The leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele, has frowned at the comments of some church leaders, including the Founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, T. B. Joshua; Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi; and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on their position concerning the reopening of churches amid the Coronavirus Disease.
Primate Ayodele said this in a statement by his Media Office on Wednesday.
He said it was impossible for God to request that his house be closed down due to a virus that remains powerless in God’s presence.
He stated that he was highly disappointed in those that called themselves men of God, explaining that if truly they have the calling of God, they would not have advocated and agreed with the Federal and Lagos State Governments on the continued restriction on religious activities.
He said he does not blame Adeyemi because he is a career pastor and Ayokunle because they have shown several times they have been blindfolded spiritually.
He, however, says he has issues with Prophet Joshua, whom he sees as a true prophet and respects so much.
He revealed that Joshua is his friend and he still does not believe that he would say such a thing, but if truly he said it, then he has belittled himself spiritually and needs to go back to God because God can never ask him not to open churches.
Ayodele said: “I’m disappointed in pastors like TB Joshua, Sam Adeyemi and others who says they are waiting on God to tell them when to open churches.
“It’s a lie, God can’t say you should shut the church down.
“Even if you claimed to have seen a vision, you need to ask for preventive measures.
“TB Joshua said he has seen it before that churches were asked to be closed.
“God can never ask anyone to stop his work but pastors are using COVID-19 to lie.
“Everyone is waiting for God’s guidance truly, but some of them are lying about it.
“God will definitely punish pastors using his name to lie during this period.
“Pastors didn’t advice government well.
“Lots of people are dying due to spiritual sickness, a disease higher than COVID-19.
“I don’t blame Anglican churches, CAN Chairman in Lagos, CAN President because they are blind spiritually.
“I don’t blame Governor (Babajide) Sanwo-Olu for saying churches in Lagos won’t open.
“It is due to the advice of pastors.
“TB Joshua’s words look strange.
“I’m not sure he was the one that said it, but if truly he is the one, he has berated his spiritual prowess.
“You claim you can heal and do all sort, why not open church and let us pray.
“It wasn’t God that said churches should be closed.
“So many pastors don’t know what they are doing in COVID-19.
“Sam Adeyemi isn’t a prophet.
“I don’t have issues with that, but if TB Joshua can say this, it seriously berates him.
“Though he is my friend, but his statement is getting me worried.
“Is anything wrong with the man of God?
“These pastors are not speaking the heart of God.
“Do you know how many people that have died spiritually because churches have closed down?
“TB Joshua should go back to God and enquire.
“God will tell him something else.
“He is someone I respect and love among the Christian leaders.
“I believe he wasn’t the one that said it.
“This is a critical time in the country.
“We need prayers.
“It’s not ideal that we close down churches at this time.”
Prophet Ayodele rstated his support for the Founder of Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, and Chris Okotie for lending their voices fearlessly during this period of church closure.
He said: “I still maintain that Oyedepo should lead Christians.
“He has come out fearlessly to speak against the closing of churches than those who are not sure of what they are saying.
“Pastor Chris Okotie too has amazed me.
“Both of them are the ones championing the course of the Christians at this time.”
Ayodele urged Sanwo-Olu to look into opening of churches in Lagos, just as the Federal Government has lifted the restrictions on religious gathering.
He said churches are ready to abide by any precautions set by the government.
He said: “Governor Sanwo-Olu is a man of prayer.
“His cabinet are filled with people who believe in God.
“He knows prayer is the solution to this, but the so-called men of God have advised him wrongly.
“I urge him to open churches.
“Even if he says we shouldn’t collect offerings and tithes, we are ready to abide by that.
“If he says we should cover our body from head to toe, we are also ready to abide by it.
“We just need to rescue the spiritual health of people.”