The “What’s the difference?” attitude is not a new phenomenon, but is one which is ages old. It is so old that is has existed almost as long as the now existent world. That old deluder, Satan, came to Adam and Eve in Paradise and asked the very same question.
The “What’s the difference?” attitude is one which is assumed in many areas of life and by many classes of people. Often a relativistic philosophy of life is the basic reason for this either-or attitude toward the things of this life. (This either-or attitude is nothing more or less than Satan’s lie.)
People of God, pilgrims and strangers, also are heard asking the question, “What’s the difference?”
More important still, young people of the church are also heard asking this very same question. Sometimes the question involves real intellectual ignorance but often the question is asked skeptically and involves a basic lethargy toward the truth. Often times young people will flippantly and irresponsibly avoid taking a stand on some issue simply because it is thought to be one of those indifferent or inconsequential things.
It is certainly true that we cannot ascertain stringent stipulations concerning every phase and activity of life but there are certain things which are axiomatic in the Scriptures, as they are interpreted by the Three Forms of Unity.
Basic to the propositions and assertions that I shall make in this article is a basic assumption that in almost every area of life it makes a great deal of difference how we live and why we do what we do. This is just as true for young as it is for the older generations; the same command comes to all: “Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Does it make a lot of difference to you, young people, that you are Protestant Reformed Christians living in the year 1960 A.D. or have you lived so long in the Protestant Reformed Churches and have you been so sheltered that the vigor and the fire of being Protestant Reformed is meaningless to you? Do you take for granted the fact that you go to a Protestant Reformed Church and are privileged to hear the Word of God explained as it is explained and taught nowhere else? Does your membership in a Protestant Reformed Church make you justifiably proud or are you just a little bit ashamed to tell others that you are Protestant Reformed?
I am not one of those who believe that we should lose sight of the historical perspective and forget about the past. More than thirty five years ago the Protestant Reformed Churches came into existence because the leaders of our churches were cast out because they refused to have the truth of the Bible and the confessions mitigated. There were those in our churches that refused to say that because God assumes a favorable attitude of grace to all men, therefore the promise of the gospel can be offered to all men. They further maintained over against those who taught the opposite that God does not restrain sin in the heart of the reprobate and that unrighteous, unregenerate man can do no good, not even civic righteousness.
Do you believe that these things are worth maintaining today?
Because you answer this question affirmatively then it should be understood that this maintenance be not out of mere habit and custom. The strength of our churches today lies in the strength and fervor of our youth, the church of tomorrow; therefore the truth as it is taught and maintained by our churches is to be a living part of our lives. The doctrines we are taught in catechism are the rudder of our ship and should determine the course of the ship in spite of all kinds of adverse winds and currents.
If as young people, we are willing to maintain that the doctrines as they are taught in this (Protestant Reformed) Christian Church are the true and perfect doctrine of salvation and if these doctrines constitute the rudder of our lives then we will not be stranded on the sands of relativism.
This means also that it makes a lot of difference whether we know these doctrines and its going to make a lot of difference in our lives if we think that there is any difference because only then we will work hard to learn these basic doctrines of salvation.
This also implies that we will use every avenue and every means to become more deeply grounded in the truth. It will make a lot difference to us whether we faithfully attend catechism, whether we diligently frequent young people’s society meetings whether we attend Protestant Reformed Christian Schools wherever possible, or whether the truths as they are maintained by the Protestant Reformed Churches are important in our lives and will become manifest in the kind of job that we choose, the kind of friends with whom we associate, the kind of life’s partner we choose, the kind of amusements we attend.
Some of us who read this article are thinking seriously of an occupation for life. We are faced with decisions and choices. Some positions will be outwardly lucrative and very appealing while others will not be nearly so appealing or lucrative.
Our Protestant Reformed Christian schools are faced with a severe teacher shortage and it makes a great deal of difference what kind of teachers staff our schools. Our Protestant Reformed Christian school is an extension of the Protestant Reformed Home. It can be no better than its teachers and therefore we need teachers who are dedicated to the cause of Protestant Reformed Education. Positions in our schools may not be outwardly inviting but the reward is not from men but from God. Young people, do not desert the cause of Protestant Reformed Education; the future of our schools depends upon your faithfulness and devotion to the cause.
You, who are contemplating marriage, does it make any difference whom you marry? You do not marry just to have a husband or a wife? You want to marry that you both love the same thing. If you both love the truth and both live according to the same rudder then that marriage will be happy.
It makes a lot of difference, don’t you agree?