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Opinion: A Major Deterrent to Revival

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There has been much discussion lately about the fact that revival is desperately needed in our churches and in our land at large.  Many have been lamenting the fact that the revivals of yesteryear which had such an effect on our society at large, are not occurring today.  “If we could only have another Great Awakening; a general national revival, we would be all right as a country” is what we hear people saying.  There is a growing awareness of the fact that nothing short of a true national revival will rescue our nation.  America has fallen so low spiritually and morally that we cannot rescue ourselves.  Our politicians don’t know what to do with the mess we have created.  So, more and more, people are acknowledging that a national, God-sent revival is necessary to preserve the land and rebuild the moral and spiritual strength of America.  May I suggest what I believe to be one of the major deterrents to a revival occurring in America in this day and time.

Revival is being deterred in America today because of our multicultural makeup which has become the politically correct model for us to follow.  Let me be quick to point out the obvious: America has always welcomed people from all cultures to come to these shores and enjoy the freedom and prosperity which we possess.  During the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s Ellis Island welcomed millions into this country and we found strength in those people.  They came here to work and make a new life for themselves and most of them succeeded in that venture.  But, those people came here to be Americans.  They, by and large, adopted the frame of mind about being American which bonded them to all others.  They joined the family and were welcomed.  For them to come here and maintain their own nationality and foreign way of life was not something that the mass of these people saw themselves doing.  They were becoming American.  They were not coming to these shores in order to have a free place to bring their own society in among us and never change anything about their lives.  The Chinese as well as the Germans, Italians and Jews all had “pockets” where their former culture was predominant but they saw themselves as operating within the scope of American life.

In today’s PC environment we have something quite different.  Ethnic groups feel that they can move into America and maintain their culture.  They see America as just another geographical place where their culture exists.  There is little thought of changing and adopting the American ways of life.  Their customs are hardly ever changed at all.  Their dress is mostly unaffected even though it separates them from the society at large.  Their language remains the same with little desire to make English their primary language.  So, what we have is a multicultural society which is quickly losing its primary identity because our leaders are not setting a standard as to what is expected from those who come here.  Multiculturalism will destroy a country because, after so long a time, the country no longer knows exactly who it is.  We should demand that those who come to America learn the English language.  One symptom of our danger is easily observed in that we change the roadway signs to reflect both English and some other language.  This is America and I think they should be printed in English.  When a person calls most companies today, they will be instructed to press a certain digit on the phone if they want to hear the instructions in English.  That is backward.  If a person wanted to hear instructions in Spanish, they should be the ones to press a certain digit.  The first instructions given over the phone is in Spanish and then the English-speaking person is told to stay on the line or press a certain key if they want English.  Something is wrong here.  It mirrors what we are doing in America.  We are accommodating multiculturalism.  We simply are too sensitive and feelings oriented to tell a person that they are different from the society at large and that they need to adjust if they want to live here.  We don’t want to commit the greatest crime of today which is hurting someone’s feelings.

The same is true of religion.  The people who come to America should understand that we are a Christian nation.  We were founded upon Christianity and the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible.  All a person has to do is to go read our founding  documents and read the statements of many of our founding Fathers.  Anyone who is intellectually honest could not come to any other conclusion.  Yet, other religions are invited to come here and worship with freedom.  We welcome them and give them the American right to freedom of religion.  But Christianity is being crowded out by other world religions and by the secular nature of our society.  We can’t function as we always have in the past because of the PC idea that if even one person is offended by something we do, we must cease to do it.  If I travel into a Muslim country and attend a meeting, I would expect that a Muslim prayer would be offered.  I would not be offended by that since I should expect that that would be the case.  I certainly would never tell them not to pray because I would be offended if they did.  But in America, which was founded as a Christian nation, we are no longer free to pray openly in any venue because we have adopted the PC model of multiculturalism and we might hurt someone else’s feelings in some way if we pray in the Name of Jesus.  They came to America.  They should expect that it would be so. 

Now, lets get to the revival question.  In the past, when a revival came in America or in an area, it was a Christian revival since the preponderance of people were Christian.  So, since the most of society identified itself as Christian everyone came closer to responding to the effects of the revival and therefore a Christian revival could occur.  But today, if we have a Christian revival, much of society will be unmoved.  Because of our multiculturalism, which in large part expresses itself in the religious realm, large segments of society will remain unaffected or uncaring about the revival.  If the Christians were revived, that is only a portion of the societal makeup.  Much of the nation would be unmoved.  They are maintaining their own religions with Christianity being classed as no more than one among many.  It is no longer viewed as the predominant religion of America and has been relegated to another status.  If the Christians in the 1700’s and 1800’s as well as the first half of the 1900’s had a revival then the whole nation was affected.  But today much of the nation would hardly pay us any attention.  We have failed to hold Christianity up as the religion upon which the founding documents of this nation were grounded.

