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Does Maturity Still Matter?
A new essay from me.
I’ve written a new essay over at Mere Orthodoxy. The topic is evangelicalism and maturity. In an age that lionizes activists and those who “move fast and break things,” is there still a place for spiritual maturity in how we measure Christian ministry?
Here’s an excerpt:
For many emerging adults, there is no greater aspiration than to be an activist. Everyone wants it. Secular progressives on college campuses know that activists are the only ones who can bring an administration to their knees. Entertainers and influencers regularly urge their followers to engage in some kind of activism, and can even be criticized for failing to do this enough. What’s more, even much Christian culture can only understand itself in activist terms—whether the particular ideological flavor is Christian nationalism, or #ChurchToo, or something else. Everyone seems to understand that being an activist gives some kind of shape or meaning to your life. But it has an added benefit, too: It completely insulates you from the demands of maturity.
An activist can behave like an obnoxious, strong-willed fifteen-year-old, demanding respect and deference. This is culturally acceptable because activism is seen as morally good, while the status quo is almost always morally bad. Many of the things that both the center-left and center-right worry over are not terrorisms or tyrannies, but simply forms of unchecked immaturity: disregard for others, disregard for customs and norms, and so on. “What good,” some might ask, “are norms when the world is on fire?” The answer is that mature people can put out a fire without flooding the city. Or, minimally, they can make their way to the exit without trampling one another to death.
You can find the entire essay here.