Picture: Some Ghanaians at a prayer meeting
We witness so many miracles every day that it is impossible to deny the existence of miracles even if one didn’t believe in the Christian God or a god. The very act of waking up from our sleep and the ability to use the five senses are examples of daily miracles. And for a Christian who has read parts of the bible, I do believe everyone can have the “ the-touching-of-the-hem” moment but I also know neither Jesus nor any of the disciples performed miracles on demand. Which is why I don’t understand the miracle-seeking attitude of many Christians in Ghana.
Ghanaians go to the church and to their pastors for everything. Truth is, some pastors claim they (yes, and not the holy spirit) have the powers to heal, grant visas, lands, houses, fertility, husbands and many more. And so people go to them looking for a cure for everything including poverty and insomnia. We have all heard stories where husbands have encouraged their wives to sleep with a pastor for a child.
Of course there are people who go to church for spiritual succor – they read and the bible and live diligent lives. But a number of people only go to church in search of prophecies and miracles. Prophet T. B. Joshua has received some really high profile endorsements for his miraculous abilities,(not naming names but some swear by the touch of his hand.) Little wonder thousands trooped to the Spintex road branch of the Synagogue Church of All Nations to secure a bottle of a holy water.
The stampede that killed four and injured many had been a long time coming – people are desperately seeking solutions and hopelessness breeds fanaticism.
I have heard many blame the miracle-seeking mentality on the fast-food culture where Christians no longer want to pray for a solution to their problems but want instant solutions without lifting a finger. There’s some truth in this but are these poor people who have not read the bible for themselves and attribute a case of malaria to the powers of evil to blame for for seeking solace in a bottle of water?
I know nothing about religion makes sense but we certainly cannot attribute people going to pastors for healing for malaria instead of hospitals to just the fast food culture. I believe the latest surge in miracle seeking shows government’s failure in providing the basic needs of Ghanaians.
In fact if government and local authorities were efficient; the traffic that was created by the last announcement and the subsequent stampede would not have happened. First of all, someone would have prevented the siting of the church on the side of such a major and narrow road.
Government has not neglected to implement zoning and planning laws, it has failed to protect the Ghanaian Christian from the excess of some pastors. People seeking jobs, justice, education, healthcare, and improved living conditions are rushing to pastors because the systems supposed to ensure Ghanaians live in dignity have failed or in need of a miracle too.
And the pastors and some churches have recognized the desperation of the people and cashing in with glee and the promise of a change. The mindless worship of pastors by Ghanaians would reduce if government does it work.