We’ve Reached an Inflection Point!
My Alternative January 6 Message
Meant for the Church in America.
Last week America marked the first anniversary of a horrific attack on Capitol Hill.
In his January 6 message to the nation, President Joe Biden called that seminal event an “inflection point” for America. And so it was.
Whatever side you’re on politically, I think everyone would agree there are sobering decisions to be made about our future as a nation that cannot be postponed any longer.
But the inescapable fact is that we actually face two inflection points. One crossroad is inside our nation. The other is inside the Church in our nation. However, they are directly related to one another; the outcomes impinge on one another.
Borrowing from some of the themes of the President’s remarks last week, I want to share with you some pressing thoughts about the major inflection point we’ve reached today as the Body of Christ.
I believe this is one of the most important articles I’ve ever written.
Two inflection points with two epiphanies
This past January 6 was also Epiphany. Every year on Epiphany, Christians worldwide celebrate the initial revelation (that’s what the word “epiphany” means) of the glory of the incarnate Son of God before the eyes of the world. It always falls on January 6.
On Epiphany 2022, however, another kind of “revelation” took place in Washington, DC. Americans reflected on what was revealed to us by the violent riot against Congress on Capitol Hill one year ago. That tragic event showed us that America has reached an “inflection point” (the phrase President Biden used in his one-year commemoration address).
But in fact, there are actually two inflection points before us, not one—two spheres of national life where verdicts must be rendered and no longer avoided. They are:
The two belong together. The sobering issues confronting the Church are just as serious and consequential as the decisions the nation must make at this crossroad. Furthermore, as I said, the outcome of the one will directly impact the outcome of the other.
Christianity Today, the leading Christian periodical, suggests reasons for concern by the very title of an article they published on January 6: The Capitol Attack Signaled a Post-Christian Church, Not Merely a Post-Christian Culture.
In other words, many of us are convinced the one great hope for America’s future is a recovery of the testimony of God’s people throughout our land. We must experience together a renewed, expanded, pervasive, transformative, Spirit-given “epiphany” of God’s Son—a fresh revelation of who our reigning Lord Jesus Christ is today—what I call a “Christ Awakening.”
With “the eyes of our hearts” (Ephesians 1), multitudes of believers need to be reintroduced to the greatness and glory of our ascended Redeemer—beholding anew how his saving power can give a “new birth of freedom” to our nation. This can happen through an army of Jesus followers who respond to him for ALL he is, doing so with all their hearts.
What I propose to do here is somewhat outside the box. Below, I’ve composed some remarks that draw directly on a few of the President’s January 6 themes. I’ve even taken them in the order in which he raised them, here and there co-opting some of his very phrases (with apologies!).
But I’ve reshaped all the fundamental concerns he raised and applied them to the Church, as fulfilled by and through our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s my alternate January 6 message to the Church in America.
Please be seated.
CLIO, the muse of history, located above Statuary Hall in the Capitol Rotunda
© 2006, Congressional Quarterly
My Alternative January 6 Message
Meant for the Church in America
My fellow Christians in America,
We’re in a battle for the soul of the Church in America.
God’s people in this land are under attack—not from without but mostly from within. It originates primarily from invisible provocateurs, from the forces of darkness—led by the destroyer whom our Savior calls “the father of lies.”
He’s perpetrating a “Big Lie” upon Jesus followers everywhere. This deception is an assault on our shared truth about and passion for the supremacy of God’s Son. Scripture warns us to expect his machinations:
Essentially, the “Big Lie” is this: We are free to conclude that it’s OK to have Jesus as our friend, as someone there to help us when we need him—even as someone who loves us and died for our sins. But we must ignore the REAL Jesus—the larger Jesus—the Jesus who’s not only our Savior but also our Redeemer King who reigns as Lord of all in heaven and earth; not only the Lord of our lives for whose praises and purposes we’re willing to live and die but also the Lord of nations who offers himself to our nation as the only way out of our current crisis.
However, Satan and his wicked hosts will never prevail. Right now, the Spirit of God is quietly reawakening millions of believers to return to a greater vision of the majestic wonders of the Son of God.
He is doing this in answer to decades of concerted prayer throughout the Church for nothing less. He’s doing this in order to rally the people of God to the advance of the Kingdom of God to bring the healing of God to the whole land.
