The Trouble With Apathy
The definition of “apathy” from Merriam-Webster’s is illustrated as a condition of lacking interest or concern. The word comes from the Greek word “apatheia” which means lacking feeling or emotion. All of the flavors that describe this word can be found in the Church when we begin to allow ourselves to become disengaged from the mission bestowed upon us from the Word of God. While there are several things we as believers are called to engage in, the mission given to the Body of Christ is articulated quite clearly in Mark 16:15-16a, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe, will be condemned.”
When this simple mandate to bring the Gospel to the world goes unheeded, the Church begins down a slide that ends up with an apathetic and lackluster faith that will struggle to draw those who are truly looking for answers in their quest for meaning and truth. We also fail to truly love others when we hold back the way of salvation because we fear the consequences of confronting a world that excels in promoting the notion of “whatever you believe is ok, just as long as you’re sincere.”
Now, grasping and fulfilling this mandate will not be easy. The world, in general, is resistant to the Gospel because it requires belief in what God says in His Word, and as we see in the scripture above, describes a penalty for those who do not. It is easy to be a Christian if you can believe whatever you want. But when the Gospel challenges a previously held position that is contrary to the truth of the Word, the sinful nature will resist it. If we maintain our faith and integrity in the mist of bringing the Gospel to the world, we will be persecuted. And if we fail to take the Good News to the lost, that Christ has risen to pay for the sins of all who dare believe [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth…AMPLIFIED], we risk becoming mired in an apathetic form of religion, and miss out on the power the Spirit provides those who truly engage in Christ’s mission.
Pastor Chris Hayden