There's an "outpouring" going on in Wales. At least, that's what they're starting to call it. A church in Cardiff has been having weeknight evening meetings. Some people are very excited about it all.
I have to admit, I'm not negative about it, but I'm not rushing to see what all the fuss is about. Rumours of revival are a bit like the leading of the technology curve. There are early adopters and then there's the bell curve of interest, then there are the laggards.
The thing is when the bell curve gets going the early adopters are joined by the rush of people trying it out. But the rush don't last. How many accounts on Twitter or Facebook are all but dead? (The answer is 'many'.)
I'm not trying to retcon my own experience of church and faith. I wouldn't deny the real effects of being caught up in a spiritual outpouring 17 years ago. But I guess I've gained perspective. When I was inside I saw people rush to see what as going on, and then they drifted away. They were excited about God 'moving' (although the very definition of God is that he 'moves' if you think about it) and wanted to be part of it, but now, well...
So, being outside? I'm happy. I'm not so arrogant as to say I don't need a new experience of God, but I'm not sure I should be chasing that experience instead of chasing God. I'm where I'm meant to be; I have that confirmed to me on a regular basis. God is moving - not in gold dust from the ceiling type ways, I admit - and people are coming to know him. I've had opportunities to talk about faith this week in the most unexpected of ways.
I feel as well that from the outside this incredible thing actually looks quite small. I know from experience when you are caught up in something like this it seems huge, as if that is all there is. And you forget that actually there are millions of people outside, getting on with other (God) stuff, quite happily.
God is bigger than an outpouring. And right now there is more God stuff going on outside than inside, just by the law of probability and numbers.
The whole revival thing confuses me.ReplyDelete
I'm sure God can and does 'move' in specific situations among large groups of people, but I sometimes wonder if Christians get too caught up the whole concept of 'revival' as an event and take the focus off God.
I just think it's dangerous to label something as a revival, because the moment you use that word people start acting weird (but not in a Holy Spirit kind of way), and behave like it's part of some kind of cult...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the concept of revival is mentioned in the Bible.
^^There's your next freelance theology post ;)ReplyDelete