Pre-Convention Challenge

We will contend that our Conventions of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies are indeed beneficial. Spiritually beneficial for the covenant youth of our churches.

What? Contend?

We do not have to shield ourselves from the truth that there have been conventions in years gone by from which it was obvious that certain activities, distinctly not “Convention-sponsored”, were of such a nature as to down-grade in the minds of many this entire, wonderful privilege which has been established and perpetuated for you, our youth. This down-grading, we would point out at once, is the result of an associative analysis on the part of many observers and, as such, is not accurate in portraying the character of our conventions as planned and carried out for you by the “Host society” and the Federation Board.

There is, however, an important matter that may not be overlooked in standing in defense of the conventions. (You understand full well, we trust, that our purpose here is to encourage as full-scale attendance at and participation in this annual privilege as is possible to attain.) We do well, we say, to remember certain things even as we respond to those that characterize your attendance at convention merely as the long-awaited opportunity to be out from your home and its parental directives and influences. We do well, to be sure, to remember this: You stand before your fellow-conventioneers, before “others” round bout, but above all before your God, as a youth of the Church of Christ Jesus, particularly now as having been called to receive, to learn and to walk according to Scripture’s truth as God Himself maintains it in our churches. All scheduling of mass meetings, business meetings and outings aside: be well aware that ALL those about you will witness your actions as a youth of that church to which has been given THE HERITAGE of the Reformed! All will witness whatever you do. There is no doubt about that. And following their witnessing of your way in convention, all will quite naturally come to some type of conclusion, some type of evaluation or analysis, of your walk at “Convention, 1964”, too. And although it is not proper at all to judge the merit of these meetings on the basis of the “social” aspects of your activities, this is, nonetheless, done. The important element here is that YOU are not disassociated from your activities, whether within or without the normal “program” of convention activities.

When you attend the convention, you are “on your own” to a large extent. Does that sound almost “too wonderful” to you as you read this? Listen once, folks. Protestant Reformed youth, who tomorrow will stand in the places of your parents as pillars in the Church of God, consider. We challenge you to have a serious discussion concerning the Convention of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies-1964, to be held, D.V., in our Hope Church before you leave home and before your societies convene. You can do that. I mean a discussion with parents, pastor, friends and fellow society members. Discuss the entire scope of conventions as you have come to know them. Discuss it all.

And finally, yet of paramount import, think of this year’s convention in which you begin to assume additional activities as youth of His Church with your God!

You dare to try that once? You are discussing your way, remember. Your behavior, your social interactions, your “fun”, your meetings, all of this. Will you see then that convention is geared essentially to the praise and glory of your Maker, wrought in this case through His youth in which He edifies them to that end? Without that purpose it is much better that we stay at home!

Now then: Should we be concerned about the opinions that others may have concerning us and the conventions? Concerning this, we want (1) never to give nor be the occasion that the name of our God is blasphemed, but (2) positively to know that our convention as a God-glorifying activity is received as such of the Most High. By His grace, show that you want this!

Let us then joyfully yet humbly attend our convention this year. And you know the theme that has been selected? Be ye holy! And although the sages of this age are going to shout that it really is getting quite “stuffy” in this column, we want nevertheless to ask this question: are you going to make the injunction of that theme a matter of prayer before and as you leave for convention?

Do you respond to our challenge?

May God richly bless you in your convention this year!