Some religious leaders say America is facing a spiritually dark time.
“At the root of America’s problem, we really have a spiritual cancer that’s been eating away at our nation,” Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, told CBN News.
Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin used to fight America’s physical enemies overseas. He’s now working with the Family Research Council fighting spiritual foes.
Boykin said without a Third Great Awakening, forces like those that took down mighty empires of the past will also bring down the United States.
“We’re going to wind up exactly like these other great empires, which only lasted on an average about 200 years,” he said. “We’re going to completely self-destruct. And you see the beginnings of that now.”
South Africa-born revivalist Rodney Howard-Browne pastors The River at Tampa Bay, a mega-church in Tampa, Florida.
“In the 1700s, there was a Great Awakening. In the 1800s, there was another. And we have to have one now. It’s that critical,” he told CBN News.
Bishop Jackson ticked off some of the sins he says are plaguing the land.
“We’ve got sex-trafficking,” he said. “We’ve got abortion. We’ve got the resurgence of racism. We’ve got hatred that is abounding.”
Howard-Browne pointed to the epidemics of abortion and illegal drug use in the nation.
“Three-thousand babies aborted every single day in this country. We have over 300 million people; we use over 70 percent of the world’s drugs,” he said.
God’s Not Finished Yet
But Howard-Browne sees a special grace on America.
“Knowing what I know, we should be gone a long time ago,” he said. “But it’s the believer in this land and the hand of God that’s still on America. And God’s not finished with this land. So it’s time for the Church to rise up.”
Those past awakenings led to national transformation.
“Both resulted in extraordinary things happening,” Boykin said.
The first in the mid-1700s was a unifying factor for the colonies as it spread throughout them. It awakened in Christians a hunger to live in a land that reflected the God of liberty portrayed in the Bible.
“Ultimately, it brought the American Revolution as the pastors and the people within the Church began to seek a new nation that would give them the kinds of freedoms that they believed were biblical,” Boykin stated.
The next awakening in the early 1800s was marked by mass salvations. And as Americans became free in Christ, many could no longer abide the lack of freedom for the nation’s slaves.
“In that Second Great Awakening, it brought about the Civil War as the conscience of America was raised to a level that would no longer tolerate slavery,” Boykin explained.