“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Revelation 3: 15-16
“There is no wild wind in his soul,
No strength of flood or fire;
He knows no force beyond control,
He feels no deep desire.”
Edgar Vine Hall, “A Laodicean” (1906)
Christ does not like moderates and likens them to a lukewarm drink, which neither refreshes nor warms. Christ said this when he appeared to John on Patmos, in reproof to the church at Laodicea, and by it meant to say that the Laodiceans were languid in both love and hate. As the poet put it, they have “no strength of flood or fire.” Desire does not sweep them off their feet; repugnance does not ignite their fervent wrath. Laodiceans see good and bad in everything, and that is why Christ tells them to correct their blurred vision with “eyesalve.”
In social life it is often necessary to compromise and split the difference, but in spiritual life it is death. This is why you must never let the palm-greasing, back-scratching, log-rolling spirit of democracy enter your soul. In your soul there must blow a wild wind, blizzard or scirocco as the case be. There must not play equable and shifting zephyrs, like those that soothed the moderate liberals who basked on the beach of Lotus Land.
“Straightway they went, and came to speech
With men of Lotus Land.
And for our comrades no ill turn
The Lotus-eaters plann’d,
But offer’d them the fruit to taste
Of lotus, honey-sweet,
Now whosoever had once learn’d
That flowery food to eat,
Cared to return no longer, nor
Send word his tale to tell,
But, all forgot, forever there
In Lotus Land to dwell.”*
*) Homer, Odyssey, trans. Isaac Flagg (East Aurora: Roycrofters, 1923).