We Need A Revival

Looking back, it is clear to see the movement of our American society. In the mid 1900’s The Supreme Court ruled definitively against public religious expression. This division between Christian affiliation and public education was determined as far back as 1940, Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940) and Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township (1947). The greatest implementation was in the landmark ruling of 1962, Engle v. Vital, prohibiting school-sponsored prayer. One year later, the Schempp (1963) ruling extended the ban to Bible reading and the recitation of the Lord’s prayer.

The second sexual revolution began in the early 1960’s featuring a broad range of sexual input into music, media, and the arts. These were purported as both natural human right and free expression. While the first notable American sexual revolution occurred between 1870-1910 (Debased Victorian morality), nothing compared to the open sexual permissiveness of the 60’s.

A decade or so before, WWII sent fathers and sons to war while their wives and daughters worked in the factories. This shift of roles challenged the home and marriage, even to this day.

This trajectory only intensified with the advent of personal computers (now cell phones) which made viewership of all material private and easily accessible. In conjunction with a dysfunctional home, moral decay, and a prohibition of the Bible, the decade of the 1990’s featured a fragmented public educational system. No Child Left Behind became a conveyor belt with declining reading comprehension, math scores, and writing. Entertainment addictions not only lessened attention spans, but also produced widespread dependency.

Church involvement suffered more rapidly in large part due to work schedules and the various options afforded to the American lifestyle. The public school system took the place of religious activities as schedules became convoluted. Additionally, corporations encouraged workers to take up to eight long weekend vacations, Thursday – Monday, rather than a full two weeks, thereby hindering workflow. The impact is felt in church attendance as families routinely miss over 30% of church services. The dismantling of the American church also suffered from “subjective salvation.” A philosophy known as deconstructionism sought to replace doctrine with more inviting, seeker- friendly presentations. The former generation sought for a destination in theology, while the 2010’s brought about “The Journey” – meaning nothing is fixed or settled.

We need a Revival! Not just a revival of the Spirit, but a revival of decency, honor, and holiness. We need a revival of prayer and faithful church attendance. What was banned from our public square is the very thing that kept us: praying in Jesus’ name and the reading of the Bible. It begins with you and me. We have a responsibility to the Gospel, our families, and our community. All of us need to seek for a focused life built around the Kingdom and the health of the church body. The call for revival is pressing. This is our time and we must seize the moment.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole