This article is prompted by a WhatsApp post and a sermon.
Like most WhatsApp messages, this was one of the thousands of unsolicited posts which daily inundate us on the many platforms created by classmates, course mates, church mates and work mates.
Once a while, however, a particular post pops up that either makes or mars your day. The one reproduced below, authored by a Raymond Darku, made my day.
As I chewed on it, here comes Bernard Avle – yes, our own Mr Avle with no ecclesiastical titles – preaching on Citi FM. It was a special service to mark three years of Citi TV and this brilliant broadcaster preached as if instead of baby milk, his mother fed him exclusively on pages from the bible.
I will come to it by and by, but first let’s read Raymond’s post.
“When I landed in Switzerland, I searched for Christianity…
I did not find large billboards announcing life changing programmes with pictures of prophets
I did not find Swiss TV preachers sharing the gospel on Sundays or any other days
I did not find a Swiss General Overseer of a large charismatic church’s picture anywhere
So I decided to change the locations of my search…
I found the values of Christianity living in most Swiss people
I found most Swiss people keeping to their word
I found most Swiss people orderly and decent…
Many [people] sought to do the right thing and police those who did the wrong thing
As you go to church today or on any other day, remember that the true measure of Christianity is in its application in life on a daily basis and not in the size of our churches or visibility of our General Overseers. It is in what influences our actions on a daily basis.”
The first part is Ghana, as it is. The second part is Ghana as it should be. We are one of the countries with the largest number of churches and mosques anywhere, and perhaps the largest number of religious broadcasts. There is no church denomination which does not have a paid for slot on radio and television
A friend, Captain Andy Sam says, “Ghanaians are like the devil; he knows scripture”.
Twice I have proposed, and twice I have been bashed by fellow Christians. I, however, insist that teaching of Bible and Quran in school may be good as WASCE examinable subjects, but it is not the panacea for a moral reform.
I’d rather we taught our children about Lawyer Mensah Sarbah who returned the legal fee paid him by the Aborigines Rights Protection Society because he felt he didn’t work for it. I will teach about Father Andrew Campbell, not as a Christian priest but because he is a male and Ghana version of Mother Teresa.
He has cared so much and for so long about the marginalized that even in his retirement from active pastoring, he has gone to live among lepers at the Weija leprosarium!
It is good to be born again, but the Bible itself insists that my works should advertise my faith.
In the Western Region of Ghana, a number of young men and women working at a cold store have stolen so much fish from their employer and under–invoiced sales to the illiterate fishwives that with their basic post-SHS salary of GHc700, some of them have bought private cars. They drive the cars to church on Sundays. Nobody has ever asked them how they make their money.
Western Europe and the United States of America may not be your idea of paradise, but I have enough reason to admire their culture of personal moral protocols. Stacks or newspapers are on put on display. No-one is watching but the people pick up their copies and faithfully drop their coins in payment. The commuter trains, trams and buses are on many occasions without a ticket inspector, yet the people dutifully pay, mostly swiping their seasonal tickets as they get on board.
The problem, I think, is that most of us are in a hurry to own a car and move from a flat or rented apartment into our own three or four bedroom house which even with ten years saving, we cannot afford.
Simple. The moment we are put in charge of a project, the first thing we look for is, which contractors and suppliers can kick back into our personal bank account.
These days almost everybody is “doing my Masters”. Bernard Avle is saying that it is good for the population to get educated, but accumulation of degrees, alone, is not the panacea. To knowledge, he says, let us add character, integrity.
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