People tend to avoid what is painful and indulge in that which is pleasurable. This is human nature. But in True Christianity we are called to delight in sufferings and keep our passions under control. Unfortunately, the movement of butterflies, banners, and balloons, i.e. Emotional Christianity, has become so mainstream that people have forgotten what it is that Jesus called His followers to do. When he said, ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ He wasn’t suggesting that we are meant to have our emotions appealed to. A statement as bold as this is a call to real battle, a battle of our own passions and the rejection of our natural tendency to sin. There is no Christianity without the Cross. Jesus even allowed His own mother to suffer here on Earth. Lukewarm Christianity is THE scurge upon our blessed country.
C.S. Lewis said that watered down Christianity is a religion for ‘boys’. Real men would not waste their time with a happy-go-lucky, emotional faith. Real men desire something worth fighting for. Emotions are a big part of who and what we are but to base our faith on them is to create a castle built upon sand. Our emotions will sway from one day to the next. While the feelings that can occur when we truly feel the love of God are a blessing we cannot expect them to be around all the time. Christianity is a religion for living, breathing, thinking, human beings. With the cross at the center of our faith the closer we get to Christ the closer we should get to the cross. So to deny our crosses and to desire only that which is pleasing to our passions is to deny the very essence of Christ. There is no resurrection without death, we cannot grow closer to God if our egos and passions are in the way.
In the Jewish religion of the Old Testament the people had such a matured fear of the Lord that when the Rabbi would go into the Holy of Holies once a year they would tie a rope around his waist in case God decided to kill him on the spot. Even uttering the name of God could get you killed. Lucky for us, because God became man we no longer have to have this type of fear of Him but we still need to have a profound respect and a healthy fear of the Lord is a gift from the Holy Spirit. So when we speak of Jesus as a divine psychiatrist, who only wants us to be all fluff and feel good inside, we do Him a great injustice. Our Lord is not one to take disrespect lightly either; just look at Lucifer. I can be completely honest here and say that if Christianity was a religion of butterflies and kites I would have nothing to do with it. And I would hope that no self-respecting man would either.
"I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." does not sound like an invitation to think that just being a good person is enough to earn heaven.