Pastor Brian Tamaki says the coronavirus epidemic is a sign the world has “strayed from God.” Tithe-paying, Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-filled Christians have a Psalm 91 “protection policy” against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, according to New Zealand’s popular multi-campus Destiny Church leader. Speaking to his congregation in Auckland last Sunday, Tamaki said God allows “epidemics, pestilence and famine” when people have departed from faith in Him. But for Bible-believing, born-again Christians who pay their tithes, God assures them protection from the virus in the biblical promise of Psalm 91.
The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December. More than 3,200 people have died globally and over 92,000 have been infected, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the virus, which causes a disease known as Covid-19, can be transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission” — where a virus is passed on due to an infected person sneezing or coughing — as well as by direct contact. There are more than 12,500 confirmed cases of the virus in over 75 countries and territories outside mainland China. Over 700 of those cases are linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Tamaki claimed that because viruses travel through the air controlled by “satanic spirits” that energized their spreading, only Christians covered by God can avoid being affected by the virus. He explained in his sermon streamed on the church’s website as follows:
This latest coronavirus is a little round thing like a tennis ball with little spikes. It has to get to the lungs this one. It’s what makes it so dangerous. Gets on the lungs and then begins to mutate the cells in your lungs and eats it away, OK. No problems. It’s a bit like the last one they had, it was the SARS, were all related to the respiratory system.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. We needn’t fear it. There is a lot of hysteria that has been engendered by certain elements about this pandemic.
The prince of the power of the air, Satan, has control of atmospheres unless you’re a blood-bought born-again, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Holy Ghost-filled, tithe-paying believer. You are the only one that can walk through atmospheres and has a, literally a protection — the Psalm 91 protection policy around you. I don’t care if you don’t believe it. It’s all right. I’m just telling you, so you understand.
The Rev. Helen Jacobi, the vicar at central Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City, challenged the use of Psalm 91 as Tamaki’s protection policy since it was used by “the devil” to tempt Jesus. She also called his advice “incredibly unsafe.” She argued:
People should be following public health advice. I think it is very dangerous and wrong for any public leader to contravene that. Certainly, in the Anglican Church, we have been sharing the message to follow public health advice, and we follow it in our own gatherings. It is also quite offensive, saying his followers are safe and no-one else, which is the absolute opposite of the Christian belief.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said that public health officials are now operating in “uncharted territory” in seeking to stem the coronavirus which had infected more than 90,000 people across 73 countries and territories as of Monday evening. While it has yet to call the coronavirus a global pandemic, the WHO warned it could make that call in the near future.
After learning of the pastor’s claims, Alleyn Auld, one critic among many, said:
Brian, your sermon shows me you know nothing about hermeneutics (rules of interpretation). It also shows how greed can infiltrate the leadership of religious institutions. You should be fired immediately because your opinion could end up killing people. Shame on a congregation that would put up with this type of gross negligence.
To date, there have been over 200 deaths reported outside mainland China, raising the global death toll from the virus, which has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Epidemics of the virus in Iran, Italy and South Korea show no signs of slowing even as governments work to devise plans to combat the pathogen without causing widespread social disruption and economic upheaval.
The megachurch pastor told his congregants that God mostly uses three forms of judgments on nations who remove Him: Famine (the extreme shortage of anything food/rain/resources), pestilence (pandemic and epidemic diseases) and the sword of enemies (Mass death, wars and mass killings of one people by another). However, if they pay their tithes faithfully, they will be protected according to Psalm 91.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Christian Post: Tithe-paying Christians are protected from coronavirus by Psalm 91
Destiny Church: Live Stream from Destiny Church Auckland “The Antidote to Viruses and Pandemics”
New Zealand Herald: Brian Tamaki’s coronavirus comments slammed as ‘dangerous’ by Anglican vicar
CNN: These are the countries where novel coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide
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