The Senior Pastor and President of Believers’ Loveworld Inc. aka Christ Embassy Int’l. a Christian evangelical church, Rev. Christ Oyakhilome, PhD, has berated church leaders for negotiating what he called “cruel” terms with governments for the reopening of churches, closed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cleric was speaking during an online sermon he preached on Saturday 06 June from his church headquarters.
Oyakhilome, heading one of Africa’s mega-churches did not specify the church leaders and of which countries but said, “One of the reasons you still have lockdowns of churches in several countries right now is not even the governments. It’s church organizations that are keeping many churches locked.
“The governments invited certain church leaders consulting with them whether to open the churches or not but they advised the governments to keep the churches locked because of their own fears, their greed and their jealousy.”
In Nigeria, religious gathering in churches and mosques have been shut down by the government since 31 March, trying to flatten the curve of the growing Covid-19 infections in Africa’s most populous country.
But the cleric had a warning for those church leaders saying, “Their days are numbered – believe me.”
Pastor Chris (as he is fondly called by his congregants), is not the first Christian cleric to disapprove of the terms for church reopening across the country which goes into effect this weekend.
Senior Pastor of Household of God, Pastor Chris Okotie described the 10-point guideline approved by the government and released by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to its members as “unbiblical”.
The guidelines, among others, propose that churches should strictly observe social distancing during services.
Samson Ayokunle, a Bishop of the Anglican Communion and CAN president, said the guidelines, drafted in compliance with the government’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19, included, “Every worshipper must wear a face mask. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with one meter gap between two worshippers. One and a half-hour service is enough for a start. There should be a gap of 25 or 30 minutes between one service and another where there are multiple services to avoid crowds.”
But Pastor Oyakhilome said these were “shameful requirements” for the church.
“Church leaders are telling church members no communion, no physical touch and if anybody is going to lay hands on the sick, they have to wear a glove?
“Did this happen in the church of Jesus Christ? You would think such instructions and guidance came from sinners.
“But to know that church leaders will append their signature to such documents and send them to churches is another fiasco.
“These are the people making decisions for churches? It is cruel. It just tells you what’s been going on and how easy it’s going to be for the anti-Christ when the time comes.”
He warned those church leaders that they were selling themselves short to political leaders. “What you don’t know is that many of those politicians have read some parts of the Bible and they know that the Apostles are not like you. So now they’re not afraid of you. They know you never believed, you’ve just been there for a long time.”
Pastor Chris was one of the earliest first ecclesiastical giants to react to the Covid-19 pandemic and asserted in the early days of the crisis that there was a sinister move by forces of darkness to use the pandemic as a decor to fast forward and distort prophetic timeline already established in the Christian holy scriptures – the Bible.
He had mobilized millions of Christians worldwide in fasting and prayers.
During Saturday’s sermon, he boasted, “We’ve rearranged things in the spirit. Everything is moving back in line. Why do you think they’re rioting and destroying things in the United States? Very simple; Covid-19 debacle didn’t succeed so the demons got mad and went raging in the streets – that’s why. They’re natural reactions.
“They’re very frustrated so they’re pushing people out in madness. There isn’t anything that happened there (U.S.) that hasn’t happened before. They’ll soon be tired. Just relax. Even all that will fail. It’s a waste of time.”
“We didn’t pray for nothing, my brothers and sisters,” he assured his viewers.
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