Greetings in the name of our Lord Yeshua, who was, and is and is to come.
Let us delve straight back into the matters discussed in Part 1 of this series. Last time, it was stated that the state of affairs in a modern nation reflects the state of the church in that nation. Also, the following “kristometric” equations were introduced to help us understand how the state of the church affects the state of a nation: 1. Corruption + Bribery + Ghana = Injustice in Ghana = Injustice in the Church in Ghana = Corruption + Bribery + the Church in Ghana. Likewise, 2. Integrity + Justly Earned Wages + Ghana = Justice in Ghana = Justice in the Church in Ghana = Integrity + Justly Earned Wages + the Church in Ghana. Apart from the kristometric equations, it was also stated that based on Yeshua's first commandment of Mark 12:30, believers in Yeshua (like Israel to whom these words were addressed) “shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (KJV). Having dealt thoroughly with what it means to love God with all one's “heart” in Part 1 of this series, I will now proceed to elaborate on what it means to love God with all one's soul. I will also relate this to the vice commonly referred to as “respect of persons”. God is No Respecter of Persons You may have heard it said that “God is no respecter of persons.” But what does this really mean? Is this a statement on the arbitrariness of God? Quite the contrary. Scripture provides detailed evidence on the character of the living God and can dispel the false image some human beings try to create of God in order to support their false beliefs and the justification of wrong-doing. It is written, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35).
The previous words of the Apostle Peter demonstrate how through his commission to a Gentile – gentile refers to someone who is not of Hebrew or Israelite descent – by the name of Cornelius, the living God brought the Apostle to recognise that He does not see man through the tinted lenses of human constructs like racism, classism and certain other -isms. Cornelius, a centurion of the “Italian band”, although not a Jew, kept many of the commands of the God of the Hebrews along with his family. God therefore saw it fit to have his household hear the gospel message from one of his delegates, plus commendation for his good works as a means to encourage him in his conduct.
There is much that can be learned from the previous highlight in the life of the Apostle Peter. Having been conditioned through past experience to see other nationalities as defiled, sometimes justifiably and at other times due to petty biases – this was typical of Jews of Peter's day and still is the mentality of some Hebrew descendants today – believers in Yeshua should be able to perceive what God taught Peter through the experience of being commissioned to the gentile home of Cornelius. Believers in Yeshua should be able to see that today, God is still no respecter of persons. Even when it comes to political affairs.
In the sight of God, a leader is supposed to be a servant. This understanding is in harmony with Yeshua's words to his disciples who had not yet been promoted to apostleship by the time he made the statement saying, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). Here we have the true spirit of the governance title “minister”. The Greek term minister as rendered in English means servant. The image of a Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Finance or of Women and Children Affairs in Ghana bears a stark contrast to the image of a servant. Some of our ministers in the church assemblies of Ghana also seem to bear a stark image difference from that of what a servant is normally associated with. It is clear that some of Ghana's political and church assembly ministers are not well acquainted with what it means to serve, IN HUMILITY. But that is another sermon. Perhaps the Sermon at Manhyia Palace. Suffice it to say that God does not show partiality in His dealings with human beings for the mere sake of mundane things like a human being's wealth or position. Rather, God shows particular favour with persons who endeavour to act justly and keep His commands. This is what it means when we say that God is no respecter of persons. The question therefore must be posed: why do politicians in Ghana seem to be so “untouchable” in the face of wrongdoing? Why do some Ghanaians seem to worship leaders who are clearly engaging in unjust acts that contribute to human suffering? Why do some Ghanaian leaders blindly associate themselves with foreign leaders, even beckoning without relent to their ungodly policy advice that often contributes to the suffering of Ghanaians? Why do the wards of politicians often blindly support the immoral conduct of parents who abuse their political office? Loving God with all One's Soul In order to answer the questions posed in the previous paragraph it is necessary to examine what it means to love God with all of one's soul. The Hebrew term nephesh provides the basis for understanding what it means to love God with all of one's soul. The term suggests the seat of emotions and passions. In Part 1 of this series, the love of God was defined from scripture in terms of obedience to God; to say that one loves God is to obey His commands. There are some commands of God that are given to regulate how we use our emotions as human beings. One of these emotions is fear.
An aspect of fear that the Bible warns against is the fear of man. This fear of man refers to an influence that disables us from calling the proverbial spade, a spade, and of course, the corrupt act of a politician, a corrupt act of a politician. Gentlemen and ladies – it is in some parts of the world that they emphasise ladies first not in Africa – let's talk about fear and the respect of persons in Ghana. But before doing so let me remind you that God is no respecter of persons. It is written, “To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress” (Proverbs 28:21). In characterizing evil or injustice, the living God is objective and not subjective. Therefore it is also written, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).
