The Publication Committee of the P.R.Y.P.F. takes great pleasure in introducing the first issue of our new periodical into your midst. It means to them the fruit of concentrated effort put forth during the last few months to make this paper possible, the removal of what seemed at times to be insurmountable barriers, the satisfaction of having reached a certain goal. But we realize that it means far more to all the members of the young people’s Federation. To you it is the first-fruits of the youthful, yet lively and ambitious organization it represents. Not 18 months ago the Federation was organized in South Holland, IL. Not 5 months ago the second annual Convention was held in Grand Rapids, MI. Today you have your own paper. And what this means toward filling the long-felt need in our young people’s societies can only be surmised.
A Stride Ahead
The appearance of this new periodical is in accordance with the mandate which the publication committee received at the last Convention. The Federation went on record as being in favor of developing a Federation paper and laid this matter in the hands of its previously appointed publication committee to be carried out. This, in turn, is in complete compliance with the adopted Constitution. This paper is mentioned as one of the anticipated means toward realizing its purpose. And that purpose, as you may know, is fourfold:
- To unite all Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies so that they may work in close unity and secure a sense of solidarity.
- To seek the mutual edification of the members of this Federation and to strive for the development of talents as becomes Christian young people.
- To strive to maintain our specific Prot. Ref. character with a united front.
- To promote the welfare of the Prot. Ref. Churches in which we have a name and a place.
One stride toward realizing this purpose is made. And hereby Beacon Lights takes upon itself to serve this purpose.
Beacon Lights purposes to guide you on your course toward your goal. As an airplane pilot wings his way unhesitantly on his course by the sweeping rays of his beacon lights, so this paper designs to guide you on your way through this world of sin and darkness, that you may ever hold your course and unswervingly strive for your goal. Or, to use a more common, time-tried figure, as a ship at sea is in imminent danger of suffering shipwreck on some hidden shoal or treacherous rock unless the beacon lights guide it through the raging storm and murky blackness of the night, so Prot. Ref. youth must be warned of lurking heresies and threatening temptations which so easily beset them.
The young men of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The young women stand on the threshold of womanhood. Soon your place will be appointed you, wherever God may have planned to use you. And you must be ready. Whether that be in the home, or in the church, or even in the midst of the wicked world, equipped you must be, thoroughly furnished unto every good work!
Prot. Ref. young men and young women have an especially high calling. To them is entrusted the maintenance of their Reformed heritage, the truth of God’s Sovereign Grace, so commonly denied and consistently undermined in our time. That Truth cannot and may not perish from the earth, but must be carried on to the generations to come, even until the end.
May this periodical make its own contribution toward that high calling. May it actually be Beacon Lights for young Protestants.
Beacon Lights comes to you with no false pretenses. No one imagines that this is a finished product in the sense that the height of attainment has been reached. We would rather consider this the first efforts in “striving for the development of a Federation paper.” Practically, all those contributing toward this paper, with the exception of Rev. Hoeksema, are fledglings in the work and must still profit by their mistakes. Besides, we anticipate expanding the paper with more and better departments as time goes on. Therefore we invite your criticisms. The publication committee cannot receive a better token of appreciation for its untiring efforts than a large “come back” of remarks and criticism from all of our readers. Who knows but that we may soon be able to introduce the department of “Youth Speaks” in the succeeding issues.
A Word to the Parents
Although these introductory remarks are intended for the youth of our Churches who have called this periodical into existence. I am nevertheless certain that many parents would turn away from scanning these pages with a look of disappointment if no single word were addressed to them. Parents are vitally interested in the welfare of their children and believing parents are especially interested in their spiritual welfare. They want to know and have a right to know what their children are reading. Therefore, in the conviction that parents too will examine these pages I want to enlist your services. We need your support in this new undertaking. Not your financial support; in fact, we prefer that young people find ways and means to take care of their own financial obligations as much as possible and that they thereby develop a sense of responsibility. They will appreciate this paper far more if they realize that it has cost them some sacrifice. But we do need your moral support and your prayers. You can cooperate by maintaining an interest yourself and by fanning the flames of youthful enthusiasm. Discuss the contents with your children; remind them, if need be, to read and make use of it in their preparation for the society; give it your wholehearted support.
Finally, we would urge all our readers to receive this periodical as your own. Read it and reread it, ponder upon its contents, turning them over in your mind to formulate your own opinions. Do not fail to use it before attending society in order that you may be prepared for the discussion. Discuss it with your friends and get them interested. Learn to use it to your best advantage. And, last but not least, make arrangements to preserve it for years to come.
And may God cause His blessings to rest upon these efforts for years to come and forevermore.