For the Foundation of Church and Country

Almost two thousand years ago, certain young man dreamt of forming a movement that would transcend all borders and spread to the ends of the earth. To have this very ambitious plan come into effect, He started to lay down concrete programmes.

He first formed a group which He taught His ideas and ideals. He then went on to give powers to one of the members to lead the group in His absence. On the day, He exited the world; He went on to educate His followers on the principles which this group must uphold.

Nine days later, in a powerful turn of events, His movement was out-doored. So, in this case, who can be said to have founded the movement?

August 4 has become a day in our nation’s history when all the right things were done. On Sunday August 4, 1974, Ghana started something right, by changing driving from left to right. Exactly twenty-seven years earlier, a group of twenty-one men started something right by building the formal foundation on which our country’s independence was to be built. That day was the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first political party to be established with the sole aim of attaining independence and self-governance for the indigenes of the colony.
It was to be on that historic day, that a National Constitution was written; a national flag was out-doored, and a tentative date of independence set. One historian had it that the date of independence was set to be on March 6, 1954 to mark the 110th Anniversary of the Bond 1944.

The destiny of the colony was put into motion on August 4, 1947 – the first most important event on our political and governance calendar.

And, this is the day some people want to be neglected, rejected and swept under the carpet. In fact, when we are talking about of founding fathers of this nation, those twenty-one men are to function prominently. But, the fact that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was not among the twenty-one has driven the Nkrumaists into forming the decision that he was the only founder of the nation, and, indeed, the day of Ghana’s destiny fell on March 6, 1957.

To debunk this idea, we need to revisit events started by that young thirty-three-year-old man, almost two thousand years ago.

That young man was Jesus Christ. The first mention of the church He was to establish was when in St. Matthew’s Gospel 16: 18-20 He came out with three essentials for the formation of this Church, namely, St. Peter was to take full charge, as he was to be the foundation/rock of the Church; all hell cannot come against the Church and the way to Heaven was through Peter and the apostles who were given the mandate to forgive or to uphold sins. And, in verse 21, He set out the most vital condition to be met before that Church could be established; He was first to die at the hands of men.

Then, in St. John’s Gospel 20: 22, He confirmed the most essential service His Church was mandated to render for souls: the ability to forgive sins, and the ability to retain sins, when He gave them the Holy Spirit through whom only this service can be rendered. And in the end, He established the Charter of that Church as is written in St. Matthew’s Gospel 28: 19-20, that is – to go for membership drive, baptise people in the name of the Holy Trinity, and teach them to observe all He taught His apostles.

It is important to note that all these took place before the Church was founded or formed. These were the solid structures put in place before the Church came to be, and these are the same structures the Church is firmly standing on; without which, it would have long gone underground, and so the Destiny of the Church was well established long before it was founded.

Another interesting thing here is that, when the Church was founded on Pentecost Day, the driving power was not Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit. So why was that movement not called the Spiritan Church and its members called Spiritans, but rather called the Christian Church and its members called followers of Christ or Christians, even as it is clear that the Holy Spirit greatly functioned “physically” during the early stages of the Church, while Christ functioned more in His teachings and commands to men. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit drove people in their numbers into the Church.

Jesus Christ is recognised as the founder of Christianity, and He is given full acknowledgement and respect for that because He singlehandedly started the whole process and laid down the foundation of the Church before it was founded on Pentecost Day. The role of the Holy Spirit cannot be ignored though, because, without Him, there would have been no Church.

Coming down, and way, way, way down to the year 1947, the process towards our independence began. Those who started this process need to be recognised and given the rightful place in history, as those who set the destiny for this nation.

A die-hard Nkrumaist friend of mine, who seems to have vowed to see nothing good in the United Party (UP) tradition and had vowed to have negative ethnocentric feelings against Asantes, asked me one day about what role Asantes played towards our march to independence. I reminded him that the Gold Coast, and for that matter, Ghana, would have been another South Africa or Rhodesia had it not been Asantes who were the only tribe to have physically fought British dominance to the end, and made the Whiteman look ordinary, what other thought was superhuman.

Since the destiny of Christianity was established long before the Church was founded, and even as the founder was not physically present on the day the Church was out-doored, so is the case that the destiny of this nation was established long before independence, and the original founders were the twenty-one men who put into motion the destiny of this nation on August 4, 1947, when the Right things were set in place for independence and self-governance.

But, guess what? The foundation of any building is the most important structure, however, no one sees it to even acknowledge it. But it is there anyway, and without it, the building will fall apart.

Hon. Daniel Dugan

Source: The Chronicle

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