TB Joshua’s Worst Biblical Error

The second of two posts where a new contributor to TB Joshua Watch explores some of TB Joshua’s more bizarre and unbiblical teachings (first part here). As always, we welcome any civil debate in the comments section.

TB Joshua’s ministry is rife with error. He is, from the viewpoint of orthodox Christian theology, a Freaking Heretic.

But I think this is the worst. Because it deals with salvation. TB Joshua has made salvation contingent not on Jesus Christ, but on “deliverance” as defined by…(wait for it)…TB Joshua!

Please recall that TB Joshua styles himself as the lone untouchable prophet of God. He frequently “delivers” pastors and prophets and “men of God” from supposed demons. If they are ministering and delivering people in Jesus’ name while themselves demon possessed, clearly the only logical way to be sure one is properly “delivered” is to do it under the auspices of TB Joshua.

Sadly, this leaves an awful lot of people unable to be born again, because they cannot be delivered by TB Joshua. The vast majority of the world’s 7 billion people, and the Christian Church, don’t have a clue who TB Joshua is. According to this video, it is blasphemy for any of those people to say they are born again believers.

At about 2:40 in this video, TB Joshua says this:

[his victim is explaining that he is born again, but experiencing many troubles in life, possibly due to his family’s historical involvement in idol worship]

“No. It’s a blasphemy to say “Born Again.”  Without deliverance, no-one can be born again. Tell your neighbor…”

[at this point the poor dupe he’s castigating tries to say something and TB Joshua says “Please, remove the mic.”

“It is, it is blasphemy [audience repeats] to say I’m born again [audience repeats] without deliverance [audience repeats].   You know what I mean. You are taking from dark. Darkness. To light. And this cannot just happen by mere talk. Mere hope. Mere prayer.”

Oh no he didn’t! Did he?  He did.

What does Scripture tell us about salvation?

When the jailer asked Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved, they responded with this simple prescription: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”

Jesus said it even more simply: “Follow me.”

Occasionally, we find reference to repentance and baptism, one preceding, the other following. What we do not find is “fasting and prayer to drive demons out” as a required precedent for being born again. We also do not find “falling out,” vomiting, interviews with demons, screaming, and “manifesting” as requirements of being born again, and we know that these things are what TBJ calls “deliverance.”

What TB Joshua has given us in this little gem is a gospel of works righteousness. We cannot be born again without first following his formula. I don’t think “blasphemy” means what he thinks it means. He’s certainly not using it correctly.

Scripturally, not a one of us can work our way to salvation. We cannot deliver ourselves. We cannot make ourselves “light” so that we can be saved once we’ve gotten all tidy and clean. No one can do it for us, either.

JESUS SAVES US OUT OF DARKNESS. He IS the Light. We do not pull ourselves out of the pit. To say that we must “get delivered” first is to negate the work of the cross. There is unbelief, and there is belief. There is darkness, and there is light. There is no ridiculous murky in-between of “I want to be saved but demons are preventing it, I need a prophet to get rid of them so that Jesus can save me and I can be called born again.” No. That, my friends, is the real blasphemy.

Back to the video, it appears that TB Joshua does offer the option of “Self deliverance.” You can be delivered in your house. If you fast and pray just right, you may “just find yourself delivered,” after which, you are in the right situation to be born again. That’s not particularly comforting. You “might” get delivered at home, if you do it just right. How can one be sure though? He does not explain.

We are left to assume that self-deliverance is iffy, while deliverance at SCOAN is a sure thing.

And then of course there is the problem of this being a blasphemous false gospel, creating salvation by works and self-righteousness, rather than complete and utter reliance on Jesus for salvation.

You know what I love about the real Gospel? It tells me that I CANNOT save myself, and it tells me that I have a Savior who has the power to save me from my wretched, awful, sinful state. The true Gospel tells me I can trust in Jesus because he is MIGHTY TO SAVE. No demon can prevent my salvation, if I indeed “have a demon.”  No. Jesus is no wimp. He does not need me to create the right environment (demon-free) in order to save me. I serve a God who is far mightier than TB Joshua seems to think He is.

In Which TB Joshua Rewrites the Bible

In the next couple of posts, a new contributor to TB Joshua Watch will engage with and expose some of TB Joshua’s more bizarre and unbiblical teachings. As always, we welcome any civil debate in the comments section.

In the video linked below, TB Joshua describes what happens when a wife has a “spiritual husband” (an unbiblical concept in and of itself)

“Because of what is happening, spiritually, it will reflect in this man. This man will find himself fornicating. And he will not know how it come about.  And if it is a man who is doing this thing in the spirit, the woman will go out! Something will just happen like that.”

