Someone has recently said, "The greatest challenge to faith is not intellectual at all, but rather shallow indifference." As I personally see it, the greatest threat from within the church today is not false doctrine, vile sins, or even the loss of faith, but rather simple indifference.
Indifference is "the thief" in the church. It robs the church of our time, our talents, and support. Indifference kidnaps the members out of Bible class and worship, saps the enthusiasm of members, sabotages all kinds of good programs, and takes the pleasure out of serving Jesus.
Indifference is the most difficult of all problems in the church to deal with.
Many in the church are not against what we are trying to do, nor are they really for it. They are simple "just indifferent!"
"Trust a person little who praises everyone; trust a person less who criticizes everyone; trust a person least who is indifferent."
People can change their minds. A man's right to hold to a certain view does not mean that view is right. One can be led to a fuller knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Christians can be "equipped" for fuller service and guided in faithful ministries for the Lord. We can grow and mature as we correct our mistakes and become more like Jesus. But...not if we are indifferent.
The first time I read the above article, it didn't really click that well in my head. The second time through, the truth of its message rang forth more forcefully. It makes an excellent point of truth that we would all do well to use as motivation to examine ourselves as to whether we are caught up in the lethargy of indifference.
Incredibly, many people don't care to study about their soul's salvation because of indifference! A prime reason why a great many Christian exhibit so little commitment in their church attendance is indifference! Many members do a poor job of supporting the work of the church through their giving basically because of indifference! Perhaps the biggest reason why most people don't become much involved in the work and activities of the church on a consistent basis is indifference!
It's difficult to impress upon someone the urgency of their need to act if they're essentially indifferent to that need. The article hits the nail on the head. Indifference on the part of members robs the church of their potential effectiveness, of all they could be and do, of all the productive roles they could fill, if only they weren't so indifferent...
Gary L. Hutchens