2014 The Great Awakening…

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So before you get completely upset at the end of this read, I will put out the press release now…this is not going to end the way you think it is.

It never does though, right?

Already the prophets are giving us the new word for 2014, unless of course they are the upgraded prophetic voices who have all shifted over to the Jewish Calender and it is now the year of the Gimel or camel or door, or I dunno, I don’t speak Hebrew…but then neither do they.

I started to read a word about the great awakening that is definitely coming this new year and as I did I felt that instead of waking up, this year we would actually see the church go deeper into slumber.

There I’ve put it out there for everyone to see, I am prophesying that instead of a great awakening the sleep will become deeper.

My chances of being more accurate than everyone else are actually quite good, better by pure numbers because in the last 15-30 years the Great Awakening has been prophesied and missed about 100% of the time…so I am on fairly safe prophetic ground to say,”nope, not this year, as a matter of fact the church will hit the snooze button more times than not”.

Now before you think this is all sarcasm and spittle, let me point out a few realities in the room…in the last two elections the Christian right has lost to the liberal humanistic socialist left like a jr. high girls team playing the Lakers, and of course the standard clarion call in response was “Take those seven mountains, God has given them to us!!!!”

And true to form we started having conferences on finding your convergence and taking your personal mountain, because heaven knows this is the stuff Jesus taught, and Paul was all about elevation and mountain climbing culture…that’s what the whole “Cloak I left at Troas” comment to Timmy was about…gotta gear up and take my place in the top mountain of Roman/Hebrew culture…

And in order to expedite this process we started having classes on taking over the business marketplace and a culture in the church that would release more and more supernatural power because frankly the natural power, (or really love), was just not getting the job done…we’ve been losing elections, enough said!

Just to rock the boat a little I’m going to go on record here and say that instead of the great revival and awakening we’ve been waiting on, the exact opposite is going to happen…if nothing more than to give God a target to disprove…instead of waking up, the church as we know it is actually going to sleep past her sell-by-date and miss the boat entirely.

Science will outpace our healing movements…making great discoveries in curing diseases…technology will dwarf the church in terms of creating better living conditions for the struggling masses of humanity, and the health industry will actually make life more comfortable for millions of suffering people.

Social movements will spring up from secular corners that will embarrass the church in terms of contrast, doing more good for the poor than all of our cathedral budgets combined…and there will be a wave of grassroots movements establishing justice for the marginalized and oppressed, the church will sleep through the whole thing instead focusing on getting to the top of its own little mound in the home-school playground.

The church as I see it now, will actually go further into the blankets, deeper under the pillow and the world will walk by looking at us drooling like a teenager in 5th period math class who stayed up to late and then fell asleep on the desk because the room was way to warm…

I am not offering this as a criticism…far from it, if this is what the church wants to do, God is more than happy to fluff the pillows with feathers falling in worship and gold dust to seal our golden slumbers, I am not at all suggesting that the miraculous will not happen, gold teeth, melting metal and jewels falling will go on as usual, there may even be a glory cloud or two, worship services will be off the charts on occasion and some people will get translated and see angels like birds see worms.

I will applaud every one of the events…and I will also cheer everyone on as the year of your convergence, the combination of all your experience and trials comes to head in one moment of bliss and power finally breaking the curse of generations for you and your family, go for it, and go with all the energy you can.

But do me a favor…on Dec.8th 2014 come back and visit this page…and come with an honest look, a view unafraid to tell the truth.

And if we did in fact have a great awakening, if the church did in fact take the 7 mountains and change our culture more than the world did, I will gladly stand here with you and apologize for being so doubtful, so wrong, I will humbly accept the rebuke of elders telling me to stop the negativity and give hope a chance. And on that day when our churches are filled to the walls with sinners repenting and movie stars and celebrities, and the lost who have withstood our agenda and the kingdom finally gets here and our world is changed, oh man oh man I will gladly take my beating and shut up.

But in this moment, I am tempted to wave my hand like a Jedi Knight and say “This is not the revival you are looking for”…because honestly…in 50 years of chasing this stuff…it has never ever happened…and when I look at history…it didn’t happen the way we like to portray it did in the first place.

