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UPDATE: ‘I will abide by the curfew’- Bishop John I. Cline recants!

- flip-flops on plans to keep church after widespread criticisms against threat to break COVID-19 curfew
Outspoken clergyman, Bishop John I. Cline has reconsidered his position to not adhere to the 24-hour curfew being put in place from Friday, March 27, 2020 to April 2, 2020. Photo: Facebook
Controversial and outspoken pastor of the New Life Baptist Church, Bishop John I. Cline has moved to indicate that he will openly defy the cabinet backed 24/7 six-day lockdown imposed by the Virgin Islands (VI) Government starting Friday, March 27, 2020, at 8:00 pm until April 2, 2020. Photo: Facebook
Controversial and outspoken pastor of the New Life Baptist Church, Bishop John I. Cline has moved to indicate that he will openly defy the cabinet backed 24/7 six-day lockdown imposed by the Virgin Islands (VI) Government starting Friday, March 27, 2020, at 8:00 pm until April 2, 2020. Photo: Facebook
Premier Andrew A. Fahie has already indicated that law enforcement officers will be out in numbers to deal with those who break the curfew, as it will apply to everyone with the exception of essential workers. Photo: Facebook/GIS
Premier Andrew A. Fahie has already indicated that law enforcement officers will be out in numbers to deal with those who break the curfew, as it will apply to everyone with the exception of essential workers. Photo: Facebook/GIS
DUFFS BOTTOM, Tortola, VI – Following a leaked WhatsApp voicenote from pastor of the New Life Baptist Church, Bishop John I. Cline regarding defying the 24/7 Territory-wide curfew to take effect from tomorrow, Friday, March 27, 2020, at 8:00pm, Mr Cline has now recanted on his decision to venture out for church.

This came following widespread criticisms from some congregation members and others in the Virgin Islands (VI) community over his threat to ignore the curfew that is being put in place due to the presence of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Territory.

When Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) reached out to Bishop Cline today, March 26, 2020, for comments regarding why he took the stance to defy the laws, he responded, "I have reconsidered that stance and I will abide by the curfew.”

“Where there is no counsel people fail” – Bishop Cline

VINO also asked what led him to reconsider his position, and the Bishop said, “The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14, Where there is no counsel people fail but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. So wise Counsel.”

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in an address last evening, March 25, 2020, urged members of the community to adhere to the state curfew for their own safety, which continues tonight from 8:00pm and will end at 6:00am on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Total lock-down for 6-days will commence tomorrow, Friday, March 27, 2020, at 8:00pm up until 6:00am April 2, 2020, where no one, except essential workers, will be allowed to leave their homes.

Advising others who may want to beak the curfew against the recommendation of local authorities, Bishop Cline said, “Let’s work together for the safety of our fellow men and women and ourselves and families.”

See previous article published March 26, 2020

'I will not comply with not being in church on Sunday' - Bishop Cline

-New Life Baptist Church Pastor 'Loses it' in leaked voice message to congregation 

Controversial and outspoken pastor of the New Life Baptist Church, Bishop John I. Cline has moved to indicate that he will openly defy the Cabinet backed 24/7 six-day lockdown imposed by the Virgin Islands (VI) Government starting Friday, March 27, 2020, at 8:00 pm until April 2, 2020. 

The curfew announcement came less than 12 hours after Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced that two cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed in the British Overseas Territory.

The rationale behind the lockdown, according to the Premier, is to make sure health authorities get to do their work and ensure the safety of the Territory while containing the spread of the virus; however, Bishop Cline is not buying the story. 

'This has gone too far!' - Bishop Cline 

'My dear people of the New Life Baptist Church, this new curfew starting Friday for 24 hours for a whole week shutdown, I am telling you all now, I will have church on Sunday is it's me by myself, this has gone too far!' he said.

The Bishop has long been sceptical about COVID-19, telling his congregation in a March 14, 2020, social media address that there is no panic in the lord and that Christians have nothing to fear over the global outbreak as long as they obey the lord.

He urged them to pray, stand by the word of the Lord and trust in God, "if we continue to follow his words and his commands, even though diseases are all around us, it will not come near our dwelling," an indication that the church might be somehow immune from COVID-19. 

'I will not comply' - Bishop Cline 

In this latest voicenote, the Bishop said, 'We have done everything they [Government] asked and the local population have abided for the most part by what they have asked, this is gone too far!" 

Premier Fahie has already indicated that law enforcement officers will be out in numbers to deal with those who break the curfew, as it will apply to everyone except essential workers. 

The defiant Bishop Cline noted, "Prepare for your pastor to either be arrested or stopped or be called a rebel. I am telling you all now, I will not comply with not being in Church on Sunday," he said while calling for his video streaming equipment to be set up ahead of the Sunday service.

71 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘I will abide by the curfew’- Bishop John I. Cline recants!”

  • Hmmn (26/03/2020, 10:36) Like (25) Dislike (39) Reply
    That was a voice note on the members chat and them crooked so called members took it and sent it out before it was deleted. They forgot to send the one where he apologized and urged compliance.
    • @hmmm (26/03/2020, 11:04) Like (112) Dislike (5) Reply
      This should not have come out of his mouth in the first instance
      • @@hmmm (26/03/2020, 14:54) Like (12) Dislike (36) Reply
        DON'T FORGET HE IS SIMPLY HUMAN JUST LIKE YOU. ANYTHING CAN COME OUT. WHO IS PERFECT CAST THE FIRST STONE.
        • vv (26/03/2020, 22:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          ignorance..yo can bath in Christ blood and social distance same time.Stay home and wipe down nah
    • name (26/03/2020, 22:26) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Oh shut up
    • Hmmm2 (28/03/2020, 11:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This world is a wicked world . Can not trust anyone but God. It was just what is in his heart, wicked and disrespectful fool. He need to exercise the process of thinking before you speak.... to hostile and full of himself. Simple No respect for those in authority or man. Repent and Turn....make that turn around from your wicked ways ...... Practice what you preach daily to others.
  • SMH (26/03/2020, 10:37) Like (49) Dislike (13) Reply
    The rain falls in the just AND the unjust. There's nothing wrong with trusting in the Lord, but being foolish is not the answer. The virus has affected the entire world, but just the BVI....let this clown catch the virus and let's see what tune he will be singing
  • smdh (26/03/2020, 10:37) Like (131) Dislike (2) Reply
    This person was the head of the Health Services Board??? How selfish and irresponsible can you get!
  • BIBLE (26/03/2020, 10:44) Like (45) Dislike (2) Reply
    The scripture says , May are called but few are chosen. Word for the wise
  • Online Now (26/03/2020, 10:51) Like (69) Dislike (8) Reply
    "Bishop" Cline - you are an idiot!
    • Sandy (26/03/2020, 12:55) Like (13) Dislike (9) Reply
      The hurtful part about it, people like him is not going to catch it. Only the truly good ones who are trying their best not to get it or spread it
  • Yeah Cline (26/03/2020, 11:00) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    One or more of you flock Corona Snitched you out before you had a chance to delete the voice note.
  • Dulce (26/03/2020, 11:04) Like (41) Dislike (20) Reply
    What a disrepectful asinine hole. He should be excommunicated from his Cathedral Throne and permanently expunged from the VI Government and any dealings.
  • Charley Rose (26/03/2020, 11:09) Like (47) Dislike (20) Reply
    Well, Well. I was shocked when I heard the Man of the Cloth defying the authority of the Virgin Islands Cabinet that is trying to safeguard health and lives of the citizens of this territory. Words cannot explain my disgust of this pastor's statement. Suppose one of his members unknowingly has the Corona virus and enters the sanctuary of about one hundreds members, can we imaging the rippling effect it will have on the territory's population.

    Pastor Cline I am totally surprised by your statement and I do hope the members of your church will not attend service on Sunday.

    • Well.. (26/03/2020, 14:01) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are of a small few surprised by his statement. The church is restructuring to Jesus's will and the hearts of men are being revealed for all to see. Men who love money and power over the will of Jesus. Men who can talk their way on a pulpit. It's no longer church as usual. Kings and Queens aka 'first ladies' do not rule the pulpit. The church of Christ Jesus is in the hearts of true believers. Your Reign Has Ended!!!
  • Equalizer (26/03/2020, 11:12) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Real clown let him go church by himself thin he wan be in set of hypo......
  • ABC (26/03/2020, 11:13) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    Happy to learn that he retracted
  • abroad (26/03/2020, 11:13) Like (42) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now this is the issue I have with some BVI Islanders, here we have two cases on idea an the Government is trying to preserve a epidemic an now this pastor is talking, saying he will be open for church on Sunday. Tell me how is this fare to congregation, your families etc. I live abroad an all restaurants, Pubs, Churches any places that are a social meet is shout down. Churches have to be stream from home. We have to self isolate ourselves only health workers can go out many are working at home. We have over 700 cases. This is how it spread in the first place, I urge you citizens of the BVI this is no joke its a very serious matter. You need to self isolate yourself protect yourself. I do hope this helps.
    • I live overseas as well (26/03/2020, 14:28) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
      @abroad, so correct. The Town I live in, everything is closed down except Supermarkets and emergency services. Restaurants, Bars, Schools, Malls, Parks, Barber shops, hair salons and nail salons. Be safe BVI.
  • Jay (26/03/2020, 11:16) Like (6) Dislike (40) Reply
    In reading this article and listening to the voice note not speaking for Bishop Cline but I believe he is saying for us to Trust God to keep us all safe but still be vigilant.. I understand the curfew as to prevent the spread but God also said for us to use wisdom in all that we do.. even in his church streaming online he said persons were sitting far apart in the service and they were instituting precautionary measures but this article is about the curfew .. I feel that Bishop is speaking from a prospective of providing spiritual food for persons and us not be cut off from the word of God.. yes we can read the word but church service is different.. his service last Sunday was an Amazing Blessing to me and to be honest I can’t wait for Sunday to come but I understand re: the curfew/protecting all of us.. the devil may try to stop God’s word from being preached in churches around the world but NEVER! For God will Always make a way for His word to be heard..
    • @jay (26/03/2020, 11:47) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is the people of God who are the Church, not the building. If we would take what we learn inside the building and live it in the world, not only in our words but also in our lives, our impact would be as exponential as that of COVID-19. So often we who claim to be Christians become stumbling blocks for the very people we say we are trying to reach.
      • @jay (26/03/2020, 13:20) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Yes! Amen to that!
      • @ ‘@ Jay’ (26/03/2020, 16:40) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        You said it well! Somehow those who clock in every Saturday/Sunday, prayer meeting, Bible Study, praise and worship, even some who own the buildings believe they are more sanctified and qualified than others.

        Yet some of these same people including who like to go up on the pulpit to deliver sermons are still fornicating, lying, stealing, cheating on their spouse, undermining others to say the least.

        Examine your souls. You ain’t bigger than God.
    • abroad (26/03/2020, 12:10) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      Agreed Jay God will always make a way, but we can still Vigilant like you said. I do believe God is a our refuge an protector but we cant be foolish as well. Again at the moment we are having church but online just for safety of others. Be Blessed my BVI people an stay safe.
    • click (26/03/2020, 12:48) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      If his feelings about not having church is so strong, why don't he have said streaming media setup at his home and broadcast from there.
    • @jay (26/03/2020, 14:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Spiritual food has always been provided by Christ Jesus, within the hearts of men. There you will find the true fellowship of men. Christians, can you not identify the times at hand? The great revival of Jesus's body, a fellowship without walls and suits and beautiful gowns, no titles, no pride. Just Jesus!

