In previous posts we have discussed SCOAN’s dangerous teaching about healing, in which people are 1) told that they are healed by TB Joshua, 2) discouraged from taking medication and 3) blamed for a ‘lack of faith’ when it becomes clear that they are still sick. Judith was left in a coma after following the advice of SCOAN disciples. In this post, we tell the story of a woman who died after she refused medical treatment because TB Joshua had declared her healed. Some names have been changed to protect identities.
Anne, a British woman, was in her forties when she died of cancer. She left behind a husband and two children, both in their teens. Claire was a close friend of the family. She says that the tragedy of Anna’s situation was that her death was preventable.“If Anne had had the chemotherapy, the chances are she would have been fine now,” she says. “I know five other people who have had breast cancer and had the chemo. All of them are now in full remission.”
Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. “It was diagnosed early,” says Claire. “She’d already had a masectomy but she was due to have a course of chemotherapy. The aim was to wipe out individual cancer cells that might have been missed, or that might have spread elsewhere.” According to Claire, Anne was usually meticulous about following medical advice. However, she ended up refusing the chemotherapy. Three years later, she was dead. What persuaded her to take this fatal decision?
Anne attended Emmanuel, an evangelical church in Winchester, England. Simon was a fellow member of this church and recalls this time.“From around 2000 there was a lot of buzz in the church about the Synagogue, Church of All Nations in Lagos.” he says. “People talked about this incredible church in Nigeria where healings and prophecies took place. It was like the book of Acts in the 21st century. That was how it was presented.” said Simon. “There was a feeling that Christianity in England was lukewarm, safe and boring. People were hungry for something raw and powerful, more awe-inspiring. But not everyone shared the enthusiasm. Some people were more wary of it.” Kate, who attended the same church, wrote about the atmosphere at the time in this post.
“Anne’s husband Tony first went to Nigeria around 2001. He came back very enthusiastic about what he had seen there.” says Claire. “After this, Anne was keen to go out to Nigeria with him.” They went out together in 2002, shortly before Anne was due to start her course of chemotherapy. But her visit changed everything.
In Lagos, Anne had stood in the prayerline and received prayer from TB Joshua. Afterward, she was told that she was healed. “She came back from Lagos claiming she had been healed by TB Joshua,” said Claire. “She said that because of this, she was not going to have chemo.” says Claire. “I was keen for her to have the chemo. But when we talked, she came out with what at the time I thought was an odd argument,” she says. “She told me she was healed by faith and that if she had the chemo that would demonstrate a lack of faith in the healing and that therefore she would not be healed,” says Claire. “I don’t know exactly what TBJ actually advised them to do, but I know the whole teaching about not having chemo came from Nigeria.”
Several other people tried to persuade her to have the chemotherapy. But she was insistent. “She had been so excited by what she had seen in Nigeria, and she had fallen hook, line and sinker for this strange teaching.” says Claire.
After this, Anne and her family became more involved in SCOAN. “They went out to live in Lagos for a year, taking their younger son out of school for the year and leaving their older son in England,” says Claire. “They went out again in 2004, and decided to take their older son with them, when he should have been sitting his A levels. I argued that it wasn’t wise to disrupt the children like this, but by then, they were very hooked into everything.”
Anne’s condition deteriorated over this period. She died in 2005. The choice to not have chemotherapy was entirely her own. However, we know that she was persuaded to take this decision by the teaching she encountered in SCOAN. She took this decision because she believed she was healed. You might argue she was desperate to believe, and was in an intoxicating and other-wordly environment where anything seemed possible. But most importantly, she believed it because she was told she was healed, by the self-proclaimed Man of God, Prophet TB Joshua.
Unfortunately, the story of Anne is not a unique case. Here’s a short round-up of other people who have been proclaimed ‘healed’ by TB Joshua and his disciples:
–Judith, who was ‘healed’ of diabetes.
-The women in the BBC article who died of AIDs after quitting their ARV medication.
-Ex-disciple Giles’ mother, who also refused chemotherapy after being told she was healed.
-Our old pastor (mentioned in this post).
-Maxime Claasen and John Rindel from South Africa (mentioned halfway down this post)
All of them were proclaimed healed at SCOAN but none of them were healed. All of them died except for Judith, who spent a few days in a coma. And the stories that have been told on this site and others are almost definitely the tip of a much larger iceberg.
SCOAN’s usual response
“But we can’t blame TB Joshua for these failures,” TB Joshua supporters will say. In the words of SCOAN London, in their response to the latest scandal exposed by Sky News, “if anybody comes in the name of God, we pray for them,” they say, but “the outcome of the prayer will determine if they come genuinely or not“.
In other words, if these people were genuine, faithful, free from sin and worthy of healing, the healing process would have been completed and maintained. They were healed, of course, through TB Joshua’s unique anointing. But if they ended up dead, this was because the healing was ‘undone’ by their own doubts, their weakness, and their sin. To quote SCOAN London, “Christianity is a relationship. When the relationship is broken, the blessing is lost.” And so these people died, broken and racked with guilt at their own lack of faith. Because this is how our almighty God rolls, right?
Wrong. Members of SCOAN need to seriously rethink this twisted teaching. It is cruel exploitation of people at their most vulnerable and desperate.