Reformed Apathy

In an earlier post I spoke on how the hyper grace movement creates apathy. They say: “Why should I do anything at all if Jesus does it all for me?” They take the concept of “rest in Him” to such an extreme that they do nothing and yet expect all their wishes to be granted by Jesus. This is evil.

To those who believe this I ask you, are we not made in God’s image? Has He not blessed us with hands to do and feet to walk?  Is prayer only words that are spoken? Is it only asking to receive? Isn’t it also knocking with hands to open and seeking with feet to find?

The apathy of this false grace eventually led me into depression. God used the depression to bring me out of this false theology. I am currently of reformed theology. And yet I still believe in private prayer through the speaking of tongues of angels. I still believe God heals and that we might prophesy as the Spirit leads (which is a debate within the reformed faith).

I believe in a God who responds and answers our prayers. Jesus calls for us to ask, seek, and knock. This type of praying has led me down strange pathways, some very scary places in fact. By the nudging of the Spirit I have left the hyper grace movement, left a very safe job for my current one (which it turns out is much better), and it has even led me down a path of great help to a friend. 

When the Lord spoke to my heart to do these things, I knew it was of God because my self very much wanted other things. People even told me not to do them. Those in the grace movement said, “Stay!” Those of my old job said, “Why are you leaving?” And those who are blind to painful things say, “What is there to help down that pathway?”

But God has spoken to my soul and I must act! He has called me to ask, seek, and knock. He has promised that the door will be opened. Even when it doesn’t make sense to those around me, I cannot do anything else. Even when it appears bad at first, a dead end, I stay and wait on Him.

When I first entered the reformed faith I asked my pastor how I should pray. He answered with a formulaic prayer. The Lord’s prayer is one such form of a prayer that I say every day! But what I was really asking my pastor was: how do I have a conversation with God?

And so I must admit, after about 5 years in the reformed faith I question how they pray. To me, it is like I have fallen from one theology of apathy and into another. 

For example:

A new reformed brother once told me that he was waiting for a plane at the airport. While waiting to be called onto the plane, a kid left his headphones and entered the plane. My brother in Christ saw this and did nothing. On the plane he heard the kid complain that he had lost his headphones. This was my brother in Christ’s conclusion. “It was God’s will for the kid to lose his headphones.” Why would God allow this? “To teach the kid a lesson so that in the future he would not forget things.”

This is apathy. And I fear the reformed belief in a God who foreknew everything might lead some astray down this path. Those who are mature in the reformed faith should not go down this path at all, yet I fear, even those who claim maturity fall into this trap.

I have recently been let down by strong believers in Christ. They watched me fall into a depression and stood aside as I fell deeper into it. I reached out for help and was cast aside. Some even supposed that I deserved this depression for sins I had committed. It was God’s will, God’s punishment for my wrongs.

What then is God’s punishment for their apathy? Because, last I checked, Jesus called us to be kind to those around us. Even those who are seen as enemies we should treat with kindness. Those who sin should be forgiven if they repent (which I had done and many times). Those who slap us, well we should turn the other cheek. We should not be calloused but forgiving. These people, well-meaning reformed-faith people, are blinded by an apathy that they call faith. They hide behind this unbiblical phrase, “because it happened it was God’s will.”

It’s the same thing that happens with the caste system in India. It gives the upper caste an excuse to never help the lowly and poor. They are even called untouchable always paying for the sins of a past life. 

And I have been treated in this way by those I once called friends. I was made into an untouchable. Instead of offering forgiveness and redemption, instead of asking for me to explain my side, they smashed me into a narrative and canceled me. They cast me out. And it was all because of hidden sins, sins by others that aren’t even connected to me. To protect these sins and the people behind them a sacrifice must be made.

Last I checked, Jesus is the only sacrifice that was already made on behalf of all sins. How dare they put me into that role!

And here I am, paying for their apathy. God has long since forgiven me of the sins I’ve committed more than 4 years ago. They have not.

Here’s the truth of the matter: God’s will is two-fold. He celebrates and He allows. When we are in Him producing godly fruits he celebrates all of this. When sin happens, he allows it out of mercy for a season of time. Someday this mercy will end and He will judge all peoples even Christians for their deeds (though, it will be a different judgment for Christians). 

What will you say to God on judgment day? Have you ever allowed an evil to happen before your very eyes? What will you say to Him when He asks why you did nothing? Can you really claim God’s tolerance to sin (in hopes that we repent) as His wanting that sin to be? “Oh, great King of Kings! Because it happened it was your will so therefore I could do nothing!” Yes, God allowed the sin to be so that repentance might happen, that or judgment. It was not so people could wallow into it and claim “God’s grace is over my apathy but not over other’s sins.” Wicked man! Take the stake out of your eye.

We are not God. We cannot choose and ultimately judge things outside of His word. We must forgive a repentant brother 70 times 7. If we do not than He can’t forgive us. Holding on to little bits and pieces of bitterness will only drag your soul to hell. You can say “Lord Lord Lord!” all that you want, but if you are an unforgiving person, He cannot forgive you. In fact the bible says He never knew you.

This is why all Christians are called to forgive. We are not called to judge. So what do you say when sin is before you? Speak the scriptures to the sinner and let God’s Word be the judge. But don’t tear a repentant brother down because he doesn’t meet your personal standards. Hold people to the bible’s standards and let everything else go to the birds! Kill this judgmental culture of crap that is taking many, even those in the church to the very pits of hell!

And so to those in the reformed faith, I ask you. How do you pray? Are we still not made in God’s image? Has He not blessed us with hands to do and feet to walk? Is prayer only words that are spoken? Is it only asking? Isn’t it also knocking with hands and seeking with feet?

God knows all things that will happen. We do not.

If you see a brother stumbling, help them. If you see evil, fight against it. If you see goodness, praise it. Even if it hurts to do so, especially if it hurts to do so. This is our calling in Christ. For we are children of light… This means no more darkness and no more apathy. 

Let us be doers of the Word, not just hearers. 

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