      John 3: 5-12 NLT
      5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.b 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. c 7So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
      9“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
      10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
    • really?? (27/03/2020, 09:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Even sitting far apart if someone is unknowingly already infected and touch a bible, the pews etc. if someone else touch these areas - boom you have another infected person and all who comes in contact with them. You can't be that religious to not have common sense and stay at home if not for yourself but your family, friends and neighbors. You or anyone else who feels their souls will be lost by missing church for one week I would say you are in trouble.
  • Jay (26/03/2020, 11:30) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    But I do believe Bishop should comply with the curfew for we are to follow the law of the land even as Christians and he can try to stream his messages from home.. we all have responsibility to keep each other safe..
  • LOCK HIM UP (26/03/2020, 11:30) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Arrest him come Sunday!
  • I don’t know (26/03/2020, 11:30) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    I guess the Pastor above the law then...IDK
  • much (26/03/2020, 11:32) Like (2) Dislike (16) Reply
    To whom much is given much is required. Subject your self that's all i would say. If there is another side to this article please post it and clear the air way. We can get carried away In the heat of the moment but we come to our senses when the damage is already done. Please mend the broken pieces. Much is required of you. I heard the clip and I said to my self the world must be coming to an end I couldn't believe my ears.

    You know all of us makes mistakes we are all human. Apologies needed. If it was a group chat then that person that did this is certainly not a friend or member they could have handled this better in the heat of the moment. LORD HELP US
  • saying (26/03/2020, 11:36) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Behave yourself Cline follow instructions.
  • Offering (26/03/2020, 11:37) Like (33) Dislike (0) Reply
    Missing the offering, huh?
  • Live from the Vatican (26/03/2020, 11:41) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    we will be watching closely because all now hundreds of the BVI population are bunched up at banks; the supermarkets & elsewhere; how is this assisting with the reduction of spreading this virus: how can one seriously determine if anyone in those cluster of people by supermarkets have the infection: there are folks in these lines from east; west; north; town & south a very wide cross section of the territory
  • Blinded (26/03/2020, 11:54) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    By encouraging people out I feel you have been taken by Lucifer himself. Brain washing people who trust you to come to their deaths and spread death to everyone on the islands. This church is showing it’s real agenda.
  • old (26/03/2020, 12:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply

    Cline and Jim Jones is the same .You is the worst pastor in the Bvi and it so..

  • This is useful (26/03/2020, 12:05) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    He and others have clearly shown that they do not care at all for their congregations (read customers/marks) and do not care for their countries. They only care about their bank accounts and their own self-importance. We all have our choices. If we are religious in any meaningful way, we can at ANY moment take time be mindful of our beliefs. The fact that, temporarily, we would not do it in a pre-arranged time and location with others should be completely inconsequential.
  • On High (26/03/2020, 12:10) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Holy Bible says, "where two or three are gathered in my Name , I am in the midst to bless them.So if you stay home with your family and conduct service via Skype or whatever God will not be mad with you.

    " To think that you have to be in a physical structure is plain wrong. So if you were stranded on an island without a church what would you do? God is Spirit, and whoever worships must do so in Spirit and in Truth.

    Stay out the building, ever hear about church without walls?