So, revival such as has been seen in the past probably won’t happen again apart from a mighty act of God.  We should pray that God would supernaturally intervene and bring a national revival to our midst.  That is the only thing which is going to save this great country.  The other world religions living among us know nothing about revival but Christians do and we should pray and pray that God would bless us with a heaven send national revival with the result being that another “Great Awakening” would occur.  That is the only thing that will get America back on the right track.

Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at wfh@williamfharrell.com. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com 

14 COMMENTS

  1. So much misinformation in one column!

    Anybody who expresses the idea that the default language in customer service is not English in nearly every commercial enterprise simply must have some difficulty navigating technology.

    “There is little thought of changing and adopting the American ways of life. Their customs are hardly ever changed at all. Their dress is mostly unaffected even though it separates them from the society at large. Their language remains the same with little desire to make English their primary language.”

    Evidence? Examples? And, if tomorrow everybody began wearing panchos instead of Old Navy jackets, would the USA collapse? Is it that fragile?

    “The people who come to America should understand that we are a Christian nation. We were founded upon Christianity and the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible. All a person has to do is to go read our founding documents and read the statements of many of our founding Fathers.”

    Had this been true, our Constitution would have said so. In fact, every time a person from the generation which founded the United States suggested it be a Christian country by law, most of his contemporaries rejected it.

    https://au.org/church-state/julyaugust-2015-church-state/editorial/the-christian-nation-myth-a-pernicious-claim

    And it is on the basis of its legality that people challenge prayer to open government meetings, not because “their feelings are hurt.”

    The author writes: “we are no longer free to pray openly in any venue because we have adopted the PC model of multiculturalism and we might hurt someone else’s feelings in some way if we pray in the Name of Jesus.”

    In which non-government venues has the author been banned from praying in the way he wants? Even in a government venue, he can do so, as long as he isn’t disruptive or coercive.

    Maybe Bill Harrell is upset that more & more people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are choosing moral positions that don’t align with his. Perhaps the next “Awakening” will lead in directions he won’t like.

    • Thank you, Mr. Fadel, for your response to such an uninformed screed at best, and, at worst, an arrogant, privileged, phobic outburst against everything that threatens the author. This sad, close-minded perception of America and Christianity is long past its shelf life. It’s too bad that this publication finds it necessary to give it the oxygen of publicity, but maybe it will simply serve to reinforce readers’ rejection of dogmatic and inward-looking beliefs.

    • The AU.org article is without basis and fact but rather a liberal rant on the other side of the argument. I went and read it. It is clearly a political article rather than one based on facts and history. It should be used as a reliable source for ant type of intelligent discussion.

  2. I would say that I am shocked and appalled at the comments this opinion piece has generated but sadly I am not. In attempting to take Reverend Harrell to task thise replying have actually helped to prove his point. I know that the Biblical principles that myself and so many of my generation were raised with are now cast to the side and relegated as homophobic, misogynistic and anti- immigration. The Bible is true yesterday, today and tomorrow; the world may change but God’s Word does not! I too have been praying every day for a revival in this country, but like the author I seriously doubt it will happen. But that doesn’t stop me from asking God to Supernaturally intercede, with him all things are possible. I grieve to see what has become of our beloved country and really thought I would never live to see the day that things are happening the way they are. Pastor Harrell please don’t stop proclaiming the truth! One day all will know that your words speak truth, unfortunately that day will be too late for so many. Please consider your future and where you will spend eternity; your very life depends on it. We have a loving Savior who is patiently waiting, don’t wait until it is too late!

    • I continually read the Bible, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is my favorite part.

      If only the sentiments in Jesus’ own sermon were preached — not this “pastor’s” drivel full of hatred, guilt, and fear-mongering.

  3. Anyone who studies history and looks at the founding fathers of this country will come to one conclusion. The majority of the founding fathers were men of faith and that faith guided them in their decisions. Not all of them were Christians. But most were. Anyone who says otherwise has not read the writings of the founding fathers and is not looking at the issue objectively. The Judeo-Christian ethic is what this country was founded on and that is a fact that is really not deniable regardless of a person’s belief or political persuasion. The Christian men had the foresight to allow freedom religion to include other religions. But that was never intended to be a stamp of approval on abolishing prayer in schools and other basic ethical standards as we have seen the last 50 years. Bottom line. Revival will only happen if God allows it and the way this country has turned its back on Him and His Word it is hard to see that ever happening again.

  4. Balderdash. God is much bigger than that. I encourage you to listen to Jamar Tisby, an African American Christian writer and pastor. I respectfully suggest you need to get out of your “safe space.” You make God much smaller than He is.

    • I 100% agree. For several years as a young adult, I let go of my belief in God (after having been raised Conservative Christian), but then a decade ago, I fully experienced God, and my belief came back stronger than ever. I have a much more solid, experiential faith than I’d ever had when I believed just because I was raised to. And part of that is the recognition that God is bigger than what I was raised to believe.

      (Interestingly enough, I attended Abilene Baptist Church when this very same columnist was the pastor for a while as a freshman in high school in the late ’90s. I’m so glad I got away from *that.*)

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