Lukewarm living

I have moved myself out of doors to fully enjoy the first day of Spring. There are several things I should be doing – there always are. I have a washing basket full of books to put up on eBay and there’s that storyboard assignment that’s due on Wednesday.

I could blog about meeting Burkie’s Beth yesterday. It’s definitely worth a mention and it was delightfully funny watching the two interact. It was good catching the Burks again and I really like Beth – if not for the primary reason that she’s shorter than me ;P

The reason that I came back on here, was to mention what we talked about on Wednesday night at Young Adults Small Group thing. Pete Downes made a ‘guest apperance’ comeback and did a mighty fine job of it.

We began with the sweeping generalisation that about 50% would no longer be Christians by the age of 40 and looked at some of the causes. Namely life pressures, spouse choice, career etc. Then at the implementation of ‘usefuls’ that keep us going.

  • Spiritual Mentors
  • Discipline
  • Community
  • Accountability/peers
  • Choice of Christian partner (if this is the avenue you happen to waltz down)

I have heard similar statistics before and as ‘freakish’ as it is, I find it a bit difficult to comprehend. I can’t claim to have done things overly well. I know that how I approach life and God can get sloppy at times and I certainly don’t get everything right but he is pretty well ever-present and whatever difficulty I have in comprehending him only very very rarely gets to the ‘existence’ question. I unfortunately can’t claim never – but am in some ways glad, because doubts, although unpleasant can push you on to something better and make you rationalise and work out more of your faith and why you believe what you do.

Complacency is by far greater the worry. Although I can see myself remaining a Christian I know how easy it is to let things get comfortable, to drop off the self-discipline means of actively seeking God – enjoying God.

A friend of mine, Analise (I hope you don’t mind) wrote this poem,

Unsettle our hearts
Feel challenged
Feel encouraged
Feel like we will never stop
Continue to grow
Continue to learn
In you
About you
Unsettle our hearts
Not get comfortable
Not get lazy
Not get caught up
To go
With our all
Unsettle our hearts

Revelation 3:14-22 addresses this.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (3:15-16)

It’s an interesting passage. Because of the whole ‘cold is prefferable to lukewarm’ thing. Christianity in a:

  • comfortably numb
  • going through the motions
  • feet in two camps
  • apathetic
  • pious
  • bland

sense is not much use at all. I’m kicking myself now that despite writing a few things down, I skipped over this bit – maybe because the discussion got too interesting. So why is cold is prefferable to lukewarm?

I started a thread a week or so ago in Gush on Rededication and the part it plays in Christianity, with the quote:

“A real barrier preventing Christians from enjoying the rest that Jesus promised is self-effort. Many have been so conditioned to believe that they must, “Do something for God” that they are constantly struggling to do more and more. Many have rededicated self to God again and again. Yet self is what stands in the way of victorious Christian living. As long as we struggle to live the Christian life, Christ is hindered from living it through us.” – Steve McVey

I am always a little skeptical of the whole altar call approach to re-dedication. Perhaps it has to do with my fairly emphatic views on emotional manipulation. I don’t think the issue is so much a re-dedication but a repentance and alignment. Which may or may not be the same thing. It all depends on how you look at it.

I think it’s brilliant that the, stand at the door and knock passage, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
Is within the context of being directed at Christians. It’s a bit sad that it gets so far removed from this context that we totally disregard it.

I’m a huge fan of this whole passage (Yes, I’m still talking about the Revelation one).

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (3:17-18)

There’s a lot more to Christianity than the going through the motions. A life of righteousness is both wonderful and excpetionally daunting. Certainly, God through his Son sees us that way without it we’d be screwed, but there’s still that call to avoid the lukewarm living.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8 read more)

Be unsettled.

And while you’re at it, over on Matt Glover’s blog there’s a post that nice and relevant.
Faith, Perspective and Passion.


  1. said:

    Hey Bec…

    Nice post! Good to see you fired up about something 🙂

    Here’s the lyrics for comfortably numb (pink floyd) if you are interested…

    Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me.
    Is there anyone home?

    Come on, now.
    I hear you’re feeling down.
    Well I can ease your pain,
    Get you on your feet again.

    I need some information first.
    Just the basic facts:
    Can you show me where it hurts?

    There is no pain, you are receding.
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
    When I was a child I had a fever.

    My hands felt just like two balloons.
    Now I got that feeling once again.
    I can’t explain, you would not understand.
    This is not how I am.
    I have become comfortably numb.

    Just a little pinprick.
    There’ll be no more –Aaaaaahhhhh!
    But you may feel a little sick.

    Can you stand up?
    I do believe it’s working. Good.
    That’ll keep you going for the show.
    Come on it’s time to go.

    There is no pain, you are receding.
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
    When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
    Out of the corner of my eye.
    I turned to look but it was gone.
    I cannot put my finger on it now.
    The child is grown, the dream is gone.
    I have become comfortably numb.

    September 1, 2006
  2. said:

    Its one of Pete good old staple talks. He has been giving it since he was my youth leader. But he is so right. I look back at those days when he said that stuff, there are not many of those guys who are still active in Church.

    September 1, 2006
  3. said:

    Yeah I like Pink Floyd, its like the 70-80’s equivelant of Eclclesiastes

    September 1, 2006
  4. said:

    Tim, if you think that is fired up, you are a little mistaken. Perhaps fractionally but…

    hmm now THAT’s an interesting idea.
    I should have a poke through my archives and try and find the posts where I have really been fired up!

    anyway, nice to see you reading this.
    Thanks for the lyrics.

    September 1, 2006
  5. said:

    So THAT’S why you said something about me being shorter than you thought I was 😛 Whatever I can do to make ya feel better Bec, hehe.

    I get so much peace out of being comfortable, that I often need to realise that being uncomfortable is where I grow, and where I *need* to be.
    I need to realise more often that it’s when I am unsettled, that God reveals Himself to me more often, because I’m not “just settling”.

    I like this post. Not just because I was mentioned 😉

    September 2, 2006

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