'Call 2 Fall' issued for July 5
WASHINGTON (BP)--Churches and individuals are invited to answer the Call 2 Fall on Sunday, July 5. The initiative is aimed at praying for the healing of America and declaring dependence on God immediately after celebrating the nation's independence from Great Britain.
"It's incumbent upon the church to assume the responsibility for where the nation is and leading us forward, not from a political standpoint but from a spiritual standpoint," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said. "If the spiritual things are in order, the political things seem to be a lot easier to solve."
Shortly after Perkins announced the multidenominational initiative via conference call with Christian media May 19, more than 3,500 people had clicked "I'm in" on the website Call2Fall.com, which is hosted by the Family Research Council.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, participated in the conference call and said the only real answer for America is spiritual renewal that must start with those who claim the name of Christ.
"As Christians we have failed to live in a way that has been as pleasing to the Lord as we would hope, and we need to repent of that and we need to humble ourselves and we need to seek His face and seek His guidance and direction for ourselves, for our churches and for our country," Land said.
"I'm excited about this. I think the Holy Spirit is leading different segments of the Lord's Kingdom in a very similar direction to call for the revival that our hearts yearn for," Land added.
Larry Stockskill, pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, La., said too many pastors have failed to set the moral tone for the nation, neglecting the kind of spiritual leadership that the Apostle Paul wrote about in the Epistles.
"I feel it's our only hope as a nation," Stockskill said of Call 2 Fall. "There really isn't a new political agenda we can pull out of the hat or any other form of medicine for the country. It's only prayer and fasting.
"... We feel deeply and passionately that if something is not done quickly, we really could lose our country," Stockskill said. "As Paul Revere woke up the nation to the invasion of the British, we're waking up the nation to the invasion of the demonic powers that are pulling us away from God."
Wellington Boone, pastor of The Father's House in Atlanta, said the only way to get God to move in America is for spiritual leaders to be on their knees acknowledging that the only way up is down.
"I'd rather be voluntarily humble than to be humbled by God," Boone said. "... I don't want God to have to turn me around by tribulation. I'd rather Him turn me around by revelation. I believe that this Call 2 Fall initiative is a revelation that I want to be a part of."
Harry Jackson, founder of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, said it's important for people to understand that Call 2 Fall is not an anti-Obama or anti-administration movement.
"Every president needs the power and the wisdom of God in order to take the most powerful position in the world and appropriately administer justice and represent not only the nation but the world in God's name," Jackson, an African American pastor in Maryland, said. "We're praying, and I am expectant that we are going to see something very dramatic happen not through demonstrations or political action but the spiritual dimension of God awakening the hearts of people and causing them to be revived by His grace."
Perkins said he is hopeful that if churches will take the Call 2 Fall challenge, God will move in the nation.
"I'm encouraged because I think the church is coming to a point where we've come to the end of our own devices and we're looking to God for the prescription of what it will take to turn this nation around," Perkins said.
"We can't come to God on our terms. We have to go to Him on His terms. He has made it very clear in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Joel 2 that we are to humble ourselves before Him and to seek Him and turn from our wicked ways. That's not the nation, that's the church," Perkins said.
Land said he expects a good response from churches because he has observed in Southern Baptist congregations a profound sense of conviction that Christians need revival.
"We need to have the kind of refocusing on righteousness and holiness in the lives of our church members and our corporate lives as Christians," Land said. "If we look at the country and the economic situation, we find that people are really focusing on this and focusing on the need for personal and family and congregational and national revival."
Jackson said it's time for a dramatic movement of God's people that will get the attention of the culture and will demonstrate the sort of posture God wants to see before He heals committed wrongs.
"What we need is something like the civil rights movement of the last century that brought liberty and freedom to African Americans as a discriminated people in the nation," Jackson said. "We need to recognize that if we do not ... aggressively seek God in these spiritual things, the Christian community is going to be an oppressed people, discriminated against and put down by this culture that God has ordained that we turn around."
Perkins agreed that no matter where the blame should be placed, Christians are in a position to take responsibility for the status of America.
"There's no question that when you take the sum total of the political and cultural elements of what is happening in America today there is a recognition that America is on the wrong track," Perkins said. "We're removing God from everything.
"... There's a recognition that we have gone astray. The focus is not on non-Christians. It's on Christians and our responsibility to be the salt and light. We've kind of lost our savor, and it's a focus of the church returning to its first love and its commitment to follow God and to influence the world around it," Perkins said.
Family Research Council has set a goal of seeing 8 million Christians in 40,000 churches participate in Call 2 Fall, and church leaders are encouraged to offer their buildings as host sites July 5. FRC will publish an online directory of those churches so that people will know where they can participate.
Observances can take several forms, Perkins said, from a three- to five-minute period during a worship service when people would get on their knees and pray to a full day of praying and expressing dependence on God. Those who commit to participate will receive periodic e-mails linking to resources such as free devotionals, inspirational videos, sermon outlines, bulletin inserts and prayer suggestions.
"From homosexual 'marriage' to proposed curbs on religious speech, there are serious matters for the church to address humbly and with great earnestness before God," Perkins said.
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press.