An Exhortation to Christians: It's OK to Feel Uncomfortable<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Jan Markell
"<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />USA Today" had an interesting article yesterday titled, "Poll Shows Americans are in a Funk." Right now they don't care about anything. Future terrorist attack in America--not a chance even though Bush/Cheney calls it a "sure thing." Besides, it's summer so off goes the brain, curiosity, attention span, and exploration of new ideas and issues. Thankfully the remnant holds out for truth and solid information and hasn't parked brain and love of truth in neutral.
I honestly don't need "USA Today" to give me the above headlined story. I get feedback daily from folks who tell their friends and family about the current issues of the day that are significant and the importance of matching events with the Bible to help "discern the times." The response? "Lighten up." "Don't take life so seriously." "You're so negative." "Why don't you take time to not just smell the roses but the whole flower shop and get your eyes off negativity (translate that reality)."
Those who are getting insight only from the mainstream media are going to fall into this trap readily as they focus on the wrong issues, major in minors, and have a disturbing agenda. The alternative media provides some relief, and truth, including talk radio and the Internet. Even Fox News obsessed and overdosed on Michael Jackson, baseball steroids, and kids lost in the woods which further put people into the apathy zone and gave them the freedom to park their brains for a long season.
Nobody, least of all believers, should be in the dark as it concerns the issues of the day and the "discerning of the times." From the Middle East to the decline of the culture, to the antics of the ACLU to weaken America, to out-of-control judges, political correctness, border/immigration problems, the threat to the world from Iran, Russia, and China, to the "Islamic bomb," this is no time to zone out. And the jihadists have called no truce with the Western world and particularly America. God's incredible patience has spared the world a major catastrophe since 9/11.
The reliable "Alliance Defense Fund" suggests that the "gay agenda" in America gains ground daily due to American and Christian apathy. Very few in any country understand the Middle East "muddle" because apathy doesn't allow them to find the truth in that arena. America's capital is adrift with mischief and deceit because too many Americans will not challenge our leaders and their policies, behavior, ethics, and voting record, all due to apathy and the sentiment that "it won't do any good anyway." Wrong! Almost all stick their finger in the wind to monitor public sentiment and hire pollsters to guide their actions, though admittedly some ignore the facts.
I had an email from England today which said, "I find it very sad that the church is dying here and being allowed to die for the sake of materialism on the one hand and apathy on the other." This is a global dilemma.
Believers have the best news of all and are the last ones who should be apathetic! We are about the only source left on the planet that have good news. But our "don't rock my comfort zone boat" applies to some believers today as well. How can we be salt and bring light to a dark world if we are caught in the apathy tar pits? It will also stifle evangelistic efforts. However, I have heard that attendance at Christian conferences has plunged to 50% of what it was just a few years ago. Event fatigue? Perhaps. Or learning fatigue? I think it's just plain apathy.
The Bible says that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). If believers aren't going to be single-minded enough to focus on Kingdom issues and instead drown in a malaise, everything and everyone suffers. Slumbering spirits embolden only one entity--the kingdom of darkness who will take advantage of it all.
The Bible characterizes a last days' generation to that of Noah's day. Back in those days, they were carrying on with life, having a grand old time, eating, drinking, and marrying. They likely didn't have a serious thought as they enjoyed the "feel good" atmosphere of that day. Noah pleaded with them for over one hundred years to get out of their comfort zone or they would find themselves unbelievably uncomfortable! We don't know for sure if we're the generation to be compared to Noah's time, but somehow I think we could be.
I thank God daily for the remnant who is as troubled by the malaise as I am. Don't give up even if you are rebuffed! Keep your mind of the glorious future God has for us in Eternity and what He's done for us. If you remain Bible-focused, you can't possibly be neutral, apathetic, or a victim to 21st Century malaise.
(Jan is founder/director of Olive Tree Ministries. To learn more, get her email alerts or free, print newsletter, visit her Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org.)
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