7
MenuWallOpinions
Articles

Can’t Ghanaians see Obinim is a gift to the body of Christ

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

WOLE SOYINKA ON RELIGION

“If religion was to be taken away from the world completely, including the one I grew up with, I’d be one of the happiest people in the world. My only fear is that maybe something more terrible would be invented to replace it, so we’d better just get along with what there is right now and keep it under control.”

PASTOR KOBI, BISHOP OBINIM, AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS

A 2013 video circulating on social media shows Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi’s visit to Bishop Obinim’s Tema-based church, where, he, without mincing words, laid down a patronizing framework of prophetic foundation for the latter’s bishopric mandate, claiming among others that, his host, Bishop Obinim, will eventually soar higher and higher in the competitive fields of pastoral evangelism and continuationism, deliverance ministry and sanctification, and miracle ministry—to a series of standing ovation. The question then becomes, “What exactly did Prophet Badu Kobi say in Bishop Obinim’s and his [the latter’s] congregation’s presence to elicit such an enviable degree of sycophantic cacophony?”

He simply said that, “Bishop Obinim is a gift to the body of Christ!” This straightforward statement captures the subtext of his message to Bishop Obinim’s dazed congregation. Here is what he also reportedly said: “As I came into the ministry, it is about some few months that I was able to raise someone from the dead. But Obinim has been consistently raising the dead. It is not all men of God who have this gift from God. This man is not just Bishop Obinim, he is a gift to the body of Christ. It pains me to hear people talking against men of God. How many Pastors have been able to do what Obinim is doing here in Ghana?"

Did Prophet Kobi really mean that Obinim has been consistently raising the dead? Which dead bodies did he consistently raise? Where? When? How? Well, Dag Heward-Mills, the Founder and Presiding Bishop of Lighthouse Chapel International, presided over a conference this author attended in New Jersey, USA, where he said he, too, has raised a dead body in one distant South American country. Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare also claims to have resurrected a dead woman in Koforidua. We are yet to learn about Pastor Mensah Otabil’s prowess in the miracle and deliverance ministry insofar as resurrecting dead bodies, after his having recently debunked the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution with no contrary scientific evidence of his own, while also probably forgetting that, Georges Lemaitre, the man behind the so-called Big Bang Theory, was himself a believer just like him, Pastor Otabil!

Pastor Otabil, who knows next to nothing about political economy, is now a science communicator in the anti-likeness of America’s celebrated Neil deGrasse Tyson, a cosmologist and astrophysicist. In other words, Pastor Otabil in one fell swoop of evangelical rhetoric flourish and Pentecostal brashness murders the Big Bang Theory together with the Theory of Evolution without so much as bothering to raise them from the dead, as Bishop Obinim, Okomfo Yaw Appiah’s mentee, is believed to have confidently petitioned Ghanaians to allow him to do in the special case of the late Bob Okala, one of Ghana’s foremost celebrated comedians.

On the other hand, there is no need belaboring Archbishop Duncan-Williams’, possibly because his prayers successfully resurrected the falling Cedi from clinical death, much the same way Isaac Newton managed the death-fall of the proverbial apple! What is up with these pastors raising the dead? The simple fact is that Prophet Kobi, Founder and Leader of Glorious Wave Chapel International, is one slimy opportunistic charlatan trying desperately to defend and patronize another slimy opportunistic charlatan and demagogue, Bishop Obinim, Founder and Head Pastor of the International Godsway Ministries. This is all business and they have to defend and sell each other’s products in order to harness their followers’ goodwill and to remain relevant in the field.

It is all about birds-of-the-feather-flock-together cabal of evangelical and pastoral charlatans patting each other’s back. And yes, rather interestingly, too, it is this same Prophet Emmanuel Kobi who reportedly cured Daddy Lumba. The latter declared after his alleged healing: “For the past 22 years, I have been swallowing 48 tablets daily. I visited Glorious Wave Church International at Sakumono last week Sunday and Prophet Kobi prophesied about my ill health. He asked me to come to church with all my medications…The next Sunday morning, the man of God prayed for and asked my Personal Assistant, Roman Father, to set the medications ablaze…I have met Prophet Kobi, the man of God for my life and forever will I follow him.”

