“Doctorate” Degrees For Sale?
'If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (NKJ, Colossians 3:1-2).
A new phenomenon is creeping into the body of Christ (the Church) which cannot pass with a comment. I am talking about the phenomenon, where Pastors, Rev. Ministers, Prophets, Apostles, 'Men of God' or whatever title you might give to them crave to be awarded cheap 'Honorary Doctorate degrees' by some institutions abroad.
A day will not pass that one hears or reads a pastor, prophet or whoever boasting that he has been awarded a doctorate degree and carries the title around with all. A whole big church service with its wide publicity in the media was organized for a so called 'man of God' who was awarded an honorary degree by an institution from Nigeria. What are the criteria used in awarding these degrees? Somebody should help me.
The practice has become so rampant with its colourful ceremonies and publicity in the media that it leaves one to wonder what they are really meant for, whether it is a competition for recognition or it is an assurance of salvation or calling, I cannot fathom.
What do these degrees do to the spread of the word of God and the winning of lost souls? Some of our ministers of Christ have become so obsessed with the crave for titles and awards that they have lost their focus and misplaced their calling.
One development is that woe betides one if in describing some of these 'men of God', the title 'Dr' is not mentioned or added to their names. I recollect an unfortunate incident on a local FM station in Accra, where the host of a programme insisted that a caller to a discussion programme should add the title 'Dr.' (an honorary one) to a pastor's name before he would be allowed to speak.
I became so disappointed and disillusioned one day with one of the Pastors in Accra (whom I used to respect), who boasted on a radio programme and announced that he had been awarded an honorary doctorate degree and should be referred to as 'Dr' so so and so.
Jesus Christ, whom we all follow even refused to use his title. Philippians 2:5-7 advises all of us to imitate Christ. 'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men'(NKJ)
The spirit of humility and servanthood is missing in those who profess to follow Christ and claim to be His servants. In whose glory is the crave for these titles meant for?
It is high time that the Christian bodies stood up to speak against some of these practices. Christ's name is being dragged too much in the mud by the so called 'men of God'. It should be of great concern to every Christian who identifies him or herself faithfully with the cause of Christ to rise up to speak against some of the stingy practices of those who are using the name of Christ for their parochial and selfish interests.
I wish also to appeal to the officials of our Universities to come out and explain to us the criteria for the award of honorary degrees and the usage of the title 'DR'. The title has become so cheap that even somebody who does not have an 'O' level certificate wants to be referred as a 'Dr' so so and so.
'Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things' (NKJ, Philippians 4:8).
I believe this my short piece will sound well in the ears of all well meaning and faithful Christians.
God bless us all. William Frimpong-Bonsu (Joewillie) Accra.