Gareth’s story, pt.1: “Salvation” is found through SCOAN alone

This is the first guest post from another ex-SCOAN disciple who has got in touch with TB Joshua Watch. Gareth, from the UK, was a disciple of TB Joshua from 2001 to 2010. His name has been changed to protect his family who are still involved with SCOAN. In this post he dicusses a time when he was put in ‘Addaba’, the state of ostracism and punishment imposed on disciples who ‘misbehave’.

I was one of the first foreign disciples at SCOAN. A lot of the time in a disciples life is spent studying his “notes”, that is TB Joshua’s writings. Any visitor to the church will testify to seeing disciples reading and copying out these notes into the early hours of the morning. Disciples regard these notes as equal in authority to the Bible. Its not hard to understand why. TB Joshua is regarded a Prophet, a man of God, and according to his own teaching everything that is done, by such men is infallible.

Anyway, one of the main focus of reading and studying TB Joshua’s notes, is to learn to preach in a similar manner. Visitors to SCOAN can again testify to seeing disciples practicing preaching to other disciples or to thin air.

When we first started preaching as foreign disciples, the “chosen” among us were given the opportunity to preach to the foreign visitors. Typically each time foreign visitors came to SCOAN, TB Joshua used to give them a lecture. This time, he let us foreign disciples, do the preaching. However, the four of us were called to TB Joshua’s office and instructed by him to use the same introduction to our messages. The introduction went something like this:

“My name is … and by the grace of God I am an evangelist in training under my Father in the Lord, Senior Prophet TB Joshua. Before I came to SCOAN, I was a sinner. I thank God for the life of my Father in the Lord, TB Joshua. God has used him mightily to point me to Salvation. Before coming to SCOAN I didn’t know Jesus, but now through my mentor I have come to know Jesus”….

Now all four of us stood up in front of the assorted foreign visitors, gave our introductions and our little sermons. Now let me just explain here, that all four of us preaching that day had come from Christian backgrounds. Myself and another disciple, had grown up in dynamic churches and had been fully committed. We had both made decisions to follow Christ long before visiting SCOAN. Some of the visitors that day were from our former group of churches and were alarmed by this introduction given by all four of us. They told my mother (who was visiting at the time), that this seems a bit cult-like. Why were we denying our previous beliefs?

My mother came to me, crying and confused. I was taken aback. I listened to her and gently tried to reassure her that this wasn’t a cult. Unfortunately this was in the computer room and was in full view of several other disciples, who immediately went to report me to TBJ. I entered a huge amount of trouble that day. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t agreed with her. It didn’t matter that I’d actually done a pretty good job of convincing her that everything was all right. The problem was that I had even listened to such “blasphemous words” and hadn’t strongly rebuked my own mother.

The kind of trouble I experienced is referred to by disciples as “Adabba”. When this happens you are not allowed to eat, sleep, enter the dormitory or shower. You are not allowed to talk to anyone and no one is allowed to talk to you. TBJ usually shouts at you (sometimes slaps you) and you have to mope around his office until you are “forgiven”. Disciples is this situation feel terrible, you feel like you have let down not only man, but God. As a disciple you see TBJ as the link between you and God – failing him is failing God.

Sometimes disciples can be in Adabba for days. Thankfully I was allowed in the room about 6 hours later. However I was viewed with suspicion and it took me months to build up my position at SCOAN again. Why did I get in trouble? Because any hint of a slur or question against the ministry is not tolerated. The right reaction of a disciple should have been to walk away immediately my mother started talking about doubts and what people were saying. Or I should have rebuked her, shouted at her, told her not to doubt. The fact that I listened to her and didn’t respond, just wasn’t good enough.

Going back to what caused this trouble in the first place. It was the identical introductions by four foreign disciples denying any previous Christian experience and belief and claiming that it was only through TB Joshua that we had come to know God. This is actually how disciples see themselves at SCOAN. Many will try and qualify such statements by explaining that they had a measure of belief before attending SCOAN, but it is only there that they have discovered true, real, practical Christianity.

The culture of SCOAN is to regard what is happening there as the pinnacle of all Christianity. To see TB Joshua as the greatest man of God who has ever lived, since Jesus. Church members claim to have dreams that TBJ is the junior brother of Jesus, and these claims are not dismissed, rather these people are given microhpnes to share their “revelations”. SCOAN’s PR people and TB Joshua himself will say that there are many living Churches. But ask them to name one? Ask them to name another church leader who they respect, and they will struggle. The truth is that SCOAN does not relate with any other churches, unless it is for an ulterior motive.

SCOAN in Lagos is not recognised by other evangelical churches, and TB Joshua does nothing to try and build bridges with other large ministries. He has relationship with a few smaller churches that he helps out and runs a “network of pastors” called “Persevering Faith”. These pastors are all from small churches and come to the church because TBJ pays them to.

In private, TB Joshua regularly ridicules other ministries and pastors. He watches quite a bit of Christian television and regularly mocks the people he sees. As a disciple, when you join SCOAN, you join for life. You can’t move on and join another church – that what be a ridiculous thought to have. Disciples see themselves as incredibly privileged to be part of such “an amazing ministry”. The thought of moving on is therefore nonsensical.

This is purely cult-like behaviour. An exclusive group that believes it has the answer to the world’s problems, that no one else has.

