The other council members were already there, Ralph Harris presiding. As John sat down, Paul Samuels rose to speak. "We need to do something about young people growing up and leaving the Sanctuary," Paul stated. "We must find better ways of inculcating young people in the truths of Christianity and protecting them from outside influences."
"Has any progress been made in identifying who is smuggling outside material in?" asked Ralph.
"We are getting somewhere," said Tom Joyce, who was in charge of security. "We suspect that there are adults who, rather than leave us, have stayed behind to corrupt others. We are checking the entry codes to see who has been going in and out of sanctuary on a regular basis."
This made John a bit nervous, because he was going in and out most frequently. But he knew he was innocent and believed God would protect him.
"I understand following the news to understand what is going on outside," remarked Joe Kent. "But there is a lot of propaganda in it. Maybe we should make a rule that no one can watch the outside news until they are over twenty-one and have been shown to be strong in the faith."
"Why don't we just force them to stay and not let them leave?" argued George Jorgenson, the newest member on the board.
"We have tried that," stated Ralph, "and it is counterproductive. All you get is a sullen, rebellious individual, who is liable to corrupt others. We work hard to try to persuade them to stay, but if that fails to convince them, it is best to just let them go."
Suddenly, their discussion was interrupted by a knock at the door. One of the young men came in and announced, "Sam Bilberry is here and wants to see the council. And he has a crowd of people with him."
Sam Bilberry was not a full member of the Sanctuary, He was allowed access, but he spent much of his time out in the world trying to reach people. He came into the room, followed by about a hundred people. And their dress and appearance marked them out as people of the outside.
"These people are new converts," remarked Sam. "They just recently come to Christ out of the world. They would like to stay here and learn and become grounded in God's truth.
"But look at the shortness of the skirts on those women," retorted George. "They are obviously still following the world."
"They are new Christians who still have much to learn," returned Sam. "All I ask is that you give them an opportunity to learn it."
"We could use some new blood," stated John.
But Ralph was busy consulting with the counselors round about him.. Ralph stood and said, "We will not accept into our midst people still conformed to the world, who could corrupt us. You must teach them our ways first, and then we will consider accepting them,"
And they went out. Back into the world.