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SERVANTS IN GOD’S VINEYARD: A DIVINE CALLING OR MERE QUEST FOR GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT

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Growing up as a child, we regarded servants in the Lord’s vineyard, i.e. accepting the vocation of a priest or pastor to be a divine calling from the Lord against which one could hardly resist. My paternal grandfather was the head of the Bafut traditional society (kwihfor) which was vehemently opposed to the adulteration of the people’s customs by the advent of western missionaries. That notwithstanding, his eldest son after being arrested by the Holy Spirit defied tradition, embraced the missionaries and became a pastor of the Basel Mission in Cameroon. This was so because most if not all those involved in this vocation, were seen to lead a life of poverty and chastity. It was quite common to see these devoted men of God covering several kilometres on foot and at times under harsh weather conditions coupled with exposure to hoodlums to ensure God’s message of salvation reached the remotest areas of our communities. These men were the true mirror of society as their conduct of daily life was reflected in the messages they preached. Their mere presence in any social gathering made people, Christians and non-Christians alike to adjust their behavior. It was very rare to find young men in this vocation which was considered to be for people with little ambition in life.

These men of God often constituted the watch dog of society as they never hesitated in condemning the vices of our society perpetrated either by the men in power or the social elite. There was high level of moral rectitude especially as Religious Studies constituted part of the curriculum even in state institutions. There was equally mutual co-habitation among Southern Cameroonians until the regime in Yaounde banned the teaching of Religious Studies in government schools and introduced their divide and rule policy which gradually eroded these values. They plundered the once buoyant economy which they inherited from the successive governments of Dr. EML Endeley and Dr. John Ngu Foncha. Unemployment and hardship became the routine of daily life thus leading to mass exodus of Southern Cameroonians to La Republique du Cameroun in search of greener pastures. The vocation of priests and pastors hitherto considered a reserve for less ambitious people was invaded by young men and women in search of employment who hadn’t the divine calling from God. Our seminaries have been inundated with people who are everything except servants in God’s vineyard.

I once attended a ceremony for the authorization of young pastors of the Presbyterian Church in P.C. Fiango Kumba. A curious onlooker judging from the relatively young age of the pastors made this observation; “ If the economy of Cameroon were to change for the better, will these young people still be willing to continue as pastors? This observation was certainly a reflection of the fact that these young people did not join the ministry out of conviction but as means to fight unemployment. Any doubt then why there is this high precedence of moral decadence in our society today? At the peril of his life, John the Baptist criticized king Herod for taking over Herodias his late brother’s wife. Martin Luther King on his maiden visit to the Vatican was flabbergasted by the high level of the debauchery he found there. At the peril of his life, he violently opposed the status quo and wrote the ninety-five down points against the Roman Catholic Church which led to his ex-communication. Martin Luther King Junior at the peril of his life was vocal in his sermons about racial discrimination against Blacks in America. Can anyone question the role played by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in condemning Apartheid in South Africa from his pulpit?

But today what do we find in our society? Can our men of God today emulate the example of their courageous predecessors? On the contrary, we find a high level of complacency and collusion between our men of God and the occultist regime in Yaounde in exchange for grants to run their schools. William Shakespeare in Julius Caeser lamented; “Oh death where is thy sting”? May I equally lament,” Oh men of God where is your morality? where is your integrity”? Presbyterian primary school teachers are notorious for owing their landlords due to years of accrued salaries whereas the hierarchy lives in affluence and riding ostentatious cars. Stories abound of men of God drinking and getting drunk in bars in the company of prostitutes. Where then is the life of poverty and chastity characteristic of the parsons of early Christendom? In Ezekiel 3:18 God tells prophet Ezekiel, “If I announce that an evil person is going to die and you do not warn him to change his ways so that he can save his life, he will die still a sinner and I will hold you responsible for his death”. Is it not the place of our men of God to warn the regime in Yaounde to change from their evil ways instead of bowing to pressure to endorse their diabolic agenda?

When Haman plotted to destroy the Jews, Queen Esther decreed three days of prayer and fasting for God to intervene and the Jews were saved. Today, the regime in Yaounde has plotted to annihilate the identity of the people of Southern Cameroons and the moderator of the Presbyterian church decrees one week of prayer and fasting in support of occultism perpetrated on the God-fearing people of Southern Cameroons. In Isaiah 58:6-8 God says, “the kind of fasting I want is this: remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed.

I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side”. If truly Rev. Fonki Samuel were a servant in God’s vineyard would he shy from seeking protection from the Lord and bow to pressure from the occultists in Yaounde? Does he think the Lord will accept his prayers and fasting when the people of Southern Cameroons are languishing under the yoke of La Republique du Cameroun’s oppression? It therefore means the prayer and fasting he has called for is to serve the devil and not the Lord. When campaigns for the election of the current leadership of the P.C.C. was in full gear, Rev William Abwenzoh, a rival of the present moderator alleged that he had been involved in acts of homosexuality. Many observers waved that aside as a mere smear campaign against a rival. It is no secret that Bishop Benoit Bala was murdered in cold blood by the regime in Yaounde for his stiff opposition to the perpetration of acts of homosexuality in his parish. Chinua Achebe in Arrow of God says, “The mouth that has sucked can never forget the taste of milk” If Rev. Fonki Samuel had not been involved in acts of homosexuality before, what therefore explains his inextricable attachment to the homosexual regime in Yaounde to the extent that he defies the Holy Book and embraces romance with homosexual occultists? WHAT A SHAME TO REV.FONKI SAMUEL! WHAT A SHAME TO THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN CAMEROON.

 

SIMON FUH NGWA
National Officer for Youth Affairs of the
Outlawed S.C.N.C.

 

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