1.23.2006

Praying for Revival

Right now what is on my heart is revival.

I'm exhausted with the politics, and controversy, and maneuvering, and compromise, and fear of change, and factionalism, and apathy, and misdirected zeal that all seem at one time or another to characterize the American church. For pretty good examples of some of these things, check out Wade Burleson's blog or Marty Duren's website for the rundown on the tragically divisive and ungodly controversy swirling in the IMB.

It all makes me wonder.

What if -- what if every Christian leader -- hey, I'd settle for every leader in the SBC -- would stop lobbying for public opinion, stop seeking political gain, stop trying to toe the line of typical Christian (or Southern Baptist) ideology, and started focusing on Scripture and training believers and preaching the Gospel? What would happen if the Holy Spirit moved in a new and unexpected way and pastors all over the nation began to get serious about confronting people with the cross of Christ and all that His bloody death entails for those He bought? What if churches got smaller and more plentiful, and we re-examined every way we "do church," rejecting everything that gets in the way of the Gospel, without the fear that usually accompanies doing things differently?

How would our communities of faith look different if we quit thinking that every minister of the Gospel has to be a married, teetotaling, suit-wearing, clean-shaven, good-ol'-boy, cessationist, five-point, thirty-plus, Christian-lingo-using, glad-handing denominational yes-man? If we stopped leaving Gospel tracts instead of tips and started telling our neighbors about Christ? If we retired our "God hates fags" signs and our "Baby killers" banners and made the truth of Scripture be our only weapon and our first defense against sin? If we stopped letting truth and freedom be shut down in fear in our denominations, churches, and seminaries? If we got so focused on the fame of Christ that we forgot what it was like to let our petty, sinful squabbles escalate into huge rifts and walk-outs?

I think I'm going to go spend some time praying. I'm going to ask God for revival in the SBC, among Baptist churches, and in the American church. Please, I would ask you to do the same.

9 comments:

Laura's Dad said...

As usual, Laura, your comments are SO well said, and right on the mark about what's really important for the church. WHY, WHY, WHY do we waste so much of our time and effort on non-essential issues, while lost souls go to hell around us? If we would pray and witness as much as we fuss and fume, there would so much less to fuss and fume about.

And, as usual, I am very proud of my daughter!

LaRose Karr said...

Laura, the other day I told your dad it's easy to love people, but hard to like them.

You've pretty much summed up in a few paragraphs what it took me 11 years to learn about church doctrine and dogma.

Blessings,
LaRose

Bobby said...

Agreed. Well said. We should all pray for those things.

Tom said...

Ya know even in sermon this past sunday I was thinking about revival. Nothing specific but a revival in something. I think you just put that into words. I shall definatly add this to my prayers. It has gotten me thinking like crazy now. Very great words, I am thankful to have read this post.

Dave-a-licious said...

+DAVE WAS HERE+
hi Sis, great post, 'n stuff... i have actually been thinking about this with the kids in my youth group... too many of them come seeing it as a social event, and go home unchanged. I tend to treat the kids more as my friend, than as "I'm the adult, and you are the children" and as such, they are MUCH more open (or i should probably say less closed) with me than they are with Jen (the youth pastor). I know that of the 15 or so kids that were at youth group this last sunday, at least half of them had been out drinking that weekend. we --I-- need to stop being afraid to call out sin in the church.

Rabby said...

An I'll say amen to that. An I got me a new piece a datin' advice on my blog. So tell all a yer frends.

Laura's Dad said...

Laura,

I quoted this blog-post on my radio program for this Sunday morning. Sad you can't listen to it. The subject was "It's Time to Get Serious."

You'd like it, I think. Somewhat reformed. Without using the Latin terms, I talked about how faith is fiducia PLUS noticia PLUS assentia, in contradistinction to the way that many just want the fiducia part. You know, the old, "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere" crock of sappy unbiblical fiducia. Bottom line: faith is no stronger than its object. If you sincerely believe your nice life will get you to heaven, you're in deep yogurt, not because your faith is insincere, but because your nice life is incapable of saving you.

Jesus, by contrast, "uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections . . . is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour" (New Hampshire Confession, article 4). I love that phrase: "every way qualified."

Put another way, what matters most is the objective aspect of faith, rather than the subjective. It's not the strength of our trust that matters -- that's why Jesus said it doesn't take much faith -- but rather the strength of that in which we place our trust.

Of course, you knew this already.

Laura said...

Dad, Bobby, Tom, et. al., have you checked out the links at the top of the article? I encourage you to pass them along, especially to anyone you may know who's planning on going to the convention this summer.

Laura's Dad said...

Yeah, I spent about an hour reading the stuff in the links you posted. How sad. "Misdirected zeal" is the perfect descriptor for the IMB Trustees' determined course. Wowow!