Feature Article of Saturday, 1 August 2015
Columnist: Ashiagbor, Kwaku Kele
MOVES TO SHARE PROPERTIES OF EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GHANA(EPCG) AND GLOBAL EVANGELICAL CHURCH(GEC)—A RECIPE FOR MAYHEM.
If you don’t pay attention to history, you are doomed to repeat it. You get what you want—Anon.
The news as captured by the Daily Graphic of Tuesday 28th July about the above topic if not handled with the utmost care and tact is bound to bring another schism in the EPCG.
It is a Historical Fact that the Global Church in the 80’s broke away from the Mother Church on Doctrinal and Liturgical differences. You simply cannot reconcile two diametrically opposing doctrines—-it can’t work.
Not contend with the break-away the GEC took the Mother Church to court over the sharing of the Properties of the Church and as of today the two Churches are slugging out in the various courts in the land.
The affected EPChurches are 1) Dzelukope (2) Anloga (3) Keta (4)Dabala (5) Teshie Nungua (6) Obuasi. The good news being that the cases of South La—Accra, Agbozume V/R,and Amakom—Kumasi were all settled in favour of the four Churches.
During the crisis some gallant members of the EPCG lost their lives through being poisoned, being run over by a car and others beaten up mercilessly by some thugs of the GEC—-all in the name of Religion. These are historically undeniable facts.
The E.P Church is a Presbyterian by Doctrine with the Reformed Protestant Tradition whilst the Global Church is a Christian Fundamentalist with a Pentecostal form of Worship.
It is patently obvious that the two are like chalk and cheese—no convergence whatsoever in the modes of worship—period.
The name Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana was retained as a result of the sacrifices—both Financial and Material of the Gallant DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH which resulted in judgement being given in their favour in the High Court.
Let me high light a few of the 13 Points Resolution submitted by the Defenders of the Faith to the EPCG Church Hierarchy at Ho.
1)That the Sharing Committee parading the Congregations have no Locus.
2)That the affected Congregations were not involved in any way whatsoever in the sharing of the Church Properties.
3)That we want to know the relationship between the so called Reconciliation Committee vis a vis the court cases which are ongoing.
4) That as a result of our deliberations, we strongly hold the view that for the sharing of the Church Properties to be seen to be genuine, authentic and not a ruse or hypocrisy,the sharing should start at the EPCG Headquarters at Ho.
5)That this funny idea of Reconciliation should cease immediately. The Global Church are our brothers and sisters who left to form a new Church to propagate their new Faith and Doctrine as others did in the past such as:
Nutornutsi aka Apostolic Revelation Church(ARS 1939, White Cross(Doe-1950,The Lords Pentecostal Church(Amedzro 1972 and The Church Evangelical Mission—1954 Atiegar.
6)That these cunning overtures being published in the media every now and again are affecting the length of the court cases as the judges refer to them at times.
7)Do the Church Leadership know that this idea of sharing the Properties of the Church can land them in court for Contempt as this very issues are pending before courts of competent jurisdiction.
Our EPCG Leadership is advised to read ‘The Game Theory by John von Neumann.They will learn a thing or two from that. Frankly speaking, this is a bad deal. Our Leaders should simply do the decent thing and walk away from it. There is no trade-off in it for the EPCG as a whole.
In all honesty,some of us were shocked and amazed at the argument put forward by our Moderator Rt Rev Dr S.S Agidi.Let me quote him word for word as published by the Daily Graphic.
Quote—The claims (meaning the Defeneders of the Faith) will derail the Peace Process. We are very concerned about that.There are people who are in one family but attend two Churches. In some instances the husband is in EP while the wife is in GEC.It is the responsibility of the Church that they live peacefully.—unquote.
In all humility and sincerity this is risible,flawed, has no basis in logic and has no traction in reality either.
There are so many members of our families who belong to various Christian Denominations and all of us are living peacefully. Likewise there are so many married couples across the length and breadth of this county who are at peace with each other. The name of the game is RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE.Since when did the EPCG become so prescriptive as to tell people which Church to attend.
Perhaps the Hierarchy of EPCG has forgotten that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana allows for the Freedom of Worship and Association. It is baffling that of all the myriads of Challenges facing the EPCG, the Hierarchy chose to spend their energies and times on such TRIVIA as Reconciliation with the Global Evangelical—it is so sad.
A very close friend of mine once told me that the way and manner our beloved E.P Church is being administered, in about 20 years time, our Church will be a home for geriatrics as there is nothing in it to attract and retain the youth. I am now beginning to see the wisdom in his assertion.
KWAKU. KELE. ASHIAGBOR