This morning, I read the following passage. It’s interesting to consider it in connection with conservatism:
Revelation 3:14-22 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
One of the problems in conservatism is the attitude of “We have it all together”—“We have all the truth”—“We can’t make any improvements on the past”—“We can’t make our church any more relevant to today than it already is”–“If people would do things our way, the world would be a much better place”. These tend to boil down to “We have need of nothing” (v. 17).
I know, if you consider yourself a conservative, that may seem harsh. But stop and think a little. Doesn’t that describe the bottom line of where many conservative statements end up?
I think that there are many people that think they are “hot”, but are actually lukewarm. They are lukewarm because they are diluting the fire of the Holy Spirit with the rules and doctrines of men and their own ideas. They believe they are following Jesus, but they aren’t following Him 100%. It is impossible to follow Jesus 100% as long as you are hanging on to rules and doctrines of men, because those rules and doctrines cause you to follow men instead of Jesus. You might even be following yourself and the rules and doctrines that you made up!