For almost fifteen years a small group of men from our church has met each Wednesday at Magnolia Bakery. We discuss a chapter in a book and pray for one another and the concerns of our church — as well as discussing the best lawnmower or chainsaw to buy.

Right now we are reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It isn’t quite as deep as many of the books we’ve read, but still a worthwhile read. This week’s chapter was called “Profile of the Lukewarm.” As we discussed it, I think we all came to the same conclusion: Guilty as charged.

Chan begins with a quote from 1890 that continues to have relevance: “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 a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going hollow-hearted prosperity” (Frederick D. Huntington).

You won’t have the benefit of the cogent and perceptive insights of my brethren around the breakfast table, but I commend these thoughts to you from the chapter:

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly.

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church … as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living.

Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict.

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.

Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act.

Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends.

Lukewarm people gauge their morality or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world.

Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part.

Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.

Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves.

Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.

Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven.

Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.

Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty.

Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control.

Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.

Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to.

Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever.

It would be a helpful exercise for you to take a look at your own life in the light of this critique to judge the extent to which your own faith is lukewarm. It could be even more productive if you discussed this with a fellow believer.

However, coming to the conclusion,“ain’t it awful” isn’t particularly helpful. In the light of this examination, you can repent and ask God to help you to change. That’s something all of us can do.