If you are unwilling to stand, you have no right to criticize those who do. If you are unwilling to speak up, you have no right to armchair quarterback those who have. If you are unwilling to fight, you have no right to complain about the outcome of the battle.
It’s not even that most of the church has become a mass of observers, conscientious or otherwise. For the most part, it has become an amalgam of bratty kids who throw fistfuls of marbles on the ground while others are attempting to run the race.
The only time they will bother to say anything is when someone sprains an ankle or breaks a leg due to the marbles they themselves scattered on the roadside. If perchance this occurs, there is no end to their glee and self-righteous posturing as to how they would have navigated the hazard had they been running the race.
Too many today, are not only disengaged; they take perverse pleasure in the trials and tribulations of other believers. Rather than weep with those who weep, or feel an ounce of empathy, if anyone perchance opens up and shares their hurt, they are quick to mix up a batch of salt and vinegar and pour it on the wound.
I am not a lurker. I don’t have time to lurk, but I notice patterns in what is affectionately known as the Christian community. Just within the past few months, there was one brother who opened up about his wife leaving him, and another who opened up about being diagnosed with cancer. Rather than be a present help in time of need, I saw comments declaring that the cancer was God’s judgment for them not embracing the Hebrew Roots movement, and the wayward spouse was God’s way of informing the individual that he had been forsaken.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how we came to this. I don’t understand how rather than affect the culture we have been affected by it, to the point that our reactions mimic those of the godless.
I know of people who are afraid to speak of their pain, to share their fears, to be transparent and honest because of the backlash they will incur from those they deem brothers and sisters in Christ. I know of people who suffer in silence, who refuse to ask for prayer, because rather than a word of comfort they think they will receive harsh condemnation from the self-appointed judges in our midst.
We have become callous and unloving, and it’s not the devil that did it; we did it to ourselves. Even though we are the architects of our heartlessness, it doesn’t mean we are not playing into the enemy’s hand. It is the devil’s good pleasure to have a fractured, divided church, more interested in cannibalizing itself than standing in unison against him. Just as a house divided itself cannot stand, a body divided against itself is incapacitated, and helpless.
I once visited the home of someone suffering from the late stages of Parkinson’s disease. It was an eye-opening experience. You could see the pain in their eyes, as they tried to get their extremities to comply, to move, to be animated, yet nothing happened. The ability to control body movements was no longer available to them, and all they had left was the memory of long ago when their body functioned as it ought.
I look at the church today, and I can’t help but see the comparison.