Tradition

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4 mins read

A few weeks ago, I saw an article on how to attract Millennials to your church. And the first bullet on the list was to not place any value on tradition. That’s when I stopped reading. Now, the Millennial generation gets a lot of crap, and for some very good reasons, but let’s be clear on one thing: there has never been a generation alive that didn’t think that they knew better than the generations that preceded them. There is even a term for it: Modernity.
And lest you think I’m being crotchety, let me quote Socrates from about 390 BC: “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
The Hippies said, “don’t trust anyone over 30”. The truth is that anyone under 30 very likely has shit for brains. I know for a fact that I had shit for brains until I was at least 27. So the article had some very bad advice, regardless of the Millennials​.
I hail from The Orthodox Church. I can draw a line of unity between myself and the Apostles, because we keep the whole faith, by Tradition kept for 2000 years. I’m not going to start dick measuring here when it comes to different churches, but the single most relevant thing that attracted me to the Orthodox Church was that I knew for certain that it will never be overtaken by the feminists, the homosexuals, or the barbarian sympathizers. It is the stubborn old goat that will never change, because God does not change.
GK Chesterton said that tradition is like democracy, except that it is giving a vote to the dead. Maybe, just maybe, our fathers learned a little something about life, and living, and keeping the Faith in the course of their lives. Maybe it is important to know the road that was paved before you, leading up to today. Your church may not be Orthodox, but do you know why? What were the reasons for the schism, the Reformation, and the founding of your church? Do you agree with them?
And I’d like to take a step back and ask what traditions do you keep in your family? Americans of European decent have been robbed of our history. We are not German, or Irish, or English. We are Dutch-Irish and French-Indian. We have been told that our heritage is hate and made to forget it. What do you know about the line of your blood past your grandfather? What traditions were passed down? Much like a Church that has no memory of its past, a family without tradition is a ship without a rudder.
Find out your roots. Discover your blood. And honor it by passing the knowledge down to your children, the immortality of your race. And make your own traditions where they have been lost. My family watches It’s A Wonderful Life every Christmas. It’s old, sometimes boring, and a little heretical, but dammit, it’s tradition. It has a great message for cooling down the consumer craze that has taken over the most blessed season: “be grateful for what you have, and where you come from.”
 

9 Comments

  1. Well said. My family attends the Tridentine Rite, and of the 140 regular attendees, 110 are under 45, and 60 are under 18. The Millennials that are practicing Christianity flock to traditional Christianity because they crave structure and discipline that it provides.

    • We also attend the EF Mass and notice the same age demographics. The majority of attendees are people under the age of 40. Their patrimony was stolen from them. Some of them, by the grace of God, have gone out to reclaim what was denied them. It’s what my wife and I did, and we brought others along too.
      We also attend Eastern Rite Catholic Masses too when we can.

  2. > … Socrates from about 390 BC: “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
    That’s actually a popular misquote. I have seen some complaints written by his contemporaries that Socrates himself was corrupting the youth though. (Potentially accurately, given that the “Golden Age” of Athens ended within a few years of Socrates’ execution)
    The Baby-Boomers are actually somewhat unusual in their hatred of the other generations. (It seems to apply to younger generations just as much as older generations)
    As a Millennial myself my experience is similar to Milo of Croton’s on this front; Millennials seem to be just fine with tradition; far more so than most of the older generations in fact.
    I suspect embracing tradition would be better for attracting Millennials than rejecting it.

    • I made sure to research the quote in order to get it right. It’s often misattributed to Plato, but it’s truly from Socrates.

  3. Well said, tradition was a large factor in why I became Orthodox as well. My advice to anyone considering Orthodoxy is to attend Liturgies for a month or two to get past feeling like a “tourist”. May God grant you a joyous Pascha/Easter celebration!

  4. I’m too stubborn to leave my Baptist traditions right now, but damn does the Orthodox Church look good about the old stuff. I want the old Baptists back, who preach unfailing truth and stiff-necked devotion to the scriptures. A pugnacious breed in Christendom if ever there was one, but the baby boomers killed it, desiring personal peace and happiness over truth.
    As a millennial, I want that tradition, the plain spoken ways of religious men. The Orthodox seems drop drop, but if it’s the only place I can find fire…

    • Just so you know, there are a few of us here at MOTW that are Orthodox, and none of us was born into it. We chose it.

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