Yep. Fornicators and adulterers around the world now have the perfect excuse. “My wife was having hot sex with a demon and suddenly I found myself in the arms of another woman. I have no idea how that could possibly have happened!”  “It’s true I slept with a man besides my husband, but that is my husband’s fault. His spiritual wife made it happen. I am not responsible. In fact, I have no clue even how I ended up in another bed!”

But does he quit there? Oh no. The intrepid “man of God” continues explaining his own gospel.

“When one is not delivered, the other, too, his Christian life is in danger.  Let me tell you. I’m a Christian. I’m a pastor, OK? If my wife is not upright, our kids will look like gonorrhea.”

Say WHAT?

Gonorrhea.

Dear people, if you are married and as a couple you do not follow TB Joshua and get his deliverance, your children are a venereal disease. Yep.

Shall we continue?

“If one have gonorrhea, and sleep with another one, he will have gonorrhea. [unintelligible] uprightness.”

At this point the applause seems somewhat hesitant. Could it be that the audience is dimly remembering their Scripture and struggling to understand why he is speaking something contrary to it?

“If two of them have gonorrhea, and one of them come to God for prayer, and the other one is not…if the one that is here meet the other one at home, he will take the gonorrhea back. And he will now begin to complain that the miracle is not happening.  No! The source needs to be dealt with.”

One brave person claps their hands, once.

“So, this is just, we have to be very careful, when issues like this happen, you need to ask yourself question. What has happened to you?  So. God bless this word.”

We have heard TB Joshua’s gospel, as it relates to marriage and family.  Shall we now refer to the Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit?

What TB Joshua just preached is the exact opposite of what Scripture states about the situation where there is a believing spouse and an unbelieving spouse.

“12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” 1 Corinthians 7:12-14

1 Peter 3:3 specifically advises wives on what to do about an unbelieving husband. Notably, it does not say “Drag him to get delivered because if you don’t his disease of unbelief will cause you to fornicate!” Again Scripture places the power on the side of the believer.

For a great example of the power of the work of God not just in our own lives but in the lives of our loved ones, we have only to look to Paul’s “son in the Lord,” young Timothy. In marriages, and in a whole culture, surrounded by unbelievers, Lois, and then Eunice, understood the power of the work of God in their lives and it affected Timothy. Timothy most certainly did not catch the “gonorrhea” of unbelieving family members. He “caught” the holiness of God, through the faithful life and work of his mother and grandmother. I’d bet dollars to donuts that neither of those women “accidentally” fornicated because their unbelieving husbands’ demons made them do so.

Contrary to what TB Joshua just preached, it is NOT the unbelieving spouse who has the spiritual upper hand here. However one may interpret this passage, it is clear that the believer is the one who sets the spiritual tone of the household, not the unbeliever. Teaching that an unbelieving spouse is like gonorrhea and passes that diseased state onto the believing spouse is in direct opposition to the Word of God. Likewise, the unbelieving parent does not make the children “gonorrhea.” Rather, the believing parent covers them, as it were, with the holiness of God. The transfer goes exactly opposite the way TB Joshua just described.

The believing spouse represents Christ to their unbelieving spouse and to their children. And apparently, according to the Scripture above, in some mysterious way the believing spouse brings the holiness of God into and over their whole household, regardless of the spiritual status of their spouse and children.

What TB Joshua has done is turn this on its head, in order to support his unbiblical theories. You will notice that nowhere in that “word” does he reference the Word of God. That is because he cannot. There is no Biblical support for such a teaching.

And can you imagine what it does to a marriage and family life? A husband whose wife may even be a believer, but opposes TBJ on doctrinal grounds, cannot help but look at her and see a demon, if he believes TB Joshua. And if he believes TB Joshua about that, then he looks at his children and sees venereal disease. He must then frantically try to get his whole family “delivered” according to the formula of TB Joshua, so that he can stop the spread of gonorrhea and avoid being “reinfected”. At the same time, he will appreciate the handy excuse for his own sin, because it can all be blamed on the demon his wife is sleeping with in the spiritual realm. Surely even the most simple minded of people can see what a disaster this is to marriage.

On the other hand, someone who reads the actual Word of God has no need to worry about “contamination” of any kind. This person has the wonderful knowledge that their relationship with God positively affects the lives of their spouse and children, even if those family members are unbelievers. The person who trusts in the Word of God does not see disease and demons when they look at their family members, but people beloved by Christ, to whom they represent Christ in their words and actions. They also have the responsibility for their own sins, knowing they cannot blame anyone else.  Owning full responsibility for your own sin and failure is essential in maintaining loving, healthy relationships with others.

TB Joshua is messing with you, dear ones. He is preaching a different gospel, and a false gospel. Pick up your Bibles. Search the Scriptures. Be Bereans.