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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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Applied to the affections, indifference, or want of ardor. In respect to religion, hardly any thing can be more culpable than this spirit.

If there be a God possessed of unspeakable rectitude in his own nature, and unbounded goodness towards his creatures, what can be more inconsistent and unbecoming than to be frigid and indifferent in our devotions to him? Atheism, in some respects, cannot be worse than lukewarmness. The Atheist disbelieves the existence of a God, and therefore cannot worship him at all; the lukewarm owns the existence, sovereignty, and goodness of the Supreme Being, but denies him that fervour of affection, that devotedness of heart, and activity of service, which the excellency of his nature demands, and the authority of his word requires. Such a character, therefore, is represented as absolutely loathsome to God, and obnoxious to his wrath, Revelation 3:15-16 . The general signs of a lukewarm spirit are such as these: Neglect of private prayer; a preference of worldly to religious company; a lax attendance on public ordinances; omission or careless perusal of God's word; a zeal for some appendages of religion, while languid about religion itself; a backwardness to promote the cause of God in the world, and a rashness of spirit in censuring those who are desirous to be useful. If we inquire the causes of such a spirit, we shall find them to be

worldly prosperity; the influence of carnal relatives and acquaintances: indulgence of secret sins; the fear of man; and sitting under an unfaithful ministry. The inconsistency of it appears if we consider, that it is highly unreasonable; dishonourable to God; incompatible with the genius of the Gospel; a barrier to improvement; a death-blow to usefulness; a direct opposition to the commands of Scripture; and tends to the greatest misery. To overcome such a state of mind, we should consider how offensive it is to God: how incongruous with the very idea and nature of true religion; how injurious to peace and felicity of mind; how ungrateful to Jesus Christ, whose whole life was labour for us and our salvation; how grievous to the Holy Spirit; how dreadful an example to those who have no religion; how unlike the saints of old, and even to our enemies in the worst of causes; how dangerous to our immortal souls, since it is indicative of our want of love to God, and exposes us to just condemnation, Amos 6:1 .

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Lukewarmness'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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