The problem with controversial evangelical pastor Dr Mensa Otabil is his frankness or what some say is his thirst for publicity.
He tells things as they’re and sometimes to the hilt. The way he jetted in some policy decisions of the past government has earned him the ‘enviable’ title of a foe of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
As a result of his unperturbed manner of doing things, some leading members of NDC have their hearts darkened with hatred against him.
But lovers, both church members and New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters, of the self-styled entrepreneur see nothing wrong with his occasional jabs. And this explains why his congregation applauded him the loudest on Sunday when he passed an unsavory comment targeted at his critics.
Last week was not only an eventful week for the country’s banking sector, it was same for Dr Otabil.
Two hitherto successful indigenous banks, UT and Capital Banks were disposed of, like used pampers, to GCB Bank by the Central Bank for being financially distressed.
Otabil and Associates headed by the man of God and his church ICGC had 3 percent shares each in the collapsed Capital Bank. We need no soothsayer to know the controversial figure was hit by the bust.
Worse of all, the Central Bank has frozen accounts of all directors and senior management members of the two banks, including Dr Otabil.
So while the bust of the banks dominated discussions both mainstream and social media, same took hostage of the head of the consultant/pastor.
And when he took to the pulpit Sunday, he confessed to his congregation last week, “Monday was moderately good, Tuesday was a very bad day for me [and] Wednesday was a terrible day for me.”
He said he didn’t know his sermon a week before titled ‘nothing missing’ was meant for him.
“I thought I was encouraging somebody but I think God knew how to get me ready for the week that I was stepping in and on Monday I just realized I was preaching to myself,” Dr Otabil said.
The evangelical pastor abandoned ethics of the pulpit when he said people who look like an insult to themselves are insulting him.
Some ICGC members have told me the pastor didn’t mention Capital Bank in his comments so connecting his sermon to the bank bust is misleading. I say they’re blind.
The popular phrase ‘love is blind’ is true and applies to both ICGC and NPP sympathisers. Chaucer in his ‘Merchants Tale’ circa in 1405 made this observation because he realized it was increasingly becoming an uphill task to criticize love ones even when they err.
This is the situation ICGC members and NPP sympathisers have found themselves in. They see nothing wrong with Dr Otabil’s comments and anyone who criticizes the pastor is a devil.
If we have a standard for leadership of this country, same should be extended to the men who stand to preach on the pulpit. It’s a holy place that needs not to be desecrated with wanton acidic statements.
True love is not blind because blind love is not true love. If ICGC members and NPP sympathisers truly love Dr Otabil, they will find some of his actions and speeches clearly wrong.
Apart from being representatives of God here on earth, pastors must live and respect Christian moral codes, which call on them to be measured and lead by example. I admire Dr Otabil but have found grounds to criticize some of his comments.
And I think his comment on the pulpit Sunday was in bad taste. The NDC has the right to complain about the way Dr Otabil described his critics, though I know they harbor hatred for the man.
The people harming the man’s image are his church members and NPP sympathisers because of their blindness. Their love for the pastor is primarily based on feelings, infatuation and emotions, which will fade away anytime they part ways with him or his church.
It’s an ideal love and not a representative of the full reality. Love has taken over their conscience, clouding their minds.
But true love is confident in criticism and Dr Otabil needs it. He needs it because apart from Ghanaians being whiners [used reservedly], we respect our pastors more than the President of the land.
The writer Austin Brakopowers works as a journalist at Joy99.7FM and could be reached via Brakomen@outlook.com or www.brakopowers.com. Views expressed here are the Author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of management of The Multimedia Group.