Despising Our Youth

I truly can see this topic from both sides. I know what it is like to be despised because of my youth. And I often do despise our youth. I admit it, it’s not a very nice thing to admit, but it’s the truth. Our youth may be the death of us, literally.

First of all, I’ll address being despised for my youth. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I’m miffed. Like, really miffed. (Yes, I did just use “like”, just like a teenager, like, totally, yeah, wasn’t that, like, whoa, totally awesome.) One Wednesday night, I visited a fundamental, conservative church with my best friends. We went to speak to the youth pastor about talking to the youth group about our Higher Ground 2009 conference. The dialogue went something like this:

Emilie: We wanted to see if you or we could speak to the youth group about a conference we’re holding.

YP: Okay, what church is this at?

Me & Emilie: New Life Church. (We often say things in unison.)

Me: *hands him a flyer*

Emilie: Check out the website, see if it’s something you’re interested in and let us know if we or you can talk to the youth group.

YP: *pause* Is this an invitation?

Emilie: Yes, but one of the things we’re pushing is individuals. If you want, the youth group can come as a youth group but we’re really looking at individuals.

YP: Okay, well, thank you, I’ll check it out. *chuckles*

Then we walked away as he chuckled. ‘Twas an odd experience. So in that sense, we’re despised for being different, for raising above the standards set before us.

Anyway it shouldn’t have surprised me judging by the teenagers I saw there. Sitting in the back row, with their arms crossed, in white skinny jeans and lime green belts, whispering to their friends, and running out of the building before the pastor could say “amen” in the closing prayer. Eventually, we too, made our ways outside and there they are, hanging on each other, giggling and walking around. This is their youth group? This is what we’re inviting? It is very hard not to judge, I discovered. I try to keep in mind that all of those kids are just like me, they just haven’t been trained like me. Another helpful thing to remember is maybe these kids are the ones who need a conference like our own the most.

Treat a teenager like an adult, he’ll quickly learn to act like an adult. Treat a teenager like, well, a teenager and he’ll act like a teenager. This is pretty self-explanatory, but to further elaborate, it seems like the YP treats teenagers like they shouldn’t hold conferences. So they don’t. He treats them like they don’t care about the church. So they don’t. He treats them like they won’t read their Bibles, so they don’t. You see what I’m saying? They don’t act that way because they’re rebellious little brats, they act that way because that’s what their YP expects. (And because, quite frankly, it’s just that much easier.)

Mind if I rant for a while? Our youth is so lukewarm, and not only because that’s what’s expected. We’re lukewarm because it’s natural. If we’re Christians we’re not natural men. This is the difference. Youth should take it upon themselves to change the world despite the expectations. So many live double lives; giving all the right answers to the right people, but still doing what it takes to fit in with the world. We should always, always live the same, as if Christ were standing among us, because He is.

These are really random thoughts. I’m not refining it (at least not as of yet) because I’m just ranting and getting my thoughts down. 🙂

By the way, what is the big deal with IFB churches refusing to associate with other denominations? It’s an odd concept for Christians to hold onto so firmly. If your congregation is so easily swayed to totally stop believing in Christ (after all, that’s the only important prerequisite) for attending an AG church, then something’s wrong, obviously. If you’re actually going to church, it’s important to know where you stand doctrinally, but for Bible studies, gatherings, conferences, etc., it’s probably actually beneficial to have several different denominations represented. I know it helps me to learn and grow in who I am in Christ.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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~ by neverxxforsaken on August 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Despising Our Youth”

  1. In my experience I have found a few (very few) IFB churches open to anyone outside. This distrust even reaches from church to church. IFB pastor A doesn’t trust the recommendation of IFB pastor B.

  2. Good read. Again. 😉

    Many IFB churches are afraid of sheepstealers. 😛
    Also in some, if you do not hold to the exact same beliefs as they do (it does not matter if you claim the name of Christ) you are of the world and must be seperated from.

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