I must pause from my series of blogs about Israel and speak on an urgent subject. I have become keenly aware that we are at a watershed moment as a nation. Through the years, I have often sensed an urgency for America to turn to God with a fresh vigor and faith. However, none of those times were nearly so dark as the hour upon which we have arrived today. As a part of the baby boomer generation, I have lived through the great days of the fifties and sixties when churches were springing up everywhere and people commonly agreed on the importance of faith. I also saw the Jesus movement of the seventies and its hopeful signs of renewal. The mega-churches of the eighties through the present have obscured the demise of a nation dotted with thriving small congregations. We now live in an era of empty or nearly empty churches that once thrived in America. I have read article after article by distressed Christian leaders at the demise of the American churches. This is occurring at a time when the forces of secularism are working tirelessly to wipe away the history and culture of America as it relates to our heritage of faith.
Many Americans do not realize that we have been here before. Before the American revolution, an awakening occurred which many credit as having not only caused rapid growth in the church, but unified the colonies into a sense of their common cause and heritage. Old divisions were dealt with by the moving of God’s spirit and a fledgling nation began to emerge which would have the force of vision to take on a superpower for their independence. That time is referred to in American history as the First Great Awakening. From roughly 1790 to 1830, the Second Great Awakening occurred. It came at a time when the secularization of Europe was creeping into America, and the heroes of the young were the skeptics and atheists of Europe. Many pinpoint the arrival of Timothy Dwight as the president of Yale as the beginning of this great movement of God. The spiritual demise was reversed and the great century of evangelism and world missions was born and lasted throughout the 1800’s even through the American Civil War. This time was greatly enhanced at the end of the eighteen hundreds by a layman’s prayer meeting revival that swept the nation.
Lord, do it again!