Monday, 5 September 2016

Role Of The Church In Curbing Corruption

Corruption is a serious concern not only in developing countries but also in the most advanced ones. This situation in Ghana is not different as corruption has always played a major role in our body politic. Governments have been overthrown on basis of corruption and elections are fought on corruption. Many factors such as poor remuneration and greed have been identified as the major causes of corruption. But one cannot downplay the attitude of Ghanaians towards the poor in society as an equally important driving force for corruption. Society virtually worships the wealthy irrespective of the sources of their wealth. A typical Ghanaian will denigrate other citizens who have not been able to build their own houses and bought cars upon retirement without appreciating the fact that their salaries and the economy would not have permitted them to acquire those things. What is more worrying is the way one of the most influential institutions in the society, the Church, has taken over the course of irresponsible and irrational glorification of wealth.

There is no doubt that most churches have either consciously or unconsciously put wealth acquisition above all other things including 'The Great Commission,’ that is preaching and winning heaven-bound souls for the Lord. More often than not, instead of emphasising the need to live morally upright lives, most church leaders focus on miracles and prophesying breakthroughs. These days, the attention is on offertory and payment tithes. Those who are able to donate big cash and other material things are offered reserved seats in churches. It is no more a perception that pastoralism is one of the highest paid jobs in the country. Whereas in the past, most pastors were people who could not pursue education to the very top levels and found good jobs, these days, medical doctors, lawyers and engineers are abandoning their profession to do pastoral works. There is nothing wrong with this, because pastoralism is a calling and no matter whom you are and where you are, you have to answer when you are called.

But, it does not appear that these latter day saints are really called. There is a sharp difference in the lifestyle of pastors of old and the current ones. This is evidenced in the shameless demonstration of opulence and obsession with messages on wealth as exhibited by these so called men of God who arrogate various titles to themselves. Ironically, these are the churches attracted to large masses including high ranking politicians, public and civil servants. Religion is said to be the opium of the masses. People virtually worship their pastors and are more than willing to obey their orders.

Corruption can be reduced drsatically if not eliminated completely if church leaders play their roles effectively. That is why it is worrying to hear a respected Reverend claimed that politicians attempted to bribe him more than three years ago. The question is, as a man of God worth his salt, why did he have to wait all these while before coming public. Also, instead of saying he would have released wild dogs to chase the people, why did he not report them to the police or other law enforcement agencies? We cannot win the war against corruption with this kind of attitude from the citizens especially religious leaders.

We must all unite to fight this canker. Let us name and shame those indulge in corrupt practices. This must be a genuine fight devoid of any political or parochial interest.

BY ALI BALA, A SOCIAL COMMENTATOR FROM SENYA BERAKU.

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