Right-wing pastor Shane Vaughn used his Sunday sermon to rant about vaccines, mask mandates, and other efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Vaughn said that COVID-19 is “the forerunner of the Antichrist” and a test from God for the church, declaring that if Christians will simply stop showing “fear” in the face of the pandemic, then God will miraculously heal the land.
“God spoke to me yesterday in my office and said, ‘Just as the spirit of Elijah must come before Christ comes, the spirit of the Antichrist must come before the Antichrist comes, and COVID-19 is the spirit of the Antichrist,'” Vaughn said. “God spoke to me and said, ‘COVID-19 is the spirit—not the Antichrist—it is the forerunner of the Antichrist.’ I didn’t understand what he meant, but he said, ‘Just like I send Elijah to test the people before I return, I’ve sent COVID-19 to test the people before the Antichrist.’ Satan sent that spirit to test not the world, [but] God’s weak, anemic church.”
“Until you get that faith, you’re not on the same page as God, and therefore COVID-19 is never leaving this earth,” he continued. “It is waiting on a church to come out of their isolation and to stand in faith and declare, ‘Enough is enough!’ Do you know why Satan hates when you won’t put a mask on your face? Because you’re screaming loud, ‘I HAVE NO FEAR!'”
“When you’ve got a masked-up church trying to lay hands on somebody for healing, you’ve walked into the biggest lie you’ve ever seen,” Vaughn proclaimed. “Don’t you ever wear one in this building. Don’t you ever come here and bring your fear in the midst of our faith. We are a victorious church. We are healed church. We walk in healing no matter what.”
Vaughn claimed that God told him to “lift your voice and call my people around the world to come out of hiding, to come out of fear, and to get on the same page as me, and COVID-19 will leave this earth from the power of the church.”