Sex, sermons and submission: Why I left the church

I quit the church for many, many reasons, one of them being the surge in the Prosperity Gospel movement – that movement that encourages people to look for Range Rovers and other material things in the air. The movement that makes many shout their prayers and – sadly – treat the poor with a contempt that really was not what Jesus was about.

Another reason I left was the blatant sexism. Women did all the work – emotional and physical labour – organizing meetings, cleaning, providing food and support; then men showed up to preach and lay hands as if only they had a direct line to God and the Angels.

I got tired of the sexist, misogynistic and harmful messages about women (and sometimes men), about poverty, and society. I could not bear to endure pastors saying absurd things like the “woman is the neck of the man, who is the head of the family”, passing it off as the word of God.

I often came close to raising my hand in church and asking the preacher to provide me proof from the Bible to back his sermon. Like when one preacher said, women were made from the ribs of men and were thus required to be submissive. Houses are built from bricks, but you don’t see anyone spending their nights sleeping under a brick. I wondered if the preacher always took the Bible literally or if he picked and chose when things were literal and others symbolic. I so badly wanted to jump up and say; “Sir, that is not what God or Paul or any of Apostles meant regarding submission.” The Bible does not explicitly say all women must submit to all men.

There is no avoiding sexist, non-compassionate, God-awful sermons from all manner of people now referred as men of God (and of course, they are mostly men). At one friend’s wedding, the minister said to the bride: “Now that you’re married, you are the subject of your husband. It doesn’t matter what was said in Beijing, you’re his subject. Henceforth, he comes after God in your life. Your career comes after your family.” So, just because she got married, her dreams no longer matter and she is a subject: someone to be governed and told what to do? A grown woman must subordinate her career, dreams and desires so her husband, the head of the family, can rule, and – as though that was not enough – the preacher went on to tell her to never deny him sex, even if he offended her. And everybody clapped.

I quit church but I still identify as Christian, and the way these sermons are presented as the word of God makes me cringe with sadness. I mean what kind of God cares more about a woman’s ability to cook Jollof for her husband than her desire to thrive and live as a full human being and partner?

I do not know why brides sit through such sermons. I no longer do. On the scant occasion that I must be subjected to one in the name of watching someone I care about to get married, I go with a good book, fiddle with my phone or attend for the reception.

Still, every so often, some particularly toxic statement made by a pastor always appears on one of my social media pages. When this happens, we usually suppress our concerns because of the (unbiblical) idea that (a) a man of God should not be questioned and (b) members of the congregation understand their pastor.

I didn’t go looking for that video of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills of Lighthouse Chapel confusing culture with scripture by comparing women with multiple sexual partners to a used product:

“When you are a young unmarried lady who sleeps with a lot of people, you are like an apple that has been bitten by many men. In the end, the person who marries you ends up with a terrible-looking, well-used product.” Appalling dehumanization and slut-shaming from the pulpit.

It is the sort of sermon that should have drawn condemnation. Once again, the burden of purity is placed on women, as if they are not having sex with men but rather with robots. It takes two to tango. This logic endorses slut-shaming and allows society to hold women to a higher moral standard by policing our bodies and sexuality. What happens to men with multiple partners?

Last week, Facebook told me that Bishop Agyin Asare of the Perez Dome had said that “men are born natural conquerors, and that is why a lot of the times, it is men who go to battle. If it were left to women alone, there would not be any war because women are peacemakers.”

First, LOL. Women are peacemakers? Based on what? Didn’t Yaa Asantewaa and an army of Dahomey women go to war and conquer lands on this continent? Isn’t the Bible full of rebellious and angry women who broke the rules to have their way? If it weren’t for Victorian England and its nonsensical respectability standards (which England exported to us but has since largely outgrown), modern Ghanaian women would show their outrage instead of enduring abuse. Agyin Asare’s sermon reinforces narrow definitions of masculinity and femininity; that men are not men unless they dominate another human being – preferably a woman (the ‘weaker’ vessel). It is based on such logic that men have sex for conquest.

Worst of all, he added that men cheat because their wives don’t sexually satisfy them enough. “There are times women don’t understand that a sexually satisfied man is usually a good provider. There are times women don’t understand that. I want to give it to you again that: ‘A sexually satisfied man/husband is usually a good provider’ because he will provide for his wife and try to please her out of appreciation, not out of obligation and what happens is that he becomes less tempted to lust after other women because his thoughts are always filled with her.”

It almost sounds like an excuse for cheating husbands. Your husbands (are tempted to) cheat because you don’t give them enough sex. Talk of victim-blaming. It has become the wife’s duty to prevent the husband from lusting after others. Have men no self-control? Must they outsource it? I can imagine some poor man using this excuse come judgment day, and receiving the shock of his after-life. What evidence shows that a sexually satiated man will not cheat on his wife? The men hitting on women and lying about their marriages are not all sexually starved, are they? And what about the sexually dissatisfied wife?

Last week, my dear friend Papa Kow Acquaye tagged me in a sermon in which the Nigerian founder of the Redeemed Christian Church, Pastor E. A. Adeboye told single men not to marry women who cannot cook. I’m still looking for where it says that in the Bible.

