Monday, June 14, 2010

Chapter 4: Profile of the Lukewarm

For those of you that have read the book, you already know that Chapter 4 is about being "lukewarm." As Chan so eloquently stated in the intro video... If we are lukewarm, Jesus will SPIT US OUT! The book gives us 18 examples of being "lukewarm." But, by no means is this an exhaustive list. These examples are just a starting point, a chance for us to look at ourselves, our actions, OUR HEARTS, and begin a dialog as to what we can do to remove ourselves from the stagnant, lukewarm waters of our current lives. But, before we get started, I want to touch on a few things that Chan discusses at the beginning of the book. First, of all, he starts the chapter off with the following quote:

"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity." p. 65

When I first read this quote, I readily agreed with the sentiment and wondered to whom the quotation was attributed. Honestly, I assumed it was some modern-day theologian. So, imagine my surprise when I learned the quote was from 1809. These words, first coined by Frederic Huntington, still ring true today. Many of you that know me can testify to my passion for apologetics (using reason to defend the Christian faith against objections). What I've found so incredibly fascinating over the years is that no matter who I'm debating... specifically what argument or stance they take (which is usually scientific)... in the end it ALWAYS boils down to the same thing: They cannot tolerate the hypocrisy that has embedded itself deep within the fold of our faith. Somewhere along the line, their "rational" argument comes to a screeching halt and they begin some hate-filled diatribe about disgraced priests, or fallen evangelical ministers, or their church-going, drug dealing brother-in-law that sings in the choir and steals from his employer. Whatever the example, whether we see it on national television or hear about it in our own neighborhoods, the examples are plentiful.

So, how do we change it? Well, unfortunately, there isn't a quick fix. But, I think the first step is taking responsibility for our own actions and being accountable for how we live out our faith... in the world and behind closed doors.

For the next few homework assignments, you will be watching parts of a sermon Francis Chan gave in 2006. Some of you might be tempted to watch the the clip in its entirety (which is fine), but I've broken it down so it corresponds with the blog. For this assignment, watch until the marker reads 9:15.

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