Q. The Nigerian Church disaster has revealed some strange doings, if not doctrines, under TB Joshua. With SCOAN followings growing rapidly in Africa, and here at home, what are your views on this popular movement?
A. Over the years, TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has enjoyed remarkable success as tens of thousands have gathered from all over Africa, and indeed, the world, to their Lagos Headquarters for the ‘Prophet’s’ teaching and especially for the miraculous signs and wonders that seem to attend his ministry.
There appears to be no blatant erroneous statements on SCOAN’s website that undermine the Gospel of Jesus. Supernatural Gifts are operating for which glory is clearly given to the Lord, and a dynamic Evangelistic Ministry appears to operate. As with other notable ministries worldwide, past and present, the Gifts and Calling of God are without repentance and these men will account to God for the manner in which they administer their Gifts.
In the absence of verbal error, however, some of the Organisation’s statements and methods do concern us.
- The principle of selling bottled “Anointing Water” (“seed faith” with a price tag?) conflicts sharply with the Grace of God through “a Gift” and “the Grace” that is the essential support of the Gospel of Jesus. The cost factor is restrictive and selective in its availability, whereas the grace of God is free and immediate to the “whosoever”.
- The shift from Gift and Grace, and the introduction of Cost, places the emphasis on financial gain that conflicts with Gospel objectives that call us to “sell all and follow”, and “freely you have received, freely give”.
- Of great concern is that there seems to be but scant importance placed upon Commitment to a Local Body of Christ. While this is common in ‘Big Name’ Evangelistic practice, it subtlydetracts from the eternal benefits God intended this Ministry for. Christ is our only Saviour; His Salvation is ministered by His God-given ministries and clearly taught in the Word. Another Way or Another Gospel are deadly. Nobody outside the Ark endured the flood!
- Without appropriate emphasis upon membership of and participation in Body of Christ negates the principle ofmany individual functions andeliminates the accountability and privilege of Believers in the God-ordained Church structure.
- The selection of ‘Wise Men’ on the basis of integrity and dependability, i.e. character, instead of recognising the Gifting of God within them can never achieve Heaven’s plans. While character must always keep pace with the development of an individual’s ministry, the ministry remains the frontrunner in choice.
These points are cardinal to the FAITH once delivered to the saints and are highlighted as tending to be “doctrines of devils”. This may sound harsh, but because it so strongly conflicts with the “Price already Paid”, and the “work that was accomplished” by the Lord Jesus, we have to indicate our opposition and could never condone such conduct. And we have to say it lest our silence be read as support.
We cannot be the judge of another man’s servant, BUT we are accountable to guard the revelation of the truth God has delivered to us. Keeping our hearts right with the Lord and with men, applying ourselves in the Word and prayer, I believe we will address whatever error comes our way. We must simply hold to the truth and leave the judgment of both Organisation and Man to God.