I think it is also a condition that arises out of the Baptist understanding of salvation.
Consider that the Baptist church as a matter of doctrine flatly denies any means of grace to its congregants in any form whatsoever. To cover for this obvious deficiency they also teach once saved always saved. Or perhaps believing OSAS they deny the means of grace… I’m not sure it matters which way.
For this reason the Baptist M.O. of salvation is to answer an altar call and “give your heart to Jesus” or some such thing and having done so you are then to believe that having said the “sinner’s prayer” you are saved forever; the end. Of course the obvious problem is that this does nothing to alleviate guilt and also does nothing to bring relief to a person who knows good and well that their sinful flesh can/does/will make shipwreck of their soul, and since they categorically deny that there is even any such thing as absolution/restitution they have nowhere to go except to be re-baptized and perhaps switch churches and see if it will take.
I mean this. I live in Texas and I see this pattern again and again in my Baptist friends and speak to them and they tell me they are tortured by their sins and their inability to be freed from guilt/guilt feelings. So please do not think this is a hack job on the Baptists, I actually feel very, very sorry for them (especially since I used to be one of them).
And so what does a preacher do with a congregation that is tormented by sin and he knows he has no means to assuage their guilt before a Lord who says, “If you love me keep my commandments.”?
The first thing is that they blur the words of Christ and sow doubt about what the commands to right living mean in the New Testament and while they will admonish their congregations to do right on one hand they will with the other hand assure them there is no need to do right. Those commandments are really to bring the unsaved to salvation. And thus every sermon ends with an altar call to get people to come down and accept Jesus and see if this time it takes for real, for real.
I’m completely serious… come to Texas and turn on “Christian” talk radio and hear it for yourself.
The second thing they do is they point out some really serious sins that in all likelihood few if any in their congregation will struggle with. Sins like drug abuse, alcoholism (because even drinking alcohol is forbidden in the Baptist thinking), gambling, sex sin (but focusing on homosexuality with an occasional mention of pornography), etc, etc.
The result is that people who feel tormented by their sins develop an attitude of, “Well I’m not as bad as that person so maybe I’m kind of ok… better answer the next altar call.”
So your friend who feels nothing for the drug addict I strongly suspect, even if he does not know he is doing it and would deny it if asked, is comparing himself to the addict. In fact I know he is because he characterizes them as “bad people” thereby implying that he and his ilk must be to some degree “good people”, and this makes me very sad for your friend. Because I know for a certainty that when I used to be your friend what I needed more than anything else to confess my sins before God and man and be absolved, and hearing those words “I forgive you” released me from years of pent up anger and frustration and showed me the love of Christ in a way I had never known it before.
Pray for your friend. He needs it much more than he knows would be my guess.