What about revival?
- Created on Thursday, 16 February 2012 17:14
- Written by David Ollerton
I pray for revival every day of my life, it’s on my prayer list, I have done so for years. I have read the books, been to the meetings and listened to the mp3s. I have been asking for a moving of the Spirit that will intensify gospel urgency, bring people to seek Him and cause the name of Jesus to be talked of and honoured. It has happened before, so why not?
The question that hangs in the air is why not in Wales since 1905? Have things changed forever? Well, yes and no. Yes in that the ‘Christendom effect’ of church tradition, power, obligation, establishment, nominalism … has all but gone. Christians are in a diminishing minority in a ‘post-Christian’, secular, pluralist age. People out there are not feeling guilty because they don’t go to church. In this sense the revival of 1904/5 was the end of an era in that it reaped in a nominal, chapel connected, hymn-singing, somewhat God-fearing society. Evan Roberts and R B Jones and what God did then was great for then, but society has changed.
We are back to a pre-Christian age. It was a bit like this in the 1730s. Rationalism, Deism, immorality and alcoholism were pervading all sections of society. Christianity was being ridiculed and de-bunked and church attendance was in free-fall. Even sound churches were somewhat sound asleep. Then Howel Harris was converted, started witnessing to his neighbours, followed a singing teacher around to talk to groups of people, spoke where he could get a hearing, gathered societies to nurture new Christians, met Daniel Rowland, Billy Pantycelyn, Whitefield … and together they took the gospel out everywhere. At some point in all this the revival started, but it is not easy to say exactly when. But it came into a work of mission, evangelism, outreach, witness … not in-pull, attraction and church-building-centred preaching and activity. Perhaps we should do the gospel more, and keep looking over our shoulders for revival.