NOTE: The 'GATHERING' in Kansas City is only 2 weeks away. It is not too late to join us. -We still have some seating. (-See "Revivalschool.com" for details). The theme of this Gathering is "BACK TO THE NEW TESTAMENT". Darren Smith, who wrote the below article, is one of the speakers. He has founded many 'outreach'-oriented house churches - more all the time. We look forward to hearing from him. AMERICA - HARDER or EASIER for CHRISTIANS?? -by Darren Smith. About a month ago during a time of great trial in my walk Jesus the Lord spoke to me about being a true follower of Him, not a nominal believer but a true follower. The word I heard was that America is the hardest place in the world to be a believer. This came as a shock to me, for I had often thought and commented on how easy we have it here. But what the Lord opened to me is how hard it is to walk with Him in this land of comfort. It is so easy to be distracted by the cares of this world in our nation, in fact so easy that we have created our own American doctrine to make us feel better about our lack of devotion to Jesus. If you need Jesus for every meal its far easier to trust Him, and if meeting with a body of believers puts your life at risk, commitment would be easier. Lets face it - we have built a "what's in it for me" doctrine to fill our buildings and programs. What's amazing is that we even believe that God has blessed us with all these distractions. We're even taught to pray for them. After all, surely God wants us all to be rich and happy. This very notion causes us to max out credit cards and other credit, so we can look the part. Even our churches fall for the "bigger-newer-nicer" lie! If we go back to the basic Gospel we can't teach the American doctrine because the words of Christ dispel it completely. Even when Jesus gave us a model of how to pray He taught us to be dependant upon Him. "Give us this day our daily bread" is a simple request, isn't it? Can you find a prayer for riches or possesions in it? Think about this - how can the Lord provide our daily bread when our cabinets, ice boxes and freezers are full? Do you get the point? Being a follower of Christ is almost impossible in our nation. So many of the things we say God blessed us with are distractions given to us by our adversary the devil designed to turn us away from Jesus. This is why we don't see the power of God in our life, we simply don't need it, or, in fact, want it. It would mean an end to our way of life and sure death to the American doctrine of feel-good religion - a bloodless, powerless conviction-less, and (last but not least) God-less faith. The condition of the body today is sickening. We can't even call sin "sin" anymore. I am ashamed of myself and other leaders who have let our walk slide so far. Starting with me I repent for the half hearted service to the Lord and struggling with sin that should be put away. Help me Lord to walk worthy of your calling. In the last few days I have seen men that once walked with Jesus struggle with the world and struggle over issues that should not even be a consideration for a true follower of Christ. God help us to return to you with a pure heart, break us Lord, open our hearts to you. In the next few days we will be conducting prayer and repentance meetings through our network of churches and house churches as well as out in the public arena... We must repent and cry out to God for our nation. We have slept long enough. Time is short - we must not wait. We must charge forward into the nation preaching only Jesus by actions as well as words. We must plant true New Testament Churches meeting on every block, building the body of Christ, making diciples and tearing down strongholds. People whose only agenda is Christ and only fear is the Lord. -Darren Smith.