An Apathetic Death to the Christian Life

Definition of APATHY
1: lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
2: lack of interest or concern : indifference
                           -Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Apathy is something that has been bothering me lately. It is something that I am having a harder time trying to ignore. I think I could rant about it for quite awhile, but what bother’s me the most is how much of it I allow in my own life.

We all know that it is something we allow to some degree in our lives. It is easier to take a stance on the bigger things that we face on a daily basis, but there are a huge number of things that we are indifferent about because we do not see it.

In recent news, there is outrage over the beating death of a homeless man by law enforcement officers. It is something that should never have happened and because it is shown to us, we can say that it was wrong. We can call for changes and reform to be made. We can take our stance and not be apathetic to what happened. That is fine and great, but did you watch the bus recordings that captured the reactions to the people who watched it happen?

You see, people stood by and watched a man being beaten by six police officers. If it was so horrible, why stand and watch it? Why not step up and break up the fight? Why not shout at the police to stop? Why not do something?

Self preservation kicked in. People don’t want to be attacked by the police who didn’t mind beating someone else. No one wanted to get arrested for interference. No one wanted to step outside of their comfort zone and take a stance.

How many times do we refuse to take a stance on the things around us because we do not want to get outside of our comfort zone? It doesn’t affect us directly, so we can feel bad about it, but we don’t do anything about it. There are those who take it a step further and refuse to acknowledge it because they do not want to feel bad. I have friends like this. They do not want to know what is going on and refuse to see beyond the circumstances of their life. They do not want to feel bad and experience conviction. That is the nature of apathy. It deals with people being selfish and self-centered. See; it is easy to go on a rant about this.

It bothers me when I see friends choosing to be apathetic, but it bothers me more when they do not understand why I do not want to be.

I have been called foolish and irrational for choosing to no longer shop at Home Depot over their support for same sex marriage. Whether you agree with my stance on it or not, why is it foolish to take a stance in something you believe in? The justification was that you can not know what causes a company supports so why bother trying to using moral values when choosing where to spend your money. That is apathetic thinking.

If I know a company actively supports a cause I disagree with, I do my best to stop supporting that company. When I learned about the sex slavery issue, I started supporting ministries that fight those issues and tries to rescue women and children from that life. When you see starving kids or the fact that people die daily due to a lack of clean water, then I take money to support those ministries. I really want to start a central ministry that all it does is give money who are putting faith into action to bless people. That is a future dream right now, so now I try to take money and support them.

The problem is, I do not support them each week. There are times I take the money and do something I want to with it. I try to justify it that I should be able to enjoy it as I earned it, but it doesn’t sit right with me. If I truly feel like what I have is provided by God, why would I have any claim to it? Shouldn’t I be giving this to people I know need it more than I do? Self sacrifice though. My personal desires are elevated above those who are truly suffering and I become some what apathetic to it.

But what about the small things? What happens when you associate with people who use profanity and don’t say anything about it? Doesn’t your in action condone that person’s behavior? They have the right to say what ever they want and I do not want to take that right away, but I have the right not to be subjected to it. The same goes for crude jokes and suggestive comments. So what stops people from taking a stance against those behaviors? They do not want to cause themselves the discomfort of having to oppose others. All they have to do is say they do not appreciate that behavior and then possible deal with the repercussions of people talking about them and/or mocking them for their beliefs. So much easier to just let it slide and silently object, but that is not what a Christian is supposed to do is it? What happens when it is divorce or adultery?

Shouldn’t the Christian be the example of Christ? Shouldn’t they take a stance when something occurs that is in disagreement with their “new life”? One of the big aspects of Christianity is you exchange your old, self-centered life with the new serving life of Christ. If you are apathetic to the things that Christians hold to be wrong, are you reverting back to the old life that was supposed to be dead? Aren’t you really killing off the new life by refusing to live it?

This is my problem. I am seeing more and more that there is a line clearly drawn and we must make the choice of which side to stand on.


Filed under Bible, Christianity, Relationships, Religion

6 responses to “An Apathetic Death to the Christian Life

  1. Just a question to ponder – – should being an example of Christ give me the right to insist others be like me? Or should I simply be the example and let God work. It is, in fact, His, and only His work. Thanks and God bless.

  2. I don’t think we can insist on a certain adoption of thoughts/beliefs or we risk becoming legalistic in our approach. People then will act a certain way without experiencing any real change. I do think we have the right to have people respect our choices or we should not spend much time in their presence though.

  3. I simply stated that a number of days in the past!!!

  4. The post you wrote is really interesting.

  5. Cliff

    I’ve become so apathetic/selfish lately and though I know the way out is to look to Christ, I’m resisting. I look around in the lives of fellow believers and their friendships and I’m disgusted at the superficial nature (my perception perhaps) of these relationships. At once I’m apathetic and jealous and ….well, it’s just very difficult. It can be so much work to foster good relationships. The word apathy googled is how I came onto your article.

  6. I feel your pain. I have been going through something similar to that recently.

    Now with the relationship comment, I am curious as to why you see them as superficial. Not to say that they are not, as I currently see several relationships where people are trying their hardest to be positive and cheery while denying that they ever struggle. That is such a false picture of Christ that it repels me as well.

    I appreciate your comment.

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