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Opinions of Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Columnist: Manu, Bernard Afreh

Why JJ & Kufuor doubt the prophecies

‘….And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people’. – Matthew 24:11.


Controversy was touched off when prophecies concerning two great men, JJ and Kufuor, splashed on the pages of the national dailies. According to Rev. Charles D.K Asare, General Overseer of the Charity Kingdom, JJ would soon quit politics to propagate the gospel truth. On the other hand, Kufuor got a fatalistic one as we are told some occult hawks, who are bent on seeing his demise, are trailed him.

This piece is not to bash our pastors, but to expose the ills in our society. I do not intend this write-up to be a moralist grandstanding. It is also not one to provide verdict as to whether the prophecies are the Heavens or the Hades. I know I was born a sinner, and usually pray to God for his infinite grace to save from me from temptation. I try my best to control my tongue lest I say things that leaves me conscience stricken.

Without peeking into the minds of the duo (JJ and Kufuor), here is evidence that they took their prophecies lightly. No week passes on without a gruesome act being linked to a pastor. Allegations and pastorship now appear to be complementary goods. It is either the mess of visa racketeering; defilement, adultery and you name it. People are fast losing faith in the sanctity of the holy places. The vulgar displays of opulence by these pastors start making the very elect doubt their sanity. In the yore, priests were paid stipends to sustain their lives. Not today. The pastors now dictate whichever amount they deem it fit. Driving in the latest Cadillac, Lexus, Hummer, etc these pastors wave to their groaning members after fleecing them in the name of God.

For once, I agree these pastors have missed tracks and are heading into the cesspit. Was it not Kwaku Bonsam, a popular fetish priest, who boasted that he had anointed about 497 pastors? I hope you do not doubt the allegation that these pastors are beholden to some demonic inclinations? They dance and dine with the devil in the vestry and come unto the pulpit to exhibit a holier than thou attitude. It is beggar’s belief they have the calling of the Almighty.

Pray, tune in to any radio station and you might tear your ear-drums with those piercing tongues and rap-like prayers. Some nocturnal beings, perhaps from another planet, call in to be extricated from the claws of poverty, barrenness, and even matters pertaining to ‘bedmatics’. It pushes one to start wondering if these followers are unaware of their masters’ fraudulent activities. Huh, the followers are also known to be only interested in enriching themselves. It is no wonder, these pastors pander to the doctrines of materialism and prosperity.

One thing that sicks me is when people are encouraged to leave their matrimonial homes to sleep in churches for as long as one week. This is absolute contempt for the biblical principles. Why would these pastors ascribe a spiritual meaning to every problem? Why would they not extend their supposed evangelism to hospitals, prisons, and orphanages? Why is the congregation no longer encouraged to give alms? The prophets of old challenged evils kings. Why do nowadays pastors adulate officials who are crooks? Why do these pastors not rush to have branches in Eritrea, Sudan and other developing countries? These and many more bring their godliness to question.

I learnt some school dropouts have taken Christianity as a highway to wealth.

They say it is good business-no taxes-maximum returns. These pastors smarting from fierce competition resort to shouting and frightening members with dire scenarios. The congregation is also told how ‘home’ enemies and other evil people around them are responsible for their predicament. The super-rich pastors thereby play it safe by hiring bodyguards (silly, you ask the rationale). Needless to say, churches spring up by the day and to get unique names, founders have had to venture into the jungle of words. After dabbling with several professions, they have come to a weird conclusion that ‘evangelism’ drives home the necessary wealth. To them, titles such as Reverend, Prophet, Bishop et cetera are no longer sacred.

There is hoo-ha about the deletion of RME (Religious and Moral Education) from our educational curriculum. It has turned out to be a fair game for simpletons and morally corrupt people. Academic commented on it. Where do our pastors stand in all this? Not only have they stood aloof; they have hid behind the veil of not-within-our jurisdiction. What did Desmond Tutu say of such? ‘If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor’. I beg of educationists to re-trace their steps! Immorality is known to exist in every facet of society and quickly closing in on us!

In Antioch, works and deeds by followers of our Lord made people label them as Christians. Today, pastors see no wrong with the near nudity on our streets but rush to damn tithing defaulters. They also keep mute about the numerous beauty contests, where people are paid and cheered on to throw their dignity to the dogs, to satisfy the depraved taste of irredeemable voyeurs. These debasing acts to the uninitiated are characteristic of enlightenment. Back in the day, it was an honour for any family to have their daughter given out to a man of God. Not now. Responsible women worth their hearts think twice before they leap. I hear, these pastors are the hottest species on the singles market and marrying one is like hitting the jackpot.

The Cup of Nations in Ghana is the site for dramatic rivalries and tests of will. As for the footballers, they compete. But the real battle is among prostitutes! I listened on radio how harlots in our country threatened to fight their visiting counterparts if the latter attempt at snatching their customers. The foregoing review is necessary to show that if something smells like evil, struts like evil, looks like evil, it is nothing but EVIL. President Kufuor is still reeling from the accident shock and I pray we do not lose him. JJ, might arguably been rejected by the ‘populace’, but in the sight of God, he could make manifest of the text that says ‘the rejected stone shall be the cornerstone’. Call this article judgmental; call me a bible-basher, I careless! I cannot lump all pastors and paint them in bad colour. There are quite a number of truly anointed pastors. We only need to be wary. These pastors like serpents, lie on their bellies and we cannot tell which have bellyaches. There is that gnawing scepticism down in my heart, whether all pastors are trustworthy, if they are, I must sense the dramatic change, next year.

Bernard Afreh Manu KNUST.

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