Feature Article of Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Columnist: Cameron Duodu

Why do we allow fake ‘prophets’ to preywith sadistic abandon on bereaved families?

I cannot believe that a person born and bred in Ghana can be so lacking in sensitivity, to say nothing of empathy, that he can claim publicly that someone who has just died was “killed” by God for unspecified “sins”.

For many of us pride ourselves with the notion that we are brought up to be “polite” and even “polished”: the term we love to apply to ourselves is “map?” (I've been well brought up) and obversely, we condemn those whom we consider crass or uncivilised by saying of them: “?mp??e koraa!” (he/she is not in the least bit refined.)

When death visits a household, the decent “done” thing is to offer the bereaved family our heartfelt condolences and try to console them. We say they should not be too downhearted because “death will come for all of us one day.”

We show our comprehension of the phenomenon of death as a universal millstone hung around the neck of humanity by describing death as being like the “rainbow” that “visits” everyone when it shows itself. The rainbow's vista of visibility is unlimited. Whether you like the rainbow or not, you will see it when it manifests itself. No-one can climb into the clouds to rub a rainbow off.

How can a people with a philosophy that recognizes and accepts the inevitable workings of Nature – cultivate, at the same time, sadistic, insensitive, and ignorant “prophets” who do not scruple to inflict psychological torture upon the survivors of people who have just died?

Have you noticed that even as the mangled body of a singer called Ebony Reigns lies in a mortuary where a gory motor accident has sadly placed her, “prophets” are vying with each other to claim that they had “predicted her death” before it happened.

How do these “prophets” expect the relatives of Ebony to react to this unseemly competition to wear the “badge of honour” of the true “man of God” to whom God “revealed” the poor girl's fate? Even if – in the unlikely event that a “prophet” was told of her end by God – must he demonstrate his Christian compassion by broadcasting his “spiritual feat” to all and sundry? Could she, and other celebrities whose deaths have similarly been seized upon by false prophets, have been the only “sinners” in the world??

These “prophets” claim to “love” the world so much that they want to preach to save its inhabitants. But, at the same time, they morbidly bask in the questionable “glory” of allegedly predicting the [often] pathetic death of fellow humans.

The prophets' contradictory behavior can only be understood when viewed against the coded and unstated commercial message that accompanies their post-fact predictions. The not-so-subtle subtext to their message goes like this: “Look, God tells me things, you know? If you want to live long to enjoy the success you have already achieved by the Grace of God; if you want to achieve even greater fame and fortune than God has given you; then fasten your cloth tightly to mine and the Omnipotent God who reveals things to me, will ensure that you continue to prosper and live long.”

Translated into Ghana Cedis and US dollars, this message says: “You must share the fruits of your success with the church that intercedes between you and the Almighty. And the church – as you now – is ME! You must pay your tithes – ten percent of all your earnings. The ten percent is obligatory, but whatever you can add to that will be multiplied by our Faithful God.

“And please do remember to be faithful in rendering your monetary dealings with the church. The lesson of Ananias and his wife, Saphirah, is what you must never forget.”

“Who is Ananias?”

“Oh, you haven't yet read The Acts of the Apostles?
Here it is in the Holy Book. Read it for yourself: Acts Chapter 4:

QUOTE: 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost...

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought [any] of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common....

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need....

Chapter 5

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost...

7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8 And Peter [said] unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10 Then fell she down straight way at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. UNQUOTE

Give such a passage in the Bible to a person who does not know that the Acts of the Apostles was not written by God but by a disciple called Luke and he will place his bank balances at the disposal of his God's “prophet”. Who, of course, will buy nice cars, loads of “bling” jewelry and expensive perfumes with it as a visible sign that God loves him!

Will people “flock to his church” in spite of the “vanity of vanities” that he exhibits with his boasts about the number of cars, houses and servants he has? Or the expensive cost of the perfumes he wears?

Yeah. And why not? Self-advertisement made Donald Trump President of the |United Sates, didn't it? Similarly, people who call themselves “journalists” in Ghana over-publicize the inane self-advertisements of a manner of “prophets”, disseminating them to a populace that has not been educated to understand that some “journalists” evaluate what is news through the Cedi-stuffed envelopes that accompanies such “fake news”.

My People, please wake up! God is not mocked. People who inflict psychological torture on the bereaved, in order to make money, can't possibly be “prophets” of any decent “God”! It's as simple as A,B &C! So don't buy their snake oil. Please!