To the point, Daddy Lumba somehow patronizingly advertized Prophet Kobi in the same Prophet Kobi did for Bishop Obinim, the world-famous nocturnal snake-vampire. But the question of the evangelical thievery of the human mind is not as simple as it appears on the surface, though. For one thing, both Prophet Kobi and Daddy Lumba were tactically engaging themselves in self-advertizing activities and for another, Daddy Lumba may have probably been looking for a wider commercial patronage of his gospel (and highlife) corpus of songs while Prophet Kobi may probably have been using Bishop Obinim and Daddy Lumba to enlarge the niche of his followers and his tithing and offertory coffers. Namely, each could have been using the other as a useful idiot. Importantly, the modern miracle and deliverance ministries and prosperity theology are all about business and economics as usual.

On the other hand Bishop Obinim, the Donald Trump of radical evangelical gangsterism, too, may have been using Prophet Kobi for his own selfish ends. Here is what Prophet Kobi further said about the prospective meteoric greatness of Bishop Obinim, notwithstanding all that we have said above thus far: “I am standing here today to prophecy that God is going to use Obinim seriously from next year. People from across the world will chase him here in Ghana. People will look for him like they troop to Nigeria to look for TB Joshua. God is coming to use him in such a way that people will speak evil about him. Some will say he is not from God. Others will say he is using black powers but that cannot discourage us. Because no one curse who God has blessed."

Why then is Prophet Obinim now running away from his grandstanded prophetic vision about Bishop Obinim’s meteoric greatness? According to him, he said he never prophesized that Bishop Obinim could transform himself into a snake and bite his enemies, while, Jesus, his friend and godfather, could also change into a tiger or a lion. But why should Jesus change into a tiger or a lion? What for? Why should God change into a tiger or a lion to accompany a mentally deranged android, a Machiavellian therianthrope? Yet, having that level of spiritual flexibility to change into all sorts of animals with Jesus also turning into a lion or tiger is a sign that the person in possession of that level of spiritual flexibility is, indeed, great! Thus Bishop Obinim has arrived!

In other words, Prophet Kobi’s prophetic sayings about Bishop Obinim’s meteoric greatness are bearing fruit or materializing in both spiritual and material abundance. There is also the possibility, farfetched though, that Prophet Kobi may just be beginning to acknowledge Bishop Obinim’s evangelical and prophetic charlatanry and therefore his entertaining of the possibility of that charlatanry to boomerang on his own evangelical and prophetic integrity and credibility, hence a need for him to tactically distance himself publicly from any statement that somehow tends to analogize his 2013 prophetic grandstanding to Bishop Obinim’s nonpareil supernatural prowess.

Still, one looks at Bishop Obinim and one is compelled to think one is looking at Kenya’s Rev. Njohi, a pastor of the Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church who is reported to have told his female church members to stop wearing undergarments (panties and braziers) ‘because people ‘need to be free in body and spirit in order to receive Chris.’” The article continues: “In true fashion, the church’s female population reportedly did come to church sans their undies, the Post reports, in order to prepare for their spiritual taking.” Quite surprisingly, Rev. Njohi has declared undergarments “ungodly.”

This “Naked I Came, Naked I shall Return” church is a dubious one in that the edict was, and still is, misogynistic in its entirety and even more so, ironic at best, with Rev. Njohi totally ignoring and leaving the sartorial flashiness of men intact while, ironically, refusing or failing to ask the women to go rather completely naked. Where is the double standard in all these? Yet again unless, of course, Rev. Njohi’s church is strictly a women’s or lesbian church and if so, what is his business pastoring a church meant exclusively for women? Further, how is it that Jesus Christ can enter the bodies of women only through their genitals, more specifically the topography of their pelvic anatomies, and their breasts? Which anatomic ingresses does Jesus Christ make use of if he wants to enter men’s bodies? And oh, what is really wrong with us, Africans?

