The Pastor of Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie, has criticised the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) over the issue of social distancing in churches, adding that the body cannot be the mouthpiece of Christians in the country.
In a statement signed by his media adviser, Ladi Ayodeji, on Sunday, Okotie said CAN “is an amorphous organisation sustained by a Christian appellation.”
He added: “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 recognise 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 coronavirus. Jesus is Lord.”
Okotie condemned CAN’s proposed recommendation of distancing in the seating arrangement in churches as “blasphemous infidelity” and desecration of the Church of Jesus Christ.
He, however, said he was in support of social distancing and other safety measures ordered by the government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pastor explained that extending social distancing to churches would compel reordering of seating arrangements and determine the size of congregational worship per service.
Okotie argued that to accept such an arrangement was “to nullify the redemptive work of Jesus, which involves healing.”
Dr Samson Ayokunle, the CAN president had recently 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 other religious bodies.