SERIOUS ABOUT LOVING TRUTH?
‘Serious about loving truth’ was the thrust of the SALT Youth Conference at South Glasgow Baptist Church last month.
Oliver Allmand-Smith from Ramsbottom, Ali McLachlan and Conrad Pomeroy from Dundee spoke. Four delegates (below) reported on the talks.
Conquering like David
Andy Corkill: Like many others, whilst growing up I had a childish desire to be the hero: defeating the foe, saving the day, and being recognised for my bravery. The desire to be a celebrity is encouraged by society. But our bubble is burst by the example David set in 1 Samuel 16-17.
Although in the shadow of seven older brothers, David was appointed to be king. Yet he continued faithfully as normal, running errands for them and shepherding his sheep. Are we submissive and obedient, or do we expect to be served and entertained?
David didn’t want to make a name for himself. Instead, he had zeal for God’s name. David was motivated by a righteous anger! He’d silence any who mocked his God, regardless of their size, potential damage to his own reputation, or even the risk to his life.
Consequently the faithfulness of one young man led a nation to victory. It was said in this talk, ‘If we can’t get angry when we’re young, we’ll never get angry when we’re old!’
Jesus faced a greater foe than David did and his obedience brought a greater victory also. When our friends mock Jesus, how do we react?
Believing like Joseph
Cara Devereux: You don’t really expect visiting preachers to talk about sex. But it’s a serious topic, often a problem for young people living in a do-what-you-like society. It was a talk that we needed to hear.
We considered Joseph’s struggle and the life-destroying effects of sexual sin. We compared what society tells us about sex as opposed to what God says. God, in Scripture, has set boundaries for our good.
Often in sermons on sex, the preacher condemns temptation, but doesn’t show us how to resist and overcome — something that young people, serious about their faith, need guidance in.
The other part of the talk was about general temptation. It was so useful to be shown how to overcome through believing God and ‘starving’ our temptations, rather than just be lectured on the evils of sin. We split up into groups and looked at Joseph’s various temptations and his reactions; and how our best defences are knowing Scripture, accountability, and just plain ‘running from danger’.
This was a really helpful and challenging session. We considered various temptations, how we are tempted, and how to resist and live seriously for God.
Submitting Like Mary
Elspeth McLachlan: This was a clear, easy to follow and thoroughly biblical seminar. Firstly, Oliver cleared up the stereotypical misconceptions about submission. He showed that submissive attitudes are not for women only, but all Christians, and that submission is not a negative thing or a ‘dirty’ word, but a beautiful attribute. This explained, we got onto the example of Mary’s submission.
Five succinct points were given: through submission to God, we believe for the impossible; we magnify his glory; we nourish Christ’s Body, the local church; we portray the cross; and we embrace God’s mystery.
Mary was given as an example of what Christian submission should look like — most clearly exemplified when her whole ‘life’s work’, Christ her Son, was crucified in front of her.
A vivid picture was drawn describing how she must have felt. Practical application and ideas on how to actively submit to God were given. ‘Submitting like Mary’ challenged and edified those who heard it, and I would highly recommend listening to the message online.
Overcoming like Timothy
Janek Kleczkowski: This encouraged us to conquer disadvantages in the home, difficulties in the church, and deficiencies in character. For all things, the Word of God is our sufficient means to overcome (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Timothy was born into a spiritually divided home in Lystra. Though his mother and grandmother taught him to believe God, Timothy was a normal sinner, attracted by the world.
Converted through Paul, Timothy developed a good reputation in his local church and joined Paul in gospel ministry. In Ephesus, Timothy overcame difficulties in the church: false preachers, strident women and strained relationships.
Though highly regarded (Philippians 2:19-20), Timothy was not perfect. He struggled to overcome deficiencies in his character such as timidity, hesitancy and laziness. Are we still growing, targeting our deficiencies?
Timothy overcame through Scripture. Likewise, we should focus on the Word and discipline ourselves to read it daily (Psalm 119:9). We should feed on it, not as a ritual, but be fired and motivated by it (Psalm19:10); we should find Christ in it daily.
We are in a battle! The church today badly needs bold, godly young men and women.
SALT is a combined initiative of GBP Scotland and Trinity Baptist Church, Dundee. Our next conference has Mike Judge, Conrad Pomeroy and Ali McLachlan speaking, 15 September (audio, and more from: www.gbpscotland.org).