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Entertainment is the amusement, pleasure or instruction derived from conversation, discourse, and argument. It is the pleasure which one receives from anything interesting which holds or arrests our attention.

Whether alone or in a group, at home or away, young people have a desire to be entertained. Entertainment to break monotony of daily toils may be all right, but how about the evenings the Young People’s Society meets? Is there something more interesting then, too? Does a party (of any kind or description) keep us from going there? We, as people of God, certainly cannot have more pleasure or instruction anywhere else, than to study and search God’s Word. With this in mind, our entertainment will never be first, but always last. We must show by what we do and by what we do not do, whom we are. We should be distinguishable from the world even in our entertainment. The problem is not, “Is there sufficient entertainment?” but “How shall we as Protestant Reformed youth entertain ourselves?”

Today we live in an extremely evil age, and sin is rapidly increasing. Worldly entertainment such as auto racing, drinking, and attending theaters, is being practiced by young people who have been brought up in the sphere of the church. Many indulge in these various pleasures on Sunday as well as week evenings, although some may take time to attend church services or Young People’s meetings first. The latter two, not only are corrupt in themselves, but also require unnecessary buying and selling on the Lord’s Day. Do we find pleasure in these? I think it better, that we do not classify the above as entertainment.

I think we can get a group together at someone’s home and find some good indoor entertainment. Or suppose we are to find entertainment from conversation, discourse, and (or) argument. Think of one or more of those questions that time and again arise in our minds. Get the group of young people together and discuss it. This way, we can enjoy ourselves, probably be instructed, and possibly amused.

As far as outdoor entertainment in winter is concerned, ice skating and sledding are fine. It is a splendid way of getting away from all winter indoor monotony, whatever your work may be, whether it be at home, school, or office. It is good physical exercise as well.

Some of us like to read. This is very timely entertainment. One may receive much knowledge and wisdom by reading. The main question is not “How much do you read?” but “What do you read?” If you plan to spend some time reading, what do you reach for first, the sport page, the funnies, or possibly the beauty columns? Or do you pick up your daily paper, quickly read the headlines of the front page and cast it quickly aside with little or no thought. I hope our reading does not consist of only this. It will profit us little or nothing. But I hope we are eager to reach for the “Beacon Lights,” “Standard Bearer,” or some good book, wherewith we may enlighten our minds and benefit our souls.

Many of us listen to the radio much of the time. What then do we listen to? News, music, and stories.

Though it may not be thoroughly entertainment, we should listen to the news. We know most of it is corruption either in our own country or abroad. By hearing it daily, will remind us that the time in which we live is marked by evil. We must remain here for a time in the world living as pilgrims, but not of the world, lest we perish with it. The world will constantly increase in corruption and sin. But the Church need not fear, but look steadfastly to the coming of the Lord of glory.

Music? What kind? “Entertaining music,” you say. Music that is the product of the ungodly, that the world entertains itself with?

Oh, yes, at Christmas time they sing carols and Santa Claus songs often on the same program. On rare occasions throughout the rest of the year the same principle is used. We cannot mix God with the world. Aside from our “Reformed Witness Hour,” religious programs in word and song are apt to lead astray. Let us be on our guard!

“I just can’t miss that story.” Oh, yes, dramatic performances. Over radio you can’t see the performance; still the principle is wrong. We are given one life to live to the glory of God. We may not imitate sins of other people to entertain, nor be entertained by such. On television and at dramatic performances you see these things, so much the worse. Many programs over radio are only a means to bring the sound of the world into the home. Television, besides the latter, brings the sight as well.

When alone or as a group, young people enjoy singing. What then do we sing and what is our motive, to sing to God or to men? Today the world has many pleasing tunes, and words to them that are hatred to God, and full of unbelief. Others, so-called hymns, have a form of godliness, but deny the true Christ. There are countless Negro spirituals and modern hymns that are sung merely because of their pleasing tunes. Do we move the Psalter aside to sing any of these? I think this is done all too often. Yes, we may and should sing hymns, but we should be careful as to what we sing. We should sing nothing that is untrue.

True singing is from the regenerated heart to God. When we sing, let us not sing for entertainment only, but as a means to praise God with our lips. Let us think of the beauty of the words of our Psalter, remembering that they are scriptural. All that we sing, should be such that is to His glory that through our singing, God is praised and glorified.

All the world does is to satisfy its sinful and evil lusts and desires. How is it possible for the child of God to have pleasure in walking in the evil of the world?

We, Covenant young people, have been brought up in Christian homes and schools. Some of us even had the privilege of attending our Protestant Reformed schools.  We have been and are being taught the truth concerning the Scriptures and confessions. As regenerated children of God, by His grace, we love this truth, and hope to be instructed further therein. Therefore, we should have no pleasure in the darkness of the world, but try to pattern our lives so that others seeing our walk of life will know we are not of the world, though the approval of men, we will not gain. Hence, we should not find entertainment in and with the world, but in the midst of those we love in Christ.

The evening of Sunday, October 30, a Reformation Day program was held in the Hull Memorial Building. This program was sponsored by the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies of Hull and Doon. After the prelude by Harriet Hoksbergen, George Hoekstra, the chairman of the evening, read Scripture and opened with prayer. The program was continued by singing several Psalter numbers and “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Bernice and Delores Bleyenberg sang a duet entitled, “Remember Now Thy Creator.”

The main number on the program was a Reformation address by the Rev. J. A. Heys. Here is a short synopsis.

When we hear the Reformation story of Luther and the papal bull and the ninety-five theses that he nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church, it may seem as though God should thank Luther for something. But this is not the case; Luther still felt indebted to God. God was not only in Luther, but He was in all the regenerated elect of that day.

Back of all the Reformation is “Luther’s Quest for Search of Justification.”

Luther was born to devout and strict parents, which belonged to the Catholic Church. Luther was impressed that God demanded obedience. He knew rebellion and sin were punished in hell.

As a child, Luther was slow in learning. Later, he became very brilliant and entered law school.

Luther found joy in the truth and did not keep it to himself, but told others of it too, even as the shepherds of Bethlehem told the glad tidings. By grace he found peace of being justified by faith.

Luther never expected a split in the church. He was not proud and rebellious to set the church in turmoil, but God intended it to relieve the Church from the bond of the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a fruit for us. The church of today enjoys peace to know and believe that they are justified by faith and have peace with God. The truth makes us free. Today we stand in the same joy as Luther of being justified by faith.

He engrafted us and made us one plant with Him, and frees us from the terrors of hell. God gives us proof by the sacrifice finished by Christ’s blood. In sovereign election, we are engrafted to Christ, and by faith partakers of Christ and all His benefits.

Following the address, Sidney Stellinga sang a solo entitled, “The Love of God.” The audience sang a Psalter number, during which an offering was received. The Rev. H. C. Hoeksema of South Holland, Illinois, closed the meeting with prayer, after which the Doxology was sung.

 

The Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies of Doon and Hull are now holding combined meetings frequently.

On October 14, 1955, the Choral Society of Northwest Iowa began a new season of work. We have planned to prepare for a Christmas program.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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