Bishop Prince Bennie Woode, spokesperson for the Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana says the country can develop in the right way if churches boldly criticise the wrongs of government regardless of being perceived as belonging to one political party or the other.
“The church should tell politicians the truth and not be afraid of being tagged NDC or NPP. Those parties are playing class 1 and JSS politics and the only way we can get them to mature is to tell them the truth. What is wrong is wrong”.
Speaking on Multitv’s Current affairs program, pm:Express, Bishop Prince Bennie Woode added that anything that brings violence or mars the peace of a country is evil and the church must abhor it because God is a God of peace.
His comments come on the back of a recent statement by the General Overseer of the Action Faith Chapel International Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams that, the church is bitterly divided along political lines, breading ethnic divisions and tensions which have the potential to retard Ghana’s democratic gains.
Commenting on the election petition currently before the Supreme Court, Bishop Woode said whoever wins should not determine if Ghana would continue to enjoy peace or not.
“The issue in court is just a democratic process and once it is over, there is no need for anybody to think that unless one particular party wins there will not be peace, that is wrong and it is evil”.
He posited that the church should not be divided along political and tribal lines but should be politically neutral.
Bishop Samuel Mensah, leader of the Full Gospel Church lnternational also on the show insisted that the church’s responsibility was to pray for the government and the people for peace and development to prevail.
“Once there is a government in place, our responsibility is to pray for that government. God does not encourage lawlessness and will not answer prayers that will lead to catastrophe”.
He called on church leaders to grow and mature above satisfying members on party lines and refrain from allowing politics to cloud their sense of judgment and the decisions they need to make to better the nation.
Bishop Samuel Mensah made it clear that churches could address national issues to be part of the development of the country but avoid doing partisan politics.
“dumso dumso, labour strikes etc. have persisted in all governments, nothing is really changing, until we begin to provide the right kind of leadership, 10 years from now, if we have a new government with the same principles, we will find ourselves in the same situation that is why the church must speak on national issues to influence the country’s direction, till we do that we will be marking time”.
“Till we develop a national agenda Ghana will be going in circles. Leaders should have that political will to drive unity amongst Ghanaians”. He said.
He strongly believes the church must begin to sensitize Ghanaians on the outcome of the election petition in court to manage the psychological and emotional effect it will have on the people. lt is a moral obligation of the church”, he opined.
He called on the two leaders to also respect the verdict of the court and ensure harmony.
Dr. Bossman Asare, a political scientist explained that though politics is dividing the church, the fundamental wrong in the African political system is the winner takes all type of governance, which he claims, is also dividing people along tribal and ethnic lines.
“The status quo is minority only criticizes and the majority takes over everything, the appointments of ministers, state officials etc. and we are running an immature political system. We need to run a system that will brings all Ghanaians together and brings out the best in the country”
Dr. Bossman Asare said although it is normal for some church leaders to identify with the elements of some political parties, that is interpreted wrongly by church members. He called on leaders to manage such situations appropriately.