By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Senior Pastor, Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie on Sunday said the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, cannot speak for the Christendom and that its proposed social distancing in churches is blasphemous infidelity.
Okotie, in a statement said “CAN is an amorphous organization sustained by a Christian appellation. It is bereft of any authority to speak on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ. Arrayed in Episcopalian vestments, they are the modern day Pharisees who arrogate divine honors to themselves.
“They have a form of godliness and yet hobnob nicodemusly with enemies of the Lord Jesus. The true ministers of the sanctuary must recognize CAN’s treachery and reprehensible Phariseeism. That which a man spits against heaven shall fall back upon his face. We shall not bow to the idol called Corona Virus. Jesus is Lord”.
Okotie condemned CAN’s proposed recommendations of distancing in the seating arrangement in churches as “blasphemous infidelity” and desecration of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Okotie, in the statement issued through his media Adviser, Ladi Ayodeji, made it clear that he was in full support of social distancing and other safety measures ordered by the government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
However, the Pastor rejected the extension of social distancing to churches because it compels the reordering of seating arrangements, and the determination of the size of congregational worship per service for fears of the spread of the deadly virus.
He argued that to accept such arrangement was to nullify the redemptive work of Jesus, which involves healing.
CAN President, Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle had rolled out the guidelines for the reopening of churches, which he said would be discussed with the federal government for approval, after consultation with the leaders of the other religious bodies.
In the guidelines, Ayokunle said CAN recommended social distancing of one meter in seating arrangement, in churches, wearing of face masks by worshippers, 90 minutes worship sessions, provision of sanitizers, hand washing with soap, etc.