A comment from a reader: You will know them by their fruit
Matthew 7:15-20 is often quoted in defense of TB Joshua:
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are savage wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire. So by their fruit you will know them.”
The argument goes, look at all the healings, deliverances, prophecies, changed lives… how could this fruit be coming from a false prophet? This argument fails to deal with two issues: 1) Everything you witness of this “fruit” comes from SCOAN’s meticulously controlled TV station. In other words, you see just what they want you to see, and 2) At what point can you validate the “fruit” of an apparent miracle? If a warring husband and wife are reconciled live on Emmanuel TV, can you immediately count that as good fruit? What state is their marriage in when they get home? Or in a months time? Even if you trust the Emmanuel TV portrayal of the miracles, is it not premature to immediately count it as good fruit?
A new reader of the site recently left a lengthy comment on the issue of TB Joshua’s fruit. We present it below in its entirety for your thoughts and discussion (emphasis ours).
Hi there everyone who comments on TBJoshua Watch! Since the Mutharika ‘prophecy’ which I read about on the internet, I was interested to know more about TB Joshua as years ago I watched some Emmanuel TV, and remembered him. I have to admit, when I was watching the deliverances and healings, I felt uneasy. Being white and British, but married to an African man, I assumed my feelings of unease were simply the fact that the cultural elements of TB Joshua’s TV ministry are so very far removed from my own, he is after all a Nigerian man and naturally his cultural way of speaking and acting are Nigerian.
I have read through almost all the articles and comments on this site, and I just have something to say as a complete outsider who knows nothing of the people running this site, nor SCOAN in Nigeria, London, nor any place else.
What I have seen is that by and large, the ‘anti-TB Joshua/SCOAN’ commenters are polite, Bible-based, non-antagonistic, well-reasoned and non-offensive whereas those who come on here to support a man they believe to be a ‘man of God’ (whatever that means, I never saw anyone explain what they mean when they apply it to TB Joshua) have frequently been rude, unbiblical, antagonistic, with no clear reasoning and often downright offensive to those they believe to be against their beloved TB Joshua.
I wanted to say this because, as I was searching for more about SCOAN and TB Joshua and having read this site, if nothing else, the attitude of the pro-SCOAN contributors, some of whom don’t even sound like Christians with their cursing and threats as to what God will do to anyone who opposes a ‘man of God’, would convince me that he is a false prophet.
So many times both ‘sides’ have commented that ‘by their fruit you shall know them’ (false prophets). Well, might I suggest that one of the fruits of a Christian is those whom he or she disciples. We are all free to behave however we choose, so of course some disciples of my husband, for example, may not live up to Christ’s standards, but every single pro-SCOAN/TB Joshua commenter/disciple (you are a disciple if you follow a man, even if it is at a distance over the internet or on Emmanuel TV – he is teaching you and you are learning from him) is showing very poor fruit.
Thank you @soe and @doi and all the others – you have convinced me beyond doubt that he is a charlatan and a false prophet. Before I read your comments, I was unsure, but his ‘divine nature’ and the water being a medium for the salvation of someone’s soul, and all the other nonsense you all wrote, convinced me.
Keep up the good work, TB Joshua Watch.
ps For your information, TB Joshua-ites, I have seen and been involved in genuine deliverances, I have seen people my husband was praying for healed, including of barrenness, so I fully believe God can, does, and indeed delights in healing us.
Thanks Haile for your comment!