Feeling disconnected from older believers

Salluz

You mean we can change these titles?
Has anyone else noticed a total disconnect between older and younger believers? It's something I feel even on the forum here sometimes. It's incredibly discouraging to hear people I respect say everyone in my generation hates God and doesn't value the whole bible.

At times, I feel like many older people are so entrenched in tradition and will only respect someone that follows that tradition. Someone tell me where in the bible it says you have to dress up to go to church. Tell me where in the bible it says you have to be clean shaven and wearing a suit and tie to be a good pastor.

Paul said nothing is unclean in and of itself, but I hear all the time that any non acoustic music is satanic. Why do older people berate younger believers for not reading and caring about the bible when so many beliefs are based on tradition over the Word of God? Of course, I wasn't around to experience the "good ol' days" people love so much, but I know Jesus told off the pharisees for making a religion of the tradition of man.

Why has young come to mean bad or ungodly? It's so frustrating. How can this disconnect be bridged?
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Brother, I hope you're not including this old guy in your "young means bad or ungodly" comment. I know MANY godly young men and women and I am blessed by their faith. Nor do I think a pastor has to be clean-shaven or necessarily wear a suit. Thank God deacons no longer go about measuring the length of my hair or my wife's skirt. But there is still far too much attention paid to externals in this modern church world and not enough to the real issue: the inner man.
 

Love His Appearing

Well-Known Member
How can this disconnect be bridged?
You are bridging it daily, my friend. :)

But that said, I do know what you mean. I grew up in a church where women were not allowed to wear pants. The pastor would call them out from the pulpit. I am only 51, so I am not talking a gazillion years ago either. My sons went through a period where they would not wear pants--not just to church, but anywhere. In fact, I believe my DH bet them each $10 they couldn't go all winter in shorts, so I encouraged it. LOL (They went to a private school so they were khaki golf shorts, not basketball shorts or short-shorts or *gasp* jean shorts). My mom would always take them to buy pants if she happened to be taking them to church cuz even tho that pastor had long been with the Lord, his grandson took over the church and she was afraid of getting called out. I'm pretty sure the Lord doesn't care what we wear to worship, and he would rather have my boys there in shorts than not at all. I understand being respectful and showing some reverence, and I do ask my kids to put on their Sunday best. That sometimes, however, just means putting on a CLEAN pair of jeans. hahahah

I hear you on the music, too. I love me some old hymns, but my favorites are the ones that have been re-made by modern artists. And there is about a 50/50 split right here on RF of hymnals vs praise lyrics on the on the big screen. I believe that we are told to make a JOYFUL NOISE unto the Lord! It's the sincerity of heart more then the choice of instruments. JMHO, of course.
 

Kaatje

Listening for that trumpet sound
Has anyone else noticed a total disconnect between older and younger believers? It's something I feel even on the forum here sometimes. It's incredibly discouraging to hear people I respect say everyone in my generation hates God and doesn't value the whole bible.
I am very sorry that you are made to feel this way.
And it is certainly not true. Thank God there are very Godly young believers in this day and age.
My son, daughter, their spouses, and a lot of their friends are firm believers,
and yes, they express themselves differently, in their choice of music and clothing for instance.
Yes, I must admit, I will never wear jeans to Church, because to me it is a “workmans” outfit,
and on Sunday we go on audience with the Lord (I even wear a hat!)
But my children (and grandchildren) do wear jeans to Church and I won’t tell them off over it.
They look at jeans very differently, and as long as it is clean, I am happy.
And I rejoice in the fact that they are SAVED. Much more important than their attire!

Btw, I must say that to me you don’t come across as someone that is very young.
To me you seem a very mature, Godloving Christian, and I learn much from you!

God bless,

Erika
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
First, God bless you for bravely and knowingly opening yourself up to the many potential fiery arrows an honest, heart bearing post like this may attract. The issues you've addressed are real, and they are worth the struggles you'll find yourself in as you confront them. I've read many of your posts and you represent your age group or generation or statistical category or however someone would choose to label you, in a very Christ-like manner. Don't stop! You will make a difference as you persevere and honor Christ with your patience.

Second, you are right, at times older people do tend to lean heavily on tradition, and they/we are as wrong about it as often as we are right...I'm sure, unless I'm too old to know any better.

