On Tuesday evening, my daughter was attending a ballroom dancing event on the campus of the University of Cape Town. As she attempted to walk up the stairs to Jameson Hall mobs barred her way and threatened her. Their curses and hostility were directed at anyone who was White. Vile graffiti desecrated the memorial to students who had died in the First World War and students were chanting that all Whites must be killed.
A shack was built across the middle of one of the most important roads on the university campus, disrupting traffic. Rubbish bins were being burnt.
Then members of the Rhodes Must Fall protesters invaded the residences nearby, forced themselves into the kitchens and stole food, intimidating residents and threatening Whites.
The protesters then stole priceless, irreplaceable, original oil-on-canvas framed pictures and made a bonfire of them.
The Molly Blackburn hall where the ballroom dancing was taking place was invaded by thugs who smashed glass and stole artwork for destruction. Pictures were slashed, rocks were thrown and a bonfire was made on which many of these historic portraits were thrown.
Violence and Arson
There were arson attacks that burned out one of the campus busses, another university vehicle was damaged, a police vehicle was torched and a petrol bomb was thrown into the office of the administration building, into the vice chancellor's office, causing severe damage.
When the police finally came onto the campus, rocks were thrown at them. A running battle was fought between protesters and police over the next eight hours, spreading on to the Main Road of Rosebank and Rondebosch. The Public Order Policing Services had to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob and bring the volatile situation under control.
Traffic Jams and Trauma
Many of the students and residents had been traumatised by the orchestrated chaos on campus. Capetonians who have been stuck in some of the most frustrating traffic jams in memory as a result of the disruption of traffic on the M3 motorway, which runs past UCT, have been asking what could possibly justify all this mayhem?
Racism at UCT
The Rhodes Must Fall protesters claim that the issue is about student housing and "institutionalised racism" on campus. The Vice Chancellor of UCT, Dr. Max Price, has responded that more than 75% of University of Cape Town students staying in residence are Black. He has declared that the university policy has consistently been to give preference to Black students. However, as they have 27,000 students, but only 6,600 beds available for on-campus accommodation, obviously not all students can be accommodated on campus. "Our difficulty in finding accommodation has largely been aggravated by the Rhodes Must Fall protests, because they invaded and shut down our residence offices for three days during last week and this created additional complications."
Who could possibly benefit from this irrational disruption of studies and traffic?
The image of the University of Cape Town was severely damaged by the Rhodes Must Fall chaos of last year when excrement was thrown at the statue of the founder of UCT, Cecil John Rhodes' monument. After weeks of disruptions the monument was removed. The foolishness of thinking that removing a national monument could do anything to improve studies, economics or the life of anyone was apparently missed.
Undermining Education and the Economy
What the protests did succeed in doing was disrupting studies and bringing the university into disrepute. Those who manage to complete their studies will find their degrees devalued in the eyes of potential employers because of the foolish and destructive actions tolerated, and rewarded, on campus.
Devalueing UCT and the Rand
Even more than that, reports and pictures of the hysterical protesters and mindless destruction taking place in what is meant to be a higher institute of learning in Cape Town, have undermined investor confidence in our country. It has caused many tourists to cancel their visits to our city and country, and contributed to the disastrous devaluation of our currency. Therefore, those students who do manage to complete their studies, despite the disruptions, will find that they have a devalued degree from a discredited institution and much less jobs available as a result of the undermining of investor confidence in the country and chasing away of many of the employers.
Stealing from Everyone
Those few who gain employment will find that the rands they earn have far less buying power than it did when they began their studies. When any currency is devalued it steals from everybody.
Pawns in a Political Power Play
However, it is unlikely that most of the hysterical protesters on UCT campus are aware of any of these economic realities. That they are merely pawns in a cheap political move, may be the furthest thing from their minds, but throwing excrement at statues, blocking traffic, covering monuments with black rubbish bags and burning priceless and irreplaceable works of art, are not only meaningless and ultimately destructive gestures that will do nothing to improve life, or education, for anyone, but are a terrible waste of time and energy. Especially in an institution which should be dedicated to furthering education, improving job prospects and encouraging investments in our country.
