Church leaders have recently discovered "apatheism," a disturbing stance among their congregants which they said is more damaging than atheism.
According to Giatti, apatheism is the fusion of apathy and either theism or atheism. He described an apatheist as someone who does not oppose the idea of God but simply one who does not care about the existence of God.
Hallowell shared about the recent survey by Lifeway Research, showing that church leaders are currently battling apathy inside the churches.
Giatti agreed, stating that apathy or lack of commitment really does plague the church, a "people dynamic challenge" pastors are having over their own members. The CP reporter finds it disturbing since the issue arises from the people who are identifying themselves as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He declared that apathy mirrors apatheism.
Crumbling From Within
Asked of its impact to pastors, Giatti replied that it affects their ministry in reaching out people, calling it a "self-destructing cycle."
With the rise of apathy, Hallowell shared that it can be a "greater threat and a greater danger than atheism," as people studying about it, he said, argued.
Giatti replied that while atheists at least take a political stance of refusing to acknowledge the existence of God, he lamented that apatheism is not a "belief or disbelief in itself" but a "judgment, an intellectual position that's been taken on a type of belief."
"For an apatheist, it's irrelevant whether someone believes in or denies about the Bible... It's an attitude or a position of an emotional response really of it doesn't matter whether God exists. It doesn't matter whether 'Jesus died for my sins.' It doesn't matter that the Bible is true. Who cares because either way it doesn't affect the apatheist's daily life," he explained.
"And so what happens is, not only does their present day circumstances are kind of insulated from the Gospel from that point of view, but also if God were to come down tomorrow and establish His kingdom, an apatheist says 'Any confirmation of that in the future will still have zero impact on my day to day life because I simply don't care that it's true or that is not true,'" he continued.
In his personal view, Giatti said that in such argument, apatheists are weaponizing atheism.
Hallowell commented that people who do not really care are the hardest to reach out and actually found atheists to be easier to engaged with because they already have a "solid worldview" built upon non-belief.
In fighting apatheism, Giatti advised to "point people back to the Word of God," which, he said, is the foundation of Christians.
The Word Of God Is The Only Foundation
In discussing the essence of God's existence, he suggested to tackle about origins because it is something that matters to people. With this topic, the reporter said that believers can point to Genesis 1:1. Further into the chapter, he stated that Christians can share about the creation of man, made after the image of God.
He went on to say that the truth on the existence of God is relevant because "the church is called to declare the grace of God with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Moreover, he stressed that ignoring the existence of God also ignores the identity of Christ as the Savior of the world.
Finally, he emphasized the significance of acknowledging God's existence because it will have "an eternal consequence" to a person since Jesus Christ is the only way to gain everlasting life. And thus, people's denial of His existence will certainly negate them with such.