I'm with you about the clothing. I don't own a single shirt with buttons, and haven't for 30+ years. My old business, my jobs, my positions in life have never required them, why would the body/people of Christ? If a suit pleases God more than jeans and a t-shirt, which suit could I buy that would please God the most? Why hold our sheep-dogs (pastors) to standards of dress that didn't exist when the rule book was written? And go and tell the Levitical Priests about the horrors of facial hair, because I'm sure that if you could time travel to do so, they'd listen...am I riiiight? Now, don't get me started on tattoos or piercings, the crazy-ugly hair colors and yoga pants, here I land squarely in the lap of tradition. See! Right or wrong, on those, I'm an unapologetic curmudgeon. There's always a a tension when it comes to our Godly freedoms and our responsibility to others in the body.

Music is such a strange battleground in Christianity. I would always choose the old hymns over anything else when I'm supposed to be worshiping. That's just me...errr, just me and my wife. The P & W stuff is just a lot of repetitive mumbo-jumbo to me <---see, old guy!

However, I listen to some wild-diverse stuff when not in church. I love me some 70's - 80's Christian folk rock; Harvest, Don Francisco, Keith Green, Michael Card. I love the 80's -90's Christian rock, Rich Mullins, Kings Road, Lost Dogs, MWS, even some of the hair-bands; Halo, Whiteheart, Mylon, Mastedon. I even listen to ***GASP*** "secular music" in the form of instrumental post-rock, movie scores, and some math rock. This music thing will be a struggle as long as there are differences of taste and opinion. Don't let it get you down.

Try and keep in mind that we've been given some qualifications about
Paul said nothing is unclean in and of itself,
that you mention. You need to "partake" ONLY if you can do so without doubting and also assuming that your action on your freedoms are not contributing the the stumbles, trips and potential falls of your brothers and sister in Christ.
 

Salluz

You mean we can change these titles?
I'm encouraged by the responses so far. I really wish I could type out a more thorough response, but bible study is starting in 20 minutes and my phone is about to die, so I'll be away until later tonight.

@mattfivefour Of course not; I wasn't thinking of you at all. You've been nothing but good to me

The thread is mainly a response to things I see in day to day life. There I can deal with it more, but the times when the sentiment comes up on the forum it hurts much more because of how much I value everyone here.

There are times where I feel too old to fit in with people my age and too young to fit in with people who are older, so I'm in an odd place. I do see terrible trends in my peers and people around my age, but I don't want to be associated with that. I also don't want to give up hope there are godly men and women around my age (20 for context).

Anyways I'll be glad to see where this leads as a discussion when I can get back on tonight.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
It's incredibly discouraging to hear people I respect say everyone in my generation hates God and doesn't value the whole bible.
It sounds like you feel that you are being tagged with a broad brush stroke in these kinds of generalizations. I would imagine if someone said to me that all women are bad drivers I'd bristle at that too. I'm sorry this makes you feel so discouraged :hug<---big sister hug. You are right, your whole generation is not hating God or not valuing the whole bible. This is a reminder to me to be careful of speaking of younger people in such a way.

It may be that some are seeing more of this in their area than others and so it's hard to see that God is working with young people still. I will say, that where I'm at there is actually a large, thriving young group of people following God, highschool, college, etc. (some churches are sticking very close with the Word, but constantly looking for new approaches in reaching young people for Christ, without compromising), but I do also see in the news of our nation and world that there's a falling away from God. But, that's with the young and the older crowd, people of all ages, I don't believe this falling away is a respecter of age. In fact it has been my experience that some of the most stubborn embracing of evil has been with some older people. However, that's just my experience and I would never state that all older people are this way, as RF proves. You yourself are proof Salluz that God is faithful to each generation to preserve a group for Himself. And, I can attest that God is very much working with your generation....praise God for His faithfulness and love for you in this. :) So, don't lose hope in this. Perhaps some older have lost hope themselves, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily true. God is working and He can be trusted that He's working in young hearts today.



Why do older people berate younger believers for not reading and caring about the bible when so many beliefs are based on tradition over the Word of God? Of course, I wasn't around to experience the "good ol' days" people love so much, but I know Jesus told off the pharisees for making a religion of the tradition of man.

Why has young come to mean bad or ungodly? It's so frustrating. How can this disconnect be bridged?
Communication....which you are doing right now! :)

I would hope that an older person would be very wise in not "berating" a younger person for their youth, but instead come along side and gently teach/instruct and encourage a young person as Paul did with Timothy. Young people are valuable and precious in God's eyes and should be in ours too. :nod It's true that each generation has new tools at their disposal to utilize for the furtherance of the Gospel. Today we don't use scrolls and even many look to a kindle or cell phone app to read scripture (in fact many 'older' people here talk of this). It's silly to put someone down for using different tools when they are simply doing the same as the generation before, reading their bibles and drawing close to God. Personally I'd rather have a jeans and tee shirt kid that's sincerely seeking God than the most well dressed legalistic or hypocritical person. BYYY FAAAAAAR! :nod

.....but the times when the sentiment comes up on the forum it hurts much more because of how much I value everyone here.
Please forgive if I've ever inadvertently contributed in this way.

