Members of the Household of God Church will not resume service next Sunday despite the re-opening of churches by the Lagos state government, Shepherd Superintendent of the Oregun, Lagos-based church, Rev. Chris Okotie has said.
In a 28-minute broadcast sent via Whatsapp to church members, Okotie said although he accepted the imperatives of the safety precautions to contain the spread of the COVID- 19, the wearing of masks or face shield was unacceptable to him.
Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that worship centres would re-open from Friday, August 7 and Sunday, August 9, but with worshippers expected to observe all standard safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing of face masks or shield and washing of hands. Attendance was also pegged at 50 per cent capacity for each worship centre.
But citing various Bible references, Okotie said for Christians to wear any type of mask or face shield to church was to reintroduce the veil which was torn the moment Jesus Christ died on the cross.
He said with the tearing of the veil, there was no longer separation between God and his people, warning that wearing of masks would reverse the order, which was unacceptable.
He said he did not 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 was now graduating into a face shield, which was 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.”