I have a friend who paints a very clear picture of the Welsh revival, I think he wrote his thesis on it, and Dyfed has some very blunt realities that we have distorted and packaged as “awakening” that we keep trying to sell each and every December/New Year prophetic moment…it did not mean what we thought it meant…the pubs never did empty out and all of the churches were never full at the same time…and truth looks quite a bit different than the 100 year prophecy that William Seymor was supposed to have prophesied.

Now before you jump to some conclusion that I do not believe in a great awakening, let me correct that line of thinking, I absolutely believe in a great Awakening, and I believe it is already happening, what I do not believe is that it will happen in the church, the church for the most part will sleep through it…

The Awakening is going to happen in the world, and already is…it will happen as a Muslim girl stands in defiance of the Taliban and acts like the Spirit of Jesus would by saying, “Go ahead, Kill me, you do not intimidate me, I want my sisters to have an education”. it will happen every day as scientist lay down their lives looking for a cure to AIDs/HIV (while the church for the most part assumes those people just got what they deserved), and the Spirit of Christ will inspire them and they will find a cure, breaking through the barrier we slept through.

The awakening will happen as millions take to the street protesting lower than living conditions and wages for the oppressed and lower classes, demanding justice for excess and profit as that came at the expense of the widow and fatherless…and the church will hit the snooze button one more time because “Occupy” of course was a just bunch of hippies wanting anarchy.

And while the majority of the entertainment industry is looking for a story worth telling because they have a box of new ways to tell it, with now songs, new sounds, new CGI and special effects…the church will have one more conference on worship playing the same songs in the same key with the same leaders leading the same sheep in the same way we did for the last 5 years…all the time forgetting we have the most incredible story on the planet, but cannot seem to tell it unless we use the overhead projector…basically sleeping through the creative awakening happening in the rest of the planet…and it will be Symphonies made from recycled trash that plays the real story God wants to be played…

Unfortunately…I see the sad reality…that we will keep doing what we have been doing all along…just contributing a small footnote to the history of our world…because frankly we like it in our soft blankets of routine teaching, messages about how this year we will break off all financial hindrances, and how this will be the year that we finally awaken and the Spirit comes in like a flood, Glory falls like a meteor and our culture is changed so radically that either everyone repents, or Obama institutes Marshall law and herds us all into Fema camps to silence us…

Meanwhile…the world has been up and finished a ton of stuff before the coffee pot cooled down with Global warming…the church will sleep through the noise, because heaven knows the bride of Christ needs her beauty sleep…after all without starting one more house church, or one more revival prayer service we won’t be able to compete with the beauty that is out there now will we?

Just one final thought here…it might be easy to overlook…but it bears pointing out…if you for some reason are offended that humanity is improved, healed or brought out of oppression by the world and not the church, then may I suggest your love is really in need of an upgrade…because love would not care who did the better job, if it got done.

As usual your mileage may vary.

p.s. As for me…this is the year I think I get a tattoo…just saying.

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22 thoughts on “2014 The Great Awakening…

  1. Mark,

    Tried to post earlier but not sure if it worked. Sorry if this is a repeat.

    This one reads like your Magna Carta. Definitely too long for your tombstone but worthy just the same.

    If I may, I’d like to quibble with you a bit (could be just a language issue though). I kind of like the Seven Mountains concept but not in the way it is usually presented (ie. those in the institutional church will invade the other 6 mountains and “bless” them with supernatural power and the good news of the gospel and change them). The orientation seems to be that the church mountain is the centre of the system and the other 6 rotate around it waiting to be invaded.

    I’ve spent my whole life influencing the business mountain. One of my sons is busy scaling the arts mountain and another the education mountain. Daniel and Joseph are my heroes because of their huge influence on the government mountain. However, seems like they never tried to convert anyone.

    Having said that, please don’t burn up our supply lines (come to think of it, I may have already done that) by getting the church mountain too worked up. Now, back to the task of infiltration…

  2. Yes, John I probably was a little to hard on the 7 mountain thing, which actually trickled down from Bill Bright if I am not mistaken…I suppose on many levels it is just a way to talk about influence and culture, but many times it drifts over into a militant metaphor that I am quite uncomfortable with…the common version of this quotes the Gladiator movie quite a bit and is frankly the opposite of what Jesus taught.

