The Lukewarm and Undecided Tendency
In Part 3 of his book of distinctive doctrines, Dr Graul lists some of the unsound religious tendencies that can be seen in Christianity. At the top of the list was the lukewarm tendency.
One believes everything, because the Church teaches it; also attends Church regularly. If there be a fine, impressive sermon, the heart feels thrills of repentance, and the resolution is formed : Now I will begin a new life ; and a beginning is really made. Such a one takes part also in all kinds of meetings for Churchly and benevolent purposes, reads the Bible and devotional books, and does not forget to have family worship and to say grace before and after meat. And still, the heart is only half engaged in these matters. You are a stranger to the earnest pangs of repentance, you have no true, heartfelt joy in grace, you give nothing for Christ s sake, your prayer is often only the discharge of a duty, without love, without joyfulness! What is the consequence? If earnest times come in your life, if want and anxiety overwhelm you, if you are called upon to make a decision affecting your life, if you are to pass judgment upon other men then you are not guided by the rule which God s word and your faith give you, but by paltry, cunning calculation, by purely worldly considerations. You are only half a Christian. Do not wonder if the Gospel bring you only transient, half-way consolation. But do not forget either what God’s word says of your manner of life: “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3, 16).
May the Lord save us from this tendency indeed!