Not too long ago I wouldn't have been bothered by the fact that thousands of professing Christians gather for events like this. Sure, large crowds and loud music were never my thing, and I knew that many people went just to obtain a spiritual high (no more potent drug was ever invented!) but that was their business and I could safely ignore it. Since becoming a radical anti-abortion advocate, my outlook has changed.
Both events bill themselves not just as something that will influence individuals, but something that will alter American society and bring it back to God. The promoters of Together 2016, for example, are calling for "catalytic change" and have even named their website "Reset2016". You know, as in resetting a culture. Clearly they are aware that the nation is headed downhill fast, God is not pleased with us, and that the solution is Jesus. So far, so good.
But what I've realized is that these sorts of dramatic events, far from being sparks that ignite people to action, often act as sedatives to lull them further to sleep. After all, we've had plenty of these sorts of events each year throughout the past few decades, and the moral condition of America keeps getting worse. The way to determine whether another "Great Awakening" is taking place has nothing to do with how great our music is, how forceful our calls for "change" are or how good we feel about themselves. Ironically, it isn't even about how theologically sound our message is (although this is certainly a prerequisite). If America isn't changing there is no Great Awakening and we haven't accomplished anything.
In my opinion, the problem is that events like these, whether prayer sessions such as United Cry or music festivals such as Together 2016, always fall short of insisting that individual people make specific, individual changes in their lifestyles to reflect the resolutions they think they are making during the event. That's why both websites (but especially Together 2016) seem to be pretty hesitant to mention the problems that supposedly are rocking the nation, and quite forward with vague concepts such as "unity". There is a lot of talk about focusing on Jesus (who could argue with that?) but little explanation as to what that entails. There is a great emphasis on prayer (as always) but almost no detail on what you are praying about or what to do after you get done praying!
That's how it goes. As a result, thousands of people leave these events feeling like they've already accomplished something, and then go about the status quo.
I really want things to change, and if I have to do it by bursting people's bubbles, raining on their parades and "harshing their mellow", so be it. That's why I show up at events like these holding Revelation 3:2 Project banners like this one, hoping to drive people towards the website. NOTE: That's not me in the photo!
If you understand and agree, please contact the Revelation 3:2 Project and let's get started together.