Some people make an analogy between a person's spiritual journey and "maturity,"... Please comment on the concept of spiritual maturity.
QUESTION: Some people make an analogy between a person's spiritual journey and "maturity," and the stages of human life. Perhaps this is based on 1 Corinthians 3:1. They think they can measure, or at least sense, where another person is on a linear spiritual path. These people usually think they are farther along on the spiritual path than most other people, especially people whose views differ from their own. Please comment on the concept of spiritual maturity.
RESPONSE: I object to linear geometrics. I don't think we ever arrive at a mature faith. I see faith more as a spiral. We keep repeating seasons as well as mistakes (sin – some serious and some we only think of as serious). There are at least 2 ways to think of time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos refers to clock time: if-then, linear chunks, time and date history. Kairos means seasonal, mystical, the "right time,” cyclical, anecdotal history. Another way to look at is Chronos is dates and facts and Kairos is story telling.
Those who receive the Bible as a compendium of inter-related facts – the Bible-believing Christians – tend to be transactional and see life in black and white. They stand on the rock of an immortal, invisible, unchanging God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They may or may not be predestinationalists.
Those who receive the Bible as a library of faith stories – the Jesus-believing Christians – tend to be relational and see life as textured, filled with a rainbow of colors. They stand with a living God who is not finished creating, directing, or caring for a universe that constantly surprises.
There are many things on which we agree:
We take the Bible seriously, i.e. the Bible is the source and norm of Christian life.
God is the creator of all things, seen and unseen.
The Holy Spirit is active in the world today
Jesus is the Christ and rose physically from the dead.