Thursday, February 23, 2012

Apathy, Fear, or Trusting Obedience

I have recently become aware of some concerns regarding the new Education Bill which is scheduled to be passed soon in Alberta. 

For those of you who aren't aware of the current concerns you can read about it here - my focus in this post has more to do with our response than the actual content. 

I have been pondering three different responses that we can have to any issue of this nature, responses I've seen both in myself and in others. 

Apathy.  This is the simplest response to anything. It can be easy to brush off threats to our freedom as fear mongering, look at a huge issue like abortion and think 'what good can I do', or even more insidious, 'plan' to do something 'someday' - but never arrive at that day. 

"If you say, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that ponders the heart consider it? and he that keeps thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?" Pr. 24:12

Fear. Probably the most wide-spread and natural response to an article like this, as our minds have this fascinating habit of lumping every possible outcome into one impending outcome. Fear can be a strong motivator to actually do something, but is ultimately more debilitating than helpful. Fear can lead right back to apathy as we think, 'it doesn't matter what I do, it won't change a thing'.

Trusting Obedience. Ultimately, as Christians, this should be our response to every issue that arises, every potential threat to our freedom. 
Obedient, because we have a Biblical mandate to stand for truth, for righteousness, and to defend the weak. 
Trusting, because we know that God has clearly warned us of persecution through all history, and specifically in the final days before His return, yet has promised a reward that far surpasses anything we may experience.

The combination of these two were what triggered the bulk of my thoughts on this subject. 

We have a responsibility to speak out against unrighteousness in our government, in our country, and in our communities. How can we protest against laws that are wrong or unjust if we did nothing to stand against them? How can we come into the presence of our God with a clear conscience when we have closed our ears to injustice around us and done nothing?

However, obedience without trust leads back to a fear based motive. If our goal in speaking out is to protect ourselves, or to prevent persecution, we are deluding ourselves. Yes, by speaking out we may delay the inevitable, and certainly, there is more chance of changing our culture by speaking out than by remaining silent.
The Bible is pretty clear though that persecution WILL come, that we are living in a sin-cursed world, and that salvation will NOT come through our government or society. If our goal in taking a stand for right is any form of a 'utopian society', we are striving for the wrong goal, and setting ourselves up for disillusionment and eventual apathy.

No, once again, the driving force behind any stand we take MUST be obedience coupled with trust, doing our part to stand for justice, trusting God with the outcomes, and ultimately looking ahead with great anticipation to eternity and our promised reward for faithful service.

How are you taking a stand for justice?

Isaiah 59:4  "None call for justice, nor any plead for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity."

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