The Apostle Paul wrote: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all of these, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Roman 8:35, 37); while in the Book of Matthew 6:33, it is written that “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you; take therefor no though of the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought of the things of itself…” Despite of these encouraging and divine intervening passages of the scriptures, the churches of Liberia has shown signal of shutting down their doors to members in the wake of the Coronavirus. Pronouncements from the churches that led to raising the question: Where is their Faith in God Almighty? The Analyst reports.
Consequent to these passages in the Bible, many church members and others feeling disappointed questioned the rationale or logic in suspending church services when the Christians should be supplicating before God to intercede for the nation.
Tenesee Toby of the Methodist Church said what the church leaders should start doing now is to be declaring fast and pray amongst their various praying warriors in their respective churches than suspending services. Ms. Toby considered the option taken by some church leaders as betrayal of the faith of their members, and urged that such option needs to be reversed.
For Abu Sheriff, a Muslim, he said the church’s action is an indication of distrust in Jesus Christ, and by attachment the Christian God and advice Muslims not to tread similar paths taken by the Christians. “Allah, the all merciful, and all powerful is able to heal this nation and roll back the Coronavirus disease,” he said.
Tarnue Ballah of the Baptist denomination Church disagrees with pronouncement coming from the Providence Baptist Church, especially with instruction of paying tithes through mobile money. “Where is our faith? Have we been going to church because of the money or do we trust in God that we can be saved from all adversities through Jesus Christ our Lord?”
Mr. Ballah called on the church leaders to abandoned closing the church but to instead devise a feasible method of reducing over crowdedness yet but to wordship God through Jesus Christ.
Other sentiments were expressed to our reporters against the closing of churches, with unanimous recommendation that regular divine services should remain to allow supplication and intercession by church as a body of Christ before God.
Latest reports received by this paper said some Churches are suspending regular divine worship services after reports of the submission of the driver of quarantined suspended Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Dr. Nathaniel Blama to the Incident Management Team for screening after he heard that his boss came down positive with the virus.
According to reports, Natt Blama’s driver who is a member of First Baptist Church in Congo Town – proficient drummer turned himself over to the national health team to get tested upon hearing that his boss was tested positive of the COVID-19.
Before them, the report said Dr. Blama’s driver had performed at a church musical program organized by the First Baptist Church in Congo Town held last Sunday at the Stephen Trokon Nagbe Memorial Methodist Church on 13th Street Sinkor, a day after which the driver have heard about the news that his boss Nathaniel was tested positive of the Coronavirus.
Accordingly, health authorities reported that the driver reported himself for screening as a result of fear and has since been quarantined, although health situation report has it that he is initially tested negative of the COVID-19 disease.
Consequent to the trending suspicion and fears that grip the church community, including the Baptist and Methodist Churches whose members were part of the program that the EPA director’s driver attended, information in public has revealed that major churches in Monrovia are closing their doors due to fear of coronavirus. The Churches include the include S. Trokon United Methodist Church (UMC) and the Providence Baptist Church, amongst others.
The UMC Bishop was first to announce the suspension of all Church activities including regular Sunday worship service, Sunday School, Bible study, weekly prayer services, amongst others as precautionary measures to adhere to health protocols announced by President Manneh George Weah.
According to the reports, the Providence Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Samuel Reeves also announced the suspension of church activities, and instructed its members to keep away from the regular activities but orders that the members of the church should pay their tithes through mobile money services. The Church might resume regular service on March 24, 2020”.
A highly place source indicated that other smaller churches may follow suit, considering that President Weah has announce refraining of the people from crowds as a measure for the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Rev. Kortu Brown, who was contacted, confirmed that it is the Methodist and Baptist Churches that are contemplating to take such decision.
But Rev. Brown said the LCC is suggesting that in adherence to the international social distancing protocol, the churches should divide their Sunday services into three parts, 1st, 2nd and 3rd services to reduce crowdedness of the churches. Rev. Brown further said most of the churches have also arrived at a decision to slow down their annual conferences.
“You may want to close your Church, but let us keep the doors of our Churches open for now, while we at the same time putting into place mechanism to adhere to the international distancing protocols in Churches”, Rev. Brown urged the Church community..
The LCC leader said the Catholic Church in Liberia said it is looking up to the result of the LCC meeting, which was finally held yesterday, March 18, 2020.
Meanwhile, the Liberia Council of Churches has proposed to the government to allow a three-day national fast and prayer covering Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week, Rev. Dr. Brown hinted.