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    Arnold's Blog
          "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)

    Sat, Jan 13th - 11:21AM

    Problems With Young People



    What happened to young adults, and what led to the Generation Gap and the youth culture of rebellion and decadence that continues today? There was a time in America (and Europe) when a teenager was normally considered ready for normal adult work and responsibility, teenage marriage did not involve a high divorce rate, and juvenile crime was not considered normal behaviour. Up till a few decades ago a young lad could join the armed forces at fourteen (with parental consent of course), but this is no longer considered practical. In Bible times a person was considered a young adult at the age of thirteen, but today we have a person called an adolescent, someone who is not physically a child but is not considered a young adult. What happened? Let's look at some of the societal and cultural trends that led to this: 

     

    For much of American history families and society in general were patriarchal, and adults had moral, religious, social, and moral responsibilities to provide for, discipline, and train their children, and care for elderly parents, and parents normally raised up their children to succeed them, and not to merely succeed. Over time government expansion and the Industrial Revolution were allowed to interfere with family relationships and responsibilities. With the Industrial Revolution came Child Labor Laws, some of which made sense while others were absurd. For example, laws originally intended to keep nine-year olds from working sixteen hours a day in sweatshops or coal mines under unhealthy conditions are used to keep healthy teenagers from doing light work for eight hours or less in air-conditioned buildings. The idea that children should not be taught to work and be responsible and teenagers cannot or should not be expected to handle work and responsibility became popular and accepted. Free public education became compulsory continued education, thus encouraging perpetual childhood or producing artificially extended adolescence and further enabling indoctrination in secularism and humanism. If movements and legislation to coerce teenagers into staying in school were ultimately based on concern for the interests and welfare of youths, then intelligent and knowledgeable students would be encouraged to get a GED and seek employment or go on to college or vocational school; the real issue is government control and the expansion thereof. We even have children's courts, or juvenile courts, to impress upon young minds that they are not fully accountable or completely responsible for their behaviour. 

     

    In the 1940s secular humanism had already been invading public schools, colleges, the media, politics, churches, and religious institutions for decades, and the evidence and symptoms were becoming very pronounced, and this continues today. With the prosperity following WWII came the popular notion that parents must make sure their children never do without anything and children must have everything their parents did not have. In the 1940s a number of "experts" began teaching that it is wrong to use corporal punishment to discipline children, and that children should not be taught religious or moral values until they are mature adults. These teachings became very popular even though these theories were directly contrary to Scripture and credible studies; for example, studies reveal that eighty percent of the personality is developed before a child is six years old, and all or most of the personality is developed before the teen years. (Consider Proverbs 22:6, 15; 29:15, 17; Isaiah 28:9) 

     

    After WWII there arose a trend of giving teenagers a separate identity and segregating teenagers into a different class of people, thus making it common for youths to be peer-dependent instead of elder-dependent and replacing respect for elders with respect for youth and immaturity. (Consider Proverbs 13:20; Isaiah 3:4-5; Malachi 4:6) Since children and teenagers are building an identity and naturally seeking that identity from those around them we should be encouraging fellowship with mature influences. All humans young and old tend to seek an identity from those around them, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the individual, but inexperience tends to make one a bit more vulnerable. Older adults should be reminded to set an example and to mentor young people and youths should be reminded of the value of fellowship with those who are older and wiser than themselves (especially of their own gender) and taught to respect their elders in general. (Consider Proverbs 13:20; Titus 2:1-8; etc.) King Solomon raised up a fool who rejected the wise counsel of older men and heeded the foolishness of his young peers because he learned to respect them and trust their insight through regular fellowship. (I Kings 12:8) Contrast this with the example of Christ Who enjoyed the company of older men when He was young. (Luke 2:44-46)

     

    In the Twentieth Century, especially the latter half of the Twentieth Century, some harmful and misleading myths and theories were widely accepted even in Christian circles, such as:

    · The theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity and Bible truth.

    · Humans are naturally good. (Man can choose to do right, but sin comes natural because humans are natural-born sinners. How many parents ever had to teach a child how to be bad?)

    · Satan rules the Earth. (Satan rules in the hearts of unbelievers, "the wicked world system," but God is the present ruler of the Earth and nothing in the Bible ever indicates that God abdicated His throne and turned rulership over to Satan.)

    · The Bible is only for Christians. (The Bible is God's message to all mankind and provides guidance on every area of human existence, and applying Bible teachings benefits both believers and unbelievers. The important difference is that for the unbeliever the Word of God is convicting and for the believer the Word of God is cleansing.)

