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. 

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