    I really need to find a more positive approach to all of this though…this comes across as a rant and I really do not feel like it is helpful…maybe eye opening at best…but not very helpful.

  3. I am only vaguely acquainted with the 7 mountain concept, but I do know that in Mark 11:23 that Jesus was talking about a mountain of religion. There He said to cast it into the sea, not invade and overtake it.
    Some things were never meant to be reformed, and we know we are going to end up with a new heaven and a new earth.

    • Interesting point Matt but not sure how one can conclude the Jesus was talking about the mountain of religion. Having said that, an excellent idea nonetheless!

      Mark, just to make sure I clarify myself, I wasn’t suggesting that I want or are in need of a supply line to institutional religion. Was more thinking about the body of Christ in the wider sense. Poor metaphor on my part for sure…

      • The context in which it was spoken (I have t make this brief) had to do with Jesus having just cursed the fig tree because it bore no fruit. The fig tree is a prophetic symbol of Judaism which grew out of the mountain of religion.

  4. Thanks for the mention and the link! Much appreciated for a blog that struggles for readers 🙂

    There’s so much in your post, Mark, and I’m not going to be able to do it justice in a comment like this. But here are few hurried thoughts:

    1. The whole prophetic words thing needs serious reflection, as does the context in which it happens. There’s too much that seems to come to nothing for us to just shrug our shoulders any longer. Our responses to failed prophecy also needs examining and I’ve begun on this task in my series on cognitive dissonance over on my Friday posts.

    2. History of revival needs to be re-examined. So far the story in Wales has mainly been told by the evangelical wing of the church. They’ve made some great studies and we should never reject what they have dug up for us but we also need to see other aspects of revival – the failures – to be looked at and then we will have a balanced view of what revival has actually achieved.

    3. To truly offer a critique of church we need a stronger ecclesiology than we currently have. At least then we will have a measuring rod which we can apply to what’s on the ground. As many other commentators have noted here and on facebook not all that is happening in church is wrong or failing. But as you rightly point out, Mark, there is plenty that needs change. To do that we need to grapple with questions such as what is church, what is its point etc? Then we will be able to really build what God intended.

    Just a few thoughts.

  5. I just need to add one comment, mainly because of the packaging, the “sarcasm” as it has been deemed….I suppose on a good day this message could have been put out there with a little less zing and some nice pretty ribbon…you know make a serious attempt not to offend…and if I had done that, taken a less critical trajectory then people would be more willing to see and embrace what I have posted…but I’m gonna call bull poop on that…because it informs some ideas that I think are dangerous…first of all the idea that if you are critical you are not Christlike…pure nonsense.

    Jesus was executed by the religious leaders for blasphemy…we confuse it with his dying for our sins, but the hard cold facts are he pissed everyone in charge off so badly their own reaction to him demanded he die, and the charge was blasphemy…in other words he violated some aspect of religious protocol with his words, Jesus apparently felt no compulsion to enter the confrontation with the goal of making sure everyone kept the love on, but instead he did in fact deliver a scathing message to those running the system at the time and that by definition is Christlike, not the shallow lets all get along and say only nice things…that is known as kissing up…but like I said it informs something else and that is the reluctance we have in asking hard questions…the idea that I would suggest the prophets and the leaders just want us all cozy seems to be reflected in the idea that we should not ask confrontational questions or raise the specter of doubt to charismatic activity.
    I’ve been speaking in tongues as long as most…do it all the time even now…so I am not reluctant to demand the miraculous in each and every breath we take…but that does not make every prophecy or use of it a proper and meaningful expression…there is a place and a time for the gifts and prophecy…selling a book or pumping up the softness meter in the bed are probably not the most effective use for those gifts.

    My sarcasm and the tip of the arrow should not be blunted because its not popular or might offend…frankly we need to be offended…we should be offended that the world is doing our job and we are more worried about people being critical of that fact than we are about changing it…

    I do appreciate the few on facebook and other-where who have offered the idea that less sarcasm will make it more palatable…point taken…and rejected because its not true.
    If you have ears you will hear, if you don’t…well that’s your problem not mine, and make no mistake if you cannot hear this then you do have a problem…because I didn’t even wade into the whole tithe and the system that supports the guys popping out the “profetic”…

    I am sorry for not apologizing though…and that’s not sarcasm its just an emotional contradiction.

