Reports that renowned evangelist and presiding Bishop of the Word Miracle Church International (WMCI), Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, has slammed Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo for his infamous all-die-be-die statement has turned out too be wholly inaccurate.
An earlier publication sourced from the True Statesman newspaper on May 3rd headlined Say No To All-Die-Be-Die Politicians – Bishop Agyin Asare and carried by peacefmonline.com sought to create the impression that the seasoned Man of God cautioned Ghanaians, especially the NPP, to desist from participating in any form of violence to demonstrate their unflinching support for their preferred political party.
But further checks by PEACEFMONLINE and after listening to and reviewing an audio and visual copy of the said day’s televised programme on TV3 network, we have realized that the report was erroneous.
We therefore, on behalf of PEACEFMONLINE.COM and the Despite Group of Companies, like to express our regret and sincerely apologise for reproducing an inaccurate publication and for any harm, emotional stress, embarrassment, discomfort and damage the said publication might have caused to the image and integrity of the renowned Man of God, Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, his family, the Church and its entire members.
Please be assured that we have taken appropriate measures to prevent any such occurrence in the future. The offending publication, which was culled from the True Statesman, has also since been taken off our website. We have also transcribed and reproduced for the benefit of readers, the entire sermon delivered by the celebrated bishop on the said day.
Nana Kwadwo Asante,
What Bishop Agyin Asare Actually Said
While I was on leave, I had a note from the Ghana Pentecostal Council last week about some political tension. I learnt that a Member of Parliament of the NPP has made some very inciting statements. I also heard that some leading members of the NPP were attacked by some NDC sympathizers; and so the Ghana Pentecostal Council asked us to make our comments on the issues so they put together a press statement. It was supposed to come out on Friday but I don’t know whether it came out or not.
My sermon this morning has been influenced by what is happening. I arrived on Friday afternoon and I have had the privilege to listen to what has been happening. I followed up yesterday on different radio stations to try and get the feel of what has been happening. And so this morning, I want to talk briefly on a message I have titled INTOLERANCE.
What is intolerance? According to Wikipedia and apple dictionary, “it is the unwillingness to accept views, believes or behavior that differs from one’s own”; not tolerating the differences in other people is intolerance.
However, there are different types of intolerance and this morning we are going to try to look at a few of those types of intolerance. The first one is the racial one and one of them happened in the late 1938 through 45 and that was Hitler’s intolerance and racially motivated speech that left eleven million people dead after he had finished and six million Jew also exterminated.
(He asked the congregation to a look at pictures being projected on the screen/projector)
There are times we forget how things look like or we don’t have an idea. Infact, some of them, like these children, they took them and put them in places and their bodies were squeezed and the little fat in there was taken out to make soap to bath German soldiers. This is what racial discrimination can do.
Tribal discrimination or tribal intolerance also caused over 800 thousand people to die in 100 days; in the early 90s in Rwanda. Husbands killed or allowed their wives to be killed; their children to be killed because they came from different tribes.
The picture you see on your screen about Rwanda is a picture of dead bodies; the skulls of dead people because people were intolerant to other tribes.
The other picture you see were the machetes that were used at that time.
Some of the things we are saying in this nation about tribes…look very innocent and unassuming; it started like that in Rwanda and Burundi. Gently, and then the media begun to hype it, and unfortunately the government got involved. Infact there were pastors who even allowed their members to be killed because they came from a different tribe. The government organized some of it and the media fueled it.
At the end people died and the sad part is that most of the victims were killed in their own villages and in their own towns often by their neighbors and fellow villagers.
Words are spirit and the words we speak can make people do things or not do things. War; intolerance that also brings war, has led to many lives being lost like we saw in Sierra Leone. Look at these young kids in Sierra Leone. They were recruited to be soldiers. People’s hands were cut off and I learnt they would ask you whether you want short sleeves or long sleeves. If you wanted long sleeves, they cut your hand from the wrist; if you wanted short sleeves they cut it from the elbow. This is what human beings can do.