These sermons are all so egregious; lacking in truth, in merit and in logic. The Bible has no standard duration for prayers. Nowhere is it stated that a wife must have the stamina to pray for at least one hour. The Bible does not state whose duty it is to cook and feed the family. It does not outline reasons why it is alright for men to marry unemployed women but abominable for women to marry an unemployed man. The Bible is also clear about marriage. God told Adam he was creating a partner for him; not a house-help, not a cleaner, not a prayer warrior. A partner.

The year is 2016. We now know women were not born to do house chores, and neither were men created to bear financial burden alone. Anecdotal evidence shows that the focus on women who can cook and men who can provide has led to a culture of deceit within and outside the church, where clever people pretend just to get the ring. And divorce rates continue rising in the church.

Remember how Jesus chided Martha over her chores? It’s right there in Luke 10:40-42. Preachers must focus what Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith – did when he was on earth; his care for the poor, his message of salvation, his respect and love for all human beings. Women included.

57 thoughts on “Sex, sermons and submission: Why I left the church”
  1. People will always misinterpret anything to support their selfish ambitions, even the bible. I wish a lot more church would explain to their members that submission doesn’t mean bully someone. Most women are bullied and tolerate it because “submission”. They should teach the role of a man and woman in the home, help the poor people in the congregation, make sure everyone can at least go to school. Allow their views on the bible to be challenged instead of everything being one way. That would be very useful. But I believe you should look for a good church too to attend, it’s always safe to be part of the body. Once the church has human beings (who aren’t perfect), things will always go wrong. You should find a church that would allow you to grow and ask questions. The church is not a perfect place yet. Shit will still happen.

    1. With all due respect, and seeing that you tolorate differences in opinion, can you kindly explain the advice for “people to join what you say is imperfect” please. If a place has a problem, why do you go there? Seeing that the churches have just become social groupings with greed and self-centered practices dominating the direct teaching of The Christ, I am not in any way worried when people walk away.

      1. Hi Robert, can you show me a perfect human institution? Or a perfect human? How can imperfect beings produce perfection?

    1. while commending ED for providing such wonderful quotations of truth,I am grieved that he ended on an offensive note(“…bullshit”),bringing The gospel into disrepute. The Bible admonishes he who seeks to correct his fellow to do it “in d spirit of gentleness,lest he also be tempted”.for the aim of correction is to win back a brother for christ ,not to score a human point and win a loner’s victory.I pray ,brother ,that you recover your foothold in Christ.

  2. Very reflective and provocative. I think it raises many points that the vast majority of Ghanaians will see nothing wrong with. In fact, I am pretty certain many women listening to sexist sermons would agree with some of these degrading messages. I wonder what it will takes for eyes to be opened.
    Speaking of church attendance, much to my mother’s chagrin, I have become a lapsed Catholic. Interestingly, although the Catholic Church worldwide is patriarchy personified, I can’t remember listening to a priest giving a homily where the need for women to be submissive was emphasized…aside from at weddings of course. I also have very little experience of prosperity gospel sermons. However what I did find was alot of hypocrisy. Anyway, great piece.

    1. So I don’t remember submission sermons in the Presbyterian church i grew up attending. But there seemed to have been some unwritten code for how women should behave in the church. However, in Sunday School and Junior Youth service, we were taught how to behave so we would find husbands.

      1. Even Paul made it clear that women to silent in church.
        1 Corinthians 14:34
        Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

      2. Genesis 3:16
        To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

        1 Corinthians 11:5
        And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for it is just as if her head were shaved.

        1 Corinthians 14:35
        If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church. (now you know why you could not raise your hands)

        Ephesians 5:22
        Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

        1 Timothy 2:11
        A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness.

        1 Timothy 2:12
        I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.

        1 Peter 3:1
        Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

        Look @ this Bullshit

  3. Dear writer, it’s with absolute shame I respond to this lame message that a supposed Christian instead of stepping out to lead the way for other pastors follow will rather make time to write such pathetic story… You’re only being critical like Judas… please if you think pastors aren’t doing their job right then please step out there and do what Jesus commanded… Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel… Cos your criticism of pastors isn’t a part of what Jesus asked us to do. If you cannot start a church of even 5 people you better shut up and not point fingers at people who are trying, they will be better than you who knows best but it’s doing nothing!!!!

    1. Regardless of the content of your message I’ll rather listen to someone who’s leading the way than one who doesn’t go to church after what Bible said in Heb 10:25 and yet has the audacity to criticise those who are trying their best with their imperfections

    2. Who are you to tell me to shut up when you don’t even know your bible. Read your bible again. Jesus was the first guy to criticize the church.

  4. Dear Nnyamewaa,
    I am sorry to learn that you quit the church because of what you perceived as sexism in some teachings around submission as presented in some sermons you heard (among other issues) from some preachers. It is sad that those preachers overemphasize “submission” and other “women’s roles” to create the impression that the Bible endorses the notion that male privilege and power is sacred. As you pointed out this has led to male dominance in church and society, portraying women as playing second fiddle to men in almost all of human endeavours. You may agree with me that this stems from Eurocentric interpretation of the Bible coupled with African patriarchal worldview of marriage as an institution and women’s role in the African religio-cultural traditions in our society in general. With this in mind, it might not be helpful to paint all preachers with the same brush.

    That being said, it is only fair to point out that there are also greater number of both male and female preachers who oppose and deconstruct these interpretations and worldviews, and present a balanced view of the biblical message of equal standing before God. For example, Ephesians 5:21ff which is often used at weddings to preach submission also teaches mutual submission: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (v. 21). It then continues: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …” (v. 25).
    As one of the comments on your articles pointed out, there is no perfection anywhere – no perfect church as well. I think it is always unacceptable to”throw the baby out with the bath water”. There are some preachers (as pointed out earlier) and churches who teach a balanced viewpoint of some of the tough issues in church and society. In view of this, I will dare to encourage you to return to the church; probably you have God’s mission to help effect change from within.

    Sincerely yours truly.
    I recommend an article by Emmanuel K. Ofori, a Methodist minister, entitled “The Challenge of Emerging Feminism in Africa Today: A Theological Reflection” in CHRISTIANITY, MISSION, AND ECUMENISM IN GHANA: Essays in Hnour of Robert K. Aboagye-Mensah”, edited by J. Kwabena Asamoah Gyadu (Accra: Asempa Publishers, Christian Council of Ghana, 2009)

    1. Great comment. I think the writer does need to take note about that.
      Also the Bible, and the Lord Jesus said Scripture cannot be broken, says the church is the foundation of truth. So if you haven’t found the right church it’s you haven’t searched well or you’re wrong in your perception of the right church.
      Thank you.

  5. Nana, let’s start our own church wai. I can’t stand the “money-changers and pigeon-sellers”. If I leave they will be the reason; ‘worshippers of Mammon’. Jesus whipped them back then but it seems they are back. Shameful corruption financed by a congregation in slumber. Great article buddy! Keep ’em coming!

    1. Hahaha. Please don’t leave.I believe some of you have the capacity to push for the change required. We just need to be kind and less about the money.

  6. So you called out Bishop Dag Heward-Mills of Lighthouse Chapel. i will just go ahead and ask more questions.
    have you interviewed his followers about this subject?
    i believe in that video which you have blatantly refused to watch he probable said other things as well. why do you cherry pick?
    do you support promiscuity both way i mean?
    do you mind providing some statistics to your write up or this is just your wise observation?
    do you support pornography ?( ? this is off key , maybe you should write on it next.
    By the way, do you know i first knew that the highest internet traffic is lead by porn from the pastor you just called out?
    As benlottejnr said, if you ant to also ignore Heb 10:25 because you are offended. that’s your wahala
    And divorce rates continue rising in the church. statistics please?!!!

    Please look for a church that preaches what you want and make sure you turn many to turn many to righteousness and stop being a blogger warrior !

    1. she just wants stories for her site, get a proper Christian life sister, please. GET A PROPER CHRISTIAN LIFE.

    2. Read it again, i said “i didn’t go looking for it,” it doesn’t mean i didn’t watch it. I will not look for a church, i don’t need a church to be righteous. It’s not like it makes any difference. Also i love being a warrior blogger.

  7. ‘Churgoers’ always get offended. Why don’t we things in view of the Bible and I’m sure if only you claim to be a christian (sort of) then you want the Bible to speak.
    So DId God create women inferior to Men?
    No. Why? . Genesis 1:27 states: “God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.” So from the very beginning, humans—both male and female—were created with the ability to reflect God’s qualities. Although Adam and Eve had their own unique emotional and physical makeup, they both received the same commission and enjoyed the same rights before their Maker.—Genesis 1:28-31.(NWT)
    Prior to Eve’s creation, God declared: “I am going to make a helper for him [Adam], as a complement of him.” (Genesis 2:18) Does the word “complement” imply that the woman was inferior to the man? No, because this Hebrew word can also be rendered “counterpart” or “a help corresponding to” man. Think of the complementary roles played by a surgeon and an anesthetist during surgery. Can one manage without the other? Hardly! Though the surgeon performs the actual operation, is he more important? It is hard to say. Likewise, God created the man and the woman to cooperate closely, not to compete with each other.—Genesis 2:24.
    ▪ What shows God’s concern for women?
    Foreseeing what fallen, sinful men would do, God early on expressed his intention to protect women. Speaking of the Mosaic Law, instituted in the 16th century B.C.E., author Laure Aynard, in her book La Bible au féminin (The Bible in the Feminine Gender), notes: “For the most part, when the Law covenant speaks of the woman, it is to defend her.”
    For instance, the Law commanded honor and respect for both father and mother. (Exodus 20:12; 21:15, 17) It also required that due consideration be shown to pregnant women. (Exodus 21:22) Even today, the protection provided by those laws of God stands in sharp contrast with the lack of legal rights that some women experience in many parts of the world
    The Law that Jehovah God gave the nation of Israel provided the people—men and women—with boundless physical, moral, and spiritual benefits. As long as they listened and obeyed, the nation was “high above all other nations of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2) What was the woman’s place under the Law? Consider the following.
    1. Individual freedom. Unlike women in many other nations in ancient times, the Israelite woman enjoyed a great measure of freedom. Though the husband was given the role of the head of the family, the wife, with her husband’s full trust, could ‘consider a field and obtain it’ and ‘plant a vineyard.’ If she had skills in spinning and weaving, she could even run her own business. (Proverbs 31:11, 16-19) Women under the Mosaic Law were seen as individuals in their own right and not as just an appendage to man.
    In ancient Israel, women were also free to have a personal relationship with God. The Bible speaks of Hannah, who prayed to God about a personal matter and secretly made a vow. (1 Samuel 1:11, 24-28) A woman from the city of Shunem used to consult the prophet Elisha on Sabbath days. (2 Kings 4:22-25) Women, such as Deborah and Huldah, were used by God as his representatives. Interestingly, prominent men and priests were willing to seek advice from them.—Judges 4:4-8; 2 Kings 22:14-16, 20.
    2. Access to education. As party to the Law covenant, women were invited to listen to the reading of the Law, which provided them with opportunities to learn. (Deuteronomy 31:12; Nehemiah 8:2, 8) They could also receive training for participation in certain aspects of public worship. For example, some women likely did “organized service” at the tabernacle, while others performed in a mixed choir of singers.—Exodus 38:8; 1 Chronicles 25:5, 6.
    Many women had the knowledge and skill needed to run a profitable business. (Proverbs 31:24) Contrary to the culture in other nations at that time—in which the father alone taught his sons—the Israelite mother was to share in educating her male children until adulthood. (Proverbs 31:1) Obviously, women in ancient Israel were far from being uneducated.
    3. Honored and respected. The Ten Commandments clearly stipulated: “Honor your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20:12) In the proverbs of wise King Solomon, we read: “Listen, my son, to the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”—Proverbs 1:8.
    The Law included detailed regulations regarding conduct among unmarried persons, showing respect for females. (Leviticus 18:6, 9; Deuteronomy 22:25, 26) A good husband had to take into account his wife’s physical and biological limitations.—Leviticus 18:19.
    4. Rights to be protected. In his Word, Jehovah portrays himself as “a father of fatherless boys and a judge of widows.” In other words, he was the Protector of those whose rights were not safeguarded by a father or a husband. (Psalm 68:5; Deuteronomy 10:17, 18) Thus, in one case when the widow of a prophet was treated unfairly by a creditor, Jehovah intervened with a miracle so that she could survive and keep her dignity.—2 Kings 4:1-7.
    Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the family head Zelophehad died without leaving a son. His five daughters therefore requested Moses to give them “a possession” in the Promised Land. Jehovah’s response went far beyond their request. He told Moses: “Give them the possession of an inheritance in the midst of their father’s brothers, and you must cause their father’s inheritance to pass to them.” From that time on, women in Israel could receive an inheritance from their father and pass it on to their offspring.—Numbers 27:1-8.

    What are we seeing today? People have misrepresented God’s view making women inferior and dominating them Like some toy. Under the Mosaic Law, women enjoyed an honorable status, and their rights were respected. However, from the fourth century B.C.E. on, Judaism started to be influenced by Greek culture, which regarded women as inferior.—See the box “Discrimination Against Women in Ancient Writings.”
    For example, Greek poet Hesiod (eighth century B.C.E.) imputed all mankind’s ills to women. In his Theogony, he spoke of “the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble.” This idea gained ground in Judaism early in the second century B.C.E. The Talmud, compiled from the second century C.E. on, gave this warning to men: “Do not converse much with women, as this will ultimately lead you to unchastity.”
    Throughout the centuries, this distrust has had a profound effect on women’s role in Jewish society. In Jesus’ day, their access to the temple precincts had already been limited to the Court of Women. Religious education was solely for men, and women were likely separated from men in the synagogues. The Talmud quotes one Rabbi as saying: “Whoever teaches his daughter Torah [the Law] teaches her obscenity.” By misrepresenting God’s viewpoint, Jewish religious leaders instilled a contempt for women in many men

    Jesus viewed women in a high manner in contrast to the religious leaders of his time. I could go on and on but the bible doesn’t support the ideas that they’re supposed to be dominated and understand
    it when Feminists try to defend their rights.
    Enough said, God view women the way he views men. Everybody has his or her role and are supposed to perform it equally. Men please deeply love your wife as your own body because you’re one flesh. they are precious and are weaker vessel and you don’t want to treat your vase or glass any how but you treat it preciously.
    thank you.

    1. I wonder if your constructive bible references went down well with your audience. You succinctly applied 2 Tim 3: 16-17.

  8. The truth sometimes gets blended with the tradition of the one giving the delivery.
    It does not make the word of God less powerful.

    You need to learn how to chew the meat (the part that benefits you) and spit out the bones (the part that’s contrary to the nature of God.


    Jesus loves women.
    John 4
    Mary Magdalene
    The adulterous woman

    The men who can’t walk in love towards beautiful women are suffering from sin consciousness.
    Ignore them or pray for them but don’t leave church for them.

    1. Sounds like an arm chair peice. I wish you could have made proper reference to particular bible verses in your claims. Well no one cares about the reasons why u left the church but at least don’t misinform people . half of wat u said is just in d vacuum ..

  9. The church is the body of Christ hence to say you have left the church implies you have left the body of Christ. This is a terrible thing to say as a christian. It is like saying you have stopped going to the hospital because there are sick people there. Even if the hospital you go to frequently has a bad doctor, the best thing to do is to move to a better hospital you are satisfied with their services but not to stop going to the hospital at all and stay at home no matter how serious your sickness is. You cannot treat yourself for long at home… In the same way, if your pastor or other men of God are not acting according to the word of God, you do not say you have left the church totally to fellowship on your own. This is a suicidal pride! It is better you attend a different church you relate well with. You may do well on your own but you still need other believers to thrive well. Though you don’t need to be in a church building to serve God, it is ethical not to forsake the assembly of the brethren.

