Monday, October 02, 2006

Back to Quiet Revival, Despite Some People Sounding Alarms

I haven't posted lately. It has seemed an effort during a stressful time in my life. The last few days I have read a couple of posts, and in them a particular person keeps beating up on a certain pastor/speaker who seems to bring out controversy in various blogs and articles. The controversial pastor/speaker spoke at a very recent conference, and rather than read and absorb the message this guy gave, this "certain prominent poster" continued to flog the pastor/speaker in question. My speculation is that either "prominent poster" is jealous of the pastor's exposure to the Christian body or "prominant poster" is the reformed version of Charles Finney. He believes in the sovereignty of God, but writes as though God has no hand in the teaching and admonition of said pastor/speaker in growing him up in grace and truth. Anyways, I posted an article almost a year ago and was encouraged that God is doing a good thing in bringing people into the truth of grace, and reformed teaching in general. So.....regurgitated words.

It seems like so many Christians are up in arms over alarming trends in Evangelical Christianity. Signs and Wonders, Emergent Churches, Seeker friendly Churches, the list goes on. I am as concerned as the next person and have spent many hours doing research on current trends.

Not many people are talking about the quiet revival that is taking place today in Christian circles. In the midst of crisis and turbulence over truth, Christians are rediscovering the Doctrines of Grace. Contemporary Christianity puts much emphasis on the legacy of the "great awakenings" in United States history. The Second Great Awakening was greatly influenced by Charles Finney who did great disservice to the Church. Finney along with John Wesley much earlier, believed that Christians could achieve personal holiness. Their influence on the Church brought about much that makes up contemporary Christianity in America today. I have noticed a pattern over the past few years. After trying to measure up for years, many Christians have come to the end of the rope of self-sufficiency. The light goes on quickly or over a period of time...a revelation of grace! I hear many testimonies of people who had belonged to churches that placed burdens on the backs of their people and eventually the realization came that they had sat under doctrinal error. It is no less a revelation than Luther's revelation of grace in the tower. It is transforming to the person who is given the gift of understanding their complete depravity, complete dependence on God, and complete gratitude over being chosen by God. I am amazed that people speak of Calvinism as being fatalistic. How can we be anything but overwhelmingly thankful of the gift of salvation? Man in his natural depravity would never accept God. God's gift of salvation is efficient for the elect, and sufficient for the world. Romans 1:20 states that man is without excuse, because all of creation speaks of the glory of God.

I heard a story recently about a guy who kept getting prompted to share the gospel with a co-worker. He kept putting it off, until one day he noticed that she was hauling boxes out of the building. He asked someone else about the co-worker and was told the person had quit her job. He realized that it was his last chance to share, so he took the opportunity. After sharing the good news, the co-worker broke down in tears. She confessed that she had determined to take her own life. After hearing the gospel, she was saved. The way this guy tells the story, he states that she could have possibly taken her own life, if he had not been obedient to the Lord to share the gospel with her. I offer a different perspective. I believe that this co-worker had come to the end of her rope. At the exact perfect moment, God used this man as a tool to evangelize. She, at the perfectly appointed time accepted God's gift of salvation. I hear many stories like this one. We make it about us instead of about God.

So anyways, the Revival. Even in the midst of a great falling away, there is a revival of people hungry for truth, absolute truth. There is a hunger for the Word of God, and for an understanding of grace, sufficiency of scripture, faith, all for the glory of God alone. David Wells, in a teaching I heard recently states that there has always been an ebb and flow in Christianity and so these current trends are nothing new really...but look around. Don't you see it too? The quiet revival?


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