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Farewell, Rev. Professor Martey

Emmanuel Martey PresbyRev. Professor Emmanuel Martey

Thu, 1 Sep 2016 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

By Osei Nana Yaw

The purpose of this article is to reflect on the tenure of office and lifestyle of the outgoing moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey.

You might not understand Reverend Professor Martey, the outgoing Moderator of the Presbyterian church of Ghana until you bereft a country called Ghana of the social amenities provided by Roman Catholic Church, Presbyterian church of Ghana, Methodist Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Baptist church and Ahamadiyya Muslim mission in Ghana.

For example, as at 1927, the only secondary school built by the colonial government was Achimota School. It is regrettable to mention that Gordon Guggisberg was denied a befitting burial as a governor for providing the colonies amenities like Achimota School. This is just to repudiate some phony charades that colonialism was meant for Africans’ civilization and development.

The Christian missions in Ghana namely: the Basel mission (Presbyterian Church), Wesleyan mission (Methodist church), Anglican mission pioneered by the Church of England’s society for the propagation of the gospel together had built Mfantsipim school, Adisadel college, Wesley Girls high school, all in Cape Coast and Presbyterian teacher training college at Akropong Akwapim.

Accra high school was equally founded by an Anglican minister, Rev. James Thomas Robert in 1923. Even cocoa which has offered an unmitigated blessings to Ghana’s economy was first brought to Ghana by the Basel mission, before Tete Quarshie, a mission trained gold-smith, brought some from Island of Fernando Po modern Equatorial Guinea. So you see, people like Rev. Professor Martey are supposed to be cerebrated.

Not those who do not only assent to solipsism in the pulpit, but also deviate from an established religious orders and thereby coercing their members to sacrifice their critical thinking, liberty, and almost every aspects of their lives on unholy altars of their own egocentric convenience.

No wonder, we live in a country where the sick goes to hospital with a “trotro” or taxi, while the dead goes to necropolis (cemetery) with an ambulance.

Those who disagree with professor Martey’s verbal outburst on national issues must understand Presbyterian tradition which is older than any political party in Ghana. To play devil’s advocate, even if he belongs to a political party, it is his constitutional right. Presbyterian Church is historically an offshoot of Calvinism. Calvinism is a reformist protestant movement built on the philosophy of John Calvin.

The philosophical underpinning of Calvinism is ecclesiastical polity even so some are Congregationalist and Episcopalian. The philosophy of Calvin challenged the Baptist creed. In pages 99-101 of Max Weber’s book: The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism. The Baptist creed and the Calvinist teachings are explained as follows.

Calvinism was the faith upon which the great political and cultural struggles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries fought in some parts of Europe. Prior to the upsurge of Calvinism, the Baptist creed asserted among other things that man, by his fall into a state of sin, had totally lost all ability of will to any spiritual good that come with salvation.

This means that a natural man having utterly been devoid of good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own magnitude, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. God’s eternal decree for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to eternal condemnation.

Certain individuals are predestined unto life, God before the beginning of the world was laid, in accordance with his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, had selected in Christ unto eternal glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them or any other thing in the creature as conditions or causes moving him thereunto, and all to the praise of his glorious grace.

The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to unsearchable counsel of his own will, in which he extends or withholds mercy, as he pleases, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.

It is worthy of noting that the foregoing metaphysical nonsense enshrined in the Baptist creed was modelled on the famous efficacious grace and predestination by St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354 - AD430). Other theologians asserted that through pertinent humility efficacious is revocable.

Calvinism and its attendant polemical controversies with opponent theologians rejected the assertion of efficacious grace on the grounds that it focuses on God not man and that God does not exist for men, but men for the sake of God.

All creation, in the view of Calvin and that only a small proportion of men are chosen for eternal grace, can have any meaning only as means to the glory and majesty of God. Thus, to apply earthly standard of justice to God’s sovereign decree is meaningless and an insult to his majesty.

Free will philosophers assert that since human beings are regulated by natural laws nobody is free. Also we can escape the web of natural law since we have a free will. The metaphysical problem of human freedom might be seen as follows: human beings are responsible agents: but this appears to contradict with a deterministic view of human action.

This is the position that every event that is involved in an act is caused by some other event. It also seems to conflict with an indeterministic view of human actions. The view that the very act, or event is essential to the act, is not caused at all. In philosophical parlance hash determinism versus libertarian determinism. To solve this problem one must focus on the self or the agent about the man who perform the act.

Thus, the agents of the actions in Ghana are the politicians. It is moderator’s responsibility like any other citizen to correct the agents for the benefit of all and sundry.

The ideas of Max Weber as espoused in the protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism partly contributed to the rise of industrial revolution in Europe because every believer saw his earthly work as a divine call to serve God. Those not happy with the public outburst of Professor Martey are ignorant of church history.

Good and philosophical messages of the pulpit changed the fortunes of the world. I am very happy in particular if selfless religious leaders openly reprimand politicians. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice (Proverbs 29: 2).

Today, there are a lot of religious propagandist who are sending us back to the epoch of metaphysical garbage. People are encouraged to leave their jobs and focus on the church and Christ in conformity with the historical Baptist creed which failed the world. Even marriage is now contingent on individual’s commitment to the ideals of the church established by the church leaders.

All these teachings have been jettisoned in history because they never inured to the benefit of humanity and the kingdom of God. Professor Martey, as a product of Calvinism believes that he cannot serve God in a conflict prone and poverty-drenched country. The world has evolved from the era of metaphysical nonsense to subjectivity through objectivity and positivism.

We are praising many preachers who are not supposed to be commended because their teachings reincarnate negative historical antecedence. Critical thinking is gradually being buried albeit the greater number of people in school. The theory of evolution which has contributed to the study of genetics is being disputed in the pulpit with impunity.

Professor Martey will dearly be missed in our national discourse. We need few preacher men like you to enhance the prospects of our country. Hell is empty and all the devils are here (Williams Shakespeare). Let us encourage good men of God like professor Martey. Well done sir. We will continue to serve God and speak the truth and not determine our future on the icy waters of somebody’s egoistic calculation. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” (Socrates)

Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), PhD Candidate, Psychology Arizona, USA. E-mai: padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw