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Archive for June, 2017

“It feels like 1968.”  That is what the congressman who was being interviewed on a national news program said the day following the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and several others at a suburban baseball field in Virginia.  It is being alleged that Scalise and about twenty-five other congressmen and staffers were the targets of an assassination attempt.  Because of the bravery of the Capitol Police detail assigned to Scalise, the Alexandria police department, and the grace and protection of God, none of them lost their lives.  But, what did the congressman mean when he said, “It feels like 1968.”

Many of you probably do not remember 1968.  As far as that goes, many of you reading this article may not have even been born yet.  1968 was not a good year for America.  We were in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, which involved numerous bloody incidents, not just in the South, but in many parts of the United States.  The country was divided over the Vietnam War and there were daily protests, sometimes violent and even deadly, in the streets and on college campuses.  So called, “free love,” and rampant drug abuse destroyed the lives of many young people.  That explosive year was made even more tragic with the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.  As I have written before, it is only by the grace and mercy of God that America was not literally torn asunder.

What does this have to do with what we are witnessing today?  Veteran newsman Brit Hume said on the day of the Scalise shooting, he has not seen this much animosity and divisiveness in Washington, D.C. in many, many years.  The division we see and can even feel, however, goes far beyond the Beltway of Washington.  We have always had our differences of opinion, but our nation is still greatly divided over matters of religion, race, politics, and many other issues.  We are divided over the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage, healthcare reform, and tax reform.  We see extreme groups on the left and on the right whose rhetoric is fanning the flames of civil disobedience and even violence.  In recent days we have seen one infamous celebrity hold the likeness of a bloodied and beheaded President Trump and at least one theatrical play that pictures his assassination in the same light as that of Julius Caesar’s.  Deaths from drug overdoses are skyrocketing while dozens of evangelical churches permanently close their doors every month.  If we do not experience true revival and spiritual awakening; we may experience riots, division and violence that would make 1968 look like a Sunday School picnic.

But, I also want to remind you, something else was taking place in America in 1968.  In the midst of all the violence, protests and problems plaguing our land, God was at work.  In 1968, the Jesus Movement was beginning in the hearts of many young adults and teenagers on the West Coast. In the next few years it would spread across the nation.  People were set free from drug addiction, sexual immorality, and lifestyles bent on self-destruction.  Churches were filled with new life, new songs of praise and a generation of young people who were ready to reach their families and the world for Jesus Christ.  It was a spiritual revolution that changed thousands of lives forever.  I know, because as a young teenager several years after the Jesus Movement began, the Lord did a work of revival in my life and called me to a deeper relationship with Him for which I am so grateful. Oh, how we need a fresh wave of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ to sweep across America again!

Many of the things we are experiencing in America today may have the look and feel of 1968.  If so, could we be on the verge of the next great revival and spiritual awakening in our land?  May God have mercy on us and revive us again!

In Christ’s service,

Allen

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