57 thoughts on “Gareth’s story, pt.1: “Salvation” is found through SCOAN alone

  1. SCOAN in Lagos is not recognised by other evangelical churches, and TB Joshua does nothing to try and build bridges with other large ministries.He has relationship with a few smaller churches that he helps out and runs a “network of pastors” called “Persevering Faith”. These pastors are all from small churches and come to the church because TBJ pays them to.

    I have much 2 say on your post Gareth,but i’ll start with the above comment because it indicts many other ministers&their ministries.

    Now i had the opportunity of witnessing some of their meetings usually held then on Thursdays by 4:00 pm.they sat keenly listening to TBJ and their numbers ran to several hundreds of pastors from various denominations…

    So i have a few questions for you…

    1)For more clarity.could you please define a “small” ministry &”a large” ministry.

    2)How can you prove that the all ministries of those hundreds of pastors are small? Did you do a survey or ran a background check on all of them?

    3)Assuming the worst case scenario that they are all small like you said,
    are you now saying that all the small ministries&pastors of “persevering faith” are NOT evangelical churches& are NOT of God for going over to TBJ? Except the Large ones that aren’t part of the network?

    4)now there are many evangelical ministries whose pastors have visited scoan within&outside Nig and still visit-some now even minister the anointed water in their congregation even in far russia-so u are u saying they arent evangelical churches?

    5) With the above statement you have just accused All the pastors of “persevering faith” of being bought over by MONEY. Now This is a very serious accusation and only God knows what it’ll cause among the members of those ministries. what evidence do you have to substantiate this claim….as ian once put it “Cold Hard Facts”…

    • Hi Soe

      It is responses like this that people find so frustrating. The post mentions some pretty serious issues, you ignore these serious issues and nitpick some tiny little issues that nobody really cares about, like what is the difference between a small and a large ministry or accusing Gareth of suggesting these churches are “not of God” (he said nothing of the sort). Your final question is a fair enough one to have, but don’t muddy the water by sidestepping the issues and asking pointless questions. How about responding to the zero tolerance policy on asking questions or having an opinion within SCOAN? (not an uncommon accusation) Or the disciples being expected to (untruthfully) testify that they came to God through TB Joshua?

    • Hi Soe. Does SCOAN publish its accounts? If it did then you would be able to find out for yourself the facts of these matters.

    • Hi Soe,

      Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that you have taken the time to respond. As noted by Ian I would be grateful if you could respond to some of the other issues mentioned.

      As for my comment about TBJ and Pastors. Let me explain further. What I recount is my experiences as a first hand witness and my conclusion based on these observations and discussion with others.

      SCOAN is not a member of either the “Association of Evangelicals in Nigeria” or the “Pentecostal Federation of Nigeria”. In fact SCOAN is criticised by both organisations. Why is this? It it because there is “healing” at SCOAN? On the contrary, claims of “Healing” are the norm among Nigerian Pentecostal churches. No it is because of the dodgy practices and dodgy theology at SCOAN.

      As you have observed the “Persevering Faith” meetings, perhaps can I ask whether you stayed to the end of their meeting? You will observed the following:

      1. They were all given envelopes of money before leaving (this happens after most, if not every meeting.
      2. They waited in the church for hours and may have received a brief message from TBJ, but might not have.

      Let me ask some questions based on this:
      1. Would a Pastor of a large church have time to leave his congregation and all his responsibilities and sit down in SCOAN for hours on end every Thursday?
      2. Why would such a Pastor come to the church if they weren’t sure they were even going to hear from TBJ? Could a financial gift not be an incentive?

      Also, Soe you seem quite well acquainted with Nigeria. So is it not fair to say that there is a church on every street corner in Lagos? Is it not also fair to say that many people become Pastors in Nigeria for financial reasons? I am saying this based on my experience and my discussions with hundreds of Nigerians.

      All this to say, that the Persevering Faith Network does not mean that SCOAN is an healthy community with the rest of the body of Christ.

      Jesus prayed that we should be “one” – John 17. Why is it that TBJ and SCOAN does hardly anything to relate to the rest of the body of Christ. Why is it that of the many well known “Pastors” who have visited SCOAN hardly any endorse the ministry. John Arnott, Joseph Garlington, Heidi Baker, J John, I could go on, but we are getting off the point.

      As for all the Pastors who go and receive “anointing water” and the such. My prayer is that they trust in Christ alone and not in any “anointing water”. Which by the way you need to pay for…….. so much for “priceless, costless, chrageless” (I’ll explain more about how it works in another post).

      Please Soe, do you have an opinion on “Adabba” and TBJ’s disciples believing that offending him is offending God?

  2. Just want to say thanks for writing your experiences. A few of my friends have been following this site and its answered loads of questions. Keep it up!

  3. …Now ian, i’m sorry if u don’t like the issue i started with,but that doesn’t mean you should call it “tiny little issues that nobody really cares about” because i do just as the pastors indicted too do with their members as well. like i said,i have much 2 say on this post…i only chose to start off with this,…waiting for my answers!

  4. I can relate to Gareth’s story. You get turned on for really insignificant things (in my case, that infamous waterbottle fiasco) and made to feel really guilty. Suddenly your “brothers” and “sisters” want nothing to do with you. I have a hard time imagining Jesus treating his disciples that way after they had all abandoned and denied him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
    Some disciples are sent to live at Prayer Mountain with the mosquitoes for a while. I remember one guy was there three days. I dont know what he had done wrong, but I remember his first disciple meeting back. TB Joshua asked what he had done wrong (for the benefit of everyone else), and he said he had “offended Jesus” – thats why he was there so long, to beg forgivness for whatever it was he did.

