“Every man of God faces false accusations!”: The view from scripture
As previous posts have demonstrated, there is no shortage of allegations against TB Joshua, covering everything from sexual assault to mind control. Bizarrely, his disciples seem to see these allegations as some kind of stamp of authenticity, implying that this proves he is a man of God, because all men of God comes up against lies and accusations. While it’s wrong to draw a correlation between a man’s anointing and false accusations, it is true that any well-known personality, religious or secular, is vulnerable to troublemakers and attention-seekers making up lies about them. After all, even Jesus was accused of being a Drunkard and a Glutton (Matt 11:19). Scripture seems to preempt this issue with a command in 1 Timothy 5:19 to “not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses”. This rule offers protection for the Elder from troublemakers and charlatans, but also offers the congregation protection against abusive leadership by giving them the option to bring accusations if there are two or more witnesses to the allegation. The next verse describes how to deal with leaders who are caught in sin, they are to be “rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning”.
In the case of TB Joshua, there are many more than two or three witnesses to the accusations linked to on this site. The accusations are serious, even criminal in nature. They need to be investigated and if there is any truth to them, TB Joshua needs to be rebuked. This site in a small and imperfect way helps to serve this purpose. It’s not how it should be done, but reading the ex-disciple reports by Giles, it seems clear that the structure of SCOAN would not entertain any accusation against their autocratic leader, no matter how many witnesses there were.
The model of leadership shown in the New Testament is team-based and accountable. The only leader who stands out above all others is Jesus himself, the chief Shepard. Nobody else is shown as being infallible. Even Peter, who Jesus called the rock on which he would build his church (Matt. 16:18) had to be publicly rebuked for hypocrisy by Paul, the ex-persecutor and self-proclaimed “Least of the Apostles” (1 Cor 15:9). There is no support within the New Testament for independent, dictatorial leaders. Leaders are told to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3). Church leadership is anything but a platform to build your own empire on, Christian leadership is accountable, in submission to others and open to being questioned, Paul commended the Bereans for examining the scriptures to see if what he was saying was true (Acts 17) – Christians are meant to think for themselves, not blindly accept whatever a charismatic leader tells them.