Unification News for February 1999
Report on a "Revival of Christianity" Pastors Meeting
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a 1/2 day seminar for pastors and lay leaders hosted by Promise Keepers, Mission America and Mainstay Ministries. (For further information see their websites: www.promisekeepers.org and www.missionamerica.org.)
The theme for the day was the "Revival of Christianity." There was much talk on this theme and there seemed to be some genuine testimony that there was a beginning to a third great revival in the US today. There seemed to be an acknowledgment that the church has been pushed out of the center of the culture and that time has run out. There must be unity among the churches.
Mission America is calling for every Christians home to be a lighthouse for God and for all Christians to pray for their neighbors. Promise Keepers are calling for revival events to be held on Jan. 1st, 2000 outside each state capital. Mainstay Ministries were calling for people to buy their products.
Bill McCartney gave the most inspiring talk. He is a good speaker. He referred to himself as a John the Baptist . He referred to Jesus' parable of the 10 virgins and the bridegroom and to Jesus' words lamenting, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! " to illuminate that now was the time of the second coming.
He also gave us 7 points for revival:
For revival there must be ...
1. A deep seated longing for God -- a holy unrest.
2. A concentrated prayer effort across the land.
3. A reawakening of peoples gifts. Tears and love.
4. A conviction and victory over personal sin.
5. An awareness of God's presence.
6. Society will be influenced for the better.
7. Ringleaders in sin will then serve Christ.
He then challenged all to be a part of the revival and not to miss it. I was blessed to be given the opportunity to meet and talk to him for a few minutes about our True Family Values Ministry and I gave him the Lecture manuals for the 1 day and 2 day seminars. He promised to read them.
There was also a very informative handout by George Barna which clearly shows the state of Christianity -
$100 million worth of bibles are sold every year in the US, the top selling book, by far. But less that 4 out of 10 read it weekly and 3/4 of all adults say there is no such thing as absolute moral truth.
85% believe that Jesus died, rose and is alive today. 1/3 of all adults -- including more than 1 in 5 born again Christians- contends that when Jesus was on the earth he committed sins. 4 out of 10 don't believe in the physical resurrection.
Adults are ten times more likely to say that their spiritual life is more important to them today than it was three years ago. But just 3 out of 10 say that having a satisfying spiritual life is a top priority.
Among the top concerns of Americans is the moral decay of the nation. But upon comparing Christians and non-Christians on 65 common non-religious behaviors and values, there were no instances in which Christians were substantially different. This ranged from getting drunk, getting a divorce and engaging in adultery to gambling and intentionally lying.
His conclusions -- The time is ripe for revival; but the church is not in the midst of it. God needs a remnant of passionate believers committed to His cause. He does not need a majority, He does not need our money, He does not work to our timetable, and He does not force Himself upon a recalcitrant people.
He closes "I do not pretend to have the ultimate answer for our people. I simply ask that you consult to God for guidance... I present these perspectives with a plea for swift and certain action for time is of the essence. I feel a deep sense of urgency because the window is rapidly closing upon us."
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