Perhaps it would be good to re-think and take a look at verbiage that would communicate these things to you. I suspect that there are no intentions to cause hurt and it's unintentional. But, it's good that you are coming to your brothers and sisters to let us know how you are struggling with this. And I agree with JSTyler:

First, God bless you for bravely and knowingly opening yourself up to the many potential fiery arrows an honest, heart bearing post like this may attract. The issues you've addressed are real, and they are worth the struggles you'll find yourself in as you confront them.
:nod

There are times where I feel too old to fit in with people my age and too young to fit in with people who are older, so I'm in an odd place.
Yes, this can make one feel in an odd place, but God has a place for you. Because of some challenges in my life as a younger person, I was more mature for my age, loved the Word and found myself kind of floating. Like you I felt more comfortable with older people for various reasons. And, I also would hear some disparaging comments about 'the young kids'. I soon learned to not take that on as there usually was some sort of baggage attached to that which had nothing to do with me.

But, I certainly appreciated those who treated me with respect, refrained from making general statements about the youth. There is that fine line of being aware of what's happening in the world/in our church today and rather than disparaging, to look and see where one can plug in and invest/guide the next generation.


:pray ing that you have a great and encouraging bible study!
 
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Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Brother, I hope you're not including this old guy in your "young means bad or ungodly" comment. I know MANY godly young men and women and I am blessed by their faith. Nor do I think a pastor has to be clean-shaven or necessarily wear a suit. Thank God deacons no longer go about measuring the length of my hair or my wife's skirt. But there is still far too much attention paid to externals in this modern church world and not enough to the real issue: the inner man.

Hear! Hear!
 

Love His Appearing

Well-Known Member
Salluz, I wanted to add that if you hadn't told us, many here would not have known you were of the younger generation. Your posts are sincere, articulate and encouraging, and you ask excellent questions that come across as wise beyond your years. You've encouraged me more than once to look into something I had never thought of.

Also, some of the Godliest men I know are 20-somethings. I think specifically of our youth pastor (24) and one of my son's baseball coaches (25). Both of these two young men--who don't even know each other that I know of--are ON FIRE for the Lord. They seem to really get the LOVE STORY that is Jesus--that Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP not a religion--and I feel grateful every day that they are walking alongside two of my own boys.

Keep on keeping on. By just asking the question, you ARE bridging that gap. But don't blink. Because--if the Lord tarries--you will soon enough be one of those older folks looking back and wondering what happened to our youth. ;)
 

Goodboy

On my way up!
Great responses so far which I agree with. :thumbup

The generalization that the younger generation of Christians are not as Godly is not correct, but I can see how some would say that. The reason it may seem that way is because of how close we are to the Rapture and end times. I am sure you can see that the world is just getting worse and worse. This also affects Christians both young and old. So when the older Christian generation (which I am ) compares how they acted when they were young to how the younger generation acts now, it would seem as though they are not as Godly.

However, if there is any truth at all in that statement that the younger generation is less Godly, then the older generation are the ones to blame as they (meaning me also) have not put in enough time with the younger generation to make sure they grow up Godly.

Not sure how this sounds, so let me say it again to be clear, the statement that the younger generation of Christians are not as Godly is not correct. I will say however, that in general most Christians both young and old are not as Godly as they use to be. For some reason which I am very happy about, I do not find that to be true with the Christians on this site. :hat

This is just my opinion and what I have observed, but I am not stating it as a fact, so if anyone disagrees with me I am fine with that and am happy to entertain a different perspective. :)
 

Sowen

Well-Known Member
I think this is something that goes beyond believers, and it's just the gap that has always existed between old and young in general. I don't think it can be fully bridged because there are some things we simply cannot understand about each other, and I think that's fine as long as it remains biblical and civil.

It gets difficult at times, but I can endure it as long as I know I'm not going against the will of God, and I do that by staying anchored in these two facts: God is concerned with the heart not the outward appearance. And advanced chronological age doesn't equal maturity or spiritual maturity.

For their consciences' sake and for the sake of peace as Scripture teaches, I'll dress less casual, and I won't listen to the type of music I prefer in their presence. But I will not accommodate any legalism. That's where I draw the line because foundational truth is being undermined. If anyone told me I had to do it or I wasn't saved, they'd get a soteriological Scripture lesson right then and there - in deference, of course, because while I may be more spiritually mature than they are, they are still chronologically older than I am and should be respected.
 

