I’m reading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love since my wife read it and encouraged me to do so. After the first few chapters my wife asked me how I liked it and I responded, “It’s very basic but basically very good.” I was not being sarcastic or condescending; I really meant that it was a basic but good read so far. However, when I got to Chapter 4, “Profile of the Lukewarm,” I found the pace of my reading slowed considerably due to the force of its message. It hit me pretty hard because Chan challenged me to take an honest look at my relationship with God. What I found is that there are quite a few areas in my life needing considerable work in living wholly and totally for God. I’ll leave out the details specific to me, but I would like to offer a few quotes that show the markings of a lukewarm Christianity. Maybe there are things here that will serve to spotlight areas to help improve your relationship with God.

Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens—they have their savings account. They don’t need God to help them—they have their retirement plan in place. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live—they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis—their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.

 

“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21; see also Hebrews 11). (pp 78-79)

 

Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt. 23:25-28). (p. 79)

 

Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.

 

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

 

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins (James 4:17).

 

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered (Matt. 21-:28-31). (pp. 70-71)

 

Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.

 

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62).(p. 72)

I wonder if…

  • my life would look much different should I suddenly stop believing in God.
  • I’m sporting a partially sanitized lifestyle in the name of pure holiness.
  • I’m living out my faith vicariously through the lives of others who are living out their faith.
  • I can even identify areas of my life that are not fully submitted to Jesus.

See here for the 2nd of two posts.


For details on Crazy Love visit crazylovebook.com

Spread the word (please & thank you) 

4 Comments

  1. Sounds like a good read. I’m gonna have to get this. Thanks for the review. I’d like to know how the rest of the book is.

  2. Thanks for reading, X.
    If the Lord moves in my heart as I con’t reading through, I’ll be sure and add more. Of course, if the Lord does not move in my heart, that does not mean the book isn’t worthy ‘->. “Each heart knows its own bitterness and no one else can share its joy” (Prov 14:10).

  3. Hey Paul –
    I had the same initial experience in reading it. The first few chapters were good, but not a whole that there that I hadn’t read in other places. Chapter 4 was like getting hit with a brick wall (not me hitting the brick wall, mind you, but the brick wall hitting me). While I haven’t sat down and taken inventory of all areas yet, reading it has helped me focus on at least one thing in a general way which in turn has given me some new perspective on other people.

    I plan on giving a copy of the book to my pastor – I know the end result will be a series of sermons that we all could benefit from in some way.

  4. Hey Shawn:
    Thanks for chiming in here. Glad you found the book useful and I do hope your pastor sees value in it as well.

    Cheers,
    Paul

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