Let me begin this post by stating that I have not been on the campus of Asbury University, so I am not speaking from experience. I have read lots of posts, pro and con. While I will not write from experience, I will write from my own personal hunger. What I see in many local churches is dry and stagnant, and it thrills my soul that there is a large group of believers who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. The beautiful thing is they are seeing God keep His end of the promise – they are being filled.
Many want to argue over terminology. Is this a revival? Should we instead call it a renewal? Whatever you want to call it, I think we can agree that it is rare to see people gather for days at their own inconvenience for spiritual purposes. People I know have taken the drive to Kentucky and watched as many stood outside in very cold temperatures to hear what was happening inside the chapel. Argue over the terminology all you want, but something is happening.
Many want to dismiss this because it isn’t happening in an academic-style church service with expository preaching and emotionless music. (For the record, I do preach expository sermons.) I know people who will criticize anything with any emotion, equating it to a work of the flesh. I’m guessing it’s a sin to cry when you grieve or laugh when you hear a clean joke. But I digress! You and I are outside worship services more than we are inside them. If God only works in church services, we don’t have a lot of hope. God can work whenever He wants, however He wants. He doesn’t need our permission.
Some want to dismiss this because of those who are curious. I know some famous false teachers who are curious and have posted on social media about their experience at Asbury, but I also know some extremely conservative pastors who have driven to Kentucky. Christians can be better than unbelievers at throwing the baby out with the bath water because of the varying degrees of separation some of us were taught, and we don’t want anyone to think we might be associated with a heretic, even if it’s by 50 degrees of separation. If we are going to dismiss people by association, we might as well start with Jesus because He hand-picked a pretty scandalous crew to be His disciples PLUS He had the audacity to talk to sinners. This elite, elect mentality must stop! Jesus never taught kingdom snobbery!
Rather than believing the first article we read by our favorite “Berean” conservative, we should be praying for God to bring some positive, lasting fruit from this. The fruit will be the determining factor. Months from now, there will be those who are forever changed by this and others who will have forgotten all about it. Every movement, and I mean EVERY MOVEMENT, has good and bad fruit. Let’s pray for good, long-lasting fruit that will impact communities and local churches for years to come.
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