Thursday, January 15, 2009
Praying away America's moral depravity
Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal, claims that Christian evangelism has been essentially ineffective in America which is shown by the fact that Christian's effect on the culture "has been in a slow, two- to three- decade decline." Does this mean that 20-30 years ago, America was morally in good shape?
Wilson's "moral depravity" is not defined in this article, but from what we know of the christianist right, it probably refers to abortion and homosexuality.
At any rate, most interesting is the way Wilson and others like him intend to deal with the problem. The church must repent for its "spiritual passivity ... and fast and pray for a Third Great Awakening."
There is an organization called the "Awakening America Alliance -- a three- to five-year initiative that launched in early 2008 aimed at ushering in a Third Great Awakening in America." Those involved are Pentecostal leaders, a number from the Assemblies of God denomination.
Awakening America is now involved in "21 Days of Awakening," which is running from Jan. 1 to Jan. 21, the purpose of which is to "dedicate 2009 to the Lord."
Pentecostals (the "true" Christians) are supposed to participate in a "fast of contrition and repentance and humility," thus "To seek God together, across the body of Christ, for a new spiritual awakening in the American church and across the U.S."
Fasting is important as it is "sacrificial," it provides greater intimacy with Christ, and opens up "a supernatural element to a believer's life." Or, as one pastor said, "For me, fasting has become the secret to obtaining open doors, miraculous provision, favor and the tender touch of God upon my life."
This is all fascinating stuff.
Consider: America is in a period of "moral depravity," whatever that might mean. Part of the reason for this is that Christians have failed to do their duty and have been too passive in confronting the "culture."
What to do? Fast and pray. Become more spiritual. Get more intimate with Jesus.
It seems the assumption is that with thousands of Christians fasting and praying the moral depravity problem will go away. Or they will get so filled with the "spirit," they'll hit the streets to protest our departure from godliness.
Does God not know about America's "moral depravity"? Is the purpose of all this prayer and fasting to call God's attention to the problem? It seems unlikely that an omnipotent and omniscient god would not be aware that America is on the decline.
And if God is aware of the problem, why hasn't she done something about it? Does God need to be reminded by pious and flagellant folks who whip themselves spiritually in order to kick into action?
'Tis a conundrum, for sure.
You can read the entire article here.