REVIVAL – yet another idol?

(Discussion I’ve seen on other sites made me think it was worth recycling the following article, posted to my older blog site on January 02, 2007 .)


REVIVAL – yet another idol?

From my very first active involvement with Christianity in the mid-1970s, there has been an expressed hope for (and belief in) an impending revival. And this hope goes back much further than my own experience.

The issue of “Revival” seems to me to be another of those distracting issues that takes our eyes off the Father’s business, and places them on a historical by-product of the obedience of previous generations. It measures the success or failure of the work being done by the standard of whether “revival” is obtained.

I’m not against revivals – it’s a matter of NOT pinning our hopes on them, not expecting that experiences of the past should be repeated merely because they have happened before. Not seeing “revival” as the measure of success or a goal to achieve.

Revival seems to be one of those “romantic” ideals that have happened in the past, or happen in distant nations. If anything happens “here” it is often derided and labelled as false when it produces “fruit” contrary to our expectations.

Toronto and Brownsville have often been dismissed by many for just such reasons *, yet others proclaim these as examples of “revival”. It seems to me that revival is a very subjective term that depends on a person’s particular theology and is therefore a weak yardstick of spiritual reality or success.

While historical accounts may be inspiring they should not be the basis of our faith and expectation. They can provide encouragement but not direction. “Revival” in its historical context is a human concept created to excuse the times when “revival” is not happening. It creates an impression that “revival” and its fruit are ideals to be reached on rare occasion instead of lived in at all times. Why else would 1904 in Wales (over a hundred years ago!) still be such a notable landmark in church history?

Instead of majoring on revival, we should follow Jesus’ instruction to seek first the Kingdom of God. The Lord and His Kingdom should be our desire; not a taste of something experienced by others in the past, no matter how exciting and inspiring that experience may appear to have been.



* Todd Bentley’s Lakeland’s Revival could also be added to this list. 

originall posted here:


7 thoughts on “REVIVAL – yet another idol?

  1. Hi, brother:

    I hadn’t read your earlier posting of this, so very much appreciate this re-post. Hadn’t specifically thought on this topic before, so I LEARNED something as well (and that, sadly, doesn’t happen often enough.)

    Right on the mark !: and as timely a word today as when it was first posted (does truth ever outdate ?)

    Thanks, Tim !

    In Jesus, Steve

  2. I fear that what most mean by “revival” is a set of feelings and emotional responses. I have seen many an attempt to whip up a crowd into a “revival” frenzy that smacked more of the Devil than anything else. Our notion that our efforts can force the Spirit’s hand are misguided.

  3. Hi Steve and Jeff,
    So much significance is given to this concept of “revival” but it’s all based on “historical” accounts more than on scripture. If anything a kind of “revivalist theology” is projected onto scripture, attempting to give it a degree of legitimacy.

    The notion that the Spirit’s hand needs to be forced is perhaps equally misguided.

  4. Well put, Jeff: “…our efforts [to] force the Spirit’s hand are misguided.”

    In Jesus, Steve

  5. What the “churchmen” call revival in the last days is what the scripture calls the falling away….

    Men like Andrew Strom are perhaps MORE dangerous than men like Todd Bentley as he claims to have “left the movement”…. and wants to bring “revival”…..

  6. The REAL problem is that the church refuses to return to the old paths that Paul said the church would depart from after his death….

    Acts 20:29-31 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

    We do NOT need to return to AD 200 or 300, The “Protestant” “Reformation” led by murderers Martin Luther and John Calvin, The First “Great” “Awakening”, The Second “Great” “Awakening” or any such thing….

    What we NEED to do is return to the doctrine of Christ which was really only preached in total purity by the twelve Apostles…

    Any “revival” after the 12 Apostles went to be with the Lord was largely the work of men….

    Why else would Jesus state the following?

    Luke 18:8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

  7. Andrew was never really part of that movement – at least not in the way that he made it seem. He was merely a follower, a “wannabe” who chased after prophets like so many others who run here and there looking for “the anointing”.
    I think he went to America (and Kansas city in particular) desiring to be accepted and to have his ideas on repentance and revival heard.

    He “left” the movement when he had to remain an observer rather than an agent of reformation.

    As I’ve written elsewhere, “revival” is an idol.

Comments are closed.