Founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Temitope Joshua speaks with newsmen on the forthcoming 2011 elections and sundry issues. Sunday Oguntola was there
Q. How come there are always one or two accusations against you almost every now and then?
TBJ The various accusations I have faced have really helped my spiritual life. I believe if all has been praises without condemnation that will not help me. These condemnations and rebukes make one close to God and keep you seeking the face of God more. They make you to
pray the more, fast the more and do the things of God the more. I think it’s a blessing; I regard it as a blessing. At least everything has been well. I want to thank those whom in the past God have been using to condemn me. Sometimes God uses foolish things to express himself. What I mean by foolish things is condemnation.
God uses these condemnations to prepare us for the challenges ahead. God uses some trials to take us to a new level in life, sometimes using it to slow us down in life. At least we have many people who go to prison and come back becoming great in life and many others. We have Joseph who left his father’s house and rose to the throne. All these challenges have not affected me negatively. Rather they have improved me greatly.
TBJ Each time the condemnation comes I know something great is about to happen. So it’s a blessing. I see those who have been condemning me as friends. I want to say to everyone that God is just not a beginner but a finisher. You need to look inward and check what you are doing today. Will you be able to do it tomorrow or do better? So you can begin to ask for more Strength from God. It will be too soon for anyone to say “I have arrived “No the journey continues.
Q. Can you confirm the report that you were recently attacked during service?
TBJ Well, the gun is still in the police station. We have recovered three guns. The story is in the newspapers. A brother came with a gun tucked
inside his pants. He also had about three knives and acid .Well, we thank God. What will I say even if they don’t bring all these to the church some people will still be out there saying let us go and attack him. They have seen those who brought it and how they were arrested. They will now know that this man is very accessible but untouchable. So I think I want to give glory to God. When I’m weak then I am strong. God has been manifesting himself in my weakness. I’m just a human being just like you. I cannot stand to say that this is how it happened
What are your expectations for the 2011 elections?
TBJ Well, this is quite unlike me; the only prayer I offer is that God should make April real because there will be challenges that will threaten the April elections. Those challenges God has shown me .Many of these challenges are changeable and many are unchangeable so I’m praying. It will be too early for me to begin to outline the challenges when I’m asking God to change many of the challenges I’m seeing. In next year’s election there will be many challenges. I’m praying that April will be real so as to promote democracy in Nigeria.
Q. What are some of these challenges?
TBJ Ok let me tell you the reason why I have been very careful. When Nigeria was fifty in October, since July, I kept saying pray, October I, I’m seeing fire and bombs. I related it on television; it was shown and I said some people being arrested. I kept saying it, even when October 1 was two days I repeated it, nothing was done. Nobody came to ask me anything. When the issue of late President Yar’Adua came up I said I was seeing coffin, they put someone in the wood that will drag the flag of Nigeria down. I said this is a leader and nobody asked me what I meant. I can begin to tell you many others that was recorded and said publicly to the whole world. So if I now come and begin to tell you the challenges that will threaten the April elections… you know what it is if you say something and no one is taking any notice of it. But one thing which I will still repeat anywhere is that I pray that this April election will be real. We should also pray that what is happening in Ivory Coast does not happen here.
Q. Do you see Nigeria remaining one in 2020?
TBJ You people are forcing me to say what I don’t want to say. Now write it down; quote me: Let us pray for April to be real. That is all because I see that people may not be interested in going to courts again to settle disputes. Let us pray against it. Let us pray that April will be real.
Your church has been involved in various charity programmes, which some have applauded. Many have however said it’s a clever plot to warm yourself into the heart of Nigerians. How do you react to this?
TBJ Let me put it this way. 70% of foreigners who arrive at the international airport in Lagos are visitors to our church. If you move round the church now you will see people from different countries .We have various ministers’ from different countries presently here in the compound. Can we now go to Haiti and ask them to be members? It’s not possible. What we are doing for little people (dwarfs) can we force them to come to church to come and be a member? We have NGO for dwarf, almost two hundred of them. We rent houses, give them accommodation and let them marry and have children. What of the physically challenged? I want to say the moment you begin to feel what your neighbour feels, the hurt of others you begin to succeed in life. So this is life of Christ. The wound of one is the wound of all. The trouble of one is the trouble of all. So, we are doing everything to help without any strings attached.
SOURCE: The Nation