Trevin Wax wrote an article the other day called, “Five Observations about Younger Southern Baptists.” It was an excellent article examining the tendencies of Southern Baptists who are younger than me – pretty much everyone these days. If you haven’t read the post, please do. Great insights.
However, I was thinking of some other observations I’ve made about younger Southern Baptists that go beyond what Trevin enumerated. Trevin is a nice guy and his observations were mostly positive. But I’ve got a few more observations I’d like to share, not being the kind of nice person like Mr. Wax!
1) Younger Southern Baptists mask their insecurities with facial hair.
C’mon, you hippies. Don’t try to affect a fake masculinity with facial hair. There are a few good beards out there, but mostly you guys need to get a pair of scissors, lop that nasty stuff off, then get a clean, close shave.
All this “real men wear beards” stuff is ridiculous. Real men are secure in their masculinity without needing a security blanket on their faces. Of course, there are bad examples out there, like Ed Stetzer, with his “mother of all goatees.” But you can appreciate his research without imitating his ridiculous facial hair choices.
2) Younger Southern Baptists dress silly.
Can I share something with you guys? There are fashion choices beyond just an old pair of jeans and an untucked plaid shirt. I realize that the “Bart Barber Coat and Tie” brigade is still out there, and I’m not expecting everyone to hang a noose around their necks and sweat in a suitcoat every day. But guys, variety does not mean owning 12 plaid shirts in different colors.
And, honestly, guys, just get a real haircut. If you have to use “product” in your hair, you need to get a new “style.” If your hair looks like a porcupine, go get a haircut. Men have hair and combs. We don’t have hair styles. We just have hair. (Or not, in some cases.)
We didn’t fight communism to see a generation of young men using hair product.
3) Younger Southern Baptists falsely think themselves sports pundits.
Two cases in point. Young whippersnapper Matt Svoboda opines on sports like he’s Stephen A or Skip. And he actually believes that the consistently mediocre Nebraska is still an elite NCAA football program. I have often tried to mentor him on sports, but he cheers for the wrong teams and will not learn from his mistakes.
Another whippersnapper-blogger, Mike Leake, gives football predictions that defy logic and reason. Even an Iowa weatherman is not wrong that consistently. He cheers for the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Browns, but still thinks he should talk publicly about sports.
These men have the right to cheer for any team they wish. But they should not engage on social media as if they are experts when the evidence speaks loudly to the contrary.
4) Younger Southern Baptists eat like rabbits, not Baptists.
Frankly, one of the things I like about going to the SBC Annual Meeting is that I am not the guy with the worst BMI in the room. Baptists eat fried chicken; we are NOT vegans. We do not shop organic or free range – that stuff will mess up your digestive system. Baptists do not eat kale. Honestly, folks, what on earth is kale?
You guys need to get with the program. Being a Baptist requires one to at least make an effort to have a coronary in your 50s. How do you measure who has given the most to the ministry if not by coronary bypasses?
5) Younger Southern Baptists are gonna be running the show one day.
Wow, that is scary.
I remember the time I was sitting around at a BCI pastors meeting talking to a group of young pastors. Suddenly I realized that I was no longer the young buck but had morphed into the wizened veteran dispensing advice. It happened before I realized it. When did I become the old guy? One of these days, these snot-nosed Baptist kids are gonna be the voices of wisdom and reason. Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Did you know that there is a cure for being a Younger Southern Baptist? It’s 15 to 20 years. One of these days these whippersnappers are going to be convention presidents, entity heads and denominational leaders. It is up to us grizzled old fogeys to stick with the kids, to give them advice, to overlook their faults and bear with their youthful arrogance and all that. Few of these kids are as arrogant as I was at their age. We need to do more than keep them in their place and complain about their wardrobe and facial hair choices (as bad as those are). We need to mentor them, train them and encourage them to be all God has called them to be.
Youth is a curable disease. I wish I was going to be around to see what these young whippersnappers are going to be like when they are running the show. Should be quite an adventure.