I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Separate but Equal?

Titus 2:1-8: 1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

6Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

In my opinion we in general have failed miserably at implementing the ideas expressed in this passage. Honestly, we've practiced a sort of "separate but equal" approach for the last generation. I for one am as guilty as anybody. Think about it: we segregate by age throughout the body of Christ - a sort of "ageism." This is particularly eveident in the transition years from highschool to adulthood. We lose 90% of the youth within two years of their highschool graduation! We have kept them separate for 18 years - from the nursery to teen church - away from the boredom of adult "churchy" stuff. The result should be expected. What do we do? We create "grown up youth group" experiences and try to get them to stick around in familiar territory thus prolonging their inevitable departure in most cases. The problem is we unwittingly reject the dorectives of Titus 2 and miss the blessings thereof.

Back in the day young folks grew up more quickly. Now adolescence (a 20th century) invention goes on for some (guys especially) into their early thirties! Why grow up? Hey get a room in mom's basement - she does the laundry, cooks the meals & pays the bills! This means more time and money (from your part time job) so that you can purchase and master all available game systems! Not for from the truth in many places.

Our culture says worship youth. It says old people step aside and far too many seniors are willing to oblige. Hey it's just the "generation gap" (another recent invention used to divide). But, I am convinced that we need to figure out how to reconnect generationally in the body of Christ. We need every part of the body working together for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. I suggested several ideas in church yesterday and I'm sure you can come up with many good ones if you pondered it for a few minutes. We know God desires unity not fragmentation - generations working together. That's obvious from the verses above. It will only get worse unless we intentionally swim against the cultural tide. It will require deliberate efforts on both ends of the generational spectrum.

Seniors have to re-engage, take a break from nationwide RV trips and weeks in Branson and "un-retire" from kingdom work (and loosen up a little). Young folks have to stop seeing older folks as dinosaurs and instead be will to listen to them and solicit their counsel (a tighten up a little).

I could write more, I'll post the sermon link later.

Here it is.

No comments: