The older word “damnable” is still used today as an adjective. The word itself can mean many things, but in a biblical context it has the idea of ‘liable to or deserving damnation’. We do not hear about damnation much nowadays, not even in the churches.
This too can mean various things today, but a scriptural understanding of the word would be something like this: ‘condemnation to eternal punishment in hell’. And once again, we just do not talk about such things today, including in our churches.
But the biblical doctrine of hell is absolutely real, and as we should know, Jesus spoke more about hell and everlasting punishment than anyone else. The words themselves are not so much a part of modern English. If you have the old KJV you will still find them.
Consider just two warnings of Jesus found in the gospels:
Luke 20:47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
But newer translations still give us the same sense, just with somewhat newer terminology. Consider the ESV rendering of these two texts:
Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Luke 20:47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.
Thus if something is damnable, it entails leading us to eternal condemnation and punishment – to hell, in other words. So it is serious stuff indeed. Hell is real and it will be the destiny of the unrepentant. And the Bible also speaks to this reality in other ways.
Paul for example could say that those who preach a different gospel are damnable false teachers. Consider just one passage, again in two versions:
Galatians 1:8 though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. KJV
Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! NIV
And this is not speaking of mere human acts like excommunicating someone who is pushing false doctrine. The term has to do with delivering someone over to the judicial wrath of God for destruction. It is hardcore stuff – damnable in fact.
Now I say all this not because I want to offer a piece on what the Bible says about hell and the like. I want to say it because many folks would consider various behaviours and activities to be damnable – at least they SHOULD consider them to be. Plenty of obvious examples come to mind.
When a pack of bloodthirsty Islamic jihadists kidnap, rape, torture and murder some young girls who are deemed to be “infidels,” we all see this as appalling and damnable. And when it is discovered that some ghastly parents have held their own children captive, under-feeding them and abusing them, we rightly speak of their damnable behaviour.
Plenty of people are outraged and incensed at the recent treatment of activist Tommy Robinson in the UK. For daring to speak out about Islam in general, and calling attention to the horrific activity of Muslim rape gangs in particular, the government there seems to be intent on having him silenced.
He was just sentenced to a year in jail. Given that people like this are often put in prisons heavily dominated by Muslim inmates, it is a moot point whether he will ever get out of there alive. Thankfully many people are rightly disgusted by this, and see the English government as the real problem, not Robinson.
As an indication of this, just yesterday an online petition was initiated to urge the powers that be to free Robinson. In a period of less than an hour I saw the number of signatures jump from 50,000 to 60,000. I just looked at it now, and it has over 168,000!
Hopefully it will soon have a million signatures. I urge all of you to sign this and share it far and wide. See here: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-free-tommy-robinson
And many people – especially believers – are rightly lamenting and viewing as damnable things like the just held Irish vote on abortion, striking down the Eight Amendment which gave the unborn child equal rights to life as the mother. I wrote about that tragedy yesterday: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/05/26/stop-pretending-you-are-a-christian/
Yes they are right to grieve greatly about this, and about so many other great evils taking place all over the West, whether it is the diabolical assault on marriage and family, or the demonic attack on our children through the gender bender agendas.
All these things should make our blood boil. All these matters can be described as damnable. But I here want to discuss one more activity or mindset which is equally damnable. I refer to our ugly and damnable indifference, apathy and complete lack of concern for so many of these things.
And while we may expect many non-Christians to not give a rip about such matters, here I want to focus on folks who should be: those who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ. The levels of complacency and apathy and hardness of heart in our churches are as appalling as they are widespread.
While there are many concerned individuals who stand up for the unborn or God’s institutions of marriage and family, sadly most Christians just don’t know and just don’t care about such things. They will play their little religious games one hour a week, but the rest of the week live little different than a non-Christian.
Many are far more enthused about some football games on the weekend than meeting with the living God on Sunday morning. Many are far more intent on getting as rich as they can, or having their ‘best life now,’ and could not be bothered with things like standing for life or for religious freedom or for the family.
In my books – and in the view of Scripture – they are filled with damnable apathy and indifference. Even when the country was debating the future of marriage last year, these carnal and compromised Christians did absolutely nothing about it. They never spoke up about it, they never contacted a politician about it, and they never urged their church to do something about it.
