By Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski
Some consistent themes have been shared by preachers at the WV Revival Services this year. Different speakers from various states have addressed political correctness, racism, and legalism. The first topic has manifested in a movement to stop prayer in public places and especially in the name of Jesus. Such practices are labeled “offensive” and therefore must be stopped. Free speech, religious exercise, and honest conversations are stifled through political correctness. In some cases, it has put lives in danger as folks have been afraid to report suspicion of terrorism. As the Church, we must be willing to address sin, receive the whole counsel of God, and worry more about offending Christ than man. When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, it is far more important to be Biblically correct than politically correct.
Also present in some Churches today is a spirit of racism. Nothing is more shameful than a person of another race receiving the cold shoulder from “Christians.” He or she is not welcomed into the sanctuary and may get the wrong message about God. The scripture is clear that if we cannot love our brother who we have seen than we do not love God who we haven’t seen (John 4:20). That Church might as well close its doors and stay home because their worship is vain. There will not be all white Churches and all black Churches in Heaven. The followers of Christ will consist of all races and worship the Lamb in unity. If we are unwilling to do that now, then we will not be among that number in the future.
A third stumbling block to revival is legalism. People with tattoos, more noticeable baggage, and a rough past have also felt rejection from some people of faith. They have come searching for truth, but didn’t match the idea of what some thought should walk through the door. Legalism is adding to the requirements of salvation that Christ did not mandate. It is a view of scripture that adds burdens on others too heavy to bear. Also, it can be telling God he can only work a certain way according to one’s traditions. Jesus gave a scathing rebuke to the Pharisees and declared they shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against others and do not go in themselves (Matthew 23:13). These three barriers are stumbling blocks to a relationship with God, unity with others, and the mandate of evangelism. They will choke the life out of a Church and keep us from God’s presence. Let us reject this evil and welcome a revival on an even larger scale.
(Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org)