What the Pentecostal Voice Can Do

by | Mar 22, 2013 | Blogs, The Strang Report

This isn’t the first time culture has been at a moral crossroads. Earlier generations have had to strategize and provide leadership to stand for righteousness and godliness. Look at how Martin Luther shook the world in his day. John and Charles Wesley are said to have spared England an uprising as bad as the French Revolution. And William Wilberforce and his crew ended slavery in the British Commonwealth based on their Christian convictions.

In the United States, it was clergy during the Great Awakening who established the moral underpinnings that helped set the direction of our new nation a few decades later. And of course Christian abolitionists were at the forefront of ending slavery in our country.

In the 1940s, many conservative, Bible-believing clergy recognized the liberal shift in theology and political posturing of what became the National Council of Churches. Subsequently, Billy Graham participated with Harold Ockenga, arguably the most prominent evangelical pastor of his time, to form Christianity Today, the National Evangelical Association (NAE) and Youth for Christ International. Later they founded Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on the East Coast, while strengthening Fuller Theological Seminary on the West.

I recently renewed my membership to the NAE. Though I respect the good work it has done through the years, the NAE has remained relatively silent about Obamacare and its impact on churches and individual Christians who don’t approve of providing abortion services on health insurance. The NAE has had a muted voice in the debate over gay marriage. And other than reminding people to “vote values,” it’s essentially been silent in recent elections. It seems global warming is more important to the NAE than core Christian principles.

Other organizations exist to advance biblical values, yet the NAE once stood as the voice for America’s born-again community. So what happened? As Christianity has declined culturally, so has the NAE’s prominence. Yet the Bible-believing church is crying out for another awakening to shake our nation. Is it possible that we need a new voice?

In the 1950s—the last time this sort of great outcry for a return to orthodoxy took place—Pentecostals stood at the margins of evangelical Christianity. (And the term charismatic wasn’t even used then.) Today, in both numbers and in megachurches, we no longer exist as the tail—we are the head. But aside from the abbreviated NAE leadership of Ted Haggard, Pentecostals/charismatics have yet to lead a Christian movement with socio-cultural-political impact. Is this the time?

We must build a firewall against moral relativism, cultural decadence, spiritual apathy and ecclesiastical lukewarmness. We must champion life, preserve the family and protect religious liberty. As my friend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says, “We must reconcile the vertical and horizontal planes of the cross: sanctification with service, conviction with compassion, holiness with humility, the image of God with the habits of Christ, orthodoxy with orthopraxy, Billy Graham’s message with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march, salvation through Christ with prophetic activism.”

How can we accomplish this? I believe the Spirit-filled community plays a crucial part in:

  • Developing a Christ-centered, Bible-based righteousness and justice movement.
  • Recapturing justice (alleviating poverty, sex trafficking, etc.).
  • Engaging white, African-American and Hispanic believers to reform culture through compassion-based evangelism and prophetic activism.
  • Empowering those same Christians to stand independent of political manipulation, possibly by registering as independents and committing to never vote for a political candidate who doesn’t stand 100 percent for life, family and religious liberty.

This isn’t a political issue, and the new voice emerging within American evangelicalism must understand this in its effort to engage and reform a “post-Christian” culture. 

It’s time for the Spirit-filled community to stand up and take the lead. God can use us to usher in a Third Awakening, just as He has done with others before. If it’s not us, then who? And if not now, when?

What do you think? Post your comments below.

Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang). 


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...


No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous...
Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

Pin It on Pinterest