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America in Need of Revival

We live in and age of unbelief. We live with America in decline. We are no longer the America of our founders, or even the America that existed twenty years ago.

We live in and age of unbelief. We live with America in decline. We are no longer the America of our founders, or even the America that existed twenty years ago. Collectively, we are more secular, with ever-increasing faith in government, and decreasing faith in God. The consequences of which are already showing. The culture must change. We need a spiritual revival. We need a Third Great Awakening.

No education? No problem. The government will take care of you. Having a baby out of wedlock? No problem there either. Forty percent of babies are born that way. Gay marriage? Hey, who cares what the Bible says. Victimhood trumps success. Nothing is right or wrong, because that might suggest a standard by which right and wrong would be defined. Personal choice is the new standard, which is no standard at all.

Freedom should be an easy sell. So why are conservatives and the people of faith who proclaim freedom are the ones who are insulted and mocked? We are seen as the deniers of freedom. What so many are missing is morality, a self-governing limit to behavior. As the left sees it, they do not have to accept responsibility. They call it emancipation and enlightenment. Freedom means no obstacles on the road to what our grandparents called depravity.

Culturally, the nation is already broken. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut is only the most recent example. We have reached a majority of people who do not think citizens should be personally responsible. In a clear choice of right and wrong in the 2012 elections, the voters chose wrong. With the Debt Clock ticking ever higher by more than a trillion dollars a year, it is a mathematical certainty collapse is coming. The government alone cannot fix it.

What's needed is profound national revival. May God in his grace and mercy allow the American people to experience a Great Awakening. It is our only hope.

Two revivals were such game-changing events in American history that Christian historians where compelled to call them Great Awakenings. The first occurred in the early to mid 1700s, and the Second Great Awakening in the early to mid 1800s. Ministers proclaimed the Gospel with great care, passion, and conviction. These included Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley and Charles Wesley. With their aid, people realized they needed to repent and get right with God.

In time, this national yearning for spiritual expression and moral leadership led to the desire for the nation to rid itself from the tyranny of King George III. While not every Founding Father was a devout Christian, many of them were, and they sought to establish a free society based on Judeo-Christian principles.

The First Great Awakening that created the moral climate for the Declaration of Independence and the founding of a new country, conceived in liberty, which would truly become a light to the nations. No country in human history has done more to liberate other people economically, politically, or spiritually than the United States.

The Second Great Awakening was even more powerful in the mid-19th century then the First Great Awakening had been in the 18th century. In his book, Implosion, Joel Rosenberg explains:

One piece of observable evidence in this regard is the explosive growth in the number of church congregations that were established in the wake of both Great Awakenings. At the same time, Christians during this period sought to put their faith into action to improve their neighborhoods and communities and the nation as a whole. They persuaded millions of children to enroll in Sunday school programs to learn about the Bible and pray for their nation. They opened orphanages and soup kitchens to care for the poor and needy. They started clinics and hospitals to care for the sick, elderly and infirm. They founded elementary and secondary schools for girls as well as boys. They established colleges and universities dedicated to teaching both the Scriptures and the sciences. They led social campaigns to persuade Americans to stop drinking so much alcohol and to abolish the evil of slavery. These Christians didn’t expect the government to take care of them. They believed it was the Church’s job to show the love of Christ to their neighbors in real and practical ways. They were right, and they made America a better place as a result – not perfect, but better.

This was not about collective salvation. One by one, people must accept Christ into their heart to receive salvation. But the people believed the church's job was to show the love of Christ and to care for their fellow man. The Second Great Awakening culminated with Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.

Should people give up and say America, as passed down to us by previous generations, is no more? That was President Obama's goal when he promised to fundamentally transform America. He's been doing as he promised, and now a majority of people are happy to let him do it for another term.

Both government programs and charities can feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Government welfare, nevertheless, cannot reach people's hearts. Christian charities can. Serving the needy in a loving Christian way serves the ultimate purpose of reaching the heart where the will for change takes place. Christ can only enter the heart of the humble. And we know enough changed hearts lead to a changed culture.

