Whose Voice At Church? – By George Oko Mensah

There is no doubt that Ghanaians are very religious to the bone and one does not need to conduct a study to confirm this.  Just get out of your house into streets every Sunday morning, afternoon and evening, you are left in no doubt by the multitude of “church goers” coming and going on foot or in private cars or in taxi or trotro vehicles. Hmmmm! It is only on this day that everybody becomes holier-than-thou, wearing neat dresses and saying nice things to another one.

At times, I wonder why the life-changing sermons preached Sunday after Sunday keep falling on dead ears and the impact is not being felt and our lifestyles remain unchanged, still living in our bad ways and attitudes. It all seems like a dog returning to its vomit. The more we hear the word being preached to us to turn away from bad behaviours, the more we sink deep into a morass of decadence—it is the same people who troop to church auditoriums in reverence to their maker go back to their offices, workplaces, institutions thru whose actions and inactions tend to draw us back as a country.

Don’t ask me why I’m saying what I’m saying. All said and done, there is a point that I do not intent to gloss over. Though, it is debatable. I think spiritual things should be allowed to spiritual people. But I can not get it why some people particularly ladies take spiritual things for granted. To be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in worship, every soul must keep quiet and the auditorium becomes as quiet as a graveyard. No wonder, the world systems and practices have infiltrated the solemn service of the church. Now the God of Israel, Isaac, Jacob is deaf and we need to make a lot of noise for him to hear us. How sad! Worst of it are the musical instruments played with such a blaring cacophony enough to wake up the dead from the grave.

I keep wondering over this. People wakes up Sunday morning to go to the chapel and worship God but unconsciously refuse to give what belongs to God’s while giving all to Caesar’s. Satan is very cunning; that is why, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to not be ignorant of his devices. What is good for you can become bad for you depending on where it is used, even at the right time. Any invention of man is for the good of humanity. In the same way, it can also be a curse, if handled wrongly or misused.

For example, the arrival of mobile telephony brings the whole world closer than we thought some few centuries ago. I know mobile phones have become part and parcel of our very lives and are as necessary as we need water and food. It is not a bad idea to take phone to church. At least, the ones with useful features, including bible, people make references to biblical quotations and so forth. But what can not be tolerated, say, in the middle of preaching, people rise to their feet to make a call or pick a call. What is more intolerable, the phone goes beep-beep, disturbing the flow of thought of the people in the process.

For the whole life of me, I could not understand why this daughter of Eve sitting behind me on the pew flaunting her black berry phone, much to the annoyance of everyone. As if that is not enough, she picked the call and began to talk in an undertone. I wanted to hear God speak to me, not black berry phone. I wanted to listen to the voice of God, not a voice of black berry phone. The argument still rages on whether or not the advent of mobile phones has brought too many vices to mankind. People have become accustomed to utilizing the services of the device for wrong reasons. Though the device helps keep in touch with family, loved ones, friends and colleagues no matter the distant, it makes people perfect the art of lying through their teeth. Invasion into other people’s privacy is another.

Don’t let phone become a god in your life, my dear ladies! I am not suggesting that only ladies are guilty of this. Far from that! Guys are guilty too but ladies are in the majority. Even if the phone is on silent and that boyfriend or that business partner gives you a buzz, don’t walk out of the church service that is in session to pick the call. Perhaps, that is the time and hour; your breakthrough will crouch at you. Most probably, as the word is being preached, the Holy Spirit is delivering you from that lying partner or that crook business person. I know there are few exceptions to the rule. First thing first! Let the Holy Spirit do his work on you. Don’t be in a hurry to leave his presence! After all, He is the reason why you came in the first place.

In church, however, there are many voices in diverse ways: the voice of latest dress styles, the voice of necklaces, the voice of shoes, the voice of earrings, the voice of flashy cars, etc. In fact, they come in shapes and sizes.  People just want to show off. It is not wrong to be fashionable in dress and other things. Shun from becoming a hindrance to another person. Anything that takes place of God in the scheme of church activities is a demon.  But only one voice speaks—-small still voice—- the voice of God. The gospel truth is that the devil is using mobile phones as distractions to swing the minds of God’s children so that the word becomes ineffective in their lives like the seeds that fall on the stony and throng ground. The word becomes productive if only it transforms lives and impacts society positively as a whole. When you go to church, whose voice do you hear or listen to? As for me, I want to listen to God’s voice. I need no other argument about this. There could be many voices, but I want to hark at the one voice— the voice of God.