Another intriguing interview with Pastor TB Joshua, as published in the prestigious Guardian newspaper of Nigeria…
Prophet T.B. Joshua is founder and General Overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations and Emmanuel TV, International Ministries through which many have received salvation, healing and deliverance. In this interview with OBIRE ONAKEMU, he spoke on religious conflicts in Nigeria, corruption and unemployment among other issues.
How can Prophet T.B Joshua be described?
WELL, I am a human being just like you. If there is any difference, it is the righteousness of God, pure grace. God chooses Grace rather than works.
What do you think should be the right prayers of Nigerians?
Their prayers should be those that are in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are two prayers. One is the prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit and the other is prayer that springs up from needs. The fact that you are in need of bread from God, you pray: Lord, give me bread; that is one prayer. Another prayer is the one for the salvation of our souls; that whether you give me bread or not, he is my God. This is a prayer in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Whether he heals me or not, he is my Healer; whether he redeems me or not, he is my Redeemer; whether he delivers me or not, He is my Deliverer. That is the prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What do you have to say of religious conflicts in this nation?
Well, I don’t see religious conflict. What I see is love. We are to look for love: the love of neighbour and the love of God. PDP (Nigerian political party) could consist of different religions and still believe in harmony. We haven’t learnt that they fight in the senate because of religion. They do things in common and live in harmony even though they all have and believe in different religious ideas. In the National Assembly, in both the House of Senate and the House of Representatives, they fight over different issues and never on religious issues. And so, for somebody to say, there is a religious crisis, I think, there is more to that. The problem we have is not religious crisis, it is love that is lost. We should look for love. It is good to love: a love that is beyond religion, beyond hatred, beyond geographical location.
Nigeria is a secular state but by its actions, the federal government is portraying it as an Islamic country. What do you have to say concerning this?
Well, I don’t see it the way you look at it. It is the same love that I’m talking about that is lost. When there is love we have one Nigeria. But we pretend to love. That is why we can have different religions in PDP, different religions in the Action Congress (AC) and different religions in other political parties. We pretend to love, that is why the senate would never hear a conflict over religion. So, we pretend to love. But that love, the love we have, is conditional. What we really need is unconditional love.
Where do you think we should place falling moral values in the Nigerian socio-political life?
The philosophy of our Lord Jesus Christ says: “Love your neighbour as yourself” Love is the greatest vessel. A Christian is known by his love. A child of God is known by his love. A true believer is known by his love. A true pastor is known by his love. Whatever name you call yourself: whether a cleric or pastor, is mere claim until that name is tested in the real situation. And it is love that can make us pass tests, trials and tribulations. When you love, you will see beyond whatever trials that you are facing. God will manifest His strength in your weakness. And when God manifests his strength in your weakness, it is no longer you that is facing the trials but God.
So, how would you advise Nigerian leaders to handle their service to the country?
When you talk of offering services to our nation, we should see our nation as more important than any other structure or person. Whatever we do today, we should work for good name, not for silver and gold. When you work for good name, you would always be just and you would be a good reporter to the superior. To be a good reporter to the superior is to be his watchdog and report everything that would affect the ministry, the company or the nation to the superior. And if you report the need for change and nothing is done, you have the right to resign. And that is how it is! Also, they should know that they cannot do it alone. They need people, good people. The President needs good people – informed people, inspired people – to achieve success. Our Lord Jesus Christ knew this and that is why he had twelve disciples.
Do you think political offices should be made less attractive?
As I said earlier, what we should work for is good name, not riches. Everyone has weaknesses. But we believe that the Lord, Jesus Christ, manifests His strength in our weaknesses.
What do you think is the solution to corruption in this country?
Corruption is as old as Nigeria’s Independence; it is as old as Nigeria. So, when one talks of corruption, our minds always go to politicians. But go to the market, what market women bought at N500 you would be very surprised that they sell at N5, 000. If such market women become ministers, what do you think they would do with public funds? At every level of our society, corruption should be looked into. We focus on politicians, but we should look from primary schools to secondary schools to market women and to other places. And that is the only way out. When we go out every morning to work for good name, we live above corruption, since corruption is an enemy to good name.
Equally, do you see unemployment as one of Nigeria’s biggest problems?
Unemployment is in everywhere. I was once telling my ministry here that our mineral resources should not be exchanged for dollars, pounds, silver or gold. When we take our mineral resources to places like the United States of America, it should be in exchange for their technologies. And secondly, our children must know that education can only help to succeed but it is not success itself. They need God in every aspect of life.
2011 is fast approaching, would you advise Christian leaders to go into partisan politics?
There is politics in the power of the Holy Ghost. If they go into politics in the power of the Holy Ghost, they would administer their politics in the power of God. God would be their guide. But the politics we see today is the politics of might and power. Politics of might and power is not politics for men of God.
Final message to Nigerians
I would say to Nigerians that whatever we are facing now is not meant to destroy the nation. It is meant to strengthen us. So, we should watch the way we talk and the way we react. The way we handle our situation matters. We should look beyond our situation. What we are facing now, super countries had once had the same situation and they overcame it. Ours should also be seen. What is happening is not a new thing. So, I’m advising Nigerians not to lose hope. We are getting it and we shall surely be there tomorrow. If we are not there today, we shall be there tomorrow!
There is also the need to embrace righteousness. Righteousness exalts a nation while sin brings reproach. If only we embrace righteousness, God will manifest his strength in our weakness. So, we should also not put everything on our leaders. And President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, I pray for his speedy recovery. Nothing is impossible with the Lord; with God all things are possible! As for Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, love is the greatest!
SOURCE: The Guardian