No virus or disease including the coronavirus infection can survive or be contracted in a church, the Diocesan and Missioner, Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Rt. Rev. Dr Humphrey Olumakaiye has declared.
Olumakaiye made his position known in a statement on Tuesday but was quick to add that his position doesn’t give anybody the liberty to flaunt government orders and regulations on the control of COVID-19.
The clergyman added that rather than spread fears of the virus, people should spread the joy of the knowledge that Jesus Christ has overcome every disease.
In his words; “Without any iota of doubt, we are sure that no virus or any form of the disease can neither survive nor be contracted in the church of God, not even when we use the same cup for Holy Communion; this principle exceeds tradition, it is divine.
“Remember the charge that Jesus Christ gave us that ‘whenever we do this, we do it in remembrance of Him.’
“One very important thing about that ‘Him’ is that ‘He took up our infirmities (sickness, diseases, etc) and carried our sorrows’ Isaiah 53:4 & Matthew 8:17 so that we will never be sick or be threatened by the prevalence of any disease again. Jesus Christ took it all. Believe it!
“However, in obedience to all laid down protocols of wearing nose masks, regular washing of hand, physical distancing and so on, our churches have made adequate preparations.
“In all of these, let the joy of the Lord be our strength because that is what we will be spreading and not any virus.”
Bishop Olumakaiye in his statement also appreciated the efforts of government at various levels in curbing the spread of the virus and keeping the citizens safe.
“We appreciate the effort of the government in trying to put preventive measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic that rocked the whole world.
“We appreciate sincerely our government at all levels for being proactive in their dispositions, as well as our frontline health workers for taking the pains to stand in the gap,” he added.
Speaking further on the resumption of physical gatherings for worship in Lagos State, he urged Christians to put their hope in God for total healing and continue to adhere to all government instructions aimed at curbing further spread of the virus.
“As we congregate in our churches, let us humble ourselves with the assurances that it is only God that can help us. Pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways so that the Lord will heal our land of this pandemic.
“He is able. He has done it before. He can and will do it again. I can assure you that now that the church is gathered like the people of Judah in II Chronicles 20:4, the God of our fathers will come to our aid. Let us, therefore, focus on God’s greatness and we will know that He is greater than any virus,” Olumakaiye said.