By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Folks, as I said in my earlier post on the conflict between Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah (Founder and Leader of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, who is well-known for his doomsday prophecy) and the Asanteman Council, the stage has been set for what is likely to be the most interesting contest between Owusu-Bempah’s “Christian faith” and the wrath of his traditional African roots.
Underlying truth: Before the advent of Christianity and the Bible into the Gold Coast after the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the indigenes had known of and had their own religion and practised their faith in diverse ways. But the traditional religious beliefs and practices were systematically undermined by the so-called Missionaries as “heathen” and adroit means found to denigrate the African as a pagan, which paved the way for the mushrooming of what will today become the forte of the likes of Rev. Owusu-Bempah.
Undeniably, traditional African religion is still active, defying all the intrigues of its detractors. In Ghana, it is specially potent in areas that Christianity has failed to conquer and will fail to subdue for as long as the adherents separate the chaff from the grain and go where they use their religious faith to find meaning and solutions to their spiritual or existential problems. Such is the reality that the machinations of the likes of Owusu-Bempah cannot subvert.
At this juncture, the truth screams for attention: that Owusu-Bempah is at the crossroads. His so-called prophecy regarding the death of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, which spawned the rumours that have angered Manhyia have brought him face-to-face with the tenets of his own traditional African root. If he is an Asante, he had better re-position himself for the battle ahead of him.
That is why his reaction to the challenge thrown to him by Asanteman to apologize to the Asantehene or face the consequences is pitiable. He has said that he owes no apology to Asanteman for his role in the rumours about the Asantehene’s death.
Even before the dust settles, there is much to prove to this Owusu-Bempah that he has no foundation to stand on. First, by originating and propagating the rumors (even if premised on his so-called prophecy), he has already undercut himself. He has no basis for self-defence or any flight into his calling to use prophecy as a defence. The Asantehene is still alive but won’t tolerate that kind of death wish!! And he represents an important segment of the Ghanaian make-up!!
Second, if he is really interested in the growth of his Ministry, he cannot under-rate the potential harm that his so-called prophecy has done to suggest that sooner than later, he will hit a dead-end. Those who don’t want to be identified with him—or to spread the stench that his unguarded or misguided utterances have wrought—will desert him. He risks losing his following. And it portends doom because the offertory will cease coming!! Can a pastor survive without offertory?
Third, those who know their Asante extraction and origin will cautiously approach issues in order not to be associated with him to suffer the negative backlash of his misplaced audacity. There is a huge difference between the church and one’s home (traditional ethnic home). If for nothing at all, one will return home after the theatricals at church!!
There are many other reasons, the most forceful of which is for Asanteman to declare Owusu-Bempah as a persona non-grata on Asante soil. His church is likely to be banned and a “bounty” placed on his head, which means that he can’t set foot on Asanteman, including his own hometown. Does Owusu-Bempah have the guts for all this repercussion?
I know he doesn’t, which is why his knee-jerk reaction isn’t worth my bother. Sooner than later, he will be looking for some “Dwantuahene” to do his bidding for him to apologize to Asanteman and Otumfuo and plead to be allowed to undo the harm that he has done to Asanteman and Otumfuo. If you doubt my claim, just wait a while longer.
Those of us who have monitored the operations of these so-called Men-of-God constantly in the limelight for the wrong reason can say with confidence that their kind of bravado is shaped and shaved by nothing but emptiness. They appear to be holier-than-thou but are nothing but a whiff of annoying hot air. They will soon face their own avatars and recoil into their shells.
If Owusu-Bempah is really what he claims to be, let him take on the Asantehene and Manhyia or Asanteman and we will see where it will land him. Truly, tradition is still alive; and those who get carried away by their Christian religious fervour will soon realize their folly. Owusu-Bempah had better know his station and stick to it. Now, he has one foot across the Rubicon. No turning back. He is doomed!!
I shall return…