Thursday, April 09, 2009

If God dey love Naija and Ghana the same as Switzerland, den why he for do we so?

Ibi like say God no dey love Ghana den Naija. Weytin make I talk so? Weytin be say yesternight around 3 am den I no dey fit sleep so I dey read newspaper wey I read som story. Ma broda, ma sista, dat story convince me say true true Chineke dey love Switzerland pass Naija den Ghana. Allow me to make my case.

"The story" which is entitled "Prophet T. B. Joshua" was on page 3 of the 4th April edition of the The Mirror, a Ghanaian weekly. The writer does not say what s/he's trying to communicate so I, like any reader, was left in the unsatisfactory position of trying to get to the heart of the story. After reading the article, I think the writer wants to show that God has a special plan for everyone by using the prophet's life story as an illustration. If this is not the writer's intention, well, s/he can't blame me for getting it wrong. I swear if you gave that article to five independent readers, and asked each of them to tell you what that article was about, you would get 5 different answers...but I digress. Perhaps i'm regressing into typical Ghanaian mode - critiquing the quality of things I have not tried to improve. You no dey do notin but somebody try a, den u go say ino dey bi. wey life dat?

Back to the article, i'm not challenging the idea that God has a special plan for his children. That could very well be true, but to accept the bishop's account of his life as a valid proof of God's plans in action would necessarily lead me to the conclusion that God does not love Ghana, or Nigeria, as much as he does some other countries.

Here's the summary of the bishop's biography. His childhood dream was to become a soldier but "unusual occurences" which we're being asked to interpret as divine, "impeded his goal of fulfilling his childhood dream". Now readers, let's take a look at these supposedly "unusual occurences". He passed the entrance exam required for the Nigerian Defence Academy at Kaduna and was invited to go for an interview. He boarded a train which was to take him from Lagos (where he lived) to Kaduna. The train broke down on the way. Consequently, they were stuck in the Jebba -which according to the article is somewhere in the bush- for 6 days. He did not have a means of getting to Kaduna and so he missed the interview. In the bishop's own words "this is how the ambition to enlist into the military was aborted by what was obviously an act of fate". Even though he was upset, his mother told him it was willed by God and so he came away from the experience a changed man and "began to look at whatever came his way with a more mature mind whose focus was on God alone". The article goes on to talk about other incidents which interrupted this education. Four times, he was unable to take an exam he had registered for because he either "forgot his acknowlegement card" or was involved in an accident en route to the exam venue. Four times!

The article does not mention how we went from someone who could somehow not get his act together to take an exam to a prominent "prophet". The prophet is said to be on friendly terms with "highly-placed foreigners" if foreigners are in some way special. Apparently his foreign friends include kings, queens, princes, and princesses from Zululand in South Africa, Former president of Zambia Chiluba, former president of Congo-Brazzaville Lissouba, President of Gabon Omar Bongo and surprise, our very own president of Ghana Prof. Atta Mills! If all these is to be believed, this prophet is the kind of person people pay attention to. If he says God did it, who am I to challenge it?

So against my better judgement, I am going to grant that all that happened was willed by God. Having done that, I now need to have a chat with God, woman -to- woman.

Chat with God
God, you must have planned it in such a way that everyone on that train with the prophet also had to be stuck in the bush for 6 days. Nigeria lost money in 2 important ways: for six days, all these people did not contribute to the economy, and for six days, the train company did not earn income from the particular train which broke down. Why do you let this happen only in Nigeria and Ghana and other countries like ours? 6 days? God, did you really need six days? Why did you have to make it cost our country so!

