The Church is expected to be the moral fibre of our society. It is expected to be the last resort that checks the behaviour of people in authority as well as enjoined by the good Book to help shape the vision of such people in authority. The Church is populated with many individuals who belong to various political parties, share various political opinions as well as those who are apolitical.
This being the case, it is important for the Church, to, at all times, ensure that it balances all the interests of its members before coming out on issues of politics. Any act that portrays the Church as standing for one political party as against the other, automatically divides the church. The cohesion the church is expected to have is lost.
It is inherent for the leadership of the Church to understand that leading the church does not make them the only people who have views and opinions. In the seeking of spiritual purification, people do not bother the status of those who lead them in the church.
For that matter, Professors would humble themselves before individuals who have not attained a quarter of their level of education. This is because, the anointed is a special person ordained by God. So long as no one can interfer in that process, the most educated in our society would also succumb to them.
By succumbing authority to the leadership of the church to lead our spiritual purification and battle, we have not subdued our intelligence and ability to think. We have equally not subsumed our opinions to those of our church leaders. It is in this light that the leadership of the church take steps to ensure that they balance their interests and respect the fact that which ever group of people they chastise in politics are equally leaders of their church members.
In view of the above, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana must take steps to ensure that the leadership provided it over the past years by Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey is arrested and the church placed in its proper context in the Ghanaian society.
It is incongruous for the church to think that people who speak against the position of its leadership automatically makes the critics evil. The situation is far from that. It is easy to define political comments from comments made at the pulpit that are aimed at checking the moral standing of leaders of the country.
Governance and politics are not far from the Bible. Presidents who were once pastors at certain times of their lives, had to go through political movements to become presidents. Politicians are not evil men. In their quest to develop the nation, they come across various times that require tough decisions. They are exposed to various interests in the world. Sometimes, they make the right choices; at other times, their genuine choices turn to be negative.
Any attempt by any man of God to project a group of individuals as evil because they do not stand for their political beliefs can be said to be intolerant. I have always maintained that, the Bible is not the operation manual for the practice of politics. For that matter, any man of God who chooses to meddle in politics, cannot expect to be addressed with the Bible, but with politics.
No one would attempt to take away the fact that aside being men and women of God, these individuals equally have their political beliefs. They have the rights and liberties to make political comments. But, those parameters must be clearly defined. What is dangerous is for a man of God to assume neutrality while making damaging political comments.
The difficulty it presents is that, one does not know when to take the God out of the man and to deal with him on political basis. The Biblical cliché “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm”, appear to provide cover for politician men of God.
Political parties have ideologies they abide by. Their quest for power is guided by those ideologies. When the church and its leadership appear political, it becomes needful to probe to ascertain their ideological leanings.
There is no way a capitalist of a pastor would appreciate anything a socialist government would do. In the same light, there is no way a socialist man of God would appreciate anything done by a capitalist government. What the church is expected to do under all circumstances is to ensure that they hold the spiritual torch to show the way for God’s intervention in decisions taken by the leaders so as to get their flock to a safer destination.
For the Presbyterian Church to be led by its former Moderator to declare its support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the willingness of the church to work with the party, is to say the least, the highest of politics the church can be dragged into. Today, we have a president leading the country. The Presbyterian Church through its leadership, had not seen it appropriate to show willingness to work with the current administration.
For the former Moderator to pontificate that the NPP is the less insulting party in the country when there are constant reports by an individual linked to the NPP that places the party as the leading political party in insults, is indeed absurd. Perhaps, the outgoing Moderator had been looking the wrong way, and listening to himself as against what the whole nation had been listening to.
Meanwhile, the church must be bold and lead in the fight against corruption. The church, through its outgoing Moderator, must adopt something different from what politicians would usually do. Politicians are mostly fond of alleging without proof. The church must be far from that.
The Moderator must move a notch ahead beyond politicians and name the individuals who came to offer him bribe. He must help the discussions. We cannot continue behaving the same way where leadership of the church are not acting differently from politicians. It leaves the society no where near improvement.
In all of these, there is a task imposed on the new Moderator. He must take steps to unite the church. There are silent cracks in the church which if not addressed, would not sit well with the church. The church cannot grow disintegrated.
In doing so, the Moderator must be measured. An open approach and a public statement may not end well. It might rather pitch him against one political group or the other. He must adopt a background tactics at approaching this matter. He must ensure that he repose confidence in the church with assurances that he is willing to work with everyone no matter their political affiliations.
The church as I said, is a unit whose members are seeking salvation. Even that, the processes of worship differ; same access to heaven’s gate, different modes of worship. How much less politics which is based on opinions of people. The church must understand it has membership that cut across all political parties and must be in a position to lead their flock with unity and practical neutrality.