‘Holy’ Pilgrimage to Israel: idolatry in disguise

Nana Addo Israel President Nana Addo went to Israel

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” - John 4:19-24

Government has plans to facilitate a pilgrimage of Christians to Israel like they have been doing for Muslims to Mecca and want us to believe it is a holy trip.

The first batch of pilgrims will leave the country on the 15th of July 2017 according to the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Clearly, it only got to the public domain after everything was planned behind the scenes and presented to us when all was set like food served in restaurants.

I have always been against government involvement in the organization of Hajj because I believe that Muslims can organise their own pilgrimage and bear the full cost without need for any government interference.

I am of the view that people should go to every length to satisfy their religious obligations and do so fully at their own cost so that they merit the promised blessing that comes with it. If I give you money to pay your offering, it is my offering and the blessing will be mine. If you genuinely don’t have the means to embark on such travels, the God you serve should know and pardon you Israel currently has no effect whatsoever on the believer and his relationship with God. It is at best a historical country that gets many tourists from all over the world and diverse religions because of its unique history.

In view of this, going to Israel is at best a tour and in no way a spiritual exercise as we are being made to believe.

Sadly, some well-known Pastors are calling the trip a Holy Trip. Israel is in no way a Holy Nation than Ghana is and means not an inch more to God than Ghana.

As Christians, we believe that the Spirit of God resides in us and that wherever we go, we go with him. He is not in my Church, he is in me. When I meet other believers to fellowship, we create an environment for Him to function for the corporate gain.

In view of this, it is very problematic when the believer begins to think of God at places and special locations, in things other than God in him and with him wherever he goes.

Touring Israel should be an individual’s decision and should not be institutionalized to make it the next burden on Christians in future.

From Rev Owusu Bempah who is a member of the board to oversee the pilgrimage, government, contrary to the views of people will not pay for airlifting people to Israel but will collaborate with authorities in the country and the various locations Christians would want to visit so that the process is made smoother. The question is: who is going to pay the board and make funds available for the task ahead?

Individuals, groups have toured Isreal started going to tour in Israel longtime ago and have never needed government. What has changed?

Clearly, it seems President Akuffo Addo is eager to pacify Rev Owusu Bempah and others for whatever spiritual role they claim to have played to ensure his victory.

All I can say is that suffering people don’t need to be moved by the prayers of another to vote for change.

The earlier President Nana Addo realises that pastors didn’t win him the elections and that he won by making fat promises that the good people of Ghana could not overlook the better.

A holy pilgrimage to Israel, sales of anointing oil, spiritual stickers and spiritual banners are all idolatry in disguise in the light of Christianity. The Jordan River remained a river after Jesus got baptised in it and aside its historical relevance, its spiritual relevance isn’t any different from that of River Pra, Densu and other rivers in the country. The only difference is that Jordan hasn’t had to contend with galamsay.

Traveling to Israel to pray to God and to the Jordan River for a miracle is the same as going to River Pra for a miracle. If it is idolatry to expect miracles from River Birim, it is an expensive idolatry to seek same from River Jordan Christians should instead be encouraged to believe in their personal prayers in their little corner and cut their over dependence on con men who disguise themselves as servants of God, take money to be seen and sell anointing oil 20 times more than the actual market value of the product.

Some of these pastors claim to have acquired their oil from Israel If government will not make any attempt to clampdown on the daylight exploitation of believers by these unscrupulous men who present themselves to be of God, they shouldn’t deny that village school boy a school desk by using money that can meet his need for a desk to satisfy the curiosity of already rich people.

With our cup in hand, we are all over the world borrowing money to develop this nation. We are too broke as a nation to think of sponsoring tours decorated with Christianity.

We have pupils in school buildings ready to fall on them but our government want to use part of our meagre resources to facilitate the leisure and tour of predominantly rich people to Israel.

Cry my beloved country.


Columnist: Isaac Kyei Andoh