The Impact of Christianity on Ghana - The bad and the Ugly
Alright, good people. And...we're back! I just love it when i'm chatting on gmail and the internet acts up, and then just when it get's back on, gmail chat says "and....weeeeee're back!" I just looooove it!
I know some of you have been itching to take a swipe at Christianity in Ghana. Here's your chance. This is part two of "And he went about doing good" , that is the impact of christianity in Ghana....THE BAD and the UGLY.
When I first started writing this, I thought I'd have so many negative things to say that i'd break it down into the bad and the ugly but i can't think of so many. Maybe you can help. Have there really been so many negative things, or we just keep talking about the same ones over and over again and in louder voices so it seems like it's sooooo bad. Y'all need to help me out.
Here's my own contribution...
1. Wiping Out Our Culture
With the embrace of Christianity, came the adoption of all things Western. Whilst Christianity, Western customs and language were seen to be civilised and therefore accepted, Our traditional religions, customs, and language were seen to be heathen andd therefore rejected. For example, whilst music was always an integral part of worship, Ghanaian musical instruments like the gong, drums, and rattles, which we now enjoy in church were not accepted into our churches until Osofo Komfo Damoah, founder of the Afrikania mission, and then a catholic priest introduced them. With the rejection of our ways of doing things our confidence took a hit. As a people, we became ashamed of much of what was indegenous like own names,our way of dress, our music and so on. Fast forward to 2010, some of these things have changed but others remain. Within my own family, my first brother, who died soon after birth was named Nyankoms, an anglicized version of a beautiful name Nyankonton, which means Rainbow. Rainbow represents rebirth,good news and hope, whilst Nyankoms, its anglicized version is stripped of meaning. What were we thinking?! hehe.
Just about a year ago, I attended a friend's wedding in a church and one lady, who introduced herself as a deaconess told me that she senses that God wants to use me and so I should draw closer to God, but that she also thinks I should do something about my hair, as if to say, God cannot use someone who has natural african hair.
2. Discrimination and Prejudice
Some christians use Christianity as an excuse to be bigoted. Take homosexuality. I can understand if as a Christian, you do not approve of a woman sleeping with another woman. But when you actively harrangue homosexuals, when you discriminate against them on the basis of their sexuality, and legitimise your prejudice through religion, it becomes a problem.
3.Failure to Discriminate
Here, I do not refer to the oft used meaning of the word but rather the little used meaning of the word discriminate. That is, to make sensible decisions or to judge wisely. In Ghana, people place blind trust in ministers, prophets, and men of God. Somehow people believe that God speaks to ministers and pastors and not to them. This isn't actually scriptural. In the old testament, God lived in one temple, which was called the holy of hollies. Only priests were allowed into this place and God communicated to his people through them. All this ended in the new testament. So in 2010, when a person becomes born again, his spirit is renewed, and for those who believe in the bible, it says, the spirit of God dwells within the human body. So God lives in the new Christian and s/he needs no prophet to instruct her on God's will for her. But because Christians are not paying attention to the spirit of God, or being led by their inner witness, what happens is they look in all places for signs and wonders. And the people who perform these signs are elevated as "men of God"...even though the bible explicitly states that to them who believe he gave them power to become the sons of God. Not merely "men of God", but "sons of God". Anyway, what's my point? It's this: That because people think men of God are special, in their eyes, they can do no wrong. Ghanaians blindly trust such people so even false men of God get away with a lot. They rape children, break homes, and buy cars with other people's money and all of this happens only because people are not thinking. That's really the ugly part of it. That when it comes to men of God, Ghanaians become non-thinking beings and we do not question anything they do or say.
Also, i'm very interested in ways in which Christianity affect you, personally. I think we all keep talking about it in abstraction. As in, ooooh Christianity is so bad. It did this and it did that. But on a personal level, has it impacted any of u at all?
For me, my parents gave me my local name. I'm still very much in love with Ghanaian culture and way of life. I'm fairly open-minded and am quite able to judge for myself. So who are these people that I claim Christianity has impacted negatively? Are you out there? Or is it all in our heads? Do we just loooove to bitch and hate?