Ghanaians relapse into poverty right after collecting their salary for the month because there is hardship, Pastor Mensa Otabil has observed.
“Believe you me, we are fighting battles that are serious. In Ghana, right after pay day, poverty is chasing you, right after pay day.
“You know some years ago, poverty waits till the middle of the month to chase you, now it’ll start chasing you right after pay day.
“You just got paid and the poverty is chasing you,” he told the congregation of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) at its 34th anniversary service in Accra on Sunday, 4 March.
The ICGC founder has, thus, urged Ghanaians not to pay heed to doomsday prophecies which will exacerbate their already distressful situation, saying there were already a lot of problems to deal with.
“You have hardship, why do you complicate your problem and listen to things that are designed to put fear in you. You already have problems, you’re running from behind, why do you want to put cement blocks around your feet? But that’s what we do. And people say: ‘where is the man of God?’ Yeah he can be a man of God but not for you,” he said.
Meanwhile, the motivational speaker is of the opinion that Christianity is part of Africa’s problem.
According to him, doomsday prophets are making it difficult for Africans to break free from the centuries-old inferiority complex and lack of confidence that have shackled the continent and imprisoned its citizens mentally and developmentally.
“… You listen to the church (and I don’t like criticising preachers) but unfortunately some of the solutions we put out there – frightening people with death, frightening people with prophecy and it’s just complicating the sense of inferiority and powerlessness and weakness that we feel.
“So, when will the African ever rise up and say: ‘I can do it’, when every time he feels there is something chasing him to destroy him?
“How can you ever be confident when somebody says he’s had a dream of you and you won’t survive a year, how can you plan for next year, how can you plan for 10 years, how can you have a long-range vision when people are trying to limit our ability to even think for 10, 20, 40 years?,” the ICGC founder wondered.
“So, here we are”, he said, “a people imprisoned by our own culture. And unfortunately, imprisoned by religion”. “So, how do you solve it? Some people say Christianity is part of the problem, and in a way, yes”.
According to him, finding solutions to the African problem is part of his calling into ministry by God, and a mandate he is determined to carry out through his teachings at ICGC.
“When you’re bitten by a snake and you’re poisoned by snake venom, the only cure to a snake venom is the snake itself. You have to create anti-snake serum from the snake’s bite to purge what happened first. So if we think that our problems are spiritual, then it’s going to take a new spiritual formation, a new spiritual understanding to solve our problems. I believe that is what ICGC exists for.
“We’re here as an antidote and that is why you will never come here and hear me say anything that will make you feel that [when] you leave here, you should live in fear that there is a demon running after you.
“Listen, we are already running, we don’t need anything to help us in running, we are already running. I’m not going to come and tell you it’s your father’s house or a demon and all kinds of things and ‘you can’t do it’, and ‘you have [a] short [life] to live’ and ‘you can’t survive’, ‘you have to come for me to pray for you before things work’; who am I to hold your destiny in my hand? You are bigger than my hand and you are created in God’s image, you have an assignment from God himself, bigger than any pastor, bigger than any preacher. That’s your destiny. And if you’ll go for people to imprison you in their small mindedness, then you are the problem. Because believe you me, you choose what you eat and you should choose what you listen to,” Pastor Otabil said.