Also, God, why did you have to let the train break down to prevent him from making it for the interview. You could have just made him fail the exam! That would have saved all the other people from being stuck in the bush for days. Why do you keep doing this to Naija? To Ghana?
I know that sometimes you do things to glorify your name but this one, this one just makes me think I don't understand you.
And, God, we both know that if this had happened elsewhere in the world, the prophet's mother would have sued the train company or at the very least complained about them. God, you of all people must know how much Ghana and Nigeria need that. The complaining would have gotten the train company to ensure their trains don't break down, or better, put in measures to send another train to pick up the stranded people the same day or at worst, the next day. Complaints would have led to a more efficient service, and yet you made us miss such an opportunity for redress because of one prophet? why?
Lastly, God, you know I want to get to know you better, so why did you make me read this story and not believe it? All part of your plan, huh? Ah well...maybe you made me write this blog entry so one of the comments will bring me to a better understanding of your ways. I await in anticipation.


  1. uhm...I'm not really sure what the point of this entry is but I really don't look at other people and their situation to ground my faith in God. If I did, I would probably deny the existence of God in my life. For me,knowing God is personal!

    I don't really know much about this prophet but so he has friends in higher what? My Bible tells me that when Jesus died and rose again and the curtain in the synagogue was torn in half, it afforded me the right to enter into the presence of God directly.

    My point is, I am not waiting to receive directions from T.B Joshua before doing that! And God does love Ghana very much! Maybe we need a change in our worldview and move away from the victim mentality to realize that "Resources do not come from the ground but from the innovation of the human mind." that is why God gave us brains!

    :) Maybe I didn't get your entry very well?

  2. he he, i had loads of fun reading this piece. well I can't answer God's questions for HIM, but I know that the bible says that His ways are not our ways. Did you hear the story of Jonah? T'was a shipwreck. Did you you hear the story of Paul? t'was imprisonment. Did you hear the story of Jesus? T'was death. He's diverse, He works in mysterious ways, ask how you can understand Him better, not by reading the papers, but by following His word. And I beg to differ, God loves Ghana, i don't know about Naija.

  3. Hahaha. Maame I have laughed so hard whilst reading this post. Seriously, I think this is one of your best. I think we (Ghanaians at least) like to use religion as an excuse...the so called prophet seems to lack "personal responsibility". If you can blame someone else (or even better God) for missing your exam, or leaving your acknowledgement card behind then who can blame you.

    Nana Darkoa

  4. I take it this a rant directed to God's corner so over to God :)

    Nonetheless TB Joshua's life, whatever the enabling details, is not commonplace (churches are the businesses with the most amazing performances in GH/Naija going on the anecdotal evidence available). I don't think we should be worrying about the source of his inspiration to achieve something in life. If anything we should be hoping that he uses his influence with the people in high places to make good things happen in Naija and GH.

  5. Thomas Kyei-BoatengApril 17, 2009 11:46 AM

    God gave us reason, not religion. I believe in one God and nothing else. No holy books, no prophets, no popes, no bishops, no saints, no mediators. Just one God. God is God and he doesn't need to "prove" himself to man through miracles. The more people seek to prove to us that God is alive, as seems the case in the article referenced, the more stupid such people look and the more stupid they make God seem. The good news however is that these people are stupid and God is incapable of being stupid.

    I go to church, sometimes, more as a social function than as an opportunity to interact with God. This is the whole purpose of the church and it's about time that people realised it. The church is not much different from the Lions' Club or Rotary or GHANASS Old Students Association or the book club I'm a member of. You're as likely to find God at a meeting of these clubs as you are to find him at a church service. The church, however, has built some sort of "spirituality" round it and got people, out of fear, to buy into it. I say it's all a hoax. Tell me Esi, what can God possibly tell TB Joshua that he can't communicate to you? Nothing.

    You are right to question God based on the "evidence" of him that TB Joshua gave you. I will tell you, though, that you can't find evidence of God from the lives of others, be they pastors or laymen. God is and he doesn't use accidental occurrences in the lives of some people to prove his existence.

    I suggest you read "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine, if you haven't already done so. It is available for free download from many sites on the internet. It may not be perfect but its logic in analysing God and religion is amazing. I believe, after reading it, you'll be more convinced that God loves the Swiss, the Ghanaian and the Nigerian equally. Most importantly, it will strengthen your resolve not to "believe in all kinds of unbelievable things", to borrow the words of Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

  6. Thomas, what book club are you a member of and what books does this club normally read.
    I am looking for a book club in accra, ghana. If people have ideas please post on this site.