  5. Its like we all agree that the issue of the pastors is hardly a good standard to measure against not even with your reply above. so my next pick…

    As regards “addaba”

    I very much agree with vengi.
    vengi once made it clear that …” as a human being, which he is, he has his own character, maybe heavy handed. He is a manager managing people around him and needs a specific leadership stlye”…,

    but if thats not enough,..

    …of course you can recall paul’s words in

    I cor 5:2…put out of your fellowship the man who did this…

    And Also..,”If anyone does not obey ….Do not associate with him,”in order that he may feel ashamed…yet do not regard him as an enemy…(2 thess 3:14.)

    and again …”you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler…. With such a man do not even eat.” (1 Cor 5:11).

    the state of ostracism is not permanent and is to last only for a time thats why paul says…

    …”the punishment inflicted by the majority is sufficient for him…you ought to forgive him&comfort him so that he would not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (1 cor 2:6)

  6. [Contd]
    now knowing the penalty for offences may lead some to lie against you if they hate you-as it was with christ-so that you’ll suffer,..but those are part of the pains involved in building a disciple.-but also its unfortunate that Not everyone is a true disciple

    now lukin at the entire picture-what i see here is the risk involved in mentoring wonder almost everyone avoids that area. We are not talking of convetional bible schools many Great pastors today can point to the disciples they have trained to be used by God as they are and are still training? Founders of big or mega churches place adverts for pastors because mentoring people is the most dangerous aspect of ministry.if you mentor 12 people at least 1 will betray you.and that betrayal may even affect your calling. Many pastors are all over the place-even on the internet you’ll find many pastors …looking for jobs-you only need to employ them and pay them their salaries.its a master-employee relationship. But in mentorship theres a bond btw you and ur people

  7. [Contd].
    I did make it clear before discipleship is a deeper committment than being just a member just as marriage is a deeper committment than being just a boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Jesus stated that those who loved their families or more than him could not be his disciple.he required that they forget themselves while following his lead.

    when christ got into a fit of rage driving out the merchants in the temple-the disciples remembered what was written”that zeal for your house will consume me”

    now here are a few questions for you

    1)gareth did you ever remember any of the above verses during the painful experiences in your training?

    2)What do you think is the cost of being a disciple and did you think it was a condition you could meet?

    3)Did you really Love the prophet before you became his disciple,or were you just following others.

    if it were up to me i would have Gareth return to Tbj and plead for forgiveness.i know the prophet would receive him&he can continue his journey as a disciple. But as it is you aren’t willing” i feel deeply sad when i see people who give up on their purpose because if you can find a path without obstacles,it most likely doesn’t lead anywhere,..

    peter was once a family man later the greatest apostle and …while today some in the process of becoming apostles choose to become family men…but at least we know which of both would have the greatest&most positive impact in society…whose indelible footprint would last for generations!

    • Hi Soe,

      Thanks for your post. Here are some answers to your questions.

      1. While at SCOAN I used all kinds of verses to justify what was going on. However this was from a very narrow frame of reference. Various verses in the Bible can be used to justify loads of stuff. It is important to take the Bible as a whole and not just to pick verses here and there. At SCOAN there is no training in authentic study of the scriptures. Rather its a few verses here, a few verses there – all tied into some of TBJ’s quotable quotes.

      2. This is a good question. I believe that we should all disciples of Jesus Christ and not of any man (or woman). When I first when to SCOAN I was concerned about the level of adoration that disicples had for TBJ. I spoke with TBJ face to face about this, specifically regarding Matthew 23:9:

      “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

      In his usual way TBJ didn’t give a clear cut answer. He replied with John 10:35:

      “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),”

      Those familiar with TBJ’s teachings will not that he has often used this verse. As I understand it he is taking the verse completely out of context and implying that those who have “the word of God” are gods. I think this is what TBJ believes. He believes that he is infallible – or anything he does in God’s name is infallible and he does most things in God’s name (including, according to several independent accounts, sexual abuse).

      I was concerned about the fact that disciples all call TBJ, “Daddy”. I was concerned that people had to kneel down in front of him in his office in order to speak to him. By my own folly, I let go of my concerns and dived headlong into being a disciple of TBJ.

      While I was a disciple I considered the pain I went through to be justified because I considered TBJ as the intercessor between me and God. I therefore thought that if I’d made him unhappy, it must be because I had sinned. This however is a heretical way of thinking, we have only one mediator – Christ. TBJ is a man. He gets some things right and some things very wrong. It is very dangerous to think like this. In your own mind Soe, the reason you justify and explain a lot of TBJ’s action is because you believe that he doesn’t make mistakes. But what if he does? Just consider for a moment. This is why we have the Bible as are standard (which is another one of those things TBJ says but doesn’t do).

      So to answer your question. I believe there is a big cost to being a disciple of Jesus. However I don’t consider the ridicule, shame and ostracism that TBJ’s “disciples” endure to be part of that at all. By the grace of God I am happy to be called a fool for the sake of Christ, but NOT to be made a fool by the will of a man.

      3. Soe, I believe you know me. So you will know then that I was the first disciple from Europe. You will know that I lasted in the ministry for 10 years. You will know that I gave everything to TBJ’s ministry. I know that you now believe that I am a “betrayer”. But show me in the Bible what I have done wrong. Have I betrayed Christ? Or have I just offended a man because I stopped doing what he told me to do and had the audacity to confront and question him.

