03 January 2010
This year’s YDP was held from Dec 21 to 24 at Gunung Lambak. As the name suggests, the camp was an uphill struggle, literally. Walking up and down the slopes to our room, dorms and the cafeteria was physically exhausting for some of us, more so when it was raining and the ground was wet and slippery. The mud along the road made slipping and falling very much easier. The theme this YDP was “Growing Pains”, and it certainly lived up to its name.
Nevertheless, the physical conditions of the place were not the reason the theme for this year’s YDP was so. So then, why was it themed as such? Well, firstly I think we can safely say that most of the youths who participated in the YDP were considered second generation Christians, in a sense that, we were born into a Christian family and grew up in the church, as opposed to our parents who became Christians through a missionary or an invitation. On the other hand, we are Christians as a result of the upbringing of our parents in the Lord, which is good (Eph. 6:4). However, being in such a situation, we may get complacent, taking for granted the spiritual issues which our parents struggled with some 30 years ago. Sometimes, or perhaps, most of the time, we don’t bother checking for ourselves whether these things are so.
This was what this year’s YDP was all about. The time has come for us to search the truth for ourselves. This year, each of us was assigned to a group which would be dealing with one of these topics—marrying a non-Christian, clubbing and social drinking. We were further divided into either the affirmative or the negative team, that is to say, agreeing or disagreeing that it is wrong. For the next three days, we were supposed to think and search the Bible for ourselves based on which topic and side we were on, and on the third day, were supposed to debate and present what we have learned.
Those three days of searching and learning and listening to the debates were a great eye-opener to me. As the youths, there are many things we have yet to learn and fully understand. Have we been protected within the shells of our church leaders that we have lost the ability to defend the truth?
In the debate, we all heard absolutely absurd and completely illogical arguments from the negative side. This is not unexpected, as they represent the people who, if they are untaught and unstable, twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Pet 3:15-16). However, it is worrying to see that the affirmative team could not negate these arguments thoroughly. Imagine if we were speaking to our friends out there regarding these matters and they bring up such points We would be totally put to shame if we cannot defend the truth, and if we cannot reason and convince them, how are we then to spread the gospel to our loved ones?
Brethren, these are but a shadow of things to come if we do not take up the initiative to do something about it now. One day, our friends out there will start to questions us on these issues. When the time comes (or has it already come?), will we be ready to defend the faith, or will it be a growing pain we would not be able to overcome?
As the year sets and a new year approaches, let us make fulfilling 1 Pet 3:15 as one of our resolutions! We need to start now, as there will not be a better time to do it.