June 2004
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"Apatheists"

Most people profess belief in God, meaning they are theists. True atheism is a rarity.

Recently, however, it has been suggested that we need a new term for the multitude who are theists but are indifferent to God in daily living. They ought to be called apatheists. That word is built on the noun apathy, which means “indifference,” a sort of sluggish unconcern. And sadly, whatever belief an individual professes, he may be living as an apatheist. His faith may make only a minimal difference in his behavior.

The apostle John recorded that Jesus described the church at Laodicea as neither hot nor cold (Revelation 3:16). They were lukewarm or, as we might say, they were apatheists.

What about those of us who profess faith in Jesus? Are we lukewarm? We pray, but is our praying a mere obligation? We attend church and may even engage in some form of Christian service. Yet is all of that a matter of routine, like brushing our teeth or cleaning our house? Have we lost our first love, the zeal we had early in our spiritual journey?

Today, let’s make the psalmist’s prayer our own: “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).

Revive us again,
Fill each heart with Thy love,
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above. —Mackay

Without a heart aflame for God, we cannot shine for Jesus.