    • Hi Soe,

      Just to respond to your comment about “some in the process of becoming apostles choose to become family men…”

      This again exposes some unbiblical and cult like theology. Marriage and the family are held in high esteem throughout the Bible. The union of marriage is compared to the union between Christ and the church. A condition on being an elder in the church is to be married with a stable family. 1 Tim 3, Titus 1:6.

      Yes Christ must be first in our lives. But part of the expression of our love and obedience to Christ is our love to our families. This is a clear theme throughout the Bible.

      Yet SCOAN is anti-marriage and anti-family. Of the 150+ disciples in Lagos how many are married? Precious few. Maybe some have a calling to be single, but how many of them even have the choice to seek a godly marriage. Families are divided and set against each other. This is just wrong. If the families are godly, then let them support each other. If members of your family don’t believe, then love them and be Christ to them – don’t abandon them!

      I thank you for your concern about my “destiny”, but believe me, I’d rather be in the background as a humble servant of Christ than preach to millions as a servant of TB Joshua.

      • “I thank you for your concern about my “destiny”, but believe me, I’d rather be in the background as a humble servant of Christ than preach to millions as a servant of TB Joshua.”

        We need a “like” button

    • Hi Soe, i agree with many of your points regarding correction. in my own experience of life in general, it is the people that have been hard on me that i have really benefited from, not those who just gave me a tap on the back and gave me their own sympathy. i also want to answer a couple of your points by email, if you can email me please, my email address is: thanks

  8. You’re saying that Gareth is equal to someone who is “is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler….”….just for comforting his own mother? Your comparisons do get a little crazy sometimes…!

  9. Always off on one.

    Can anyone else comment on charging people money for this annointing water? Its not the first time I heard this. (personally I got mine as a gift, along with a framed picture of TB Joshua). Honest to God, it had zero effect everytime I used it. It didnt heal or protect anyone I used it on.

  10. Kate, please don’t misrepresent me,inasmuch as i made a reference to that text as discipline for misbehaviour i also made it clear that he could also have been wronged using the same yardstick-sometimes the prophet may see this and rebuke them(as in giles earlier case), other times he may not-then it becomes a sort of test- knowing that no intimidation,blackmail,obstacle,trouble,or difficulty can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

    2.Giles,you very well know That Tbj is not hooked on money. The anointed water is FREE.those who say its for sale should tell me how much is charged for it. its just that most times people don’t value what is freely given to them and would often abuse it by collecting more than is expected often to go and sell.

    2.if you really believed in the power of God operating thru the anointed water-i don’t know why you said it didn’t work,maybe because you didn’t roll on the floor or something,but it does work in different ways.doesn’t necessarilly make you shout and scream unless you’re posessed by a demon.but now after all i’ve heard you say… hearing you complain it didn’t work for you doesn’t suprise me at all-afterall Gehazi took elisha’s anointed staff to raise a dead boy and it didn’t work.the question is who is to blame for the failure of the anointed staff? Is elisha to blame or gehazi?

  11. Gareth – thanks for writing your story. Very insightful.

    Giles – “Annointed” water = no different to any other water = good for a cuppa/making ice lollies, but not much more. It is just a bad & shocking attempt by satan to substitute the blood of Jesus.

    Heard you get some of the water after buying a nice little framed photo of TBJ to properly worship/idolize the chap. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

    Must hand it to TBJ – brilliant marketing. He missed his true calling – advertising!

    • Hi Someone and TB Joshua watch – let me just correct something here. When I mentioned TBJ giving me a picture of himself and some water, they were both gifts, neither were paid for.
      Having said that, I only speak for myself. I have heard from others that there is money somewhere involved in other cases. It would be beneficial for someone else like Radicalised to comment on this if its true or not?

    • Hi, yep I confirm thats how they do it with the anointing water. It’s different depending on your nationality (so much for no favouritism in the church – James 2).

      Nigerian members have to buy a large photo frame which a picture of TBJ and a “Quotable quote”. Its classic TBJ. He says its all about the words its not about me, well why the picture then?????????????? If it really is about the words on the frame then why on earth have a picture of him. I think it cost members N2000 or so. If you buy a frame then you wait after the church service and TBJ comes round and gives you the water (or this was how it happened about a year a go).

      Foreign visitors may get the water for free, again it depends on their status and which country they come from. Some foreign visitors will only receive if they are partners of Emmanuel TV (minimum commitment £30 a month). Also, please note that foreign visitors pay $300 or so to stay at the church so they are also not receiving it “freely”. I know that $300 is a lot less than hotels in Lagos, but SCOAN’s costs for hosting visitors are well below that. Accommodation is mainly in dormitories and TBJ has a willing work-force to serve the visitors food, show them around etc, who get paid nothing. I’d estimate that the actual costs of hosting visitors would be well below $100 a head.

      O and there was a service on Emmanuel TV not long before I left where pretty much the whole church had pictures of TBJ and were waving them in the air singing a song about him. It was as clear cut idolatry. Even if TBJ then says, thank you thank you, its all about Jesus. That doesn’t stop it being idolatry. Take note of what Paul and Barnabas did in Acts 14 when people idolised them – they ripped their clothes and ran into the crowd to stop them. I’ve not seen TBJ do that….

      • Even $100 a head is too much. All you do as a visitor is sit around in that room for a week watching videos of TB Joshua, and then go to church at the end.That’ll be $300. I have been a visitor a few times for just a couple of days for the Sunday service, and still had to pay the full $300.

