GYC 2009: Earth and Fire (no wind)
Happy new year everyone! Here’s the Friday recap.
Pink strings, Elephants and the 3 dudes in the fire.
If you have been in the church as long as I have you pretty much figure you’ve drained as much from the story of the three hebrew boys as is humanly possible. So I am gonna be honest and tell you my eyes glazed over just a tiny bit when our devotional speaker Sebastien Braxton asked us to turn to that famous spot in Daniel 3. But something old became something new as we reflected on Nebuchadnezzar and the golden image.
Braxton started by pointing out that the image King Neb’ saw in his dream was made of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay. But when Nebuchadnezzar had the same image made, he created it in full gold in defiance to God’s revelation that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom represented in the image by the gold would only last for a time. “Nebuchadnezzar is perverting the revelation of God to fit what he wanted it to.” Do we do that? When God’s revlation is not pleasing to us, do we set up our own images of gold? If we do (and I know I have) then we are in defiance of God, just as Nebuchadnezzar was.
Braxton further pointed out that when we do pervert something that God has revealed to us, we also negatively affect others. In so doing we become agents for the devil. Sounds harsh. But is it really? How many good people have we seen become agents? Eve in the garden, when she persuaded Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit, Peter to Jesus when he objected to Christ’s statement about His impending crucifixion. It happened before and it will happen again. But that was just object lesson 1.
In looking into the story of the 3 Hebrew boys, we realize that they boldly stood for God, probably because they had decided before the crises that it was what they were going to do. As youth we were encouraged to decide to be 100% unAshamed of Christ.
For object lesson 3, Braxton shared a story of an Elephant in a zoo who was tethered by a flimsy pink string on one ankle. When a curious boy asked why the elephant did not just break the string and escape the zoo keeper explained that when the elephant was only a baby he had been secured by a strong chain, and over the years he had kicked and kicked against the chain but gotten nowhere. By the time he was fully grown, he had become so used to being restrained that he no longer even tried to kick against his restraints. He had been so defeated that a mere pink string held him back. We were urged to stand boldy, determined to be unAshamed Christians even if we face repeated discouragement, even if we face death, even if we are alone. It is time for us to break the pink strings.
Why the old still makes sense and the new doesn’t
2009 saw the resurfacing of the creation vs evolution debate with the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. At our Friday evening plenary I was saddened to learn that there are some who believe that God did not create the earth in 6 literal days – including persons within our own adventist family. As David Asscherick underscored the historicity (his word – not mine) of Genesis and the accuracy and relevance of the first 11 chapters in confirming what we believe I began to wonder more and more why this is even still a debate. Furthermore, he pointed out that there can be no marrying of the two to create a happy compromise. To do so we would need to re-evaluate:
- How we understand the bible
- how we understand God (since it would make what He said in the bible vague at best and erroneous at worst)
- the nature of the law
- the nature of the sabbath command (if sabbath is a memorial of creation)
- the nature of death and sin (evolution by its nature necessitates death and if Adam and Eve evolved into their human forms then it would mean death preceded the sin in the garden)
- the idea of salvation (how or why would God rescue us from death if it is part of His cosmic scheme of the development of beings?)
- the nature and purpose of the adventist church
- the works of Jesus Christ
- Ellen White’s prophetic ministry
…just to name a few.
He also gave the reasons we must reject evolution:
On the basis of Biblical Fidelity or our complete regard of the truth of the Bible
Prophetic Fidelity (Revelation 10)
- On the basis of Biblical Fidelity or our complete regard of the truth of the Bible
- Prophetic Fidelity (Revelation 10)
- Scientific Grounds
You will have to listen to the presentation yourself for the details. The foundation principle is however that we were created uniquely and thoughtfully by an amazing God in his own image to glorify him and worship him. And it is an act of worship to live for our creator.
What a way to start the sabbath – through the celebration of our creator.
Watch the main sessions live online at http://gycweb.org/.