General News of Sunday, 12 December 2010
Accra, Dec. 12, GNA - Archbishop Dr George Slezer Ofori-Atta, Presid= ing Archbishop of International Council for Clergy (ICC), at the weekend observed that the amorous pursuit of materialism among the clergy was undermining the essence of Christianity.
"This phenomenon unfortunately is being championed by some Ministers= of God who use the pulpit to propagate and demonstrate the penchant for material things, at times extorting money from their congregation," he stressed.
Archbishop Ofori-Atta said there was a false belief that the wealth of a Christian mission was equated to one's anointing and spirituality. He made the observation during the 16th public international ordinat= ion of the ICC, an affiliate of Council of Black Clergy, Philadelphia, US, in=
Accra for 15 licensed Ministers of the Gospel. Archbishop Ofori-Atta noted that the Lord Jesus admonished that a person's life or spirituality did not consist of abundance material possessions. "Premised on this mistaken or erroneous belief that wealth is spirituality, some Ministers of God go at length to amass wealth unto themselves, neglecting to attend to the needs of the people. He said the resources God granted to people were meant "to build upo= n the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ".
Archbishop Ofori-Atta asked the newly ordained Ministers to desist f= rom the temptation of being self-seekers, which he described as "devilish" an= d giving people credence to castigate the church unnecessarily. He cautioned political personalities who attacked some of the core beliefs of Christianity such as speaking in tongues "to stop descending i= nto the gutters with their utterances".
He said at the time when President John Evans Atta Mills was asking people to exhibit decorum in political discourse, it was sad that some politicians were making unguarded statements about Christian values. "The kind and gentle nature of Christians must not be taken for gran= ted and misconstrued to be weakness," Archbishop Ofori-Atta warned. He said it was an affront to Christianity when people made disparagi= ng statements that speaking in tongues was "madness" or "Ministers of God ar= e the cause and woes of the nation". Archbishop Ofori-Atta called on the government to recognise and incorporate the clergy into the governance of the nation and not to conta= ct them only in times of crisis.