Posts Tagged ‘Revival’

Noah Webster’s Dictionary defines “Revival” as the following:  (n.) Reanimation from a state of languor or depression; — applied to the health, spirits, and the like.  (n.) Restoration of force, validity, or effect; renewal  (n.) Renewed interest in religion, after indifference and decline; a period of religious awakening; special religious interest.  v. i.) To return to life; to recover life or strength; to live anew; to become reanimated or reinvigorated  (v. i.) Hence, to recover from a state of oblivion, obscurity, neglect, or depression; as, classical learning revived in the fifteenth century. (v. i.) To raise from coma, languor, depression, or discouragement; to bring into action after a suspension.  (v. i.) Hence, to recover from a state of neglect or disuse; as, to revive letters or learning.

If you run in any religious or Christian circles long enough, you will eventually hear someone talking about “needin’ a Revival”.   I’ve heard about Revival for most of my life and never really been able to figure out exactly what they were talking about –

Me:  “Revival?  What’s that mean?”
Preacher dude:  “You know, a time when we get together as a church and get revived!”
Me: “Revived from what?  I thought Christ already revived us on the cross!”
Preacher dude: “Uhhh.  He did but now it’s time to get revived again.”
Me:  “Okay.  How do we do that?”
Preacher dude:  “Well, we set aside a special week on the church calender, hype it up to all 32 members of our esteemed congregation for months, get some “well known” preacher to come in that’ll scare the hell out of everyone so we’ll all repent from our unfaithfulness and disobedience  (with a little grace music thrown in) and set everyone straight so they’ll be good members and ease a lot of headaches on me.”
Me:  “What type of unfaithfulness and disbedience are you talking about?”
Preacher dude:  “You know…not tithing like they’re supposed too (we got salaries to upkeep round here, you know), not coming to Sunday School class regularly, not showing up on our monthly church cleaning and lawn maintenance day.  You know, heathen type living that’s unacceptable around here.”
Me:  “Does it work?  Does everyone get revived?”
Preacher dude:  “Yessir.  Works like a charm.  Lasts at least three or four months, sometimes six if we’re lucky.  You know, helps us meet the budget during that time and gets everyone fired up ’bout God.  For a few months after, I just think to myself, “This must be what it’s like in Heaven!””
Me:  “Sounds good I guess but let me ask you…Does anyone get saved?  Or healed?  Or set free of spiritual bondages?”
Preacher dude:  “What you talking about?  We don’t do that type stuff ’round here!  I hear that Penteecostal church down the street does that type crazy stuff once in a while.  Always wanted to check it out but that stuff just isn’t biblical you know.  Plus it just scares the mess outta me so I just leave it to them.”
Me:  “Well, there are actual passages of scripture that God tells us we’ll still do those type things in the name of Jesus…”
Preacher dude:  “Hold on son,  let me interrupt.  I have several fine degrees on the wall that tells me differently and if you persist in blaspheming with that craziness you talkin’ about, I may have to get my big, bronze cross I keep on the table in front of the pulpit and hit you over the head to knock some sense into ya!:
Me:  “Calm down, calm down.  No need to get violent.  I appreciate your time but I think I’ll just ask God about all this “Revival” stuff and see what He has to say.”

 

Does this sound familiar to anyone reading this?  For years, this was what I thought Revival meant… a time when we got together as a church and had a “Spiritual Pep Rally” that lasted for a week, with lots of yelling, preaching on how disobedience could send you straight to hell and when my time was severely inconvenienced.  Not only did I have to go to church seven more times that week than I cared to, no one got saved (okay…maybe one or two), no one got healed, no one got set free of their spiritual bondages and the church usually went back to the “same ol’, same ol'” after that week.  The main thing that many people gained from that week of “Revival”  was a few more pounds to carry around because all the country women in the church used the Revival as a time to show off their expertise in the kitchen.  The food was ggggooooooooddddddd, and I’d tell ya that the real Revival took place in their kitchens that week and not at church.

So what is Revival and why do we even need it?  I’ll try to tackle these questions in the Part II so come on back soon!