Posts Tagged ‘John Wesley’

Astrophysics is a trip.  One of the very interesting things I have discovered is the concept of entropy.  Entropy is the measure of chaos and decay that is evident in any physical system that does not experience new infusions of energy.  For instance, let us consider the universe:  the great majority of scientists agree that this system (the universe as a whole) is slowing down and cooling, as its original energy (from the big bang) dissipates through the vastness of space, over time.  This leads to more and more random, and less ordered systems — and if left to itself, will one day result in the death of the universe.

And as is so often true in creation, the created order is a sort of metaphor or parable pointing to greater realities in the spiritual realm.  It is clear to me that the human race as a whole (and the Church specifically) is constantly struggling against the encroachment of spiritual entropy.  If you look at the history of the Church, you will see a number of explosions or infusions of God’s Glory, Power and Love that have seemed, at least for a season, to jump-start and re-invigorate a very anemic (and increasingly entropic) Church.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost might (metaphorically) be compared to the big bang.  It was this power-infusion and explosion that made the third member of the Trinity available to humanity as a whole (BOOM!).  And from this explosion, the Church was birthed.  And since that time, there have been many seasons of increasing entropy, interrupted and transformed by glorious infusions of God’s Presence — and these infusions we call revivals.  A few of the great ones are the Reformation, the Great Awakenings, the Welsh Revival and the Azusa Street Revival.

And one of the things that I believe the Holy Spirit pointed out to me regarding this process of entropy and revival, is that one of the reasons the Church in America is so lifeless, is that it has relied more on entropy-management than seeking to be revived.  I see it all the time:  church-growth seminars,  problem-solving seminars, pain-management programs, etc.  Don’t get me wrong — in some ways, for a good number of people, these things have been helpful and effective.  The problem is that such things will never be enough to reverse the relentless march of spiritual entropy in the Church as a whole.  As we continue to meet and strategize, church membership continues to dwindle.  As we continue to meet in 12-step programs and divorce-recovery gatherings, addiction and family brokenness become more and more pandemic.

I am not saying that we should stop all such gatherings and attempts.  What I am saying is that such attempts at entropy management will never be enough.  They were never meant to be enough!  And I believe that God is waiting for enough people to come to an end of themselves and their own abilities and management schemes and entropy-control attempts, and cry out in true desperation for the one and only thing that can turn things around — true, God-inspired, Jesus-centered, Holy Spirit-infused revival.

Pentecost.  NOT AN OPTION — A NECESSITY!   We need a renewal of “the Promise of the Father.”  Paul said “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”  Today there is too much talk, not enough Rock!  We must press in for a restoration of our inheritance.  John Wesley said “My fear is that our people will become content to live without the fire, the power, the excitement, the supernatural element that makes us great.”