Members of the Household of God Church will not resume service next Sunday, August 9, 2020, despite the re-opening of churches by the Lagos state government, according to the Shepherd Superintendent of the Oregun, Lagos – based church, Rev Chris Okotie.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced earlier in the week that worship centres would re-open from Friday, August 7, 2020. He said, however, that while 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 percent capacity for each worship center.
In a special, 28-minute broadcast sent via WhatsApp to his church members, Rev Okotie said although he accepted the imperatives of the safety precautions to contain the spread of the COVID– 19 virus, the wearing of masks or face shield was unacceptable.
Citing various Bible references, the Pastor said, 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. He said, with the tearing of the veil, there is no longer separation between God and his people, warning that wearing of masks would reverse the order, which is unacceptable.
He said he didn’t initially discuss the mask in his broadcast on the Covid-19 mystery because he was waiting for its full manifestation, adding that he decided to speak out now because 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”, he said, adding that most Christians do not understand the implications, thinking it is just a medical requirement.
The Reverend said because if a believer wears the face mask, he denies the efficacy of the word of God; and as such, he would not allow members of his church to do that, which is why the Household of God church won’t resume service.
Rev Okotie said that for the 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”, he insists. He added that 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,” the Pastor insists.