        How come they dont do baptisms and communion? It would be interesting to get your input about those two topics. They’re very important to the Christian faith, yet SCOAN does neither.

      • Will say it again – just a bad substitute for the blood of Jesus.

        Thanks for confirming that. So much for the free gift of grace!

        And Giles – yes – never seen a baptism or communion at SCOAN. It seems more and more like some sort of weird mixture of witchcraft and Christianity. I know a lot of African churches do the same thing. They embrace Christianity but hold on to the pagan practices.

  12. To Soe,

    You can’t just take (a) scripture(s) and then use it to “discipline” a person about things that are truly being applied to a sexual immoral person, a greedy person, an idolater and a slanderer, (there is a big difference being a slanderer or a person that investigates and says something about some practices that are not biblical and questions them) a drunkard or swindler.

    The word Slander translated in English is: Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone.

    What is the difference ? There is a big difference between “slandering” and “discerning” something is not good and raise questions and remarks about it. Discerning is a good thing, it’s biblical, it is just and must be done at any time. Test all spirits whether they are out of God. We are talking about “authenticity” and this must be thoroughly tested over and over again against a “standard” which is God’s word and people that are deeply experienced in spiritual phenomena. We are not looking at “manifestations, behaviour, ways of doing” and justifying this “must” be God.

    I do not believe that Mr. Gareth (even that I don’t know his personal life) would fall under such “categories as alleged” nor do other disciples to this effect, unless proven, so these scriptures are not applicable here at all.

    However this scripture is applicable to ANYONE (no-one excluded) who is overtaken by a fault or has fallen and what is the right way of application here ? To restore such a person. Why, because you are spiritual, not using the “law” to punish someone. Since everyone is a sinner and needs the grace of God to be set free, Gutter sniping others is not one of the options a believer should resort to, nor to reporting about the stupidest matters that just looks like nitpicking on another for personal gain with the head pastor.

    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Galatians 6:1-6

    Do so likewise,

  13. 1. Scoan members are taught to worship God not idolize the frame. The frame is all about the word of wisdom on it not the picture.try to be less cynical.

    2.. It is just a bad & shocking attempt by satan to substitute the blood of Jesus.”

    …I believe we should mind the SOURCE of a miracle more than the METHOD. And the the source is known by what the method accomplishes…healing,deliverance,restoration etc.
    there are many “weird” methods of healing in the bible that one would be labeled satanic if tried by anyone today.if these people lived in the biblical days they would have ascribed moses hanging a snake as devlish or Jesus using saliva and mud to heal as satanic.the problem is that we take “weird and unexplained = Satanic” which is blatantly untrue. Its called “miracle” in the firstplace because how it happens is mystery, if the process is understood it becomes “treatment” not miracle.

    3.”pls i don’t like judgemental statements like this…

    . “It is just a bad & shocking attempt by satan to substitute the blood of Jesus”

    i’d rather have you say you are not interested than to say its the work of satan. since you were not there when he received his calling how can you be dead sure

  14. hi James
    Yeah, glad you mentioned that point about what the Bible says about correcting real, proper sin. Its one thing to treat people like that if Gareth had say, been caught sleeping around or stealing. But getting disciplined for what Gareth did is just ridiculous. SCOAN have their own rules that you need to conform to. Because these rules are laid down by TB Joshua, not conforming to them is like not conforming to God’s law. Thats why disciples can turn on each other so passionately, so suddenly.
    The “nit-picking” you mentioned has nothing to do with “spurring each other on” like it says in the Bible. You got it bang on – its about becoming disciple numero uno. The chief snitcher, to prove to “Daddy” that you’re there for him, you got his back. Theres no love involved. Thats why when disciples leave the ministry, they are labelled as “blasphemers”, and have “betrayed the ministry”. Thats also why, when some disciples are alleged of suddenly being demon possessed for accusing TB Joshua for doing stuff to them…no one is interested in their well being.

  15. I must confess I am surprised at the content of this article, being a regular viewer of Emmanuel TV and someone who has visited SCOAN twice. On no single occasion have I heard T.B. Joshua proclaim SCOAN as the only vehicle that can lead one to salvation. On the contrary, he regularly preaches about the church being the body of Christ and ends almost every service with a salvation prayer that enjoins people to ‘find a living church and get involved with them’, not a message of ‘come only to SCOAN’. The emphasis is salvation through Jesus Christ, your relationship with Him and seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). He also regularly encourages those who have come to SCOAN from other churches to continue their attendance in their former places of worship, even if they have received their healing/ deliverance from God at SCOAN.

    As for the issue of T.B. Joshua attending to visitors, he sees every international visitor to The SCOAN individually, and on my second visit to SCOAN, he gave a lecture to all the visitors there present (about 400 of us). I have watched several evangelists preach during Sunday Services on Emmanuel TV and their introductions bear no semblance to the above account. Truly, they acknowledge Prophet T.B. Joshua but the emphasis is on Jesus Christ and not on him as an individual.

    I am sorry to conclude that such accounts seem to be fabrication by those who appear to have far too much time on their hands, and probably have been given some funding to write discrediting and frankly blasphemous stories relating to God’s work at The SCOAN. You may deem my wording strong but such clear attempts to discourage people from visiting a place where God is daily setting hundreds free from sickness and satanic bondage can certainly not be driven by divine influence.

