“The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers.”
— St. Maximilian Kolbe
You would think I would be used to hearing the following words by now, “I don’t need to go to “church.” I can study my Bible and pray at home.” Still, every time I hear these words it is like getting slapped in the face.
I have no idea where this concept of religious individualism came into being, no, that is not true, I do know where it came from. It came from the father of lies. Jesus made it clear, when we enter into the process of salvation we enter into a community, the covenant community of the called out ones we know as the church. When a person does not find their gifts, their calling with this called out community, they have already be deceived into traveling a path leading to their own spiritual destitution. The father of lies has succeeded.
Yes, the church has been and is involved in allowing some terrible things to happen. I carry many, many emotional and spiritual scars from serving the church (I have also found my greatest blessings and hope in the church as well). Churches can be mean, heartless, and judgmental. Churches will always have those who create conflict, are hypocritical, and have no idea what Jesus expects from them. This does not excuse us from our responsibility of seeking to be salt and light in the midst of the church as well as in the culture. It is never a good idea to let excuses create indifference.
Jesus said to Peter, “Upon this rock (himself) I will build my church. Jesus did not say accept me and I will build your faith on the golf course or the lake or in any other kind of leisure or alternative activity. Without the communal support and spiritual resources that God gives to the church, we will slowly, but certainly, enter into a spiritual indifference that can and most likely will bring spiritual decline and decay.
It would be very wise for us remember and retain the truth the writer of Hebrews gives us in warning and encouragement, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
(Heb. 10:24-25 NRS)