Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 3, 1959

The Youth Problem

Judson Woodbridge, Mulvane, Kansas

"In observing this young group at work the fact was again established that young people are often taught best by those near their own age who have only recently struggled with the same problems."

Youth meetings, youth camps, youth revivals, etc., are sweeping the church like wild-fire. Every week in papers and bulletins we read about these youth projects. The above quotation was taken from a report concerning a youth camp, and reveals the thinking of far too many today. Youth can best teach the youth, and the aged teach the aged seems to be the idea. This is just another example of brethren borrowing from the denominations who have been promoting the youth for youth movement lol many years. Twenty-five years ago I lived where the Christian church had a "Youth Church". These young people had their own place of assembly, own elders and deacons, own preacher, and conducted their own worship service including the communion. Is this what we are headed for? I can think of nothing that will generate more disrespect for the aged and the experienced and will create manifold problems than such teaching. Any young man or woman will do well to sit at the feet of the aged and experienced. The Lord must not have known that it took young people to best teach young people. Let us meditate upon the following passages:

"A wise son heareth his father's instructions." (Prov. 13:1.

"But speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine: that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience; that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands; to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed: the younger men likewise to be sober-minded: in all things showing thyself an ensample of good works; in thy doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us." (Titus 2:1-8.)

"And the things which thou hest heard from me among many witnesses the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." (II Tim. 2:2.)

Along with these read the passages which tell how Timothy was taught. (Acts 16:1; II Tim. 1:5; 3:10-15.) His mother and Paul engaged in this work.

I have not been able to find in the scripture where young people can teach the young people better than the older can. The Lord insisted that teachers be qualified in that they knew the truth and were faithful. These were the qualifications without deference to age. Paul told Timothy, "Let no man despise thy youth" (I Tim. 4:12); but note Paul's instruction to him. He was to be an example, to study, and to flee youthful lusts. (I Tim. 4:12, 13; II Tim. 2:22.) He was a teacher of all ages and the reason was he was qualified. Let us beware of making classification of teachers where the Lord hasn't made any.

This idea of the young listening to the young smacks too much of the mistake Rehoboam made when "he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him and took counsel with the young men that were grown up with him, that stood before him." (I Kgs. 12:8.) He thought he was taught best by those near his own age; but what was he taught? Yes, there is danger in this youth for youth movement!

Now, let no one construe from these remarks that I am opposed to the training of youth, and of giving young people the opportunity to develop. The Lord wants young and old in the church to be developed into effective servants. All should go beyond the childish stage. I am simply pointing out the sin of making classification in work where the Lord didn't make any, and the danger of training young people to think that they can hold a better meeting for the young, and be superior in teaching young, than the older and more experienced. Such is not true and nowhere taught in the Bible.

I appeal to you, the young people, to help in this matter. There are many young people who see the danger in this trend. Whether young or old when you see the truth teach it. Let no man despise youth and let no man despise age. In other words, let no man despise knowledge of truth..