The Wind Of Godlessness In Ghana
Ever since Avram Ben Moshe decided to reincarnate the teaching of Zeitgeist series, many disgruntled young men and women have latched on it to spit hatred against Christianity and what the faith represents. As a young man with interest in religions, l spent much of 2016 reviewing and analysing the conspiracies of Zeitgeist series. My understanding was/is that Zeitgeist is designed to promote godlessness in our world. More so, it is meant to discredit the Christian faith.
There is also atavism for ancient Egyptian spirituality (also known as Kemetism). Prior to going to the University of Cape Coast for my undergraduate studies, l studied with an Egyptologist, Dr. Maulana, at the Du Bois Centre, Accra. He was assisted by Dr. Osei Kwame. Through their teachings, l became aware of Kemetism. And having had two degrees in African Studies, l read other renowned Egyptologists like Martin Bernal, whose volumes, 'Black Athena' were groundbreaking in many ways. These scholars grounded my understanding of Egyptian spirituality. John Herink Clarke and Chancellor Williams extended the debate to argue that Christianity is a borrowed and distorted religion from Egyptian spirituality.
Linked to Kemetism is the resurgence of neo-pagan and neo-traditional religions in Ghana and other parts of the world. There is also an attempt to rationalise witchcraft in the country. Numerology is also gaining popularity among some of the youth in Ghana. There is also the resurgence of ancient occultism and eastern spirituality in the country. There are also some secular humanists in Ghana who disbelieve in the metaphysical world. A group of academics are also promoting antichristian agenda in the country.
Many reasons could be adduced to explain Ghana's current religious map. But what l see happening is that many of the youth are becoming disenchanted with religious charlatans in the country. But some are also just following the trend of godlessness, which is mediated and diffused through social media, in the world. Through the medium of social media and the internet revolution in general, it has become very easy for spurious materials against Christianity to be diffused. I also read that many of the youth are becoming frustrated with the Christian ethical rigorism, while others are simply disillusioned about unresolved questions about life. Many of the youth consider Christian ethics to contradict their moral relativist stance. Many want to live and form their own rules. Consequently, Christianity providing strong ethical values is considered anathema to their youthful exuberance.
The grounding of the godlessness among the youth is our universities, where humanistic (il)logic, largely a product of the Enlightenment, is churning out young men and women who are clueless about the ultimate purpose of life. Through the aegis of the modern university, God, the creator, is bracketed out of the world He created. Rationalism is enthroned, and God is squared out of the equation. Through rationalism, we have deconstructed spirituality and the meta-physical world. We have come to the point, where anything that appears to contradict commonsense is trashed as nonsense. Using the philosophical assumptions of empiricism and positivism, we have relegated God and the spirit world to the backwaters of human history.
In the end, Christianity has become the easy target for many of the youth to vent their frustration and godlessness. In the classroom, Jesus Christ has become the whipping boy. In the public sphere, anything about Christianity is trashed. Some religious leaders have also intensified their crusade against Christianity.
The recent case of the national cathedral has become a golden opportunity for the youth to lambaste and lampoon Christianity. For some, their hatred for the New Patriotic Party has given additional reason for them to launch a frontal attack against Christianity.
In 2001, l read a book, 'Lest We Forget.' The book narrated the godlessness that characterized the regime of Kwame Nkrumah. Under the heavy influence of Marxism – the godless philosopher and political economist, Nkrumah became very antagonistic to Christianity. He followed the practice of Satanism, by inverting all Christian texts. The classical example was how He redefined the essence of the Christian faith, which is seeking first the Kingdom of God. As he turned from God to humanism, Nkrumah led Ghana into a ditch. But what he did was a major idiosyncrasy of the communist nations. Prof. John Pobee has also written copiously to show how eastern mysticism characterized the regime of Colonel Kutu Acheampong. During the military regime of Jerry John Rawlings, the Church came under heavy surveillance. While Rawlings was very critical about the Christian faith, he promoted Afrikania mission to the extent that in the mid 1980s, it was virtually only the Afriknana neo-traditional movement that was allowed access to national media.
It follows from the above that, from the hindsight of history, what is happening in Ghana is not new. What is perhaps new is how the proliferation of the internet is consolidating godlessness through transnational connections in Ghana. As I have stated, the internet revolution has made it easy for the youth to access all manner of specious information, meant to undermine Christianity. Sadly, most of the youth have a strong predilection towards confirmation bias that they hardly equally look for materials that respond to the venom against Christianity.
In the face of the godlessness in our country, the question that we should ask is: How should Christians respond to the rapacious growth of godlessness in Ghana? I will offer three suggestions.
First, Christians should preach Christ in love. The aggression and rage against Christianity can easily incur the ire of Christians to adopt polemical responses. But we should respond in love. Jesus Christ showed love in the midst of hatred. As we show love, we should pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would reveal Himself to the youth. This is because we know that the god of this age has blindfolded many people so that they would not see the beauty and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:4). Through love, He conquered the vitriolic attacks of His enemies.
Second, we should preach the gospel with courage. It has become difficult to be an academic and Christian simultaneously. For many young scholars, attacking faith or deconstructing the mystic of faith is a mark of intellectual achievement. Consequently, an academic who believes in God is despised. In some cases, his intellectual abilities are suspected. But this is also the time for Christians to pray for the Lord's courage to preach the gospel. We should preach the gospel in season and out of season. Everywhere is our mission field.
Finally, Christians should live their belief. We should be the salt and light of the world. We should let our conduct preach the gospel. We should be ambassadors of Christ. We should demonstrate the hope with have in the Lord, by exuding Christian ethics in conjugal relationship, at workplace, at school, and at the public sphere at large. We should conquer a hostile environment with the humility and example of Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, in the face of the derision and treatment of our faith with contempt, we should not stagger. We should not cow in to fear. We should live for the higher glory, which is: Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). As we carry the cross of Jesus Christ on earth, we hope to wear the crown in heaven. Let us not grow weary, for our Lord is with us till the end of the world. He rules.
Charles Prempeh ([email protected]), African University College of Communications, Accra
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