Okotie says coronavirus is an idol that shouldn’t determine how churches worship - Khorgist.com


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Monday, 1 June 2020

Okotie says coronavirus is an idol that shouldn’t determine how churches worship

Rev Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church, says social distancing in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, should not be brought anywhere near the Church of God.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is proposing a set of guidelines to the government ahead of the reopening of places of worship.
Religious places of worship, alongside schools, pubs, nightclubs and entertainment spots have been shuttered by state and federal governments since March, as one in a raft of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Last Thursday, CAN issued a 10-point guideline which it intends to present to the federal government for approval.

CAN President Rev Samson Ayokunle said the guidelines, drafted in compliance with the government’s efforts to tackle COVID-19, would determine the operations of churches when they reopen.
The guidelines include strict observance of social distancing, safety and health protocols.

“Every worshiper must wear a face mask. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with one meter gap between two worshipers. One and a half hour service is enough for a start.

"There should be a gap of 25 or 30 minutes between one service and another where there are multiple services to avoid crowd,” Ayokunle had said.

A note to the CAN President

In his reaction, Okotie wonders why anyone should wear a face mask in church and why social distancing should be observed in places of worship.

He considers the protocols non-scriptural.

“Greetings. I am Rev Chris Okotie. I called earlier to discuss a report in today’s Sun Newspaper in which CAN recommended guidelines for the opening of churches.

"Social distancing in the Church of Jesus Christ is tantamount to blasphemous infidelity and an impeachment of the integrity of the word of God,” Okotie said in a statement addressed to Ayokunle.

According to the grandiloquent clergyman, no true minister of God will support the guidelines.
Healing is fundamental to the redemptive work of Jesus. To allow the idol of coronavirus to determine the scope of congregational worship in the house of God is an abomination of gargantuan proportions,” he said.

“No true minister of the gospel will succumb to such travesty of the faith. This is a summary of my objections. I have sent this message hoping that you would respond as one who bears the burden of the cross of Jesus.
Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Worldwide, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy and David Ibiyeomie of Salvation Ministries have scoffed at and railed against the closure of churches and proposed social distancing protocols during worship.

"For people to be allowed to be in the market for six hours and can’t be in church for two hours, it’s an upside down way of looking at things. Which one is more orderly? The market or the church?" Oyedepo had asked in a fit of rage.

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