This article really resonated with me, so I’m just going too put it out there. It’s a post called, “look up child,” about Joshua Harris’s documentary and apology tour called, “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”
For a bit of history, Joshua wrote a book as a very young man, a book he is now retracting as if to say, I once thought I knew everything but I may have been wrong and hurt some people in the process….
SAMUEL D. JAMES makes an excellent point in his article, forget purity culture, dating, and problematic Christian issues, what are we even doing worshiping the wisdom of the young?? His wording is far better and more gracious than mine, but basically he asks, “so why do we always crave the leadership of children?”
It’s a very good question indeed. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned things from children and from young people, it is just when we are looking for political insight, why do we always go consult with the youngest celebrity, and then hang on their opinions as if that is where wisdom even resides?
The churchian world has their own version of this, like when we build a cult following around a book about dating, marriage, family, and values, written by a very young man who has never even been married or had a family. Said young man should certainly be free to express an opinion or even to write a book, it is just, what is it about us that elevates such proclamations to the level of wisdom and leadership?
How can one even be mad at Joshua when all he really did was to tickle people’s ears and tell them exactly what they wanted to hear?? He was like the token young person, giving tradition and conformity a good name, lending it credence by virtue of it’s now youthful stamp of approval.
We do the same kind of thing in our churches. You know what we really need? A youth pastor in skinny jeans, who will draw in the young people, draw in the culture. Allegedly what’s really needed here is this kind of reverse discipleship, where those with the most wisdom and experience, are now discipled by the young. Like, forget honor your parents people, let’s just honor the young? They are far more hip and happening.
All in good humor here, I mean I suppose there is some value in that kind of thing, in the idea of getting somebody wet behind the ears, somebody who just doesn’t know any better, and convincing them to pastor your church. It is just, there is something to be said for the natural order of things. The natural order of things suggests that wisdom and experience actually reside in our elders, in those who have been around long enough to have learned a thing or two.
I say this all the time, it’s actually from the bible, honor your mother and father, yes even your dysfunctional, totally messed up mom and dad, because they are where all the wisdom lives. They are either going to teach you how to do life, or how NOT to do life and survive anyway. I sometimes like to joke, everybody serves in God’s kingdom. Some serve as a good example and some serve as a good warning. Study and honor that last group the most, they really got something valuable to teach you.
It’s not my intention to disparage 23 year old men who are elevated to positions of leadership and authority within the churchian world. My complaint is actually addressed to the older and the wiser, to those who inadvertently place an unjust burden on the young, who so often seem to forget, we are supposed to be the ones lighting the path before them, showing them where the potholes and sticker bushes are, sheltering them from some of the pitfalls of life…..