Lukewarm Christians and God as a 'Cosmic Therapist'
Revelation 3:16 is a dire warning that Jesus Christ loathes the lukewarm profession and practice of Christianity and will reject (vomit out – NKJV) those who think they can maintain faith in both a Christian and a secular world view. Having a foot in both camps is also rejected in Matthew 6:24 – you cannot serve two masters. In Psalm 119:113 it talks of hating the double-minded, while in James 1:8 and 4:8 the double minded are called to repentance from their unstable ways. The message is clear; either be born again and commit yourself wholeheartedly to the cause of Christ, or get away! God will tell such people he never knew them (Matthew 7:23).
In John Gill’s commentary on Rev. 3:16 he explains the passage like this: “A lukewarm professor is one that serves God and mammon; that halts between two opinions, and knows not what religion is best, and cares little for any, yet keeps in a round of duty, though indifferent to it, and contents himself with it; and is un concerned about the life and power of godliness, and takes up with the external form of it; and has no thought about the glory of God, the interest of Christ and truth... wherefore it was very loathsome to Christ, hence he threatens: I will spew thee out of my mouth; this shows how nauseous lukewarmness is to Christ…”
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, following a national study of religion and youth, have recently come up with a new definition of Christian youth and their parents. Spokesman Dr Albert Mohler concluded many Christians reduce God to a deity that solves their problems and makes them happy. According to Dr Mohler God, for these people, is little more than a “divine butler”, or “cosmic therapist”. As Mohler correctly observes (paraphrased) the sovereignty of God is replaced with the sovereignty of self. (from: Forbidden Gates (2010), by Thomas and Nita Horn).
The study led to a book-Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005) by sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Denton. In it they describe these lukewarm Christians as 'moralistic therapeutic deists'. They believe in several moral statutes not exclusive to any of the major world religions. It is this combination of beliefs that they label moralistic. The therapeutic Deism is characterised by these beliefs:
· A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
· God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
· The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
· God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
· Good people go to heaven when they die.
This is Christianity with its heart and soul removed. Sin, righteousness, repentance, atonement, holiness and sanctification are missing. It is not about 'a god', but the God. God expects people to be holy and act justly, in obedience to his commands. Good people do not go to heaven - only those who are 'saved', by accepting through repentance the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, will get there. God must be part of the whole of life; he should transform our minds and our actions. Christianity is the only true faith, because Jesus Christ is the only way to the one true God. Without these things you are left with a hollow, false gospel. No wonder lukewarmness makes Jesus Christ so angry.