Randy Abbey, the host of Good Morning Ghana and the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper engaged in an extended exchange on the conduct of Reverend Father Balthazar Obeng Larbi, the Anglican priest who kissed three girls of the St Monica College of Education.
In principle, they both admit that the conduct of the pastor was wrong but the point of divergence was the grounds that informed the actions of the priest.
Pratt, despite admitting to not believing in the Bible, referred to Biblical quotes as possible justification for the actions of the priest.
According to him, Reverend Obeng Larbi was only practicing what has been stated in the Holy Bible.
On the other hand, Randy Abbey said he believed that, premising the actions of the priest on religion or faith is giving people the free pass to behave anyhow so far as they find reason in the Bible.
He warned on the August 18, 2021 edition of the programme about the dangers not contextualizing the circumstances within which the statements were made in the Bible.
Read their exchange below
Pratt: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,I think it is utterly irresponsible for anybody to encourage people to take of their mask to engage in kissing in the manner in which I saw it. From the point of view of COVID, I think this is an unpardonable irresponsible act. I have also seen references to Corinthians and Romans which actually encourages Christians to be kissing as an expression not as a sexual act but an act of faith and extension of ….
Randy: Did the Bible say Chaplains can kiss?
Pratt: Not the chaplains, but the Bible says Christians can greet themselves by kissing and hugging.
Randy: But not mouth-to-mouth kissing
Pratt: In the Bible it is described as holy kiss.
Randy: But what kind of kiss is that? People kiss the back of the palms. Whoever uses that scripture as a justification for any such thing has lost a few screws up there.
Pratt: But this is the problem with scripture. This is the problem and we all know how scripture has been interpreted. There is a portion in the Bible which urges people to sell their garments so that they can buy salt to protect themselves.
Randy: People don’t take these things out of context.
Pratt: Whose context?
Randy: You must always contextualize these things. If you read, you’ll get the context.
Pratt: Another person reads the Bible and he gets a different context from your context.
Randy: For everything that is written, you can decide to use it to suit whatever you want. You should look at the mindset of people. There is a pastor who was messing up and heard that some young people had decided to come at him. There was meeting and he spoke and asked all of us here ‘do we know King David and the number of wives he had?’ Then they mentioned. How many concubines then they mention ….
Pratt: (References a newspaper report that cites aspects of the Bible.) Romans 16: 60 and then 2nd Corinthians 13: 12. It will be interesting to see what is written there. The real problem is that in the final analysis, we are all to interpret the scripture on the basis of the faculties we’ve been endowed so everybody takes the scripture and runs with it to the extent that we’ve had the Jesus Christ of Dzorwulu who read the Bible and concluded that God is against bathing, brushing your teeth and wearing sandals..
Asked why he was entertaining people with warped and fringe ideas, Pratt responded: “Because I don’t want to be the Pontius Pilate.”