Good day TRC and Friends! Hey, I have some thoughts I want to share with you about some hot-button things happening among Christians this morning. I have had the honor of answering a few questions along the way, and I thought some of those thoughts might be helpful for the whole, so here you go.
1. The awakening happening at Asbury College.
2. “He Gets Us” commercials.
First, there are two responses to the work of God that happened in the first great awakening. One pastor at a worship service tore his pants off and threw them into the fire. The other said that all of it was emotional madness and foolishness. Don’t be either of these people.
We have, maybe not you, but there have been people praying for a movement of the Spirit in our nation, among the people of God, in our churches for many years. My hunch is that none of us have experienced a movement of God where repentance from sin, hosts of people coming to faith in Jesus, great love for and appropriate biblical affection for the Lord, and restoration inside and outside of people are normal NOT weird stuff people call awakening. This thing at Asbury has marks of a true awakening.
If you want to study a legitimate awakening, study the Hebrides Revival of 1949 to 1953.
Be open and discerning. Pray for the Lord to display tangibly his presence among us. Read your Bible. Pray. Fast. Seek the kingdom first. Repent of sin. Maybe God would do something awesome among us!
2. I’m always skeptical of TV ads about Jesus that don’t have some manner of connection to something that can be checked out. AND Paul did say this: Philippians 1:15-19 (CSB) 15 To be sure, some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. 16 These preach out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, thinking that they will cause me trouble in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice 19 because I know this will lead to my salvation through your prayers and help from the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
So, be discerning. Some people on social media make it their job to critique anyone who questions anything, and others just poo poo on everything. Don’t be either of these. Be discerning. Be in fellowship with your fellow church members. Talk about it. Read the Bible together. Be open and skeptical (that’s kind of like a human help to learn discernment). Look for gospel fruit. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.”
So, don’t expect that your elders will tell you exactly what to believe about either of these. Do expect to hear us say right here: Exercise your priesthood together with Bibles open in prayer with self-reflection and a willingness to agree if all is good and push back if it’s not all good.
Now, go get after your domains in the public square as God’s ambassador for the kingdom of Jesus Christ as you walk with the Holy Spirit.
Thanks Mitch! I really appreciate your balanced reaction to these two events.