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The secular church, witchcraft and the devil’s advocacy

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Sun, 9 May 2021 Source: M. A-R Shakespeare

I ask your pardon for the oxymoron with which I title my write-up. I cannot think of anything different.

I am an ardent respecter of religious tolerance, within the confines of what is acceptable in the doctrines of the faith in question.

I have attended Church services at the AME Zion Church as well as the Fountain Gate Chapel, both in Tamale. I have also done a little Bible studies, privately, and the theme which I have been exposed to from the Bible and the altar are same – Love, Tolerance, Peace and the list goes on. The Church has made tremendous efforts to instil these values in its members to such an extent that if Mischief, Violence, Hate and Crime are mentioned, nobody turns towards The Church.

Of the several other values I have deep reverence for are Modesty and Chastity, though these have not received enough trumpeting by The Church; at least, not in recent times.

Characteristic of the Church, especially the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches is the Habit, with its characteristic Veil, Coif and Wimple, among other apparel which nuns and monks adorn themselves with, as symbols of identification, modesty, piety and the covenant of submission to God by man.

Until comparatively recently, the Church has adhered to these central tenets of faith. However, for a reason I’m yet to have the slightest comprehension of, the Church has taken a ‘U’-turn on these and has started persecuting people who uphold these values.

The adornment that once upon a time represented religiosity and ought to be upheld with all dignity has given way to short skirts at both worship places and Church-owned institutions.

I don’t blame the Church when they strictly adhere to their rules and principles, whether those rules are palatable to the entire citizenry or not. Because nobody starts an institution without a vision, a mission and core values. And for Christian institutions, if for nothing at all, their mission should be to propagate their belief systems. However, since when has the culture of scanty and immodest dressing become acceptable to the Church and even forced down people’s throats, whereas concealing clothing are treated as a taboo?

‘Charity begins at home is a famous adage in both papist and protestant circles, yet, the school-going girlchild is taught by the authorities of the Church-school that a short skirt is better than a long one. Church schools prescribe short-sleeved shirts with skirts just below the knee, and woe betide that girl whose skirt elongates to her ankle. The questions I ask are; ‘Has Modesty fallen short of the glory of God, and for that matter, cast out of the dictionary of virtues of the Church?’ Are the masters of secularism more civilised than the God of the Church such that the Church abandons what God deems appropriate and modest, and adopts what society deems suitable?

Another central teaching of the Bible which the Church is opposing vehemently is the growing of long hair by the girlchild. The new testament of the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:14, ‘’ _Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15, But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering" (KJV) Yet, the secularist Church-school will never give schoolgirls the freedom to keep their hair. This seems to suggest that the Church is rebelling against every order of God. It can only be a case of witchcraft, perpetrated by the devil himself.

Aside from Gods order to allow the hair of girls to grow, we in Africa are geographically plagued with short hair. So, it can take a girl a decade to grow 10 inches of hair on her head. It is therefore heartbreaking for the Church-school to force all girlchildren to cut their hair low. The net effect of this is that when girls grow up, they have no option than to buy horsehair, donkey hair or things of that sort to elongate their hair, in order to solve an inferiority complex problem and to be accepted by society. My question again is, ‘’What is fundamentally wrong with the Church-school allowing girls to keep and nicely plait their hair?

As if these are not worst enough, the Church has once again decided to fight God’s decree on Fasting. The most absurd thing I have heard in decades is this statement of the Church, that, "Fasting undertaken by students for various reasons and observed differently by the respective groupings has had various health implications on our students over the years. The net effect was that students developed various health conditions…" Really? What scientific evidence can the Church provide to substantiate this assertion? If this is not an orchestration of the devil, then let’s give the devil a break.

I wish to call on the Church to abandon the treachery and deep-rooted hatred (shrouded in silence) against anybody or any group of people, and to consider a holistic confrontation of the real enemy. The real enemy to the Church is immorality, immodesty, secularism, greed and rebellion against the spirit of the Church.

Columnist: M. A-R Shakespeare