    The Bible emphatically teaches wives’ submission to their husband. It never connotes male chauvinism. The Bible also teaches gender equality. Male leadership in marriage is simply a politico-spiritual order.

    Well, everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Please do consider going back to the church (one in your own interest). See the agnostic comments your piece has invited on the citi-fm website. Those athiest jump at the slightest opportunity of a christian condemning the church and project it as their campaign against Christianity. God enlighten you!

    My “BUILDING A HEALTHY CHRISTIAN FAMILY SERIES” will be worth reading for enlightenment concerning the issue of sexism … https://gourdofinspiration.wor… (The role of the husband in the household)

    1. How come people are fast to talk about wives submitting to their husbands but leave out the oat that says husbands should love their wives like Christ loved the church?
      As Christians we should endeavour to study the word of God on our own. It’s not what she said but what she is reporting. She merely reported what the men of God said. Let’s pray for our leaders that they preach the word of God without being biased. I agree with some of the things she said. When there is a high moral expectation when it comes to women and yet the same standards are not applied to men. The Bible talked about fornication and adultery. I don’t remember any part of the Bible that states that it’s more of a sin when women do it. Until these double standards end, women will continue to speak about it on any platform they get the opportunity to do so.

      1. Did you read the link to my christian series which I added to my comment? If you had, you would have understood clearly that I very well know that even as the Bible talks about how wives should be submissive as it says husbands should love their wives. Read my comment plus the link and you’ll get what I actually mean.

    2. May God enlighten you too – so you can accept that being a Christian is not compulsory neitehr is being in the church. And that doubt and questioning the status quo only serves to improve how we all live. You should be upset with the people claiming to be Christians attacking my person for my views. If i am the one headed for hell, why are you the ones stressed?

      1. Read my comment again and see if I stated that being a christian is compulsory or being in the church. I said emphatically that it is rather ethical (recommendable) that you be in the church as a christian for the purpose of your growth. You said in your article that you have left but identify as a christian but you are saying a different thing now. If you actually meant you are no longer a christian, why should you have said it right away in your post so we can comment in that regard?

        The same way you replied, “You should be upset with the people claiming to be Christians attacking my person for my views. If I am headed for hell, why are you the ones stressed?”

        Is the same way I will reply: Why then should you be upset with the people claiming to be Christians and pastors for that matter and attacking their person for their views on wife submission. If they are headed for hell, why are you the one stressed? If you had this in mind earlier, then you wouldn’t have written that article, not to talk of publishing it in the first place. May God enlighten you! You can comment about people but when others comment about you, you cry foul! Interesting. No vex tho. All I pray is that you come to the understanding of the issue of wife submission as it is biblical and don’t misconstrue it for male chauvinism.

    3. Nana Yaw, you could have given the same word of encouragement in a different way. Paul’s message in Colossians 4:6 is instructive here: “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
      I think Naanaafia’s response articulated the same concept of graciousness and respect for different viewpoints as contemplated in Paul’s message. You may disagree with Nnyamewaa without being judgmental.
      As I said in my earlier comment, preachers ought to present balanced teachings; we have the responsibility to hold them accountable, though primarily, they’re accountable to God ( – see Emily’s comment ad well)

      1. You seem to misconstrue my comment. (Rather unfortunate). You don’t understand what is means to be judgemental. (Then of course you are also being judgemental of my comment as to being unseasoned ). The same way you expressed your views on my comment (to correct me-which you are out of context), that is the same way I expressed my views in comment to her post. Isn’t she also being judgemental about these men of God with much disgust? As she said, it’s not wrong to judge someone, even a pastor. Yes of course! You can judge someone as far as the basis of that judgement is the word of God. I can judge her if she is right or wrong. however, i cannot condemn her for being wrong! The two are different. I meant no slander in my comment on her post. The problem is not with my comment but how you read it with dislike. I can also read yours and say your comment wasn’t gracious per the tone I read it. if you had read the link I shared as part of my comment, you would have written such comment. We are all concerned about our sister and this is why we share our thoughts.

  10. Hello Nyamewaa,

    I read your post with great interest mixed with sadness. While I can understand and actually agree with much of what you identify as wrong and very absurd sermons supposedly in the name of Jesus, I respectfully disagree with much of what you said particularly on gender roles, church membership, submission etc. Since your post was pretty long, I am unable to address it all on the phone I am using. Will give you a few links to some sound teaching (not like those you quoted) and will be praying that the Lord helps you to both discern error and also submit to truth even when it does not mesh with our ‘enlightened’ culture and ‘feminism’

  11. nana Ama, i love the article and for the people attacking her and calling her names. We see exactly what products your so called churches churn out. She has explained her reasons for not attending church, that is her choice why do you feel so threatened by her exercising her rights? If you disagree that’s fine but please apply reason to your arguments as to why you disagree

    1. Thank you for reading Nana Afia. I’m not so surprised by the reaction, i just wish people would do as others have done here, engage me instead of attacking me. What is surprising to me is that people think they can convince me to go back with insults. I’m looking forward to the period where we can have well-reasoned arguments about our beliefs.

  12. you said this—- Appalling dehumanization and slut-shaming from the pulpit because he shared his opinion about fornication that is —-“When you are a young unmarried lady who sleeps with a lot of people, you are like an apple that has been bitten by many men. In the end, the person who marries you ends up with a terrible-looking, well-used product.” Nyamewaa pls dont make me laugh. u attack an opinion from Bishop Dag Heward-Mills. you cant take small attacks from readers lol anyway wishing you luck

  13. I do appreciate you writing this article but you seem to ignore the fact that the issues you have raised are ingrained in the religion and the bible. You seem to skirt the issue maybe since you still identify as christian.
    You say”The Bible does not explicitly say all women must submit to all men.” I think you are wrong and should re-examine this position.

    The superiority of men to women is implied in the creation story, the numerous laws stated in the bible (e.g. stoning of non-virgins brides, Moses ordering the killing and enslavement of women of other tribes etc.) and even by paul to women.
    This is not a unique Ghanaian christian sub-culture but an established aspect of the religion,

    The judeo-christian tradition is toxic for all women and I urge all not only women to abandon them. I think with more thought, you will abandon the Christian identity all together (and embrace the dark side 😉) cos that’s how we will make progress.

    These religions offer no dignity to women and we are only witnessing the consequence of their teaching.

  14. Read this carefully with a subtle heart. As you shared your thoughts in an article, so will others share theirs. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. We all have different view. This is my blog post whose link I added to my first comment you probably didn’t read hence miscontrued my message. If you read and don’t get it, then your problem is obviously not with the preachers you mentioned in your post but with the word of God. I am not blind to the fact that there are most christians who confuse wife submission to wife subjection and maltreatment. This is why I also shared my thoughts on this delicate issue in by writing a series on it. Find the first episode below:

    FAMILY – I
    POSTED ON AUGUST 4, 2016

    • In the account of the creation story in
    the book of Genesis of the Bible, we are
    informed that God first created the
    heavens and the earth. Noting this,
    have you ever asked yourself why
    mankind wasn’t the first of creation?
    Why wasn’t he created first in order to
    experience the creation process of the
    universe? Is it that man wasn’t of great
    essence to God hence was the last item
    on God’s creation to do list?

    • This is not so because Genesis 3 tells
    us how man is vital to God hence given
    dominion over all other creations. In
    fact, the only creature created in the
    image and likeness of God is mankind.

    » [ “And God said, let us create
    man in our own image, to be like
    ourselves” – Genesis 1:26, NLT ]

    • Mankind would have been created
    into an empty space, a vacuum of
    sheer boredom and darkness if created
    first. God simply created mankind last
    so as to dwell in a habitation of full
    provision: the earth to live on, the
    heavens to behold, water to drink, the
    luminaries to admire, plants and
    animals to co-habit with peacefully and
    food to eat.
    Man was created to dwell in light and
    not darkness!

    » [ “Then God said, “Let us make
    people* in our image, to be like our
    selves” – Genesis 1: 26, NLT ]

    • From this scripture, we get to know
    that it was in God’s creation plan to
    create many people; male and female
    of their kind but the question is: why
    didn’t He create a generation of
    mankind at once? Why did he even
    create only man first and the woman
    later? Why didn’t he create them at
    once? Why did He give the warning to
    man when He hadn’t created woman?
    Wasn’t it for the obedience of both?
    » [ “Then the Lord God planted a
    garden in Eden, in the east, and
    there he placed the man He had
    created” – Genesis 2:8, NLT ]

    » [ “The Lord God placed the man
    in the Garden of Eden to tend and
    care for it. But the Lord God gave
    him (man – woman in absentia) this
    *warning: “You may eat any fruit in
    the garden except fruit from the
    tree of the knowledge of good and
    evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will
    surely die.” ” – Genesis
    2:15-17,NLT ]

    •Afterwards, woman was created.

    » [ “And the Lord God said, ” It is
    not good for the man to be alone. I
    will make a companion* who will
    help* him”… So the Lord caused
    Adam to fall into deep sleep. He
    took one of Adam’s ribs* and
    closed up the place from which He
    had taken it. Then the lord God
    made a woman from the rib and
    brought her to Adam” Genesis
    2:23, NLT ]

    • The scriptures above do not only tell
    us how the female kind of man came
    into being but also reveals how God
    follows order in creating a household
    and the need for order in the institution
    of marriage. The following scripture is
    very explanatory of the essence of the
    institution of marriage*

    » [ “At last! Adam exclaimed. “She
    is part of my own flesh and bone!
    She will be called ‘woman’,
    because she was taken out of
    man.”. This explains why a man
    leaves his father and mother and is
    joined to his wife, and the two are
    united into one. Now, although
    Adam and his wife were both
    naked, neither of them felt shame.
    – Genesis 2: 23-25, NLT]

    • God gave the manual of the garden
    of Eden to the first man, Adam, giving
    him power over His creation,
    instructions and the vital warning. God
    related with the man in the absence of
    the woman, knowing and expecting
    that after the woman is formed, it was
    the man’s sole obligation to inform the
    woman of the their source being God,
    the dominion given them over creation
    and most importantly, the warning not
    to eat of the fruit as told him.