    · Bible truths and standards only apply to the church-related part of our lives and do not apply to our secular lives.

    · It is wrong for a Christian (especially a preacher) to hold a public office or otherwise try to influence society for righteousness. (Daniel 2:48-49; Matthew 5:13-16; I Timothy 2:1-2; etc...) In other words, the world should influence Christians instead of the other way around. (Incidentally, Biblical separation is godly distinctions, conduct, and relationships within society and not neutrality or isolation from society, and a Devil-May-Care attitude toward the society in which one lives is contrary to Scripture.)

    · Sex education is the job of secular government-run public schools and has no place in the home or church because sex is dirty. (Consider Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Joshua 8:34-35, Psalm 19:7-11, and II Timothy 3:16 and note that the Mosaic Law included laws that prohibited sexual immorality and taught the importance and sacredness of sexual intimacy in marriage, and those laws are based on principles that are reaffirmed in the New Testament. The Hebrew text of the Old Testament sex laws is very explicit, and the Bible is not prudish about sex. Also consider Ruth 4:13; Proverbs 5:18-20; Song of Solomon 1:13; 5:4; 7:6-8; I Corinthians 7:2-5; etc...)

    · The modern theory that youths can be kept from attracting or desiring the opposite sex though legislation, superstition, or social custom is a fantasy far removed from reality. The Bible does not pretend or imply that young women can be kept from attracting or desiring men but established safeguards and moral guidelines. (Consider Song of Solomon 8:8-9) Teen pregnancy is not a social malady, a dangerous trend, or a modern phenomenon; throughout history most wives married in their teens and most mothers bore their first child while in their teens. It is ironic that some modern laws meant to stop sexual abuse can give youths opportunities to be sexually immoral with reduced risk of disclosure or reprisal and thus make them more vulnerable; consider that statutory rape is the only felony in which an underage youth can willingly participate, and even initiate the crime, without reprisal. On the other hand, statutory rape laws and marriage laws that raise the age of consent and the age at which a teenager can marry (even with parental consent) to the mid or late teens do not keep an underage young woman from attracting or desiring the opposite sex, they simply discourage unmarried gentlemen with honourable motives from romantic interest for fear of social and legal repercussions. This also sends out the wrong message by implying that the sexual abuse of a prepubescent child is no worse or different than consensual sex with a teenager. In many cases there are practical reasons to delay marriage until older, and we should be concerned about protecting young people, but a blanket condemnation or prohibition against teenage marriage has negative effects.

    The list of examples could continue but these should suffice for now.

     

    For some reason there is a common tendency to refuse to learn lessons from the past, as though we must be superior to our forefathers and cannot acknowledge that someone else may have possessed more wisdom in some area. I am not trying to romanticize the past or claim that any human society was ever without wrongs and imperfections. I am simply asking you to consider the obvious: If certain problems with youths that are now rampant, and are even considered normal or acceptable now, were at one time the exceptions and not the rule, it must be that our forefathers (though human like us) were doing something right and that those things which they were doing right were discontinued.

    -Arnold J. Saxton

     

    Further reading:

    How To Create Irresponsible Teenagers – By Dennis Fox www.dennisfox.net/columns/teenagers.html 

    Enabling Adult Maturity – By Mike Morales www.home.earthlink.net/~mmales/yt-binge.htm   

    Abolish Adolescence! – By Thomas Sowell www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell050198.html 

    Childish Labor Laws – By Thomas Sowell www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell060399.asp 

    Are They Schools Or Are They Prisons? – By Dave Kopel www.davekopel.com/Misc/OpEds/Schools-or-Prisons.htm 

    Marrying Young – By Scott Irving www.truth1.org/s1-marryearly.htm 

    Statutory rape laws need revision www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/5534/statutory-rape-laws-need-revision 

    The pros and cons of statutory rape laws – By Sherry F. Colb www.cyc-net.org/features/ft-rapelaws.html 



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    About Me

    Name: Arnold Saxton
    ChristiansUnite ID: ajsaxton
    Member Since: 2010-03-30
    Location: Fruithurst, Alabama, United States
    Denomination: Baptist
    About Me: It would be difficult to give all details so I will touch on just a few things. I was born in the Midwest & I have Southern ancestry so I sometimes get prejudice from both sides. Ex-Jehovah's Witness. (Disassociated myself 1985) Christian since 1987.... more

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