The issue of the resettlement of two Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Ghana has been at the center of discussions lately with citizens of the nation meeting that decision with mixed feelings and I personally thought our religious bodies will only step in to help calm nerves down.
So far, I have heard nothing from Muslim and traditional leaders but the Christian Council and Catholic Bishop Conference have stepped in and contrary to my expectations, they have rather decided to join the fear mongering team and are asking the government to immediately send them two people back to wherever they are coming from.
I honestly feel embarrassed repeating their words and find it difficult touching on this issue because I cherish and hold religious leaders in high esteem and find it difficult disagreeing with them on issues but I have no option than to do that this time.
For starters, it is obvious those tasked to take decisions on behalf of the masses gave this decision a very deep thought and ensured that a lot of research into the past of these two people as well as their present to know the risk involved in bringing them to Ghana.
Anyway, I will like to dwell more on the Bible since I am dealing with Christian bodies and the Bible is basically the manual of we Christians. The story of Zacchaeus is told in Luke chapter 19. Zacchaeus was the chief among the publicans and was very rich.
He heard Jesus was passing through Jerico and really wanted to see him but his little stature was an obstacle so he decided to climb up a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus passing by. When Jesus got to the tree, he lifted his head and said Zacchaeus, come down for today I must abide by your house.
Yes, Jesus was ready to stay in the house of this man who everyone knew collected the properties of others based on false allegations and all considered him evil and a sinner. This decision by Jesus made those who knew Zacchaeus ask why he has decided to be the guest of a sinner but that same decision made Zacchaeus regret his evil ways and decided to give half of his properties to the poor and also return everything he has taken from people based on false allegations.
These are the kind of results good gestures from Christians towards sinners yield and it makes it difficult for me to understand why the Christian Council and Catholic Bishops Conference are rather discouraging us from giving these two Guantanamo Bay prisoners believed to be terrorists a new home in Ghana to enable them reform just like Zacchaeus did.
Does it mean they would have ignored Zacchaeus if they were in the shoes of Jesus??? Are our religious leaders in Ghana really teaching us to practice what the Bible teaches us??? There is also the story of Mary Magdalene in Luke 7. In verse 38 after Jesus had agreed to be hosted in the house of a Pharisee, a lady who was deemed a sinner entered with an alabaster box of ointment and while weeping began to wash the feet his feet with her tears, wipe them with her hair and anointed his feet with the ointment which had such great smell. Just as leaders of the Christian Council and the Catholic Bishop Conference r doing today, the Pharisees then said if Jesus was a true prophet he would have realized that the woman was evil.
I want to refer the Christian Council and the Catholic Bishop Conference to the response Jesus gave the Pharisees fom verse 40 – 48. Jesus asked Simon a question. He asked, there was a certain creditor which had two debtors. One owed him 500 pence and the other owed him 50 pence but they had nothing to pay back so he frankly forgave them both.
Which of them does the creditor love most??? Simon replied, I suppose the one who owed him most. Jesus then said, thou has rightly judged. He told them about how the Pharisee did not give him water to wash his feet but Mary Magdalene washed his feet with her tears and wiped his feet with her her, how the Pharisee did not give him a kiss since he entered his house but the woman came into the house and kissed his feet and anointed his feet with ointment. Jesus continued by saying, therefore I say unto you, her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much and: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
This should make our Christian leaders know that we must not always judge people by their past deeds and what people think about them but consider their current actions and willingness to change for the best. I am very sad about how the Christian Council and Catholic Bishops Conference handled this issue as it does not reflect what the Bible teaches us.
I know people will be asking if we can trust these two people and the Christian Council and Catholic Bishops Conference also expressed same mistrust. Can our Christian leaders sit back and reflect on the Saul to Paul situation??? Saul was a man who murdered men of God till he had an encounter with God and changed his name to Paul while doing the work of God.
Though he was the last to join the disciples, he was the person that worked most in spreading the word of God hence the popular saying that Paul the latecomer is more than those that started. Can our Christian leaders doubting if we can trust these two people imagine what the world and most especially Christians would have missed if the disciples refused to trust Paul and asked him to return to wherever he came from like they are telling these two foreigners today??? It is good that we practice what we teach as Christians and especially as Christian leaders.
I will drop the curtains here by commending the president and this government for taking this bold but unpopular decision. I loved it when the president in addressing the media today said he supports that decision as a compassionate Christian.
This decision reminds me of the huge public cry that greeted the decision of President Mahama and his government to make Accra the centre for Ebola treatment and how are Christian bodies even joined to criticize that decision but at the end of the day, we all saw how that particular decision saved countries that were hit by Ebola and the world at large. Catch you on the flipside, folks. SCRIBBED BY PHREDDY PLIES (JAH BE MA HOMEBOY) SNICETETE