GYC: Day 3
“The Fear of No Fear” was the message delivered by Justin Kim for our early morning devotion. With Acts 4:13, 29 as the contextual background, Kim discussed how today’s youth have a lot of potential, but we are simply paralyzed with fear. This theme of spiritual paralysis seemed to carry throughout the rest of the day. Kim ended his message encouraging GYC participants to understand the big picture, God’s mission and have no fear. We can no longer justify fear with intellect. We must claim the message of Joshua 1:5, and stand boldly as the earth comes to an end.
After devotions and breakfast, we had two more morning seminar sessions. I attended Sean Pitman’s “The Emperor Has No Clothes: Creation vs. Evolution” seminar, and was hooked. I stayed for the second seminar as well. He covered the scholarly scientists on both sides of the debate, and gave a solid basis for intelligent design and its proper role in science. One of the interesting questions posed by Pitman in discussing how we can detect humans in nature by the manner in which they manipulate nature was this: “Has God acted in a way in which we could detect Him?”
The second seminar session for Friday was entitled “The “Best Arguments Against Intelligent Design.” Pitman presented the following arguments against ID:
1) ID answers everything, and therefore nothing
2) ID is thinly disguised creationism
3) ID uses “God of the Gaps”
4) ID proposes no testable falsifiable predictions that have not already been disproven
5) No intelligent God would have done it [creation] that way
He then proceeded to shoot down each of the above arguments with scientific arguments way over my head. It was so encouraging to see a Seventh-day Adventist scientist present intellectual and scientific refutes to evolution. Powerful. Visit his website here: DetectingDesign.com
We finished up the last of 6 seminar sessions spread across two days around noon on Friday. Radim Passer, owner of Passerinvest Group shared his testimony during the plenary. Passer suffered many tragedies after giving his life to Christ. His first child passed away at 9 weeks old, his company was stolen from him, and then those same thieves arranged for his murder. Passer suffered a severe car crash, and his wife left him for another man earlier this year after they had another child. Passer shared “Jesus Christ is the only friend with whom there is always a 100% guarantee He will never betray us.”
Friday afternoon, time was allotted for Sabbath preparation. This included picking up box breakfast and box lunch kits, posting a “Do not disturb” sign on your hotel room door, etc. We were instructed to leave notes for housekeeping to come in and just read a tract for 5 minutes. Then, GYC hosted Interact sessions where participants could go and actually talk and meet with presenters and other people within their region to exchange and learn about resources for various ministries.
Sabbath evening opened with a “Something’s Happening” segment where we heard about two books GYC was promoting: Not For Sale and For This Purpose. These were marketed as good books young SDA’s will actually want to read. I picked up both books at the discounted rate, and am glad to take the blessing back home with me. We also heard from Doug Batchelor who announced Cosmic Conflict will be coming out next Summer. This is a DVD similar to Final Events, but way better.
Randy Skeete came back with a sermon entitled “Message or Method.” “I love you,” Skeete proclaimed to the GYC audience as he settled in behind the pulpit. After that previous night’s message, it was a great sentiment to share. Skeete joked, “You should know I love you, because I placed my life on the line last night by giving that message.” The message that followed was so strong and heart wrenching. Skeete declared that the SDA church is different from any other church primarily due to the Three Angels Message. He compared the church to the Jews who were distinguished by their message, not because they were numerous, not because they were righteous, but because of the oracles God gave them. God had confidence that they would carry out the message, just as SDA’s are special because we have present truth God has entrusted us to proclaim to the world.
Skeete continued, “Message is more important than method. Method has its place, but what distinguishes us is message.” Skeete’s message really touched my heart, and has motivated me to go back and study what I profess to believe. His stern and direct messages are tough to sit through, but so necessary at this stage in life. We don’t tend to hear messages this direct, straight to the point each and every Sabbath – this is what we need more of, honest Truth.
There’s been this theme at GYC. It’s not about being conservative, it’s about moving away from the extreme “God loves you, end of story. Don’t worry about getting everything else in check according to His law,” and towards a more balanced position of obedience in love. Honestly, I’ve been tired. I’ve been drifting, and if it weren’t for this trip I’m not sure anything anyone could have said or done anything that would have hit home like GYC. It’s like someone from Europe expressed, “GYC peels away distractions in youth ministry and gets straight to the point.”
Remember you can get GYC recordings at www.audioverse.org