The Naked Truth – By Qouphy Appiah Obirikorang
Karl Marx – Religion, the opium of the masses.
In our quest to attain religious perfection and sanctity, man is his innate wisdom tried all means to get closer to his Maker by following laid down principle in life that teaches about doing good to others, leading a morally upright life and being prayerful. Religion in it sense serves as a guide for man’s unguarded actions and conscience. It serves as a rude awakening for anyone who is seen to be derailing from the normal “norm”.
In any Sect/Movement dedicated to a common goal in life, there exist a leader or someone well vested in the art of leading people towards the righteous path ordained by someone who the followers see as their light and salvation.
Christianity base their belief system that there’s only one God and Jesus Christ is the Way, The Truth and The Light and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. It’s in this vein that shepherds (pastors, reverends, deacons etc) are appointed to lead the sheepfold to the path of righteousness.
Same as sheep belong to a particular pen; Christians also belong to different churches all with the aim of leading the congregation to their Maker. A church hence is supposed to be a safe haven where both the troubled and the uplifted seek both solace and comfort and always find that inner peace and joy that lack in this heathen world full of trouble.
The church is supposed to embrace people from all walks of life irrespective of their tribe, social standing, race or creed. The church is supposed to be a place where the rich and the poor can worship in harmony with none having any ill-feeling towards each other.
The church is supposed to be a place where the spiritually weak and now growing members are helped with the necessary training, words of encouragement and spiritual uplifting to help them mature.
The church is supposed to be a place where financially weak members are helped to setup business that will be self catering through the policy of social responsibility on each and every member who is well to do.
The modern day church in Ghana sadly has none or little of the qualities that are described above. Christianity now has become very vague and earthly whereby pastors have now concentrated on acquiring properties all in the name of expansion and going “international”. Of what use is a multi-purpose building when members in the church cannot afford three square meals a day? Of what use is an impressive edifice when the average church member has to virtually beg for alms to take a “tro-tro” back home.
What happened to the widow’s mite in the church? When did giving little tend to be subject to ridicule? Which part of the Holy Book says “give more and receive more”? The only scripture my heathen mind remembers in the Bible making inferences to giving is the phrase “there’s blessings in giving than receiving”.
Church establishments have become a competition. The bigger and huge your building is, the more power and members you attract. Pastors are busy preaching about prosperity and neglecting the basic Biblical experience of teaching about salvation, evangelism and biblical studies. Now it’s all about raising money to buy bigger buses, build impressive mansions, ride in exotic cars, and attend important meetings that has got nothing to do with the ordinary member in the church.
The Holy Ghost left most churches a long time ago. Why a Temple of God be guarded by armed security men because church members are scared of robbers entering and stealing church’s funds is way beyond the comprehension of any ordinary man.
What happened to modesty? What happened to humility among Men of God? Some pastors have assumed the position of God on Earth. They are all powerful, filled with arrogance and pride and very earthly. I am waiting for a day when a church after service will announce to its members who are cash strapped to come for money either to start a business or fend for themselves. I am waiting for a day when the ordinary member in the church will be accorded the same dignity and respect as the heavy donor who sits in front of the church every Sunday.
Why in God’s name must Pastors Appreciation be made compulsory to church members? What have you done to merit an appreciation? What about starting Members Appreciation where poor members are selected at random and appreciated. Why must you sit an exotic car worth millions of cedis fleeced from church members who cannot afford a full meal?
What happened to teaching the Church members how to get closer to God by establishing a one-on-one relationship with God? Teach the church members how to pray for themselves. Why must anointing oil be bottled and sold to church members? Since when did prayers attract fees? Why must funds that are raised during harvests be given to the already wealthy people in the church to do businesses with it and later repay with no interest? If you are not a thieving Christian, why won’t you go for the loan from a reputable bank?
Of what impact will a one day crusade in an obscure village have on the inhabitants when you don’t go back to see if the crusade actually had a positive impact? Of what use is sharing lanterns, bags of rice and other perishable goods that will not last a lifetime? Churches have setup tertiary institutions that only the rich can afford.
You can deceive the populace with your favorite phrase “touch not my anointed” but the truth is like a light, you can never conceal it! One day the foolish will be wise, one day the ignorant will be knowledgeable, one day the blind will see and one day the deaf will hear! When the Trumpet sounds are we are all in the judgment queue the only words that will depart your lips will be “had I known”.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.