General Secretary of the Assemblies of God Church in Ghana, Reverend Dr. John Ghartey has cautioned President John Mahama to distance himself from the private offer to the Christian community to embark on a pilgrimage to Israel.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Gold Tuesday morning, Rev. Ghartey insisted that President Mahama, as a leader with integrity, should dissociate himself from the Israel trip in order to hold his head high.
According to him, whether the trip is a private partnership with government or in the hands of some private entities, the government should not be involved. The money should rather be invested in developing the nation.
"We would plead with our beloved President that he stays away from this because it will not help him. It will not help us. Even if it’s an offer from somebody, we still know that we have other needs in the nation that we can channel that money to,” he cautioned.
Rev. John Ghartey was reacting to a media publication that the Church has snubbed President Mahama by refusing to embark on the trip.
A report by Joy FM on Monday indicated that; “The Assemblies of God Church, where President John Dramani Mahama fellowships has also rejected the government’s offer to take some of its leaders to Israel on a pilgrimage.”
The Church was quoted to have said that although “it is true that the pilgrimage to Israel can be an enriching spiritual experience for any individual who undertakes it, it is of no special consequence to our eternal salvation.”
The Church issued a statement stating that it “will therefore not endorse any spending of the nation's scarce resources on things of this nature while there are pressing needs". It also stressed that “we shall not condone this move by adding our pastors to any such list.”
Government in partnership with some private philanthropists expressed interest to assist the Christian community to travel to Israel for historic purposes.
200 religious leaders across the country were enlisted to make the trip, which will be at a cost of $600,000.
Government stated emphatically that it's role in the deal is specifically to facilitate the movement of the religious body to Israel, revealing that the Christian community will be funded by private philanthropists.
Despite government's clarification, some Clergy members and the civil society have vented their spleen on President Mahama for supporting the initiative.
Rev. Ghartey explaining the purport of the statement issued by the Church, noted that the statement was not intended to snub the President as put out by some media networks but the Church sought to advise President Mahama to do the right thing and not “muddy the waters”.
Expounding further the position of the Church, he said; “Looking at the tight situation we find ourselves in, if the nation has this money, we would rather that it be put in some other use than sponsoring Pastors. We agreed that hey, the idea is good. The mind and the heart behind that offer is excellent and we cannot turn our backs on the President.”
“He has a good heart and it’s a good idea. But we think that as a people who care about his success and we want him to do the right thing, we feel that the timing is not the best. And so, if we can postpone it, it doesn’t mean we have snubbed him.”
“Looking at the whole issue. Even now that he’s explained that somebody else is bringing in the money, we don’t want to muddy the waters any further. We would plead with our beloved President that he stays away from this because it will not help him. It will not help us. Even if it’s an offer from somebody, we still know that we have other needs in the nation that we can channel that money to.”
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|