In reading through Chapter 5 in Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love, I was faced with many questions. Chan does not play around in Chapter 4 (about lukewarm Christians) or Chapter 5 (about giving God our "leftovers"). I felt like I had gone 12 rounds with a prized fighter after reading these chapters!
While Chan's writing is compelling, I'd have to say it's also somewhat controversial. There's no way I can really go into all of it right here, but here is a sampling of the quotes from this chapter:
- To put it plainly, churchgoers who are lukewarm are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven. (p. 84)
- The thought of a person calling himself a “Christian” without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd. (p. 85)
- Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily being disciples. (p. 87)
- To call somebody a Christian simply because he does some Christian-y things is giving false comfort to the unsaved. (p. 88)
- God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing. (p. 91)
- Many of us believe we have as much of God as we want right now, a reasonable portion of God among all the other things in our lives. (p. 96)
- “Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus?” Chan says this is the unthinkable question that most of us ask ourselves.
I think it's dangerous to make people begin to question their salvation. None of us are worthy of God's love...but He gives it freely anyway. I agree that a Christ-follower who has a thriving relationship with God will have have evidence of fruit in his life, while those who only live for themselves have a "dead faith."
And, I do think a lot of people who profess to be Christians are not necessarily followers of the Way (his disciples).
But, I cannot say that "lukewarm Christians" will not be in heaven. Last I checked, we all fall short of the mark, and the only requirement to be included among God's children is to accept the gift of His son, and invite him to be a part of our lives.
I doesn't excuse sin by any means. But, I would much prefer to err on the side of God's grace rather than God's disappointment with His children.
Thank goodness I'm not God. I'll leave the judging to Him.