Human beings can be so wicked. Look at ladies; young ladies who are supposed to be helping in the house, going to school, learning a vocation and trade and coming out to be a blessing even had to take alms because there was war. Even nursing mothers whose arms were chopped off; how can she nurse the babies? It is all because of intolerance.
And then we have political intolerance. We just saw it happened in Cote D’Ivoire; it plunge that beautiful nation into chaos and today, many of those people have fled to Ghana and they are trying to settle. Some are finding it very difficult to settle.
Look at the home of some people in Cote D’Ivoire; what it was reduced to. Some were reduced to rubble.
The issue is, we shouldn’t forget that Ghana is bigger than any individual or any political party. And so nobody needs to die in Ghana or be hurt for any political election or for registration.
As your pastor, we need to ask you and this nation to grow up to understand that we can have diverse opinions and still be together.
Intolerance doesn’t end politically; we even have religious intolerance and recently in December, we saw what Boko Haram did in Nigeria. But beloved some of these things that has happened in those nations, some of them when it started, nobody criticized it.
Nobody said anything about it.
As Christians and as churches, we must return to the zeal and the enthusiasm, the joy, the conviction and the assurance and the immovable faith of the early church that made them speak up for things that happened. The early church spoke up for things that happened. In the world we live in today, we need men and women who can speak up. If we don’t speak up against intolerance, then we are apathetic.
Some of the problems that have to do with without doing anything; about intolerance are:
Edmund Burke said ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’. If we don’t do anything in the face of intolerance then we are promoting it. In our communities, we shouldn’t allow anybody to do acts that will not be a blessing to this nation or that will not glorify this nation. The Rev Martin Niemoller, Germany said this: ‘first they came and they arrested the communist and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. He said then they came for the Trade Unionist and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist and they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. He said then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me’
In Akan, there is a proverb that says that ‘ɛtua Wɔyonko ho a, ɛtua dua mu’; if it is not happening to you, you think that it is not close to you, but beloved, it is not far from you. And so this is the time for us to do something. The violence must stop. The intolerance must stop because when good men do nothing they get nothing good done.
We can’t stand idly by; we can’t be mere spectators; we can’t sit on the sidelines. We must be participators and we must work for the good of this nation because when good wins, we will all join in the celebration even though we may not have produced the victory.
We shouldn’t let it be so. We must be part of the production of the victory so that we can all celebrate. However, if evil wins, then we will complain long and loud though our own apathy helped produce the undesirable results.
The next thing people do is that they help evil to prevail; when good men do nothing, evil triumphs. And when I talk about evil, I mean evil, bad things, sin and sinful men and people like that must be opposed.
God commands those who are good not just to avoid evil but actively oppose it. Those who do nothing about sin and evil, help the sin and evil to prevail. When you are silent and those who are around you are doing evil, you become a partaker with them.
Ephesians 5:7 says: ‘be not ye therefore partakers with them’ if we don’t do anything when people are doing evil, we become partakers with them. Beloved in the fight against evil, there is no middle ground, there is no grey area, and there is no neutrality. We must eschew evil, we must hate evil, we must resist evil, and we must fight evil, anything that is evil that will bring this nation into chaos. And so you and I must be tolerant. You and I should not allow any politician to use us against one another. Because when you go to one house you will see the husband likes another party and the wife likes another one; but we are one people.
Politics shouldn’t destroy us. Politics should divide us. We may think differently from one another and we must accept that. We must accept that we may have different opinion. The sad part of the thing is that already in this nation we don’t have too many social amenities and then we get annoyed and we destroy them.
Our street lights are not enough; students go on demonstration and they will break school windows or go and burn the principal or headmaster’s house. The things we don’t have enough; when we get annoyed, we lose our senses completely as a people. It is sad but it should stop. We should be able to disagree with what somebody else is doing without destroying anything, without maiming anybody, without hurting anybody because that is how life must be.
I need you, you need me, we need this nation and so we have to be united as a people. Even though we have differences, we have to be united. This year’s election will go on and at the end of it, we will have peace because we will be TOLERANT!
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