Thursday, December 04, 2008

Spiritual Growth and Maturity - Questions

First, if you haven't read it already, Kingdom Grace has an excellent post here that discusses discipleship and spiritual growth. Her post may be an oblique rebuttal to the growing controversy over whether missional churches are any more effective than attractional megachurches. Whether it was intended to be that or not, it is still an excellent post. Here is a quote that might pique your interest.

Then in a rush to transform our new converts into shiny, happy christians we train them into every aspect of cultural christianity rather than trusting the process of transformation by the Spirit that begins within before it becomes evident to others. The goal is to get them looking and acting like good christians as soon as possible.

For sometime now, I have been thinking about what it means to be spiritually mature, and wondering if we use the terms 'milk' and 'meat' (technically solid food) in a way that Paul intended when he wrote 1 Corinthians 3:2, or when the author of Hebrews 5:12 used the same metaphor. I would say that I believe it is almost certainly misused when someone pridefully exclaims that their pastor preaches only meat -- as if milk is never an appropriate food. By the way, whenever I've heard someone thank their pastor for 'giving us meat today', it was usually after a sermon that served a heavy dose of legalism. Which, ironically, may be the polar opposite of what 'meat' is.

In the next post, I'll share my thoughts about what it means to be mature, and what I'm leaning toward in my understanding of the terms 'milk' and 'solid food'. Like I said, I've been pondering them so I haven't fully settled the issue in my mind. But for now I want to hear what others might think. I will tell you that I've been looking at 1 Corinthians - chapters 2 and 3, Hebrews 5 (Obviously), and Romans 14.

What does it mean to be 'Spiritually Mature'?

What do the terms 'milk' and 'solid food' refer to in 1 Cor 3:2 and Heb 5:12?

Is it ever appropriate to give someone milk? Conversely, is it appropriate to give meat to a mass audience?

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Very good linked post. It is interesting that in every form of training except "christian" training there is eventually a graduation. Ha