Accra, Nov. 1, GNA – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) has celebrated its Reformation Day with a call on churches to teach their members the biblical truth and avoid monetary demands.
Reverend John Shadrack Donkoh, the President of the ELCG made the call at a press briefing during the celebration at Anyaa in Accra.
The theme for the occasion was “Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone” and was to mark the 16th-century church Reformation brought about by Martin Luther, which began on October 31, 1483-1546.
He said when Luther started his religious reformation, money was in the thick of it; not for himself, but that demanded by the church in the form of indulgences (a method of selling permits to raise money for the church), and he (Luther) disagreed with the church authority.
“What are the prophets and preachers telling their members today? Can we say that money has become central in today’s churches and among some men of God?” Rev Donkoh asked; and said “Yes, it is! When hard-pressed by poverty, self-styled prophets have invaded the Christian church taking their members for a ride.
Rev Donkoh said the 21st century church has a lot to learn from the 16th century Reformation and that Africa as a continent had been blessed with some great church leaders who could champion exemplary lives of integrity and modesty and teach the right scriptures to their flocks.
The President said: “The principles of fruitful living can all be found in the Good Book (Joshua 1:8-9). We cannot afford to have a failed church because we will all be doomed if that happens. Salvation, eternal life is neither gained by praying all day, without doing any gainful work, nor by being coerced into paying lots of money to the church.
“Rather, it is a free and voluntary offering of God for His church for what He has done for mankind through the suffering, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Neither is peace nor forgiveness of sin earned by what we do. It is purely a free gift of grace by our Lord, who love and still does, by sending His dear Son to liberate us from sin, death and the devil.”
Rev Donkoh reminded Lutherans and other Protestants the world over who celebrated the Reformation Day of what Luther stood for in the 16th Century by returning Christianity to its roots; an idea of liberating people, which has become the international politics of freedom.
“Man is justified and saved by the grace of God alone and not by works of his own or of the saints. Jesus Christ alone has earned this for us,” he said.
Rev Donkoh urged Ghanaians to be peace ambassadors during this year’s political campaign, saying; “Don’t allow yourselves to be used in exchange for few cedis; say no to vigilantism.”