The late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama
The Oxford Dictionary defines wickedness as “the quality of being evil or morally wrong”. Based on this definition, a person is said to be wicked if he or she does things that are evil or morally wrong.
Regrettably, wickedness appears to have engulfed every facet of society. Therefore, myriads of news stories are too disheartening to bear in recent times. Natural affection, brotherly love, sympathy and empathy have eluded many people.
The societal decay in terms of wickedness casts my mind back to two scriptures that point to conditions in the last days.
In Matthew 24:12, Jesus said: “. . . and because of the increasing of wickedness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.”
In 2Timothy 3:3, the Apostle Paul wrote: “. . . men will have no natural affection . . .”
In fact, many recent news stories attest to the fulfilment of these scriptures, and I would like to highlight only a few of them according to DAILY GUIDE reports.
The first story is the gruesome lynching of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama last year; may he rest in peace. Undeniably, it is one of the most barbaric stories in the history of Ghana. How could his murderers be so wicked, heartless and merciless to that extent? Do they have natural affection and conscience at all? That was wickedness of the highest order!
The second story is a 41-year-old woman who contracted a man to kill her business partner in Kumasi last year. She was said to have collected an amount of GH¢99,000 from her partner with a promise to pay back. She was given June 2017 as the deadline for payment.
When she realised she could not pay back the amount, this heartless woman contracted a man to murder her innocent business partner for a fee of GH¢5,000. The man acted very wisely by alerting the police, which eventually led to the arrest of this wicked woman.
In July 2018, two persons brutally killed a taxi driver after snatching his vehicle in the Central Region. They dragged him out of the vehicle and stabbed him in the eyes, testicles and abdomen. As if that was not enough, they used his car to run over him.
In September 2018, the chief linguist of Abura Dunkwa and his wife were gruesomely murdered in cold blood in their room by some unidentified assailants in the Central Region. Their throats were slashed with a sharp object by the assailants, who didn’t take anything from the room after the attack.
Recently, a woman poisoned her husband to death at Sefwi Bencheman in the Western Region for refusing to take care of his family and neglecting other responsibilities.
Besides, in October 2018, a man took a piece of wood with which he hit his wife and four children in the Central Region. The wife and the youngest of the children died instantly, while the three other children were seriously wounded (Source: Daily Graphic).
Rape, defilement, armed robbery, vigilantism, vandalism and other nauseating cases are common in our society these days. Hence, it is not rare to find disgusting headlines such as ‘Woman Raped To Death’, ‘Driver Defiles Girl, 3’, ‘Father Impregnates Daughter’, etc. in the print media.
According to the Police CID, general crime rate across the country increased marginally in the first quarter of 2018. Robbery, carjacking, defilement, rape, murder, narcotics and human trafficking cases recorded between January and May 21 this year cumulatively, slightly went up compared to figures from the same period in the last three years.
It is tantamount to wickedness if a pastor cunningly uses the Bible and the name of God to exploit the gullibility and biblical ignorance of his congregants to amass wealth. It is tantamount to wickedness if politicians think of fraudulent means of creating, looting and sharing when their party is in power. It is tantamount to wickedness if police personnel, who are supposed to instil discipline and order on the roads, extort monies from undisciplined drivers and allow them to go scot free.
It is most unfortunate that the Ghanaian society has become choked with fake and greedy men of God, corrupt and unscrupulous politicians and police officers who are unmitigated extortionists.
Notwithstanding the fact that many Ghanaians claim to be religious, no one appears to care a hoot about his or her fellow Ghanaian. We seem to have lost our moral values and the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality. Without the least scruple, some sacrifice human lives for money, wealth, promotion or political power out of sheer wickedness.
Ironically, wickedness has soared in the face of church proliferation in Ghana. The power of godliness doesn’t seem to have any positive impact on our character anymore. No wonder the Bible says in 2Timothy 3:5 that “men will have an appearance of godliness but prove false to its power” in the last days.
The least said about terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and violations of human rights in some other countries, the better. Massacres and atrocities have become ubiquitous!
For example, in October 2017, a gunman named Stephen Paddock killed at least 50 people by opening fire on a huge crowd of revellers during a packed music festival in Las Vegas, US. Around 406 were left injured. The massacre was confirmed to be the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
In July 2016, ISIS militants carried out coordinated bomb attacks in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed nearly 400 civilians and injured hundreds more. It happens to be one of the deadliest suicide bombings.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group, has killed tens of thousands of Nigerians and displaced 2.3 million from their homes since it started waging insurgency in 2009. The group was ranked as the world’s deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.
Besides, with regard to wickedness, the recent gruesome assassination of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey cannot go without a comment. In fact, it is an understatement to say his murderers are wicked, merciless and heartless! Do they value human life? What great offence did he commit to deserve that kind of horrible death?
In order to promote freedom of speech and good governance, journalists must not be murdered when they are discharging their duties. Fundamental human rights must be respected by every country in this age of globalisation and growing democracy. The killing of the international journalist has no justification whatsoever. Full-scale investigations must be conducted into his murder and the perpetrators brought to book.
Khashoggi’s death reminds me of the death of Anna Politkovskaya in October 2006. She was a Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist, who was assassinated in the elevator of her block of flats. Like that of Khashoggi, her painful assassination attracted international attention.
It is noteworthy that millions of people have been killed in wars during the past century. One British historian wrote: “The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history . . . It was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organised armed conflict somewhere.”
The ramifications of wickedness are disastrous. “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail”, says Proverbs 22:8.
For example, in the Bible, when God saw that man’s wickedness was great on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time, He annihilated every wicked person in the days of Noah (Genesis 6:5-7).
Repentance from sin is a major solution to wickedness. This would enable the wicked embrace natural affection, brotherly love, sympathy, empathy and abstain from every form of wickedness.
Besides, justice must be upheld in society, since God loves righteousness and justice (Psalm 33:5).
The global upsurge in wickedness, lawlessness and injustice shouldn’t throw cold water on true Christians or believers. Rather, it must always keep them alert, vigilant and focused so that they can firmly grip their salvation to the end, for the signs are clear that we are in the last days.
By Anthony Kwadwo Kyei