APATHY-THE DEVIL'S PLAY GROUND
(Trussville, AL USA)
"At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will He do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.” (Zephaniah 1:12-13)
Christians have historically condemned apathy as a deficiency of love and devotion to God and His works. This interpretation of apathy is also referred to as Sloth and is listed among the Seven Deadly Sins of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Since this sin of apathy is named among these seven deadly sins, America is surely falling head-on into this laundry list of sins. I'm just not sure where I'd place apathy in this list. Just where would you place apathy in this laundry list of sins?
According to Webster, apathy is "the feeling of not having much emotion or interest." And some of the symptoms of apathy are: Impassiveness, Indifference, Lethargy, and Unconcern.
In connection with this short definition, someone once said that "The nice thing about apathy is you don't have to exert yourself to show you're sincere about it." This random quote somehow tends to fit America's culture of today, would you not agree?
I could probably just pronounce a final "Amen" here and lay my pen to rest, as this preamble strikes at the heart of the American's populace. But let's move on. You see, much like the original seven deadly sins of the Bible, the root cause of apathy is the human desire for more of self, more of the "Me, Myself, and I" syndrome. If only we would follow the example of the Apostle Paul. (Philippians 4:11-12) Does this scripture not strike at the root of apathy?
Once while President Reagan was locked in a cabinet meeting discussion, with one side seeking information and the other side not wanting to be bothered, one frustrated cabinet member finally said, " Mr. President which is worse: ignorance or apathy?" President Reagan then replied, "I don't know, and I don't care." There’s a little basic levity here, but a lot of truth in jest.
To help us understand the progressive indifference of our nation, we only need to regress back to the founding of our country. Such founding mottos as "God Bless America" and "In God We trust" are now being challenged within all phases of our life style, from the government, to the courts, and even within some religious factions.
And such documents as our country’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America are now seen as outdated documents which do not apply to our time. The below excerpts are just as prevalent today as when written.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Taken from the Declaration of Independence)
Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Amendment I, of the US Constitution of the United States)
When the 9/11 terrorists attacked us on our soil, "God Bless America" signs appeared everywhere. But what happened, once America felt secure again? How easy we forget.
You see, all nations are "Under God" regardless of whether they know it or not; whether they like it or not. Some supporting scripture: (Deuteronomy 32:8) (1 Chronicles 29:11-12) (Job 12:23) (Daniel 2:21) (Daniel 4:17, 34-35) (Acts 17:24-26)
Daniel Webster once said, "Whatever makes men good Christians also makes them good citizens." So, what happened to us Christians after the reality of 9/11? Some churches which were filled are not so today. And individuals who were strong advocates of patriotism have now regressed.
Apathy is not an attribute condoned by our Father God. What if our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were given the free will of choice, would have been abandoned by God after committing the first sin of mankind in the Garden of Eden? (Genesis 3:1-7) Simply put, we would not be here today. However, as early as in the Garden of Eden, God made a way of redemption for the human race. (Genesis 3:15)
In this first prophecy scripture of (Genesis 3:15), an individual from the woman's seed, namely Christ, will deal a death blow to Satan's head at the cross, while Satan would bruise Christ's heel (cause Him to suffer).
Yes, apathy is now running rampant in America's society of today, especially in the church. One side-bar of today's apathy is that one doesn't need to advertise their apathy to prove they are sincere about it. It just happens. Apathy just seems to come naturally in today's life style.
So, what's the answer to this ever growing problem of apathy? It's the old cliché of "Back to the Bible.” Simply put, it’s getting back to God's principles. The cure for apathy is God's gift of a renewed love. (Ezekiel 36:26-27) As one claiming the Name of Christ, we should be alert for stressful and overwhelming situations, for pride, and for becoming too comfortable in today's plentiful society. You see, when we are not growing in the Lord, we give way to the opportunity for Satan's apathy. And once apathy takes control, no glory will be given to the Lord.
What has happened to that Old Time Religion? It was good enough for our founding fathers, so, why not us? Just when did Satan's Apathy take over our lives, and our churches? (Ephesians 6:11-12)
You see, I truly believe this tool of Satan called "Apathy" may be the biggest problem that is running rampant throughout our churches today. Apathy, also known as impassivity, is a state of indifference and suppression of our emotions or passions. An apathetic Christian demonstrates a lack of interest in the deeper truths of the Word, preferring instead to stay within their own personal comfort zone that best fits their own personal life style. Why not shout "Amen" if the Spirit leads? Why not give raised hands in praise to God? Why not kneel in prayer at church? There again, has apathy stiffened our worship?
Speaking by instruction of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John, Christ gives a good summation of the early church apathy in (Rev 2:4-5) and (Rev 3:1-3, 6-17).
Fast-forward to the modern day church. It too is largely in denial of the things happening that declares Christ’s soon return. (2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13) (2 Timothy 4;3-4) You see, apathy causes one to become more concerned about their own personal problems over the deeper problems of others who are also part of the family of God.
In (Galatians 5:19-21) we see a list of sins, namely immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, and carousing.
Then in (Galatians 5:22-230, we have certain virtues to counter these additional sins. These virtues are kindness, temperance, charity, chastity, humility, diligence, and patience. These sin remedies can also counter the sin of apathy, but only if we seek them with the Holy Spirit’s help and employ them in our lives.