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Life Issues

THE SILENT ENEMY

by Mike Robinson


"The whole world is apathetic ... but who gives a damn?"!!

I like that! Why? Because it is humorous in a disturbing manner. It has a built-in contradiction that identifies one of our most subtle and deadly enemies. This enemy de-sensitises our convictions and paralyses our actions so that, in the face of what we know to be wrong and unjust, we do nothing! This enemy is apathy.

A few years ago my wife and I stood at the base of a huge outdoor mosaic which is in ForestLawnMemorial Park in Los Angeles. The mosaic is 165 feet wide, 30 foot high and is made up of more than 10 million pieces of Venetian glass. But what caught my attention was a statement made by President James Maddison recorded on one side of the mosaic. "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by sudden and violent usurpations".

Roughly translated he is saying that we will surrender the things we believe are vital when we allow the commitment of the militant minority to exploit the apathy of the silent majority.

Here's another 'heavy' saying: "In order for evil to succeed, it is only necessary for good people to do nothing". You see, the insidious nature of this enemy called apathy is that it requires no initial cost or commitment from us. However, once the committed power-brokers and militant minorities have achieved their desired ends, we can find that our apathy has cost us the highest price of all - our convictions and our freedoms.

The 'silent majority' is silent because of apathy.

I have to say that the Church is not exempt from this insidious enemy. In some ways we are the most susceptible. We have the greatest news in the world concerning how lives can be made complete and fulfilled. But our vision is dulled, our endeavour weakened and our impact hindered because of a spiritual apathy.

The whole world is apathetic ... but who gives a damn?!!

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