After much hesitation and consideration, I have finally decided to put out this article. “…For His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side…” (Jeremiah 20:9-10).
The set of guidelines issued for churches in Ghana to follow to hold services for just ONE HOUR is one of the highest expressions of absurdity I have ever seen in my little life. Among others measures:
- The number of worshippers must not exceed One-Hundred (100)
- There must be one metre distance between worshippers
- The temperatures of worshippers must be checked before being allowed into the church
- There must be regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces
- Offering baskets must be placed at entrance and exit points
- Five (5) minutes of the One-hour must be used to educate worshippers on Covid–19
- Singers must sing while wearing nose masks
- Children and elderly people should not be allowed into the church
- The contact details and addresses of all worshippers must be recorded
All these measures are to be put in place for just a ONE-HOUR service. This is UNBELIEVABLE.
ARE THE PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE MARKET PLACES NOT THE SAME PEOPLE WHO TO GO THE CHURCHES?
Why then is there no limit on the number of people who go to the markets? Why are only Hundred (100) people allowed in church regardless of the capacity of the church auditorium?
How effective is social distancing in the market places?
People are allowed to stay and trade in the market places from morning to evening, but Christians can only be in Church for One Hour?
Money is freely exchanged between hundreds of hands every day at the market places, but offering baskets must be placed at the entrances and exits of the Churches?
The mass media (radio, tv, prints, etc.) have spent a huge chunk of their airtime and space, over the past three (3) months, talking about and educating the public on Covid-19. Why should churches use five (5) minutes of their limited One (1) hour service time to educate worshippers on coronavirus? This is just absurd. I wonder who makes these recommendations to the government.
How regularly are frequently touched surfaces cleaned and disinfected in our market places? Why then should they be regularly cleaned and disinfected within a one-hours service?
Are the temperatures of traders who spend virtually the whole day in the market places checked daily? Why then must the temperatures of worshippers be checked before being allowed entry into a church they will be for just one hour?
Who records the contact details and addresses of sellers and buyers who trade at our market places? Why then should the contact details and addresses of worshippers who are not allowed to spend more than ONE HOUR in church be recorded? This is just absurd.
Children and elderly people freely sell and buy in our overcrowded markets, but are not to be allowed to join a ONE HOUR church service? What a joke! So much for the concern of the health of children and the elderly!
Something is obviously wrong with these measures. Something is definitely wrong with the people who made these recommendations. Something is certainly wrong with those who approved it. And something is absolutely wrong with those who see these measures as normal.
WHICH ARE SAFER? THE MARKETS OR THE CHURCHES? The Churches, obviously.
Any genuine Christian with a heart for God who thinks these measures are normal must be blind. Any genuine Christian who approves of such stupid guidelines must check their faith again. Any true believer who is in support of these absurd directives must either be using a different Bible, or serving a different Christ, or both.
My greatest disappointment, however, is in those we used to consider “Top Men of God” in Ghana. I am shocked at their very LOUD SILENCE in the face of these absurd directives against the Church of Jesus Christ. How can they keep silent when these stupid measures have been set against our Lord Jesus? Without knowing, they have set a very bad precedent – the government now know that they can pass unreasonable directives in the future and Christian leaders will just keep quiet and comply.
Perhaps they cannot even see the absurdity of these guidelines, hence their silence; or maybe they so want to appear as “wise and reasonable and honourable” in the eyes of men that they have succumbed to these ungodly measures. They have come to love the praise and honour of men more than the praise and honour that comes from God (John 5:41,44; John 12:42,43).
There would not have been any need for me to write this article if our “Top Men of God” had spoken out openly and boldly against these unreasonable directives. But if our elders, who God has given national and global voices, choose to remain silent in the face of these unthinkable measures against the Church of their God, then some of us the youth, with our little voices, will speak (or write); for we cannot, but speak the things we have heard from the Lord (Job 32:4-22; Acts 4:20).
If Saul and the generals of Israel’s armies will not rise against the blasphemies of Goliath, then little David, the shepherd boy, will have to do so with his little sling and stone (1 Samuel 17). If Eli will not put things right, then God will have to turn to little Samuel (1 Samuel 2:3). If Balaam will not heed the voice of God, the Lord will cause a donkey to speak to him (Number 22). If Zedekiah will not speak the truth to the king, then Micaiah will do so (1 Kings 22).
