Christians Under Fire on Campus PDF Print E-mail

A major battle in the World War of Worldviews is developing on the University of Stellenbosch.   Stellenbosch University is recognised as one of the most important universities in the country.  Most of the prime ministers and presidents of South Africa in the 20th century came from this university. 

An incredible media campaign has been launched against a prominent Christian church on campus which, according to the Sunday Argus (4/11/07), is an “evil” “cult”, “brain washing”, “impressionable students.” 

The Sunday Argus article entitled “Religious Sect Brainwashing Maties – controversial Shofar Church slammed by university lecturers for fundamentalist teachings” quoted the former Head of the Journalism Department George Claassen (who’s also the Director of Skeptic South Africa) as declaring: “something immoral, unscientific is taking place on the campus…it is called Shofar…” 

According to the article, websites have been set up against the church which is a registered student organization approved by the Student Representative Council.  The local campus newspaper Die Matie had published an attack on the church, and a documentary film maker, Jan Dekker (who has the court interdict against him to prevent him from coming into contact with a female member of the church, who claims he has been stalking her) has declared his intention to make a film called “The Devils Church.” 

The Sunday Argus article quotes university lectures and students as describing the church as a “fringe cult”, “fundamentalist”, “violating…human rights”, preaching “unwarranted demonic fear of brimstone, fire and hell” and “brain washing”, “impressionable students.” 

Dr Juri van den Heever of the Department of Zoology condemned Shofar because “they have misread and been misinformed about the Bible.  It is not a literal handbook but a moral one.”  As evidence that “Shofar is evil and must be stopped” the article referred to its teachings on tithing, rejection of evolution, teachings that Believers should not date unbelievers, and that the universe is only 6,000 years old. 

In the first sentence, the Argus article claims that the issue is about “fighting for the hearts and minds of impressionable students.”  Without a doubt there is a World War of Worldviews raging on our university campuses.  But, to any unbiased observer, it should be clear that the brainwashing is actually going on in the classrooms, not in the Christian fellowships on campus. 

As Taryn Hodgson, of Africa Christian Action, wrote in response: “I could only laugh at the absolute hypocrisy of the article ‘Religious Sect Brainwashing Maties’…. Universities such as Stellenbosch are the ones brainwashing impressionable students with their evolutionary fairy tales for adults (you came from nothing and you’re going nowhere, from goo to the zoo to you) and forcing their moral relativity down students throats…  If the Sunday Argus really believes in free speech, I challenge them to allow Shofar Church to publish an article of equal size and prominence in response.” 

If you would like to write to the Sunday Argus in response to their article, their address details are: e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; fax (021) 488-4793; address: Sunday Argus, P.O. Box 56, Cape Town, 8000. 

According to the Sunday Argus article some members of the Shofar Church staged a walkout on an evolutionary lecture at the campus.  (Although the Shofar Church spokesperson contacted didn’t know of any such action.)  From the massive overreaction of the media, it would appear that to walk out of a lecture on evolution is “blasphemy!” and “treason!” to the new state religion of Humanism. 

Evolutionism is being propagated with all the religious fervour and evangelistic passion of a cult.  As Ben Stein’s new film: Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed documents, evolutionists are waging a war of intimidation, persecution and career destruction against any scientist who dares to question the view that all life on earth is a result of mere random chance and natural selection.  Most of what is being presented as science in the average university would more accurately be described as atheistic propaganda and anti-scientific prejudice. 

However, universities have not always been the temples of secular humanism and cesspools of moral decadence that they all too often have degenerated into today.  There was a time when universities were centres of Biblical Reformation.  The very name “university” testifies to its Christian origins.  Uni Veritas means one Truth.  However, most professors today don’t even believe that there is an object of truth, let alone that it can be known.  If these Humanists want to be intellectually honest, they should go out and open up a polyversity, a diversity, or an adversity.  However, universities are a fruit of Christianity. 

The greatest universities in the world: Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Heidelberg, Basel and Wittenberg, were all founded by Christian ministers.  Some of the greatest Reformers in history were university professors including: Professor John Wycliffe of Oxford University (it was Wycliffe who first translated the New Testament from Latin into English and mobilized the Lollards as the field workers of the Reformation to preach throughout England), Professor John Hus, the Rector of the University of Prague, Professor Martin Luther of the University of Wittenberg, John Calvin the Founder of the Academy of Geneva, the English Bible translator, William Tyndale who was burned at the stake for the crime of translating the Bible into English, and Jonathan Edwards, the first Principal of Princeton University. 

What has happened that such universities, once renowned as centres of Biblical Reformation and Spiritual Revival, could have been hijacked by Humanism? 

There is much that is immoral and unscientific taking place on university campuses, but it is the result of Secular Humanism.  There really is a World War of Worldviews on our university campuses.  The battle is “for the hearts and minds of impressionable student.” 

The Bible warns us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2: 8 

Statistically up to 75% of students who come from a church background stop going to church by the time they have finished university. 

Parents and pastors, are your young people prepared for this World War of Worldviews raging on the university campuses?  Do they know what they believe and why they believe it?  Can they defend it in argument?  Have they been effectively trained in soul winning?  Have they been prepared for the hostile secular environment that all too many universities today are?  Do they understand Secular Humanism and Evolutionism?  Do they know how to cut the heart out of the false arguments of these anti-Christian ideologies? 

We need to support campus ministries, ensure that our young people participate in the Biblical Worldview Summit, obtain great books, CDs and literature from Answers in Genesis, Summit Ministries, Christian Action and The Reformation Society to counter the anti-Christian propaganda on campus.  There are some tremendous films that can be shown on campus including: What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, and The Da Vinci Delusion produced by Coral Ridge Ministries, Amazing Grace, How Shall We Then Live, The Way of the Master, and the various Answers in Genesis films. 

Our universities should not be doomed to decadence.  By God’s grace, they can once again become centres of Biblical Reformation.  We need to thoroughly prepare and equip our young people to be Salt and Light in the decadence and darkness of Secular universities – to win souls and transform campuses for Christ. 

For all those concerned to be faithful and effective in university ministries I would recommend that you obtain Mind Siege, The Battle for Truth and Understanding The Times by Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, Answering Skeptics and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? by Dr. James Kennedy, Evolution Exposed and The Answers Book by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, Make A Difference – A Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa from Africa Christian Action, and The Greatest Century of Reformation.  All of these materials are available from Christian Liberty Books, P.O. Box 358, Howard Place, 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,   Website:,  Tel: (021) 689-7478. 

As Christians who are under fire on the university campuses, let us be faithful in supporting them in prayer, and practically.  This is a Spiritual war.  We need to be informed, interceding and involved. 

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may approve what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:2 

If you would like to write to the Sunday Argus in response to their article, their address details are: e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; fax (021) 488-4793; address: Sunday Argus, P.O. Box 56, Cape Town, 8000. 

To read the full article from the Sunday Argus (4 November), "Religious sect 'brainwashing' Maties", click here.


Dr. Peter Hammond

Africa Christian Action

P.O. Box 23632 Claremont 7735

Tel: (021) 689-4481

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




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