Thank you! Everything in me says thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.
When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth’s kings will say “Thank your.” They’ll sing of what you’ve done: “How great the glory of God!” And here’s why: God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.
When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal – don’t quit on me now.
This weekend found me at a place I’ve never been to. A place that I hope to return to someday. I attended the College Student Seminar and Retreat that the Faith Builders Resource Group puts on every year for conservative Anabaptist college students. Admittedly, I went because I had to fulfill a course obligation in order to graduate from Faith Builders. Out of approximately forty students, I was the only one who was not in college or had a definite major that I intended to pursue in college. Yes, it was one of those rare places that I felt out of place and slightly abnormal. Surrounding me were mechanical engineering students, bachelor of science students, music majors, and many prospective Registered Nurses. Egads! Though I highly disliked not being able to articulate what degree I hope to pursue in college, I enjoyed the weekend. For more details about CSSR, follow this link.
Steve Byler, the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel in Harrisonburg, Virginia, had three main sessions throughout the weekend. I greatly enjoyed these. He has a vision for education that is rarely seen in conservative Anabaptist settings and it showed in his talks this weekend. One statement that he repeated throughout the weekend was “Christianity is nothing more than Christ + culture.” He expounded further on this statement this morning. Christianity does not equate with culture and while we are disciples of Christ, we are called to live out our beliefs. How we live in obedience to Christ and in the midst of our culture is our form of Christianity. Our love for Christ must always be foremost and culture secondary. To reverse these two is to place people first instead of Christ and, in extreme cases, can lead to a cultic practice of misplaced ideals.
The weekend was more than a backslapping, rah-rah, session for the attendees. It was a thought provoking weekend that aimed at encouraging students to wrestle with their questions and grow as individuals. But more than that, students were encouraged to engage their communities in loving service without using their knowledge for selfish advantages.