Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua Explained, When Faith and Deeds Collide…

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The sexual assault allegations facing the deceased Pastor TB Joshua of Nigeria and the African American celebrated Bishop TD Jakes have reignited a firestorm behind the role of megachurches to lead the converts to the promised land of salvation and freedom from the cords of sin. This article will dive deep into the complexities of scripture, the position of megachurches In forging higher morality, and the challenges they face.

Before we travel through the allegations of moral failure now confronting megachurches, we should remember that the scripture often forewarned the followers that the clergy was not worthy of their deed. They pile burdens on the congregation, which they cannot bear.

The common good does not compel the clergy’s enjoinment to the spiritual service but to serve their wants. In the first book of Samuel chapter 2, the scripture warned disciples that the levitical priests would beg the church to anoint them with the priesthood and that they might eat a piece of bread.

Nowhere in the scripture was the clergy well thought of or considered pious but servants in the service of their inclinations. In chapter 23 of the Book of Mathew, Christ Jesus lambasted the levitical priests for hypocrisy, excess, greed, sinful nature, and misguiding their converts so that they may become servants of sin more than themselves.

So, the conduct of levitical priests is not above reproach but is punctured by both good deeds and evil ones in the same breath. In both cases of pastoral sexual misconduct, allegedly victims have come out to express their grievances. We are not here to confirm or trash those allegations in this article.

In the case of TB Joshua, past members and servants of the church have come out to allege that the once highly respected bishop had taken advantage of their innocence and took advantage of them. TB Joshua had been hounded by allegations of sexual misconduct that included raping both women and men.

Some of TB Joshua’s accusers withdrew their sexual complaints during his life. Still, when he passed away, almost all of the former accusers had restored their accusations against Jim, leaving us with many unanswered questions. For instance, why did they reconcile with him during his lifetime, and why is it now convenient for them to resurrect those changes?

READ RELATED: Nigerian Catholics Mixed Reaction to Pope’s Approval for The Same Sex Blessings, Others Are Confused.

Two reasons seem reasonable to explain why a change of heart may make plenty of sense. One reason could be they feared retaliation from the man of God. So, they quietly cut dubious deals that silenced the alleged victims. Now, since the man of God they once feared was nowhere to threaten their dear lives, it was convenient to come out of the closet and demand restitution.

Another reason could be motivated by cash windfalls. Since he is not around to defend himself, they can extract sizeable cash from the executors of his large estate. Either way, the victims demand some form of financial retribution that would soothe their pain without necessarily addressing the trauma, humiliation and the feat inflicted on their poor souls.

In the case of world-renowned Bishop TD Jakes, the revelations of his sexual misconduct came by accident. There was another similar complaint involving the ex-wife of a Hollywood celebrity called PDiddy, who has other similar names behind his many brands. In Pdiddy’s case, it was an ex-wife who had a giant axe to grind against Jim concerning sexual abuses she allegedly endured on his watch when the two were still an item.

To compel her former to pay up to her financial demands, she shared videos that collaborated her accusations that her former husband forced her to engage in sexual orgies against her will with multiple partners, men and women alike, including underage. Abusing children landed Robert Kelly (R Kelly), that celebrity, into long jail terms, albeit he is still appealing his conviction. R Kelly is renowned for gospel mega-hits like “I Believe I Can Fly”.

In those depositions, the name of the world-renowned Bishop TD Jakes surfaced, and his accusers came knocking, demanding retributive justice. Even in the abuse of children, these matters may be taken away from the FBI if the injured parties sought to settle out of court with the victims. This is what happened to Michael Jackson’s sexual immorality case raised by a teen against him, which was settled out of court by paying millions of dollars to the teen parents who are legally permitted to look after their children’s best interests.

TB Joshua, executors of his elaborate estate, may opt to settle out of court because, in this particular matter, the accused is deceased and cannot face criminal indictments. All criminal charges were dropped on the day he died because he could no longer defend himself in a court of law.

However, civil litigation cannot be dropped because the accused is deceased. The victims can still institute civil litigation to demand monetary compensation as a relief to them and cater to long-term deterrence objectives.

In the US, courtesy of the “Me Too” movement, statutes of limitations have crumbled down as courts have realized that victims may be coerced not to take legal action out of fear of reprisals or financial inducements, among others.

The news jurisprudence recognizes sexual victims, too, can be prisoners of conscience who deserve a second shot at the embattled legal system.

In a matter of TD Jakes, he could choose to face his accusers in a court of law where his reputation will be permanently stained, and he may not lose his brand name but also the trust that glues his congregation to his megachurches. With his reputation in tatters, he will find his megachurches facing all kinds of litigation, which may bankrupt him and all who depended on it for their livelihoods.

Megachurches have been known to run as business entities commercializing the scripture to become richer and richer while leaving the dedicated poorer and poorer. So, when the megachurches are on the receiving end, they shall find fewer sympathizers to console and emotionally support them as they are taken through a myriad of legal proceedings.

Megachurches are here to stay despite their many failings due to their ability to squeeze offertory from their loyal following. The capacity to forgive is seamless when the clergy fall short, particularly in the evangelical community.

So, no matter how much the pastor is humiliated by charges of sexual immorality, expect him to come back with a big bang because the congregation believes in the gospel of second chances. With Paul the Apostle instructing the believers that where sin abounds, the grace abounds even more, they tend to look beyond personal flaws, encouraging the loyal following to accept the misbehaving pastor back in the fold.

The author is a Development Administration specialist in Tanzania with over 30 years of practical experience, and has been penning down a number of articles in local printing and digital newspapers for some time now.

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