  7. I think the only reason why it seems that God doesn't love Gh and Naija is because we seem to be in a transitional stage. As I said, it seems to be like that. We, Africans are in a wonderful time in history. We are constantly getting wiser thanks to rapid advancement in technology and information exchange. We get wiser and as we do we are going to learn how to REALLY use the bountiful natural resources that God has so lovingly blessed us with.

    Lemme give u one such tiny but wonderful contribution that will benefit the world if only we get people to champion it. There is a type of sugar that does not cause all these sugar diseases that one hears about, now this monosaccharide can be found in a fruit here in Ghana. Do you guys remember the fruits when we were kids u could take a tiny piece of that and it then makes everything else you eat taste as if its sweet? Well, its possible to extract this element from the fruit and a table spoon of it equals almost a bottle of sugar. This means that if we can produce this fruit on a larger scale we can sell the substance to all juice and toffee maker.

    The possibilities are endless. In this same way there are so many people with so many fascinating ideas and procedures and concepts that can only be found in Africa. I believe that we are a treasure trove.

    God is love through and through. God loved us so much that he sent his son, a part of himself to come and taste death to sanctify and bring man back to himself. Without which man couldn't have even faced God. This same God has promised us that no matter what we go through He will turn everything, even the bad stuff, for good for us that love him back. We love God not by feelings but by doing what he has commanded. The greatest commandment Jesus gave was to Love God with all of our everything and then to LOVE our fellow human being as much as we love ourselves. . . . . Luke 10:25-37. When there is real love, the greatest weapon of all, real change and real progression can be realized.

    I pray that everyone is able to establish themselves strong in God and to be bathed in real Love until we all return home to God, in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.


  8. Very good Esi!
    This is a good critique.
    We have ourselves to blame for all our problems and yet we ''put'' it on God or other spiritual forces. This situation has put us as a people in slow motion. We are forever finding ridiculous grounds for our absurd failures.
    The fact is that we do not question religion. What the osofo says is etched in bronze and none of us ''common men'' dare question it.
    Dont be surprsied by some of the comments you are going to get for this article. People will ask how dare you ask this ? what is your point? have you no faith? etc. Anyway I suggest you read ''Infidel'' by Hirsi Ali Magan.
    Yours Nii Ayi

  9. Thomas Kyei-BoatengApril 23, 2009 11:45 AM

    @Nana Mokoah: kindly send me a private mail and let's chat about the book club: kyeiboateng at gmail dot com


  10. careful guys! lets not allow ourselves to lured into making foolish statements.Most of us used to believe the very things we are talking against.What has changed.....? Has God changed? NO!!! have we changed?Yes!! the deception that is in the world has gotten to us such that we can begin to question the ways and acts of God.I know we'll all trying to act all grown up and intellectual but we're just being plain foolish.

  11. I guess this has to do with the Paradox of Evil- God cannot be an all knowing God, an all powerful God and a benevolent God at the same time....Its a very debatable topic I must say .

  12. Well... I am about to turn this on it's head so brace yourselves lol.

    You know how Jesus said it's hard for the rich to go to heaven and how Jesus was killed and as a result we are all saved? Well lets look at it from this point of view. All that is in this world will pass away and our existence here is temporal so maybe God makes some people have a harder life here so they are guaranteed a good life in His heavenly kingdom.

    Think about it, do you call upon God more when you are happy or when things are going wrong? Most of the time you'll find you're most likely to say 'Oh God' or turn to Him in your time of need so because He knows that when all is well you forget about Him and He is apparently a jealous God He is likely to make sure you keep remembering Him abi? So maybe it's time that we make a decision in our minds today, and say the words (and mean them) "I will glorify my heavenly Father in good times just as much or even more than I call upon Him in bad times." that way things will go well in Africa more often. Now if we can all actually do that I think we will find things turn around for us. :)

    May the glorification begin!