Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why we haven't had a great revival

Wondering if God might not want to give us a widespread revival in America, pondering what might be the reasons. (I mean the orthodox churches, the ones who adhere to the true gospel. There is no question why the apostate churches will not see revival, those that deny the supernatural for instance, the virgin birth, those that accept homosexuals as not needing repentance, even as pastors and so on; or the signs-and-wonders enthusiasts of the charismatic movement. They have their own "revivals" and they aren't what I have in mind).

Everything we need to be repenting of in our times of prayer for revival can be a barrier to revival if not repented of. When revival comes in great power, according to most of the descriptions I've read, it comes first in a conviction of sin that puts people into an agony of guilt before pressing them to repentance.

How far can we be from His will and still be blessed by an outpouring of His Holy Spirit? Are there areas of our practice in our Christian lives that need repentance, that could inhibit revival, that most of us are not even aware of?

How much does it matter if a church uses the new versions as opposed to the KJV? Could the uncertain sound of the trumpet (as it were) in the new versions keep Him from blessing a church? (see previous entries on this subject). Well, there have apparently been some local revivals in the last few decades where this wasn't an issue as far as I know, but I'd still like to see us go back to the KJV because the new versions have a shaky foundation and at least the KJV translators were many and they were Godfearing men, and they were NOT deprived of the best texts either.

How much does it matter that women no longer cover our heads in church? I have no doubt now that this is what Paul, and therefore God, wants of us. How much is God willing to overlook? Would it affect how susceptible a revival might be to demonic interference in it? If we want to protect a revival from such interference shouldn't we seek to be as obedient as possible even in the small things? And perhaps the head covering really isn't all that small an issue. Paul's exhortation is so specifically about the head I don't see how anybody can turn it into something else, can say that the covering of the head was merely a cultural symbol of female submissiveness in Paul's day, so that we can freely exchange it for any symbol of femininity in our day. I dunno. It's about the HEAD, people. It's about displaying the male head which is the glory of Christ, and covering the female head which is the glory of man, also her hair which is her own glory, in the presence of God. I dunno, but for the last two millennia women covered their heads in church, and out of church as well, which you can see in paintings of various periods in Europe and America, but interestingly, in pre-Christian Greece and Rome they did not cover their heads, at least not consistently. It seems to have begun with Paul's exhortation.

Related to this, does God mind that women have capitulated to the culture in so many other ways too? That we wear makeup and cut our hair short and so on? How far can we go toward dressing as fashionably as possible or as we can afford? How far can we go in accepting cultural standards, taking them for granted, just because they don't mean the same thing in our culture they would have meant a hundred years or five hundred or a thousand years ago? (Keep in mind that the culture of Europe for the last two millennia was strongly influenced by Christianity, and America until the 20th century as well, but the west today can hardly be said to be so any more).

These are just a couple of "little" things that have been different in the last century by comparison to previous centuries, making me wonder if they may be connected with the lack of a major revival in our time.

Another is the growth of the charismatic movement. They claim many revivals, but a great deal of the phenomena in those events are either fake or demonic. Leonard Ravenhill in many books and sermons strenuously exhorted people to seek revival, but he never saw revival himself in answer to his prayers, and in wondering why not I considered the possibility that his acceptance of some of the charismatic phenomena might be a reason.

Just ponderings.

I hope that Kay Arthur's attempt to get people praying for revival across the country will bear fruit.

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