From the archive: In part three of her story, Hattie explores the thought process she went through which ultimately led to her severing her allegiance to SCOAN.
Who am I to question this man who is performing all these miracles and has such supernatural knowledge? He knows God better than I do and I had better listen to him.
TB Joshua appears to have such power in the supernatural realm and such knowledge about people. I wonder what he knows about me? I wonder if he will say anything about me? I am such a sinner.
TB Joshua seems to have “confrontation” with evil and often casts out demons. I don’t and am not even aware of that side of things much. I had better watch out/pray more/read my bible more/learn from TB Joshua more. (It indirectly made me acutely aware of evil at work and probably fear it more if I am honest)
Some time passed and I simply carried on with my busy life.
Slowly I began to notice changes in people I knew that were involved with SCOAN closely. Most definitely these changes were for the worse and certainly not in keeping with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It became more and more obvious with time. The people I knew were becoming increasingly hard, unloving and arrogant. They were disinterested in and withdrawing from relationships and obsessed with all things SCOAN. It wasn’t just one person, I saw it happening across the board. Within the families I knew who were involved, there was relationship breakdown, depression, isolation from the wider Christian community and rejection of family not involved in SCOAN. All as a direct result of SCOAN involvement. I began to see that there was something very very wrong here. There was a deep discomfort within me. These people seemed to be burdened yet denied that burden completely. There appeared to be a real inner conflict going on, again denied. It seems strange to say it but there was something about their eyes. They seemed so hard.
As a direct result of these concerns I began to pray and pray diligently and daily. In a way I never had before. I also went to pray with another Christian who I knew and respected, having seen many good fruits in their life and ministry. I still at that point totally believed SCOAN was a genuine move of God. That the problems were in the failings of the “men” involved for which SCOAN was obviously not responsible. I had purposefully never read any negative publicity about SCOAN. I just prayed and this fellow believer prayed for me, for discernment and understanding and that God would show me what was going on.
Amazing things began to happen to me. Over a period of a few days, I woke up in the night with Scriptures echoing in my mind. My heart would beat fast and I know that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. It was like I was waking up from a long sleep. I could see in colour and my spirit soared. It happened in the day too that I would just be reminded of Scripture and I would write it down.
The most poignant dream of all, I liken to an experience where quite literally the scales fell from my eyes. I remember that moment of revelation and it was so beautiful. I was reminded of conversations I had had in SCOAN whilst visiting and they stopped me in my tracks in this dream.
The first one was with someone I met there. I said “this really makes me question whether I am really a Christian” (i.e. I don’t see these things happening in my life..I must be nothing.)
The second was an inner conversation. I remember the incredible burden I felt and incredible condemnation and awareness of sin. Things I had long since repented of. I remember being petrified that thoughts would be broadcast to the audience too, (because this is what happens there!) I knew I was saved when I went and I knew that my sins were forgiven but somehow I didn’t quite believe it. I remember saying over and over to myself the scripture “for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” I now know that this was my own little spiritual battle going on.
So when I awoke in the middle of the night, heart pounding, I was so aware of God’s overwhelming love for me. That Jesus had died for me. That He had paid the price and He had made me and He loved me for me. It was all finished. It was like I was hearing the Gospel for the first time. Indeed there is no condemnation! I was shown very clearly in that moment that it was the Deceiver ( making me question my salvation) and the Accuser (making me conscious of past sins) that was at work here.
I was utterly astounded. It was as if my world just turned upside down. It was from then that I began to look at the quotable quotes and see how they were twisting scripture. Very subtly but very significantly.
I remember one example in particular. One of the quotes on a SCOAN card read “Jesus is reachable” and I thought to myself “NO! Jesus was God’s way of reaching us! That is what sets Christianity apart from all other faiths..”It’s subtle but it implies there is something you have to do, or somewhere you have to go to reach Jesus (e.g. SCOAN)
It was only at that point that I began to look at some of the internet publicity that was around at the time.
I looked at the allegations (and was horrified but did not simply take then at face value) I knew that regardless of whether those allegations are true or false that this was not of God.I looked at the definition of cults (and was horrified that it ticked every single box: certainly where the disciples are concerned) What the visitors see is a careful showcase of propaganda to portray a genuine and very exciting Christian church. It was very carefully orchestrated and I was a ready victim for the psychological techniques employed. I am not alone.
What I believe SCOAN is doing is deceiving and distracting and enslaving many precious children of God. Deceiving even the elect. It totally undermines our individual relationship with God through Jesus by adding in another intermediary. It points us off course.
To anyone reading this: Please don’t just take my word for it. Seek God with all your heart and be prepared for His answer and not just what you want to hear. Jesus is the Saviour, Redeemer and Restorer. He really is the answer but you have to seek Him and Him alone.