The Senior Pastor of the Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie, has rejected the latest guidelines issued by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the reopening of worship centres.
Okotie, in a statement on Friday, said the doors of his church would remain closed as long as the governor refused to review the guidelines which he termed as an ‘abomination of desolation’.
Sanwo-Olu had on Thursday said that churches would begin services from June 21 as long as they abided by the new guidelines.
The governor explained that Muslim and Christian worshippers would be allowed to open at a maximum of 40 per cent from June 19 and 21, respectively.
He said, “We know that these places of worship have different sizes but even if your 40 per cent capacity is so large, you cannot have beyond 500 worshippers at once, and keeping that maximum 40 per cent capacity is really important.
“We will also be advising very strongly that persons below the age of 15, because of how well they walk around and are difficult to hold down, should be excused from the places of worship and citizens that are above the age of 65 should not be allowed into these places of worship.”
Okotie, however, said it was not in the place of the governor to reorder the mode of worship in the temple of God.
He said, “These guidelines are an ‘abomination of desolation’. Our doors will remain closed until these profanation and secularisation have been pulverised by the Emperor of heaven’.
“Beloved, yesterday, the abomination of desolation took a giant step towards standing in the holy place. The fulfillment of Bible prophecy is being accelerated by the forces of Janes and Jambres.
“To reorder temple worship is to deny God the divine prerogative of congregational adoration and the holy genuflects of the saints in light. Let no man’s heart be troubled by the vengeance of satanic antagonism.
Okotie had earlier blamed the Christian Association of Nigeria for not speaking for the church, describing them as Pharisees.
Meanwhile, a former General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church, Prophet Kayode Abiara, has urged pastors to abide by the guidelines of the governor as each of the guidelines was in the interest of the people.
Abiara made this known to Saturday PUNCH on Friday while reacting to the news of the reopening of religious centres in the state.
The cleric said the church does not have the right to dictate to authorities as the Bible clearly instructs that the people in government should be honoured as they have been appointed by God.
Abiara said, “We thank God for the life of our governor, he has been working very hard and we pray that God will continue to help him. It is good that he opened the churches as the house of God is the house of prayer and people should gather to pray.
“But on the issue of restricting members of a certain age, we will talk to the governor to revisit the issue as we believe that there is nothing God cannot do.”
Abiara added that churches should devise means within their power to hold services in line with the government’s guidelines and whatever objections they had should be humbly presented to the government as a piece of advice.
He added, “According to the Bible, we must not disobey those in government. We can only advise and device means to cooperate with the directives of the government.