The Jews of Paul’s day were intensely religious, and so were the Gentiles in their paganism. Yet neither understood nor sought to know God and His purposes. Here are the losses due to vagueness in matters of the soul, and here are the gains of finding Him.
There is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God.
And our subject will be ‘spiritual apathy’, but even more perhaps ‘spiritual vagueness’, and the message will be an appeal to the spiritually vague. There are countless people who are spiritually vague – that is to say, they do not seem to believe or to understand the true faith. The true religion is something definite and something that can be defined, something certain. It’s made up of a set of propositions that rely upon each other and are true.
Faith is a detailed view of God. There is a great deal of atheism, unbelief, complete indifference; but then there’s another position which isn’t quite atheism, it isn’t quite unbelief, it’s the spiritually vague. And in spiritual vagueness we say ‘oh I wouldn’t go that far as to say there is no God; I would not go as far as to ridicule or scorn faith in God and religion,’ but on the other hand it says ‘I don’t think you can be absolutely certain about anything, and it isn’t wise to have any definite views or clear picture of who God is or what he is like, or how he deals with us, or what the soul is like, what the future is like eternally; that’s a kind of extremism.’
So there’s the vague position. It’s a very comfortable position, until we wake up to what it spells out for us. I remember being in this phase as a youngster. First of all atheism, unbelief, scorn of anything spiritual, of God; and then various things happened and I suppose I was influenced by various people, and I came to realize that this was not a good position to be in, that there was after all much to be said for religious faith and the being of God, and he could not be disproved. In fact, there was much evidence for him, and so I became a vague believer in something. I wouldn’t any longer say I was an atheist; on the other hand I smiled at people who were too definite, who felt that they had found God, or knew something definite and certain. This in-between position is a very comfortable position to be in, because the devil whispers in your ear and tells you that you are a broad-minded person.