Saturday, July 11, 2015

What Is A Lukewarm Christian?

I was asked to explain what a "lukewarm Christian" was. Below is my response:

Actually, I’m probably the best person to come to as interpreting Scripture through its cultural and historical context is my bread and butter. I imagine that you will discover that my answer mirrors several other responses you’ve gotten.

The phrase originates from the third chapter of Revelation.
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (NASB)
Now take a trip back with me to around Anno Domini 85 to the ancient city of Laodicea.

Laodicea was a city of immense wealth. In fact it was so wealthy, when the city was devastated by an earthquake in AD 60, the citizens turned a down an offer from Nero to help rebuild the city on his dime. Imagine a city that almost mirrored the glory of Rome herself. Lovely architecture, beautiful statues everywhere, and an aqueduct that carried water to the city that was so well built, a good portion of it exists to this day. It is also home to a very famous medical school and there is a tradition, most likely untrue, that Dr. Luke, author of the gospel that bears his name and the Book of Acts, studied there.

Now let’s go back to that aqueduct. The water supply for the city came from hot mineral springs about five miles from the city. By the time the water reached the city it was of a tepid temperature and reeked of sulphur. The water was nauseating to the taste and smell.

Now lukewarm water does not taste good. In order for water to be of any value it must be hot or cold. Cold water refreshes; hot water cleanses and heals.

What Christ was saying was that Christians who are neither refreshing to the world around them or healing to the world around them are to him of no value. As I tell my own congregation, nobody is allowed to sit in the bleachers. As Christ-followers we are all down in the playing field and we better be refreshing or healing.

Hopefully, this answers you question, but if you need any more info, please ask away. Just be aware that it may be weeks before I respond due to many deadlines nearing in my personal and vocational life.

God bless.

1 comment:

  1. Great explanation, as always! I feel so blessed to be part of your church family! My faith has grown in leaps and bounds under your tutelage. God bless you!