Wouldn’t you agree that the two biggest problems in our churches are IGNORANCE and APATHY? It seems like we’ve crossed a threshold of comfort-level Christianity today. The Scriptures warn us that the days will come when “sound doctrine” and “godliness” will seem to be things of the past (2 Tim. 3:5, 4:3).
Ignorance is epidemic. Though many can quote Bible verses and go on and on about Bible stories, those same people have no real idea how Biblical principles impact their daily lives. They don’t see the connection between their relationship with God and their marriage, between God’s wisdom and their parenting. They don’t understand how the Bible relates to them being a good employee, a good citizen, or even a good church member. Culture says: Church & the Bible are ineffective relics of a by-gone era and must give way to new ideas. As a result, in order to show tolerance, to not offend, and to be politically-correct, pastors and churches have so watered-down the message that it’s no longer bright- or salty-enough to make a difference (Matt. 5:13-14). All expectations should be thrown out when assuming an American’s familiarity with the core message of the gospel.
Apathy is the tragic norm. I know you’ve heard this before – but churches are full of members with ‘big ears’ and ‘big rears.’ The average Christian’s spiritual life consists of coming to church, sitting on a pew, and listening to a sermon once a week. While many sermons challenge a person’s gluteus maximus (by sitting through long sermons) and the tympanic membrane (by enduring loud or obnoxious voices), far too-few challenge a person’s volition (cognitive, decision-making skills) or their mind. Too many pastors educate and never inspire. The church doesn’t seem to care about what’s happening around them – calloused to the condition of the world. Politics, the economy, natural disasters, wars… I’m afraid there are a lot of people who need to wake up to what’s really going on!
1. Be intentional about your growth. Purpose to not remain stagnate. The measure of this is NOT your amount of service at church or even necessarily your frequency to attend church meetings. Although this is a tough one to measure, try to! Ask yourself: Do I spend more time with God than I used to? Do I trust Him more? Am I more/less patient with others than before? Do I demonstrate more/less grace?
2. Determine to remain passionate about your faith. Be sympathetic and don’t let the emotionless disregard for others dull your sensitivity for life. There is so much to feel (compassion) – and so much to do (in helping others). Locate and destroy any of pockets of apathy in your life. Take this personally: it’s time we cared about what’s at stake! Ask yourself: Am I numb to the reality of Hell? Do I care about those around me enough to take action? What would it feel like to love like Jesus loves?
I’m curious what you think… Is ignorance or apathy more rampant [POLL]? Which is worst [COMMENTS]? How should preachers respond?