Come with me to Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. This is where the House of Representatives met for 50 years in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
Above the door leading into this room is a sculpture (pictured above) depicting the mythical Clio, the muse of history. In her hands lies an open book in which she supposedly records events that have taken place in this building and beyond. The image of Clio has kept watch inside Statuary Hall for more than 200 years—preserving an account for the ages. Her role is to testify to the real history, the real facts, and the real truths about the history of our country.
Let her mission remind you of the real Recorder—not the muse of history but the LORD of history. The Bible teaches that our Lord Jesus Christ sovereignly keeps an account for all eternity—not only of the events of the past but also of every minute of the present, not only in your life and mine but also in America and, for sure, in the Church in America.
But he isn’t just an observer of history. Our Savior is the REASON for history, the HINGE of history, and the GOAL of history. Ultimately, it is all HIS story.
Similarly, he has archived the process by which the Church in America in 2022 reached the spiritual inflection point in which we find ourselves today. That means he also knows precisely what’s required to bring us out of our shambles and shame into deliverance, wholeness, and victory—into a new beginning.
Open the eyes of your spirit. Look at Jesus.
Who do you see?
The Bible tells us that when we behold the full truth about Jesus, that truth will make us free. But do you know enough of him currently to be truly, abundantly alive to him?
Or are you trapped inside a “pea-sized Christianity” formed by a diminished view of God’s Son that often leaves him on the fringes of your life?
On the other hand, can you envision yourself set free—thoroughly liberated by the power, promises, and purposes of Jesus as the Holy Spirit helps you encounter more of him and embrace more of him with every passing day as you enter into more of the fullness of his Lordship over all?
Look deeper—look at the Church in America. What do you see that marks the life of much of the Christian community in America, including the congregation where you worship?
Do you see any signs of a significant shortfall in how Christians in general view and value King Jesus? Are you taken aback at all by a Church too often distracted, divided, and depleted?
On the other hand, can you envision a future where the believers have rallied around Jesus with renewed delight in him—sharing a life together at the center of who he is, where he’s headed, what he’s doing, and how he gets exalted?
My point is this: Jesus followers aren’t meant to be a band of tourists, skipping through the world on their way to glory. We are called to fervently follow the Lord of Heaven’s armies and join him in a gospel-sized insurrection to overthrow the strongholds of the Enemy and “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Our mission is to overturn the forces of sin, death, and darkness by the saving work of God’s Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we must take stock of the degree of impotence and paralysis that grips the Church in America right now. We must confess what is so clearly evident to many: that too often, we find ourselves virtually powerless in the face of the life-and-death crises that confront our nation at this defining moment.
Let’s not bury this truth. Let’s face up to it.
Let’s not deceive ourselves any longer. When it comes to measuring the spiritual vitality of our people, we must be absolutely candid about the lies we keep telling one another—lies that mask our true spiritual poverty.
Honesty, repentance, and surrender to the God of our salvation is our first step forward. Let’s start reawakening to the person of the living, reigning Christ for ALL he is—like meeting him all over again. Don’t we see that he is the only hope we have?
Thankfully, a whole host of courageous men and women with a growing hunger for more of Christ and to be more for Christ is arising in the Church. They are taking a stand against both the Enemy’s deceptions and the betrayals of our own hearts.
In their brokenness, they keep pursuing more of the riches of Christ and then sharing with other believers what they are discovering about him. In turn, they invite them to join in giving God’s Son supremacy over every facet of their lives as well as over the destiny of our nation.
They refuse to play religious games that ignore the alarming spiritual condition of God’s people in America. They know the time has come for us to determine what kind of image and impact for Jesus’ glory and gospel we intend to pursue in this generation.
If Christians truly love the King of Heaven, then whatever current disagreements we may have with one another—denominationally or theologically or politically—must be overcome. We must delay no longer.
Christians in America must band together immediately to collaborate in the work of the gospel, laboring side by side for the praises of Jesus and uniting to spread the news of his saving grace throughout our land. The time is long overdue for us to work hand in hand with all who are committed to exalting Jesus above ourselves—no matter our racial, social, cultural, or political differences.
Remember: We are in a battle for the soul of the Church in America.
But the good news is this: If we take hold of a shared vision of and passion for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the fulfillment of his reign, then anything is possible. I repeat: Anything is possible!—including how the Father might use the Body of Christ to bring Jesus-focused healing, reconciliation, and restoration to our troubled and sick society.
