Merchants Of Faith

TB JOSHUADAILY GUIDE GHANA – Religion was rightly described by Karl Marx as the opium of the people; an observation which continues to find credence in various historical developments in the local context.

Many so-called men of God in the various faiths have exploited the foregone to their economic advantage; they don the most expensive fabric and jewelry even as their congregations live in abject penury promising to have the key to paradise and ascribing all earthly challenges to demons whose antidote they possess.

The sense of fear and seeming invincibility that they exude prepares the grounds for further exploitation of their flock.

The self-exalted, often flamboyant and loud personalities who straddle their congregation as super humans, are held in extraordinary awe.

With no form of regulation of their spiritual occupations by the state, they have a free range to operate in the face of a willing mass of gullible people requiring immediate deliverance from their multitude of earthly predicaments.

That is the true picture of the spiritual state of the country today, one waiting for the least spark to combust.

Nigeria has recorded many of such situations as in the Maitatsine Sect which fought a bloody war with Nigerian soldiers before finally being dislodged and the enslaved people eventually exorcised. Enter the Boko Haram and the Nigerian national security is shaken to its marrow.

Ghana had its share of the fallouts of a mismanaged faith when thousands of her citizens wholly obsessed by news about a certain bottled spiritual elixir intended for gratis distribution thronged a space relatively smaller than their numbers.

The stampede and resultant repercussions which followed are now household knowledge in the country and beyond.

The country has become a receptacle for various messiahs, local and foreign, whose extremist views and dispositions have the potency to breach national security.

The state and security agencies have mostly closed their eyes on the operations of these faith professionals; a phenomenon appearing in all the faiths-Christianity, Islam and even traditional religion.

A close monitoring of the practices of such messiahs who are soon elevated to the levels of supernatural beings and therefore infallible, should not be ignored by the various agencies of national security and the citizens too.

We have observed over the years how unfortunately an aspect of the political leadership has fallen in love with some of these faith practitioners, thereby opening the floodgates for citizens to follow suit.

Poverty provides fertile grounds for the festering of commercial theology. Little wonder thousands trekked to the synagogue of all-nations to be delivered through the anointing water which never came anyway.

We are not by this commentary questioning the importance of spiritualism and the hereafter. Ours is bringing to the fore the unbridled exploitation of gullible Ghanaians and the dangerous repercussions these hold for the nation’s security.

Need we not change our perceptions of these latter day messiahs and their elixirs regardless their faiths?


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