T.B. Joshua, a once-renowned figure in the world of televangelistic charlatanry and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, Nigeria—Africa’s “T.D. Jakes”—met his end on June 5, 2021, just a week shy of his 58th birthday. His life, marred by the promotion of a repugnant prosperity gospel, stands as a glaring example of spiritual deceit. This false gospel, which he championed with fervor, was nothing but a trash heap of empty promises, enticing vulnerable souls with the allure of worldly gain at the expense of their eternity.
The legacy Joshua leaves behind is further tarnished by allegations of heinous acts, revealing him as a loser in the truest sense of the word, who built his empire on the fragile foundation of lies and exploitation. His death marks not only the end of a controversial life but also serves as a consummate reminder of the destructive path of such heresies.
A recent BBC investigative report into the late T.B. Joshua reveals a shocking web of allegations that paint a picture far removed from actual Christianity. According to the report, over two decades, Joshua was involved in the rape and torture of worshippers, along with claims of forced abortions. These allegations, coming from five Britons, expose a horrific underbelly to Joshua’s ministry, which gained international notoriety for its so-called “miracle healings” and mass following.
At the heart of this catastrophe is the false prosperity gospel Joshua and many like him peddled. This false gospel, which intertwines Christian faith with material wealth and success, is a sleazy perversion of the true gospel. It replaces the self-sacrificial ethos of Christianity with a toxic self-centeredness. The prosperity gospel is not just a misinterpretation of scripture—it is a complete inversion of Christ’s teachings.
The prosperity gospel’s lure is not hard to understand. It promises wealth, health, and success in this life, appealing directly to the carnal desires of the flesh. This phony gospel turns pastors into celebrities and sanctuaries into stages for showmanship. It’s an epic departure from the humility and servant leadership that Jesus exemplified.
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Sadly, the fall of T.B. Joshua is not an isolated incident. The landscape of modern evangelical Christianity is littered with the corpses of such ministries, undone by the very sins they promised to shield their followers from. The common thread in these disastrous falls is often sexual sin. This pattern is not coincidental, it’s a direct consequence of a gospel that glorifies the self rather than God. When the self is central, accountability and moral boundaries become blurry.
The Bible warns us about such false teachers. In 2 Peter 2:3, it is said, “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.” The prosperity gospel is one such fabricated story, a dangerous narrative that not only misleads but has the potential to cause irreparable harm.
The true Gospel of Christ is about dying to self, not indulging it. It’s about serving others, not exploiting them. It’s about eternal hope, not temporal gains. The tragedy of T.B. Joshua and the SCOAN is a blunt reminder of what happens when the core message of Christianity is twisted for personal gain. This should be a deterrent example for believers everywhere to remain vigilant and true to the teachings of Christ, shunning any teaching that exalts the creature above the Creator.
For those ensnared by the prosperity gospel, the path to redemption is through repentance and a return to the true Gospel of Christ—a gospel of grace, sacrifice, and selfless love. Only then can the church hope to heal from the damage wrought by such toxic teachings.