Throughout the past couple of years a saying I am sure everyone has heard is, “evil triumphs when good men do nothing”. The origins of this saying are debated, and some people even argue the saying is a fallacy. They argue it is more than just good men staying silent that causes evil to triumph.
However, I want to look at this saying in depth, and through the lens of what I am calling “passive christianity”. Passive christianity is this idea of being a christian all by myself. I can believe whatever I want to believe, and as long as my beliefs do not offend you I can go on believing whatever. This is where the church finds itself currently here in America.
We have decided among ourselves, and separate from the Bible, that our faith is our own. That it is a private contract between just Jesus and me.
We have to awake from our slumber (Ephesians 5:14). For starters, no where in scripture is faith shown to be something we do in private. In fact, Jesus’ entire ministry was very public. The woman at the well in John 4, after her encounter with Jesus goes and tells the entire town of what happened. Daniel was thrown into the lion's den because people saw him praying (Daniel 6). Noah was mocked because everyone saw the ark (Genesis 6) Everywhere we look, from Paul’s missionary journeys, to Peter being killed for his faith, shows us our faith is meant to be public.
Yet, here is where we find ourselves. Continually looking more and more inward. We shy away from conversations that are uncomfortable. Conversations that may cause people to argue back to us. Conversations that may cause people to “unfollow” us. Conversations that may cause people to alienate us. But also Conversations that may lead someone to a relationship with Jesus.
Yet, the Bible tells us, this is what we are called to do (Matthew 28:16-20, Romans 10). That our faith was given to us for one reason, to make Jesus known.
The scheme of the devil is to keep us quiet. To keep us from those conversations, that are awkward, because the devil knows God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). However, too may of us have entered into this passive christianity. This idea and concept of practicing our faith in private. I go to church, I try to live a Holy life, I try to raise my kids right.
And for most of us, this means separating from the rest of the world. We don’t want to fight, we just want to live our faith in our own little sphere. However, it is impossible to be a light in the darkness, if we never enter into the darkness. I don’t use flashlights during the day, but at night. We are passively attempting to live out our faith, and wondering why the church is in decline.
We tell ourselves lies like; "it is only going to get worse", "nothing I have to say will matter", "I do not know enough to talk about this", "it isn’t worth it", and the list could go on. However, if it doesn’t matter, why did the Father choose to send the Son (John 3:16)? If what you have to say won’t matter, why did Peter tells us to always be ready with a defense for the hope in us (1 Peter 3:15)? If you do not know enough, why would the Bible tell us we are saved by our testimony (Revelation 12:11)?
The problem isn’t any of these lies. The problem is our desire to be passive. To be lazy. To just sit and wait it out. Run down the clock. To separate, to isolate, to be passive.
It is past time to wake up o sleeper! In Proverbs 13, the Bible tells us the soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the should of the diligent is richly supplied. If you want to be the best at something, you have to train. This is why we gather, this is why we have the family of God to train with (Hebrews 10:25).
We have to stop being passive, and reactive. We need to develop the mentality of being defiant and proactive. There is a lost world out there, we need to be seeking to save what is lost (Luke 19:10). We are not saved, made new to just sit and wait for Jesus to return. We are given tools to go out and make Jesus known! Join a local body of believers (church), make Mission Sent your home base to be on mission. Do something, anything, just stop being passive!
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”