By Wilson Adekumola
The founder of The Word and You Ministry, Egbeda, Lagos, Pastor Dr. (Mrs) Martha Omede has appealed to government to reopen worship centers saying the lockdown of churches has negative effect on Christians in the affected areas.
Omede who spoke with Church Times on the phone. She said, “you can’t lockdown churches and expect good things from Jesus.”
The church according to her “is an organized institution that can adequately monitor and control people with regards to precautionary measures as ordered by National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
Rather than lock down churches, Omede suggests effective monitoring of compliance with preventive measures. She warned against total closure of church saying, “it is not good for the body of Christ because that is where people gather to pray. Though we pray in our houses it is not like when we come together to pray because it is stronger when we put our voices together. The Bible says we should not neglect the fellowship with one another.”
While stressing that it is by the grace of God the pandemic can be over, she said, “I think it is stronger when we come together to pray than preaching and praying online. The closure of churches while market places are opened is not a good decision. It is only when we pray together God can heal our land miraculously. You cannot lockdown churches and expect good things from Jesus. Our Lord Jesus cannot be happy with this.”
She observed further that it has been difficult to reach out to some people online because they cannot afford android phone. Some according to her can’t communicate well in English Language. “So doing it online is different from the physical interaction.” She said.
Omede who hails from Benin, Edo State, said further that most church members are not educated hence it is challenging for them to go online to watch or listen to messages. “It will be difficult for the uneducated to listen to sermon online. However, whether you are educated or not we are going to the same heaven. So, you have to be able to carry everybody along both the educated and uneducated”.
She affirmed that the pandemic is an indication of end of age saying that the Bible has already stipulated that when the end time comes things like this would happen. “I have preached on this topic before. In that message, I confirmed to people that it is not a new thing. In Matthew 24:25 Jesus Christ said I have told you beforehand. So this is one of the signs of end of time. We just need to be prepared rather than being surprised.”
She said the way we do church may change noting however that the preponderance of uneducated people in the church may make it difficult for the change to be effective. “There is something called the ‘new normal’. I have been hearing it for some time now. The way we run church may change. I don’t think things will be the way they were before.
“Some people have learnt new things that may even better the church and I am sure they will practice it. Talking about time, mode of communication and things they did before they can do better or improve on it. But I don’t think technology will take over the church contrary to speculation because of some uneducated people in the church. Or how do you want to carry them along?
On the positives about the pandemic, she said, “I have learnt to be time conscious and do things in an alternative and a better way. The way we reach out to those who are educated has become easier and effective. The pandemic lockdown has changed many lives positively as it has opened the eyes of many people to online businesses. Many people are now selling their products online.
She expressed confidence that Jesus is still in the business of healing the sick, “When you go to hospital you can hear doctors say we care but God heals and that is the truth. If God does not heal a man who can heal him? He is the Doctor of all doctors. I can tell you that some people have been healed through Christ spiritually and physically during this pandemic.”
Omede also lamented the unfortunate rape cases among Christians insisting, “You cannot be in Christ and commit rape. Not all of us that call the name of Jesus Christ are believers of Christ. I don’t think any child of God can become a rapist. A child of God has to continue walking in the Lord always. It is a continuous process. It is when you are no longer spiritually sensitive the devil can use you. You cannot be in Christ and think evil.”
Pastor Dr.(Mrs) Martha Omede contact: The Word and You Ministry.
Eco Hall Events Center, 65, Egbeda Idimu Road, Mokola B/Stop, Egbeda, Lagos. 08186471090