There has been much discussion lately about the fact that revival is desperately needed in our churches and in our land at large. Many have been lamenting the fact that the revivals of yesteryear which had such an effect on our society at large, are not occurring today. “If we could only have another Great Awakening; a general national revival, we would be all right as a country” is what we hear people saying. There is a growing awareness of the fact that nothing short of a true national revival will rescue our nation. America has fallen so low spiritually and morally that we cannot rescue ourselves. Our politicians don’t know what to do with the mess we have created. So, more and more, people are acknowledging that a national, God-sent revival is necessary to preserve the land and rebuild the moral and spiritual strength of America. May I suggest what I believe to be one of the major deterrents to a revival occurring in America in this day and time.
Revival is being deterred in America today because of our multicultural makeup which has become the politically correct model for us to follow. Let me be quick to point out the obvious: America has always welcomed people from all cultures to come to these shores and enjoy the freedom and prosperity which we possess. During the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s Ellis Island welcomed millions into this country and we found strength in those people. They came here to work and make a new life for themselves and most of them succeeded in that venture. But, those people came here to be Americans. They, by and large, adopted the frame of mind about being American which bonded them to all others. They joined the family and were welcomed. For them to come here and maintain their own nationality and foreign way of life was not something that the mass of these people saw themselves doing. They were becoming American. They were not coming to these shores in order to have a free place to bring their own society in among us and never change anything about their lives. The Chinese as well as the Germans, Italians and Jews all had “pockets” where their former culture was predominant but they saw themselves as operating within the scope of American life.
In today’s PC environment we have something quite different. Ethnic groups feel that they can move into America and maintain their culture. They see America as just another geographical place where their culture exists. There is little thought of changing and adopting the American ways of life. Their customs are hardly ever changed at all. Their dress is mostly unaffected even though it separates them from the society at large. Their language remains the same with little desire to make English their primary language. So, what we have is a multicultural society which is quickly losing its primary identity because our leaders are not setting a standard as to what is expected from those who come here. Multiculturalism will destroy a country because, after so long a time, the country no longer knows exactly who it is. We should demand that those who come to America learn the English language. One symptom of our danger is easily observed in that we change the roadway signs to reflect both English and some other language. This is America and I think they should be printed in English. When a person calls most companies today, they will be instructed to press a certain digit on the phone if they want to hear the instructions in English. That is backward. If a person wanted to hear instructions in Spanish, they should be the ones to press a certain digit. The first instructions given over the phone is in Spanish and then the English-speaking person is told to stay on the line or press a certain key if they want English. Something is wrong here. It mirrors what we are doing in America. We are accommodating multiculturalism. We simply are too sensitive and feelings oriented to tell a person that they are different from the society at large and that they need to adjust if they want to live here. We don’t want to commit the greatest crime of today which is hurting someone’s feelings.
The same is true of religion. The people who come to America should understand that we are a Christian nation. We were founded upon Christianity and the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible. All a person has to do is to go read our founding documents and read the statements of many of our founding Fathers. Anyone who is intellectually honest could not come to any other conclusion. Yet, other religions are invited to come here and worship with freedom. We welcome them and give them the American right to freedom of religion. But Christianity is being crowded out by other world religions and by the secular nature of our society. We can’t function as we always have in the past because of the PC idea that if even one person is offended by something we do, we must cease to do it. If I travel into a Muslim country and attend a meeting, I would expect that a Muslim prayer would be offered. I would not be offended by that since I should expect that that would be the case. I certainly would never tell them not to pray because I would be offended if they did. But in America, which was founded as a Christian nation, we are no longer free to pray openly in any venue because we have adopted the PC model of multiculturalism and we might hurt someone else’s feelings in some way if we pray in the Name of Jesus. They came to America. They should expect that it would be so.
Now, lets get to the revival question. In the past, when a revival came in America or in an area, it was a Christian revival since the preponderance of people were Christian. So, since the most of society identified itself as Christian everyone came closer to responding to the effects of the revival and therefore a Christian revival could occur. But today, if we have a Christian revival, much of society will be unmoved. Because of our multiculturalism, which in large part expresses itself in the religious realm, large segments of society will remain unaffected or uncaring about the revival. If the Christians were revived, that is only a portion of the societal makeup. Much of the nation would be unmoved. They are maintaining their own religions with Christianity being classed as no more than one among many. It is no longer viewed as the predominant religion of America and has been relegated to another status. If the Christians in the 1700’s and 1800’s as well as the first half of the 1900’s had a revival then the whole nation was affected. But today much of the nation would hardly pay us any attention. We have failed to hold Christianity up as the religion upon which the founding documents of this nation were grounded.
So, revival such as has been seen in the past probably won’t happen again apart from a mighty act of God. We should pray that God would supernaturally intervene and bring a national revival to our midst. That is the only thing which is going to save this great country. The other world religions living among us know nothing about revival but Christians do and we should pray and pray that God would bless us with a heaven send national revival with the result being that another “Great Awakening” would occur. That is the only thing that will get America back on the right track.
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com