Thursday, June 21, 2012

For Mature Audiences Only

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.”


  1. Greg,

    Of all of the freedoms that Christ bestowed upon us when He purchased our lives at Calvary I believe the most important one to Him is that we possess the freedom to grow up. Paul says in Romans 8 that all of Creation can hardly wait until we "get it", and actually take possession of this responsibility, both personally and corporately.

    All other freedoms pale in comparison to this one. Our American version of Christianity has missed this freedom almost entirely; and so we are where we are in relation to our Lord--He wants to spit us out of His mouth.

    But if we overcome...He will grant us to sit with Him in His throne!" 'Seems worth the effort...


  2. Yes, Stan. We've fallen short of the glory of God. So far short....