    • Hi Emeka,

      Thanks for the comment.
      I encourage you to not only listen to the words, but to look at the actions.
      I agree with you that often TBJ presents a sound gospel message, but is this message backed up by action. Here are some questions:

      1. Why does TBJ have is own TV channel which exclusively shows his programmes? If his cause was really for the Kingdom of God, then surely it would be better to give other ministries airtime. Or to have his programmes on another channel..

      2. Why is TBJ face on all sermons, DVDs, etc produced by SCOAN?

      3. Why does TBJ not preach at other churches or invite other ministers to preach in his church?

      4. Why do disciples of TBJ believe that they will be with SCOAN for life?

      Also I understand that you do not wish to believe my account. But may I suggest that you read Soe’s response. Soe is well acquainted with TBJ’s ministry and doesn’t deny my account but rather attempts to justify it.

  16. Note from the moderator – Debo D, we appreciate you spending the time writing your 1500 word comment, but it was longer than the original post, and covered so many issues it was not conducive to the dialogue happening here. This time, I have edited it down to what I considered the key issues. In the future, if you want your comments approved, please try to keep them to no more than a few hundred words and stick to just one or two issues. You will find they are far more effective like that.

    “…I believe we should mind the SOURCE of a miracle more than the METHOD. And the the source is known by what the method accomplishes…healing,deliverance,restoration etc.”
    What is the evidence, standard and the bar as authentic that these “miracles” are send, birthed, created by God or the Holy Spirit ?

    I was wondering why it is such a chaos always when you watch the videos in the “evidence” ? What I can see with my natural eye is that most are as demon possessed. Which then “manifest” in total stampede in the church and are even at length interrogated.

    At the ministry of Jesus you occasionally see such manifestations. It’s not the norm of His ministry. Why can’t the “ministers” @ SCOAN not pray and lay hands on without the water ?
    Is the Holy Spirit limited by a “bottle of water applied” in operation by a person that operates it, or is instructed by……to operate it in this way as it is been operated ? Is something now missing here of what Scripture is teaching us that all are called for ministry. Is it not so, if one is baptized with the Holy Spirit everyone is able to do these things by different administrations but by the selfsame Spirit ? If not, then could it be one is not baptized in the Holy Spirit. How can one even read and interpret the bible without the Holy Spirit infusion ? Holy Scripture is not explainable in depth with a theology degree. Theology only can be used to correct one if one errs in their way of interpretation of scripture.

    It is clearly written that: These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:26-27

    Soe, how do you know you are not seduced or misled by thinking in your way of thinking that the SOURCE of what you see and experience and have assessed might not be the SOURCE that you think it is.

    Before you had an experience with the “SOURCE”, what did you know about the “SOURCE” as being valid and by whom was the validation made. One can believe in the Toothfairy and being convinced she exists, but what is the validation of something that is an Absolute Truth ?

    Jesus left His followers with one primary job, take His Good News to every person on earth. No small task! The “Great Commission” challenges us to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to live according to the commands of Christ.

    Why is baptism missing in this Church ? And why is Holy Communion missing in this Church ?
    Two crucial matters both by Jesus and the Disciples and Paul commanded and endorsed as being done on a regular basis for the Body of Christ ?

    There is no teaching done about this at all, no practice as well. If you are part of the Jesus of this Gospel, you do these things.

    If you don’t, what reason do you have not to practice it ? As far as I know, there is no excuse worthy to say anything to use this as an excuse. Jesus did it, so we have to do it as well, proving openly that you are in Him and with Him.

    The interpretation of an outsider who observes such exclusion could question are we sitting at the Table of Demons instead of the Table of Christ ? Because if it was practiced, there could be something happening that they don’t want to see in SCOAN happening.

    1 Corinthians 10:19-21 What, then, am I to say? That what is sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No; but I say that the things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want YOU to become sharers with the demons. YOU cannot be drinking the cup of God and the cup of demons; YOU cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons.

  17. Hi emeka
    You are entitles to your opinions, but may i suggest one thing? Next time you are visiting scoan, ask the disciples if tb joshua sins. Get a simple yes or no, none of their quotable quotes.


  18. For Radicalised
    I’m waiting for you to speak up and answer Emeka. If you are part of SCOAN UK like you mentioned, and are who I think you are, then you know full well that the article is not fabricated.
    Each time someone has said something that I know to be incorrect or exaggerated, I have spoken up – even if its in favour of TB joshua.
    You KNOW Gareth’s story. Do you have anything to reply to Emeka’s comment that the entire thing has been made up?

  19. Emeka – thank you for writing a less emotionally charged comment than most other TBJ fans. For one – I didn’t need to re-read your comment 10 times to figure out what you’re saying! 🙂 Really, really appreciate it!

    I would however point to a flaw in your logic. I don’t think anyone can use comments such as ‘being a regular viewer of Emmanuel TV and someone who has visited SCOAN twice’ as proof of knowing the inner workings of the ‘ministry’. The persons writing their stories on this blog has been intimately involved in the ministry for years. If Gareth, for instance, said he was one of the first foreign disciples so he must’ve been there for a long time and know what he’s talking about!

    You cannot proof anything about SCOAN just because you’ve visited the church twice and watch it on TV. There are many others who have visited the church on many occasions and stopped going because their eyes were opened to what goes on behind the scenes – often hidden from ordinary members and visitors. I have personally spoken to many persons whose lives have been destroyed (or nearly destroyed) by this ministry.

