I´m sure there are compassionate apostles out there, but I´m afraid
that it´s the people they try to reach that are the problem. Our
western society is filled with so much pleasure-seeking and
entertainment, it´s hard to find the hungry people. We don´t live at
all like they did in the early church. Sin abounded then as much
as today, but people had shorter lives, walking everywhere to reach
places, no electricity, and everyone had to depend on each other
to survive. Families all had to live together and pitch in if they
wanted to survive.
We live in a selfish world. In India, families take care of elderly
parents and in the West, many are discarded and sent to homes,
or have retired wealthy and travel and live abundantly, spending all
their time on cruises, while the adult children struggle. We are
living in one of the most selfish times the world has ever seen.
When we read about certain dog-owners pampering their pets and
feeding them better than the average human, are we ready to hear
the gospel?... Everyone must keep up with their neighbors. People
are obsessed with things that are so temporal and don´t realize
they keep souls away at arms´ length.
If we are so consumed with self, how can we be apostles? The
Western lifestyle is quenching the Spirit. It demands energy,
obsessive communication with twittering and facebooking, financial
independence, success, education, youthful appearance, well-
maintained physiques, materialism, entertainment, travel and
what´s left of the day, is time for bed. Few take care of others. The
West hires people to take care of other people. The west is
experiencing a nursing shortage. Few young people want to work
in humanitarian jobs, but all want to work as anchors, or stock
brokers. Everyone wants to be a celebrity. Most high-powered
couples (and many in the church) are preoccupied with programs
and raising money for their churches. When do these have time
to talk to strangers? We won´t go where strangers are because
we´ve lost the art of hospitality and prefer to walk across the street
from the homeless man.
Apostles in today´s churches follow the trends, but so do the
saints, and so do unbelievers. Trends and activity keep everyone
from seeking God. Our minds are being bombasted with information
every moment, every second and we are being acclimatized to
having music, noise, talk, on radio, i-phones, i-pads, and if we ever
had a moment of quiet, I believe it might cause psychological
stress. People are being fed noise in their ears every waking
moment. How can anyone contemplate the things of God?
Towns in the Book of Acts were such that people congregated
outside (tropical climate) in the market and near temples to pray.
Today, millions pass each other in the streets and we don´t speak
to each other, but rather get cursed at if we don´t drive fast enough.
No one seems to have pity, compassion, self-control; women are
now independent feminists working outside the home, becoming
ferocious competitors and exhausted and have little compassion
outside the confines of their home.
The West is sucking the physical, emotional and spiritual energy
right out of everyone, where that leaves little for individuals to seek
God and pray and meditate on the Word. We are stressed on all
sides. Many people are coping with medications to relieve stress.
Everyone is told they need to exercise, keep a balanced life, work,
raise families, travel, occupy with activities, competitions, etc.
How can an apostle of the Lord squeeze into these people´s lives
for them to listen to what he has to say?
If they won´t listen, maybe it´s time for western apostles to shake
the dust off their feet and go into a place that would welcome the
gospel message. But, it might not be a comfortable lifestyle and
might require a lot of sacrifice. No one should call themself
`apostle´ until they leave the ways of Babylon.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon