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06.07.2005 Feature Article

Letter From The President: Oh, Papa Duncan!

Letter From The President: Oh, Papa Duncan!
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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, believers and non-believers, every Bible-believing Christian in Sikaman is wondering how Action's Papa Duncan is coping after his wife left him. I have been reliably informed that he's very broken-hearted. He's not been eating and his head is constantly buried in his Bible. But I don't pity him. The news about his divorce has given me an opportunity to say all those things I've always wanted to say about him and am not going to spare any punches at all. I think that Papa Duncan has contributed in large measure to the rot in Christianity in Sikaman. I know that some of you adore and worship him. To some of you, he's a god. You see him as unquestionable – he's a final authority on everything. And I know you won't take kindly to my saying these things about him. But am not afraid! Papa Duncan's flamboyant lifestyle and his appetite for the grandeur spurned a generation of greedy, self-seeking preachers in this country. Do you remember him proclaiming some years ago that he wore fancy clothes because he was following in the footsteps of Christ, who, according to him, wore designer clothing during his 33 years on planet earth? Do you remember those days when there were news reports that some drug pushers were buying cars for him? He tried to deny it but the reports turned out to be true. Not quite long ago, he told a radio station that he'd been to heaven and back. He was the first pastor to declare that his church was “International”. Suddenly every church became International. A friend of mine told me that he was once in his church when Duncan suddenly stopped preaching and spent a good amount of time to chastise his bodyguards for allowing an usher to come near him, going to a tirade about how he could have been assassinated. Guess what? The usher was merely bringing him water to drink. Papa Duncan was the first preacher from Sikaman's Charismatic denomination to crown himself Bishop. As soon as he did this, several others followed and called themselves bishops. Then he decided to set himself apart from all the rest. So he made himself archbishop. Thanks to his pacesetting self-glorification, we now have a few other archbishops in the charismatic churches. I believe that if his wife had not left him some four years ago, he might have declared himself a cardinal by now. I have been told that in his church you have to be rich to be considered as somebody. If you attend his church and you've never asked a filling station attendant to fill your tank, you are treated like an outcast and you can't be an elder. But come to church in a different car every week and you are likely to be dining with the archbishop every evening. And I tell you, a lot of pastors follow the Duncan model. If they can't get you to buy a car for them as a gift, they wouldn't so much as bother to lay hands on you. That's why I say that he's contributed in large measure to the rot in Sikaman Christianity. I, like many Sikaman citizens, was surprised when it was confirmed that Papa Duncan was experiencing domestic turbulence – his wife had left him and his daughter had been impregnated out of wedlock. This was in 2001. The story was told at the time that the wife had eloped with her high-school lover. The church tried to cover everything up and the daughter was suddenly married off and a few months later, she had a baby. These momentous happenings on the domestic front seemed to have brought Duncan down to earth a little. I thought that he had learnt his lessons because, out of the blue, one of the most arrogant pastors in the country was preaching about humility. The man who introduced prosperity Christianity to Sikaman was suddenly delivering sermons about compassion for the poor. But then, just as suddenly as she departed, we heard that Papa Duncan was back with his wife. It was an unnecessary face-saving gesture. According to Duncan, he accepted his wife back on condition that they would work out their differences within two years. Apparently the woman had given a certain army officer (the former high school lover) free, unfettered access to her website. Well, it didn't work out and now Papa Duncan says that the “broken bone is not healing and the pain is increasing”. I think that Papa Duncan needed a reality check and this is it. God tried to bring him down to earth four years ago and show his followers that he's just as human as we all are. But he just ignored the signs and instead went in for a desperate image-redeeming patch-up with his wife. And now, he's been confronted with the same challenge again. God knows that Papa Duncan only gets mellow when his wife leaves him. Now, he's refusing to eat – even though he's not fasting. He's doing a lot of introspection, which I think is good for him, his church, his followers and Christianity in Sikaman. I hope he does what I think he should do after everything has sunk in. He should forget about that woman. She never loved him and she became even less interested in him when he set his sights on becoming the godfather of Christianity in Sikaman. He should count the woman's departure as a blessing – it gives him a reality check and affords him an opportunity to behave like a human being, not a demigod. He should go back to basics. He should go easy on the prosperity doctrine and focus a little bit more on humility, charity and compassion. This is a fine opportunity to undo his negative influences on the new generation of Sikaman preachers. Am not blaming Papa Duncan for all the ills of Sikaman Christianity. Am saying that he contributed to it and now is the time for him to undo the wrongs he unwittingly did. He should know that he infested a lot of pastors with his flamboyance, arrogance and his lack of compassion for the poor members of his flock. Papa Duncan might have lost his moral authority to counsel married couples. Who will listen to an archbishop whose wife has left him for a soldier? But I think he can still embark on the most worthwhile crusade of his life. He should start a special campaign to sanitise Christianity in Sikaman. He knows what pastors do wrong and he should start condemning each and everyone of them for their misdeeds. If he turns a new leaf, perhaps, the other pastors might follow him – they've always looked up to him. Secondly, Papa Duncan should use his domestic failures to preach about the need for husbands and fathers to spend some quality time with their wives and kids. Am told that one of the reasons the wife left him was that he was always on one international mission or the other. If he wasn't globetrotting, he would be attending to everything else, except his wife and kids. The woman needed to be made to feel as such, so you see she went into the arms of the soldier. And the soldier was more than prepared to make use of his bazooka… and the ex-Mrs. Duncan was delighted. From the ashes of his failed marriage, Papa Duncan can save some marriages in Sikaman. He should now speak a little more about family values and the need for families to stay together. He can use his experience. There are a lot of people who will not listen to marital advice from a man who could not sustain his marriage. But Papa Duncan is difficult to ignore when he speaks.

Excellently yours,

J. A. Fukuor Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2005

The author has 204 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: JAFukuor

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