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T.B Joshua: Christianity needs a human face

13 Nov 2017 at 11:07hrs | Views
On a recent visit to Latin America, I was shocked by the responses I got from locals each time I introduced myself as a Nigerian. Among the eight countries I visited in the past five years, there was no where I visited that people did not ask me about Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua. In one instance in Brazil, a former State Minister told me TB Joshua is ‘like a King in Brazil'. In Chile, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and other countries I visited, I felt on top of the world seeing a Nigerian held in such high esteem. I had similar experiences during my visits to Asia and Southern Africa. There should be something special about the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua. He had no formal education, but today he is a Professor from the University of Life. It is amazing how a man from an essentially poor but humble background could rise to become a world star, sought after by Kings and leaders of nations.

There can be nothing more compelling than his transformation of Christiandom to the service of mankind as exemplified in his rare culture of giving to the poor. In the ancient times, Christianity was identified with meeting the needs and aspirations of the people. Today, many have turned the temple to a profitable means of greed, avarice and exploitation.

Some modern preachers wish to make us belief that salvation is reserved for people only after their death. While it is true that the salvation of the human soul comes after the mundane world and that mankind, according to Christianity lives to fulfill the mission of God, that is to win human souls for Christ and also preach to the flock to live a righteous life, this should not take away the fact that Christianity cannot pretend to be blind to the economic travails that people go through daily.

In Nigeria today, Christians that wish to fulfill the promise of God on earth, should also be concerned about eliminating misery and poverty from the world we live. In a country of 170 million people, where the average person lives on less than one dollar per day, there can be nothing wrong for Christian leaders to show deep concern about the harsh living conditions of the people they lead, by offering prayers and also taking practical steps, where possible, to address their economic and material needs. Giving back to the society and uplifting the poor and vulnerable should be the hallmark of Christianity.

Today, Nigeria is bedeviled by the problems of poverty, hunger, starvation and deaths. Millions of people go hungry in reality due to the years of misrule spanning decades of corruption and bad governance. The military regimes made the situation worse by stifling the right of the people to willfully choose their leaders. Today, the vestiges of military adventure continue to haunt Nigeria in all spheres of socio-economic endeavours.

This explains in a more graphic form, the need for Christianity to rise up to the occasion of addressing the anxiety of the people, their desperation to survive and their enthusiasm to get out of the melancholy occasioned by depression and social exclusion.

This explains the reason why Pastor T. B Joshua is being noticed across the world, particularly his unique interventions in the affairs of mankind. I have observed the Synagogue Church of All Nations for decades, and there is no doubt that the church and its administrators stand out as representing the true spirit of Christianity. Last September for instance, I was one of the numerous visitors that watched the unique hosting of about 10,000 young people that came across from Nigeria in a special Pentecostal encounter. Apart from Pastor Joshua sharing breakfast and dinner with the multitude, they were taken through motivational speeches and training on how to live a purposeful live and also how to bail out of the economic and social circuit.

\In Haiti, after the January 12 earthquake, Pastor Joshua did us proud by donating millions of materials worth in aid to the victims. 230,000 lives were lost in the incidence. The Pastor even chartered a plane filled with medicine, landing in Cap Haitien, the airstrip owned by the United Nations. In downtown Colorado, Denver, United States, Pastor Joshua set up relief camp where thousands were fed. In Indonesia, he runs a care institution that attends to the needs of over 1 million people in a year. This is apart from the Nigerian centres for the physically challenged, the reformation class for armed robbers, the orphanage and the widows' programme which addresses the needs of thousands of widows across Nigeria.

One can only hope that with the evergreen examples, Christianity will continue to uplift the toiling masses, irrespective of their ethnic group or faith, from the misery and the cobwebs of economic difficulties that is the lot of millions of homeless, helpless and hopeless people around the world.

SOURCE: Nigerian Tribune -

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