    • Couldn’t agree more Mark. Per my original comment, brilliant piece of writing.

      Hopefully my comment about the seven mountains was received in the sense of a minor quibble with the way I view the concept vs what I understood you to be saying. To me that is healthy debate of an idea (I think we did that).

      To be frank, my view is that if we are not “offending” the institution of religion we should be concerned about who we are serving…

      • I love the comments, I have learned more from them than I have from writing my own…we should just abandon the preface model and assume everyone means the best…it’s the little trails that lead to the treasure, the big path is well worn and usually barren.

  6. I am pressing the “Like” button on what John Matthews said, “…if we are not offending the institution of religion, we should be concerned about who we are serving”!

  7. Reblogged this on Kilen's Spot and commented:
    Interesting read, possibly sarcastic but pretty much spot on..

    The church today has become…. well spurious. As Ghandi said (rough rendition) “your Christ I like, your Christians, not so much.” It’s time to not necessarily do but to find Christ fer realz!

  8. Thanks so much Ben…tried to soften the sarcasm in my comments, failure rate as high as Fukishima at times…hopefully sarcasm doesn’t ruin the social eco-system for the starfish…ya never know…

  9. Can i suggest that if you’re serious about this sort of truth telling, for goodness sake dont do it in a church, not too loud anyway; if you do insist on doing, stand in the doorway ready to run. Anything can happen, be ready mate, they can get quite violent.
    Seriously, it’s fantastic living out of the box in the sun…..

    • Been there, got the t-shirt (or noose depends on your point of reference)…basically got 16 years of sermons and input into an evangelical congregation deleted and removed…with no explanation…I can only assume I am a heretic…

  10. Mark, I’m sure all the things you said are true of some churches somewhere, but to speak of “The Church” in America in 2014 is reckless and irresponsible. Which church are you talking about, the Roman Catholic Church or other branded Catholic Church; the evangelical church which are often independently “owned and operated” storefront or mega churches, or the mainline protestant church of which there are several flavors and factions in most: Presbyterian, United Methodist, Free Methodist, American Baptist and on and on? United Methodists are in virtual upheaval over “traditional” vs. “progressive” views and every American Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA) is a church unto itself and they range from ultraconservative to ultra liberal. I do not question your good intentions but every time you and a legion of other commentators assault “The Church” you wrongly and perhaps ultimately irreparably damage churches that are on the same cultural and social page you’re on. Further, you damage churches that support and promote your own brand of “Truth” within the context of the Christian experience. I doubt there has ever been a time in America where there was one church that could be accurately referred to as “The Church” and in 2014 that is a 1,000% inaccurate portrayal. I offer this not as indignant criticism but rather constructive criticism. Since you’ve done a piece of “The Church” that doesn’t exist how about going out and finding churches that do get it right by YOUR standards and doing a piece on those? I admit it will not be easy because there are still a lot of churches that still live in the dark ages but there are plenty others that if not worthy of commendation (Christ preaches humility anyway) at least don’t deserved to bashed into oblivion which is a real risk since there are by this time multiple generations who believe there is such a thing as “The Church” which is the one tons of poorly informed bloggers portray and bash, and in doing so undeservedly discredit many, many churches.

    • Point taken Edward…so do you suppose i will find a church that is paying taxes instead of avoiding them, including gays instead of alienating them, spending their efforts and resources on the actual poor and marginalized instead of buildings and pastors salary and retirement funds as well as liability insurance for buildings that are generally on prime real-estate and used maybe a few hours a week?

      If the criticism holds it should start with out definitions of church…which are completely out of sync with what the definition is in the New Testament…I don’t really feel a need to defend my point because it IS aimed at a segment of our cultural expression that is flawed to begin with…

      Which church is the right one? Which one does God see? My point is more towards the ridiculous fascination we have with showmanship and distractions rather than visiting the widow, orphan, fatherless and the alien…your mileage may vary…

      • And perhaps my point is missed by the sarcasm, not defending that, but what I was addressing is a particular emphasis on a focus that points our eyes away from real good and places we might participate into an expectation of some sort of intervention where God shows up and we do not have to get our hands dirty…which might be your point as well…

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