    • In every home, institution or setting,
    the important virtue that creates a
    harmonious co-existence is *ORDER*.
    The hierarchy of authority in a typical
    Christian house hold is: God > Christ >
    Man » Woman > Children. This is
    clearly outlined in scriptures.
    » [ But I would have you know, that
    the head of every man is Christ;
    and the head of the woman is the
    man; and the head of Christ is God.
    1 Corinthians 11:3, NLT ]

    • This simply means that the essential
    role of the husband is first to serve God
    through fellowship with Christ and from
    there, impact this habit to the wife who
    in joint efforts with her husband
    socialise the children in the knowledge
    of God. This is how a true christian
    home need operate. Note that the
    scripture didn’t just say God is the
    head of the man. If it was left that way,
    it would have been acceptable for a
    christian lady to marry a traditionalist
    ( because per his beliefs, he believes
    there is a God and serves him in his
    own way). It is for a worthy cause that
    the scripture goes on to clarify that the
    head of the man is God but through
    christ! It is that simple! In the plan of
    God, Jesus *must* be the foundation of
    Godly life in every household!

    • When the Bible says the man is the
    head of the woman : *** IT IS IN NO
    CHAUVINISM*** Note this carefully! It
    doesn’t mean that the husband should
    be bossy, cruel and tyrant in the
    household. It only enlightens us of how
    an effective house should operate. The
    wife should submit to his husband and
    the children should submit to both
    mother and father. In the same vein,
    the whole family must submit to God
    through Christ. The onus rests on the
    man to govern his household with the
    fear of God; the principles of
    » [ Giving thanks always for all
    things unto God and the Father in
    the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
    Submitting yourselves one to
    another in the fear of God. Wives,
    submit yourselves unto your own
    husbands, as unto the Lord. –
    Ephesians 5:20-23 ]
    » [ For the husband is the head of
    the wife, even as Christ is the head
    of the church: and he is the saviour
    of the body. Therefore as the
    church is subject unto Christ, so let
    the wives be to their own husbands
    in every thing.- Ephesians 5:23-24 ]

    • Men are also to love and show
    respect to their wives as the woman
    would. It builds a healthy family.
    » [ Husbands, love your wives,
    even as Christ also loved the
    church, and gave himself for it… So
    ought men to love their wives as
    their own bodies. He that loveth his
    wife loveth himself. For no man
    ever yet hated his own flesh; but
    nourisheth and cherisheth it, even
    as the Lord the church… Ephesians
    5: 25,28,29 ]

    • This is the more reason why a
    christian woman should be married by
    a christian man and no other. For the G
    (g)od the man serves has a hand-
    power over his house-hold.

    • This doesn’t mean that as far as the
    man of the house is a christian, there is
    no need for the woman to be Godly and
    prayerful. For those who have watched
    the christian movie, “War room”, you’ll
    get the perfect picture I’m creating of
    what a house hold should be. The
    woman, like the man, must be
    obedient to God and prayerful. I know
    of homes where the woman is more
    committed to God than the man.

    • The children must also submit to the
    authority of their parents in the fear of
    » [ Children, obey your parents in
    the Lord: for this is right. Honour
    thy father and mother; which is the
    first commandment with promise;
    That it may be well with thee, and
    thou mayest live long on the earth.
    – Ephesians 6:1-3 ]

    • Parents also have a charge to
    understand their children, relate with
    them well, spend good time with them
    and not provoke them to rebel against
    » [ And, ye fathers, provoke not
    your children to wrath: but bring
    them up in the nurture and
    admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians
    6:4 ]
    In Building a healthy christian
    home,pleasing to God, every member
    of the house plays a vital role. More so,
    the man’s role is the major part and
    needs not be overlooked at! Further
    studies on the whole of 1 Timothy 3 will
    be of great enlightment.
    » » » The summary of the whole
    message is in Colossians 3:17- 20
    » 17. “And whatsoever ye do in word or
    deed, do all in the name of the Lord
    Jesus, giving thanks to God and the
    Father by him.
    » 18. Wives, submit yourselves unto
    your own husbands, as it is fit in the
    » 19. Husbands, love your wives, and
    be not bitter against them.
    » 20. Children, obey your parents in all
    things: for this is well pleasing unto the
    » 21. Fathers, provoke not your
    children to anger, lest they be
    » 22. Servants, obey in all things your
    masters according to the flesh; not with
    eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in
    singleness of heart, fearing God;
    ~ Futher reading: |1 peter 3:1|, |1
    Peter 3:6| & |1 Timothy 3| ~

    Please read the other episodes: 2. 3.

    God be with us all.

  15. Goodness me! I see very little of the love in God in these responses.


    I’m always so surprised at how much people adore their preachers to the point of verbally abusing others. Having a megachurch doesn’t mean that any of them are preaching the word of God. The words of all men of God must be tested and checked against the word of God and His Spirit. If they are found wanting spew them out whether their name is Dag Heyward-Mills or not.

    As a Christian God’s word comes first, always. If in teaching the Word the message is diluted because of ‘cultural beliefs’ it is WRONG and should be called out. The Ghanaianisms of the preacher should not misdirect God’s word. As a man of God he is held to a higher standard on these things than is Nana Ama who is not proporting to be a preacher unless I’ve misunderstood something here??? Therefore he can and should be scrutinised on the interpretation of Gods word that he puts out there.

    Nana Ama is perfectly within her rights and the word of God to reject what she sees as false teachings of the bible. I might remind some of you that we are encouraged to do so.

