Touch not the Lord’s anointed
One of the bible verses thrown at us most frequently by TB Joshua’s fans is Psalm 105:15, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed”. In other words, how dare we question or critisise this anointed man of God? SCOAN clearly support this use of the verse, since they use it at the beginning of their “Beware of Blasphemers” video. We briefly explained why this is a total misuse of scripture in our post reviewing that video.
Recently a reader sent us a link to an excellent article by Conrad Mbewe, an African Pastor and author we’ve linked to before in “The state of African Christianity”. Recently Pastor Mbewe devoted a whole article to Psalm 105:15 and its popular misapplication. We encourage you to read the entire post, but here we include some excerpts.
If there has been a phrase in the Bible that has been recently tortured until it confesses a lie, it is the phrase, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed.” I hear it a lot in Christian conversation today. Usually, the phrase is meant to caution anyone who is criticising the questionable teaching or way of life of a famous preacher or church leader. That is meant to be a no-go area.
The popular understanding of this phrase is that if you say negative things about “an anointed servant of God,” something nasty will happen to you. You might even die a horrible death.
Yep, that’s something we’ve been warned of multiple times. “…may God forgive those that condemn the Man of God [...] Least you forget the penalty for condemnation of a Man of God” a commenter once warned us. Someone on Facebook warned us of the destructions God was going to bring upon us:
Another facebook commenter is even more explicit about the harm that God is going to bring on us (given the content of the post, we’ve intentionally left his name visible)
This is African traditional religion creeping into the church through the back door. In Africa, you do not say anything negative against an elderly person or a chief or a witchdoctor. If you do, something nasty will happen to you. You can even grow a beard at the back of you neck!
So how do we apply this verse today? Is it a correct to use it as a rebuke to people like us?
No, says Mbewe.
“Touch not the Lord’s anointed” is about harm, especially physical harm, and not legitimate criticism. Public teachers must be above reproach. That is one of their qualifications. If they meddle in heretical teaching or immoral living, they disqualify themselves. Thus, those of us who are aware of their devious dealings or dangerous teachings must sound the public alarm. We must warn the unwary lest they fall prey to them. Public sins must be rebuked publicly.
He then goes on to mention two times in the New Testament when Paul (2 Tim 2:16-18) and John (2 John 9-10) publicly call out leaders in the church who are teaching heresy or living immoral lifestyles. Were they guilty of disobeying Psalm 105:15? Of course not! (Pastor Mbewe goes into further details about the biblical context of the verse in his full post)
Commenter “Candle holder” has been regularly accusing us and other commenters of slandering TB Joshua. Is that a fair accusation? Here’s what Pastor Mbewe has to say on the issue.
In each case, I am not justifying libel or slander. But that is not the issue here. The phrase “touch not the Lord’s anointed” is not being used against character assassination. Rather it is being used to stop people coming forward to testify against immoral and heretical preachers. Corruption in the church is multiplying while the silent majority dare not speak out lest they touch the Lord’s anointed. It is an epidemic! Extreme Charismatic pastors are emptying church coffers in order to line their own pockets and impregnating girls in the churches but those who have the evidence cannot speak out lest they touch the Lord’s anointed and something bad happens to them. That is the issue at hand. Clearly, that understanding of Psalm 105:15 and 1 Samuel is wrong.
But should the correction be done privately rather than publicly? In some cases, yes – but in others, no. Mbewe explains:
Love demands that I rescue those whom I love from danger. So, if the preacher who has gone into immoral living or heretical teaching is someone I have a personal relationship with, love ought to compel me to talk with him privately with a view to restoring him to biblical orderliness. However, where his repentance is not as notorious as his sin, or I do not have such a relationship with him, or his heretical teachings or immoral life have become too widespread and are ruining the faith of many, the same love should compel me to oppose him publicly and thus restore the faith of many. Hence, love should cause any true preacher of the word not to keep quiet when the faith of many is being ruined, as is the case today in Africa.
To conclude, we can now see that Psalm 105:15 in no way applies to what TB Joshua Watch does. We show clear evidence of false teaching (example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4 etc…), clear evidence of fraud and deceptions (example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4 etc…) and compelling (though not conclusive – but what evidence would be?) evidence that TB Joshua sexually abuses female disciples in his care (example 1, example 2, example 3 etc…). We have no ability to challenge TB Joshua face to face, although we know people who have (to no avail). TB Joshua’s ministry is widespread, and ruining the faith of many – love compels us to oppose this publicly and thus restore the faith of many.
A note on comments: There have been a huge number of comments recently, many very repetitive and off the topic of the post. In this case, we will only be approving comments relevant to the subject of the post, or direct responses to comments already published.