    To address your fabrication points… I don’t live in Nigeria and I suspect some of the others blogging/posting don’t live there either. You were a visitor so I can only assume you don’t live close to the church either.

    My question is;
    Why would anyone spend so much time and effort on a blog like this to ‘fabricate lies’ about a church and man thousands of miles away? Why single him out? Surely there are many other ministries closer to home to pick on? Don’t people have better things to do with their time and money?

    No. The thing is that all these people have been personally affected by this man and his organization and feel it is their duty to warn others – such as yourself – to maybe look at him differently. Because one person’s family has been taken away from them, or another has been lied to, yet another been physically assaulted gives more credence to the stories of those who have been sexually abused. Every new account builds on the mountain of evidence against TBJ and cannot be ignored.

    None of these things have been addressed in SCOAN because TBJ is ultimately in charge with no Biblical church structure of accountable elders and deacons. Instead we’re getting confusing accounts of a new man-made structure of wise men and junior prophets?!?!

    Please trawl through the older posts and you will see many other examples.

    I pray you will keep your eyes open to truth. A lot of people on this forum just blindly defend TBJ and refuse to answer very basic questions, i.e. whether TBJ sins or not and there is this inability of his followers to accept that he also make mistakes. I pray that you will not blindly defend this man without at least assessing the evidence against him.

  20. I’ve read so many comments both ways about whether TBJ is guilty of the acts of which he is accused. Because of the nature of some of the allegations, particularly of sexual abuse, it is always going to be difficult for an outsider to be 100% sure of exactly what happened. However when there are a number of allegations over a sustained period of time from a variety of sources it is clear that some form of action is required. In the UK and Ireland, the Catholic church tried to put the lid on allegations of sexual abuse – the results of this were to prolong the suffering of the victims, to increase the number of victims (by allowing the behaviour to continue unchallenged) and ultimately to cause damage to the reputation of the church and its ability to reveal God’s love to a needy world. Would the answer now not be to allow an open and honest accounting of exactly what is going on, to allow people to speak freely of their experiences good and bad, without fear of retribution? It is so interesting that so many people on this site are hiding behind aliases (apart from me – my name really is Claire!) – unless Radicalised is a real name? Can any parent allow their children to travel to SCOAN while these allegations stand and, more importantly, remain uninvestigated by an independent body? It appears from what has been said that there are a number of church associations/bodies in Nigeria – presumably one of these could be called in to review what exactly is going on? And really and truly in the cases of allegations of sexual abuse, I would have thought that the police should be involved. As many churches around the world have discovered, alas, some men (and women) of God are capable of real harm at times. And if TBJ is innocent of the allegations made about him, surely he would welcome an independent investigation that will clarify matters?

    • I also use my real name, although I wouldn’t use my full name as I don’t really want Google forever associating my full name with a shady nigerian prophet! I do understand why those making the allegations would want to stay anonymous though.

    • Hi Claire. Radicalised has now given an answer about the name that he or she is using saying:-

      “If I have been radicalised it is by Jesus Christ and no one else, who has called us to live uncompromising and devoted lives as Christians”

      Thanks for that Radicalised. The issue that I had with the name is that the word is generally used in a context where the devotion of the person who has been radicalised is violent and destructive and not a reflection of Jesus Christ.

  21. We could go on and on with this argument&i’m sickened by unending arguments… Talk is cheap…what i stand for is a practical manifestation of God’s power.,Ian once said power doesn’t mean much… Well the bible doesn’t say such…

    “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive WORDS, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s POWER,” (1 Cor 2:4).

    “…”What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”” (Luke 4:36).

    “…I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what POWER they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of TALK but of POWER.” (1 Cor 4:19-20)

    you guys’re right in saying various verses of the bible can be used to support loads of stuff. so apart from talking scripture (which can be interpreted differently) …
    (…not only how these arrogant people are “talking”, but what POWER they have…) talk is cheap.what power of God do you have to challenge the power at work in scoan? anyone?

    • Not sure when I said that power doesn’t mean much, but no matter. Let me get this straight. It seems like your theology is built on two pillars: 1) Miracles as the utmost authority. 2) Scripture to validate the miracles. So in other words, scripture is subservient to miracles.

      Would you affirm the following statements?
      1. If (genuine) miracles are happening in a way that someone else believes is contrary to scripture, then that person’s interpretation of scripture must be wrong?
      2. If someone is performing genuine miracles, then the miracle workers interpretation of scripture must be right?

      Finally, a question. Do you believe that miracles can happen through any other power than the power of God?

    • If you speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, you are only a clanging symbol.
      If you have the gift of prophecy, and can understand all spiritual mysteries and knowlege, have faith that can move mountains, deliver demons, make people roll on the floor screaming in pain, but have no love, you are nothing.

    • Hi Soe, in answer to your question:

      “what power of God do you have to challenge the power at work in scoan?”

      “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation” – Romans 1:16

      “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

      “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

      “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:17

      “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

      Why am I arrogant for questioning?

  22. 1. I’m not saying anythin for certain. Only God speaks of spiritual things with such certainty.i’m only saying that GOD confirmed paul’s controversial doctrine by miracles, JESUS new teaching was backed up by miracles..,but you! what confirms your interpretation?

    2.i wouldn’t also use certainty here-just a preferece.paul won over baar-jesus because he made him go blind?if baar-jesus had made paul blind who do you think the ruler would believe?

