The Council of World Bishops and International Council for Clergy have condemned Bishop Daniel Obinim of International God's Way Church for his verbal attack on former President Jerry John Rawlings.
A statement issued by Archbishop Dr. George Slezer Ofori-Atta, Presiding Archbishop, Council of World Bishops and International Council for Clergy, in Accra at the weekend, and copied to Ghana News Agency, said members were not enthused about the way Bishop Obinim responded to former President Rawlings.
“As a minister of God, one is obliged, enjoined and commanded by the Bible ‘to let our words be seasoned with salt’. The Bible also strikes a fine balance between the aged and the minister of God Saying ‘rebuke not an elder publicly’.
“Furthermore, our culture as Ghanaians frowns on rebuking and insulting an elder.”
The statement said, however provocative the former leader’s view of Bishop Obinim was; he should have exercised restraint.
“We therefore call on Bishop Daniel Obinim to humbly and sincerely render an unqualified apology to former President Rawlings publicly, fulfilling scriptural mandate thus: ‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men’."
It also questioned whether Bishop Obinim was directed by the Spirit of God to administer deliverance and healing by stomping on the abdomen of a pregnant woman?
“Was he instructed by God to undertake this work in this manner publicly?” The statement asked.
The Council of World Bishops and International Council for Clergy do hereby condemn this mode of deliverance ministration in no uncertain terms.”
The statement asked ministers of God to attach professionalism to their work since they are carriers of good things “and if vulgar words emanate from us and particularly when on the pulpit, we desecrate our holy, heavenly and high calling; and thereby bring unnecessary reproach on ourselves”.
“May we, therefore, attend to our work professionally, embodying the ethics of the ministry.
It said another mind-boggling fad is the act of the clergy taking consulting fees before attending to members in counselling sessions.
“All these attitudes being exemplified by some ministers of the gospel are casting a snare on the image of the clergy, particularly outside the country.
“How can anyone giving pastoral care to his or her flock take money as consulting fee and term it as ‘sacrifice’.
“This is extortion and let pastors who are involved in this act abandon it,” the statement said.