26.12.2019 Feature Article

The Exploitation Of The People In The Name Of God

Amankwa Benjamin KwameAmankwa Benjamin Kwame
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A typical Sunday in Ghana is a spectacle. Shops are closed, vehicular and human traffic in major towns and cities are at their barest minimum and the atmosphere of silence and serenity depicts the sanctimony of the Ghanaian. All roads lead to the millions of churches in the country. From the big cathedrals to the classrooms and the sheds, most Ghanaians will be found worshipping the creator. It is thus no wonder that Ghana has been described as a religious country and has become a destination for tourists and for many peace-loving people in the world. The fanfare, zeal and enthusiasm of the people on Sundays, a day of worship for Christians who are the largest religious group in Ghana, is manifested openly in their activities.

The other religious groups like the Muslims and traditionalists are in the minority. The Muslims, in particular, have quite a distinct approach to their religious activities in the country. Whilst they are devout to their faith, the fanfare about their religious activities is comparatively low except on occasions of celebrating a major festival. The unity and projection of these different religious sects benefit Ghana beyond reasonable doubt.

A developing trend in Ghana, however, is the commercialization and the exploitation of the people in the name of God. Christianity, in particular, is much adulterated in recent times that the faith seem to be losing its luster through the activities of the very people who are to uphold it. Let me state here that though it is necessary for every human not to blaspheme since it is a sin against the almighty, it is very important to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe in things that we do not believe in. It is thus important for the sake of the complexity, sensitivity, emotion and the frankness with which the issues here are discussed for the author to declare his faith;

“I believe in one God and his son Jesus Christ and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving, mercy, and endeavouring to make our fellow-creatures happy”.

So, I am a Christian after all but the variety of Christianity and prophets in Ghana, some with foreign accents and others with passion for local dialects as a marketing tool for the exploitation of Christians has reached a crescendo and needs to be interrogated. It is a powdered keg on which we seat and the earlier we face it and regulate religious activities in particular Christianity before the big blast, the better for us. We live in a country today where the church has become a casino, people are blessed according to the amount they bring to the table. We live in country today where a cock crow is interpreted as a sign from heaven, it requires a spiritual cleansing of a household. We live in a country today where Christians must necessarily pay consultation fees before been attended to by men of God, it is a prerequisite. We live in a country today where Christians travel to Nigeria to pay for what they call anointing oil and water, anointing oil indeed. We live in a country today where we reject our grandmothers, mothers and their male counterparts because a prophet has declared them as witches and wizards. The irony is that, these are the very people who looked after us when we were young but suddenly and mysteriously, they want us dead and for whatever reason, I do not know. We live in a country today where high ranking political leaders resort to prophets who have no appreciation of religion to govern this country, the meaningless reliance. We live in a country today, where people who wallow in sincere ignorance but call themselves prophets have the political backing to do almost anything. From destruction of private property to utterances that breed division and acrimony. Is it not time to take stock of our religious activities in particular Christianity? The blood of deception in Christendom seems to be thicker than the blood of Christ. Where is the place of these in the Bible?

Most of our religious leaders have established a ‘university of Nebuchadnezzar’ and we the eager and gregarious followers of Christ attend this university without introspection and interrogation of the doctrines and courses of study. Most Christians still suffer from the Garden of Eden syndrome. We were given everything then and asked not to touch the only thing that will destroy us. We did exactly what we were warned against and here, the instruction changed; “go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations”. Now, we make disciples for ourselves. What will Jesus see when he rises up today? Prophets who are in sexual relations with their followers, citing visions and dreams from God as their reason. Christians who are so gullible that they pay millions of Ghana cedes to receive blessings from God. Men of God who are in the business of acquiring worldly things with the speed of lightening. A Bible that remains the same but churches and Christians that keep changing from green to white and from black to blue? A mechanistic and structured church that has no place for God but has every sign of the end time groupings vividly described in the Bible. The success of Christianity is moving from failure to failure without the lack of enthusiasm. Is it not time to take stock?

The fact is that, none of us has the whole truth about God and how he operates. Who knows how God operates? Is it not written that none of us will enter the Kingdom except by grace? Why should some arrogate to themselves spiritual authority they do not have? Make money of the backs of innocent and poor people in the name of God? Did Jesus not drag people out of the temple because they were trading in his father’s house? Why should it be then that we have established a market in the temple? Most of the people who call themselves prophets, fathers, pastors etc. are fraudsters working not for God but against God. It is your responsibility to determine right from wrong and good from evil. Have you interrogated the practices and doctrines of your church and juxtapose them with those in the Bible? Remember, ignorance is no excuse.

I support the view that religious activities in Ghana must and should be regulated. The trust of the people in these misguided folks called prophets and so on is greater than their very existence. Most people die because instead of going to the hospital with their health problems, they prefer drinking concoctions under the direction of spiritual leaders whose interests are in the money they get from them and not the content of the medicine they administer to them. Other so-called men of God have defrauded, extort under false presences, individuals and even the country all in the name of Christianity and religion for that matter. The evidence of all these is abundant in recent times and I need not provide any. Is it not time to take stock?

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