Everything aside, Ghanaians are now making Bishop Obinim the butt of expensive sarcastic jokes in which they are asking him to resurrect the person his car, a Range Rover, allegedly ran over recently and killed in the process, before ever daring to resurrect Bob Okala with Ghanaians’ permission. We can only hope this sensational story is not true, for if it were otherwise, then, Bishop Obinim had better listen to his detractors and enemies and resurrect this person, a feat that will no doubt give credence to Prophet Kobi’s questionable prophecies about Bishop Obinim’s meteoric greatness and accordingly, a feat that will certainly cap his nonpareil achievements in the competitive fields of miracle and deliverance ministries and continuationism. However it is highly possible he was not behind the wheel that eventful or uneventful day in question. It could have been his driver or someone else.

All things being equal and considered, this is not a matter the nation should take lightly at all. But let Ghanaians get a trusted pathologist to confirm this person’s clinical death first, by, among other preemptive measures, ensuring and guaranteeing that this emotional counterfeit of an evangelist does not go behind the public to bribe any pathologist the public decides on for this task. Bishop Obinim is a funny character, a man of many dangerous colors with a Machiavellian and devious village mentality, who allegedly will not even “drink Milo or eat any cocoa product including chocolates” because he believes “Tetteh Quarshie was a thief who stole the first cocoa seeds from Spanish colony Fernando Po (now Bioko in Equatorial Guinea).”

Yet the same righteously hypocritical Bishop Obinim did not see anything theologically and doctrinally wrong screwing or humping one of his junior pastors’ wives, thus also cursing the innocent seed of that adulterous scarlet sin and rendering the child mentally challenged and paralyzed! That is, stealing someone else’s wife and cursing an innocent child are not theologically or doctrinally problematic in Bishop Obinim’s constrictive psychology. Again this so-called “Man of God” is a funny if comical character of Machiavellian disposition. Unfortunately he is not alone in this regard. Some of these evangelical aficionados of prosperity theology have turned themselves into spiritual medical scientists and clinicians. Prophet Kobi is one.

For instance, we recall one of our closest childhood friends, whose mother, bitten by a deadly poisonous snake, was discouraged by the leadership of the Apostolic Faith Church from seeking medical attention because the church believed God will cure her. That did not happen. She died from the snake bite leaving our friend, an orphan, largely to fend for himself thereon. The Church of God Holiness in the Appalachian Mountains in the United States and others in parts of the American South, for instance, have allowed snake handling to kill some of their followers, a doctrinal of theological belief based on two Synoptic Gospels, Luke 10: 19 and Mark 16: 17-18.

OUR FINAL THOUGHTS

Let us make it clear lest we are not misunderstood. We will want to add for emphasis that, like every human institution, religion too has its positive and negative sides. And thus, we shall not make any attempt to condemn religion (and religious, spiritual persons) in its entirety. No human institution for that matter is perfect. In other words this perception is true of all human institutions.

Here we agree with Wole Soyinka, “All religions accept that there is something called criminality. And criminality cannot be excused by religious fervour…The first thing to say is that we do not welcome any attempt to ravage religious sensibilities. That can be taken for granted. But you cannot hold the world to ransom simply because some idiot chose to insult a religion in some far off place which most of the world has never even heard of. This for me is a kind of fundamentalist tyranny that should be totally unacceptable. So a group calls itself the Boko Haram, literally: “Book is taboo,” the book is anathema, the book is a product of Western civilisation, therefore it must be rejected.”

Soyinka continuous quite authoritatively: “You go from the rejection of books to the rejection of institutions which utilise the book, and that means virtually all institutions. You attack universities, you kill professors, then you butcher students, you close down primary schools, you try and create a religious Maginot Line through which nothing should penetrate. That’s not religion; that’s lunacy….

“Now, it’s true that freedom of expression carries with it an immense responsibility. Well that is why laws of libel exist—that when you carry things too far, you can be hauled up before the community, and judged to see whether you are right to call somebody a thief, or a hypocrite, and damage his reputation. But unless you establish that principle of freedom of expression, we might all just go around with a padlock on our lips.”