Earlier on I posed the following questions to which I now offer a few responses:
1. Why do politicians in Ghana seem to be so “untouchable” in the face of wrongdoing? Answer: They are aware of the cowardice of the mass majority of their nationals and that they will likely go unchallenged when they do wrong. And besides, they recognise that their nationals will often support them in wrongdoing “for a piece of bread”.
2. Why do some Ghanaians seem to worship leaders who are clearly engaging in unjust acts that contribute to human suffering? Answer: Because they have been brought up with an acute sense of the “respecting persons” mentality, especially on the basis of family ties and how they can benefit materially from their associations with leaders.
3. Why do some Ghanaian leaders blindly associate themselves with foreign leaders, even beckoning without relent to their ungodly policy advice that often contributes to the suffering of Ghanaians? Answer: These Ghanaian politicians also suffer from an acute sense of “respect of persons” mentality in the form of an inferiority complex.
4. Why do the wards of politicians often blindly support the immoral conduct of their parents who abuse their political office? Answer: As in most parts of the world, these children are trained to idolise their parents. Also, the culture of Ghana rarely gives room to question the wrongdoing of older persons. The Ghanaian notion of eldership is primarily a matter of two digits and how they compare to someone else's two digits. In the Evhe language the “elders” will say, “metsi wu wo, eyata elebe nadoto nye” (I am older than you, therefore you should listen to me).
So there you have it. But that's not all. There is another dimension to this respect of persons affair. Where do the “men and women of God” fit into the picture you ask? Well, one would think that if they are truly of God then they would have to be on God's side. Hmmm, so then, Yeshua was correct in pointing out that there would be false prophets among us. Throughout history, true prophets have always been known to have a stormy relationship with political leaders when the state of a nation is in moral decline. This is because a nation's moral decline is often the direct result of the conduct of political leaders.
When one reviews the contents of a number of Ghanaian dailies it should be quite apparent that the supposed men of God in the nation are not saying much about the wrongdoing of political leaders in the way of rebuking them. It is in the wake of the calls to legalise prostitution on the part of government that we are now hearing weak rants from Christian leaders that this is wrong? Hmmm, may I inquire if the spiritual leaders of the day are at all discerning of the spiritual climate of the nation? Because a government doesn't just wake up one morning and decide that it wants to legalise prostitution. No, no, not at all. Rather, all acts of humanity are inspired. Either by the Holy One or the evil one. Since the first term of the current crop of political leaders in Ghana, there has been an “inspiration” behind policy. I will leave the origin of this inspiration for the discerning to figure out. The topic today is respect of persons.
In His days in a human body suit, Yeshua the Messiah of mankind manifested all the true characteristics of a prophet. He was bold. He spoke on behalf of God. He was just. He called evil, evil. He gave warnings. He declared judgments!
Is your relative involved in illegal activity that compromises that stability of the Ghanaian nation? If you are Christian or Christlike, it is your duty to apply yourself in whatever capacity God has called you without fear or respect of the person of your relative. Are you a politician who has a mandate to serve the people? Then do it with no respect of the illegal demands of relatives. Keep your honour intact! Esteem the fear of the people as a form of respect that the living God can take from you at any time by debasing you publicly. As for foreign leaders, they were not elected to run your country. Sometimes, you must remind them of this plainly. How they take such comments will be your education on what they really think about you. You will also know if they really care about your nationals at all. To the children: I know it is tough to be a Ghanaian child. I've been there. But if papa or mama is stealing and the living God should permit you to get wind of it you must do your duty. Do it with all due honour to your parents. That means, acknowledge their rightful place in your life and address them appropriately whilst getting the point across. I'm not saying you should ignore wrongdoing on the part of a parent. Rather, I'm reminding you that scripture provides protocol on how you should address older persons. If you've forgotten, check out 1 Timothy 5. Lastly, remember that God is your most important parent.
This series remains a challenge to the Ghanaian Christian and a wake up call to examine the measure of Christlikeness that is in you. I will admit that I have no fear of man and will gladly declare any judgment I am given to deliver to any of Ghana's political or church assembly leaders. I hope they are listening and considering their daily conduct. The question is, what about you?
To be continued in Kristometrics – A Challenge to the Ghanaian Christian (Part 3) Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.