A giant step forward? Yes a really giant step forward; a step that exposed a very dangerous lie…a lie so dangerous and widespread that every American evangelist slammed into it.
For the very first time in history there appeared to be no place for mass crusade evangelism in the United States, essentially extinguishing the office gift of evangelist.
How did this happen? A generation that lost its Christian roots allowed the United States to enter a period of misery and decline by putting God haters into power. This is described in Judges 2:10, (a verse that you have heard me quote repeatedly), “There arose another generation that knew not God neither the things that He had done for Israel.”
The God-haters seized the day turning soul winning into a hate crime and the Bible into hate speech.
The response of much of the church only made matters worse.
Many mainstream theologians say that America changed so fast it shocked many pastors. They became frightened to quote scripture or to ask sinners to repent. The “new, improved church” pivoted to messages on self-betterment and gave up on converting unbelievers.
They go on to say that not only did celebrity pastors stop winning souls; they openly opposed those who were winning souls. In their growth seminars, they actually warn pastors not to have outreaches.
It became so blatant that even atheists began saying that pop preachers are ignorant of the Bible and go on to accuse them of crafting a convenient, compromised, complacent, and counterfeit gospel.
Critics within the church said that these religious entertainment centers are exactly what 2 Timothy 3: 5 warned against, “having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof.” They fill pews with bodies but not disciples. Seekers, they say, are “teased by light hope and half cures.”
For this and many other reasons mass evangelism was pronounced dead. Soul winning messages and altar calls virtually vanished. The end result: a nation purged of morals, self-control and sanity. Our failure to convert Americans is a big reason we are in this mess now.
In a nutshell: A generation forgot God, atheists hated God and preachers wanted a crowd more than they wanted God.
Mario Murillo Ministries was led in the opposite direction. We knew that this was all a big lie and that the Gospel of Christ which had triumphed over centuries of adversity would prevail again.
-We took a stand to declare the unvarnished message of Jesus.
-We would present exuberant worship that clearly exalts Christ.
-We would preach Bible based messages that take people to the foot of the Cross and then to the Resurrection.
-We would surrender to the Holy Spirit to give LIVING PROOF to a lost generation through signs, wonders and miracles.
-We would confront pastors with a fiery call to return to their first love.
We are not the only ones who have taken this stand! I thank God for Franklin Graham, Rhinehart Bonke and a host of others who continue to harvest souls!
God granted us success. However, a big question remained unanswered. Yes, we had good meetings and yes we could attract young audiences but could this weapon called LIVING PROOF rise to the point of piercing the culture and reverse the nation’s course?