Revival means returning to the beginning or return to original beliefs and practices
Have you looked at the beginnings of "Christianity" in America? Sites like Religion in Colonial America, (Wikipedia) History of Christianity in the United States, and US History.com all proudly say the same thing. The first settlers came to America to escape persecution so they could worship the way they wanted without interference from those of another belief. So, why was persecution of others one of the first things they started doing once they were joined by others with the same goal?
Religion in Colonial America begins with these paragraphs:
Religion in Colonial America was dominated by Christianity although Judaism was practiced in small communities after 1654. Christian denominations included Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Congregationalists, German Pietists, Lutherans, Methodists, and Quakers among others. Religion was fully integrated into the lives of the colonists and completely informed their world view.
But, then they began to seek to "purify" the faith of those around them (continuing on the same site):
The New England Colonies had been founded by separatists - Anglicans who advocated separation from the Anglican Church - and Puritans - those who sought to purify Anglicanism of Catholic influences and practices - while the Middle and Southern Colonies were founded by Anglicans, Quakers, or in the case of Maryland, Catholics and non-conformist Protestants.
Which resulted in their causing the same problems for others that they were themselves trying to escape (still same site):
Although there was generally some unity of vision within congregations and communities, interpretations of the Bible and practices differed between one settlement or colony and another, even if both claimed to follow the precepts of a given denomination. The Puritans of Boston, for example, differed from the Puritan separatists at Plymouth Colony and the Puritans of Salem who conducted themselves differently than those of Connecticut, and the same was true of the Anglicans of Virginia and those of the Carolinas.
Jews and Catholics were the minority and were periodically persecuted for their faith, accused of witchcraft, and blamed for bad harvests and bad luck in general. By c. 1700, Native American religious practices had been condemned as satanic and were observed in secret or, at least, not widely advertised by participants. Atheism was not tolerated, and belief systems such as deism did not develop until the 18th century. Protestant Christianity understood as 'revealed religion' (based on scriptures) was the dominant religious force, which shaped colonial culture and, along with the Protestant rationalism of the 18th century, was integral to the foundation and diversification of the United States of America.
Note that the beliefs differed even within denominations based on the individual interpretations of the Bible, just like churches today. And, those who came here to escape persecution from other faiths actually persecuted others because of their beliefs and condemned the original residents of America as pagans! Now, would a revival to the "pure beginnings of America founded on a belief in God" return us to those beginning days of this country? How would a "revival" to the beliefs of that time look any different than the churches today?
The same site also indicated the following "adjustment" to the "freedom of religion" for New England communities (still the same site):
The earliest colonies of New England were founded between 1620-1638 by separatists and Puritans seeking to establish religious communities in which they could worship freely. Both sects had been persecuted in England and, once they were firmly established in North America, then persecuted others. Their claim to have founded communities based on religious freedom extended only to their own beliefs with the exception of the Rhode Island settlements, which emphasized religious tolerance. The New England colonies made religion the priority and the peoples' lives revolved around it. All work and leisure activities stopped on Saturday afternoon, when one's thoughts were supposed to turn toward God exclusively, and would not resume until Sunday evening; Sunday, the day of rest, was spent in church.
Church attendance was mandatory & services lasted all day with a short intermission for lunch.
Church services lasted all day with a short intermission for lunch which was provided at a nearby Sabba-day house (also known as a 'noon-house') - a kind of tavern or inn built near the meeting house specifically for this purpose. People were not allowed to return to their homes until Sunday services were concluded. Sermons were often between three and five hours long preceded by readings from the Bible and hymns sung without the accompaniment of an organ or any musical instrument.
"Oh, to be able to revive those days..."
And, they were required to wear black or somber clothing on their non-Biblical worship day to show their "repentance and sanctified thought".
Now, again according to the same site, the middle and southern colonies were much more tolerant than the New England colonies:
The Middle Colonies had been under Dutch control until 1664 and followed the Dutch policy of religious tolerance and appreciation of diversity. Jewish communities were first established in New Amsterdam (later New York) in 1654 and the oldest Jewish dwelling still extant in North America, the Gomez Mill House in Newburgh, NY, dates to c. 1714. Although there were certainly religious conflicts between differing Christian communities in the region, they were not as marked as in New England where dissenters were exiled and hanged far more often.
