Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Apathetic Church

I have been absent from the church for three months. Several of those weeks were due to fighting off the flu. A couple were due to being overtired from working so many hours of overtime, or just sleeping in due to being overtired from working so many hours of overtime. In those three months, not a single member of the church reached out to see how I was doing or to find out if I had switched churches or simply quit going altogether. Yeah... Can you feel the love?
"Whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" 1 John 3:17

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

"...the one who loves God should love his brother also." 1 John 4:21b
As the above passages imply, when your heart conveys an attitude of indifference toward the plight of your brothers and sisters in Christ, then perhaps you might want to examine yourself to see if you are truly a Christian, because your claim to love God is contradicted by the lack of love you show for and toward your brothers and sisters in Christ.
"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverbs 3:27

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18
Indifference is apathy. Apathy is the opposite of love. If you do not care one way or another about the plight of your brothers and sisters in Christ, you are in direct contradiction to what the Bible says about loving your brother and neighbour.
"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20
Apathy is akin to hatred. Is it any wonder why I desire to move to Peru where even the unsaved know what it means to look out for and love your brother and neighbour? Families look out for one another there, in every capacity. Not just your close relatives (father, mother, brother sister), but your distant relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins). Several of the churches there look out for believers who are not even members of their church, or even fellow countrymen. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. We all belong to one body, to the same invisible church. It is truly remarkable how in a third world country both the saved and unsaved reflect what we see happening in the book of Acts, but here in North America even the church is apathetic and unloving toward its own members let alone to other believers outside their membership. This alone has the effect of creating cold, hard hearts within believers.

My speech may not be seasoned very well with grace, and I might not show love very well with my words, but I still know what is required of me as a follower of Jesus and I do my best to do whatever is within my power to do. If your works do not bear out your faith, then your faith is dead, worthless, and useless because the old cliché still holds true: actions speak louder than words. What you truly and honestly believe will be seen in your actions. Anathema to any church or Christian that is indifferent and apathetic toward their brothers and sisters in Christ and toward their neighbour.