Though most Men of God will not admit it, there is a growing belief that corruption is creeping into Ghanaian Churches. If we do not help fight this early, we may be doomed as a nation. Politics has already set us on the sliding path.
This is because we have allowed politicians, using corruption to destroy the very fabric of our society, and so have no serious leaders of thought to be believed. The Church, the only remaining pillar that we could depend on, has also pushed itself into a situation where, the credibility of its leaders is being questioned. The consequence is that Ghana, our beloved country, has finally entered troubled waters, and unless something drastic is done to change what is going on, the country will finally be wrecked in mid-sea.
When the politician is accused of corruption, supporters show solidarity without even looking at the merit of the case. This way, the law is not allowed to take its course. What has become the norm is for supporters to throng to Police Stations and court premises in a bid to intimidate the Police and Judges.
A similar situation has entered the Church and followers of Pastors have joined in showing support rather than discussing issues against their leaders. We need to be talking about corruption that has found its way among some Men of God. Let it be known that this type of corruption does not involve taking money from drivers as the Police have been accused of. But, it has come to be seen that some people claiming to be the Lord’s anointed have started enriching themselves at the expense of their congregations. In addition, others have used false doctrines to confuse their followers. In all these, they would not admit that this is tantamount to corruption. Church members are gagged with the scripture, “touch not my anointed.”
Let us be honest; corruption is an all-encompassing issue that must be tackled from its roots, which is greed. It has become the dirt that has engulfed the country and would not go away because we seem to be looking at it from a rather simplistic point of view.
If simply talking about corruption and how it affects the country were all we needed, Ghana would have got rid of the canker long ago. Unfortunately, more needs to be done because corruption has taken over the country in a way that fighting it may take generations. It is not that we do not know what to do, we know. The problem, however, is that greed is preventing us.
A Nigerian pastor once said, a lot of people have been gripped by greed and have wrongly set about grabbing whatever comes their way, under the guise of preparing for the future of their children. For this reason, one man can own about 10 houses and over 15 cars because he wants to build a safe and secure future for his children.
There is nothing wrong with that, except that, whilst they are engaged in the grabbing, they also put their children in the best schools so that, they may grow to be self-sufficient. Therefore, what is the point in grabbing for those who are being prepared to be their own masters? It is just greed, and that is the cause of corruption in the country.
It is this greed that has led to the discussion of corruption and how it can be cured, on our airwaves. Among those who have been loudest in the condemnation of this canker have been Church leaders. They have come out to condemn corruption – in fact; some have been doing so for some time now- because we see them as people of high moral standing.
Yet, so much is happening in the Church that we have not been pointing out. What our Church leaders have failed to do is to put in place some kind of peer review mechanism so that those men of God who fall below expectations are guided back onto the narrow path or named and shamed.
It must be understood that, there is corruption, when you knowingly deceive people with promises that you cannot fulfil. You are corrupt if you pour oil on the heads of your Church members and take money, knowing that what you have done will lead to nothing!
If a Pastor, knowing that the average member of his church earns very little, yet convinces them to “sow seeds into his ministry with their meagre earnings,” in order to attract riches, when he has no idea when and how these “seeds” will germinate and grow to become fruitful, then we need to check what is happening among the faithful. If our men of God can convince their congregations to buy “Holy water” at exorbitant prices, then, the time has come for us to look again at what is happening within the Churches. After all, they have no idea about what the water can do, and it is not within their powers to make the water Holy, so why would they want to harvest where they have not sown. The Bible says in Deuteronomy Chapter 16:19 that, “You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.” But what do we find? The same people who claim to walk by the Word – that is the Bible – have become champions of corruption. They see white and claim it is black. We live in a country with men of God divided along political lines. The political colours have blinded some of them to the point that they massage the truth so that they can continue to enjoy political patronage. That is corruption.
The Igbos in Nigeria say, “No one can corrupt you unless you are corrupt,” which is very true. It is only a corrupt person, who even dressed in the cassock or collar will engage in corruption. That is why the Igbos again say, “character is like smoke, it cannot be hidden.”
It is the way that Church leaders have conducted themselves that has given cause to some of their followers to become greedy and then fall for corruption. This is because most of the Churches have come to shower praises on those of their members who are known to be “wealthy” without questioning the sources of their wealth. Some people think that, it is because the Pastors benefit from these so-called “wealthy” people that they do not want to find out what they do. Even when they know that whatever these people do may not be enough to give them the “blessings” they pour on them, they receive the gifts without asking any questions. Other people who want to be recognised also go through the same motions in order to be noticed.
Therefore, if the Church seriously wants to reduce corruption, and then get it out of our system, the leaders, must work hard and this means, taking the right steps. And the first one is to get greed out. If they don’t, we would only be going round in circles with corruption.
Our Church leaders must know that by their standing in society, they command so much respect and honour and therefore, they must lead the crusade to change all the bad things that are going on. It is not right for Church members to behave like political activists when their leaders are singled out for not behaving well. Once they get into this lane, the country will have nowhere to turn to when things go wrong, because we need men of honour to guide us of our trouble.
- The Church, the only remaining pillar that we could depend on, has also pushed itself into a situation where, the credibility of its leaders is being questioned. The consequence is that Ghana, our beloved country, has finally entered troubled waters, and unless something drastic is done to change what is going on, the country will finally be wrecked in mid-sea.
- If simply talking about corruption and how it affects the country were all we needed, Ghana would have gotten rid of the canker long ago. Unfortunately, more needs to be done because corruption has taken over the country in a way that fighting it may take generations. It is not that we do not know what to do, we know. The problem, however, is that greed is preventing us.