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The Pernicious Power of Passivity

July 23rd, 2010 4 comments

In my last blog, “What Can I Do?,” I offered some practical solutions on ways the “common man” can work in meaningful ways to have a positive impact on a nation that is running from God. Let me offer a quick reminder for the directionally challenged. If an individual or nation is running from God, then where are they actually headed? What is his/her final destination?

In a word: HELL.

Nations who reject God and His revealed wisdom for living will unsuspectingly embrace a counterfeit god, usually the secular State, as its new source of blessing and prosperity. History, for those who care to learn from it, clearly reveals that the almighty, secularized State will always result in tyranny and oppression for the people under her ”care.”

This is why we must fight the carnal and cowardly tendencies to remain passive in the face of godlessness. To ask the question, “What can I do?” is a great indicator that you have not yet succumbed to the pernicious power of passivity.

In Erwin Lutzer’s book, When a Nation Forgets God, he tells a chilling eye-witness account from a practicing Christian in Germany during the time of the Holocaust. It highlights the danger of  a “business as usual” attitude of pious passivity:

“I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of  what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because, what could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars!

Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.

We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.

Years have passed and no one talks about it anymore. But still I hear the train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me; forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians yet did nothing to intervene.”

Lord, help us to be faithful in our time of human history. Give us eyes to clearly see the wickedness and tyranny around us, and give us the courage and wisdom to act.