General News of 2014-01-16

TB Joshua accuses Joy Fm of misinformation

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has responded to a report on Joy News Ghana which he said misrepresented his words on same-sex marriage.

In their interactive program, Joy News had interviewed members of the public about Joshua’s statement, focusing only, however, on his opening statement about avoiding judgment and condemnation. They also clearly edited down Joshua’s full statement in their Facebook post calling for reaction from the public, a fact several of their readers noted and queried in online reactions.

Via his Facebook Page, the Nigerian cleric stated that Joy News only broadcast half of his answer, thereby painting a different picture of his statement in the eyes of the Ghanaian public. He then went further to add clarity to his statement, which has been widely reported in online media across Africa, in lieu of Nigeria’s controversial ban of same-sex unions.

“God hates sin, not sinners,” Joshua wrote. “When I say, ‘Do not judge so that you will not be judged,’ I mean we should hate sin, not the sinner because sinners can change. If you have killed a sinner by judging him, there will be no opportunity for change.”

He identified spiritual issues as being paramount as opposed to physical. “Sinners can be delivered. We should hate the act, not the people because our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the ‘spirit beings’ that cause all these acts.”

Joshua originally had this to say about the controversial issue: "Judge not, so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1). We should talk to people to be saved and not to die. I mean, we should talk salvation, not condemnation. The Bible is my standard. If my parents were one, I would not have been given birth to. Those that are asking this question – if your parents were one, you would not have been given birth to. You that are reading me – if your parents were one, you would not be reading this today. God bless the reader and the hearer.”

Nigeria has faced international backlash since Goodluck Jonathan signing the controversial law which includes long prison sentences for offenders but it has been positively received within the African nation itself and indeed across many African countries including Ghana.