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OPINION: Seven Reasons Why No One Should Criticise The Church Of Pentecost For Building Prisons


I have keenly observed some opinions from some individuals in connection with the Ejura ultra-modern Correctional Centre (prison) built by The Church of Pentecost.


There have been divergent views as to whether the church had set its priorities right or not. Many people are also bashing the church, lamenting that the church should have catered for the needy among them before embarking on this project.


Well, these are all opinions! But I think the church has done no wrong. I was expecting the country to praise God for a church like The Church of Pentecost, which is helping to transform the nation.


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The church is not just building only prisons, as some people may think, but there are several others that the church has done, and it continues to do to help the development of the country.


I would therefore like to give seven (7) reasons why we should not lambaste the church for their good work done, but rather praise them and encourage them to do more if they have the means:


THE CHURCH IS NOT DISCRIMINATORY; NOT A FRIEND TO THE RIGHTEOUS ONLY, BUT “SINNERS" AS WELL.

Following the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His precepts, we should not reject the sinners but show some love to them and win them for Christ. Jesus said, He did not come on earth because of the righteous, but because of "sinners".


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(Mark 2:17 KJV) "When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." What I am trying to say is, the church has done a lot for its members and will continue to do more, however, it cannot ignore those outside the church, especially, the less privileged. Taking care of the privileged and the less privileged made the generosity balanced and unbiased.


OUR LORD JESUS COMMANDED US TO GO TO THE WORLD TO PREACH TO ALL, INCLUDING PRISONERS, AND BRING THEM TO CHRIST.

(Matthew 28:19 KJV) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". This is the great commandment. It is obligatory to every believer to do this. There are many ways of doing this, but the most important thing is to have a good heart for the one you want to win for Christ. You must love him and show him kindness as the Lord has done to us. Apart from giving them the word of God, if you are capable of assisting them in any way, do it. Don't just say God bless you and leave him to suffer! (James 2:15-16 KJV) “If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” This is what the Lord says.


We must always help a brother who is in need. There is no doubt that prisoners in Ghana really need help. We cannot just preach to them without helping them, especially, if the church has the means to help. The sinners are our clients, so we must serve them well so that we can win them for Christ for a better and a transformed life.


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THE CHURCH BELIEVES THAT ANY GESTURE FOR THE LESS PRIVILEGED IS A GESTURE FOR OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus demonstrated this as follows (Matthew 25:31-45 NKJV): When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’


37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’


41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’


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44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”

This clearly tells us not to care for only the righteous, but the "sinners" as well. This does not mean if the church builds ultra-modern prison facilities for prisoners, they are promoting criminality. It is A BIG NO; the church is just doing what the bible tells them to do.


IT IS THE BUSINESS OF THE CHURCH TO LEAD SOULS TO CHRIST, IT IS GOD'S BUSINESS TO TRANSFORM THEIR LIVES BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY.

Responding to comments such as “there are some needy individuals in the church….”, I wish to set the records straight. The church leads the members by (1) Preaching the word to them. (Romans 10:14 KJV) “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” This is why God has called us from the world, sanctified us, and empowered us to go to the world, preach the gospel to them and tell them the goodness of Him. Then (2) those that believe, we must teach them what Christ has taught us. (Matthew 28:20 KJV) "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:" If we preach to them and teach them well, they will practice what is right, then God will transform their lives and give them all they want. (Matthew 6:33 KJV) "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." In connection to the above quotations, the bitter truth is that the church is not a business venture for creating businesses or wealth for members, but the church gives biblical directions that will lead the members to Christ who will eventually transform their lives and give them their heart desires.


Obviously, there will be needy individuals in the church, because always there are people that the church is still disciplining which we believe God will see to their needs in His own time, even though the church is doing its part to help. That does not mean as we are caring for the Church, we should not consider the less privileged.


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TRANSFORMING A SOCIETY IS A GRADUAL PROCESS, AND MUST START FROM SOMEWHERE.

Most churches in Ghana, including the church of Pentecost, are poised to transforming every sphere of the society with kingdom principles and good standards of living. For this reason, the church of Pentecost alone has achieved the following:


Built 96 Basic Schools across the country; 2 Senior High Schools in Kumasi and Koforidua; 2 Skills Development and Learning Centres; 1 Vocational Training Institute; 8 Healthcare Facilities (5 Clinics and 3 Hospitals); Provided financial support to some needy but brilliant students at the National, Area and District levels. The Church also has;

1. spent GHS 2,716,112.36 on educational scholarships to support needy but brilliant members at various levels in 2018.


2. In 2020, 74 Street children, 298 drug addicts, 38 sex workers, 101 street dwellers, and 48 others were enrolled in schools, put into the trade, and given vocational and entrepreneurial skills.


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3. The multi-purpose facility belonging to the church which was handed to the state cost the church GHC39 million during the period.


4. The Areas, Districts, and local Assemblies of the church also assisted the fight against the Covid 19 pandemic to the tune of GHC5, 412, 653.20 in providing relief support to the vulnerable members and non-members alike.


5. The church spent GHC2,313,859.09 on health care to support members


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6. 44 boreholes were drilled across the country.


7. The church launched an Environmental Care campaign to take care of our environment and to fight against sanitation issues in the country.


8. The church has started a process of building 1,000,000 trees in the country.


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9. 37 active Credit Unions referred to as Pentecost Cooperative Mutual Support and Social Services Societies (PENCO) providing financial assistance to members of the Church. This and many more are what the church is doing to assist mankind, aside from the core mandate of winning souls and disciplining members for Christ.


Many other churches are also doing great things to help. The Church cannot do everything at once, not even the government, so it always has to start from somewhere according to its strength. Looking at what the church has done for both its members and the country, I think we must praise them instead of criticizing them unjustly.


THIS PRISON WILL HELP SOLVE SOME HEALTH ISSUES THAT MAY ARISE DUE TO OVERCROWDING.

Looking at the rate at which our prisons are congested, no one needs a prophet to tell him that there can be disease outbreaks. Again, some conditions at the prisons are detrimental to human rights.


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In order to solve these challenges, (both health and human rights issues), I would personally commend the Church of Pentecost for taking the initiative to find a better place for our brothers and sisters behind bars. In this case, the church did not just visit Christ when He was in prison, but rather secured a better place for Him.


THE ULTRA MODERN PRISON WILL SERVE AS A FACILITY TO EQUIP THEM FOR A BETTER FUTURE AFTER THEIR PRISON SENTENCE.

We must thank God for the vision given to the Church of Pentecost. This project is not just to keep prisoners, but to train them to unearth their God-given talents as they serve their term there. This is because there are some facilities that will help them to learn a vocation of their choice, and use it as a means of living when they start their normal life after serving their prison terms.


It is worthy to note that, such a gesture will help transform the prisoners and lead them to a better life.


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CONCLUSION:

We must see this corporate social responsibility of The Church of Pentecost as God-given, and encourage them and other churches to follow suit. Criticizing someone for doing something good may not encourage him to do more next time, however, acknowledging their good gestures and showing appreciation can bring better things from them. It will also serve as a form of encouragement.


As a country, we must not criticize everything someone does, rather, we must be circumspect in our criticism.


GOD BLESS THE CHURCH OF PENTECOST.

GOD BLESS GHANA.


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Credit: Nana Owusu Nkrumah, Broadcast Journalist


Disclaimer: Views expressed are solely that of the author. Thinknewsonline.com will not be held accountable for any malicious content.

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