Nothing but damnable indifference. They simply did not care one iota about this. And they do not give a rip about damnable things like the so-called Safe Schools programs which are nothing more than grooming and recruiting programs to trap our youngest of children fully into the homosexual agenda.
Every year in Melbourne for the past decade we have had a March for the Babies. At best we might get 4 – 5,000 people showing up. I guess that there are at least 200,000 or more Christians in Victoria. Where are they all? Why are there not 10 – 20,000 prolifers marching each year?
Why do the overwhelming majority of believers seem to not care about this? Just last night a prolife rally was held in Perth. I am told by one champ who was there that perhaps 700 people showed up. Hmm, how many Christians live in Perth? Easily 70,000 I would guess.
Plenty of other issues could be mentioned. Yes, I know some believers care greatly and are doing things. But they likely make up just one or two per cent max of all believers. What about the other 99 per cent? Many of them will be screaming themselves hoarse at some sporting event right now. But ask them to sign a petition for the unborn or against radical sex ed programs, and they will look at you as if you are some extremist nutjob.
It is this apathy that is damnable. And Scripture often speaks about such carelessness and indifference. Let me offer just a few passages here. For example, Amos 6:1 says this: “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria”. Or as the KJV puts it, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion”.
God here strongly warns about those who do not care about anything, and are simply living the good life. Folks call themselves believers but show no concern at all for those things which God passionately cares about. They do not share his heart for a broken and needy world, but are just selfishly focused on themselves.
Again, such indifference, selfishness and complacency are not taken lightly by God, and he will in fact act against such people. As we read in Zephaniah 1:1,
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing,
either good or bad.’
A similar, strong word is found in Ezekiel 9:4, where the Lord says, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” In the following verses God says those without this mark are to be put to death!
Wow, this is very heavy stuff indeed. If you care nothing about the things that grieve God and break his heart, you are really none of his. You are damnable. And then of course we have such passages as Revelation 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Many believers may say that they care, but will also say they are afraid. “Yes, these things bother me as well, but I am fearful. I worry about what people may say. I worry about my reputation. I might lose my job if I speak out. I might make people get upset with me.”
But the Bible makes it clear that the fear of man, and cowardice, are sinful. Consider just one verse, Revelation 21:9. Guess who leads the list of those who fall under God’s judgment? “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
So, does our apathy matter? It sure does – it is a damnable offence. And God will not hold us guiltless. It is one thing not to act, even if we do care. But worse yet are all those believers who do not even care at all. The world is going down the tubes fast, people are heading to a lost eternity, horrendous evils are taking place all around us, yet they just don’t care.
It does not phase them in the least. They will just plop in front of the TV and flick channels. I am reminded of the ending of the hit film, The Truman Show. Millions of people have watched a reality TV show for years, but when the main character realises the whole thing is fake, and he walks out of the giant film set, viewers are left bewildered and stunned.
Two guys who had been faithfully watching the show for years see the screen turn black. Viewer one says: “What else is on?” Viewer two: “Yeah, let’s see what else is on?” Viewer one: “Where’s the TV guide?” You can see it here:
Yep, that pretty well sums up far too many people. They spend their life wanting to be entertained and amused, and when one trivial pursuit ends, they look for another. That is the extent of their life. They care about nothing, live for nothing, and die for nothing.
Again, we may well expect non-Christians to live this way. But how many people claiming to be Christians live exactly the same way? Do they even know what just took place in Ireland? Do they even care that Australia recently decided to destroy marriage? Does it even bother them that their children are being targeted in schools by activists?
Everywhere we see God’s name dragged through the mud, the assault on truth and morality, and the war on life itself. Are things in the West today really all that different than what Christians faced in Germany in the 30s and 40s? The words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer still seem fitting today:
Let the fellowship of Christ examine itself and see whether it has given any token of the love of Christ to the victims of the world’s contumely and contempt, any token of that love of Christ that seeks to preserve, support, and protect life. Otherwise however liturgically correct our services are, and however devout our prayer, however brave our testimony, they will profit us nothing, nay rather, they must needs testify against us that we have as a church ceased to follow our Lord.