TB Joshua and SCOAN: A Biblical View

In this post, we’ll explore the ministry of TB Joshua in the light of some biblical teaching.

TB Joshua’s disciples often quote Matthew 7:20, “You will know them by their fruit” as a defense for their master, citing the many supposed miracles and changed lives as his fruit. Ironically if you look at the context of this verse, it is actually one of the passages of scripture that most provokes our critical examination of him. Matthew 7:15 starts ““Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves“. The reference to “sheep’s clothing” shows that these false prophets will appear to many as genuine prophets, but in reality they are frauds. A counterfeit has to look like the genuine article in every possible way for it to be effective. So when his disciples pipe up “but he does everything in the name of Jesus!”, we say are you surprised? Would a false prophet of Christ really go around healing in the name of the goat god? Reading on in this passage of scripture it speaks of the day of judgement, saying “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:22-23). This shows us that the fact TB Joshua claims to do things in the name of Jesus is no defense at all.

Regarding fruit, the disciples will point to his many miracles as evidence of the good fruit he bears, but from our perspective the fruit we see couldn’t be more different. The writers of this blog know personally over a dozen people who have served at SCOAN or visited for healing. Of these, we are not aware of a single miracle, but 3 are dead (having died shortly after being proclaimed healed by TB Joshua), one is recovering from sexual abuse allegedly suffered at his hands, another is estranged from his family (who are still SCOAN supporters) and several have dealt with depression and despair since leaving the church. Additionally, a previously thriving UK church has fallen apart, of course there are many reasons for this, but the influence of TB Joshua coming into the church at a vulnerable time is seen by many as the beginning of the end. This is the fruit we see, you judge for yourself – good or bad?

Perhaps there are genuine miracles taking place there; maybe some of them have been medically verified. Does this not validate his ministry? Not according to scripture. As well as Matthew 7:22 (“did we not do mighty works in your name”), a few chapters on in the book of Matthew, it warns that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24). Both of these verses appear to speak of real, verifiable mighty works or signs and wonders. Matthew 24:24 especially should sober us, as it describes signs and wonders as being the means of deception. This not only shows us that genuine Signs and Wonders are categorically not a validation of a ministry. We are even specifically warned to not consider them in this way.

18 thoughts on “TB Joshua and SCOAN: A Biblical View

  1. One of my friends died of cancer after being ‘healed’ by TB Joshua. At her funeral her son declared her as his ‘sister’ (what happened to honour your mother and father?) and TB Joshua as his father. Something seriously wrong here.

  2. The fruit that I have experienced from SCOAN as members of my family have become involved is basically no contact from them and no response to contact that I have tried to make over the years.
    Also, turning away from family responsibilities and showing no respect for the the older family members with no acknowlegement or recogntion of the effects or recognition of thier behaviour.

  3. Pingback: Is SCOAN a cult? An expert view. « TB Joshua Watch

  4. It depends what you mean by an alternative. There are plenty of churches around that would be good alternative ministries to TB Joshua. Read some of our ex disciple reports for proof that there is life after TBJ, especially what Giles says under point 7 of this post about getting integrated into a church after leaving SCOAN.

  5. Emmanuel – God with us. If God almighty is with us who can be against us. There are other alternatives churches in the world. I do not know how much reaserch this person has gone so far in other churches who operate the same way as SCOAN. Who have the anointed man of like Snr Prophet T B Joshua.

    • Thanks for your comment, PFC. You raise a good point.. You’re right that there may be other churches that are similar to SCOAN, and leaders that are similarly unaccountable. We’ve focused on SCOAN and TB Joshua because we’ve been personally affected by his ministry. I think the post “Is SCOAN a cult” gives some good criteria to check if a church is a real cause for concern:

