The church is the right place for young people, says Clement Campbell
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
After six years as a Christian and with a young and growing family, 27-year-old Clement Campbell believes the church is the right place for young people.
While admitting to challenges, Campbell, who attends the Ocho Rios Seventh-day Adventist Church, in response to questions, told Family and Religion:
"I think the Church is the best place for young people to be. The Church is more than just teaching you to shun hell, the Church I attend teaches you to be a holistic person from diet practices, to family, to living right, to being a good neighbour, to being a good Samaritan. You can get it at no better place than the Church."
Campbell said while some tertiary institutions do some level of teaching on these topics, the Church has a greater reach and impact on people because of the trust that people place in the institution.
Campbell said he started visiting church with a family member some six years ago and "fell in love with it." He later got baptised.
"It has been a struggle, but I press on," he revealed. "I became a Christian for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I wanted a change of my life. Before I was a Christian, I had a whole lot of fighting and persons wanted to hurt me and so on.
At first when I started going to church, there were a lot of young people there and persons who I was familiar with before, so I found social comfort and thus I just continued."
But it's not so now, in terms of the amount of young people attending as many have turned away. Campbell believes there is one sure way to get those people back and attract others to the church.
"Speak the truth," he recommended. "Young people do want programmes and things cut to fit to how they understand stuff, which helps but nothing beats the truth. If the church do what is true they will not have problems attracting people, the young will come and the old will come."
More people in church would help solve some of the country's social ills, he argued.
"Many people speak of the correlation regarding the amount of churches in Jamaica and the level of violence, but the Bible says where sin abounds grace abounds much more. Most persons who practice true Christianity tend to be more forgiving, more loving and more caring towards their neighbours, but we have people who just choose to rebel against that and thus we see these kinds of (violent) action.
"If we have greater levels of people interest, we would have less violence in the country and have more of an open society and a trusted set of people."