Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Principle, not Place

Principle, not Place

Do you believe revival can happen in our lifetime?

There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.

   - Ecclesiastes 9.14, 15

For amongst us it is not a man’s station but his principles that matter...

- Columbanus, Letter to Pope Boniface, Irish, 7th century

Columbanus was angry.

The Catholic clergy in Gaul (7th century France) were harassing him and his colleagues as they went about evangelizing the lost and instructing all who came to them. The complaints were varied: Who needs them here? They don’t follow all our traditions. They don’t do what we tell them. They upset the local rulers by pointing out all their sins. They’re too demanding.

And now they were trying to get Columbanus, head of the Irish mission to the continent, to come to a synod so that they could set him straight.

But Columbanus was too busy with the Gospel to waste his precious time on men whose ecclesiastical vision amounted to perpetuating the status quo indefinitely into the future. And he graciously but curtly informed them and their boss that he would not comply with their demand.

Today, everybody knows how we’re supposed to do church. You get yourself a building (big, hopefully), you nice it up with cushy seats and klieg lights, get you a sweet little band, and tell funny stories from the pulpit.

You offer lots of programs, something for everyone, each with a catchy name. You don’t meddle in people’s sins; you don’t make large demands; you make everybody feel right at home and market yourself to the community as the place to be on Sunday mornings.

All things to all people, no offense to anyone: pragmatic orthodoxy in full swing. That’s the place to be!

But where is the evidence that any of this is making a substantive difference in the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural demeanor of the Church in our nation?

The next revival will come from churches where men of principle have been faithfully proclaiming the Word, equipping the men of their church, shepherding their flock, worshiping according to the pattern revealed in Scripture, and praying earnestly for revival for many long and lonely years.

And when true revival begins, and the Spirit is moving very publicly in the hearts and lives of God’s people, those who will try to “calm it down” will be the very ones we’re looking to today as “models” for how to do church.

Status quo pastors and Christians don’t want revival because revival upsets the status quo.

We need more men like Columbanus, men of singular vision, unyielding conviction, and true spiritual discipline and courage. Men who believe revival can come in our lifetime.

Join me in praying that God would raise up such men, and do all you can to encourage the men you know to be one of them.

They’re the hope for the Church in the years to come. Revival, when it comes, will begin with them.

Psalm 85.4-6 (Lyons: “O Worship the King”)
Restore us, O God, renew us in peace,
And cause all Your wrath against us to cease.
Will You evermore all Your wrath to us show?
Revive us that we may Your joy again know.

Lord, bless the faithful servants who stand on principle and care not a whit for position; bless them with reviving and renewing grace, I pray!

Please consider making a contribution to the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. The Lord uses your prayers and support to sustain our ministry and to enable us to reach out to more pastors and men. You can use the donate button here or at our website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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