When Ghanaian pastors “kill” each other for political expediency…

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Folks, the notorious Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah (General Overseer of the Glorious Way Chapel) is at it again, saying that partisan politics in Ghana is causing Christian leaders in the country to belittle each other. In an apparently blistering personal attack on Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams of the Action Faith International Church, he brought to the fore serious issues that reinforce why some of us persist in questioning the Ministry and the integrity of these so-called “Men-of-God (including himself).

He is reported to have said that the bad-blood relationship between him and Duncan-Williams could be traced to a prophecy that he gave about a mishap to befall President Mahama (apparently, someone in the good books of Duncan-Williams), which irked Duncan-Williams into questioning his (Owusu-Bempah’s status).

“Duncan Williams has turned against me because of politics, although he was the very person who laid hands on me. But when I send my tithes to him, he receives them. I have stopped going to him since he came out to attack me and question my credibility because I had given a prophecy that did not favour President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress”, he said. (See: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=344045).

His talk of black snakes and all the other issues only go to reinforce his notoriety. He has lined up other “Men-of-God” for head-butting, one of whom is the Most Rev. Dr. Charles Agyin Asare, Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International.

This Owusu-Bempah has already taken on Nigeria’s T.B. Joshua of the SCOAN, accusing him of indulging in witchery/sorcery/black magic and, therefore, not practising genuine Christianity. He has also taken on the Asantehene (Otumfuo Osei Tutu II) and Asanteman, confirming that he knows no bounds in his Ministry. Behaving like a run-away horse that is determined to get lost, he isn’t looking back to be persuaded to return (to commonsense and propriety).

So far, he has established himself as someone who cannot ply his trade without controversy or without undercutting others or indulging in the copious stupidity that he calls “prophecy”. He is unrepentant and politically inclined toward the NPP and its Akufo-Addo. His is a mission of conflict and disunity, not equanimity and unity. Yet, he has a following to sustain his Ministry and lifestyle!!

Duncan-Williams himself is not without controversy, anyway, having exhibited his “materialistic” side on many occasions (e.g., the statement attributed to him that he wears expensive clothes and that none of his junior pastors could afford, and for divorcing his wife and re-marrying. His own cup of tea?).

Doubtless, the activities of characters hiding behind Christianity have been commented on in diverse ways in our conversations regarding the place and role of the so-called “Men-of-God” in our daily lives. For good or for bad, these activities have brought the so-called “Men-of-God” to public attention in our time, especially regarding their prosperity messages instead of the charge for the congregants to bear the cross and run a good race before attempting to wear the crown at the end of the race as Timothy exhorts Christians to do.

Some of them are prone to living lifestyles that contradict the “eye-of-the-needle” principle of Christianity established by Jesus Christ and reinforced by his disciples. No one cushioning himself or herself with the material benefits of this mundane world can enter Paradise. Christianity demands self-denial and the willingness to rise above the deceptive benefits of worldliness.

The so-called “Men-of-God” are quick to draw public attention to such tenets but leave room for much to be desired from them when it comes to reality. They find it difficult to practise the virtue behind their calling. They are all over the place, drawing attention to themselves as “purists” and icons of Christianity but are easily betrayed by their investments in worldliness, which exposes them as plain and unrepentant self-seeking, politically motivated elements hiding behind the smokescreen of Christianity that they have erected. We haven’t hesitated in taking them to task. In effect, there is too much abuse of Christianity for self-engineering by all manner of people. They may be well-established sharks and small fries. Damn their pretentions!!

But it doesn’t take long for their wiliness to catch up with them. And when it happens, they die before their actual death strikes, their “huhudious” prophecies about doom for other people notwithstanding. Why can’t they foresee their own doom to behave conscionably before the hour strikes? Cowards parading as spiritual giants to be deferred to or feared? Self-seeking crooks exploiting the fear of the unknown that they put in their gullible congregants? Or plain mischief makers hiding behind the Bible to foment trouble in the society? Owusu-Bempah reflects it all. And there are many of his kind. Pests!!

And when they hit the brick wall, they end up as pitiable characters to be mocked. Here is a clear example, as reported in the news:

“A pastor of the Foursquare Gospel Church Ghana Life Cathedral committed suicide Saturday evening and blamed it on a former roommate. Pastor Kwabena Bonsu who was believed to be in his late thirties hanged himself in his single room apartment at Kasoa Chinese near Tuba Junction in Accra. He accused one Esther for his death. A suicide note supposedly written by the deceased, which police personnel stationed at Kasoa Tollbooth found in his room, read: “I Love My wife. Esther killed us. Why Esther? No Peace For You.”

The sad event comes exactly a week after his wife (a beautician or hair dresser) had died. They were survived by a six-month old baby. (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=339052).

There is a lot to comment on as far as this dead pastor’s case is concerned (to confirm our stance that there is a lot wrong with how the so-called Ghanaian “Men-of-God” function. Why blame Esther when you owed her and feared your own shadows? And when you would end up taking your own life because you couldn’t redeem the debts owed her? Materialism and Christianity are poles apart.

Folks, those who monitor goings-on will not be surprised at these happening, which detracts from the worth of these so-called “Men-of-God”. Those of them who think that they can exploit Christianity and benefit from the gullibility of the people will continue to play the al-Houdini part but may end up miserably.

Too many of them are out there, doing anything at will to profit from on earth. The day of reckoning will definitely dawn for them to be consigned to wherever they are fit for. The big sharks among them who are enjoying the glory of worldliness shouldn’t deceive themselves that they are insulated. And the small fries therein too shouldn’t deceive themselves that they can learn the ropes and hone their rhetorical or theatrics to advantage. God works in mysterious ways!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.