Losing The Spiritual Birthmark Of A Nation: And Getting It Tatooed On Our Hearts Again

Wow. Do we need another spiritual awakening in America today. We live in a completely unrecognizable nation in comparison to 50 years ago. And not simply because of the industrial revolution, the information age, terror and world wars, or 9/11. To be honest, the social media revolution is not to blame either. There is a more apparent reason to blame for the condition of America today. I believe that because of the loss of a Christian and biblical vision in government, education, media, entertainment, and the church, our society has lost a distinguishing strength that existed in our nation since its inception. The birthmark of Christianity on America.

No worries, I do understand that we have never really been a "Christian" nation. But, we have had biblical Christian principles that guided our country from the beginning. This spiritual decline must be stopped.

With the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast a few days old now, I have been waiting for some memorable moments to be shared from all of the activities surrounding the event. Checking through social media, newspaper sources, and newscasts has yielded little discussion from the meetings in Washington. Except, of course, debate about the criticism of President Obama and his statements toward Christianity. Now, I was not at the National Prayer Breakfast this past Thursday, February 5, 2015. But, I have read the entire Presidential transcript, as well as many others. And after researching as many reviews and reports that I could find on the event, I am burdened for America. Because from the highest seat in our land to the fabric of American culture we have lost our spiritual birthmark.

There are many reasons for this loss. But, I believe that this generation will birth the next spiritual awakening in America. They do not want to merely HEAR about awakenings. They want to SEE one. And for that to happen, they must overcome the 4 primary causes of spiritual death upon a country:

1. Christianity has lost it's authority in the highest seat of our land. As has been reported from the National Prayer Breakfast this past week in many resources, President Obama stated that "...lest we get on our high horse and think this (religious terrorism) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ." Is a National Prayer Breakfast the place for this kind of comparison of religions? Where is the distinguishing spiritual mark of Christianity on our nation? What about the similar remarks of President Obama back in 2010, stating that "America is no longer a Christian nation..." I get the context from this quote. That we are now Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and pagan (or unbelieving). But, just because we have become religiously diverse doesn't mean that our roots of Christianity need to be neglected or placed on the back shelf. Where is the guardian of Christianity in government, education, media, entertainment, society, and the church?

I know that God is raising up young Christian voices in each of these sectors to restore the voice of the Spirit in our Constitution to our culture. That we are endowed with rights by our Creator.

2. The days of spiritual awakenings that have impacted our nation are distant memories.  Gone are the many spiritual moments in American history that were felt in God's House to the White House. The horse-back riding preachers who roamed the countryside preaching biblical morality and living for Christ is a fading memory to the builder generation who witnessed this. The Jesus movement that swept the nation and brought a radical lifestyle change is a fading memory to baby-boomers. Stadium and arena packed crusades that dotted the urban centers of America are a fading memory to the Millenials who were told of the stories. The Millenials and the "Z" or "Like" generations living today are being raised without the experience and barely the memory of a significant spiritual awakening in their lifetime. Think about it. This teenage generation is the only generation living today in America that has never experienced a spiritual awakening. 

I have seen the heart of this teen generation and believe strongly that they will birth the next spiritual awakening in America. It has begun with movements like "See You At The Pole", a nation-wide prayer meeting every September on our school campuses.

3. The controlling entities who shape American culture are far from a Christian framework.  In the information and social media age we live in, communication shapes culture. And the mainstream mediums such as print and broadcast journalism, and, music and entertainment, have become communicators of America's new religion. The 'COEXIST' framework of non-absolute truth and vague spiritual leadership is the soul of MTV, ABC, NBC, CBS, and every other corporate company driven by greed and money. The music industry is populated with once-Christian artists who need an awakening in their own lives again. Hollywood is populated with once-Christian actors who need an awakening in their own lives again. We must have believers working alongside of these people helping mentor them and love them back into the kingdom. Because if these pop icons lose their  principles and absolutes, the next generation will be even further away from finding theirs.

I know of young teens who have a passion for Christ in the arts. And many of them are praying for the 'A-lister's' in New York City, Hollywood, and Nashville. We must raise children who will influence these sectors of society with the power of Christianity.

4. The Church has lost its authority in culture.  The clear voice of the Body of Christ that once echoed throughout our nation has been diluted and completely silenced in most cases. We haven't seen a revival or an awakening in about 20 years. Let me define the term "revival" and an "awakening". There is a difference. A revival has a significant impact on the Church, but not necessarily the larger society or culture. An awakening impacts both the Church and the larger society or culture. Unfortunately, the humanism of the 'COEXIST' movement has won out over the last 20 years in America and replaced our religious birthmark of Christianity that once was seen as the framework of our nation. When the Word of God is neglected in the church, the rest of our nation will feel the effect of it in our homes, schools, businesses, and government. The effect of humanism and ideology impacting our lives and not theology.

As I have travelled all over this nation in the past 10 years, I have noticed that this generation is ready. If the church is in the hands of the young people that I see in America, the church is going to be in great hands.

So, what is the answer? Simply, we need another Great Awakening. Like the First and the Second Great Awakenings of the 17th and 18th centuries, and the Pentecostal Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spiritual movements can have their impact. Affecting everyday life and influencing people, cities, businesses, culture, and ultimately, a nation. There has always been distinguishing marks or traits of revival. While reading one of the historians of our nation, William Menzies, I came across 4 traits of an awakening. We should pray these dynamic attributes back into the life and message of the church in America:

                          -An elevation of the person of Christ and not a fear of speaking about His sovereignty
  -Assault upon the works of Satan and not losing the spiritual warfare needed to establish Christianity
                                          -Accepting the authority of Scripture and not accepting the ideology of man
       -Active pursuit of a love for God and mankind and not losing our passion for Christ and humanity

Remember that one of the consistent factors in all of these movements was young people. The effects of the First and Second Great Awakenings and the Pentecostal Movement in past centuries has no doubt shaped our nation in historical ways. And young people have been at the center of past movements. But, it is time for another spiritual movement in America. If we continue at the pace we are entrenched at this time, we will look more similar to Europe and its religious climate; full of Church buildings but almost devoid of true believers.

How do we return the lost spiritual birthmark of a nation? By getting it tatooed on our hearts again. And this generation loves its tattoos. I believe it begins with countering these 4 obstacles and committing to these four traits. Let me challenge you as a young person in America to begin asking the Holy Spirit to guide you through each of these. And ultimately into a nation-shaking revival in the church and awakening in society.