Good Friday morning ...
Are you a moderate? Perhaps not too many people will answer yes to that question today.
When it comes to politics, the moderate has almost become extinct. You are either conservative or liberal or maybe libertarian. Few politicians advertise by saying, 'Vote for me. I'm a moderate."
What about Christians? Can you be a moderate Christian? I got to thinking about this during the week when I read the words of Revelation 3 and came across the address to the Laodicean church. There Jesus calls the Christians "lukewarm - neither hot nor cold" and wishing they were one or the other. [Revelation 3:15-16].
I was puzzled over those words when a thought came to me that helped me understand. What's another word for "lukewarm" water? Room temperature. What do you need to do to make water room temperature? Nothing. Just leave water alone and it will become room temperature.
Suppose you want hot water? You've got to do something to make it hot. You've got to put it in a pot on the stove or put it in the microwave. Hot water never becomes hot on its own.
Suppose you want cold water. You've got to do something to make it cold. You've got to put it in the refrigerator or put ice cubes in it to make it cold. Under normal circumstances, water will never become cold if left by itself.
So here is the deal with the Laodiceans. They were not guilty of some intentional sin, such as committing immorality, sleeping around, promoting false doctrine or welcoming false prophets. They were lukewarm.
How do you become a lukewarm Christian? You do nothing. A lukewarm Christian is nothing more than a "room temperature" Christian who has become just like his environment. Rather than changing the world around him, he has slowly let the world change him. He has adopted the "Go along to get along" philosophy which could probably describe moderate Christianity.
So why does Christ hate lukewarmness so much? Probably because a person in this condition doesn't even know it. He slips into a state of such indifference that he no longer cares. Nothing really matters anymore because, after all, by definition "room temperature" is comfortable. It feels right. It's the same as everyone else.
Not too hot. Not too cold. He's doing just fine, or so he thinks. Such a man is unreachable unless you shock him out of his condition which is probably why Jesus says to the lukewarm Laodiceans, "I am about to spit you out of my mouth"
That will get your attention in a hurry. Nothing like that was said to the other churches Jesus addressed in Revelation.
As I consider this, it occurs to me that this sin is especially likely among long-time church members. After you've been in church for a few years, you "know the ropes" so to speak. You know how the system works, you know the lingo, you know where to sit, how to get along in a worship service, you know the government of the church and how the machinery works. What once seemed new and exciting now becomes old hat. It becomes as comfortable as an old shoe.
I realize that I am as prone to lukewarmness as anyone reading this Friday Morning Musing. I've been a Christian for so long, it's easy to take it all for granted. What amazes new believers may not amaze me at all anymore. So, I pray as I write these words, "Lord, show me the truth about myself. Scrape away the build-up of indifference that blocks the work of Your Spirit in my life lest having preached to others, I might find myself spit out by Jesus."
Perhaps you may find that danger lurking in your life as a Christian. If so, I pray you do as I have, confess it and move toward the warmth of God's love and be warmed to bask in His presence.
Have a great weekend in the Lord ...