The Sin of Indifference

“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”

From the movie “The Boondock Saints”

In the face of poverty, wide spread suffering & abuse, addictions, and greed…APATHY is one of the deadliest sins.

Doing nothing is in fact doing something  It is a passively blatant support of the status quo that allows for millions of uninsured citizens, ever increasing levels of homelessness and poverty (especially among families and children), fear, hatred, and consumerism to dominate the land.

As followers of Jesus, who said his mission was to bring good news to the poor, doing nothing is an affront to God and to the dignity of humanity.

And it’s not a ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ agenda, it’s not about ‘being’ a Democrat or a Republican, for as I’m fond of saying Democrats insult my integrity and Republicans insult my intelligence!  It’s about a biblical agenda.  Let me repeat that: it is not about politics; it is however about people and doing as Jesus did (see Galatians 5:14 and Matthew 11:5 respectively).

When we forget that the Gospel of Jesus is a two-handed Gospel, one hand feeding the souls, the other hand feeding the body, we stop glorifying God and we start losing our humanity (something I see happening all too quickly this day and age…the loss of our Humanness/humane’ness).

Grace and justice for the poor is not about left or right ideology, it is about Gospel Truth.

I love my country, but certainly not more than I love Jesus.   Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Playground of Babylon, dancing in the Whores’ backyard.  For one of the most insidious ‘sins’ of American Christians is the indifference that happens to our biblical faith when the flag flies higher than the cross Jesus hung upon.  I always have thought faith in God defined our response to culture, but now more than ever culture is defining our faith in God…far too much that is ‘American’ is now confused with being ‘christian.’

But still I pray.  And that prayer is that indifference leaves me quickly.  It angers me at the subtle and not so subtle avarice of the American church.  Poverty rates are as high today in America as they were in 1965!  And in the words of the late Audre Lourde, “If we are not angry, we are not paying attention.”

If the rising numbers of the impoverished is not a wake-up call, then I suggest we go and pray over Matthew 25, Luke 4, Isaiah 58, Isaiah 61, the Book of James (refer to The Bible and the Poor for further reference).

It would do us well to remember what James the Just said: Faith without works is useless.


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