Here’s a parody of an Amazon Echo commercial that’s been going around lately:
What makes this commercial funny? Cause old people are weird, right? They can’t hear, they’re not capable of understanding technology, and as this sketch makes clear, they “don’t know about that”. It’s OK to laugh, but we shouldn’t consume any media without thinking through the worldview implications of what we’re watching/hearing.
Why is there a crisis in our country of people who are lost in their 20’s? Why does it seem like so many young people want mentors, but complain that they can’t find any? Can I present this SNL commercial as an example of a very subtle but effective message in our culture that those of a “certain age” are not worth listening to? With assisted suicide coming over the horizon, a right to die will soon become an obligation to die, especially for the elderly. When we dismiss decades of wisdom as “old-fashioned”, we run the risk of making the same exact mistakes they made.
When Donald Trump was elected as president, there were a ton of memes going around blaming the elderly for the results. “They’re the reason we got a president we didn’t vote for”, is what a younger generation proclaimed all around the web. But they weren’t willing to point the finger at themselves because only 50% of them actually voted. Perhaps they need to learn from an older generation: those who vote get to win.
The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom, but it’s crucial that we understand where it’s coming from. First, it’s from God. But God chose to use a particular human relationship to get his wisdom across: that of a father to a son. From one generation to another, that’s the way that wisdom is supposed to be passed down. But what happens when an entire culture shifts from embracing wisdom to rejecting wisdom? Or worse, when the older generation doesn’t even believe that the younger generation will listen, and therefore stops mentoring?
I think that’s where we find ourselves: Not only do we have a younger generation that’s incredibly lost, but we also have an older generation that doesn’t think they’re equipped to mentor and steward a younger generation because of the pervasive cultural worldview that their knowledge and experience isn’t wisdom. This is why Voddie Bauchum is right when he talks about spiritual maturity in the church in the clip below:
We, the church, need to stop perpetuating this idea that youth and being “cool” are virtues. They’re not. Youth means immature or not established. Cool means apathetic and dispassionate. None of those are Biblical values that we need to be building our ministries/churches around. Instead, we should take heed of the advice from father to son:
 My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
 Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.