Ahead of re-opening of churches on Sunday, August 9 in Lagos State, the Household of God Church will not resume fellowships, the founder and senior pastor, Rev. Chris Okotie has said.
Reason: Okotie said the conditions stipulated by the government towards the reopening of the worship centres particularly the use of face masks were unacceptable.
Persecondnews recalls that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had announced that worship centres would reopen from Friday, August 7, 2020 for mosques and Aug. 9 for churches.
Sanwo-Olu directed that worshippers are expected to observe all the standard safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing of face masks or shield, washing of hands, attendance is pegged at 50 per cent capacity for each worship centre.
But Okotie said although he accepted the imperatives of the safety precautions to contain the spread of Covid-19, wearing masks or face shields was unacceptable, citing scriptures from the Holy Bible.
“For Christians to wear any type of mask or face shield to church is to reintroduce the veil which was torn the moment Jesus died on the cross.
“With the tearing of the veil, there is no longer separation between God and his people, wearing masks would reverse the order which is unacceptable, the cleric said in a special 28-minute broadcast via whatsApp to his church members.
According to him, the mask is now graduating into a face shield which is a veil.
“When a man is standing before God in church wearing a shield or mask, he is denying the finished work of the cross,” Persecondnews quotes the pastor as saying, adding that most Christians do not understand the implications, thinking it is just a medical requirement.
Okotie insisted that if a believer (Christian) wears the face mask, he denies the efficacy of the word of God, stressing “I will not allow members of the church to do that which is why the Household of God church won’t resume service.’’
“For church to resume, the altar has to be in order. Before we offer our sacrifices and lift up holy hands before God, we must make sure that everything is decent and in order.
“We can’t rush to God just because we love to worship God. We must only follow the protocols outlined in the Bible, not any directive that violates the basic tenets of our faith,” Okotie insisted.