Monday, July 16, 2007

Revival?

This is a quote worth pondering, from Darin Hufford in his book "God's Honest Truth":
Christianity has become the Harley Davidson of
religions. It’s a classic, and it’s the most authentic, however, it
breaks down every hundred miles and needs to be revived. When
we stand on our stages in front of the world and pray for revival,
or proclaim that revival is upon us, we are, in the same sentence,
admitting to the world that our religion keeps dying on us. We
have history books that meticulously analyze every historical
revival that the Church has ever had in an effort to predict when
and where the next one might take place. All the while, we never
stop to think that if our religion keeps dying, something must be
drastically wrong!
The word, “Revival” is not even in the Bible. It was never the
intention of God to have a religion that routinely suffered from
heart failure. Sadly, we have come to expect it. We have become
addicted to the electrical shock that God has to routinely use in
order to bring our religion back to life every hundred years. We
preach to the world that if they come to Jesus Christ they will
have life ever lasting and then we completely discredit everything
we just said by laying down and
dying right in front of them. We
invite our friends to the revival that
our Church is holding and we
wonder why they don’t show up.
Who in the world would want to subscribe to a religion that
cannot maintain its own life? Have you ever heard of any other
religions that routinely need revival? Why is Christianity the only
one? What is it about our religion that causes it to die over and
over? Revival is not the answer!
The answer is actually quite simple. So simple, that to some
people it might even be a disappointment.

5 comments:

Kent said...

Rick, what more can be said? When you stop and think about it that way it sounds just silly....and it is. I joke around with some of the folks that are still doing all the traditional stuff that I am still good friends with when they mention their yearly Retreat. I ask them why they find retreating something that is appealing? Wouldn't you rather go on an advance everyday?

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of the annual pitch a tent carnival either. However, his definition of revival must be different than mine! The following are comments from my best friend "God did not create a religion. Being a follower of Christ is not a religion, it is a relationship. Not a relationship that fails because of itself or because of Him but because of me.

Revival IS in the Bible...He restores my soul (not just once!)...come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest...

God and Christianity are perfect (what the author refers to as a religion), people are not! I need to be spiritually revived daily, I can't do it all on my own. Revival isn't about correcting the truth of the Bible (what this author refers to as bringing our religion back to life), it's about admitting that I need God now more than ever, more than I thought I did before.

Whoever doubts the need for revival has found some way to be perfect! Sorry, don't buy it. Just because other "religions" don't have revival doesn't mean that they are better. It means they need it more! None of the other major "religions" have a central character that claimed to be God. Does that mean that Jesus was wrong in claiming this?

5th quarters are not in the Bible, are we going to stop them too?!?"

I agree...

Rick Gibson said...

Hey Anonymous (a.k.a Travis :-) ),
I honestly grieve for all of us who live like revival is the norm for Christianity; we practice christianity like we are still under the old covenant. We have never been taught the meaning to 2 Cor 3 where Paul tells us that under the old covenant, Moses goes up to the mountain and experiences God outside himself and is imparted a glory that fades away. But we who have the spirit in us are not to live in such a manner. We are to be transformed from glory to glory, or ever increasing glory. Something does need to change, but I don't think it's revival. I think we need to quit living under the old convenant and start living under the new; we are not to live by the law, but by the Spirit.

travis said...

I understand. However I do not feel I practice old covenant. I believe in reconciliation over scaring someone to death, live by faith and not just by works alone. Salvation from wrath as opposed to God having wrath. I struggle with revival in some ways. Why do we need it? I just strongly feel that the writer of the article has a MUCH different definition of revival that I have ever encountered. I consider my daily suicide (die to self & live for him) a revival. I consider the idea of reviving a institution whose individuals have become lax or selfish as not a bad thing. I consider how the institution got to that point as very disappointing. I would be lying to you if I believe it will never happen again because our human nature will continue to push our spiritual boundaries. I also know enough that a annual big tent spiritual circus will not be enough to experience a revival. It is more of personal relationship. Building on that relationship! Submissive to God's love (because there are those that will fight this idea of depending on our father!). Experience God's grace! These are huge aspects of revival. No amount of music or words will get me to that point. All the hoopla of a revival is basically showing you the way to God. But it can not make you create that relationship. Rick, I love you! I just disagree with the thoughts from the article. I have hope. I believe that Christians can create a loving supportive community. I have not seen a succesful one yet but I believe it is out there without having to create a group of kool-aid drinkers. I also can not agree that we should compare the institution to a Harley. I know that a Harley needs a lot of maintenance after so many miles. This is a way to keep the motor of MANY moving parts running correctly. But I also know enough that you get a Harley for the looks not for quality.

Psalm 119:153 of The Message
Take a good look at my trouble, and help me— I haven't forgotten your revelation. Take my side and get me out of this; give me back my life, just as you promised. "Salvation" is only gibberish to the wicked because they've never looked it up in your dictionary. Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines, revive me. My antagonists are too many to count, but I don't swerve from the directions you gave. I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing; they walked away from your promises so casually! Take note of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life. Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. Your righteous decisions are eternal.

Rob Lane said...

Wow, that's really good... and to the straight up point! I have always had issue with chasing some 'revival wake' swelling up somewhere in the distance and that it is our "job" to find it. Talk about religion at its best! I do believe that revival happens pesonally and is best found in a transforming way when religion is pushed aside and relationship is brought to the center. When you know what it means to live a life loved by Him, you will be able to walk in that reality without any fear. Peace.