In 1681, the wealthy Quaker William Penn (l. 1644-1718) established Pennsylvania which welcomed people of diverse faiths as well as Native Americans from different tribes. Unlike other colonies, Pennsylvania did not impose strict religious laws, but the Quaker interpretation of Christianity did inform its legal code, and people were expected to attend religious services weekly. Pennsylvania was the first colony to condemn slavery, mistreatment of Native Americans, and was also the first to pass a law mandating religious toleration and mutual respect between those of different faiths.
Quaker meeting houses, like those of other denominations, were also used for town meetings and posting of public notices.
The stocks and pillories (restraining devices for punishment) were usually located outside the meeting house in the town square. Meeting houses in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were not painted as this was considered a show of vanity. They were made of wood or stone with oiled paper in the windows and, later, panes of glass nailed into the sills. The interior of the meeting house was dark with pews in the center and along the walls and, if the community could afford it, a gallery in the back, up a flight of stairs or reached by a ladder where the lowest classes - the African slaves and Native Americans - sat.
Not Biblical even back then
Now, not to put too fine a point on it, but can you show me where the Bible ever says to keep Sunday holy? Or, what verse tells us to beat up or even criticize, those who do not believe our way. They did get the sundown to sundown part right - just on the wrong day. So, if we are going to try to have a revival, how far back should we go? Martin Luther (1500s) after the Catholics had already established Sunday as the holy day of "the church"? How about to Constantine in the 300s when the pagan Sunday worship day was first made "official" by a man as "God's holy day"? Does that even make sense?
Find the truth, then stick with it
If you do a search for "Christian beginnings", and select the first question, "Who started Christianity and how it started?" [sic], the first site listed was History of Christianity (Wikipedia):
Christianity originated with the ministry of Jesus, a Jewish teacher and healer who proclaimed the imminent Kingdom of God and was crucified c. AD 30-33 in Jerusalem in the Roman province of Judea.
OK. Since the "early church fathers" began to deny the teachings of Jesus in the beginning of the second century, and Jesus was a Jew, we would have to "revive" back to the church that existed from about 30 A.D. and going to the end of the first century (John's Revelation). Where would we ever find any information about that period of time? Oh, wait, that's right - the Bible!
But what did they do?
And what was happening in the "church" then? Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath (Friday evening/Saturday), no pagan holidays (Christmas, Easter, Sunday worship as a replacement for keeping the Sabbath), no eating of foods called "detestable" by God. Well, if the modern American churches want to "go back" to that, it would not be a "revival" but a true turning to God for the first time and following His instructions (Exodus 16:4-5
4Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days." (emphasis added)
, and Exodus 20:1-17
1And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 "You shall not murder.
14 "You shall not commit adultery.
15 "You shall not steal.
16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
). That's not a revival, that is conversion to real faith in God.
A "church" can't have a "revival" to a condition it has never seen. The American churches started with the Protestant revisions of Catholic church principles and traditions and has never looked back to the beginnings of Christ's ecclesia.
How do we get there?
You, as a person reading this page, what do you think of the words on this page? Are you curious enough to check it out by reading the actual history of the so-called "Christian churches" in this country? Or do you, like most people, accept the modifications made by Constantine and the Catholic Church over the centuries? Are you one of those who think that as long as you love your neighbor, there are no rules to follow? Can you find that concept in the Bible? Have you ever heard of the Ten Commandments?
Or, will you read the pages of this site, check the Biblical references given, keep them in context with the discussion topic, and follow what the Word of God says? Not just the words of this site, but the actual words of the Bible that He left us as a guide book (Exodus 16:4-5, 22-23
4Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.
22On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much - two omers for each person - and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23He said to them, "This is what the Lord commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.' "(emphasis added)
). The goal here is to get people to listen to God, not follow a pastor trained to regurgitate the words of his seminary teacher with no consideration of the contradictions caused by that action.
"But, that's only for..."
For those of you who say that God was only speaking to the Israelites, let's look at that. Since He was not speaking to anyone else, and we are not Israelites, does that mean that we can break the other nine commandments? Really? What does it take to get people to listen to what God says to the whole human race? (Hint: Isaiah 56:1-8
1This is what the Lord says:
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2Blessed is the one who does this -
the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps their hands from doing any evil."
3Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,
"The Lord will surely exclude me from his people."
And let no eunuch complain,
"I am only a dry tree."
4For this is what the Lord says:
"To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant -
5to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
6And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant -
7these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations."
The Sovereign Lord declares -
he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
"I will gather still others to them
besides those already gathered."
, and Ecclesiastes 12:13
13Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
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