The conditions for apathetic fruit are really quite simplistic and hence quite brilliant when you think about it.
Simple is often best.
If an ideology is promoted in order to influence the masses, then some foundational truths need to be maintained. Such things as fairness, equality, open mindedness, politeness, and amiableness.
All of these in their right place are virtues, but if we make them other than what they were supposed to be, and we erect a herd instinct, then the individuality and discernment regarding such virtues becomes a tool which then becomes like a mantra, all the while appearing as just and right, but really becoming a creed that separates the so called enlightened from the fundamentalist's or the non conformists.
I have lived long enough now to meet people who you would think butter would not melt in their mouths, and yet I have had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of some of the harshest treatment from these same people. I have had enemies that would not think about going to the same levels as these people in their quest to utterly destroy me, in varying degrees and ways throughout my life.
I have learned the truth of the scripture which tells me to beware when all men speak well of you, or when scripture tells us not to put our trust in man. (Luke 6:26, Psalm 20:7, Psalm 118:8,9)
They are painful lessons to learn.
How much more powerful are these lessons when those closest to you are the ones hurting you?
People in your own Church, or other believers?
It happens. (Matthew 10:32-40)
We live in a society that is often called fast paced. Increasingly people complain in not having enough hours in their day. Most families have both parents out working, and most parents work in order to hold onto the materialist dream of having as much as they can get. Whether it be 3 cars, a double story house, every conceivable digital product, entertainment, sports, holiday vacations, social pleasures and security including every insurance policy under the sun.
People are just busy, distracted, tired, depressed, confused and each day just brings new burdens to work for and it can be a never-ending cycle, sometimes called the "rat race".
Throw into the mix the responsibility to raise children, to nurture them, protect them and provide for them as well as trying to keep our marriages alive and the whole of life becomes overbearing at times, so we escape perhaps through materialism for some rest, in the fruit of our labours, including recreational drugs such as alcohol or prescription drugs.
Of course, many have opted out of traditional values, so they do not have children, hence have more money to go about the rat race to get a bigger slice of the pie. Others have decided to partner with the same sex and even adopt children because traditional values has after all some kind of value for them too.
Now, whilst all of this is going on, the hectic pace, the mass technological communication that doesn't really work in spite of the fact that everyone has a mobile phone filled with cute ring tones, and the head long rush to get a slice of the pie, the brainwashing behind the scenes continues unabated. People are taught from their youth to embrace our difference's and accept diverse opinions on important and not so important matters. We are educated in a system that promotes these values, and hence looks for reward at effort, even if effort is misplaced. We have a "me" generation and a race of people who are all one mind, one world, one purpose, one common humanity.
We have people today that tell you how they "feel" as opposed to what they "think".
It is as if the whole world is driving through the McDonald's drive-thru for their fill, and when they meet a human at the other end, who mechanically smiles and bids you a good evening, and instinctively you reply with the same mechanical nicety, whilst at the same time shouting at the kids to share their food.
It all seems so normal, but sometimes we get a reality check.
In my next post, I want to address this apathy and soul sleep and try and offer a few suggestions. Nothing new mind you, just wisdom forgotten, ignored and marginalised.
But make no bones about it, the modern Church is asleep just as much as the world is living it's dream. And we only dream when we sleep. Does God have anything to say about the state of things?
I believe He does, and in His own good time, He is pleased to share it with us who not only sleep, but deserve to be put down permanently in light of our actions, motives and dreams as we go about our lives in the presence of a Holy and altogether different God than most of us think He is.
Part of the soul sleep, involves a grand delusion, that is the god many of us make in our own image and likeness. A god who is like a slot machine or a being with a large jar of peanut butter, who just spreads his peanut butter grace all over the place in the hope that people will listen to his claims whilst we all sing kum ba ya.
To be continued