The Good News Theological Seminary has held its 25th graduation ceremony in Accra with 48 students passing out.
The event was held on the theme: “Ministering with Integrity in the midst of Nominal Christianity and COVID-19 Challenges.”
Of the 48 students, 24 pursued a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry, 10 offered Bachelor of Theology, and 14 certificates in Pastoral Ministry.
Reverend Professor Benjamin Abotchie Ntreh, Dean of School of Human Developments, Heritage Christian College, who was the guest speaker, reiterated that a nominal Christian was no better than a fake Christian.
He explained that the Church was absent in the society or at best present in name only and that the sad aspect of the problem was that most Christian folks were unable to accept their responsibility for their nominalism.
He noted that rather than blame themselves for the kind of Christian lifestyle that they exhibit, the nominal Christians blame the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors for the wrongs with their style of Christianity.
Rev Prof Ntreh said ministering to persons, who had come to the saving knowledge of Jesus but had fallen into nominalism, was a very difficult task.
“During his ministry, Jesus taught his disciples that they were to be a people whose lifestyle was going to be a reflection of his teachings”, he added.
Rev Prof Ntreh said the lifestyle of Jesus’ followers was to be a model for the people around as captured in Jesus’ teaching in which he exhorted the disciples to be the “salt and light” of the earth”.
He said since time immemorial, salt was connected with purity and used as a preservative.
“Thus, Christians cannot be anything less than examples of purity; be able to preserve society so that it does not decay and also to give taste to things around them”.
The Dean described Christians who could not do these things as nominal Christians, saying, “or to put it bluntly, that Christian is fake”.
Rev Prof Ntreh, therefore, urged the graduands to minister to their audience with the genuine gospel that Jesus taught his disciples and which they taught the early church.
Rev Dr Daniel Okoh, Governing Council Chairman of Good News Theological Seminary, who tasked the graduands to proclaim the kingdom of God, also noted that they were still on the younger side of age and had many more years of ministry.
“I am encouraged that even in this generation that many seem to be moving away from the path of truth, we still find people who are still interested in the things of God and not only showing interest but are committed to becoming servants, who will go into the field to make disciples of all nations.”
Rev Dr Okoh said the certificates the graduands had acquired was not a license to manipulate the intelligence of their listeners but to train and to make disciples.
Prof Thomas A. Oduro, President of the Good News Theological Seminary, said the Seminary equipped the ministers and church workers to offer qualitative ministry to their members.
He said the courses were being run weekdays and weekends, adding that “it is our prayer that church leaders will enrol more wards to study to combat religious charlatanry, false teaching and unbiblical promises that make people happy but without any basis.”