Youth, Leadership & Bridging the gaps in our Community
This Sunday, February 8, 2015, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey De Leon as a special speaker to our 10.00 a.m. service, followed by a special event at 4.00 p.m. (organised in conjunction with Panamanian youth) to speak to Youth, Leaders and the general public.
Joel Guerra, our Worship & Ministry Committee Chair, had the pleasure of moderating the event, which was attended by some 50 youth of different backgrounds and walks of life, ranging from 15 to 40 years of age. Most of the hour discussion centered around problems that the youth face in Panama and possible ways in which we can be effective and positive influence to our society.
Balboa Union Church’s mission is being a bridge to all – and some discussion was given to whether this is simply a utopian or politically correct ideal or Christian.In response to the highly debated topic “whether Christianity is, or even should be, an exclusive religion or whether it can be practiced by or be a positive influence to other religious groups, Dr. de Leon responded that he firmly believed that we need to enforce the exclusivity of Jesus and the salvation He brings – Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life.
And yet, as Joel Guerra pointed out during the discussion, Jesus was and STILL IS one of the most inclusive religious figures, to the point where the only people Jesus excluded from the Kingdom of God were those religious people who thought they were they only ones who knew how to do, think and follow religion. In this sense, we have the Centurion who praised Jesus, and the Samaritans who appear in both parables and stories in the Gospels. Throughout the Old Testament we find non-Christians and non-Jews that apparently are very good people according to Paul (Job, Rahab, etc.).
This event, with a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jeffrey De Leon, allowed our Church to participate in engaging and educating our community in very important ways. We are excited to be able to support these events as they arise. For more information regarding Dr. Jeffrey De Leon, you can visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeffrey-D-De-Leon/220440508005014