After I wrote my post yesterday about a silly worship service, I discovered a book, “The Juvenilization of American Christianity.” Author and historian Thomas Bergler claims American churches are full of spiritually immature adults whose faith is self-centered, emotionally driven, theologically ignorant. Bergler says this trend emerged when the ‘fundamentalist’ Christian message of repentance and obedience was morphed into a message of self fulfillment, you might say, a PG-rated version that avoids the ‘mature themes’ of commitment, perseverance, suffering, and sacrifice.
Three decades ago, Oswald Sanders wrote “If I were called on to put my finger on the most pressing need of our age, I would unhesitatingly say—maturity,” his words no less relevant today. In our relaxed, come-as-you-are, do-what-you-want, whatever-works world, we must be careful not to accommodate the culture of ambivalence by giving the impression we don't expect people to grow up.
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you... You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food” (Heb. 5:12). I wonder what might happen to our Sunday morning attendance if we put out a sign in the foyer that said, “For mature audiences only.”