Your Friday Firestorm #33

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)



  1. Whoa. So it’s better to be completely evil than to be comme-ci comme-ca?

    I guess nobody likes a Charlie Brown.

    I’m also thinking of sins of omission here. Is it better to sin outright than to just trudge away and be an mildly obedient, but lazy Mormon?

  2. I wonder if someone who is ‘cold’, could become converted, and then become ‘hot’, and be a great asset.

    I’m thinking Paul and Alma the Younger here.

  3. So we are acceptable to the Lord if we are either “hot” or “cold”–just not “lukewarm”?

  4. Lawnmower says:

    This scripture brings to mind something said by Hugh Nibley.

    The Gospel is so devised that you must either go overboard for it or leave it strictly alone.

    While this scripture could be read on the basis of hot being righteous and cold being sinful, I see it more as a relation of our active commitment to the gospel.

  5. Julie M. Smith says:

    This is from the letter to the Laodiceans. All of the letters have “local color” that attempted to put the message into terms that would have been especially appropriate for the local culture and/or economy. Laodicea was famous for its hot springs, which were thought to have medicinal effect but of course the hot mineral water would have been disgusting to drink. At the same time, people needed “normal’ streams of cold, clear water to drink. A hot spring is useful for medicinal water; a cold spring is useful to drink, but a lukewarm spring is useful for nothing. The point here is that you need to pick something and do it right–don’t be a half-___-ed disciple but commit yourself to some purpose and do it.

    (Above is from memory from

    except for the devotional application part. I made that up myself.)

  6. Last Lemming says:

    “Spue” isn’t even in my dictionary. Presumably, they spelled it that way instead of “spew” (which is in my dictionary) so that people wouldn’t think it rhymes with “shew.”

  7. Thanks Julie–I hadn’t heard this before. I found the following information.

    The following is from: Understanding the Book of Revelation by Donald W. Parry, Jay A. Parry

    thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. With all of its importance as a city of commerce and trade, Laodicea lacked sufficient fresh water for its inhabitants and visitors, so water was piped to this community from springs located several miles away. By the time the water arrived in Laodicea, it was likely lukewarm, unpleasant to drink, and good only to be “spewed out of the mouth.” Hence, the water at Laodicea lacked the cold freshness for weary travelers and the healing elements for the physically ill and afflicted found in hot water.

    Lukewarm water is a metaphor for some members of the Church in Laodicea (and in any era) who lack gospel zeal (see the command in 3:19 to “be zealous”) and complete faithfulness. These may be the same of whom it is written, “These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God” (D&C 76:79).

    3:16 thou art lukewarm . . . I will spue thee out of my mouth. This metaphor speaks of Church members who are not valiant in their faith; such will God reject, as if ejecting them out of his mouth like bad water.

  8. The last part of Julie’s comment reminded me of a basketball league I used to play in. Teams were allowed to choose their own names, and one team decided to be known as The Fastbreakers, because the tried to move the ball down the court quickly.

    Another team, with a different style of play, and also obviously a better sense of humor, called themselves The Half Fastbreakers.

  9. We need a way to look at this that does not advocate extremism, or intolerance towards the moderate.

  10. Evans-

    Seems like you’re trying to stir the pot with those who would be considered “cafeteria” or NOM? ‘Sup with that?

  11. So is this firestorm all about Romney’s “lukewarm” campaign, and now he’s spew-worthy?

  12. Please, this is an obvious swipe at McCain and all the people who take pride in being a moderate. Very timely.

  13. Steve Evans says:

    adcama, it’s just a couple of verses, not more…

  14. I’m thinking it means be sure to drink your energy drinks ice-cold or ew, you’ll spew.

    Or maybe it’s biblical food safety? Serve hot things hot and cold things cold.

  15. NorthboundZax says:

    As bad being spewed sounds, it still seems better than being eaten.

  16. Lukewarm diet Pepsi, mmmmmmm! Seriously, I have a can on my desk that I’ve been nursing all morning.

  17. Good point Zax. Very funny.

  18. Half Fastbreakers. Very, very funny.

  19. I know, Steve…I was just trying to stir the pot.

  20. Steve Evans says:

    heh. Good point. OK, how about:

    1. This scripture is talking about ‘cafeteria’ members
    2. This scripture TOTALLY talking about the Romney campaign
    3. This scripture says it’s better to be wicked than to be tepidly righteous.

  21. Kevin Barney says:

    Julie #5 gives essential background to this, which is important so that we don’t misunderstand the metaphor. To the north of Laodicea was Hierapolis, with its natural hot springs, and to the east lay Colossae, with its cold, pure water. Laodicea itself lacked a permanent water source. Water was piped in via aquaduct, but of course it would arrive lukewarm. Thus, it is a mistake to equate “hot” with righteous and “cold” with sinning; rather both hot and cold are desirable (hot is healing, cold is refreshing). The tepid waters of Laodicea reflect a lack of spiritual utility, such that they will be vomited (the lit. meaning of the GR word) from the mouth.

  22. Pretty lukewarm firestorm, Steve, not generating much heat. However, Romney’s departure announcement was stone-cold (“I love America!”). I almost mistook him for Steven Colbert. On the other hand, Obama seems to be red-hot!

    As to cafeteria members, some like to linger at the food under the hot lamps (SSM, Blacks & the PH), others are drawn to the frozen desserts (iron-rod holding letter of the law pharisaical creeps, to quote another posting today), but pity the poor folks at the salad bar. No respect at all.

