[anzac] BACK to 'CLASSIC' CHRISTIANITY - Lee Grady

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 11:19:32 +0100
GETTING BACK to 'CLASSIC' CHRISTIANITY
-by J. Lee Grady.

We need voices from the past—like Andrew Murray, Corrie Ten
Boom and Charles Spurgeon—to help us find our way to the
future.

During a visit with my parents in Georgia, two of my daughters
asked if they could listen to a tape recording my father made in
1962 when I was only 4 years old. So my dad rummaged through
some drawers and found the old reel-to-reel tape, which was
amazingly still intact. Then he went to the garage and found the
old Realistic tape player that no one in the family had used since
the Nixon administration.

To our surprise the scratchy tape actually played without breaking,
and my girls laughed when they heard me—in a babyish Southern
drawl—describing a Florida vacation and a fishing trip with my
grandfather. After my "interview," it switched to an older recording
made in 1956. It included a conversation with my dad's mother,
who died before I was born.

It was eerie to hear her voice. I'd never heard it before yet it
sounded hauntingly familiar. After that brief segment of the tape
ended we listened to comments from my other three grandparents
—all of whom died in the 1960s or 1970s. Their voices unearthed
long-buried but fond memories.

These sounds from the past reminded me of some other distant
voices I have been listening to recently. They are the voices of
dead Christians—writers of classic books and songs that we are
close to forgetting today.

Their names are probably somewhat familiar to you. Jonathan
Edwards. John Wesley. Charles Finney. Catherine Booth.
Andrew Murray. Evans Roberts. Charles Spurgeon. Fanny
Crosby. E.M. Bounds. Watchman Nee. A.W. Tozer. William
Seymour. A.B. Simpson. Corrie Ten Boom. Leonard Ravenhill.
Fuchsia Pickett.

All of them could be labeled revivalists. All challenged the
Christians of their generation to embrace repentance and humility.
They understood a realm of spiritual maturity and a depth of
character that few of us today even aspire to obtain.

When I read their words I feel much the same way I did after
hearing my grandparents' voices on that old tape. I feel as if I am
tapping into a realm of spirituality that is on the verge of extinction.

What was the secret of these great Christians who left their
legacies buried in their books? They considered humility,
selflessness and sacrifice the crowning virtues of the Christian
journey. They called the church to die to selfishness, greed and
ambition. They knew what it means to carry a "burden" for lost
souls. They saw the glories of the kingdom and demanded total
surrender. They challenged God's people to pursue obedience—
even if obedience hurts.

Even their hymns reflected a level of consecration that is foreign in
worship today. They sang often of the cross and its wonder. Their
worship focused on the blood and its power. They sang words of
heart-piercing conviction: "My richest gain I count but loss / And
pour contempt on all my pride / Forbid it Lord that I should boast /
Save in the death of Christ, My God."

In so many churches today the cross is not mentioned. The blood
is avoided because we don't want to offend visitors. And worship
is often a canned performance that involves plenty of rhythm and
orchestration but little or no substance. We can produce noise,
but often there is no heart ... and certainly no tears.

In the books Christians buy today you will find little mention of
brokenness. We are not interested in a life that might require
suffering, patience, purging or the discipline of the Lord. We
want our blessings ... and we want them now! So we look for
the Christian brand of spiritualized self-help that is quick and
painless.

We're running on empty. We think we are sophisticated, but like
the Laodiceans we are actually poor, blind and naked. We need
to return to our first love but we don't know where to begin the
journey.

These voices from the past will help point the way. I've found
myself drawn to reading books by Ravenhill, Ten Boom, Murray
and Spurgeon in recent days. I've even pulled out an old hymnal
and rediscovered the richness of songs that I had thrown out
years ago—because I thought anything old couldn't possibly
maintain a fresh anointing.

I realize now that I must dig for this buried treasure. We will never
effectively reach our generation if we don't reclaim the humility,
the brokenness, the consecration and the travail that our spiritual
forefathers considered normal Christianity.

-J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.
SOURCE: http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones