The Christian Worldview Student Conference is a ministry of Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, Virginia. This conference is designed to bring young adults from all over the world together for good, solid, Reformed teaching. It has attracted the grandchildren of R. J. Rushdoony, the sons of Andrew Sandlin and Steve Wilkins, as well as the children of Douglas Wilson and Steve Schlissel. Not only have students come from across the United States; many have traveled from Switzerland, Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand. Conference students have been blessed by the teachings of learned men such as R. J. Rushdoony, Andrew Sandlin, George Grant, Steve Wilkins, Douglas Wilson, Gary De Mar, Steve Schlissel, and Richard Ganz, to name a few. The conference provides many young Christians with the opportunity to study and apply the tenets of God’s living Word to every aspect of their lives. By the grace of God, the Christian Worldview Student Conference will continue to be a viable means of reconstructing our society. This year’s conference attracted 325 students (excluding counselors).
What Went on This Year?
George Grant masterfully tied Scottish history to the founding of the United States. He recounted the history of early Scottish tribes and their significant role in the War for American Independence. Blood was stirred by the many suspenseful stories of men like Thomas Chalmers. These early Christian saints and heroes provide each Christian, young and old, with a clear testimony of undaunted courage and faith in the God of Scripture. Dr. Grant’s lectures undoubtedly ignited a righteous admiration for those men who have faithfully gone before us.
Steve Schlissel, the Flame-Keeper of the Covenant, delivered both stern and humorous lectures. He specifically addressed the responsibility of each Christian to recognize and maintain the antithesis between the kingdom of God and those who live in darkness. Students were forced to question their personal participation in modern trends, including body piercing and hair-dyeing. Rev. Schlissel gave hope to young Christian women who are fearful of simply becoming "house cats" by providing numerous accounts of women in the Scriptures who were intricate means of sustaining and restoring the antithesis. Young men were exhorted to remove themselves from the tomfoolery of the world and assume the responsibility of godly men. Biblical responsibility demands that each man adhere to the antithesis and present a stalwart example to those around him. Each man must become a living testimony of Christ’s headship. Rev. Schlissel admonished each individual to promote unity among believers while exercising a holy separation from the world. After discussion with other students, I firmly believe that his message is now and will continue to be acted out in the church universal.
Howard Phillips, a wonderfully intelligent and politically-minded man, brought a slightly new aspect of learning to this year’s conference. His personal testimony was extremely helpful for me and others like me who have political aspirations. Mr. Phillips offered guidelines to aid young politicians in achieving their goals. He also addressed the possible necessity of sacrificing personal ambitions in order to live Biblically. Mr. Phillips sacrificed considerably throughout much of his political career and has both cheerfully and humbly resigned public popularity to stand faithfully before the Lord. He possesses a full understanding of Biblical accountability and Christian duty. His life is a splendid example of courage and faithfulness that serves as an encouragement not only to aspiring and established politicians, but to every kingdom-minded Christian.
Gerry Wisz was one of the most insightful speakers I have ever heard. He primarily focused on economic issues with a specific emphasis on Wall Street. Although Wall Street is in need of reformation, Christians should not necessarily avoid the stock market. For many students, Mr. Wisz’s presentation was likely their first introduction to the stock market. He spoke of his personal trading and the methods of trading that are most productive. He also provoked students to reconsider the benefits of budgeting personal affairs. Mr. Wisz’s lectures forced each student to re-examine his misconceptions about Wall Street. Once again, students clearly saw that every endeavor is to be subject to Scriptural scrutiny.
Calvin Beisner addressed Christian stewardship in relation to environmentalism. Mr. Beisner exposed numerous environmental concerns as both fraudulent and grossly exaggerated. He emphasized Biblical accountability and stewardship while stressing the importance of personal responsibility rather than state action. Biblical stewardship is the necessary means of preserving and restoring our environment. God has supplied His people with scriptural guidelines that are instrumental to the reconstruction of society. Through our diligent prayer and supplication, our King will bless His covenant people in their efforts to reform their surrounding culture.
Why Is This Conference So Big?
The instruction received at the conference is profound and highly concentrated. Each student is given the rare opportunity to feast spiritually on the wisdom and understanding of our leading Reformed thinkers. This is the most attractive aspect of the Worldview Conference. We are given a great amount of intellectual and spiritual food, and we are likewise given the means to use that food so that we can produce fruit. We are treated like adults and expected to perform like adults. If young people lack Biblical armor and are inadequately trained to defend the Faith, there can be no realistic hope of capturing the culture for Christ.
The Lord has continued to bless the work of the conference. Many students, past and present, will attest to the mighty impact of the conference upon their lives. My older sister and I are examples. The conference has served a vital role in our lives and has proved to be a mighty blessing. I have been both encouraged and uplifted by those of like mind. I have developed strong friendships that will last a lifetime. My appetite and love for learning has heightened as the Lord works graciously to quicken my heart. The conference has taught me not only to meditate on sound doctrine, but also to apply that doctrine. I can honestly say that through the work of the Holy Spirit this conference has been used to further my sanctification tremendously.
The following example shows that the conference is a powerful force in the lives of others as well. There was an accident on the way home from the conference. As a result, one young lady fell into a coma for two days. When she awoke, the first thing she said was that she wanted to attend the conference again the following year. A boy suffered a broken neck and, just after the completion of surgery, expressed his desire to attend again.
This conference is a glimpse of the Christian future, and the future is bright indeed. The conference is a rally of Christ’s army. Although this conference is a look into the future of Christendom, it is also a look into its past. These speakers emulate the work of Christ and once more bring to light the work of men like Augustine, Calvin, Edwards, Giradeau, and Spurgeon. If your children are foundering in their faith because they have no direction, send them to this conference. It will help supply your children with the necessary tools to conquer the kingdom for our risen Savior and King, Jesus Christ!
Next year’s Christian Worldview Student Conference will be held July 3-7. For more information, contact Byron Snapp at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, 403 Whealton Road Hampton, VA 23666 (757) 826-5942 or [email protected].
- Zachariah Rousas Wagner
Mr. Zachariah Rousas Wagner is a Reformed Presbyterian of the Reconstructionist persuasion. He is a Southerner at heart, remaining hopeful the South shall rise again. He is a member of Reformed Heritage Church, San Jose, CA. He is also a student at Whitefield College of Florida. He may be contacted at [email protected].