Recently, Carlton Fletcher, a writer for our local paper, wrote an editorial on “Discontent Growing in Albany.” He talked about the “simmering anger of residents who are tired of government corruption, incompetent leadership and underlying racial animosity that appears to be nearing critical mass, a boiling point of no return that portends some form of drastic action.” I concur with his observations about our community. We are in trouble and not willing to deal with it. However, I’ve traveled to cities all across this land, and Albany is not unique in this problem. It is obvious to me that the only thing that changes is the name of the town—the issue is the same wherever you go. There are few, if any, exceptions.
The crisis is a crisis of leadership. The church is not being the church. Leaders are lacking as I look across the landscape. We have local, state, and national political leaders who are average at best. They aren’t men of the caliber of past generations. Most are weak, politically correct, and too rich to represent the common man. Added to that, we have weak, watered down pulpits and cloistered churches who care little about the least or the lost. It’s a recipe for riot…or revival.
Reform in our government? Yes, I can buy that. Return to the principles of our founding fathers? Okay, I’m with him on that. But he’s neither Christian nor evangelical. He is conservative. We share much in common. In fact, I’ve had the privilege of being on his television and radio programs. He’s passionate, and I like that. He’s well informed—I like that too. He’s concerned about the direction of the country, and I’m also with him there. In fact, there is much we would agree on.
Regarding this issue, Dr. Russell D. Moore (www.russellmoore.com) noted, “It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” I’m afraid we’ve got more emphasis on country than on God. Yet, the God of the Bible is the hope for our land! He is the God of love. He sets captives free. He calls us to repentance. He is the God who has blessed this land. And He is our only hope.
Again, quoting Dr. Moore, “Where there is no gospel, something else will fill the void: therapy, consumerism, racial or class resentment, utopian politics, crazy conspiracy theories of the right, anything will do. The prophet Isaiah warned us of such conspiracies replacing the Word of God centuries ago (Isa. 8:12-20). As long as the Serpent’s voice is heard, ‘You shall not surely die,’ the powers are comfortable.”
The call that needs to ring out from our pulpits and pews is, “Repent and return.” We need a revived church to correct a corrupt culture. We will not win this war in rallies, but in prayer meetings. We will not win the battle in the Halls of Congress, but in a church that spills out into this world with good news.
I’ve written two books because of my burden for this nation and the church. I wrote The Power of Desperation because I believe we won’t seek God until we are desperate. If you aren’t desperate, it’s because you’ve got your head in the sand. God is attracted to desperate people. Are you desperate for a mighty work of God? Are you praying to that end?
The Power of Surrender is a book calling us to revival. Revival is an old fashioned word. It’s out of date, and it’s not hip or cool…but we need it desperately. Before we have a riot, we better seek God for a revival. We must repent, return to God, and restore our first love. My city is ripe for revival. I’m asking God to position the church I pastor to be a catalyst for revival. How about your city? How about your church?