Almost everyone says they long to see revival. But is it really revival that we want or rather a divine dog and pony show. I think most of us are wanting to see God perform, as in, miracles and wonders, healings and deliverances. Problem is God does not do command performances for anybody or any group. Perhaps we see revival as being filled by the Holy Spirit and our cry is Holy Spirit fill me. Problem is Jesus comes to fill us and he finds our cups full of self, sin and satisfaction. Sorry, He says, clean up the inside of the cup and then I’ll fill you and we go away sad, though, like the rich young ruler, not repentant, because we love our sins, and our worldly comforts, and are not prepared to negotiate them away even for revival. And besides do we really NEED revival anyway. We have our pet sins and Jesus too, so what is the problem. I know Jesus is with me, He promised never to leave me alone. AN D I have a plaque of the footprints poem on my wall to prove it.. We have church, we have worship, we are comfortable in every way. Sure things could be better, but they also could be far worse.
I suppose things could be worse, but God help us if they become so. Recently I was reading the statistics for pornography among men both Christian and non Christian and the findings are horrific. Something like 67% of men who self identify as born again are actively involved in viewing pornography. When the stats are broken into age categories, the younger the age the higher the percentage of Christians who are involved with pornography. When this issue is viewed through the lens of ethics and morality, pornography really is sadism, for we are enjoying the sight of woman and even children being sexually abused, even tortured. The fact that Christian men can view and enjoy pornography is a terrible indication that their conscience’s are seared and that they have become numb to the evil of what they are involved with. When viewed through the lens of holiness, what possibly could be more defiling of God’s temple than pornography. These statistics are basically telling us that the church everywhere is extremely defiled.
This is not just a men’s issue. Marriages and families , such as mine, are continually being destroyed by this plaque of immorality. Go on the dating sites ( which are in many cases, havens of soft and amateur porn themselves ) and you will find many older Christian women who are divorced and looking for that great, pure, faithful, Christian man, unlike their former mate, who they ditched because of his pornography addiction and unfaithfulness. Unfortunately , these great Christian men, they are looking for, are, for the most part still happily married. Pornography is an everybody issue.
Revival, a real old time, Charles Finney revival, which is absolutely not a Divine Dog and Pony Show, would cleanse pornography from the church. But to have a good old, Charles Finney revival, we would have to let Charles Finney speak to us, and he is going to tell us to confess and repent of ALL our sins, our pet sins, our addiction to comfort and ease, and our endless vanities. He will point out that we have become completely enamored by the world and know far more about whose in the latest movie than we do about the word of God. Pastor Finney will urge us to count our sins and name them one by one. And he would provide a detailed list to help us do just that. And when have finished doing what Pastor Finney tells us to do, God will indeed cleanse us individually, and corporately and revive us again and then, and only then , would we see the healing, deliverance and miracles.
However I am pretty confident , Pastor Finney would not welcome in the modern church, whether or not he can bring revival, and that we would rather live with pornography rotting out the inside of the church like gangrene, than live without out makeup and perfume, and shoe and hat collections, our movie and celebrity magazines, our toy boys, and boy toys, our Virginia Slims , and expensive wines, and exotic coffees, granite counter tops. and manicured landscaping. I am also very confident that Pastor Finney, were he here, would be absolutely horrified at the materialist, vain, worldly condition of Christians and the church here in North America. If he were not already dead I am sure it would kill him.
And so we visit the tomb of Finney and place a wreath of flowers on it and thank God that he is dead, and that we have a phalanx of false prophets , in his place, who continually assure us that we can have our sins and God too. And then we gather in solemn assembly and pray for revival, and talk about how wonderful it would be to have a great awakening such as the revival led by Charles Grandison Finney in the first half of the 19th century.. As Jesus said to the Pharisees, ” you are they who garnish the tombs of the prophets” These are harsh and sarcastic words from our gentle savior. They apply to us as well.