Evangelist Angela got it precisely right. She is a testimony herself. She is also a good and bold preacher. The new wave of persecution is more from within the so-called Church of Christ in Nigeria. The “Church of Christ” is being used in a very broad term here. It includes sects speaking evil of those things which they know not. What they know is what they are naturally, they are brute beasts, and corrupting themselves. As written in Jude 1: 9-13 they are people who have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for a reward. They feed themselves without fear. They pollute the public mind with their self-made doctrine.
In the 1960s and up to the middle of the 1970s there was more unity amongst the Christian body in Nigeria with only the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) in the Northern region and the Scripture Union (SU) in the Southern regions of Nigeria. These two Christian organizations were able to groom young Nigerian Christians, and I am gladly a product of the FCS. But the unity was lost when religion became a big political weapon and economic source in Nigeria after Gen Gowon was removed by a coup. Individuals started forming their denominations, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was formed and blocks were created within CAN to cater to such group interests. It can be said that CAN was formed, not from a call from God to grow the Church, but from concerned Christians who believed then (and probably still now) that extra weapons would be needed for political purposes. Having established a body like CAN, the organizers also begin to think that they are to decide who belongs or not. It is not certain if the SCOAN would be admitted into their club, or which block could accommodate her.
The Advent of prophet TB Joshua of Synagogue Church, of All Nations (SCOAN) is a big headache for CAN and the various congregations that constitute that organization. Today in the internet unprintable things can still be found written about prophet TB Joshua or SCOAN, especially discouraging people not to go near. The persecution continued by banning broadcasting prophet TB Joshua healing services from government-owned Television stations, arrest and detention, fake news, false propaganda and many others. It is not expected that the atmosphere would change because the very foundation of CAN was different from doctrine teaching or moderation. Similarly, many congregations in Nigeria are becoming shopping centres enforcing tithe collections as the main doctrine and putting back to society absolutely nothing. They also expect that others should obey what they teach.
In all these happenings we shall continue to encourage prophet TB Joshua to be silent, except praying and watching. In 1 Samuel 2:9 we read that “God will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail”. After all, it is not a competitive race but each person functioning according to the call given. Prophet TB Joshua has a very big call in the order of prophets like Elijah, Elisha or Daniel and hence should not be detracted to market noise. He is currently not busy himself going to praying for Presidents, governors, senators, etc, except if they come to him. We also think that the prophet will use Psalm 28:1 crying always into God “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit”. There is no compromise with the world because friendship with the world makes us God’s enemy James 4:4.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria