Mensah Otabil is the only standing True man Of God I

Otabil Is The Only True Man Of God 1

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MAX ROMEO: “STEALING IN THE NAME OF JAH”

Otabil
Otabil

“Stealing…stealing in the name of the Lord…

“My father’s house of worship, has become a den of thieves…

“They fed our mothers with sour grapes, and set their teeth on edge…

“Strike the hammer of justice, or let my people be…

“They tell us of a heaven, where milk and honey flow…

“They said, this place called heaven, the rich man cannot go…

“Yet the reverend drives a fancy car, buys everything tax free…

“The people have to sacrifice, to give in charity…

“My father’s house of worship, has become a den of thieves…

“Stealing in the name of the Lord…

Max Romeo’s powerful and candid lyrical dexterity describes the moral ferment in the modern church. Yet the moral dilemma which the modern church faces is not unique to Christianity per se because, like all other religions, it [Christianity] is basically of anthropogenic derivation, and therefore, among many other things invariably subject to the intrinsic fallibility of human nature.

Worst of all, the tactical displacement of soteriology by prosperity theology across the decades directly and indirectly feeds into the moral ferment of the modern church.

It is also not in question that increased secularization of society and man’s newfound insatiable appetite for material wealth incrementally adds up to the overall spiritual weakening of the modern church, an anthropogenic institution for the most part.

This is not to say wealth creation is a necessary evil in and of itself, however.

It is rather to reinforce the obvious, that the modern church in many ways has become a sort of war zone for the actuation of man’s basest instincts along the trajectories of material greed and antisocial solidarity, or, better yet, a sort of war zone for kleptomaniacal corporatism and corporatist poisoning and destruction of the soul and spirituality, two major means of morally depotentiating society. Granted, it still is nonetheless a complex question whose theoretical resolution is also correspondingly complex, both beyond the narrow scope of these serial essays.

In spite of our stated reservations, and still in strict conformity to our reservations, religion and spirituality eventually assume a new fabric of increasingly unresolved and potentially irresolvable antithesis, a fundamental theological hegemony of sorts with enormous implications for the continued genesis of moral contradictions in the modern church. It is important we stress that our primary focus or point of reference is the mushrooming Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

This is where the Baal of Mammon and the Cup of Poison Hemlock usurp the Eucharist and the serious business of soteriology, proselytization and eschatology.

For the most part therefore, the modern church presents itself as outright capitalist negation of the solidarity or social economy apologetics, which constituted a normative practice among communities of believers during the long-running epoch of first-century Christological ministry.

The narrative grace of the Synoptic Beatitudes underscores our line of thinking, a stance akin to the auctorial methodology Kahlil Gibran developed for his prose poetry collections, the all-time bestselling “The Prophet.”

Yet also, the divinely inspired instant poetic justice or comeuppance that came upon the heads of Ananias and Saphira offers a useful and powerful instantiation of a moral furtherance of the kind of dire consequences, that await those persons whose stiff innate or immanent opposition to social solidarity somehow leads to or foments the destruction of solidarized efforts measured against collective responsibility, an assertion that does not seem to point to any quantum of sense in this scientific age and a teachable epoch of scientific skepticism.

In this larger scheme of happenings, it becomes a question of hypocritical irony that corruption in Ghana today is celebrated, and those behind it [corruption] assigned a special place of public respectability among the pantheon of morally and ethically thinking human beings. Such misguided notions make for a travesty of moral intelligence, a dangerous trend for development.

And if we may also add human beings are, for the most part, social animals, an important concept that has somehow come to define the cause and consequence of looking out for each other in the evolving trajectory of man across time and space. The meme and ethos of individualism is therefore a relatively new development in the evolving mechanism of man, a theory that holds up as an indispensable assumptive factor in the practical sociology of psychosocial dynamics.

Yet the meme and ethos of individualism represents the defining character of community, a specialized symbol of mortal evolution which also confers upon as well as protects and advances the potential or innate gifts and special genius of genetic and environmental individuation. It is within the elastic perimeters of this broad theory that the notion of cult of personality evolves.

The case of Pastor Otabil presents a perfect and interesting instantiation of this controversial theory. Among other things he has successfully used his trademark rhetoric of uncompromising, fiery pragmatism to build a large following, a political capital, an empire of wealth, and an ostensible presence of charismatic authority in the Ghanaian body politic. And yet he still is phenomenally a human being, not a superhuman, and a fallible at that for that matter. As well.

However for Ghanaweb and other web portals to report Kennedy Agyapong as saying: “Mensah Otabil and the Catholic Church are the only religious bodies which are true” smacks of journalistic shoddiness and a malnourished brain in a serious crisis of underdevelopment. Ken is not the one to speak on what “true” is. Because he lacks the necessary moral credentials for this difficult task.

First of all, “Mensah Otabil” is not a religious body. Mensah Otabil, a philanthropist, theologian, author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is the non-eponymous founding overseer of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), and this, unless of course, Ken meant something esoteric which we have no means of ever deciphering for lack of adequate information.

In another farfetched sense however, “Mensah Otabil” could technically qualify as a religious body or institution if we can assume that he embodies the church he founded. Unfortunately, this theory is not clear in Ken’s submission. We will therefore not push the boundary of his claim.

Second, and possibly, Otabil’s wealth may have arisen from directly fleecing his following and then reinvesting that Golden Fleece in a highly profitable diversified portfolio. And we all know he is one of Ghana’s and Africa’s wealthiest pastors. He is one of those wealthy folks who do not publicly flaunt their wealth, surely having religiously gone the way of the ant he has successfully learnt its important ways of going about the sociology of management and thence become wiser on that account.

He has been listening to Bob Marley (and King Solomon) long enough to have known that, indeed, “the rich man’s wealth is in the city.” But Otabil’s “city” is a labyrinthine mirage. If his “city” is a mirage, so is “the rich man’s wealth.” And that complicated rich man is wealth. And so too is that labyrinthine mirage of a city. Yet this city, rich man and wealth hide openly in the depths of bank vaults, real estate, bonds and shares, transferable human capital, keiretsu, and so on. It seems Otabil’s wealth is scattered all over the place within the secret walls of his sexy head!

The central point here is that it is extremely difficult to decipher or unravel a complex entrepreneurial political theologian, like Otabil, because some of his shady dealings are not open books. Oh no, this is all made up, a private breach of his well-kept allegorical shenanigans. Otabil is an indigent Kweku Ananse, an indigent Church Mouse living in the more dreamlike Trasacco Valley. He did not fleece his wealthy congregation as we alleged previously. Rather, his wealthy congregation turned over their wealth to hi, piecemeal, after having experienced a profusely perspiring apocalyptic epiphany to do exactly!

The wealthy fleece of his congregational sheep is actually an exquisite sartorial wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing personality. The mirage-city in this sense could as well have been the more dreamlike Trasacco Valley. Why should a wealthy prosperity theologian live in a stinking ghetto when he cannot answer Tupac’s titular-track, “I Wonder if Heaven Got Ghetto!”? Every Ghanaian corporate theological entrepreneur must be forced to answer this question the late Tupac posed! In sum, Otabil is a unique individual like everyone else, yet also fallible as everyone else. Culture’s classic song “Jah Alone A Christian” indicts Christianized mortals such as Otabil.

Third, and finally, Ken may not be intimately familiar with the inside history of the church, particularly the Catholic Church. For instance, he may not have heard about the castratos and Catholic Church and its diabolical encyclical decree, the so-called “Asiento,” and the latter’s role in Western enslavement of Africans (and later of Native Americans), pedophilia and sexism (though we are not implying that pedophilia and sexism are only found in the Catholic Church; our Traditional Religion is guilty of these unpardonable crimes in the special case of our trokosi girls, for instance), corporate corruption in the Catholic Church, to name but a few.

Accordingly, and appropriately, we will recommend the following limited references to inform his edification. Here is the list:

• Gerald Posner’s “God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican”;

• Jason Berry’s “Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church”;

• Garry Wills’ “Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit:

• Brenda Ralph Lewis’ “A Dark History of the Popes: Vice, Murder and Corruption in the Vatican”;

• David Kertzer’s “The Secret History of Pius X1 and the Rise of Fascism in Europe”;

• Philip Jenkins’ “Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis”;

MUTABARUKA: “PEOPLE’S COURT 2”

“Mr. Religious Belief and Mr. Denomination…

“I see where you also have been promising the black people…

“But you are even worse than the politicians…

“Yes, you say their reward will be in heaven…

“It would appear to me that both of you have been to heaven already and have gotten yours…

“The charges are too numerous to mention here…

“For over 500 years you have been wanted…

“From ever since you sent your relative here…

“Yes, I am talking about the same Christopher cum-bus-us…

“You honor the name Christopher Columbus…

“Hush up Columbus cum-bus-us…

“It don’t matter he did come here to trick us…

“It was you who went to the Americas and Africa…

“With your doctrine of civilizing the savages…

“You taught black people to pray with their eyes closed…

“When they open them, you had their land and they had the Bible, with Bible and gun…

“You robbed, raped, murdered our fore-parents in the name of Jesus…

“You divided black people in groups, causing them to distrust each other…

At this point we shall have to make a momentary break in the lyrical continuum of Mutabaruka’s song to make way for a number of necessary clarifications. Mutabaruka is not issuing a crushing blanket indictment against religion, specifically Christianity and its inspired moral authority, the Bible, per se, although there is a ring of generality to his militant lyricism of righteous indignation (anger).

Rather, he is questioning the political use of Christianity and the Bible to induce a certain sense of psychological, intellectual and cultural subservience in black humanity, to benefit white supremacy which he also sings about getting to the end of the song.

In Mutabaruka’s thinking, moral elitism therefore becomes a questionable character in the hands of unseen forces massaging the instruments of manufactured consent, power dynamics, and entrepreneurial theology and corporatism.

In other words, he sees the historical context behind the political use of Christianity and the Bible for purposes of creating damaging distortions in African psychology, to the point of taking the shine of humanism out of the African Personality.

Thus, the empowering agency of creative, analytic and pragmatic intellection in the African Personality suffers enormously from a calculating political use of religion and the Bible to further an insidious corporate agenda in black dehumanization. Late Tupac’s controversial song “I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto” and rapper KRS-One’s Stop the Violence Movement’s “Self-Destruction” look at some of these larger complex sociological and historical questions.

We remember Duncan Williams praying against the Cedi’s gravitational fall against other international currencies, even while Isaac Newton successfully attempted to unravel the secrecy behind why things fall via the pragmatic agency of scientific intellection, and Anita De Sooso’s claim that magical dwarfs were behind the Cedi’s depreciating value and Ghana’s poor economy.

In this narrow sense those who exercised the greatest power over the politics of language and controlled or managed the politics of language in shaping the instruments of imagery in race relations, succeeded in creating corporatist relations of unequal dichotomy in power dynamics.

Islam, Traditional African Religion, and other religious forms are not exempt from this grand political and historical characterization. Elsewhere, though, the theological theatrics and conning diplomacies of Bishop Obinim and Rev. Owusu Bempah and Kumchacha, the conning projections and rhetorical Machiavellianism of Kweku Bonsam and Okomfo Yaw Appiah…directly speak to the damage done to the African psychology across centuries of race relations!

And this is gradually giving way to political theology and political religion in Ghana’s duopolistic culture, that is, the political use of religion by scheming politicians to create public fear among the masses from considering the question of critical mass as a means of social change as well as to undermine any sense of popular pragmatic intellection that challenges or attempts to usurp the authority of the political class.

Pragmatic scientific thinking has become a luxury for Ghanaian politicians and the country’s technocrats. Public Christians like Otabil continue to attack and even reject scientific theories, such as the Big Bang and evolution, while directly and indirectly enjoying the many benefits scientific research into these theories has created for mankind.

Stem-cell and cloning research and the incidental invention of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine and research findings via CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), the latter particularly having led to a number of innovative allied inventions, are just two of those broadly defined scientific benefits Otabil and his ilk may not be necessarily aware of.

Even so, Otabil’s shallow grasp or lack thereof of these complicated theories is to be properly understood in another context because, in part, they question some general foundational aspects of the superstitious character of nature and of the religiocentric industry of gullibility itself. It is partly on this basis that there now exists an array of theistic and atheistic evolutionists across the wide spectrum of the biological sciences.

Evolutionary and scientific creationism, for instance, therefore has some notable presence in the respectable niche of the natural sciences, an assertion which the world-famous geneticist and physician, Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian, represents by way of his breakthrough collaborative work on the Human Genome Project, the enlightening outcomes of his forensic empiricism in laboratory research, and his insightfully edifying publications such as “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.”

Collins is famously noted for saying “evolution is real, but that it was set in motion by God” and “that evolution occurred as biologists describe it, but under the direction of God” (see “references” for additional information). The Big Bang Theory itself was the brainchild of a brilliant Catholic scientist-priest, Georges Lemaître.

And finally, while the West employed the political use of Christianity and the Bible to set itself from black humanity, the modern-day Ghanaian theological entrepreneur uses the same techniques to stake a claim to moral elitism quite apart from his perception of the moral and spiritual inferiority of the large following he lords over. These are serious general questions Ngugi wa Thiong’o (and others) has spent some time exploring in some appreciable detail in some of his large body of literary works, something we shall take a look at in later installments of the series. Here we continue with Mutabaruka from where we left off:

“The first charge is for misleading black people…

“Into their colorblind blindness…

“You have black people worshipping everything white as good…

“White Jesus, white winged angels, white Christmas…

“Even the songs talk about ‘whiter than snow I long to be’…

“The Bible did say: ‘Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’…

“So, you are trying to tell me that if my sins are white instead of scarlet God will accept my sins…

“And by the way Michelangelo painting of his uncle…

“For years black people keep revering this picture as the true picture of Christ…

“All your holidays originate in Europe…

“Everything in heaven is white…

“Everything in hell is black…

“You are also charged for collecting money under false pretense…

“You keep saying the church have no money…

“Yet every little open land have a tent for a few months…

“Then a massive building later…

“Did not your Bible say that your body is the temple of God…?

WOLE SOYINKA ON RELIGION

“If religion was to be taken away from the world completely, including the one I grew up with, I’d be one of the happiest people in the world. My only fear is that maybe something more terrible would be invented to replace it, so we’d better just get along with what there is right now and keep it under control.”

CONCLUSION

Surely we can all learn to forgive and to ignore Ken’s (and the journalist’s) unforgivable political scarlet sins based on his trademark by-heart talk and crass boastfulness, primitive political outlook, and crass ignorance once he dutifully consults these references and avails himself of the vast evidential information thereof.

And whether “Otabil is the only true man of God” is a determination only God, not any mortal, can make, unless of course, Ken is referring to the God he sees in the NPP, Akans (Asantes), and Akufo-Addo.

One wonders why a man who reportedly sleeps on an $80,000 bed can make light of his faculty in public.

REFERENCES

Ghanaweb. “Otabil Is The True Man Of God—Ken Agyapong.” April 19, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “My Bed Alone Is Worth $80,000—Ken Agyapong.” April 20, 2016.

Molefi Kete Asante. “Henry Louis Gates Is Wrong About African Involvement In The Slave Trade.” May 6, 2010.

Peter Godwin. “Wole Soyinka: ‘If Religion Was Taken Away I’d Be Happy.’” The Telegraph. October 12, 2012.

Claude E. Stipe. “Scientific Creationism and Evangelical Christian.” “American Anthropologist,” New Series, Vol. 87, # 1, p. 149 (March 1985).

Building Bridges: An American Geneticist Advocates A Rapprochement with Religion.” Nature 442, 110 (July 12, 2006).

Source: Francis Kwarteng

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