Temitope Balogun Joshua, in my humble opinion, is the biggest charlatan in all of Christendom. A lot of preachers sell their congregations snake oil and call it crude oil, but Joshua operates on a whole other level.
And having amassed so much power and wealth through his profession, he’s nigh untouchable. Case in point the recent case of the collapse of his under construction Synagogue building, which called scores due to shoddy construction but no one has ever been held accountable.
He has followers and detractors in equal measure, a truly polarising figure.
A feature by a Yahoo writer gives us a little glimpse into how the ‘outsider’ might view Joshua’s work. Titled ‘The Millionaire on God’s Payroll’ – the feature looks at the ministry of Joshua and how it has enthralled so many people in its hold.
Read portions below….full piece here…
Rows of sick people queue up one afternoon in downtown Lagos. There are people with crutches, mothers with crying babies, a couple of wheelchair-bound people and several with bad coughs. This is not a hospital; it’s a sports center. And they are not waiting to see a doctor; they are here to see a priest.
T.B. Joshua is one of Nigeria’s most controversial clergymen. Besides claiming to have a direct line to God, this 52-year-old has been performing so-called “healing miracles” for 20 years. Call him the Oprah of evangelism, the African case study in the kind of mass preaching that much of America is so famous for; he has his own TV shows, two million Facebook fans, sold-out events and branded merchandise. And like Oprah, he’s rich as hell. The latest estimates put his wealth at about $150 million. His church has branches all over the world, from the U.K. to Australia. He often goes on what he calls “Miracle Crusades” to other nations, and he claims that more than a million people have paid to attend his Tony Robbins–style seminars worldwide.
His pastoral style is sui generis. Joshua, who didn’t respond to OZY’s requests for comment, doesn’t preach that much. Rather, for a few minutes, he screams into the microphone, often prophesying what is to come — wisdom garnered from the latest chat with God. (He claims he foresaw the September 11 terrorist attacks.) Then, he takes his powers away from the mic and toward the sick, praying over the bodies of the afflicted and asking God to release the object of his prayer from cancer, syphilis, whatever disease it may be.