2021 Opening Ceremony

Picture

A week later than planned, due to the new lock-down, Mukhanyo’s opening ceremony took place on 18 January. In the meantime, two intensive courses had already taken place and nearly all normal activities have commenced.

Good Theology for Africa
Rev. Maarten van Helden, chairman of the Mukhanyo board, referred in his opening address to Colossians 1. Similar to the time when the Apostle Paul wrote this letter, we live in an evil era, full of false prophets, false teachings and heresies. One can even expect that things may become worse. Therefore, Mukhanyo must keep the faith, be prepared and awake, and take up the challenge, not getting despondent or frustrated.
The heresy of our time is that many people believe in a god of their own making. But God reveals Himself through His Word. It’s necessary to study and teach Good Theology and to proclaim that Jesus Christ is in control. Christ must be taught and glorified as King. Africa has been and still is flooded with the prosperity gospel and many other forms of heresies. Good Theology is the only answer.

The Practical Need for Good Theology
In the principal’s address at the opening ceremony, Dr Brian DeVries underlined the needs for Good Theology, and especially the importance of training pastors and church leaders in Africa:

  • It’s estimated that there are millions of church leaders in Africa, over 85% of whom have very little Bible training or limited access to formal education. So theological ignorance among pastors is a problem and serious errors have become common.
  • Often there’s spiritual confusion regarding the syncretistic mixing of traditional beliefs with Christian practices. And even worse, Western errors – like liberal theology, unbiblical ideologies, and materialism, leading to prosperity gospel teachings – have greatly increased this confusion.
  • This is why the Mukhanyo team passionately serves our students in southern Africa – we work hard to equip pastors and future church leaders with the necessary tools to study God’s Word themselves. Local church leaders need to confront unbiblical teachings and practices with God’s truth faithfully applied in contextually appropriate ways.

Therefore, Mukhanyo must continue to be an academic institution with a missional heart, as a multi-campus institution of higher education with a decentralised network of training centres across South Africa and beyond.

In current circumstances, Mukhanyo’s immediate challenge is to navigate COVID-19 distractions so that quality teaching and mentoring can continue. Another priority is to improve the technology and support systems for lecturers and students, as well as introducing additional focus areas of study such as the new education modules in the Higher Certificate in Bible Teaching. Other matters for special attention this year will be media management adjustments, increased pension contributions for paid staff, and the provision of more than R1 million for student bursaries.

Dr DeVries concluded his address by recognising that 2020 was a difficult and unusual year, but that the Lord graciously provided. We all trust that God will provide for Mukhanyo’s needs in 2021 as well. “We thank Him and honour Him because He does great deeds”.


Leave a Reply