Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, the outspoken former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, says he has modified his approach to commenting on national affairs.
During the Mahama-led government from 2012 to 2016, Prof. Emmanuel Martey was a strong advocate for national causes. He was relentless in his criticism of the government’s alleged corruption and economic mismanagement. In recent years, though, he has gone silent.
He has been accused by some Ghanaians of being hypocritical and selective in his remarks.
Prof. Martey, addressing at a public lecture in Koforidua on Tuesday, said he now uses text messages, among other channels, to communicate with people about national issues.
“Rev. Prof Martey continues to speak, but his tone has changed.
I communicate with those with whom I need to communicate. Many things have happened as a result of my intervention, often through SMS messages. As a result, I’m still speaking.”
Very Rev. Prof. Martey explained that the Presbyterian Church’s constitution grants only serving moderators the authority to comment on behalf of the church on national concerns.
“You are aware of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana’s revelations, practice, and procedure. The Spirit of our constitution states that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has only one representative to speak on its behalf, and that person is the moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, not past moderators but serving moderators.” And my sense of leadership, particularly in the Church, is that it’s like a relay race: you get the baton [you don’t take it, it’s handed to you] and you run as quickly as you can until you reach the next person, hand over the baton, and stop running. Anyone who hands over the baton and then continues running is insane,” he remarked.
Very Rev Martey acknowledges that corruption is still widespread in Ghana, but claims that many pastors are afraid of being attacked verbally by the guilty society. He further claimed that some clerics accept bribes from politicians in the form of gifts in order to silence them, while others fail to speak out since their tribe’s men are in power.
He claims that while the Bible encourages Christians to pray for and respect political leaders, it also commands Christians to fight those who are rebellious to God.
He underlined that the church should not remain silent, but rather utilize its prophetic voice to fight for the poor and downtrodden, as well as to address societal injustices early on.
Very Rev Prof. Martey, speaking on the theme of the public lecture, “The Bible, Its Impact on the Church and Society in Ghana,” said the Bible has positively influenced and impacted all aspects of life, including politics, the arts and entertainment industry, moral standards, and national development.
He criticized the fact that politicians use the Bible to gain power, but then abandon the Bible’s principles.