Whilst these church leaders are not calling it a revival, they are calling it a ‘gospel awakening’.
American evangelist Tommie Zito was in Reading holding meetings when this ‘awakening’ first appeared.
I noticed that on Zito’s website was the catchy quote,
If we don’t burn they will…
Here are what the local Christians are using on the streets,
The problem with calling this a ‘gospel awakening’ is that the gospel has not been announced here! This is not the gospel. This is pseudo-spiritual sociological manipulation, preying on people’s fear and vulnerability, assuring them of eternal rewards in return of a short prayer.
We live in a culture saturated with fear, a desire for security and hope for reward. This whole methodology is simply an outworking of a cultural phenomenon.
So many churches in the UK are locked into this sacrificial deity who demands blood from us, a god of exchange who will bless us IF we say the right prayer, give money, sacrifice our lives. This god is to be feared for what might happen to us if we do not get in line. This god is both great and terrible, loving and full of wrath, merciful and vengeful. And it is this god being declared on the streets of Reading.
And it’s all bullshit.
Are people being awakened to the Abba of Jesus who is wholly Love, total forgiveness, eternal grace, Unconditionality?
Are people being awakened to the Trinitarian Life of nonviolent action who absorbs the totality of OUR violence and overcomes it with everlasting love and peace?
Are people being awakened to the One who says ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice’?
Are people being awakened to the One who is lifted up and will draw ALL to Life, none excluded, all welcomed in as children of the living God?
Are people being awakened to the One whose YES and AMEN is greater than our every NO?
This is something of the Good News the church in Reading needs to hear first.