5–Hour Christianity

Is Christianity just a burst of energy to help you? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Here in the Knoxville area, we have right now going on a revival to last for six days with six big area churches coming together. As my wife and I were driving and seeing two churches with signs about it I asked her “Am I the only one who seems skeptical about all of this?”

I remember growing up in the church and seeing as because of my having Asperger’s, I was not ready to go on these overnight youth trips. The youth would all come back and they would be so excited and in love with Jesus and they were just ready to take on the world for Christ!

And then a week passed.

By then, everything was back to normal.

It was always disappointing for me. I always felt like the kids were putting on a show for the time being. That same skepticism comes to me when I hear about revivals going on. Personally, I don’t even like the term because to me, revival implies that something is dead. The church is alive. It does not need a revival. It needs a revolution.

Some of you might think I’m being too hard. Let me state up front I am not against someone being more emotionally focused in Christianity. We need many members and not everyone is called to be an intellectual. That is just fine. We all have our place in the body.

I am concerned about emotionalism devoid of intellectual backing however. To be fair, I am also against a cold intellectualism that cares nothing about the hearts and souls of men and has no desire for God. Of course, such expression might not be strongly emotional. I would not say my own love for God in my life is really emotional, but that does not mean I would deny it is there.

Usually, such revivals act like the five hour energy drinks. A friend of ours, who happened to marry my wife and I, recommended that if I go on a long car drive, halfway through, I should drink one of those energy drinks. Now I don’t think I need to, but it does make people rest easier. It also makes my wife wonder what planet I came here from when I can down the whole thing in one gulp. (As anyone knows, every thing else about me is perfectly normal, and I’m sure if she read this her eyes would roll.)

For most people, you can be driving along and get really tired and need that energy to keep going. If that’s the case, that would be fine. The problem comes with trying to make a consistent diet out of those. You could not live off of energy drinks. At the same time, you cannot make a diet out of revivals.

“Well people aren’t doing that!”

Okay. The way to demonstrate that would be to make sure people are getting a healthy diet of Christianity elsewhere. This is more than just how to be a good person. Christianity has too often been reduced to a set of ethics. It would also be why those ethics are so important. It’s more than just “What can I believe so I can go to Heaven when I die?” It’s “What does what I believe do to bring Heaven to Earth here?”

This means getting emotional and intellectual needs both met and sadly, today the church by and large caters to the emotional needs. We need both. Sorry, but when the college student who has been in Sunday School for years without having any substance to his faith meets a professor armed with a load of “facts” that are supposed to disprove Christianity, he needs more than a feeling to make it.

My concern with the revivals is that our churches aren’t succeeding where they should be and feel the need to correct that with an occasional shot of Christianity. It won’t do it. If you want your Christianity to grow, like a good garden, it must be tended to regularly.

What’s the solution? How about what Jesus said. Those that worship must worship in Spirit and in truth. We need both. Having a good deal of spirituality won’t matter if you don’t have a clue about what the truth is. Maybe then, we won’t need to bring revival to ourselves, but will rather bring it to those outside the church.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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