Coronavirus is taking church to another level — Adebisi

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Prophet Peter Abiola Adebisi is the General Overseer of Christ Miracle Church Mission (CMCM), Ogba, Lagos. In this interview with CHRIS IREKAMBA, the cleric expressed concerns over COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Nigerians to be properly educated on the devastating effect of the disease, even as he donated over N4m to Southwest governors to cushion the effect of Coronavirus. He also applauded steps taken by the Federal and state governments to curtail the pandemic. He appealed to good-spirited Nigerians to support Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other Nigerians at this crucial period.

Some schools of thought believe COVID-19 is God’s design to wipe out some people and bring in a new generation of people as happened in Noah’s time. What is your take on this?
God is love. He cannot destroy what He has created. God is not a destroyer or a killer. The so-called Coronavirus that is killing people today is man-made and not of God. It’s a biological war weapon. So, if it was made by men, it has to be stopped by us. For instance, john 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world…” What we are witnessing is a consequence of our sin. Life is give and take, and what you sow is what you reap.
Since it is man-made, what’s the remedy?

When I was preaching, I quoted Isaiah 26:20, where God instructed His people that they should go into their chambers and hide themselves for a time because of the indignation, so that the evil can pass over them. So, for them to be saved, God told them to go into hiding. That is exactly what the government is telling us. First, people have to take government’s order seriously and obey instructions on hygiene, isolate themselves where necessary and educate those that are yet to understand the importance of government’s directive on Coronavirus. There are quite a number of people that are yet to understand what COVID-19 is all about.

When you consider the number of people that are dying daily, it is worrisome. For example, in Italy, over 17, 000 people have died just like in Spain, and thousands are also dying in the United Kingdom and America. What do you think will happen, if we experience such in Nigeria? Everybody will run away either to the village and stuff like that. All this is enough to tell our people that we need to play according to the rules of the game, as outlined by relevant authorities. These include isolating yourself and obeying simple instruction on hygiene. Avoid congested areas, stay with your family and spread the news in every locality that Coronavirus kills. The steps taken by Lagos State government to lockdown everywhere is for our safety.

In 2014, God spoke to me one the day, while I was preaching in the church. He said: “A disease that is coming…” But He didn’t give me any name. He said ‘a disease is coming,’ called the white man’s disease. That was the period we were battling Ebola. Then, Ebola was black man’s disease, but this particular disease God said was coming from the white man’s land. I saw people using mouth mask, and people were dying in a great number. I prayed to God not to allow it come to Africa, as the economy would collapse. Having seen what is happening today, I remember the gravity of what I saw and my prayer to God asking Him, not to allow it come to Nigeria, because it is a kind of disease that will make a mother not to know her children.

In Italy, they have all medical facilities and yet people are dying like chicken. Look at what Lagos State government is doing, giving out food to the needy. I just felt like crying, and that is why our church has decided to support various governments in what they are doing to alleviate suffering of the masses. So, we’re giving out N2m to Lagos State; N1m to Ogun State; N750, 000 to Osun State; N250,000 to Oyo State; N250,000 to Ondo State and N500,000 to Ekiti State.

The church is giving so much to state governors.
What about the community the church is located?
We are also giving our community here hand sanitisers, and God helping us, we plan to do more. To God’s glory, we’ve been a blessing to this community, and if we have been useful to a particular place, we should not limit our usefulness to that community alone. You should also introduce yourself to others. It is the church that tarred some of the roads in this community, as well as installed the streetlights. We have been helping and supporting people in this community financially. If you have been watching our programmes, you would have seen our welfare package for the people.

But this particular donation is to support state governors for what has happened. It’s like an attack on every one of us. The area the church is located is part of the society. We pay huge amount of money monthly to maintain those streetlights. It is part of our Christian Social Responsibility (CSR). At this point, we have emergency on our hands and so; we need to reach out to the government.

What’s your view on the impact of shutdown on churches?
What you are saying is that since churches are not gathering, how do we survive? What is involved here is life and death. By God’s grace, we have electronic altar. While I was preaching, I discovered that on my Facebook alone, 4,000 people were watching my programme aside the church website. We also have radio and TV stations, where people watch and listen to us. When we had our vigil, people that watched the programme were 27, 000.

What I’m saying is that church is not losing anything. Rather, what we’re losing is that physical contact. But I tell you; it is another way of taking the church to another level. You know the Church of God can never be defeated. In every adversity, God is teaching us something very unique for us to learn from it. The church can never be conquered. Offering and tithes can also be made online. I know that is what you want to hear.

The Guardian

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