Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Religious Right's Era Is Over

“We are poised on the edge of what might become a revival that will bring about big changes in the world. Historically, social reform often requires spiritual revival. And that's what church historians always say about real revival — that it changes things in the society, not just in people's inner lives. I believe that what we are seeing now may be the beginning of a new revival — a revival for justice.”

from the Time magazine article “The Religious Right's Era Is Over.”

William Wilberforce, the great abolitionist of Britain, said “Almighty God has set before me two great objectives- the abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” One did not trump the other. Rather, the two complemented each other. True revival reforms not only the individual heart but also the world around it. In 1797, Wilberforce published his book “A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in this Country with Real Christianity” (see Great Moments in Book Titles of the 18th Century- kidding). We know it today as “A Practical View of Christianity,” and it’s as relevant as it ever was 200 years ago. That book rocked a nation and served as a catalyst to spark the Second Great Awakening.

I believe God has much to say in this day concerning social reform and injustice. I also believe we need to cry out for the books to be written and the messages to go forth that will carry the movements that will reshape our world. Paint the pictures that will declare the communiqué of justice.

I once heard it said that the richest places on earth are not the oil fields of the Middle East or the diamond mines of Africa, but it’s the silent graveyards around us filled with all the unwritten books and unsung songs that lay buried as treasures never to be discovered.

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