What Does True Revival Look Like? Thoughts On The Brownsville Revival -- By: William D. Lollar

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 08:2 (Spring 1999)
Article: What Does True Revival Look Like? Thoughts On The Brownsville Revival
Author: William D. Lollar


What Does True Revival Look Like? Thoughts On The Brownsville Revival

William D. Lollar

The Lord Jesus Christ stopped by Jacob’s well one day to engage a Samaritan woman in conversation about eternal things. She was more concerned, however, with a long-standing controversy between Jews and Samaritans. Each group thought they had a franchise on Jehovah.

The Jews insisted that true worship could take place only in Jerusalem, while the Samaritans saw Mount Gerizim as the only legitimate place of worship. The Messiah responded that the time was coming—in fact, it had already come—when location would not be the real issue. He declared to her that “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).1

That ancient controversy is still alive. We invest incredible energy and resources to visit highly celebrated “church growth” practitioners, hoping to learn how to grow our churches according to their successful models. God is there, we assume, so there we go.

Success is our measuring stick. If we cannot be successful, then tradition becomes an acceptable substitute. Neither the Jews nor the Samaritans had really known the intimacy of God’s presence for at least four hundred years. They were making it up as they went along.

Sadly enough, our post-Christian American culture has not seen the mighty hand of God since Edwards and Whitefield, so who is really going to know the difference if we package “revival” and sell it to those hungry for it?

Finney has taught us well. The development of revivalism has encouraged some questionable thinking that, in some special sense, God’s presence is localized in whatever church happens to be having a “revival meeting” in a community.

The leaders of the Brownsville Assembly
of God in Pensacola, Florida, believe that
God has taken up residence in their
sanctuary for four years now. According
to estimates, several million visitors from
all fifty states and many foreign
countries have made the pilgrimage
to see for themselves
.

The leaders of the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, believe that God has taken up residence in their sanctuary for four years now. According to estimates, several million visitors from all fifty states and many foreign countries have made the pilgrimage to see for themselves.

Most visitors agree that God’s presence has indeed settled here with great power, and they are hoping that the Br...

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