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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Columnist: Afreh, Manu Bernard

Kwaku Bonsam and acts dressed in feathered gown.

It is a lamentable fact that our society has surrendered to the gradual pervasion of its noble ideals with evil acts .With a book based on witchcraft, Harry Potter, selling millions of copies around the world, it underscores the fact we are in the season of demonic tempest. If you thought only kids in Western countries were avid readers, then you would be shocked if I told my research revealed that quite a good number in Ghana continue to rehearse some of its extracts.

In these times, when our beloved Ghana, is grappling with the spate of moral decadence that has not spared religious settings, a fetish priest would add salt to a weeping wound by shouting at the top of his lungs that some of his clients are pastors. Oh yes! Some false prophets masquerading as Christians could seek for his assistance, but need I tell him that no Christian minister, chosen as a vessel by the Almighty God, would visit him (a sorcerer) for powers to heal and perform miracles.

We are aware the devil’s vicious battles with believers has raged for ages, but when it assumes the dimension of a spiritual contest, in which one Kwaku Bonsam-- a fetish priest who carries Lucifer's name with sheer pride—could shamelessly pour scorn on Christendom, boast that he was not afraid of any pastor, and barely stopped short of calling himself the 'messiah' in our country, it surely could make any believer shudder in fear.

He shot himself to fame by offering to attack supposed witches and principalities of the ‘devil’ in a town called Juaso. Then, people trooped to the town to witness his magical works. Fate, that eternal trickster, came to his aid and I am told his name is fast becoming a household word. Surely, he would have people hoodwinked by his works, but nothing upsets me so badly than how my fellow Ghanaians threw their bibles under beds, defied a scorching sun, just to witness a spiritual contest between Kwaku Bonsam and Ebenezer Adarkwa Yiadom- a pastor who has numerous accusations trailing him.

The Daily Guide newspaper was first to splash the story across its front page. The paper wrote: “Nana Kwaku Bonsam stormed the event grounds at about 2.30 pm riding a dark brown horse, dressed in ‘batakari’ with a whitish substance smeared all over his body, followed by a convoy of plush vehicles. The now most famous fetish priest in the country, before making his entry into the venue of the show, held a procession on the principal streets of Kumasi, which saw hundreds of people popping from their homes and places of work to catch a glimpse of the commander-in-chief of fetish priesthood in Ghana’’.

I understand the procession was marked with cheers and praises from the same people, who would on Sundays pick the microphone to sings praises to the Almighty, and as well harass and badger hearers with the prospect of hell and damnation if they didn’t repent.

According to the paper, ‘The Jubilee Park, which was filled to capacity, simply exploded when the man who claims to be commander of spirituality finally arrived at the grounds ready for action. Hundreds of enthusiastic observers who started trooping to the grounds at about 10:00 am had to stand under the scorching sun for several hours waiting for the arrival of the two spiritual combatants.

The glorious arrival of the famous fetish priest therefore brought much relief to the excited crowd who were expecting great miracles, though the Reverend Minister made no show. In a brief speech before he swung into action, Kwaku Bonsam said his mission was to shame Rev Adarkwa and his colleagues who claim to be men of God, so that people would come to the realization that there is dignity in traditional worship’’.

With these all, would it then surprise you if I told you that people bearing Christian names bombarded the news outfit (Daily Guide) with persistent calls to have the phone-number of the sorcerer for ‘juju’?. This piece is not intended to condemn traditional worship, but truth of the matter is, Christianity is the light and the truth is found only in the Holy Gospel. The bible, history confirms, was written as with a sun beam in the whole volume of the human nature, with the inspiration of God, and can never be erased by mortal power.

These are surely insane times. As I sat down contemplating about the numerous, unimaginable happenings in our planet, the arguments of one atheist raced through my mind. His story of humans ‘evolving’ from the lineage of apes is perhaps the worst whopper I have heard in years. Left to me, the question: ‘Is there a living God?’ is rhetoric in every sense of it. I need not tell the atheist to look around and observe nature, critically appreciate the hand of God behind wonders like the ocean waves, the flowing rivers, the stars, sun and moon as they are suspended far above the world so high.

Indeed, there is a living God and the arguments of those humanists, agnostics, atheists are nothing more than a whitish sepulchre; attractive outside, but filled with dead men’s bones. In fact, it is a profound illustration of a pernicious brand of superstition that has seized the popular imagination in Western countries.

It is therefore little surprising when such also advance arguments that seek to rationalise unholy acts like Homosexuality. Really, something must be wrong in California. I could not believe my ears when news wafted through the atmosphere that the court had overturned the ban on gay-marriages. I am forced to ask: why would any judge, worth his biblical principles, digest the vile arguments of these sex-perverts. California is somehow full of ironies. Could you imagine prostitutes having the impudence to run for gubernatorial elections? That shows the gravity of how messier things could develop.

They hate me for emphasizing on the bitter truth. They refuse to listen to this plain fact: the Biblical witness is clearly against the practice of homosexuality. God did not intend for male and male, or female and female to have sexual relations. As the popular saying goes, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” The Law of Moses said, "You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). The New Testament is just as clear on this issue as is the Old Testament. I pray the anti-gay groups never relent in their efforts of overturning that judgment.

I also encourage fellow Christians to humble themselves, entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, and the celestial flame to burn within us. Whatever may be the machinations and devices of the enemies of God's people, there is still the same effectual barrier to thwart their design. Moreover, darkness cannot rule over light for too long.

Oh you, the agnostic, come in with your fiery darts and I am ready to deflate and spike every argument against the existence of Almighty God. I know this piece would whip up bitter sentiments against me; the antiphon would be sickening; some people would curse the hand with which I type such bullets into their fuming mind, and some might even wish to have me tied to a stakes, pull a dagger from its sheath, stab me in the forehead, and squeeze it till I writhe in pain to death. Call me a bible-thumper, or wish for hailstones on my head; the heavens know I have played my role. Indeed, the destiny is in our hands!

Afreh Manu Bernard,

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