At this inflection point—this defining moment—
we must decide:
What kind of Church do we want to become by the end of this decade?
Are we going to dissolve into a Church that settles for spiritual impotence and irrelevance, standing idly by as our nation and our witness for Christ in our nation slips into the shadowlands of collapsed civilizations?
Will the increasing “crisis of Christology,” which has infected the Body of Christ like an invisible pandemic virus, be allowed to remain unchallenged and unchanged? Are we willing to accept the status quo in which, in the words of John R.W. Stott, we have become “puny Christians because we have settled for a puny Christ”?
Will we permit ourselves to devolve into Christian communities marked by rancor and division, sundered by ungodly passions fueled by partisan politics, or selfish ambitions, and or just plain old religious flesh?
Will we become a Church that lives not by the light of the truth that is in Jesus, Lord of all, but rather under a cloak of lies that blinds us to him, leaving us in shallowness and sorrows?
We simply cannot allow ourselves to become such a people!
Thankfully, there is a way out and a way forward. Let me highlight it again:
We must admit how much of the greatness of God’s Son we have not seen, how little of him we have yet to encounter, and how desperate we are for a fresh work of the Spirit that causes us to become truly alive to the whole vision of the whole Christ.
In other words, we must not settle for anything less than a wholesale Christ Awakening inside the Church that then breaks out to saturate the nation with the glories of King Jesus and the deliverance of the gospel, doing so sufficiently enough to result in what we might call an “American Christ Awakening” that brings God’s great salvation with it.
Look, folks, now it’s up to all of us. Now is the hour for us, the followers of Christ, to take a stand for the honor of Christ and the gospel of Christ.
The Bible promises, as a result, an outpouring of Kingdom blessings upon us—and then through us upon America. But this will come to pass ONLY IF Christians in America seek the Kingdom and the King’s righteous rule (Matthew 6:33) with singleness of heart, restoring his preeminence in our lives (Colossians 1:18).
Make no mistake about it: We are living at an inflection point in history. So much is at stake—for the Church, our nation, and the world. We’re being summoned into a struggle to secure and serve a Christ-exalting renaissance in our churches and throughout our land.
However, the minions of evil are betting against us. They’re betting the Church in America will fail to keep Jesus as our supreme love, thereby extinguishing our light for him (see Revelation 2). They’re betting we’ll go on living for ourselves, complacent about the purposes of the King. They’re betting that the gospel of Christ in our land will be muted by our heated preoccupations with lesser, more temporal culture wars.
But I believe that is not what we want. That is not who we are. That is not who we are meant to be. And that is not who we should ever, ever allow ourselves to become at this inflection point.
So now, dear friends, let’s step up and lift up.
Let’s step up. Together, let’s write the next chapter in the history of the gospel in America, where every Epiphany celebration—where every January 6—bears witness to a constant acceleration of the revelation of the saving glory, greatness, and goodness of Jesus manifested within every dimension of life in America.
Let’s cast off the dagger that the devil has placed at the throat of the Church. Let’s make sure the Word of God about the Son of God is heard from sea to shining sea. Let’s testify and live for his fame and reign and claim among every people, in every sphere, in every community.
Right now, he is able, willing, and ready to work through us— joining us together as one heart and one voice (Romans 15:6)—in order, among other things, to truly save America God’s way as she stands at her own inflection point.
Let’s lift up. Let’s exalt Jesus for ALL he is today! This inflection point is all about him, not about us. Deep in the heart of countless believers, in answer to decades of prayer for revival in America, a Spirit-ignited longing is already burning—a restless desire for a sharper revelation of the glories of Christ. Therefore, we must give everything we’ve got to lift him up—at all times and in all places!
Let’s lift up his kingdom as well. His dominion is one of truth, not lies; of order, not chaos; of justice, not oppression; of peace, not violence; of love, not rage, of reconciliation, not rebellion.
Reigning with saving grace through all who trust in him, our Lord Jesus Christ intends to prevail—now and for all ages to come!
Never forget this, brothers and sisters: United to Christ as believers, we are one people, under his reign, indivisible—alive to him to bring him everlasting praise—today, tomorrow, forever.
May God bless you all.
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About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.