as evil personified but his good works on earth and love for humanity speaks volumes. I feel sad that I never took his gospel and preachings seriously.
“He stands tall and shoulders above his peers.
“Truly, a prophet is not recognized by his people”.
To buttress the foregoing views, it is expedient to make reference to an editorial published by Church Times Nigeria’s online edition of June 7, 2021 where it partly stated thus: “Whether he was fake or not, should really not be our cup of tea. We should do a retrospect and ask, how are we comporting ourselves? How is church money in our care being spent? To what level have we impacted lives? Beyond asking people to come experience Jesus, do we show the light?
“Are the fathers in faith not being deified the way TB Joshua was deified by some of his followers? Have we not turned the attention of people away from Jesus? Those are the questions.
“We can’t sit in judgment over a man that we did not call to ministry. But like I said, we are free to identify areas he erred and point them out for others to learn. In the case of TB Joshua, he did not get it right in some areas of ministry just like many of the known fathers in faith are erring. It is time we all repent”.
Be that as it may, the Latin phrase “De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est” which literarily means “Of the dead nothing but good is to be said”, and which is usually abbreviated Nil nisi bonum, being a mortuary aphorism indicating that it is socially inappropriate for the living to speak ill of the dead who cannot defend or justify themselves finds expression in this context.
In fact, the foregoing views cannot be said to have been properly expressed in this context without asking, “Who is playing God by sitting in judgment over late Pastor T.B. Joshua who has gone to be with the Lord?