His Lordship Bishop Immanuel Bushu.Bishop of Buea Diocese
I have heard about T.B. Joshua and read about him in some newspapers, some which have really taken time and whole editions in presenting him to the public. I hear he is a prophet. I have read about him as a prophet and so on. Some say he performs miracles and that he prays over people. Those who believe in him, do so for their own reasons. But, as Catholic Christians we cannot. There is just no way of holding on to him even though some of our Christians have gone over to Nigeria to meet him. He does not really talk and teach about Jesus the way we do. The face value of whatever he is saying is very different from what we hold about Jesus Christ. So, I would not advise anybody to go to him though people keep going to him.
Rev. Fr. Edward Ngalame, Vicar General of Buea Diocese and Parish Priest of Small Soppo Mission Parish
The talk of the day is T.B Joshua. Many people are going to him and testifying that he is doing wonders for them. But I think we can liken this to the temptation of Jesus Christ. Satan tells Jesus to fall from the Pinnacle and angels will hold Him. Jesus turns down Satan’s request because He did not come to carry out manifestations for people to follow him. It was going to be a cheap way of following Jesus, just to leave him again afterwards. The prophet Joshua phenomenon is a way of either captivating peoples’ attention or attracting their attention to him through healing. In the end I do not think there is healing in what he does. It is just a way of either drawing people to him and permitting him to do whatever he wants, or attracting them to his own religion which is new. I think this will not last.
Rev. Fr. Vincent Messue Ngolle, tutor Bishop Rogan College, Buea
The T.B. Joshua phenomenon appeals to many and people are following him because of his miracles. Today people are looking for miracles and so if they see somebody who can perform miracles they are bound to follow him. Nowadays many people do not yet know the full implication of what it means to be a Christian. They want to sell God at a discount. Such people are looking for the cheapest way out and so they tend to follow people like T.B Joshua. This T.B. Joshua phenomenon is just a matter of time.
It is said there is no Easter without Good Friday. Christianity is all about the Resurrection of Christ which goes along with suffering. So, we have to look at suffering as something which leads us to Christ, not saying everything can be achieved without suffering. It is just a matter of time before the truth about T.B Joshua will be out.
I know that many people are getting confused now with the proliferation of churches and sects. But I always go back to the Scriptures; precisely the First Letter of Saint John where it is stated that we have to test every spirit and anything that comes from God will last and what is not from God will not last. Let us give T.B. Joshua and his acolytes time and we shall discover whether they are really from God. It is true that they quote the Scriptures, but when you quote the Scriptures you must know the context. Even the devil quotes and knows the Scriptures very well. It is true that God works miracles through people, but the Church does not depend on miracles. If a miracle occurs we praise God for it. I think people are looking for an easy life, but the Church does not preach a life without a cross, but Christianity with the cross. So, if you are looking for an easy life, then you go to sects where they will tell you they have solutions to all your problems. I think we should learn to accept suffering as part of our life because suffering purifies. Let us do as St John prescribes. That we test every spirit and that which comes from God will last, while that which is not of God will not last. It may seem to succeed, but that will be only for a while.
Rev. Fr. Moses Tazoh, Parish Priest Catholic Mission Buea Town
With regards to T.B. Joshua, I am surprised that very often many people go for what they see on TV. As far as I know, what happens on TV is not always real. I have had a chance to talk with Christians who have gone to T.B Joshua and come back. Most of them have come back very sad. There is a woman who went there because she wanted a child. While looking for a child she spent all her money. In the end she was francless and childless. She came back home very frustrated. She had left the Catholic Church, but when she realised that T.B. Joshua could not help her and had emptied her pockets, she took courage and came back to the Catholic Church.
We see miracles being performed over TV, but we forget that technology can sometimes make those things happen when they do not actually happen. Behind the scene is tele-conferencing and people sending messages to T.B Joshua. An agent in the crowd talks to somebody who has come for a miracle, then with the aid of modern technology the agent communicates with T.B Joshua who starts saying things he is being told and this way people believe he has some special powers to see what is happening in their lives. This is not true. It is all made up.
Christ’s miracles were not the first. If you are following Christ it is important that you do things the way Christ did. Christ did not make noise about miracles. When he performed miracles he asked people to be quiet about them. But what we see on TV is that T.B. Joshua makes a lot of noise about the miracles he performs. People are going to him because of miracles. Christ clearly states, “If you are following me because of miracles, then you are a wicked generation”. He called those looking for signs a wicked generation.
People following T.B Joshua because of miracles are those Christ will refer to as anti-Christ. He is not pulling people to Christ but to himself. Christ never pulled people to himself. He pulled people to God. Christ gave the honour of whatever he did to God. But T.B Joshua is making a name for himself instead of making a name for Christ. He sees himself as a miracle worker, which Christ never did.
Christians do not know the devil has the powers to perform miracles. When the devil was sent away from heaven, God did not take back all the powers that He had given him to perform miracles. So, people should not forget that somebody can be a member of a sect and perform miracles just to attract people. God does not perform these miracles. The devil performs them to get disciples for himself.
