Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ON the CALL

I was prodded by another blogger to record my thoughts about The Call, the major gathering at LP Field this past Saturday, 07/07/07. Initially, I hadn't planed to post about it. Two days later, I'm still having difficulty describing the experience.

I have never been one to spend an entire day in the summer sun, to spend extended hours in prayer, to willingly fast from food. None of those things sound like fun to me and as a general rule, I like fun.

Still, I woke up at 430 a.m. on Saturday because I had a feeling that if I didn't, I would be missing something I needed to be a part of. Around 615 a.m. I met up with a few friends and we made our way to gather with a few thousand other believers at Centennial Park a walk of prayer and repentance. Walk we did.

The silence was absolutely astounding. As far as my eyes could see before me and behind me were people filling all four lanes on Church Street. The image is burned into my mind. There were hundreds upon hundreds of people, many of whom had gotten up extra early to park at the Titans stadium then walk the nearly three miles to Centennial Park just to participate in the Repentance Walk--another 3-miles of walking. [Side note: Thank You to the folks from OutLoud who served water. Be blessed! A lot of people were severely thirsty by the time we reached that area.]

In some ways, it's a miracle anyone showed up at The Call. There was very little media promotion for the event. Other than the organizing team, no one even knew who would be there besides Lou Engle and a couple of the other folks and musicians he often ministers with. No schedule of events or performers/speakers was released. The Call was simply billed as a solemn assembly, a time of "prayer, fasting and repentance" and no less than 50,000 people showed up.

I don't think that I can do justice to all that I saw and heard in those 12+ hours I spent at the stadium so I'll simply list some of the things that stood out the most:

  • Every ethnicity was represented, not only in the crowd, but on the stage in the leaders that were chosen to lead the assembly in prayer.
  • The Call began as a day of prayer for America should--with the prayers of indigenous (First Nation) leaders. The prayers began with repentance and went from macro to micro:
    • Historically immoral legislation--Native American policies, slavery
    • Prayer for specific minority groups--Jewish, Latino, Asian, Afr.American, Native
    • Current immoral legislation--abortion, pornography
  • There was a lot of really great music and NONE of the artists were announced. (This was the biggest un-concert I've ever been to!)
  • The diversity of audience members was really cool. There were definitely some neo-punk styled kids there. I saw at least two families who appeared to be Mennonites. There were tons of hippie types and a few bikers complete with leather vests. Then there were ordinary-looking middle American folks of all ages--families, singles, youth groups--and all ethnicities.
  • It was HOT! By midday, the organziers assigned volunteers to take cases of water from their own supply and pass them over the rails from the field into the stands. Dasani bottled water was $3/20 oz. and the stadium does not accept credit cards(!)
The experience was absolutely life-changing for me. There were quite a few things I set straight on Saturday and I know my life will be better for it.

A few folks stayed behind in Nashville--I think they'll be here until Tuesday--holding prayer and worship sessions in the grass behind the stadium (near the river). They'll leave Nashville later this week and pile into a couple of buses, several cars and vans and start trekking across the US to San Francisco 1967-style. They call themselves The Cause.
Obviously Pure Life Revolution will continue doing its thing here in Nashville. If they decide to do another Stand, I'll be right there with them.

Also, Bound4LIFE made a really big impression on me. I couldn't help but think how my immediate family is missing two members because of abortion. No more! Bound4LIFE is a grassroots prayer mobilization movement targeting the ending of abortion, the increase of adoptions and the reformation of government and society through spiritual awakening.

I could say more but I don't think it would explain very much so I guess that's it.

5 comments:

Daddy's Girl said...

Sounds like quite an event. You must've been ready to drop by the end of the day. Who were the other artists at the 'un-concert'?

justin mundie said...

Maybe if the fundamentalist wing of the church stopped trying to outlaw abortion, and started saying "we will adopt any unwanted child" you know... started caring for the kids after they are born into poverty in the ghettoized projects.... maybe people would stop thinking of you as nuts.

Also, Lou Engle is a nutcase. Have you seen Jesus Camp?

The Call's own website makes it clear that they desire a Republican takeover of our government because they believe in a theocracy, not the constitution. If Jesus wanted theocracy, he could have done it himself. Christianity is supposed to be a countercultural movement that works against the state, not as a part of the state.

Check out Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus" or for a more accessible read, Lipscomb professor Lee Camp's "Mere Discipleship"

justinmundie.wordpress.com

t-hype said...

Justin, you're absolutely right. That was one of the things that we prayed about in almost those exact terms: For the church to rise up and raise the unwanted children of this generation.

If we say, "we're against abortion" we need to put our lives where our mouths are.

As for Lou Engle: nutcase--no, kinda crazy--yes. In which case, he's right in line to go down in history with Martin Luther, Joan of Arc, John Wesley, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Dr. King.

No one cares for Republicans in particular. It's just that there are more pro-life elephants than donkeys.

Anonymous said...

Evolution and Atheism: Unscientific & Mythical

t-hype said...

Sorry DG, I never did answer your question, in part because I was still looking for the answer...

The Call website has some of the artists listed here.

Brian & Jenn Johnson have two free downloads on their site. Of the folks on The Call website, they're my favorite.