Rev Chris Okotie says his Household of God Church will not resume service on Sunday, August 9 because of the requirement that churchgoers must wear facemask or shield.
The 62-year-old televangelist said this in a special broadcast sent to church members via WhatsApp.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos on Saturday, August 1 announced that worship centres in the state would reopen from Friday, August 7 after five months of closure due to the coronavirus.
He, however, said that worshippers are expected to observe standard safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing of face masks or shield and washing of hands.
Mr Sanwo-Olu also pegged attendance at 50 per cent capacity for each worship centre.
Addressing church members in the message made available Okotie said although he accepted the imperatives of the safety precautions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the wearing of masks or face shield was unacceptable.
Citing various Bible references, the pastor said, for Christians to wear any type of mask or face shield to church, is to reintroduce the veil which was torn the moment Jesus died on the cross.
He said with the tearing of the veil, there is no longer separation between God and his people, warning that wearing of masks would reverse the order, which is unacceptable.
Chris Okotie said he didn’t 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 is now graduating into a face shield, which is 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.
The pastor said if a believer wears the face mask, he denies the efficacy of the word of God. As such, he would not allow members of his church to do that, which is why the Household of God won’t resume service.