Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 23, 1970


Robert H. Farish

The word appearing as the heading was coined by the advertising media in advertising zippers which claimed to keep the clothing neatly fastened and not allowing them to gap. The word "gap" has come into even greater prominence in describing breaches or breaks which have developed in modern society. These gaps have widened to the point where it is extremely difficult, even impossible, in some instances, to communicate or negotiate. Much is said but far too little is done about the "generation gap" and the "credibility gap." The urgency of taking decisive, individual action is not realized. These gaps must be closed if society continues to function.

"Generation Gap"

The days of the years that make the age gap between the old people and the young people cannot be recalled by the old folk; nor does youth desire to close that gap suddenly; he rather desires to live the days of his years. There is nothing ominous or threatening about the time gap in and of itself. The dangerous gap is the break in understanding and concern and communication. This generation gap will continue to make for strife, alienation, bitterness, hatred and a host of kindred things so long as greed, selfishness, pride, indifference, arrogance, conceit, lust for power, such things which are found on both sides of the gap, are tolerated. Every person, regardless of physical age, has a responsibility to think, speak and act in harmony with the truth of God. It is high time that every individual heeds the divine admonition, "Try your own selves whether ye be in the faith."

The solution to the problem of the generation gap is not impossible; the gap can be closed. Why then isn't it eliminated? The answer is simply because that, Naaman like, we are looking for some glamorous, sophisticated, impressive solution. The gap will have to be closed by individuals in their contacts with other individuals. Each individual regardless of which side of the physical age gap he occupies, has got to determine to do his duty — avoid railing, develop understanding and cultivate sympathy for those who occupy the other side of the breach. Granted it is easier (and more "fun") to hurl abuse, rant, rave and heap insult upon the other side, but this is not profitable. It makes no difference which side of forty you are on, if you walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, despise dominion, if you are daring, self-willed, unafraid to rail at dignities, you are like the creatures without reason, mere animals which shall in your destroying, surely be destroyed.

"Confidence Gap"

The break down in confidence is closely tied in with the generation gap. The young have discovered and advertised the dishonesty, hypocrisy, etc., among older people; older people have picked up the same grenades and thrown them back at the younger generation. Both classes can find flagrant cases of conduct in the other which break down creditability. Evidence is at hand to prove that a large number of old people cannot be trusted; evidence is also at hand to prove many young people cannot be trusted. The question, "What can I do about it?" is in the forefront of every concerned mind.

If we expect the answer to be something dramatic that will have universal appeal and be easy then we are in for a profound disappointment. There is no "royal road" to righteousness and a righteous life is the only base upon which confidence can endure.

The Christian's conviction of the superiority of righteousness must be demonstrated. We may brag on our product in the most superlative terms and most persuasive tones and yet completely neutralize these efforts by using another product. We need to learn that "honesty is not the best policy" and quit trying to get people to practice it because it is the "best policy." Some of the connotations of the word "policy" are contradictory to the meaning of honesty. One needs to be honest because it is an integral element of righteousness.

"For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Titus 2:11 — 15.

— Box 301, Cedar Park, Texas