Fasting and prayers only won’t build Ghana; pay taxes, be disciplined – Opuni-Frimpong
The current economic hardship which has been widely speculated by many Ghanaians and admitted by the President has resulted in many people suggesting solutions on how to propel the country to greater heights.
Barely two weeks ago, a revered religious personality in the country called on his congregation and Ghanaians to embark on 72-hour fasting and prayers to salvage the situation and improve the fortunes of the country.
Other religious leaders have attributed the situation to spiritual attack on the State and the country at large with one alleging that the hardship is the doing of a former occupant of a high office who intends to seek re-election.
He thus called for prayers and constant devotion of the country into God’s hands for protection and guidance of our leaders.
However, in a sharp contrast to the position held by these renowned religious leaders, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Opuni-Frimpong has said asserted that prayers are not the absolute solution to Ghana’s problems.
Rev. Opuni Frimpong averred if prayers and fasting were the solutions to Ghana’s problems we would have been a prosperous nation by now.
Citing the national anthem, the former General Secretary explained that its lyrics especially ‘God bless our homeland Ghana’ were prayers and almost every school every single day or national event say these words.
Instead of fasting and praying all the time, Rev Opuni Frimpong charged religious leaders to advise their church members on proper ethical behavior, discipline, adhering to responsibility to the state and the community.
He further challenged ‘Men of God’ to speak against irresponsible behaviours of members of their congregation such as corruption, unprofessionalism, bribery, abuse of rule of law, selfishness and seeking parochial interest at the expense of the state since these those who engage in such acts are same people who form the congregation.
The pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana added that failure to do these will make religious leaders ‘irresponsible’ members of the society since they have shirked their responsibility to ensure people do right and work hard to better the economic fortunes of the state.
“That we need prayers, yes but we are building a nation. Even when we are building a Church you need both divine intervention and human action. I come to church, I pray with the church but I need certain professional, architects, I need people who understand money, I need people who understand law. I am a pastor, trained theologian but when I cross through from religion to law I should shut up and allow people who understand the implication of my action, I mean the legal implication to even talk to me. So you don’t stop at divine intervention, you don’t stop at prayer and fasting. We must teach Ghanaians their civic responsibility, discipline, hard work, investment, their savings culture and how to be accountable” he remarked in an interview with Ghanaweb.
“If all that religious leaders can offer us is prayers and fasting, we are not helping our people, we are disappointing the nation. We must as well teach the people we gather to go and pay their taxes. We must teach them that they must be responsible with time, that they must be responsible with managing their offices” Rev Opuni-Frimpong insisted.
The revered religious leader noted it was pointless engaging in fasting and prayers when nothing seemed to change or no positive result is experienced on the national front.
Arguing that most people who engage in prayers and fasting are also in one way or the other at the helm of affairs in the country, Rev Opuni-Frimpong tasked his colleagues to ensure their actions influence them to act right and responsibly.
Urging his colleague religious leaders not to end at fasting and prayers, the former General Secretary of Christian Council observed, “…those people are sitting in your church Some of them are civil servants and public servants and if our fasting and prayers are influencing them, changing them, making them responsible, then we are only hiding behind prayer, we are becoming irresponsible”