Religion of Monday, 27 August 2012
Archbishop Dr. George Slezer Ofori-Atta, Presiding Archbishop of the International Council for the Clergy (ICC), has urged Ghanaians to maintain the unity and peace that the late President Mills death brought, as the country prepared for the December Polls.
He advised against the use of hate speeches and unnecessary arguments that give wrong signals to incite violence among the electorate.
“We are admonished by Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one,” he said.
Archbishop Ofori-Atta made the call at the 22nd International Public Ministerial Ordination and Consecration organized by ICC in Accra over the weekend.
He said the ICC was concerned about the lives of people, especially where they spent eternity, and bemoaned the issue of Bokom Haran in neighboring Nigeria, which was negatively affecting the preaching of the gospel and church planting.
The Archbishop stated the need for more co-operation from both the church and state since there was no way democracy could strive without religious bodies’ involvement in the affairs of the state.
“We recognize the attempt of government in consulting the Christian Council of Ghana but we wish to state that they are not the only ecclesiastical body in Ghana. We have other equally good Ecclesiastical body such as the International Council for the Clergy.”
According to him, the effort of ICC to share certain concerns with government in the interest of democracy and the nation were hampered by government bureaucracy, saying “we pray the Government to make it flexible for us to have easy access to its machinery for this co-operation that we seek.”
Archbishop Ofori-Atta noted that government had a responsibility towards the people to equip the citizenry by identifying and shaping their skills for the productive purposes and granting them the opportunity to work.
He indicated that good leadership is portrayed by the success of the people and not necessarily the policies, “for policies must be translated into the success in the lives of the people and this must be evident collectively in people’s living at the end of the year, fulfilling the Government’s short and long term plans. It is with the citizenry that we build a nation”.
Right Reverend Dr Simon Asore, former General Superintendent, Assemblies of God, cautioned the ministers to respect the purpose of their call and avoid practices that would undermine the integrity of their office.
He tasked them to work diligently and remain focused in order not to be influenced by the world, especially the love of money and craving for position and power.
A total of 35 ministers drawn from various churches throughout the country were ordained, comprising three Bishops and five Apostles.