Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church's communication director Ephraim Nyondo has defended South Africa-based Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri call for people to deposit offerings directly into church bank account following the suspension of his prayers services because of the coronavirus.
In an epistle made available to Nyasa Times, Nyondo writes that 'When Prophet Bushiri coughs, expect a whirlwind." The article is produced below:
I hate to say it, but, with each passing day, it is becoming evident that when Prophet Shepherd Bushiri coughs, right away, expect whirlwind from social media carpers.
It has become a tradition, something predictable, we are used to it, we don't lose even a stint of our good breath, but listen to this:
You see, in the wake of COVID-19 epidemic and governments restricting huge gatherings, most churches, across the world, suspended their physical attendances for services and resorted to online.
In fact, ECG South Africa was among the first to announce the suspension, following which the leadership of the church made a bold statement to all ECG branches in the 25 countries where we operate to adhere to respective set government guidelines in response to COVID-19.
In this digital age, going online is only an epochal innovation to prayer, a statement that, against all odds, humans are a religious lot and no pandemic can take away their relationship with God.
In fact, in going online, nothing about the organization of the church has changed; it's only the medium of reach which has changed--the church still remains an organization, supported by its members, followers and well-wishers to stand and function on its own.
We all know, of course, that every church, as an organization, has recurring costs--salaries, bills, etc--that are supposed to be met for it to function effectively. These costs, in every church, are met by contributions from willing members, followers and well-wishers voluntarily. We all know that, every church does that and, even with COVID-19, they are doing that--it's nothing unusual.
So what is this fuss about Prophet Bushiri reminding willing members, followers and well-wishers of the ECG to, as usual, voluntarily contribute to the everyday running of their organization?
Some of these fusses, yes these barks, do not tell us anything about Prophet Bushiri; rather, they just tell us more about the deepest obsession and hatred these social media carpers have against a man of God they so dearly want, but always failing, to bring down.