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Embrace spiritual revolution to turn SBC, Roy Fish says

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Christians must “return to revolutionary
Christianity and follow a true revolutionary: Jesus,” said Roy Fish, one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s premier evangelists.
The world’s greatest revolution did not take place under a red star in 1917 in Petrograd, Russia, but began under a star in the city of Bethlehem over 1,900 years ago, Fish said during a chapel service Jan. 28 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and during an interview
after chapel.
“In a very real sense, Jesus was a revolutionary,” said Fish, who holds the title of distinguished professor of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
Speaking in prelude to the annual revival emphasis at New Orleans Seminary scheduled for Feb. 3-5, Fish challenged students to embrace a “spiritual revolution” in order to stop the slide of inactivity and lack of commitment occurring in Southern Baptist churches today.
“Commit your bodies to God,” Fish said. “The body houses the mind. It houses the spirit. It talks about the totality of your life. When Paul says, ‘People of God, commit your bodies to God,’ he is saying let there be no reservation in your consecration, no hall closets you are
keeping for yourself.”
“Spiritual revolution demands absolute and total commitment,” he said.
However, churches today have “shallow commitment a mile wide and an inch deep,” Fish said.
“There are 52.5 percent of us (Southern Baptists) who are totally inactive.
“This lack of commitment ought to make us blush with a kind of embarrassment that will make us get on our knees in prayer,” he said.
“Most of our people want a kind of Christianity that has no risks involved. We don’t want to leave our comforts. We want little pain, but with little pain, comes little gain. … Absolute commitment to Jesus Christ that may cost you something.” Revolution simply means change that occurs at an accelerated rate, he said.
A spiritual revolution is not a physically violent revolution, but violent revolution in reverse, he said; not one that sets fires to burn down buildings, but sets fires in the hearts of people; not a revolution of looting, but a revolution of lifting; not a revolution of fear and force, but a revolution of faith and love; not a revolution of bondage, but a revolution that projects people into real freedom.
As a denomination, “the spiritual tide is out,” he said, “evidenced by the fact it takes 40 of us a whole year to win someone to Christ.”
Although the tide is out, “there are still pockets and pools left in our country where spiritual awakening is occurring,” he said.
Spiritual revolution demands an all together different lifestyle from the world. “Don’t be conformed but be transformed in your pattern of life,” Fish said.
Reminding the student body they are living under wartime conditions, he said, “We are engaged in spiritual warfare, but most of us are living as if we have signed a peace treaty with the devil.”
In calling for men and women to be revolutionaries, Fish said he is encouraged both by the level of commitment of the men and women currently in the six Southern Baptist seminaries and by the commitment of many people in the country who are praying for revival.
In praying for revival for the United States, Fish said everyone should be encouraged by two things:
— In the past, “God always broke in during moral and spiritual midnight to create revival,” and
— Historically, revival happens fast, “like a West Texas grassfire.”

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  • Steve Achord