Russell Moore tells a story on himself in his book Onward. Russell was in his mid-twenties and working on his seminary doctorate. He was lamenting the miserable shape of the church and the down-ward slide of the culture to the great theologian/Christian Statesman, Carl F. H. Henry, who was in his mid-eighties. Young Russell rattled off examples of the churches doctrinal error, weak preaching, non-existent discipleship, clergy scandals and on and on — wondering if there was any hope for the future. He didn’t expect Carl Henry’s reply and rebuke which forever changed his life and hope. This is the application he derived and thinks about almost every day: “The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now.”
“Why, you speak as though Christianity were genetic,” the old theologian said. “Of course, there is hope for the next generation of the church. But the leaders of the next generation might not be coming from the current Christian subculture. They are probably still pagans.”
“Who knew that Saul of Tarsus was to be the great apostle to the Gentiles?” he asked. “Who knew that God would raise up a C. S. Lewis, once an agnostic professor, or a Charles Colson, once Richard Nixon’s hatchet man, to lead the twentieth-century church? They were unbelievers who, once saved by the grace of God, were mighty warriors of the faith.”
Russell Moore, having learned his lesson, adds these hopeful words,
“The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might be a misogynistic, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist right now. The next Charles Spurgeon might be managing an abortion clinic right now. The next Mother Teresa might be a heroin-addicted porn star right now. The next Augustine of Hippo might be a secularly promiscuous cult member right now, just like, come to think of it, the first Augustine of Hippo was. “But the Spirit of God can turn all that around, and seems to delight to do so.”
In the middle of our turbulent times, we remember, the most powerful spirit on Earth is the Holy Spirit of God. “’Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). The Spirit of God can raise up a man, a woman, a couple, a team, whenever His Kingdom or His purposes demand it to take on the forces of darkness and evil.
Think through the ages and see how true this principle is:
Herod—————————- John the Baptist
Jim Crow————————-Martin Luther King
“I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and …
stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land” (Ezekiel 22:30).
“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support
those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Prayer and Praise
- Pray for God to continue to raise up leaders to serve wholeheartedly in these important times. The Spirit is at work and leaders are responding.
- Pray for my preparation for three upcoming retreats with leaders – Community Leaders, Men’s Retreat and Military Leaders.
- Pray for upcoming preaching opportunities (check out www.capitolcommissionlouisiana.org for details).
- Pray for continued healing from injuries resulting from my car accident. I am making progress, but have a way to go.
- Pray for my involvement as a Fellow with the Colson Center (www.colsonfellows.org for more information or if you wish to apply).
- Pray for Donna’s new initiatives some of which include a new Bible study and her expanded ministry with Grace Adventures.
Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,