Once upon a time, there was a prominent person that attended a church regularly. Since attendance was down, the building got in bad state of repairs. Being a prominent person, and having an image to keep, he couldn't have the church looking like this. So he instructed the pastor to have the work done (using money from the building fund) supervised by a person that he put in place. The pastor, knowing a prominent person when he saw one, of course followed his instructions to the letter.
In the course of building repairs, the storage room was cleaned out and a Bible was found. The pastor not knowing what to do with this strange book gave it to the prominent person's supervisor - who having nothing better to do while the workmen were busy, read it. Being completely amazed at the things he was reading (he had never heard this before), he rushed to tell his boss (the prominent person). Realizing that even as a prominent person, he had broken God's law and was guilty of sins punishable by death, he humbled himself and repented of his sins before God - placing his faith and trust in the Lord.
The prominent person was a changed man; aware of God's promise to give him peace and blessing. Yet, he was aware that no one else in his church had heard what the Bible had to say. Concerned for those people, and knowing that God's judgment was inevitable, he called for the pastor, deacons, trustees, teachers and other attenders, to gather in the church for a special meeting. The Bible was then read aloud before all the people and the prominent person testified of what God had done in his life. From the least to the greatest, from the deacon to the pastor, the people repented of their sins, choosing to follow the only true God - knowing what it is to experience His mercy, forgiveness and love.
The entire church, as a body, openly pledged themselves to love the Lord their God, with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. And in their love for their Lord, they desired to serve Him. They realized that things had to change, beginning in their own church and homes. They got rid of the things that they had made to be idols - many useless and ornate donated items were taken out to be burned (regardless of the dedication plaques on them). Only items dedicated for service to the Lord were allowed to remain. Things associated with New Age and goddess worship were sought out and destroyed. The people were aware that allowing the influence of any of this, and seemingly lesser things like horoscopes and the like, would be offensive to the Lord.
Like many a large church, there were numerous associate pastors on staff, many of whom had been hired due to the influence of the prominent person's kinfolk. For the first time, the people began to examine the associates job functions, testimony and performance in the light of God's Word. Many were removed from the pastorate. It appears that some of these associates felt they could be seen as serving God, while in fact they had merged practices declared sinful into their lives and duties.
Having removed many New Age and pagan items from the church, they soon realized that there were people that had been using the church to promote these ideas. It was quickly discovered that one of the women's groups had been promoting alternate feminist spirituality and funding their activities, in support of the goddess, through crafts. And if that wasn't bad enough, some homosexuals had been openly soliciting in the church, encouraging others to come, saying that God accepts them the way they are, "because God made them that way." By the words of the Bible, the people knew what they had to do -- and the prominent person led them in driving these things out of the church.
An amazing thing occurred. Radical changes were taking place both in the church and out in the town. Not just a few places of sin were closed and torn down. Pastors disqualified from ministry because of sin in their lives, having repented, were allowed to fellowship with their peers and partake of the Lord's supper, but were no longer allowed to serve in a pastoral role. The care of God's flock was not taken lightly.
Throughout the land, places had been operated where people chose to sacrifice their sons and daughters. With the people's consent, these sacrifices were made to an evil deity known by many names and not just occasionally referred to as "Convenience." In times past, if not a participant in these sacrifices, they had commonly been heard to say that it was "the parent's choice." Now moved with righteous indignation, the people in unity came against these practices - till there were no such places remaining in the land.
In their zeal for God's truth, it was discovered that some items had been left in the church foyer. These items, dedicated to the Sun, in the past had been considered harmless - the ones supporting them were often heard to claim that they were serving God. (One key individual of this group was known in private as the Worshipful Master of the East; representative of the Sun). Further investigation, although difficult due to secrecy, revealed that these items actually had come from another Temple (where it's been said that many kinfolk of the prominent person had been known to frequent). Knowing that their God was displeased by compromise, the church people quickly cleaned house.
As they grew in boldness for the Lord, they examined many traditions and practices that had been given to them from generations before. Quickly apparent that many were not based on God's Word, things began to change. And surprisingly no one was heard to exclaim, "But, we've always done it that way!" For years the people had evil images and idols in their homes, that many had said, "how could we do without?" But they removed these things (that had been known to expect daily obeisance, requiring much time), because in their love for the Lord, they knew they could not serve Him with all their hearts, souls and minds, while serving these too.
What a change! The channelers, mediums and spiritists were gone, from the least to the worst (if there is a difference) not a thing or practice detestable to the Lord was left in the land. It's been said that neither before, or since, has there been a prominent person\; like the one you now all know. This man started a revival, because the Bible told him so.
...And this generation lived happily ever after in the ways of their Lord.
Years passed and the prominent person died, as had many that had experienced this revival and served their Lord. Once again the Bible was lost, misplaced, or ignored and another prominent person took control. Again there was sin in their homes, church and the land. Judgment is still impending... We need another Revival Tale.
All similarity to persons, places and events of the present and past is completely intentional. Read 2 Kings Chapters 22 & 23...
Of kings of old,
And kings once bold
The Bible's quite unique.
Don't mess with this Tale,
For it's quite pale,
The Bible's worth a peek.
Written by Brent MacDonald of Lion Tracks Ministries. (c) 1993-1997. Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.