      • So what if God has decided to use Him , you would want to be on the other side ? My take is do you connect with the gospel he preaches ?, i am not a bible person my self , but I know Jesus said some where about the pharisees saying one thing and thinking another. but He commands that these things they say we must do regardless . And also somewhere in Corinthians some God kind of Love is mentioned . love knows no wrong ,will not write about another like this ,again i don’t know much maybe you can help me on this , my take is God loves all of us so much including this TB Joshua too regardless and more so there are so many good things he is doing ,so that’s what you should be promoting here . you can mention the bad , mention the good as well i believe when you mention the good things to an extent the bad wont make any sense any more. when you hate your brother ,you are not different from a murderer. we cld only speculate with our limited minds, if it is Gods will to do these things through this man ,we might not be able to tell definitively but are we loving our brothers even if they are terrible sinners, otherwise we are not different from them

  6. Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Emanuel – God with us. If God is with us who can be against us.
    People of God let us owner God Almighty love him and love others.
    The greatest commandment
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind. This is the first commandment. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.
    Mathew 22 vs 37
    People of God let us make sure that the word of God Almighty is spread around the world. The creater of the universe and the creater of the humankind is the Most High God let us all worship him and look unto him. God Almighty said all things will pass away and my word will not pass away. Let us do the will of God Almighty to spread the good news around the world. Thank you. Amen

  7. Pingback: The Miracles of TB Joshua « TB Joshua Watch

  8. Pingback: How to defend TB Joshua « TB Joshua Watch

  9. “There are plenty of churches around that would be good alternative ministries to TB Joshua.”

    seems like you’ve done your homework so i’d like to know the good alternatives in what terms?
    Is it in teaching,healings,prophecy,deliverance or charity? I would really want 2 know? I’m yet to see any minister whether genuine or fake operate in the same level of anointing or passion for needy tbj Operates in. In 2009 … TBJoshua was recognised by the world renownedTIME Magazineas one of the leading faith-healers today.(though its God that heals though) but its certain that faked and stagemanaged healings wouldn’t make headline in this magazine supported By CNN. So what was that again about “good alternatives”.

    • OK. In the town I used to live in in the UK, there were the following ministries run by the churches:
      – Teaching english to refugees
      – Counselling and support for women with unplanned pregnancies
      – Debt relief help providing long term help for those crippled by debt
      – A cafe for homeless people to hang out in during the day, with counselling and support provided
      – Emergency accommodation for people who found themselves temporarily without a roof over their head
      – A recovery program for drug addicts and alcoholics

      That’s off the top of my head, in a medium sized english town. The difference between this and SCOAN is that 1) nearly all of these initiatives were a product of several churches working together and 2) it would take you a long time to know these things existed, not because they weren’t effective (many were helped by them), but because none of the ministries bragged about what they did. They served in a Matthew 6:2-4 way “”So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

      Interesting how it’s in the synagogues that the hypocrites are acting eh?! On a serious note though, the thing that gets me with TBJ’s philanthropy is that it’s actually nothing special or unusual, churches everywhere are engaging in similar or even more significant ways, but with SCOAN, it all seems like a massive publicity stunt. The staged pictures you see of TB Joshua personally handing out rice to poor people, the gushing articles on the fan club praising the “Man of God” for his giving… A very different story to Matthew 6:2-3.

  10. Ian, you are not fair to yourself at all. Always Oxfarm would do that in So0malia or where ever they give help. A young white girl would be holding a “poor” black child or giving hin/her water. What do you call that? Open your eyes, it is only the black child that is used to represent poverty and grace of giving. There is no poverty in the West because there is credit card

    • Hi Oscar. I’m sure there’s some truth about what you say, but we’re talking about a so called Christian ministry here, not an international NGO. My point was that SCOAN diehards such as Soe make such a big thing about TBJ’s work with the poor, yet it’s actually nothing very remarkably. They think it’s the greatest the world is seeing, but only because their information comes from TB Joshua TV. In actual fact there are churches the world over not just giving hand outs or showing off by awarding the occasional scholarship, but living alongside the poor and needy, helping them in very practical ways to improve their quality of living and live above the perpetual poverty they were born into. These people generally don’t have TV shows about them, or thousands of followers, but the effect they are having is immeasurable.

  11. Pingback: TB Joshua, a false Christ? « TB Joshua Watch

  12. Pingback: Maintaining your miracle, a followup « TB Joshua Watch

Comments are closed.