He concludes in part: “The unrest which is taking place as a result of Boko Haram, in my view, has attained critical mass. When a movement reaches that state of total contempt even for universal norms, it is sending a message to the rest of the world, and to the rest of that nation, that this is a war to the end…There’s too much pussyfooting, there’s too much false intellectualisation of what is going on, such as this is the result of corruption, this is the result of poverty, this is the result of marginalisation. Yes, of course, all these negativities have to do with what is happening right now.”

Boom! Yes, one of the great outspoken and daring oracles of Nigerian and African letters has spoken the truth like no one else. In Ghana for instance, speaking truth to power is an expendable luxury many politicians dare not touch for fear of losing votes. It is probably why our duopoly is also gradually turning into a political theology, the same way therianthrope Bishop Abinim and his fabricated Jesus Christ, his friend and godfather, can turn into animals when he [Bishop Obinim] goes on the sacred mission of sting-biting his enemies and detractors in the corridors of transcendental darkness.

What happened to Jesus’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!” It is our submission that the likes of Bishop Obinim fundamentally see the Bible more as a grimoire than as an inspired book. Once again this Machiavellian character is not unique in this regard. As a matter of fact, there are many non-believers who think or see the Bible the same Bishop Obinim sees it. But that is not our concern here. American rapper GZA featured Killah Priest on a popular track called “B.I.B.L.E., an acronym for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” We encourage our readers to make time for this instructive rap track for their edification.

Still we dare not overlook what Soyinka has referred to as “critical mass.” The concept of “critical mass” was what actually led to Jim Jones, of Peoples Temple, to poison his followers and himself in Guyana and to Branch Davidians’ David Koresh’s and his followers’ mass deaths in Texas. Outside these immediate examples, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and Joseph Kony’s the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), to name but three, all had a humble beginning until they attained a critical mass with time. In America we also have “anti-abortion terrorism,” a subtle form of political terrorism mostly carried out by some persons on the religious or Christian right!

Thus, in the end even if Prophet Kobi has a problem with Bishop Obinim’s theriantnropic Machiavellianism and from which he is now distancing himself, the fact nonetheless remains that his controversial remark, that, “Bishop Obinim is a gift to the body of Christ,” does finally vindicate Bishop Obinim and his fraudulent assertion that he transforms into animals with Jesus accompanying him in his therianthropic acts. Why then does Prophet Owusu Bempah want to chase Bishop Obinim from the Body of Christ when the latter is a gift to the Body of Christ? Something is seriously amiss here. How come that Prophet Kobi cannot locate the individual who mischievously posted the video, “Prophet Kobi Dissociates Himself From Obinim’s Snake Saga” online, even as he made all those laughable auguries about Bishop Obinim’s meteoric rise in the Body of Christ?

Thus, Prophet Kobi’s general statements: “I have heard a lot. I don’t want to wade into religious rivalry but would like to clear my name on this. I want to state that I have never said anywhere that Obinim can turn into snake or any other thing—if he says he can do that it’s between him and God…The truth is that in 2013, I went to his church and I prophesied that he will be a great person not only in Ghana but worldwide…But, with is current issue about turning into a snake, I know nothing about it as people are circulating,” become suspect, for Bishop Obinim’s therianthropic Machiavellianism is implied in his prophetic inundation of the latter’s [Bishop Obinim’s] church that day in 2013!

What is more, the therianthropic controversy is not between Bishop Obinim and his God, as Prophet Kobi would have us believe, since the latter is already “a gift to the body of Christ,” in the prophetic words of Prophet Kobi. Thus Prophet Kobi need not fret over the mischievous person who posted the incriminating video online. He should be able to unravel the identity of this mischievous character since he, Prophet Kobi, is also a trusted member of the Body of Christ. Yet these are the men who will go all out and call Kweku Bonsam, fake. Ironically, Kweku Bonsam also asked Ghanaians to help him unravel the mysterious identity of Ana Aremeyaw Anas so that he could perform some protective rituals for him, and this, coming in the wake of the latter’s highly sensational exposure of judicial corruption in Ghana. Again, Kweku Bonsam went on national radio to ask Ghanaians to assist him to find the kind of model-looking ladies he has always wanted for a wife? Where are the powers of Prophet Kobi and Kweku Bonsam?

