Dear Editor:

In the front page article from the Oct. 19, 2019, The Sentinel about the Mt. Tabor church, I wonder if anybody else noticed the word "revival" in the first sentence. If they did, I wonder if they pondered its implications on the state of the modern Christian church. Perhaps I focus too much on vocabulary, but I do think that words mean things.

In my best estimation, a real church revival involves a rebirth of spiritual life. It is a time to reenergize the faith of the faithful and motivate work from the workers. It is really not about the building at all; rather, the people within.

This definition of "revival" is the opposite. It is time and money spent to enhance material things, while the inside of the building remains empty of praise and worship. It is an effort to place an elegant remembrance around a now-lifeless place.

I'm not saying this effort should stop. I'm just suggesting that it is a memorial, not a revival. You cannot revive a church with building renovations any more than you can resurrect the dead with beautiful tombstones.

But look, this is nothing new. We are surrounded by churches that look great on the outside but are spiritually vacant within. This exercise simply provides an easily identifiable example, worthy to learn from. Of course, we will not because we can not. That's why the wise soul focuses on divine providence, not the fleeting whims of humankind.

Russell Ward


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