Chris encourages us to fight those issues of self and really start to seek the Kingdom within where the true power of our faith lies in this article.
Whilst standing with 18,000 people at the Call prayer and fasting initiative on July 13 many memories come flooding back, but one that was notable. Pastor Agu who pastors a large church in London said the following. "The second most strategic nation on earth spiritually next to Israel has been the UK." God really confirmed this statement to my heart with the following impression. Yes the UK has been a witness of the Christian faith for over 1500 years, but equally she has had the opposition of the enemy for that period of time as well.
A recent Gallup/Readers Digest poll voted the UK as the second most Godless nation on earth second to Japan. Our society and culture bear witness to these findings. We are a secular humanist society engaging with multi faith Britain and hell bent on quelling free speech due to a political correctness that has more to do with Orwell's 1984 than true tolerance and freedom.
The Church is in decline in this country having dropped from 5.4 million church goers in 1979 to 3.7 million at the turn of the century. Many excellent books are being published on this subject including Dr. Michael Moynagh's book "Changing World Changing Church." (copies available by following this link) The good news is that globally there are areas of incredible Christian growth such as China, Africa, Latin America etc., but in the West we're in trouble. As they say "...denial ain't a river in Egypt, baby.." It is no good going our own sweet way with everything looking fine in our own patch of activity whilst the nation goes down the pan spiritually. This is the challenge to us all. To see this as God sees it.
This is why Cross Rhythms considers itself missionaries to our own culture and not just a media organisation feeding the Church with entertainment.
Another memory of that day in July was an overall impression that although we were reaching into all the generations, there was a distinct feeling I had of loss when it came to the issue of the real fathers governing the Church. One thing I will say that the USA do well, is family. They value family. When 1.3 million American men met to do business with God through the Promise Keepers organisation then it was bound to influence the spiritual atmosphere of their nation. Many also said that the Call itself was born out of that movement. In a way this confirms Malachi 4 ...where the Spirit of Elijah comes to "turn the hearts of the father to the sons and the sons to the father, lest I smite the land with a curse..." Eldership qualification is about family, then Church.
I point this out because as a ministry Cross Rhythms came into being to help the Church re-engage culturally, but the message is as old as time. The Christian faith is about relationship, first with God then with each other. If we cannot function as redeemed human beings with a real testimony of our ongoing healing then what are we giving to this broken world? Religion that doesn't give life?
The pressures that we are going through in this nation may be being allowed by God, so that we become desperate enough to start doing things His way. I believe the younger generation has the energy and passion to make a "cause" out of our faith, which will change this nation. We need all the generations working together, but it will probably be many of the young as a spiritual army who will find themselves on the front line.
Yes we do need to remember what Dr. Martin Luther King said about his cause to challenge racism and segregation in the USA "...if you've got nothing worth dying for, then you've got nothing worth living for." A passion for God is worth dying for and so is our nation's heritage and future inheritance. Now is a time to radically seek the Lord whilst He can still be found. Fight those issues of self and really start to seek the Kingdom within where the true power of our faith lies and maybe our nation will come back to God.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Chris and Kerry speak at a number of national conferences on Christian lifestyle, marriage and culture.
View all articles by Chris Cole FRSA