    As to your third postulate, it is better to be wicked cool.

  23. Peter LLC says:

    You’d think folks living in that neck of the woods would be happy for any life-saving water that came their way at all, never mind the temperature. But I suppose that even if desert dwellers can’t be choosers, God can.

  24. Josh Smith says:

    Spew–1)vomit; 2)to come forth in a flood or gush; 3)to ooze out as if under pressure:exude.

    I like spew,… the word. Spew, spew, spew. This isn’t a widely used word, but I like it. Pronouncing the word vocally leaves the mouth in a sort of puckered fish face. Spew.

    Thanks for the post. It doesn’t really fire me up or calm me down–just sort of smiling. Spew.

  25. Josh Smith says:

    I’ve been plagued by “spew” all afternoon,…the word. Someday I’m going to write a book. I haven’t decided what kind of book, but there will be a character named Huckabee Spew. Any thoughts? Anyone with a brief character outline for Huckabee Spew? I love that name.

  26. “If you’re going to spew, spew into this” – Garth

  27. Josh, Hucakabee Spew is a bass player in a rock band, skyrockets up the charts, then crashes due to addiction to biblical phrases, and ends up choking to death on his own vomit at a party at Ann Coulter’s house.

  28. Timburriaquito says:

    S.P.E.W. = Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare

  29. Josh Smith says:


    What exactly are you saying? I’m not one to appreciate subtle nuance, but your post sounds like you’re suggesting … oh my, you thought I meant …

    Listen, any Huckabee reference was pure coincidence. I just like the phonetics of Huckabee Spew. I didn’t mean to suggest any bad connotations with Huckabee and Spew and current, popular, folksy, unliked-by-Mormons political figures.

  30. Josh,

    Subtlety and nuance were always my strong suit. But if by chance I misread you, Huckabee Spew was a real character, popular in the surf music of the 60’s, did a gig on the Lawrence Welk show when he was 13 as a banjo player, and then moved to the Haight-Ashbury, where he met one of the Ruggles, got introduced to tea, and promptly dumped all of his LSD imbibing, er I mean LDS imbibing, friends. Later he got caught up in the southern rock scene, and did session work for the Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Georgia Satellites, and actually appeared in a Brian Setzer video. Torn between his old surf friends who had now gone on to the Eagles and Poco, and his current friends in Southern Fried Rock, he fooled around in Big Band stuff with the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. On tour in Iowa, he narrowly missed boarding a private plane on February 3rd, and had to take a bus to New Hampshire, where he missed his gig with his new band, and thus got waylaid by Ann Coulter on his way back south. That little black dress was just too much for him. :)

    Otherwise paraphrased from Don McCain’s immortal epic top 40 hit, “The Day the Muzak Died”.

  31. Wow, kevinf, that was impressive.

  32. As one can tell, I am not lukewarm on the topic.

  33. Huckabee Stew … er Spew (my bad): Isn’t that dish best served on a plate of six-day-old warmed-over-noodles on the sixth day of the sixth month; with the place setting depicting the burning of a single-spired temple…???

    Doesn’t he beleive that Satan and Christ are brothers…, er… that’s what some of my people tell me anyway…

    How very presidential of you mike…

    Just found this blog… keep up the great work!

  34. Lukewarm water may not be nice to drink, but floating in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in late summer, while the waves rock you in and back out, is my exact idea of what heaven will be like. Blue crab, the most delicious of sea crustaceans, thrive there.

    Those Laodiceans were deprived of some mighty fine waters.

  35. Lisa Kramer says:

    You guys don’t know how to be serious about such a serious subject. Lukewarm Christians are going to be spewed out of God’s mouth and no one seems to care! I believe it means they will be rejected and not have eternal fellowship with God. There are many today that are in that boat. And they don’t even know it. They think all is well and they are really wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Oh God, wake us up. Bring the fear of you, o Lord into all our lives!

  36. Lisa,

    I could be wrong but I think that’s “O” not “o.” So you think we don’t focus on the important stuff? Huh.

  37. Lisa, are you Karter’s wife?

    Sorry, should have resisted the temptation. Probably a result of being hot about the other discussion.

  38. I meant to add a *grin* after the question in #37. I really am sorry that I didn’t do so. It was not meant in earnest.

  39. Lisa Kramer says:

    I don’t really know what you focus on… I’m new here. It’s just that I don’t think God was making empty threats. I believe being “spewed out” – whatever all that entails is a very serious subject and instead of making light we ought to all be checking our hearts to make sure there are no areas of compromise and lukewarmness. By the way, am I on a Mormon site? If so, I wasn’t intentionally looking for Mormon stuff, I typed in “spewed out of God’s mouth” because I’m hungrey for truth and for revelation, for God’s heart and thoughts on lukewarmness and what it really means to be spewed out. But if you are Mormon, just know that in order to inherit the kingdom of Heaven you must be born again. Do you all teach that?

  40. Yes, Lisa, we do – but that is for another thread.

    Just so you know, these particular threads (“Friday Firestorm”) get both serious and joking treatment all the time. It’s kind of expected by now. There is plenty of serious discussion about a large variety of topics on this blog, as I’m sure you’ll find out if you stick around and participate.

    As for the Mormon question, there are plenty of commenters who are not Mormon. Be respectful, and you’ll be just fine.

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