Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Praying for the American Church on Independence Day

(Josh & Nicole, Ludington, MI)

The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard warned that "the day when Christianity and the world become friends, Christianity is done away with." Today, the Western world has unfriended Christianity. But probably not for the reasons Kierkegaard was thinking of; i.e., on fire for Jesus. The church in Denmark, in Kierkegaard's time, was mostly indistinguishable from the culture.

If SK was alive today would he would conclude that Christianity in the West is over and done with? If Jesus returned today, and came to America, would he find persistent faith?

The American Church has a lot of world-conformation, which the apostle Paul warned against. Churches must resist becoming people-pleasing, infrastructure-maintaining, non-offending, consumer-driven Entertainment Centers. (See Francis Chan - is Chan the new Kierkegaard?) We're living in the Age of Show Business. Some churches mimic this. See Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.

On this Independence Day in America, I am praying for our churches to come alive, in a Book of Acts way. I am pleading with the Holy Spirit to ignite the followers of Jesus. To stun us. To confront us. To break us. To wake us.

My hope is that churches would forget trying to be cool and relevant. This is not working. Our imitative coolness only reinforces the Age of Show Business.

We must take hold of our Exodus 33 distinctive, which is the presence of God. (See my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.) 

Today, on July 4, I am praying for Christians to establish Dependence on God Day. Let's see if God really will straighten our paths if we trust in him with all our hearts.

America's problems are not primarily political or economic, but spiritual and moral. Jesus knew the latter affects the former. Jesus was after the human heart. When the heart is transformed, behaviors follow. I have experienced this in my own life. I'm not at the level of Jesus yet, but I've seen countless people leave their egos behind and become other-centered. 

I am praying for a great move of God across our nation. Beginning in our nation's churches. Another Jesus Revolution. Another Welsh Revival. Another Great Awakening. 

Even... a Greater Awakening.

Something like what is now happening in the young adults and teens in my church.

Like the stories and testimonies from these young people we heard at our conference last week, and on Sunday morning.