Who are the "Apatheists"?

When we review the approach to religious ideas today, we find a situation which is very tenuous. Christ likened our times to ten virgins, who “took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” Five of these virgins, Christ said, “were wise, and five were foolish.” The foolish “took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The bridegroom, however, delayed His coming, and ALL the virgins “slumbered and slept” (Matthew 25:1-5).

This portends a very grave situation for God’s people, today. They “all” slumber and sleep; speaking of the entire Church!

There was a recent article in “the Californian,” which was syndicated by “Knight-Ridder/Tribune,” written by Tom Schaeffer, relating to a term which was coined by Jonathan Rauch. The article speaks to the atheists and agnostics of today, as well as to the “believers.” Mr. Rauch also addressed a new breed, which he referred to as the “apatheists.”

Who are these apatheists? Mr. Rauch wrote an article in the May issue of the “Atlantic Monthly,” where he defined “apatheism” as “a disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion, and an even stronger disinclination to care about other people’s.” He further defined this term as “an attitude, not a belief system.” He also stated, “It’s not that they don’t believe in a higher power. They simply don’t care one way or the other.”

This apathy concerning religion has been increasing in recent years and since the early 1990’s is not an uncommon thing. In fact, we have seen this attitude building in the very Church of God over the past 10 years, which seems to parallel the growth of this idea in society in general.

In the Book of Revelation, chapter 3, verses 15 and 16, speaking to the Laodicean Church, Christ notes “…that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”

It is so easy to look at these Scriptures and ascribe them to “that other group.” However, brethren, this attitude permeates all of God’s people at the end time. That’s why Christ noted that all ten virgins were asleep. It is time for all of us to examine our own personal lives and determine if these Scriptures apply in our personal situations.

We must be honest in this analysis. If this state of apathy, which has been brought into the Church from the world around us, is affecting our personal relationship with God, we must not kid ourselves about it. Christ says that the answer is for such a one to be “zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). We must not discount this idea. It is the “overcomers” who will rule with Christ in His Kingdom.

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