If one of my professors read the above title, I believe I would be in for a world of correction. Just to be clear, I do still affirm that all knowledge is borrowed knowledge from divine Triune revelation. Now moving from the philosophical to the practical, there is much Confucianism can teach Christianity. One such lesson is this: Youth can be absent-mindedly tyrannical.
For those who are unfamiliar with Confucianism, here is a crash course. Proper relationships and conduct between them leads to order and peace, the five main relationships being: Ruler-Ruled, Father-Son, Husband-Wife, Elder Brother-Younger Brother, and Friend-Friend. Within these relationships, there is a certain etiquette that is expected. One commonly known, and known with some-level of aversion by second-generation Asians, is respect for the elderly. There are instances that this ‘respect’ is abused between people who are merely a year or two apart, or the culture itself becomes oppressive to the younger, but I have noticed that a culture without this tradition, namely Western culture, can be oppressive to the elderly.
To illustrate, an anecdote from the soccer stadium. Few elderly people were sitting at the soccer stadium desiring to enjoy the game, but to their surprise, when the kick-off took place people in the rows in front of them watched the game on their feet. The elderly had to shout, “Let’s sit! Let’s sit and watch!” without wanting to acknowledge that his physique was unable to handle an entire game standing. The people in the front rows had no malice, but neither did they have any sense of relational consideration. The mindset of ‘I want to enjoy this game however I want to’ overpowered any thought of those behind them. This silent inconsiderate demeanor of individualism screamed to the elderly, “If you want to watch, you stand on your feeble legs too!” It was tryannical.
This tyranny of youth also occurs in Christianity, particularly relevant to second generation Korean Christianity. Any potential wisdom of the first generation is foolishly declared parochial, oppressive, or irrelevant. There are youngsters seeking guidance and wisdom from those who have only live half a decade longer than themselves. There is a vast lack of experiential wisdom, a wisdom that has been exiled by Western Christian individualism. To be clear, this is not a vote to adopt Confucian views in Christianity, but rather, to realize some of the communal considerations that Christianity has lent to other perspectives. And to admit, first, that our individualism can be tyrannical to the weaker elderly, and second, that there is much to learn from the weak and old, if we would only be willing to listen.