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A Response to Gyedu Blay Ambolley’s “Jesus Is not God; I don’t pray through him”

Source Enoch Anti

There is something with Ghanaian celebrities—if not all celebrities worldwide. Their celebrity status seems to make them feel omniscient; they know everything and are authorities on every subject. Every now and then you hear a Ghanaian celebrity offering their view about Christianity which often is a denial of the Christian faith and its teachings. The latest to wade in is Gyedu Blay Ambolley; described as an Afro-jazz and highlife legend is quoted to have said in an interview that “Jesus is not God and, therefore, he prays directly to God and never through Jesus.”[1].

This statement gets to the core of Christianity. It attacks the deity of Christ and attacks God’s own way he has instituted by which he is is to be related to —that is if Ambolley is speaking about the Christian God.

Jesus Is God

Ambolley’s statement that “Jesus is not God” is not new. This argument has raged on throughout Christian history and is still raging on. Jehovah Witnesses, who claim to be Christians do indeed affirm that Jesus Christ is not God but rather the first creation of God. This position, however, is a position that has been long refuted and ought not to stand in church history. Albeit, we see it gaining grounds and people indeed believing such things. In church history around AD 325, a controversy arose over the deity of Christ. Arius taught that Christ didn’t always exist and was begotten by the Father—God—at a point in time past. However, this position was refuted and declared a heresy

At the Council of Nicea in a.d. 325, the church, in opposition to the Arian heresy, declared that Jesus is begotten, not made, and that His divine nature is of the same essence (homo ousios) with the Father. This affirmation declared that the Second Person of the Trinity is one in essence with God the Father. [2]

One may argue against the Council’s decision saying it is man’s decision. But that position will not hold. Because their position is argued from what the Bible especially New Testament teaches. Several places in the New Testament, the deity of Christ is clearly expounded. Jesus himself said in John 10:30 that “I and the Father are one.” Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, further on in the gospel of John asked Christ to show them the Father and Jesus’ response does indeed point to the divinity of Christ: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9).

The Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ is abundant and anyone who doubts the deity of Christ must examine again what Scripture teaches. Ambolley is wrong. Jesus Christ is clearly shown to us as God in the New Testament. Some have even argued that Jesus himself never said he was God. But isn’t that one of the many charges for which he was crucified? He did indeed claim to be God (John 8:58). Indeed Jesus did claim he is God.

The confession of the deity of Christ is drawn from the manifold witness of the New Testament. As the Logos Incarnate, Christ is revealed as being not only preexistent to creation, but eternal. He is said to be in the beginning with God and also that He is God (John 1:1-3)…. Elsewhere, the New Testament ascribes terms and titles to Jesus that are clearly titles of deity. God bestows the preeminent divine title of Lord upon Him (Philippians 2:9-11). As the Son of Man, Jesus claims to be Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28) and to have authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12). He is called the “Lord of glory” (James 2:1) and willingly receives worship, as when Thomas confesses, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). [3]

Ambolley’s position is a resurrected corpse that needs no attention. Jesus is God and that is core Christian belief.

Jesus The Only Way To God 

Ambolley goes further to say because Jesus is not God, he, therefore, prays directly to God. Here is another statement which opposes the teachings of Scripture. First of all, the Bible teaches that because of sin, all human beings who come to this world are separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). This sin cuts us from God that no one can have direct access to God except through faith in Christ. Throughout the Scriptures, God’s people have approached him through intermediaries. And Jesus Christ is the final intermediary by which we can come to God: “I am l the way, and m the truth, and n the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). This is clear biblical teaching. Prayer can only be offered to God through Jesus Christ. Any other means to God is no means at all. Everyone who comes to God must come through Jesus Christ. That is biblical teachings. And anyone who prays to God must pray through Jesus Christ. All other means are not instituted by God and are false: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Christianity Is Not A White Man’s Religion

One of the common strategies of people especially Africans who call the teachings of Christianity into question is to first challenge its origins. Just call Christianity a white man’s religion imposed on Africans and you are well-positioned to tear down a straw man of biblical teachings. And Ambolley did just that:

It’s like this formation of the white people that has [sic] been brought to us but we mustn’t forget that all of us went through the missionary schools; all the schools that we went to, Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, all were established by the missionaries, so, they taught us what they wanted us to know. [4]

This argument of Christianity as a white man’s religion is lame and infantile. The Scriptures teaches the universality of Christianity.  Paul says in Galatians 3:28-29 that in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile for we are all one in Christ. Where therefore does this idea of Christianity as a white man religion come from?

The charge is sometimes leveled that Christianity is a “white man’s religion,” due to the historical connections that Christianity had with the rise of European nations and the founding of the United States. This is complicated by the fact that, during the era of the African slave trade, many white slave owners claimed to be Christians and tried to use the Bible to justify their actions [5]

The abuse of the Bible by others to justify their evil actions doesn’t, therefore, mean Christianity originated from “white people” so-called. There is, in fact, historical evidence pointing to the relationship Christianity has had with the African continent:

When the church began, there were Africans who responded to the gospel (Acts 2:10). Philip the evangelist was called specifically to share the message of Christ with an Ethiopian official in Acts 8:26–38. This Ethiopian was saved and baptized, and the last we read of him, he “went on his way rejoicing” (verse 39). The Ethiopian Coptic Church traces its origin to the evangelistic work of the Ethiopian official in Acts 8…Church leaders such as AugustineAthanasius, and Tertullian—all from Northern Africa—demonstrate the vibrancy of Christianity in Africa. IrenaeusIgnatius, and others demonstrate the vitality of Christianity in Asia in the first three centuries. Ethiopia, present-day Libya, Egypt, and western Asia remained firmly Christian territory until Muslim invasions in the Middle East and Africa turned it over to Islamic control. [6]

If Ambolley is a true African he claims to be, historical evidence will silence him from saying Christianity is a white man’s formation. The sad reality of what is fuelling Ambolley’s false understanding of Christianity is the state of the church in our country:

Now, people are always crying: ‘In the name of Jesus’. People in the churches are using microphones and speakers [disturbing everybody]. It’s like anything they want from the father now, they are speaking through microphones and speakers for everybody to know what they want. [7]

This is what drives Ambolley’s misunderstanding of Christianity and it is sad that through the activities of churches, someone will form wrong beliefs about Christianity. May the Lord grant us mercy as a church to go back to our first love. Amen.

Notes

1. Jesus Not God; I don’t pray through him, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Jesus-not-God-I-don-t-pray-through-him-Ambolley-804411

2. R.C Sproul, Essential Truths of The Christian Faith (Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1992) kindle ebook.

3. Sproul, Essential Truths of The Christian Faith, kindle ebook

4. Jesus Not God; I don’t pray through him, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Jesus-not-God-I-don-t-pray-through-him-Ambolley-804411

5. Is Christianity A White Man’s Religion? https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-white-religion.html

6. Is Christianity A White Man’s Religion https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-white-religion.html

7. Jesus Not God; I don’t pray through him, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Jesus-not-God-I-don-t-pray-through-him-Ambolley-804411

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