  • World Pastor (26/03/2020, 12:15) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    A lot of Pastors around the work only thing they are upset about they not going to get Collection money when churches have to be closed. Hope you are not one of them ....Show me your actions tell me who you are.
  • Windy (26/03/2020, 12:23) Like (17) Dislike (11) Reply
    He must be running short of cash.
  • Poter (26/03/2020, 12:33) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    Cline you need to get the Covib19. You talk to much.
  • lmfao (26/03/2020, 13:04) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Religion clearly makes people delirious.
  • Look again... (26/03/2020, 13:07) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    CHECK HIS FACEBOOK PAGE!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/john.cline.792197
  • Worship !! (26/03/2020, 13:16) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bishop need his THITHE AND OFFERINGS
  • SINNER MAN (26/03/2020, 13:32) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    IRRESPONSIBLE.
  • :) (26/03/2020, 14:13) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Christians die everyday, sometimes even horribly. Just saying to pray isnt enough to make it through.
  • What is wrong Cline? (26/03/2020, 14:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The churches in Italy is being used for storing caskets with the dead until they are cremated. Stream your service from home. I respect everyone’s religion but you cannot expect
    people to be bunched up together in one place. Everyone should be at least 6 feet away from each other. Wishing for a nice strong powerful rain to fall to help wash down the filthy streets.
  • Oh Yes!!!! (26/03/2020, 14:53) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    some folk taking about heaven but no body wants to die
  • lol (26/03/2020, 15:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Im not sure why he made it seemed like he had a choice in this matter :/. This dude is a clown your suppose to be a pastor/leader. An example to the people and this is the message you’re trying to send ? Disobeying the law? Smh dude is behaving like it’s a personal attack against him and his church. Everyone is on lock down smh.
  • Sue (26/03/2020, 15:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Strupzs
  • NICK (26/03/2020, 15:30) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    Religions should be banned.
  • ..Earthly Devils (26/03/2020, 15:56) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    All these fears are empowering the satanic criminals to do it again... Now i hve to think whats next. They have the world at their mercy thats their agenda... Lets Recap. Do u all know that England has an arrest warrant for a KGB agent. He went to england with a mission to kill a X KGB Agent that turn spy. All he did was shake his hand under the pretence of a business man. Is while the X agent on his dying bed he remember the incident and told the Authoities. They issue warrant for the arrest ot that kGB agent for murder. I think the x agent that was murdered just by shake hand name is " Alexasnder Leftkowitch".. Resaerch...Also u all of how Kim Jong of North Koreal kill his either his uncle or half brother by dispatching a female agent to meet him in a crowded airport and just brush against him he.was dead soon after, Airport security pick up the incident but she disappear in thin air, cant be found....Have to wonder whats next... Stop the fear. Lets live our lives some will hve to die for plenty to live as it is. We will be living in fear forever... Thats the enemy agenda..
  • Clap (26/03/2020, 15:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clap your hands all ye people.
  • A Still Tongue..... (26/03/2020, 17:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    James 1:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

    Qualities Needed in Trials
    19 [a]So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
  • jesus saves (26/03/2020, 17:40) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    You all please keep praying for him
  • Church man (26/03/2020, 18:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    You looking tithes Mr man
  • jack (26/03/2020, 19:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good to hear he is repositioning his statements.
  • boy (26/03/2020, 20:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    All then pastor need is money to live big and member can't pay their rent
  • legal team (26/03/2020, 22:14) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have read enough of the many bloggs from people in a democratic society expressing themselves freely pursuant to freedom of expression under the BVI Constitution.Vino must be commended for allowing freedom to reign.

    So let me send a clear message to the BVI police authority.

    If Bishop Cline breach the curfew, ARREST him and detain him according to law!!

    Let us go to section 21 of the BVI Constitution [Protection of Freedom of Conscience] meaning freedom to worship freely, ETC, ETC..which is a Fundamental Right:

    But subsection (5)-(a) of section 21 of the BVI Constitution states [" (5) Nothing in any law or done under its authority shall be held to contravene this section to the extent that it is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society-(a) In the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or PUBLIC-HEALTH...."]

    With this documented authority under the Constitution [the supreme law of the land, His Excellency,the Governor can impose a curfew to stop the spread of the Corona Virus,in the interest of PUBLIC HEALTH!

    Therefore,I am now instructing the RVIPF to arrest Bishop Cline for inciting lawlessness in the BVI..

    Stay in doors my BVI people.

    One love BVI.
    • Sheep in the house (27/03/2020, 11:24) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      Go back to your pen. And read The Animal Farm by George Orwell.

      The supreme law of the land hahaha funny.

      While your at it legal team go ask the Rastafarian community when the last time this supreme law protecting their freedom to worship freely was upheld.

      Boom. Namaste.
      • at sheep in the house (27/03/2020, 13:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        generally,rastafarians don't take oart in social activities..
        they have their own law and own mentality.
        bvi constitution is not for them..
        rastafarians have their own designated religion..
  • nn (26/03/2020, 22:44) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    vampire DAT Mon
  • christian (26/03/2020, 23:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pastor Clyne, as a pastor u should have a different temperament. U can't be so hot headed. Think before u speak. A wise man keepeth his tongue.
    When u make comments such as these and then have to walk them back u just making yourself look immature. Hope u have learnt from this.
  • ReX FeRal (28/03/2020, 07:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mighty mighty uppity uppity, no MAN is above the LAW.


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