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Opinions of Monday, 29 December 2008

Columnist: Awuah, John Chap

The Church Is Our Last Hope

– Please Don’t Divide It With Politics

God is greater than partisan politics and His power and majesty transcend beyond human institutions. God sees beyond the natural philosophical analysis of human biases. He loves both political aspirants of NPP and NDC with agape love, so let us therefore approach the pulpit of God with all sacredness and reverence. He requires that the trivial matters of life (“politrics”) do not displace the weightier ones namely; love, peace and unity of the people. It is only in the house of God that we are indeed one – one father, one spirit and one goal.

Ghana seems to be divided on many fronts. Visit educational institutions and the politicians are laying ambush to catch them young. There always appears to be political manifestations in almost every institution; Government institutions – visit the ministries Private institutions – you can name them Chieftaincy institutions – some chiefs have publicly declared their support for the NDC/NPP even against the constitution The media – the least said the better The family institution – some homes have been disintegrated and broken up due to the lack of tolerance to hold divergent views.

Consequently, it becomes grievous and disturbing when politics is taken into the church or when the church enters into politics. The former may be pardoned if, and only if, the politics is not traced to an external politician. However, the latter has always proved to be disastrous, going contrary to the teachings of the owner of the church. He told the apostles whose political instinct led them to enquire about when power would be handed over to the Jews. “It is not for you to know... But ye shall receive power”. In other words, it is not proper to meddle (the pulpit) in politics.

In this vein, I beg our honourable politicians and reverend ministers of God to desist from or resist all temptation to make the altar and the pew, political arenas. You may do it privately as your fundamental human right.

Some pastors and church leaders conspicuously demonstrate that they are supporters of the NDC or the NPP through their preaching, praises and comments from the pulpit.

Ghana will be classified as being at a high risk if at any point in time it becomes very easy for members of the church/mosque to group themselves into political cliques. Past events in other countries tell us that in the event of confusion among the people even churches become target of destruction losing the sacred respect of the people.

The denominational churches and mosques belong to all worshipers. The Roman Catholic (universal), Presbyterian, Methodist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic and Spiritual Churches; the Full Gospel and Women’s Aglow Fellowships among others, all belong to God. The church, representing God, is the unifying glue that should bond all of us into love.

The Fountain Gate Chapel, headed by Rev. Eastwood Anaba, organised her end of year programme dubbed, “Running with Horsemen” at Ofankor. Rev. Anaba, after preaching on the topic, “Pray for Me”, led the congregation to pray a heart-warming prayer that is absent in many pulpits. Holding our hands in unity, he said “pray for J.J. Rawlings and Prof. Atta-Mills even if you are an NPP activist and for President Kufuor and Akufo-Addo, even if you are an NDC activist”. That was beautiful!

Before, during and after the run-off, I appeal to churches and ministers to remain neutral, believing God for His will to be done. Let all God-fearing Ghanaians guard our tongues against inflammatory words and not give in to negative passions. I believe Ghana (not the NDC or NPP flag bearer) will emerge as the winner. POLITICIANS, PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE CHURCH – IT IS HOLY. LONG LIVE GHANA, LONG LIVE OUR DEMOCRACY!

John Chap Awuah