Poju Oyemade, the senior pastor at The Covenant Nation, has called on churches to respect the government’s call for social distancing, as a means for halting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19)
He stated that social distancing is a biblical method for stopping the spread of a virus, emphasising that the concept is God’s idea.
The convener of The Platform Nigeria, who held a strictly online service on Sunday, called on other churches to regulate themselves in order to be ahead in its dealings with the state.
“God designed us to protect the honour of His Church through a principle known as self-judgment. This way we always stay far ahead of the curve when it comes to interaction with the State,” Oyemade said.
“This principle is outlined in 1 Corinthians 11:31-32: ‘For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.’
“This implies that we protect ourselves from external discipline if we have very strong self-governing mechanisms. As our country therefore contends with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for us to understand that it has no religious affiliation.”
SOCIAL DISTANCING IS GOD’S IDEA
Oyemade, who pastors hundreds of thousands of people across the world, said social distancing is God’s idea as spelt out in the bible to the nation of Israel.
“That explains why pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Mecca or the Vatican are all being cancelled on the principle of social distancing, which is actually a Biblical method to stop the spread of an infectious virus,” he added.
“Social distancing is nothing new. It was spelt out in the covenant God had with the nation of Israel. They were to isolate infected people and practice personal hygiene to stop the spread of any disease among them.
“Leviticus 13: 21, 46, makes it plain: ‘But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days…All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.’
“This was the way Israel walked in divine health. From spiritual principles of staying clear of bitterness and murmuring in order to keep the spirit healthy, to practical principles of hygiene through the collective application of wisdom, the nation was kept in health.
“When an individual had need of healing after violating the law of God, then the individual faith of the prophet was required to restore health to the person or group. Meanwhile, the nation as a whole stayed healthy by the collective application of wisdom.”
CHURCHES SHOULD SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO AUTHORITY
He stated that churches should be subject to authority by following the dictates of God’s word.
“As children of God therefore, it is important that we stay ahead of the world in terms of stopping the spread of COVID-19 through the application of Biblical principles.
“We are also to subject ourselves to authority since we are the light of the world and the principle of isolation is biblical. This way we prove in word and deed that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
“The experience of Church services being intruded upon should not even arise for we should be far ahead of even the State through the application of the wisdom of God found in the scriptures. May God see us through this difficult period. And may He preserve our country.”
Poju Oyemade-led The Covenant Nation was founded in March 30, 1994, as Covenant Christian Centre.
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