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Diasporian News of Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Source: Rockson Adofo

Politics and One-man Showmanship at Paris Central Pentecost Church

It is well past the time the truth was told about the never ending deplorable politics in the church's administration, spearheaded by a ruinously disguised and confused autocrat without directional bearings in the service of God. The sitting Presiding Elder, naively priding himself in the accolades of his position, doesn't give a hoot about the adverse affects of his untoward actions on the majority of the congregants, as long as his position as the Presiding Elder is ensured, however contradictory, they are to sound Christian and godly norms. What an amazing intransigence indeed?

This Ghanaian-dominated church though in Europe, is exhibiting same, if not far worse, the disgusting characteristics of the money-minded, arm-twisting and to your-own-demise tactics (should you refuse to do as directed), as employed by the innumerous mushrooming churches in the present-day supposedly modern Ghana.

Things are really falling apart, the centre will sooner not hold. The Church is diminishing in congregation all because of the uncultured, divide and conquer, vicious attitude of the Presiding Elder. "Illiteracy is really a disease". He is assisted by a clique of wreckers, who bypasses the "Presbytery" decisions to institute their own selfish agendas, in the hope of perpetuating office for long, if not for good.

There is a lot of bullying, victimization, directed at those with sound suggestions though, contrary to the parochial-mindedness of the Elder in question, whose hallicinatious ignorance makes him feel his position threatened, should the other views be adhered to; by himself and his ilk aspiring for "for-life" nominal positions in the church.

Insinuations, personalised attacks orchestrated by the Presiding Elder, directed at "picked on" individuals, in a delusional obligated attempt to get payment of tithes and purported voluntary financial contributions from them is not a glorious issue to write home about. Though tithes are to be enforced, it should be done in a diplomatic way, bringing the benefits of its payment into picture; but not the brute way it is being executed by the Elder in question. The uses of the tithe should also benefit not only the pastors but also, the destitute in the church.

"Tithe A tenth of the produce of the earth consecrated and set apart for special purposes. The dedication of a tenth to God was recognized as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20; Heb. 7:6); and Jacob vowed unto the Lord and said, "Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." The first Mosaic Law on this subject is recorded in Lev. 27:30-32. Subsequent legislation regulated the destination of the tithes (Num. 18:21-24, 26-28; Deut. 12:5, 6, 11, 17; 14:22, 23). The paying of the tithes was an important part of the Jewish religious worship. In the days of Hezekiah one of the first results of the reformation of religion was the eagerness with which the people brought in their tithes (2 Chr. 31:5, 6). The neglect of this duty was sternly rebuked by the prophets (Amos 4:4; Mal. 3:8-10). It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Cor. 9:13, 14); and if, as is the case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God. Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three tithes of his property (1) one tithe for the Levites; (2) one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and (3) one for the poor of the land".

Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

"It's not gold, all that glitters". In this present time of the immigrants sojourning on the Whiteman's greener pastures coming under scrutiny and attack, coupled with high cost of living with the concomitant diminishing living standards, especially in France, and the over-reliance of relatives on "burgers", the last thing one would expect from their church is being judged by ones hygienic appearance for riches, and hence, subjected to constant attacks for inability to cope with tithe and the incessant financial demands payments.

I reserve the publication of any investigative report into the detailed seemingly unchristian attitude of not only the Presiding Elder but also, his superiors who by underhand dealings, have brought about the present predicament upon the church, alienating the majority of the members.

However, I pause to ask and suggest as following::

1) How does the Church of Pentecost select or elect their Presiding Elders? 2) How does the Church of Pentecost renew the term of a sitting-Presiding Elder? 3) How far has the Presiding Elder access to the finances of the church? 4) Has the Presiding Elder veto over the use of the church's funds? 5) Has the Presiding Elder prerogative over the disbursement of raised funds?' 6) Has the Presiding Elder authority to override voted (majority) "Presbytery" decisions to rather implement his or the minority decision, probably because the majority is not always right? 7) Has the Presiding Elder the unique right to decide which church member to worship in his church and who should worship elsewhere all because of the assurance of holding on to his position?

SUGGESTIONS:

a) A bit of sensible empirical economics can help alleviate the constraints of funds acquisition. The Church premises can be sub-let to church members for their occasional funeral, christening (outdooring), and Birthday celebrations at the fraction of that charged them by the known commercial centres for such festivities. This will go a long way to curtail the unnecessary but continual request for money by unethical means. Being "hustlers", we should be prudent in the way we raise and spend our money in line with our expectations for travelling out of Ghana in the first place. b) The Superiors of the said-Presiding Elder should step in to direct things or else, they will suffer the brunt of any end result, whether good or bad. For it's said, "it does not belong to he who is leading to direct their steps" and "if a child falls behind your house and die, you were not the one that killed him but your name will never cease being mentioned whenever and wherever his death is told". 3) The various committees in the church should be allowed to function within the ambit of their democratic setups without corruption from selfish-minded individuals. 4) The ostentatious strive for positions by unethical means must cease. 5) The typical Ghanaian-minded politics should be distance away from the House of God. 6) Church is a loose association of people willing to worship God; therefore care should be taken when dealing with them as each can renounce their allegiance and walk away without arrest by whomever. 7) Misinterpreting biblical preaching to reflect insinuations objectively to disgrace and intimidate others who have divergent views to that of the preacher is ungodly and they must cease.

Until desirable and rational changes are made, the fight continues unabated and my follow-up write-up will be "explosive" and revealing though, not confrontational. Ghanaians living in France have been underrated for far too long partly because of their leniency, humanness taken for stupidity, and pampering of others who capitalise on reading negativity into these acts of their Ghanaian hospitality. We need no further humiliations and bullying from within the churches.

May the peace of God be with us.



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