by Shawn Patrick Williams
America has been a safe haven for the Gospel for many years. Around the turn of the millennia, America celebrated the fifth centenary of the first preaching of the Gospel on its’ soil. We have been the largest missionary sending nation in the world for over a century shining as a beacon of light, hope and an example of the great commission to all nations.
Presently, America is in crisis. We are no longer the largest Christian nation or the largest mission sending nation. South Korea has taken the lead in missions and China in having the most believers in a nation. As a matter of fact, America has the largest “unchurched” generation it has ever known. According to an article called, “Religion among the Millennials” released by the “Pew Research Center” only 18% of Millennials attend a church regularly.
Franklin Graham said in recent interviews that the two greatest threats to the American church and America are the homosexual and Islamic agenda. I know that these two topics are big controversies for America. I am intensely concerned about both; however, I do not believe that either are the greatest crisis that the Church is facing right now in America.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” Revelation 3:14-18 (NIV).
The Church of America has lost its’ first love and as a result, all these issues have risen. American Christians for the majority have lost their commitment and passion for Jesus Christ. We have worshiped in buildings that we have not had to pay for, we have preached sermons that we have gotten online that we haven’t sought God for, and we have experienced a harvest on the seed that our forefathers have sown for.
Many American Christians complain when the church service runs too long, or the air is too hot or cold. We leave the church if the leaders tell us something we don’t want to hear, even when it is biblical truth. Leaders have been more concerned about numbers, nickels and noses that we have compromised the message for being culturally sensitive or ecumenical driven. We have spent more time over 50 years entertaining the church of America rather than training the church of America that we have produced “perverts” instead of “converts”, allowing unbiblical same-sex relationships to not only be married, but ordained. For decades, we have been “seeker friendly” rather than “seeking Him.” As a result of this shift, we now have a harvest of juvenile believers that don’t recognize truth nor desire it. With a shortage of Bible truths, there becomes no foundation to stand on when times get tough, and times are tough.
The American church has become so worldly and the world so “churchy” that we have a hard time
differentiating between the two. Perhaps this is one reason people don’t frequent church as much in America anymore. We need to get back to a place where we are presence driven with a purpose, rather than purpose driven limiting His presence. Will the American Church even recognize a true awakening when it takes place? We are accustomed to “four points and a poem.” When believers wait, or tarry for the presence of the Holy Spirit in a service to start moving and have His way, will we label it as weird, witchcraft, or something foreign? The working of the Holy Spirit is sometimes considered unfamiliar to the church rather than common to it. The pattern for how the New Testament church functions is clear in the Holy Scriptures, which is unchanging.
I have traveled on five continents to see the Church and it is in revival! Jesus is coming back. The Church is alive and well globally. They are passionate, faithful, courageous, and committed, even when they are faced with death, torture or economic isolation. Persecution is a reality and global believers are taught to be ready for this possibility from their beginning stages of discipleship.
Most American believers don’t fully understand discipleship. We have been disciplined and desensitized by our electronic addiction so much that we spend 6 to 7 hours a day on devices, but we don’t read our Bible 6 or 7 minutes a day. America has allowed Hollywood to dictate the trends and Disney to raise our kids. Now we are experiencing the results. We need a New Testament Holy Spirit shaking. Will it take this shaking to get America back to its’ first love? Will the next crisis in America be the catalyst?
I love the words of Jake Hamilton in his song entitled, “The Anthem.” “I can hear the footsteps of my King…I can hear a holy rumbling…Loosing chains and breaking down the walls, I want to hear the Father when He calls. This is the anthem of our generation. Here we are God, shake our nation. I’m gonna shake history. I’m gonna change the world.”
God is raising up a new breed of believers out of the mess in America. It’s one with a warrior spirit, but not with the weapons of this world. They have the love and power of Jesus Christ. We have seen many Muslims and homosexuals come to the Jesus Christ over the 16 years of preaching the cross. It wasn’t because we are preaching a message of hate, nor of anger. The Gospel is a message of love, grace, power, hope, redemption and holiness. That is what changes people’s lives, not comparisons or compromises.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
It’s time for American to humble ourselves, seek the face of God, repent and get back to the biblical foundation on which America was founded. God has an awesome plan for America in these last days. The greatest revival and awakening we have ever known is before us, not behind us. The thing is, it’s coming through a people broken and humbled. It’s coming through a passionate cry to heaven to touch these United Sates of America with rivers of living water. It’s coming through a remnant of prayer warriors who will be relentless and “hot” in their pursuit of Jesus Christ.
So my cry today is, “Where are all the warriors?”