Founder of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua, says he has been facing hard times since the collapse of his church guesthouse in Lagos.
He, has however said that he would survive the trying times.
A six-storey guesthouse belonging to the church collapsed last Friday, killing no fewer than 80 persons.
A message on SCOAN official Facebook page quotes TB Joshua as saying that he would not be “destroyed” by the incident.
“Hard times may test me, they cannot destroy me,” TB Joshua said, adding, “To withstand hard times, stand with Christ. When you face trials, hard times, you can count it all joy if you add faith.”
Quoting the Bible, TB Joshua appeared to be reaching out to his thousands of followers across the world via the social network, just as he stated that God sometimes makes use of hard times to “draw us to Himself.”
According to TB Joshua, God visits His people with hard times because people often become “proud and stupid with wealth and pleasure.”
He added, “It is through hard times that you gain the necessary experience and maturity to handle whatever responsibility given you. We are most likely to go astray from God and forget Him when things are easy with us in the world because we often become proud and stupid with wealth and pleasure.
“God visits His people with hard times that they may learn His way. His ways, though hard to the ungodly men, are desirable and profitable because they lead us to safety unto eternal life. God allowed the enemy to overcome Israel so that they may learn the difference between serving God and serving the devil.
“If not for our hard times, we would not have sought the face of God. I mean, if not because of hard times, man by his wicked nature, would not have sought the face of God. This means, God sometimes uses hard times to draw us to Him so that we can take our proper position and possession in Him.
But despite his words of admonition, some commentators appeared to be sore with the popular televangelist.
A South African public affairs commentator, Allan Taylor, expressed concerns over the number his compatriots lost in the tragedy.
South African President, Jacob Zuma, on Tuesday noted that in recent times, the country had not witnessed the death of a large number of her citizens in one incident in a foreign land.
Taylor lamented that TB Joshua was allegedly deceiving and luring South Africans to his church.
Taking a swipe at TB Joshua, he accused him of unfairly personalising the tragedy at the expense of the “unfortunate victims.”
“I’m saddened by the death of up to 67 South Africans in the Nigerian church collapse and at the hands of TB Joshua’s greed. It is also important to expose those who lured the unfortunate victims to Nigeria on false pretences.
“Innocent lives of people have been lost; yet TB Joshua makes the tragedy about himself. He is a disgrace,” the enraged South African wrote on Twitter.
Another Bloemfontein-based South African, Portia Tsotetsi, said TB Joshua owed the families of her compatriots lost in the building collapse some answers.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 67 South Africans who lost their lives in Nigeria. What bothers me most is the silence of TB Joshua and his church concerning the 67 who died.
“Where are messages of condolence? When is the church (SCOAN) offering a statement of condolences to the families? When is TB Joshua speaking about this tragedy? What bothers me is the amount of blind loyalists who refuse to see facts. They will do anything to protect their church,” Tsotetsi tweeted.
But a member of the church based in South Africa, Neo Motlokoa, stated that her faith in the Christian leadership of TB Joshua “is not shaken” despite the criticisms that has followed the church disaster.
“I am a South African who loves Jesus. This morning every TV station and newspaper is carrying the news about the tragedy.
“Has Prophet TB Joshua all of a sudden become questionable to you? Is he still a servant of Christ? This is about not only SCOAN and the Prophet (TB Joshua). My faith is not shaken,” Motlokoa wrote on the church’s official Facebook page.
A Ghanaian follower of the clergyman, Ebenezer Donkor, insisted that despite the widespread criticism of TB Joshua, nothing would keep him away from the church
“Even if another building collapses to kill one billion people, I will still follow Christ through Prophet TB Joshua. My faith is unshakable. God bless the man of God and all those who follow him,” Donkor said.