I have been told that before T.B Joshua became the so called prophet, he was living in a small building. He now owns a whole village. Can a person who is preaching the Word of God amass so much wealth within so short a time? I find that questionable- from nothing he has become a millionaire just from preaching the Word of God. Although the Gospel says you live by the word of God, but not that way.
T.B. Joshua’s disciples go round campaigning for him. Some people in Buea who followed the campaign say they spent much money over the Internet and through other means to send money to him even before they got to Nigeria. When you go to see T.B Joshua, before you leave you are told where to go. You stay in a hotel that is full of his disciples who spend time interviewing you to know all about you to communicate to Joshua before you eventually meet him. This is similar to what “ngambe” people do in our villages. People are just being fooled.
Even when one takes a good look at T.B. Joshua he does not look like a man of God. Sometimes when you look at somebody, you can tell whether there is God in that person. Even when he dresses like a priest, he still looks very odd. Most often his dressing does not show that he is a man of God.
However, somebody can go there and have a miracle if he really believes in God. But that miracle would have come as a result of one’s faith and not because the power came from T.B Joshua. I have noticed that people who have been there are no better Christians than they were before going there; neither in the Catholic Church nor elsewhere. If somebody goes to a prophet the person should come back a holier person. The cases I know came back discouraged and ashamed to reintegrate themselves in their Christian communities.
To some extent, I doubt T.B Joshua’s identity. I think he is not credible. So, I hope Christians will stop being fooled by what they see on TV.
Joachim Wirmum, OLAP Bonamoussadi
People call T.B Joshua a prophet and I have been wondering who a prophet is. In the Old Testament we had prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. When people call TB Joshua a prophet, what is he prophesying, the coming of a second Christ? It is commonplace now that TB Joshua and his television have won over many Christians. His preaching, from what I see on television, is very motivating and inspiring, but what goes on behind the scene leaves a lot to be desired. He presents Christ as the one who comes to take away suffering, pain and poverty. As a Christian I know that at one point God may allow you to suffer in other to teach you, or better still, to serve as a lesson to others.
As Christians we should accept suffering. From his preaching one can deduce that if you are not sick and if you are rich, you should not go to Church because you do not need deliverance or assistance of any sort. If Jesus came to take away suffering, He would never have died on the cross because he suffered and died on the cross.
TB Joshua says he was called in his mother’s womb to be a man of God. I think there is a problem here. How did he know that he was called in his mother’s womb? I am afraid the end is not going to be worth watching. There is no free gift from Satan. There is some drama about TB Joshua that only he and his followers can reveal. If you believe in Christ, He will redeem you. Christ says in Mathew’s Gospel, where the corpse is, there vultures gather. I am afraid vultures are gathering in Nigeria just to gather maggots. Let us come back to Christ.
Eric S. Titanji
I think Prophet TB Joshua is anointed by God. A lot of people question where his power comes from, but I think he is an anointed man of God. It is said in Philippians 2:10 that by the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth and under the earth. It means everyone who pronounces the name of Jesus can do miracles because that name has authority over principalities and demonic spirits. People doubt TB Joshua because they do not read the Bible and therefore do not grow in their faith.
I do not believe in TB Joshua’s miracles because they are not real. I cannot stand for someone who claims it is only in his church that one can receive healings or witness God. He should find a proper way to preach rather than tell lies. I even learn those who visit him either have accidents on their way back or their illness deteriorates.
As a Catholic Christian I know from the doctrine that in those days God sent his prophets and the last of them was Christ. It has been clearly stated that no other prophet will come after Christ. So, if I believe in ‘prophet’ Joshua, I am indirectly saying that he has come to replace Christ. Jesus came to conquer death and everything and I know I receive the very Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. So, there is no need believing in another so called ‘Prophet’ from wherever and for whatever reason.
As a Catholic Christian I think TB Joshua’s works may be true but it is also so much of a spectacle to the point where we are tempted to question if there is a supernatural hand behind all of this. In the Bible God said there will be people who will come from me and will cast out demons in my name. It is also written that others will equally cast out demons using my name but they will not be from me. So it makes me wonder if all what he does is true or fake.
I do not believe in this prophet’s miracles. It is alleged that he pays people to pretend to be sick, so he can claim he healed them. This is blasphemous and Christians need to be very careful not to fall into this trap.
I think the miracles TB Joshua performs in the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Lagos, Nigeria, are real. I have never seen any Christian of that Church coming to testify that those miracles are not real. I have never come in contact with him, but I watch him over Emmanuel TV and believe all the miracles are real. The advice I can give to Catholic Christians is that they should stick to their faith. I am a Catholic and there is no way I can change my faith because of miracles performed in any church. I believe in God and there is only one God.
T.B Joshua is like a tradi-practitioner who is using the word of God to practice his medicine. From what I see, he is using the Word of God to do whatever he is doing and to make revelations about people’s lives.
Views sampled by Grace Ongey, Jude Abanseka and Emmanuel Wirndzerem Verdzeka