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Opinions of Saturday, 5 August 2017

Columnist: Kwasi Frimpong SayItRight

The IGCG 'sale' of blessings and the hypocrisy of the Christian


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I have been reluctant in commenting on the issue that has become very topical especially on social media about the prices that were tagged with some level of blessings during the recently held Greater Works Conference by the International Central Gospel Church.

I did not want to comment because I had not had the full appreciation of what really transpired because I honestly did not follow the greater works conference. All what I saw was the debate on social media and I have resolved as a person not to jump unto any debate on social media until I have a full understanding of what it is all about hence my reluctance on commenting on the issue until I read Manasseh Azure Awuni of Joy Fm's writeup.

My understanding reading from the Manasseh writeup is that the price tags were not actually a plan by the ICGC church but PS. Matthew Ashimolowo who was one of the speakers who did that.

The ICGC church has been loudly silent about the issue (and I doubt if they will say anything about it anyway).

But what pricked me is the justification by some people that what happened is a matter of faith and should not be 'questioned'.

From what happened where the price list promised “Millionaire Status” for those who gave an offering of $5,000 or GHC21,500; Those who sowed a “Seed of a thousand times more” were to pay $1,000 or GHc4250. The least on the list of offering types was a $70 or GHc300 offering as a “seed of perfection” means if my mother was at the conference on that day, she would have just 'wasted' her time that day because she would have left the conference without ability to 'buy' any of the blessings that were 'sold' that day.

In Mark 12:41-44, “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The blessings of God is not tagged with the depth of ones pocket but the heart and to a larger extent the percentage one gives.

My mum does not make a GH500.00 a month as her income from the sales of her ab?nkwanmo(rice with palm nut soup). It is from this Ghc500.00 and some support from my dad's meager salary as a civil servant of Ghana that I have completed my University from, that Esther is now in the University with, that Abigail has completed SHS from and is expected to go to tertiary next year with and that Freda(our last born) has completed JHS from this year and would be starting SHS with this year.

That Ghc500 is just about a tenth of someone's entertainment allowance(not salary) for a week.

On such a day, my mum could propably have given ghc100.00 out of the 500 that is supposed to be doing all the above but couldn't have bought any of the blessings since even the blessings of perfection (that leads to rightiousness) was pegged at $70(with its cedi equivalent as GH300.00).

The other man however would have been easily be able to buy the millionaire status blessings from his one week enetertainment allowance without touching his net salary and other allowances including shoe and tie allowance all drawn selfishly from the poor tax payers money.

I was therefore taking aback when I saw some people defend this blatant extortion in the name of faith.

I believe in Giving. I give from my little National Service allowance. I pay my tithe(though not the traditional way of doing it for everybody to see and for the church secretary to record.)

The greater works conference brought on board about 5 internationally respected clergy men who may all have come with some entourage. They did not walk from their destinations to Accra and even if they walked, they still would have needed water to aid them in walking. The program was telecasted live on TV and radio and giant bill boards and social media advert were all done for the program which invaraiably means the church will need money to finance all of these.

But to put price tags on the blessings and for some people to justify that it is a matter of FAITH and so we should all keep mum is quite ununderstandable.

It is faith that makes Proph. Obinim stamp his foot on a pregnant woman's belly. That pastor who makes his church people drink beer every day, the people do so out of faith. Some married women allow themselves to be bathed by some pastors out of faith. The Islamic radicalists who are terrorising 'infidels' do so in the protection of their faith.

If issues about faith should not be 'touched', why do we question these acts.

Is it out of hypocrisy? Or is a case of 'two legs good, four legs bad'?

There are people who earn so little for their toil in this country. Putting monetary value against what miracles they are to expect will alienate them from ever being blessed."(Manasseh, 2017)

I disagree with those who think what happened was purely a matter of faith and should not be subjected to common sense or logical critique. Christianity or religion is a matter of faith. That is true. I believe in miracles. Common sense and logic cannot explain miracles. Which is also true.

But to have a proper discourse, however, let us differentiate miracles from the means to those miracles. In so doing, let us scrutinize the methods we use to get our miracles.

My deacon William Nyarko, has been consistent with his sayings 'God performs miracles, not magics.' God will not sell his blessings to people.

The blessings of God is not for sale and there should never be a justification for selling the blessings of God hiding behind 'FAITH.'

The writer is a student leader, a youth activist and a journalist.

Kwasi Frimpong SayItRight
@fsayitright on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
+233 20 183 3775
gilbfrimp@gmail.com

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