A Reformed Church In Need Of A Reformation

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You might have seen this billboard in town. If you haven’t, then it is a healing crusade (whatever that means) Presbyterian Church of Ghana is holding with Dr. Lawrence Tetteh, who is described as world renowned evangelist (a title I guess Billy Graham will envy).

What Is The Presbyterian Church Of Ghana?

The year 1828 will forever remain significant in the life of our church because this was the year of arrival of the very first missionaries from Basel. [1]

The Presbyterian Church of Ghana[PCG] as part of the Reformed Church adheres to a distinctively, Reformed worship…[2]

Describing itself “as part of the Reformed Church…” points to the fact that PCG is “A Reformed Church”. The hard question however PCG will have to answer, is, if it is still a Reformed Church.

At a certain period in my life, I became convinced of Reformed Theology and was looking for a Reformed Church in Ghana to attend. From what I had learnt and read, PCG was my first choice church to switch to. So I moved from a Charismatic church to join PCG since it described itself as a Reformed Church. I went in with all zeal and passion to becoming a member of a Reformed Church. It wasn’t too long when after attending a few services, my passion and zeal were deflated. Was I really in a Reformed Church? Everything I was walking away from in the charismatic world was staring me in the face. Now attending PCG with my whole family, what am I going to tell my wife? that I was wrong to have moved the family to PCG? It wasn’t an easy discussion. But thanks to God’s providence, we found a Reformed Baptist church which we are currently attending. I am yet to make a decision between whether to be a Presbyterian or Baptist. But at least, finding a Reformed church to worship with is heart warming.

Doctrinal Cross-Fertilization

I believe discerning members of PCG should be able to tell their denomination has gone through a plethora of changes. There are a number of beliefs currently practiced in PCG which in my short stint with the church, I believe is in contrast with what a Reformed Church should believe.

I tease my Presbyterian friends in Ghana that they have become more charismatic than the Charismatics themselves. They speak in tongues. They hold prophetic meetings. They hold anointing services. They hold all-night meetings. On their bill for this month is a “3 Day Healing Crusade themed When The Holy Spirit Moves”. The speaker, is a Charismatic/Word Of Faith preacher, Dr. Lawrence Tetteh”. Recently I watched a video of the immediate past moderator Professor Martey titled “Healing with Professor Emmanuel Martey

Is this Presbyterianism? To answer, these words from Presbyterian Church Of Ghana Worship Book Normal will be helpful: “In doing this work [reviewing the 1965 liturgy], it was borne in mind that by unanimously accepting the motion to have the liturgy reviewed in 1993, the Church had a two-fold concern. The first was the spiritual needs of Christians. Added to this was the need to enhance the the spiritual edification of worshippers.[3] What you read is good and commendable. But then the bombshell follows immediately: “To these considerations can be added the influence of cross-fertilization between the different Christian traditions of our time“. [4]

This is the reason Presbyterian Church of Ghana is what it is today. Its doctrinal purity has given way to the influence of different Christian traditions of our time. It appears PCG is looking over its shoulders, stretching its neck into other doctrinal beliefs and allowing those beliefs to influence what they do. I have heard the excuse PCG was losing its youths to the charismatic churches hence needed to introduce things that will appeal to the youth to stay. Again, this excuse can be implied from these words: “An attempt has been made to provide variety and freshness in services“. [5]

Maybe PCG ought to be reminded it says it “adheres to a distinctively, Reformed worship”. To be distinctive in worship I believe is to be clearly different from others in their worship. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. PCG is engaged in cross-fertilization with other Christian traditions. I am no prophet of doom. But I fear for The Presbyterian Church of Ghana and where it is heading. It is throwing away its rich Reformed heritage for “crumbs of bread”.

I pray PCG experiences a Reformation and finds its roots backs to the 16th Century Reformation from which the church takes its heritage. To all Presbyterians in Ghana who might read this, I pray you begin asking questions of your leadership and of what you believe as Presbyterians. I will conclude with a quote from the worship book: “we wish to remind ourselves that our services [worship] must be “according to Scripture”, and consequently, simple, spiritual and reverent.[6]

Would PCG indeed remind themselves of what they have said in their worship book? I pray they do.

Notes:

1: http://www.pcg.pcgonline.io/brief-story-of-pcg/

2: Presbyterian Church Of Ghana Worship Book, Normal (Accra, Waterville Publishing House, 2010) P vi

3: ibid; P. xvi

4: ibid; xvi

5: ibid; xvii

6: ibid; pg 3

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