Ghana is predominantly, a very religious country, with a larger percentage belonging to Christianity. Christianity, as a religion was founded on the premise of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world who is regarded as the only son of God. After its’ introduction by our colonial masters, a lot of us have bought into it and appear to be living by the teachings of Christ.
In every endeavour, there’s the need to be guided, and so even with Christianity, there are those who serve as the gatekeepers, thus the pastors. There’s also freedom of religion, and as a result, others have chosen to be atheists. Simply, an atheist is one who doesn’t believe in the existence of a Supreme God or lesser gods.
The existence or non-existence of God is a topic for another day, but these atheists and Christians seem to be on crossroads most of the time. And sometimes, when the actions of the gatekeepers of Christianity are put into perspective, it looks as though the atheists are given more standpoint to keep on drumming their opinion of the non-existence of God.
Here, we’ll take a look at some Ghanaian pastors whose actions give credence to the atheists’ viewpoint.
Bishop Daniel Obinim
It is as though he lives a stone throw away from controversy. He is the founder of International God’s Way Church and has gained notoriety for his highly controversial acts. His actions haven’t helped the Christian Faith as it has given atheists enough reasons to mock Christians.
Some of his bizarre actions/controversies include:
1- Sleeping with his junior pastor’s wife: He admitted to committing the act.
2- Vandalizing the studio of Hot Fm and attacking a presenter: He was offended about a discussion about him which was going on in the studios of Hot Fm and so together with some thugs, they thronged into the radio station and caused considerable damage.
3- Exchange of unsavoury words with Afia Schwarzenegger
4- Publicly insulting Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah
5- Stepping on a sick woman’s stomach
6- ‘Conjuring’ a passport into his shoes
7- His claim that he can transform into a lot of animals
The above are just a few of his actions which have brought Christianity into disrepute. His latest spat with the maverick politician, Kennedy Agyapong, landed him into further trouble. Kennedy Agyapong’s revelations on the bad deeds of Bishop Obinim have been exhilarating and landed the self-acclaimed Bishop behind bars.
He’s also no stranger to controversies. The popular Pastor in an interview averred that “God hasn’t called any Pastor” and that “He doesn’t believe in heaven”. In fact, he said that, “any pastor who says that he has being called by God is a liar”.
And it’s an open secret that because of an assumption that Pastors are called by God, Christians throng various Church premises. The promise of heaven is also another strong basis for Christians since they generally believe in life after death. However, if a Pastor comes out to say that he doesn’t believe in heaven, then definitely, atheists will be having a field day and will laugh their hearts out.
Pastor Mensah Otabil
The founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensah Otabil, has been accused of being affiliated to the New Patriotic Party. He is also the founder and chancellor of Central University College, one of the most expensive Universities to attend in Ghana.
Here, people believe that the fees of Central University College makes it a School for the Rich and prevents the “common man” from attending it. This belief premised on the fact it was largely the contributions of church members (which includes the poor) which were used in building the University and so its fees should have been affordable.
He was also the Chairman collapsed Ghanaian bank, Capital Bank. He is alleged to have led the withdrawal of inappropriate money grants from the Bank on behalf of certain people who are related to him which contributed to the collapse of the bank. Following the collapse of Capital Bank, popular anti-corruption activist and political activist, A-Plus called for his prosecution.
However, Pastor Otabil denied all of the allegations which were levelled against him. In his defence, Otabil averred that the total debt of GHC482 million which was accrued by Capital Bank was not caused by the negligence by the Bank’s Board of Directors but was instead caused by various outstanding debts which could be traced to the microfinance days of Capital Bank, when it was known as First Capital Plus.
Kofi Kinaata’s hit song, ‘Things Fall Apart’ touched on the ills of Christianity and how pastors appear to be all about milking money from their members.
When the coronavirus hit Ghana, churches such as Light House Chapel, headed by Dag Heward-Mills, Action Chapel, led by Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and ICGC, headed by Pastor Mensah Otabil announced online platforms where members, including those who were not working as a result of the virus, could pay their tithes and offerings. Why won’t the atheists mock us?