Summary: Babies are beautiful but to be more beautiful they must mature to their full potential.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. KJV
World expects different even though they entice and get mad when you are not different.
I am convinced that much of the problem within Christianity is based upon the immaturity of Christians. Indeed, we seem to be bunch of Jeshuruns just kicking all we can. The fallout is that unbelievers look at us and are not very interested in joining our day care centers.
There are two versions of this immaturity that are not bad in themselves for we all have to go through periods of growth. The problem comes when we get stunted in our growth and never mature. If we see a baby in diapers we have no problem with them crying and being mostly affected by their emotions. If we see a person who is twenty-five in diapers and acting the same way we are wondering what we can do to help them. We expect to see maturity as children become adults.
Sadly, much of the failure to grow comes from the pulpit. Because immaturity can be a real asset to some degree to a pastor there seems to be a reluctance to bring saints to maturity. Kids are usually easier to manipulate than adults. As I said, there are two levels of immaturity. One is the new birth immaturity and then there is an adolescent version.
When a child is born it must be cared for continually and told what to do at every turn. You spend a lot of time and effort telling him no and answering why questions. A new Christian is pretty much in the same situation. When coming out of ignorance or even a very religious background a new child of God needs a lot of attention and direction. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, he needs someone to explain everything to him from basic Scripture to life changes or habits.
George Mueller relates a story where a couple was won to Christ and then had to immediately return home so that Bro. Mueller could not disciple them. A year later they returned to visit him and relayed all that they had done based upon their study of the Word and asked what else they could give up for Christ. That is an awesome attitude of children who wish to please their Father.
This is good for awhile, but there comes a time when things have to get past being told what you can and cannot do. To go on for too long can make a child too dependent and unable to discern the Word and will of God without the input of the pastor-teacher. It can also lead to thinking their particular level of maturity is what Christianity is all about making them judgmental and legalistic being bound in rules and regulations rather than free in a thriving relationship with Christ. Though free in Christ, they are just as bound as if they were in a dead religion or a form like the Galatians. They judge Christianity by the exterior dos and don'ts while things of the heart like gossip and envy are often overlooked in the spirit of the Pharisees.
Some Christians spend their whole life in this level. Other saints become like adolescents or teenagers and start to question their teachers and some of the restrictions and rebel against the legalism promising themselves freedom in their interpretation of grace. They may end up in what some have called sloppy agape.
This form of immaturity goes from being obsessed with what they can't do to an obsession with finding what they can do that pleases them. All taboos are up for grabs and any indication that something might need to be restricted or banned brings accusations of being a Legalist upon the pastor-teacher who considers what they want to do sin or at best unprofitable and dares to tell them his observations. They become very “spiritual” and more often than not feeling oriented versus regulation ruled. They fear being dogmatic.
They believe that exteriors do not count near as much as the interior thus one must be careful about judging someone because we do not know their heart even if we see them doing things we once saw as sin. “Thou shalt not judge” becomes a motto or battle cry. They go to the other extreme becoming so wrapped up in trying to avoid legalism that they tend to become carnal or seeking to see how much they can get away with or what worldly habits they can keep and still be saved. Their freedom is often just old rebellion wrapped up in pretty language and rationalizations with no real Scriptural foundation.