24 September, 2008

Infantilism

A friend of mine is a committed agnostic. He's not the kind that wonders if there's a God when the power goes out for a couple hours, then forgets again when the wide-screen comes back on, either. He's the kind who's argued against Richard Dawkins after reading 3 of his books, against Plato after reading the Republican, and against preachers after hearing them ply their trade.

He commented after reading the book of Matthew that it was like no other philosophy book he'd ever read. He found it amazing in its directness. He put it like this, "No matter how well it might be concealed, every philosopher's book whispers, 'Don't you think I'm smart?' That's nowhere to be found in Matthew. Neither Jesus nor Matthew cares whether you think they're smart. It's just as direct as it can be."

You have to respect that kind of observation and that kind of observer.

He was listening to Christian radio again the other day and noted it depresses and encourages him equally. One of the depressing things, he said, was the Infantilism.

He said the people on that radio wanted Jesus to answer all their listeners' questions. Jesus could tell them what to think and what to believe. The preachers wanted Jesus to clear all the obstacles in their hearers' lives. They wanted Jesus to pave their paths with roses and wipe their butts for them. "If," he said, "you can imagine wanting it, Jesus WANTS to do it for you."

I don't know about you, but I will absolutely vouch for his observation.

I've never thought of calling it infantilism, but the name is dead-on.

I've written on this subject enough times that anything I said now would be repeating myself so I won't bore you with a diatribe against Infantilism. I just wanted to share the term with you and the prayer that we would be delivered into a rich, fully mature experience of God.

5 comments:

Lynne said...

Absolutely spot on. Great way of putting it!

pearlie said...

Been ages since I have commented :) only lurking. I totally agree, sad and frustrating that we live in a world where the motto is very much WIIFM - what's in it for me.

Milly said...

Yepper spot on and we make no good arguments for Jesus when we behave like that.

Kansas Bob said...

Infantilism: Extreme immaturity, as in behavior or character.

Seems an accurate description of many who seek simplistic "Jesus answers" to the complex questions and issues of life.

Milly said...

I took a class several years ago via DVD and tapes at church. The woman on the DVDs and tapes spoke about inviting God into every aspect of her life. Every aspect of her life. Hmm every aspect of my life. If she was shopping for a birthday gift she asked God to help her. If she was looking for her sunglasses she asked God for help in finding them.

(I did once ask God to help me find my son’s glasses, he had lost them on the playground and I didn’t have extra cash to replace them. I think God might have stepped in and led me right to them because he was going to get yelled at big time.)

Still to ask God to take control of every moment of my life, at every decision, at every sneeze is a lot of asking. I’m a grown up and I think that God lets some of us grow up in order to be grown up and deal with things like what purse to purchase and if we should put snow boots on before going out in the snow.

Now I will say that I pray for my day and I pray about driving to work and home. I’ve been in a couple of accidents and could have been killed a couple of times. God was with me on both of those occasions as He always is. But I don’t pray to Jesus asking Him what kind of T paper to purchase when I go into Target.

Your friend has a good point and as you can see I’m somewhat more awake at 4:30 PM then at 4:30 AM Still a nap sounds really good right about now. ;-}