Christian Life 

Revolution or Revival?

 
'We need radical change; but what, I am not sure' — the words of a phone-in guest on the BBC’s Radio 4 'Today' programme this morning.


by Watchman
first published 16/05/2009

 
Revival or RevolutionIT  IS  THE VIEW
of some historians that the Wesleyian revival saved Britain from being swept into the French Revolution of that day. Whatever truth there may be in that opinion it is probably not overstating the case to say that our nation, in this hour, is on the point of chaos spilling over into anarchy.

I was not alive in 1939, but I can imagine the scene as families around the country huddled around their wireless (radio) sets to hear the Prime Minister declare that the nation was at war. But we can also read of how – in miraculous ways – our surrounded troops were snatched from the Dunkirk beaches; of how the might of the German Luftwaffe was beaten by ‘the few’ and of a newspaper headline declaring in 1943 ‘The Miracle of Salerno’ in the Italian campaign.

Rees Howells
and his colleagues at the Bible College of Wales travailed throughout these years in prayer for our nation before God. He said after the event: ‘In fighting Hitler we have always said that we were not up against man, but the devil.’

Let's look beyond the headlines


So we need to see beyond the chaos of greed and corruption at the heart of our financial and political systems. We need to look behind the onslaught of radicalised religionists, and the secular humanism and liberal relativism that is swamping our Christian heritage. And we need to recognise the invisible spirits that are abroad in our society when the youngest through to the most elderly are under threat to life from violence and knife attacks on the streets, medical assaults in abortion and euthanasia clinics; and the dangers to children from sexual predators who roam our streets and the modern electronic highways of a pornographic underworld.

quote

'no country and its social order can survive if all of the pillars collapse at the same time'
A Christian sociologist recently observed that a society is supported by a number of pillars – typically the government, the legal and law enforcement systems, the financial and business sectors and other major public institutions. And most folk can understand that.

However he didn’t stop there. He went on to say that any one country can – at any one time – survive if one or even more of these pillars weakens or collapses.

But, he said, no country and its social order can survive if all of the pillars collapse at the same time. And it is precisely this dynamic we are seeing at work. However there is another most-vital pillar he could have mentioned. It is the pillar of ‘trust’. Trust as we know can take a lifetime to build, but trust can be totally destroyed in a moment. And this is the effect of recent news regarding our banks, the economy, (some parts of) our police and health systems and now the heart of the political and democratic mechanisms of government.

A matured perspective...


The media do not so very often invite older people to speak; broadcasters reserve their valuable air time for the powerful and wealthy of the day. However when older people are given the chance to speak we need to listen to them. They bring a longer perspective; a view that has been worked out over a lifetime. Their opinions have been formed over years of observation and reflection. And today, they are saying what everyone else is saying. They have lost heart and faith in what we see governing and ordering our lives and society.

...met with astonishing condescension

And it was totally understandable when a wave of angry protest swept through the assembled audience at David Dimbleby’s ‘Question Time’ when government minister Margaret Beckett defended the actions of grasping MPs by saying: ‘I completely understand that people can’t understand why MPs make the claims that they do.’

I’m sorry Ms. Beckett: the people understand the motives all too well; they are exactly the same as those which brought our banks to ruin whilst the top executives who caused the collapse walked off with obscene amounts of money.
Margaret Beckett

‘I completely understand that people can’t understand why MPs make the claims that they do.’
 

A highly dangerous moment


So we stand at an extremely dangerous point in history – on the point of being overrun. We are, today, no further away from a great enemy than we were 70 years ago in the May of 1939. And as always the enemy is – at the most fundamental level – a spiritual entity which is at total war with God. At the darkest moments of the Second World War, King George VI drew our nation to prayer. And the nation responded to the call.

A Christian response

 
Samuel Chadwick wrote:

‘Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.’

But real prayer needs to be born out of true repentance and utter dependency. It is not enough to rally a sufficient number of people in any one place at any one time to pray a stereotypical prayer. The travail in His presence that God requires is rooted in broken-heartedness; in a spontaneous and collective response as the Holy Spirit speaks and calls to the spirit within us.
So as the Spirit moves us, let us pray. Let us pray as Rees Howell and his friends prayed. Let us pray as the nation prayed at the darkest times of previous wars. As our country is now is in even greater danger: the enemy is within our gates.

So, let us pray. And let us pray realising that we are utterly dependant on God's grace – even to be moved that way.


Footnote:

Revival its a gift'Revival — it's a gift

An article (published with permission) from the current (May/June 2009) edition of Sword magazine outlines the scenario and dynamic around and within the prayer King Solomon made in dedicating the temple he had constructed for God.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chr. 7:14)


Christians Together, 29/06/2012

Feedback:
Peter Carr 15/05/2009 12:17
There is no doubt that the cracks are starting to appear. It is also sad that society is largely turning it's back on the one solid tradition that points the way to the only answer - The Christian Church.

Lord Jesus says in Lk 4: 18 - 19,

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Isn't it also sad that in these critical times that we don't have a credible Christian party willing to stand up within the political sphere?
Rosemary Cameron 15/05/2009 22:29
We may not have a credible Christian Party however I have met 5 of the 6 Scottish EU election candidates and they are all credible Christian candidates. We need to pray for them.

One of the main pillars of society not mentioned above is the family, which is under attack as never before. Satan is truly trying to destroy this nation and prayer is the only answer. Thankyou Watchman for a timely reminder.
Peter Carr 16/05/2009 18:14
The interesting thing in all of this is that with the major parties in meltdown, the smaller parties could do well!
Editor 16/05/2009 18:43
Just to mention there is a political thread available for the discussion of the secular political world; and it might be better to keep the political stuff there.

(P.S. - Good point Rosemary regarding 'the family')
david skinner (Guest) 17/05/2009 08:14
Churchill, when trying to alert Parliament to the threat of Nazism, in 1938, said:

"I foresee and foretell that the policy of submission will carry with it restrictions upon the freedom of speech and debate in Parliament, on public platforms, and discussions in the Press, for it will be said - indeed, I hear it said sometimes now - that we cannot allow the nazi system of dictatorship to be criticised by ordinary common English politicians. And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery
of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

Well Mr Churchill that bitter cup is with us like never before and I fear that Britain has indeed lost the moral health and martial vigour to rise again and take its stand for freedom as in the olden times.
Peter Carr 17/05/2009 08:48
Seems from David's post that discussing politics is unavoidable!
Editor 18/05/2009 09:45
Which is exactly why there is facility elsewhere on the site for political discourse. Thanks for your co-operation.
George Orr (Guest) 18/05/2009 19:29
There is only one possible power for good in any nation and that is the church in that land. It is our responsibility to do as God says.

'If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.' (2 Chr. 7:14)

We need to know whose we are and who we are.

The second greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world that he doesn't exist.

The greatest trick the devil has ever pulled was convincing the church that they couldn't make a difference.
Editor 19/05/2009 10:32
I came across a letter today which I sent out to the local Christian community in February 1998. It was connected with a National Day of Repentance and Prayer called by Intercessors for Britain.

Around the same time a Scottish group of church leaders set up 'Concern for Scotland' meetings in the belief that 'Revival means "that pouring out of the Life of the Spirit of Jesus upon the Church which leads men and women being so transformed that national society is radically affected.'

Two monthly Saturday prayer meetings were set up (meeting in the YMCA)- one at 7.30am and the other at 11.00am. Over the years these meetings have moved to become weekly meeting on Wednesdays at lunch time.

21 years later the prayer continues.
Editor 21/05/2009 11:04
For those members of this web site who live outside the UK (everywhere from China through Pakistan to North America, the UK has been shaken to its foundations by the scandal of Members of Parliament claiming (significant) expenses to cover all sorts of personal items.There was a story yesterday of an elderly WW2 widow returning her husbands medals (he was for 3 years on the point of death in a Japanese POW camp).

The following is an extract to something one columnist has written yesterday.

------------ extract ---------

[Concerning the extent of the problem of corruption and greed] the financial and political infrastructures are linked inextricably. It is difficult, if not downright impossible, to believe the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

However, voters are not as dumb as some politicians seem to believe. How could ministers not have known, not have colluded?

There is no one left in this seedy world we can trust. This whole mess has been caused by greed, greed and more greed.

It was bankers and politicians who, together, got us into this mess.

At one time, people who ran banks were solid, staid and upright; conservative with a small c. They counted the pennies out and counted them all back in again. Gradually, they changed their mindset along the way and decided to take endless risks, creating money, lots of it, out of nothing; much in the way of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In the process, they lost all sight of morality.

We thought we had seen it all, with bankers misappropriating cash right, left and centre. But then, out of the blue, the honourable members [of Parliament] decide, collectively, to take their snouts out of the parliamentary trough long enough to say: “Oops, sorry, we have been caught in the act, but we will pay it all back immediately, er, even although we haven’t done anything wrong.” Confused? You should be.

[Sir Fred, the disgraced and former chairman] brought the Royal Bank of Scotland to its knees and managed to lose thousands of people their jobs. Just as [he]might have been right to worry for his life, such was the level of outrage directed against him, up pop cheating MPs to steal his thunder.

The dishonourable members and their chums in the banking fraternity have not only brought the economy to its knees, but also the democracy on which we all depend. Our cherished freedoms are within a hair’s breadth of extinction.

If disenchanted voters put their money where their mouths are at the next general election, this whole edifice could come tumbling down before our very eyes.

Read whole story -
"We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take this any more"
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1221925
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