Abiding faith is unfashionable, and is considered an oddity. If you are going to exercise your faith with authenticity and courage, you will receive mockery, ridicule, and rejection. For patriots, it is the price that must be paid to save the nation.

The Bible says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Only a Third Great Awakening can save us now.

 

www.jefflukens.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Janice M. December 19, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Wow, how nice it must be to hide behind your Christian God. That way you do not have to take any personal responsiblity for your fellow man. Yes, let's blame it on the deficit and welfare, that's the ticket. Let's blame it on the lack of christian prayer in schools. Let's blame it on anything and everything that keeps us from looking in a mirror and seeing where WE might have gone wrong. As a historian, your "history" is a bit off. Our founding fathers created a country based on freedom of religion, not judeo/christian principles. They were very keen to ensure that the Constitution and new laws reflected the freedom of everyone's right to practice as they believed and the government would not interfere. As for the quote by Joel Rosenberg, Mr. Rosenberg is a evangalical christian. His points of view, for that is what they are, are not respected in academia. His comments, books, etc. have been critiqued by many in academia and have proven to be biased, prejudiced, and outright falsehoods.
Jen Frost December 19, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Your generalizations about hand-outs and “sin” are sad and misguided. Why criticize someone for how they were born - be it out of wedlock or marriage; be it straight, gay, or in-between; be it underprivileged or wealthy? The so-called sinners you name are not the root cause of the problem. And there you lament about being mocked and ridiculed for who you are (and your faith), but do you not do the same to these people? Many (not all) of our elected "leaders" make frivolous and callous decisions, regardless of what we, the people, convey to them. They are the ones who have quickly facilitated the moral fiber bankruptcy proceedings. By the way, this is not about our majority-re-elected President; this has been going on for years before him, by all walks of the political spectrum. Accountability for one’s own actions is the first step of the cultural solution you seek. People need to make moral and ethical decisions, regardless of what religion or non-religion in which they believe. People need to overcome all of the perceived hate and divide – racial, income, sexuality, religious, etc. – with which we are faced daily. It’s sad that we only become united in times of adversity, when we should be united, always. Only when we get to this point, can we move forward toward a better future.
Jeff Lukens December 20, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I think helping the poor is best handled more by charities and less by tax dollars. Our founding fathers created a country based on freedom of religion, AND an underlying ethic of Judeo-Christian principles within the culture. Mr. Rosenberg is an evangelical Christian, AND his review is accurate. One scholarly source I suggest you check to confirm info on the Great Awakenings is One Nation without God? by David Aikman. I do not wish to ridicule anyone. I just suggest that the preferred way for parents to have children is by being married. We are all sinners. We need to look to the Bible on what God thinks about how we should act, and try the best we can to uphold those truths. Thanks for your interest. Merry Christmas.
Janice M. December 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I am familiar with Mr. Aikman and his latest book. Again, it is based on opinions, not facts. Mr. Aikman is concerned about the demise of Christianity due to judges, politicians, etc. upholding the laws and the Constitution. He chooses to remain subjective and not objective in his analysis because of his bias. That is not scholarly work. I too, could find a wealth of quotes from people supporting a position that animals should be treated equally as humans. That does not make it fact. That is a big problem for many people - they listen and read bloggers and people with agendas and believe them to be fact. If only they would educate themselves by listening and/or reading objective works and drawing their own conclusions, then, and only then, would they be intelligent. Don't read the National Review and think you are smart. Don't read the Atlantic Monthly and think you are smart. Read both of them, draw your own conclusions and opinions, and now you are smart. Don't be so dumb as to think there is only one religion and one book of God's word.
Jeff Lukens December 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Janice, Dr. Aikman is a PhD college professor in Virginia, and his book is very scholarly. We went to Oxford. He has his opinion on matters of faith in the culture of which I agree, and you have yours. Call us all biased for our opinions. This is America. You can believe what you want to, and Dr. Aikman and I can believe what we want to. In matters of faith, there is much in which you must just believe in your heart. Personally, I believe there is a God. Look around at all of nature and there must have been a Creator who made it all. There are laws of nature and of science that we all know about it. I believe there had to be a God of order to have put this all in place. It did not just happen haphazardly. I believe this Creator is a God of love who cares for us. I believe he selected a special race of people to be his chosen people. That would be the Jews. And out of the Jewish people, God spoke to the prophets who would tell in the scriptures of a Messiah who would save all the world from their sins. I believe that Messiah was Jesus whose birth we celebrate this Christmas Season. I think there are elements of truth in all religions. But only one offers a kind and forgiving God who wants to be a part of our lives. While exchanging gifts with my family, I try to be mindful of God’s gift to us by sending his Son to show us the way to Him. Have a blessed Christmas.
Janice M. December 20, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Jeff, I think you might not understand what is meant by scholarly work. As I said, I am familiar with Aikman and many people have PhD's. I myself do and I also studied at Cambridge. That in itself does not make a scholar. Dr. Aikman teaches at a private, evangilical college. That means he does not have to be objective. He just has to drink the kool-aid of the college. And that is his, and the schools, right. To be scholarly writing one must state a thesis of some sort and back it up with research and factual information. Dr. Aikman does not do this and this is why academia has a problem with his some of his work. He is more than entitled to his opinions, he just can't say that his biased research is the truth. Again, if I believe the world will end tomorrow and I find enough people to back up and support my claim, quoting them and calling it research does not a scholar make. It is an opinion piece much like your blog and your response. I respect your opinion very much, but don't try to insinuate that your belief is the correct belief simply because you choose it.
Janice M. December 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
In fact, I happen to agree with your belief of a higher power putting this world together. I just happen to disagree on the Jesus as divine story and most biblical stories as fact. As a historian, I know that Jesus was a real live human being so I get annoyed when students say they don't believe in Jesus. I always say, "that is like saying you don't believe in Abraham Lincoln". You have to believe in Jesus as a human being because he was. What many people do not believe in is his divinity status. And my God is also a kind and forgiving one - as most religions believe. I wish you a very Merry Christmas just as I wished my Jewish friends a Happy Chanukah. I would never insult my Muslim colleagues by wishing them a Merry Christmas nor would they ask if I am fasting for Ramadan. Open mindeness, respect for all beliefs and all people, compassion, listening, and a willingness to learn - that is what will ultimately save us . Peace to you.
Jeff Lukens December 20, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Yes, all agree there was a historical person of Jesus of Nazareth. The question is whether he was divine. I will just say this: There were some 400 prophesies by various prophets about a Messiah who would come. Some 400-700 years later the person of Jesus came along and fulfilled every one of them. That is not happenstance. These fulfilled prophecies include being born in Bethlehem in the lineage of David, that he would be of great wisdom, but would be rejected by his people and die a criminal’s death as a sacrifice for all. Moreover, he performed miracles witnessed by hundreds, even thousands of people. He died and rose from the dead witnessed by about 500 people (from sources I have read). There were not one, but many eye witnesses to much of what he did. In a court of law, that would be called proof. But in the end, if our heart is open to him, we will believe. If our heart is closed to him we will not. And that has been the story of humanity for the past 2000 years.
Jeff Lukens December 20, 2012 at 09:51 PM
The purpose of my article was not to discuss the merits of one author over another, I was just trying to say that there have been Great Awakenings in our nation’s past and this is really not in dispute. Many have written about it. Google it. Some say there have been two awakenings, some say there have been three. The third would have been in the early 20th Century with the women’s suffrage and temperance movements. Nonetheless, I was trying to point out that we need another Great Awakening to turn around the path the USA is currently heading. That is my belief, and it is shared by a great number of other people as well.
Chris Taylor December 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I just want to say how much I enjoyed reading this blog and your discussion that followed. Thanks to both of you for bringing such things to Patch.
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