It is Laodicean,--conformed in everything to the popular judgment and will,--the extreme opposite of Nicolaitan. Instead of a Church of domineering clericals, it is the Church of the domineering mob, in which nothing may be safely preached except what the people are pleased to hear,--in which the teachings of the pulpit are fashioned to the tastes of the pew, and the feelings of the individual override the enactments of legitimate authority. It is lukewarm,--nothing decided,--partly hot and partly cold,--divided between Christ and the world,--not willing to give up pretension and claim to the heavenly, and yet clinging close to the earthly,--having too much conscience to cast off the name of Christ, and too much love for the world to take a firm and honest stand entirely on His side.
There is much religiousness, but little religion; much sentiment, but very little of life to correspond; much profession, but very little faith; a joining of the ball-room to the communion-table, of the opera with the worship of God, and of the feasting and riot of the world with pretended charity and Christian benevolence. And it is self-satisfied, boastful, and empty. Having come down to the world's tastes, and gained the world's praise and patronage, the Laodiceans think they are rich, and increased with goods, and have need in nothing. Such splendid churches, and influential and intelligent congregations, and learned, agreeable preachers! Such admirable worship and music! Such excellently manned and endowed institutions! So many missionaries in the field! So much given for magnificent charities! Such an array in all the attributes of greatness and power! What more can be wanted? ... Can any one scrutinize narrowly the professed Church of our day, and say that we have not reached the Laodicean age?
J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse, 1865
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon