SWITZERLAND, MAY 13
The Senior Pastor of the Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos, Sam Adeyemi has expressed his dismay over the deleterious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that he was unhappy about the closure of churches this period.
He, however. implored Christians to remain calm and exercise perseverance with the situation at hand for a while.
Speaking on Tuesday during an Instagram live video tagged “Iforowero” with BBC News Yoruba which was closely monitored by Todays Echo, the Senior Pastor said “This is a worldwide issue. Pastors are clamouring for the reopening of churches.”
The pastor referred to a how a church in South Korea got affected by the outbreak of the virus, he said “The church members were badly hit by this infectious disease and the pastor had to go about seeking for forgiveness.
“Even if there is going to be social distancing in our churches, how many services are we going to hold? Looking at the differences between churches with big number of members, we have to be careful and remain calm because there is no vaccine yet… As a preacher, I travel all around. But I have remained indoor with my family.”
He also noted that the churches will never be the same again post-coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, members may prefer to continue streaming church services from the comfort of their homes as opposed to physical gatherings in church auditoriums. This would inadvertently result in a drastic drop in the number of service attendees and ultimately affect church operations.
Adeyemi said that as Christians are getting accustomed to viewing services from the comfort of their homes, they would be unwilling to appear in church after the crisis subsides.
“That’s an issue I have pondered upon severally because the church may not be the same again after this COVID-19 experience. As you can see, many people have been receiving messages via online broadcast from their homes. It’s no longer like before that they have to be physically present in churches.
“Now that many have been used to worshiping God from the comfort of their rooms, will they go to church when COVID-19 is finally over? Many Christians may also feel relaxed on Sundays when they usually go to church,” he said.
He also mentioned that Christians are taking advantage of this period to evaluate the commitment and dedication of churches towards the welfare of their members.
“Also, many Christians have started questioning the genuineness of their churches for them with little or no help coming their way during the pandemic period when hunger is holding sway,” he added.
Adeyemi’s standpoint on the pandemic starkly contrasts that of Bishop David Oyedepo, the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Winners’ Chapel International.
The revered cleric believes that there was a conspiracy against the growth of the church as markets are permitted to open for six hours but churches are restricted from opening for two hours.
Speaking during the Covenant Hour of Prayer Programme last week, Oyedepo said, “There is something wrong; for people to be allowed to be in the market for six hours and can’t be in church for two hours, it is an upside-down way of looking at things.
“Which one is more orderly? The market or the church?
“I can smell a rat. The Lord spoke to me on it so strong yesterday. I can smell a rat. Behind all this, how do we stop the church from exploding? The people involved don’t know it.
Oyedepo’s comments evoked a barrage of wide-ended responses across social media platforms.