5g has its own challenges that are not connected with Covid-19- IT expert
Pastor Ayo Idowu is the presiding pastor of The Redeem Christian Church of God, RCCG, The Wealthy Place Parish, Area 011, LP48, 35, Kadiri Adebambo Street, Amikanle, via AIT, Lagos.
He is a graduate of Electrical Electronics from Obafemi Awolowo University. He is the Chief Technical Officer, of Ladania Nigeria Limited, an ICT firm.
A Kwara indigene, Idowu has been a pastor of the parish since 2009.
In this interview with Wilson Adekumola, he says technology has influenced the way church is run. He also lends his voice to the 5g debate Excerpts:
How has it been since the lockdown?
Well, it is an unusual situation and as a human being we just have to adapt. We are actually adapting to the change. It is unusual not to have your congregation or your people around you but it is a reality there is nothing we can do. Right now, we have meetings and services online. That is how it has been ever since the pandemic began.
Did you envisage a lockdown like this?
Not really. I never envisage a total lockdown like this. I thought it was going to be a minor situation that would not require churches closing down. But here we are today.
Many are wondering why God did not tell pastors about this pandemic. How will you react to this?
Some have heard from God. We are all different. At times when you hear something like this it looks unrealistic. There are pastors that have said they heard what is happening now. I am sure there are some other pastors who would have heard from God but did not come out to say it because they could not fathom such thing would happen. The tendency is for them to wait and see or otherwise they might have been praying about it. I know for certain that all pastors cannot hear from God at the same time. It is not possible. Some would have the feelings. Some would perceive it. It depends on the level of individual relationship with God.
How have you been reaching out to your members since the confinement?
Like I said earlier, we reach out to our members online. We reach out to our members electronically. We use different social media tools, basically ‘WhatsApp’ to reach them. Face book is also an alternative. We also reach them through calls. So, technology has replaced the way we communicate with church members and we are moving on with it.
Sir, do you see your members going on successfully without a pastor?
No, it is not feasible. It is like you are talking about a country without president. It is not possible. Someone has to be in the lead to direct the affairs and dictate how things should go. Even, if everyone comes up with an opinion somebody must be there to make a decision. So, church without a pastor is nonexistent. It is not possible. It is not church. Church is a living thing; it must have head and body. The head for a local church is the pastor and the congregation is the body. In Church generally, the head is Christ and the rest of us are the body. Church cannot do without a pastor.
Do you think the way we do church will change after the pandemic?
Yes, there will be changes in the church activities. Not necessary that we will throw away everything we do before, there might be some adjustment. There might be some addition. I don’t think there will be subtractions. I think the reality is that we are just discovering new ways of doing things and it will be an added advantage after the end of this pandemic. Just like the word of God says that “everything worketh for good”. I think it will work for our own good.
Sir, some said the present situation is an indication of an end of the age. What is your take on this?
Well, it is a function of understanding. Those that study end time or what is called Apocalypse will know better. Though, we are at the end time that is why we are seeing unusual and unpalatable things happening. This COVID-19 pandemic can be counted as one of them. Whether this one happened or not the reality is that we are in the end time. All the indications of end time that the Bible has given have come to pass. We just need to prepare towards the coming of Jesus Christ.
As a church leader, how do you think Christians should react to this present situation?
We should be alert. We should be sensitive to things of the Lord. We should be devoted and focused more than ever before because like when this happened it would look unrealistic when you tell people that the world can come to an end. But who would predict there could be complete shut down most especially in Lagos State. So people should know in the same manner God rules the affairs of men. When He wishes, He can shut down everything within a second. It does not take Him anything. So, we should have that mindset, more conscious of what we do and how we live our lives
Some claimed the 5G mobile networks is what put us in the current situation, as an ICT expert, what is your perspective?
It is a claim. It has never been proved and some even said it is conspiracy theory. But I will rather go with the Bible. My Bible did not tell me that 5G has anything to do with this pandemic and there is no scientific fact that also corroborated that. What cannot be taken is that 5G network will also contribute to the activities of the end time. But with my little understanding of science, it is not 5G network that caused this COVID-19. Those people are just unnecessary alarmist. However, I believe 5G network has its own issue but I don’t think it should be dragged into this coronavirus pandemic. The issue of 5G network is different completely. It is different from claims people are making now.
What basic lessons have you learnt from this present situation?
The lesson is that God rules in the affairs of men. God is still in control, no matter our level, our power, our achievement. We must never forget that and that means if God wants it now everything about us can end. So we should be more careful how we live our lives.
Think of the fact that we will give account of how we live our lives one day. And again we should all know that there are things that don’t respect our status. COVID-19 does not respect status. The big and the mighty have been victims. The small and the lowly have been victims. There are things that don’t take into account who we are or what we are. Therefore, let us focus on God. If Aso Rock is not immune from the virus we should all know that it is only God that can protect us. It is only God that can secure us. As a matter of fact, He is the best insurance that we have. I implore everyone to submit completely to God otherwise we would be playing with fire.