Recently I was asked this question – “why is the church so lukewarm at the moment?”
They weren’t talking about us specifically here at Tea Tree Gully, it was more of a general statement about the church at large. When you look around at the world church in the 21st century, you might wonder what they mean – you hear stories of African churches that have church meetings that run all day, or people in India and further east who walk for miles just to join their brothers and sisters in worship. The world is full of people who clearly love God passionately and deeply.
But do we?
The questioner was talking about the church in Australia, and the Western world at large. If the gospel is so radical, and if Jesus is so revolutionary – in short, if the good news is really that good – why aren’t we swept up in it? The reference from the question is from Revelation 3, the letter that Jesus dictates to the church in Laodicea.
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.
Ouch. C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many other respected Christian writings, has written this on the same topic:
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
What would a “moderately important” approach to Christianity look like? It would say that Jesus is a significant part of our lives. It may come to church most weeks (except when something really important comes up, or have to leave early to get to something), and serve on the odd roster here and there. It would openly identify as being Christian (if asked) and be positive about sharing the faith (even if the thought of doing it is a bit intimidating).
“Moderately important” faith does a lot of good things. It’s a great start. But Christianity, Lewis argues, is of infinite importance. Not just very important, but significant beyond anything else that may happen in the home, the workplace, or the neighborhood. It means that our faith influences every decision that we make, every relationship that we have, the way that we wake up and approach each day. Imagine what a witness believers could have if together everything that we said and did showed that Jesus truly was Lord of our whole lives? Imagine how we could serve those around us, and those within our own community, who most need to know of his love?
What opportunity will you have this week to demonstrate the infinite importance of Jesus?