May be an image of one or more people and text that says 'All those talking about a Great Awakening are in reality fast asleep. "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Mark 13:35-37'There is so much talk these days about a coming “Great Awakening” – and from all quarters of society, not just the church. It’s the 21st century’s slogan. After all, the 20th century ended with the “Great Disappointment” when the expectation of the Lord’s prophesied return came and went along with all the Y2K hysteria. There’s a plethora of false prophets to blame for that one: Harold Camping, Edgar Whisenant, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, etc.

The entire Western Civilization that was founded upon biblical principles has now, to coin a phrase by the late Francis Schaeffer, morphed into “a post-Christian world.”

“There is only one perspective we can have of the post-Christian world of our generation: an understanding that our culture and our country deserves to be under the wrath of God…. The last few generations have trampled upon the truth of the Bible and all that those truths have brought forth.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, @1984, page 29

So, if the western worldview was anti-God thirty-seven years ago, just look at how far from the Truth it is today. This post-Christian thinking is not just in the countries that once sent missionaries around the world but is also the common paradigm inside the visible church. Consider these recent findings by George Barna’s Cultural Research Center:

“Although three out of four people (74%) who lean substantially on MTD (Moralistic Therapeutic Deism) for life guidance consider themselves to be Christians, numerous beliefs held by MTD-reliant adults conflict with biblical teaching. For instance, among those whose lives are most heavily influenced by MTD:

  • 95% do not consider success in life to be described as consistent obedience to God
  • 92% do not believe that the wealth they have has been given to them by God to manage for His purposes
  • 91% do not believe that people are born into sin and need to be saved by Jesus Christ
  • 88% say they get their primary moral guidance from various sources other than the Bible
  • 87% do not believe that the ultimate purpose of human life is to know, love, and serve God with all of their heart, mind, strength, and soul
  • 76% contend that good people earn a place in Heaven through their good behavior
  • 75% do not believe that God is the basis of all truth
  • 74% believe in Karma
  • 73% say that having some type of religious faith is more important than which faith is embraced
  • 71% do not believe that the Bible is the true and reliable communication from God”

He concludes that religious syncretism is the predominant worldview of today’s generation. As few as 6% of adults surveyed live by biblical principles or traditional Christian views on things like sex before marriage, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

Yet, oddly enough, the cries for the “next Great Awakening” are heard in many circles, not just among Bible-professing Christians. Here’s a random sample of the rhetoric:

  • “Our country seems to be so divided on virtually every issue right now that even civil conversation seems to be impossible. Christians everywhere are being encouraged to be praying for a mighty move of God’s Spirit upon our nation and the world, as it seems like only a Great Revival or another Great Awakening will be able to change people’s hearts and minds.” – Pastor David Kilmer, Times-Standard editorial  
  • “Managing climate change is not as sexy as solving climate change but it’s what we need, Wallace-Wells says. “Yes, we need real action to achieve deep decarbonization in our economy….Perhaps the great awakening on warming has already happened or keeps happening and keeps being forgotten,” he says, “so that we can continue to believe we stand just at the threshold of climate suffering rather than well beyond it. But the great awakening on adaptation probably still lies ahead of us. Or maybe that ‘permanent emergency’ is beginning right now.” – Steve Hanley, CleanTechnica
  • “It’s never about the other person. It’s about what their behaviour is awakening within us. So, pay attention to triggers. The unhealed wounds that are calling for your attention. As you do, welcome the discomfort as an opportunity to do the shadow work and grow. You are in the midst of a great awakening, Aries. Trust that the slow-burning fire of transformation is helping you clear away the blockages and become who you are truly meant to be in this lifetime.” Vogue magazine Horoscope
  • “From the colonial era to the Civil War, from Reconstructionism to Jim Crow, from the Civil Rights movement to mass incarceration, the White American Church has been complicit in the nation’s original sin of racism… As Churches across the nation gather to worship, this Sunday offers American Christians the opportunity to reflect on the possibility that America is in the midst of another great awakening, one in which the church finally lives into its prophetic witness. White Christians have been inexcusably late to the protest, but hopefully not too late.” – Kevin Antlitz, Transcendentalish, Patheos
  • “The power went off at our house for several hours a few nights ago. It came back on at 5:30 AM, and every electronic device in the house seemed to herald the great awakening. Multiple programmable switches, controllers, sensors; even the oven and refrigerator, all started beeping and tweeting as their circuits came back to life. My house sounded like an arcade.” – Robert Wilson, “Arguing With Technology,” Workers Compensation
  • “We were playing almost 90 dates a year, and we’re trying to get back to that now that the great awakening is upon us,” guitarist Evan Hulehan said. “I think it was a good reset for me. I got to take a step back and build up parts of my studio and get a little more creative and experimental.” – James Cullum, “Alexandria Reggae band FeelFree gets political in latest single”

Well, I think you get the point. Many of those who are hoping for the next Great Awakening are in fact totally asleep, some are even spiritually dead.

The prophetic word is clear – before Jesus returns there will be a Great Apostasy – we can count on that. And I would argue that’s exactly what we’re witnessing. One confused fan of a Great Awakening painted a very grim future – but I have to agree with his final thought:

“At its root, no doubt, is our nation’s spiritual emptiness and moral failures. Though right now even many of our churches seem spiritually empty and morally compromised. But maybe all of this is a prelude to another Great Awakening. Maybe our cultural stagnation is a prelude to an American renaissance. Or maybe the American experiment will collapse, like the Soviet Union did. Maybe we will revert to totalitarianism… Or maybe Christ will return soon.” – Gene Veith, An Unhappy Birthday for America