Reverend Chris Okotie
Reverend Chris Okotie, pastor of The Household of God Church International Ministries, in Oregun, Lagos says online church service, which has become the order of the day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is unscriptural.
He argued that Christians must physically gather together to be able to truly worship God.
Okotie, in a sermon titled, “The COVID-19 Mystery,” maintained that the viral disease was a satanic conspiracy to challenge the power of God by keeping Christians out of the church.
He also alleged that American billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Bill Gates, was the protagonist being used to drive the conspiracy.
Okotie said, “We are dealing with one of the most sinister conspiracies in human history. That’s what he (Gates) is doing. He’s getting people back into the physical house, making sure they no longer congregate.
“What we call the online church is absolutely untrue, because for you to be church, you have to be ecclesia, which is translated from the Greek word, ec, which is out, and the word caleo, called out".
“You cannot gather unto God until you are called out. That’s why Israel was called put of the world. So, this thing, this phenomenon that we are talking about, Internet and cyber churches, is totally unscriptural. God knows where you are; if He was not interested in the assembly, you don’t need to come to church; you can pray in your house, I pray in my house, you praise in your house, I praise in my house, He can see all of us, He doesn’t need computers. But that denies Him who He is; so, we must ,that’s why the bible puts that verse as an imperative, you must not forsake the assembly of yourselves together.”
Okotie had recently opposed government’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines for churches, describing the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria as “modern day Pharisees bereft of any authority to speak on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ.”