In the final analysis, though, Ghanaians need to come together to deal effectively with this encroaching religious menace before it attains what Soyinka calls “critical mass,” by which time it may have been too late to nip the menace in the bud just as it has happened in the cases of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and other terrorists on the continent. We have already alluded to Max Rome’s “Stealing in the Name of the Lord” as a serious indictment of blatant evangelical and pastoral corruption and thievery. Kweku Bonsam went on radio and whilst there challenged these latter-day Machiavellian and devious prosperity theologians to search the Book of Malachi for doctrinal and theological guidelines on how to properly take care of their followers and generally, the poor in society.

We can only that Kweku Bonsam is also making good use of the Book of Malachi unless, of course, he does not see himself bound to biblical injunctions of any sort given that he belongs to a different religion.

CONCLUSION

Bootylicious and voluptuous actress Lydia Forson said the following as part of her eulogy to Bob Okala: “Sad day…Comedians and artist give us so much and get very little in return. They make us laugh, cry and take us through tough periods of our lives with their art. It’s easy to assume we have it all, after all how will you know we don’t. To bring you the best we often have to suppress our own challenges and discomfort just to entertain and live up to the standards you’ve set for us…”

Questions that immediately pop up in our minds after reading Lydia’s eulogistic comments are these: Why is it that some Ghanaians are wont to pay exorbitant fees to infamous evangelical comedians such as Bishop Obinim’s and his magical exhibitionism, call it snake oil if you like, an aberrant behavior that feeds the man’s evangelical legerdemain? Why do some Ghanaians pay evangelical frauds such as Prophet Kobi? Kweku Bonsam? Prophet Owusu Bempah? Prophet Kumchacha? Are these evangelical and pastoral frauds not better Machiavellian comics than Bob Okala?

Until Ghanaians see these Machiavellian frauds as comedians, we shall never, never, and never make any headway in fighting or resting religious fraud which has been growing in the body politic as metastatic cells. Let us therefore honor Bob Okala’s legacy by not putting him in the same class as those of Bishop Obinim, Prophet Owusu Bempah, Prophet Kumchacha, Prophet Kobi, Kweku Bonsam…These shady characters we need to arrest and commit to an insane asylum!

Bob Okala’s only known fraudulent disposition was displayed when he stole the sadness of individuals via his creative jokes. We should take note of this difference as we celebrate the man and his legacy! And finally, if Prophet Kobi says “Bishop Obinim is a gift to the body of Christ,” what will we expect the Devil to say of Jesus Christ? Let him raise the person his car allegedly ran over and killed and let us also see what happens thereafter! “Bishop Obinim is a gift to the body of Christ indeed! Watch out Ghana!

References

Peter Godwin. “Wole Soyinka: ‘If Religion Was Taken Away I’d Be Happy.’” The Telegraph. October 12, 2012.

Ghanaweb. “I Took 48 Tablets Daily For 22 Years—Daddy Lumba.” November 15, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Obinim Is A Gift To The Body Of Christ—Prophet Badu Kobi.” February 29, 2016.

NewsOne Staff. “Pastor Orders Female Members To Remove Underwear So God Can Enter Their Bodies.” The Kenyan Daily Post.

Ghanaweb. “UPDATE: Obinim’s Range Rover Involved In Accident.” March 15, 2016.

ScrewLife Staff. “Bishop Obinim Says It’s A SIN To Drink Milo Or Eat Any Cocoa Product Because Tetteh Quarshie Was A Thief Who Stole The First Cocoa Seeds.” Screwlife.com. December 12, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Comedians Give Much But Get Very Little In Return—Lydia Forson.” Ghanareporter.com. March 15, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Video: Prophet Kobi Disassociates Himself From Obinim's Snake Saga.” March 15, 2016.

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis