Every now and then a scandal breaks making news headline. Just a few days ago, another scandal broke. Anas Amereyaw Anas, an investigative journalist, who has over the years been at the helm of
The news, like gangrene, has spread across the length and breadth of the country. Various media houses have carried their version of the story under varied headlines. Starr FM reports: Judicial scandal: 22 Judges Suspended; 12 More To Go. Joy FM captured it as 22 Judges Suspended. Citi FM’s is probably the strongest; Anas descends on judges in ‘stinking’ corruption scandal [Trailer]. The scandal has in fact gained international attention as the BBC carries its “Ghana judges to be investigated over corruption allegations” reportage.
Perhaps one of the most poignant commentary on the scandal, in my assertion is a poem, TELL ME written by a senior colleague and friend. He lamented:
A country in which the king’s elders sell justice for the price of a goat. And vend judgments at the market stall. They pillage the village barns. Carrying off the ancestors’ produce to foreign lands. They fill their pots with clean water and push the natives to share the muddy water with cows. Cassava and corn abound but folks don’t have enough to eat. The palace courts are lined by fleshy girths and the village square by limpy limbs…And the thumb has lost its power to print ? Now I am knowing. The wig I respected is tattered rag. The heads it adorns are man-eating lice. The gown I admired is holed sack cloth. The bosoms it covers are far from sackcloth and ashes. The judge is judged…And ne’er did Law look worse than used tissue.1
The above, is a fine representation of the nation’s response. We are in shock! How could they, custodians of the rule of law, trample justice under foot in the manner they did? What for? Selfish gains obviously. This scandal has made the headlines. But apart from those making the headlines, numerous, equally scandalous, go unnoticed; they occur in “secret places”. In these secret places, it might not necessarily be of national proportion or even scandalous as this, but one thing is certain, we are no different from any of these judges.
All of us, in different ways are just like them. Their actions are just the symptoms of a universal disease we all carry around: Sin.
In theology, the universal presence of sin is termed Original sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the ramification of their sin passed on to the human race. In their fall, we all fell and our nature badly corrupted. We are sinners by nature. You don’t have to do anything to be called a sinner. The moment you enter the human race through normal conception, you come with a sin problem. David in Psalm 51:5, tells us clearly of the origin of sin: “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Sin, he points out is his nature. He was born with it. Sin was natural with him. He was a sinner, even in his mother’s womb. This is not only true of David, it is true of you and I. R.C Sproul, a theologian and Bible teacher, commenting on Psalms 51:5 in an online article, noted that,
[David] was not saying that it was sinful for his mother to have borne children; neither was he saying that he had done something evil by being born. Rather, he was acknowledging the human condition of fallenness—that condition that was part of the experience of his parents, a condition that he himself brought into this world. Therefore, original sin has to do with the fallen nature of mankind. The idea is that we are not sinners because we sin, but that we sin because we are sinners.
We, like the judges, are all depraved and capable of any sin. We have our own faults and sins. These are just the symptoms of our sin problem. The root cause for people of this height in society to stoop this low is simply that they are sinners, just as you and I are: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(Rom 3:23). This is divine verdict. God, the highest judge of all condemns us all under the weight and guilt of sin.
In the court of heaven, we are guilty men and women worthy of God’s punishment. The whole world, without saving faith in Christ, lies dead in sin.(Eph 2). The dispositions of our hearts are evil. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9). Whether we are caught or not, sin has eternal ramifications. We might not “gain” public disgrace, but though removed from the public eye, God sees all that is done in “secret places”. (Ps 139:7, Heb 4:13).
Corruption is the symptom. Sin is the root cause. It is a real problem that plagues the human race and until submitted to Christ and repented of, we will forever be under the bondage and power of sin. At such heights of their career, these judges should know better. But sin knows no dignity. It lures, baits and leads to destrution:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord(Romans 6:23).
1: © Atta: 8.9.2015