    The bible doesn’t tell us to find a church, we should find true believers to fellowship with. The outrage about non-church attendance is amusing. At any point did she say she doesn’t fellowship with anybody? You might want to ask that first before jumping so deep into your condemnation. That piece of biblical advice doesn’t require a building or even a prescribed or named church/denomination.

    Also, to the person who said ‘no one cares about the authors views’ WHY ARE YOU HERE AND COMMENTING THEN?!

    My 2 cents.

  16. Nana, I came to this post from Mind of Malaka. As a Christian myself, I’m so sorry to hear that all your negative experiences have pushed you out of the church. Since you still identify as a Christian, I want to assure you that not all churches are like this. Please drop me a line on the email I used. I’d like to suggest a few places you might like to try where your soul will be properly fed. God bless.

    1. Ama, I’m on your team. I also came to this post from Mind of Malaka, and although I’m an avid listener of the Citi Breakfast Show where I enjoy listening to Bernard and Nana Ama, I never knew she was a blogger.
      Nana Ama, I share Ama’s view. Inasmuch as there are a lot of charlatans parading as ‘men of God’, and others presenting their own views as the ‘word of God’; there are indeed some churches that teach sound Biblical principles, as well as success through hard work, obedience to God’s word and also the power of God playing a role in our lives.
      Don’t give up on the church as a whole. There are good ones out there. Take care, and God bless.

    2. Also here by way of Malaka’s blog. And incidentally had same response as Freda: avid listener of Citi Breakfast Show and thrilled to find your blog.

      Been wrestling with a similar issue for a couple of months. After returning to Ghana in 2011 and church-hopping for a number of years, I finally found ‘my church’ early this year. I eagerly went through memberships classes, filled forms and joined a ministry. I was finally home (church-wise) and it felt pretty good.

      Then about three months ago, my pastor is preaching at a mid-week services and decides to go off on a tangent about why he would never allow a ‘Women’s Ministry’ to be started in his church. Now I think the crux of his explanation is that he was more interested in fostering unity than dividing people up. But the pains he took in denigrating women to get to his point left me feeling emotionally battered. There’s no point in going through the litany of attacks that were launched, we’ve heard them all before.

      What made the difference for me was that I was in church…and in church I do not expect to have to fend off sexist attacks. In church, I tend to let my guard is down while I focus on receiving spiritual nourishment. Instead I got blind-sided by swift hits to my identity as a female for upwards of twenty minutes, I was stunned.

      I have tried to rationalize the event since then, the pastor is human, he was playing to the crowd, he had eaten a bad meal (likely prepared by a woman) before he took the stage. But the effect of his indulgent tirade is that I have lost my initial enthusiasm and find myself only half as focussed/receptive to his preaching as I was before the misogynist statements.

      I ‘know’ church is about God and not an errant pastor, I ‘know’ I should not let myself be so affected by this one major episode, I ‘know’ all the logical explanations. Unfortunately my subconscious is not as discriminating and it likes to avoid pain whenever possible. So here I am with a hesitation to put myself back in the same situation to abused but at the same time realizing that I need a church family.

      Surely pastors need to at least make an effort to realize women go through a lot of crap treatment outside of church and should not have to deal with the same mess inside of it. We often come to church for little moment’s respite from the very stress, if we’re faced with it in church as well then…well, at some point you have to wonder if you might be staying put because you’re a closeted masochist or worse.

  17. Reblogged this on Ngozi Cole and commented:
    Slut-Shaming, Respectability, I sit through them rigid. I’ve learned a process called sifting-take what you think God actually says and let the pastor believe and say what he will.

  18. The mere fact that you disagree with a post does not give you any right to insult the writer. I do not agree with everything she writes but she does raise some very salient points. I do not see how verbally abusing her will make her gallop back to church! We’re in the 21st century and you are not going to agree on everything but you sure can disagree gracefully!!! You don’t need a PhD to do that!!!

  19. Growing up as a woman, doing what people said was a man’s job, I held to this from Galatians 3:26, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Women do need to take stand against sexist nonsense. Equality is valid, not inequality.

  20. Thank you for verbalising what I have felt for a long time, but haven’t been able to put into words. I left the church about 7 years ago – and I constantly struggled explaining to relatives and friends what irked me so much about it. Except for special occasions (ie. being forced by family to go to a church service on Christmas or the odd Easter, or attending church for a wedding), I don’t go to church. As someone that believes in God and self-identifies as a Christian, I honour my belief in ways like personal prayer and giving a lot to people in need. I loved this post which I stumbed upon by pure accident – thank you for sharing! It made my day.

  21. I too no longer go to church for these same reasons. I was brought up by dedicated Christian parents who made sure I went to church every Sunday. When I left home to go to university, I made sure I continued to go to church every Sunday. When I first got married, I went to church every Sunday with my husband.

    Funnily enough, I stopped going to church regularly after I had my first son, and by the time I had my second son, I had stopped completely. The thought of allowing my sons to grow up being taught all these harmful ideas sickens me.

    As at now, my husband, our two sons and I don’t go to church at all. I work hard to bring up my sons to be kind and thoughtful human beings. I teach them that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. They’re respectful, loving and self-confident. I’m relieved that my family isn’t subjected to harmful ideologies on a weekly basis.

Leave a Comment