PraiseWarrior

Well-Known Member
There are times where I feel too old to fit in with people my age and too young to fit in with people who are older, so I'm in an odd place. I do see terrible trends in my peers and people around my age, but I don't want to be associated with that. I also don't want to give up hope there are godly men and women around my age (20 for context).
I'm in that same position too. Even in churches. I am too old for the young adult groups, and too out of place for the other groups which consist usually of couples or families. That said, I never really fit well in the young adult groups. I guess I'm too spiritually intense.
 

billy swinea

WAITING ON JESUS
Brother i hope i have not said anything to offend you! I agree with all above statments. My brother Jim started wittenessing when he was 19 He and his friend Tim used their weekends to tell people about JESUS! OUR PASTER WAS AGINST THIS ALL THE WAY! HE THOUGHT YOU HAD TO BE SAVED IN THE CHURCH! THAT DID NOT STOP JIM AND TIM. THEY HAD A LOT OF SECUESS! THE PASTOR TRIED TO GET THEM KICKED OUT OF THE CHURCH FOR WITTENESSING! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT. IT DIDN'T WORK! THE DECONS PUT A STOP TO HIS PLAN. THEY TALKED TO A YOUNG MAN ON FRIDAY NIGHT HE GOT SAVED! HE CAME TO CHURCH SUNDAY HE WAS SHAKEING AND CRYING PRAISEING THE LORD. HE WAS ON THE WAY TO WORK THE NEXT DAY ON HIS MOTORCYCLE HE HAD AN ACCIDENT! DAVID K. LIVED 2 WEEKS IN A COMA HIS FAMILY WERE LOST NOT ANY MORE. LIKE I SAID IN MY POST WE COULDN'T COUNT ALL THAT GOT SAVED BECAUSE OF HIS DEATH! GOD KNOWS! I BELIEVE IN THE YOUNG PEOPLE. I HAVE TO I HAVE 8 GRAND KIDS 1 GREAT. I LOVE YOU BROTHER IN JESUS CHRIST! Billy
 

Jeri minton

Well-Known Member
Salluz, I am grateful to see a young person like you sharing your faith...it's encouraging to me since I am at the other end of the age ladder, nearing the top..it's because I don't get to attend church often that I don't get to spend time with young Christians..one thing that I do know is that I'll recognize them when I meet them...we recognize each other because our spirits relate to each other, I believe..you can travel half way around the world and as soon as you meet another Believer, you feel right at home..
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Has anyone else noticed a total disconnect between older and younger believers? It's something I feel even on the forum here sometimes. It's incredibly discouraging to hear people I respect say everyone in my generation hates God and doesn't value the whole bible.

At times, I feel like many older people are so entrenched in tradition and will only respect someone that follows that tradition. Someone tell me where in the bible it says you have to dress up to go to church. Tell me where in the bible it says you have to be clean shaven and wearing a suit and tie to be a good pastor.

Paul said nothing is unclean in and of itself, but I hear all the time that any non acoustic music is satanic. Why do older people berate younger believers for not reading and caring about the bible when so many beliefs are based on tradition over the Word of God? Of course, I wasn't around to experience the "good ol' days" people love so much, but I know Jesus told off the pharisees for making a religion of the tradition of man.

Why has young come to mean bad or ungodly? It's so frustrating. How can this disconnect be bridged?
Salluz, I'm one of the greybacks and I've never liked hearing one generation talking down about a younger generation. It seems to be a part of human nature, though, that we need to see others as less than ourselves (I'm not speaking of all people, but perhaps a strong majority). It seems to happen in every walk of life. I remember back when I was in the Air Force and had transitioned to being one of the older aircrew members in the squadron. The old guys would talk about the younger generation(s) as if there was no hope for them. I didn't jump into those discussions in a like minded fashion but noted that it seemed the younger aircrew members, while speaking differently and behaving a little differently, and interested in different things... seemed to work just as hard as we did and were at least as responsible as we were.

As someone who has been involved with youth in a variety of programs over the last couple of decades, I have met and come to admire many young people. Comparing my younger self to many of these youngsters, I definitely was of a lesser quality. Not only are there a good many absolutely fantastic young people, but I believe they're growing up in a much more difficult world in terms of evil than we older folks did.

Every generation has its lost and it's saved. God continues to knit some very fine folks together in their mother's womb. When you read posts where a person is knocking a generation younger than themselves, please don't take it personally, the poster probably doesn't even realize they're painting with too wide a brush.

And remember, you're the son of a King, the son of the King!
 
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