"neither cold nor hot"

Posted by ESC on April 30, 2005

In Reply to: "Neither cold nor hot" posted by Anders on April 30, 2005

: "...because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (The Bible)

: Being a warm person is generally preferred to being a cold one. The quote above makes it clear that being lukewarm is worse than being cold. Since our moral standards are largely Biblical (Jew/Christian) in origin, I am curious if someone has any knowledge of how this quote has generally been interpreted. It seems to me that the quote, such as it stands, lends some legitimacy to being cold. And, our morals being ultimately a Biblical derivative, this is a surprise, as it conflicts with the general norm, which says that warm is good and cold is bad.

: Cheers
: Anders

Revelation 3:15-16 (King James Version)
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.

Most people want a drink to be hot or cold. Lukewarm or tepid is nasty. Bibletools.org explains the verses this way:

Why does Christ want Christians to be either hot or cold? "Because if they were either cold or hot, they would be useful to Him. Lukewarm Christians send confusing messages. In this state, being useless to Him, He spews them out of His mouth. Metaphorically, what does lukewarmness signify here? To define it to this point, a rough definition might be 'that which gives no refreshment, or that which has neither the cleansing properties of hot water nor the refreshing properties of cold.'" Bibletools.org