Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The imminent revival, part 7 — why supporting Trump won't bring it about

Apparently many evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump for president because they sought “religious freedom” (read: cultural dominance) and possibly considered his election the key to a religious revival.

I have some sobering news for such people: If there is to be a spiritual awakening, it will happen despite, not because of, him.

Reason? Because in history, spiritual awakenings start from the bottom up, not the top down. Trouble is, many religious leaders don’t understand that, insisting that “electing Godly leaders” is the key to staving off moral decay and, not coincidentally, raising money in the process. Trouble is, they seem to have set themselves up as leaders — similar to the 1980s, the “golden age,” shall we say, of media ministries but hardly effective for Christ in the long run, in large part due to financial and sexual scandals that some of the larger ones suffered.

What’s really required in any spiritual awakening is a desire for change, not primarily in society or the world but first in one’s heart and church community. And priority number one is, was and always will be a desire to abandon any and all known sin regardless of what it is.

The civil-rights movement, to give one example, came about because of prayer meetings in conservative African-American churches in the 1950s. (I believe that one reason it has had little power since is because of its abandonment of its overtly Christian roots.) Another is my own church, less than two generations ago white and racist though located in a largely African-American neighborhood but, after “concerts of prayer,” broke down those walls and is now rainbow. It has never sacrificed doctrine in the process, however.

Bottom line, revival will happen not when they get it but when, and only when, we realize that we don’t have it. There’s no other reason to seek God in such times except “Maybe we’re missing something.” I don’t see that happening here. 

Franklin Graham and James Dobson, two Trump supporters, were likely hoping that electing Trump would kick off the revival. But making abortion illegal — which I do support — and driving gays back into the closet, among other things, won’t do it because fighting the culture war with carnal weapons can never work.

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