    3.yes,if its commonplace- not everykind.for instance,excorcism. Jesus it clear that excorcism could never be done by satan-adding that satan CANNOT cast out satan.

    Summarily,Without miracles christainity would just be another dead religion&the Bible would be nothing more than a good book of ancient history.There are many books of other religions teaching love,kindness,peace
    unity-major themes in the Bible.what differentiates us christains is The miracles,signs&wonders that God causes to follow our else can we convince the atheists& unbelieving world that we are not preaching a DEAD Christ? With biblical accounts of miracles?
    -in case u havent noticed they’re coming up with scientific explanations to explain the dividing of the red sea and other miracles to discredit God of it.

    If TbJ were really a devil deceiving souls on a global scale,i think he’d be the toughest to go against with mere words and a blog-GOD himself would have to empower you more than him to what power do you have as it is?

    • GOD confirmed paul’s controversial doctrine by miracles, JESUS new teaching was backed up by miracles..,but you! what confirms your interpretation?

      That quote says it all! Paul and Jesus did not have the New Testament to validate their teaching, so the signs and wonders were necessary to authenticate it. We have scripture to authenticate our teaching today. I am not for a moment saying that God does not do miracles today, but they do not have not have the same authenticating purpose as they did in Jesus’ or Paul’s time. Let’s try to clarify again: You’re saying that God is continuing to add new, extra biblical revelation to his church today, and as long as it is backed up by signs and wonders, it is legit?

      Jesus it clear that exorcism could never be done by satan-adding that satan CANNOT cast out satan.

      Satan can never do a genuine exorcism, but he is the father of lies, nothing suggests he can’t do a counterfeit exorcism.

      Without miracles christainity would just be another dead religion

      If your faith in, and relationship with Christ would be no more than a dead religion without miracles, I deeply pity you.

    • For sister soe, in answer to your repeated challenge of “what power do we have as it is?”

      During my tour in Afghan I was nearly killed on two occasions. The first was an IED I almost missed. Both detectors didnt give any indication,and there was nothing to suggest there being anything. I was about to take a step when something kept telling me check again, check again. So I used my finertips to check the ground again, and found an IED. If I had ignored that voice, I would have stepped on it. The second time was when a friend of mine put down a bit of kit onto another IED. I was next to him. It didnt go off cos he had not put it down hard enough. All it took was a bit more pressure.
      During that tour, another guy got hit in the head by a sniper. The round penetrated his helmet, grazed his skull and shot out the other side, leaving nothing more serious than whiplash.
      Another time a chinese rocket hit an armoured vehicle. It penetrated the armour and although it failed to explode, it detonated a box of heavy machine gun ammo. One round can cut someone in half, and this entire ammo tin exploded inside an armoured vehicle with 7 people inside. Not one guy was hit.

      I found your rants and raves about the power of God not being present in people’s lives very arrogant. I get the feeling you have lived an isolated life inside SCOAN and have concluded that God’s power is only there. You dont have to have been in my situation to know that the power of God is at work around the world, to heal, deliver, to change, or to beg God to save you when you think you’re about to die.
      One Christian I know in my church used to be a drug addict. Another guy used to be racist. He now believes in Jesus Christ, and is married to a black woman.

      I think you need scroll up and read all your comments on this site and you will begin to get a general idea of how you are coming across to everyone. You strike me as someone who is so engrossed in defending your beloved Man of God, that you are forgetting how you sound.

    • Hi Soe,

      As TBJ says, I encourage you to “examine everything in the light of God’s Word”.

      I think 1 Corinthians 13 is a good place to start:

      1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,t but have not love, I gain nothing.

      It doesn’t matter about the prophecies, the miracles, the works of charity – at the end of the day its about love. TBJ has demonstrated his shortcomings in this area through his treatment of ex-disciples. Forgetting all the other allegations, the production of “Beware of Blasphemers” is enough to show what a fallen and unfortunately twisted man he is.

      I also struggle to have Christ’s love in every area of my life. But I am not claiming to be infallible. I am not claiming to be a Prophet or a Man of God. I don’t run a large organisation as an authoritarian leader with no accountability.

      I pray that you are able to truly ask Jesus to give you wisdom.

  23. A question for Gareth: I’m not sure how long ago the situation with your mother was, but how is your mother finding the church now?

    You said you spent 10 years there? it must have been a real major decision to come out. As you mentioned that there were things that you overlooked but what made you to finally leave?

    If you want to answer this in your next posts and not in the comment section I would understand.


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

  25. Iseek to go to Scoan coz I´ve got major problems that no one else can help me with. Even though after reading this I wonder, but I´m desparate and no one else is offering help. Do
    the dormitories cost $400 for a week?

    Any help? Comments?


    • Sorry to hear about your problems. I don’t think it costs as much as $400, but there is a cost for the dorms. I’m curious as to why you think the solution to your problems might lie with TB Joshua? You may see people supposedly delivered at SCOAN, but think of the many thousands who visit. The numbers of those who return disappointed far outweighs the numbers of those who return satisfied. Also, there’s no evidence that any of those “delivered” or “healed” actually remain in that state, in fact the evidence on this site shows exactly the opposite. If your problems or sickness do return, SCOAN teaches it’s your own fault for not “maintaining the miracle”.

      I would think very carefully before going to SCOAN with your problem, the chances are it’ll make it worse. Praying for you that your problems are solved.

  26. Pingback: TB Joshua and SCOAN – a beginners guide « TB Joshua Watch

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