Faith is not a Denial of Science-Rev. Kristilere –By Eniola Olarinde
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Senior Pastor of Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Lagos, has advised Nigerians to observe the regulation stipulated by the government to control the spread of the coronavirous (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. He gave this advice at a recent online conference organized in Lagos by a Christian group.
Rev. Kristilere, who noted that some states in the country have reopened churches previously under lock down to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 in their states, said each of the church missions in the country has requirements for reopening their churches.
“Some states have reopened churches and stated that worshippers should not be more than 20 or 30 with social distancing being observed. I believe that whatever the regulations the country has stipulated must be observed. And as leaders and pastors we must not be found breaking those rules for any reason. We have stated clearly that the virus is real and the threats are real. Faith is not a denial of science. Faith is actually the admittance that God can help us overcome. So, I would suggest that whatever the rules are, we must obey,” he advised.
The cleric said that the truth about COVID-19 was that people cannot be silent and pretend there are no obligations. He cited financial obligations and commitments to basic needs as some of the challenges that most churches are facing as a result of the lock down of churches across the country due to the COVID-19 scourge.
“Take for an example, in our church we have not less than 40 members of staff that are paid monthly. Without money coming in it would be difficult to pay them. We have reached a stage whereby we just need to trust God to speak to the hearts of his own children to respond, knowing fully that they also have their issues.
Rev Kristilere pointed that the lock down of churches does not debar church members from paying their offering, tithes and other forms of giving to support the need of their churches during this lock down: “But members who have fully come to know their Lord and who knows the blessings, importance and reward of giving and also tithing before and during the pandemic, as long as money is coming in, they would give. Those who do not give are those who do not understand what giving is. We must not pressurize them. Let God speak to their hearts. From my experience, God would always keep his own children and they would do what is right,” he said.