Protesting against injustice and wickedness is Biblical. Damage to property and violence is not. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…"1 Corinthians 14:33.
Most Do Not Even Know What They are Rioting About
The Bible records a riot in a city of Ephesus (Acts 19:28-32) where the people had no idea what they were actually rioting about! "…they were full of wrath…so the whole city was in confusion, and rushed…some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused and most of them did not know why they had come together." The city clerk concluded: "For we are in danger of being called in question for today's uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering." Acts 19:40
Wide Gates to Hell
Nearly 500 years ago, the great German Reformer, Dr. Martin Luther, warned: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be wide gates to hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them on the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God, must become corrupt."
Failure of UCT
The University of Cape Town has strayed far from its founding principles. From the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, to the Queer Revolution's vitriolic attacks on student representative council leader Zizipho Pae, to the Fees Must Fall protests and orchestrated chaos, and now the riots and destruction of property at UCT, it is evident that this university has failed to diligently explain the Holy Scriptures and to engrave them on the hearts of their students. Therefore, the institution as a whole has become corrupt and proved to be wide gates to hell.
The faculty of UCT have tended to promote evolutionism. The idea that order grown out of chaos. From mud, to monkeys, to man. Some kind of cosmic explosion, a big bang, led to the universe around us. Therefore, it is only logical that this has led to Social Darwinism where some seem to believe that if we throw enough bombs, burn enough things down, create enough explosions, order and social utopia is bound to arise from the ashes! "But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth, this wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exists, confusion and every evil thing are there." James 3:14-16
Of course, one must also recognise, amidst of this world war of worldviews, that communists believe in what Vladimir Lenin called "constructive chaos". Lenin declared that evolution leads to revolution. He also taught that communists must create conflict, class warfare, race war, whatever is necessary to break down the existing structures and provide fertile ground for revolution and restructuring of all of life around the communist party, leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The Battle for Hearts and Minds
Frontline Fellowship has continued to conduct outreaches on the campus, ministering to students, with literature evangelism, film evangelism, personal one-on-one evangelism, using Evangelism Explosion and Way of the Master materials to bring students to Christ. We have also engaged in debates on campus and open-air preaching where possible. Please continue to pray for our mission workers as they continue to seek to be salt and light in a dark and decaying environment.
Understand the Times
Statistically, 75% of young people from Christian homes who enrol at university stop attending church within four years. Evidently most churches, youth groups and homes are failing to adequately prepare their young people to understand the times, know whatthey believe and why they believe it, and how to defend it in argument against those who are the intractable enemies of the Faith.
Few Christians who go on campus are prepared to engage in the spiritual warfare and academic debates with situation ethics, radical feminism, the GayGB pink inquisition, socialist economics, revisionist Marxist history, secular humanist atheism, existential philosophy and the blind anti-Christian antagonism and hatred which predominate on all too many campuses. Many are gambling with their son or daughter's faith and future. "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
We strongly recommend that you, your children, your school and church screen and view these films in order to understand some of the conflicts raging on campuses:
God's Not Dead, Audacity, Evolution Vs God and The Final Frontier.
Dr. James Kennedy said that studying Dr. David Noebel's book Understanding the Times would be worth more than a college degree. Some of the textbooks that I have written for our Biblical Worldview Seminar and Summit courses are Biblical Principles for Africa, Putting Feet To Your Faith, Answering Skeptics, Victorious Christians Who Changed the World and the Biblical Worldview Manual.
Audio Visual Resources
We have also produced a series of audio MP3 box sets, including: Answering Skeptics, War Against God, Understanding History, South African History, and Biblical Worldview Summit.
Reclaim Our Campuses for Christ
If you do not want your son or daughter to be conformed to this world, but to be an effective Christian witness at school or college campus, then ensure that they are thoroughly grounded in practical discipleship, Biblical worldview, Christian apologetics, knowing how to answer skeptics and put feet to their Faith.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect Will of God." Romans 12:2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa