We know the New Apostolic Creed is an interpretation by the apostolate of the Holy Scripture and the early church creeds that is authoritative for our faith; in ten articles, the Creed expresses our faith and doctrine. That is true. We also know the 10th article guides the relationship between the Christian and the state. However, what has that got to do with the COVID-19 pandemic? Everything!
The content of the 10th article of faith reads:
“I believe that I am obliged to obey the worldly authorities provided no godly laws are thereby transgressed.”
This article requires that we obey the authorities, provided we are not demanded to disobey God’s rules and commandments. If the divine will and authorities do not oppose one another, we are obliged to accept the laws of the state as positive and binding.
COVID-19 protocols and measures are such a good example for Christians to accept and follow. To start with, the COVID protocols are to help protect and preserve lives, clearly a part of God’s will for man. Secondly, the protocols also aim at improving our hygiene, after all there is a saying that goes ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. Thirdly, practising the protocols shows we are obeying Jesus’ 2nd commandment, which is: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
The New Apostolic Church around the world has lived by this 10th article faithfully in all circumstances. In Ghana, it was even more interesting to note that the government’s guidelines for religious worship favoured the liturgy and doctrine of the church. Christians are required to hold one-hour services, place offertory boxes at the entrances as well as avoid clapping and dancing; very few churches in Ghana worships this way.
Prior to the resumption of divine services in Ghana, the two country church leaders ensured that no congregation conducted a service without meeting the required guidelines. This was evident across all congregations who opened their doors to members on 5th July. Those who were not ready had their doors firmly shut by their district leaders.
Among the measures ensured were the disinfection of church buildings, taking of temperatures, provision of hand washing facilities and dispensing hand sanitisers, socially distanced seating arrangements and records keeping of attending members.
Accordingly, let us profess our belief and faith by living the tenth article of the New Apostolic Creed, especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us do our part, and let God do His part.
Stay safe, observe the COVID protocols!