There would have been no need for me to write this article if I was in Nigeria, because their “Top Men of God” such as Pastor Chris, Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Paul Enenche, Apostle Johnson Suleman, etc., have been speaking openly against some of the unreasonable restrictions from the very beginning. As I write now, the Churches in Nigeria are opened, with some restrictions, but without some of the stupid guidelines we have here in Ghana. Nigeria is a nation with a population of over 200 million and about 50% Christians. Do you get the comparison?
But our “Top Men of God” here in Ghana are silent and have succumbed to these absurd conditions. How can they speak, when their voices have been “silenced” with the “honour” they received by being invited to the presidency for a breakfast prayer meeting? How can you speak against a government directive concerning Covid-19 after you were invited to the Presidency to pray against Coronavirus and for wisdom to handle it? You can’t!
What is actually wrong with the whole Christian community in Ghana? Believers go to the markets freely but are reluctant to go for a church service they will spend just an hour for fear of contracting Coronavirus in Church. Are they not afraid of contracting the virus in the market places? We consider the overcrowded market places safer than the church? That’s preposterous! Some Pastors have issued communiques to their members not to go to church until “conditions are safer”. Did they also tell them not to go to the market places until “conditions are safer in the markets?” Something is definitely wrong somewhere!
What happened to the healing power of Jesus and His Gospel? My God! The Church is a place of healing, not a place of contracting diseases. Jesus heals people in Church; He doesn’t distribute diseases. People get deliverance in Church, not afflictions. (Obadiah 21). Any true Christian who believes otherwise must either be using a different Bible, or serving a different Jesus Christ, or both.
Do our pastors care about the salvation of their flock at all? Do they have any idea how many of their flock have gone astray during these past three months of Coronavirus quarantine and lockdown? Even with consistent church services, many Christians find it difficult to stay spiritually alive. Can you guess how many Christians may have backslidden during this period that Churches have been closed? Can you imagine how many souls we have already lost to the devil. Yet our pastors are hesitant to get churches opened and have succumbed to these unreasonable guidelines. The spirit of fear has crippled them into indecision, and the members just follow suit. This is unbelievable and simply unacceptable.
Now to those who still cannot appreciate the picture I am trying to paint with these few words, this is my question to you: What would Jesus have done in such a situation? What would the early Apostles and Church Fathers have done in such a situation? I’ll leave you to answer that. Have we not read or heard about the mighty healing testimonies in the ministries of John Alexander Dowie and John G. Lake during the Bubonic Plague?
All our “Men of God” have gone into hiding, waiting for this plague to be over so they can come and speak “big big English”. Maybe we have forgotten that the Kingdom of God is not only in Word, but also in the demonstration of power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5; 4:20). We have a form of godliness, but we deny, or have neglected, or are ignorant of the power of the Gospel (1 Timothy 4:5). We profess that we know God, but deny Him and the Power of the Gospel with our works and actions. (Titus 1:16). God is watching all of us.
Coronavirus has exposed all of us, and has revealed what is really in our hearts, and the unbiblical Christianity we have been practicing for years. Shame on all of us!
Gathering together is a fundamental tenet of Christian Worship, and cannot be replaced with online services. (Acts 2:46; 5:42; Hebrews 10:25; 12:22-24). How many people can even connect with online services? What percentage of those who can, actually do connect with online church services? Most churches have no means of reaching their members. What happens to the millions of Christians who cannot even read, much less read and understand the Bible on their own? Spiritual vacation is a huge risk for any Christian. These stupid measures are nothing less that spiritual attacks on the Body of Christ, and believers must wake up.
I pray that the Lord will open the eyes of all believers to see the reality of these truths I am sharing.
I dare you Saints of God to arise. Creation is groaning now more than ever for the manifestation of the sons of God. What an opportunity to demonstrate and manifest the raw healing power of Jesus Christ and the Gospel? How will those who mocked Jesus know He is real? How will unbelievers and atheist believe our Gospel that Jesus is still alive if we are hiding from this virus the same way they are also hiding. Wake up, Sons of God; and do what our Lord and Master bid us to do (Mark 16:15-20).
STAND UP FOR JESUS! YE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS!!
THE PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE MARKET PLACES ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO TO GO THE CHURCHES.
THE CHURCHES MUST BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE AS FREELY AS THE MARKETS OPERATE.
Yours in the service of the Lord,
– Paa Kwesi Blessing