Once or twice a year, a fundamentalist church will hold a series of revival services. An evangelist or special speaker who is specially trained to give spiritual CPR will come into town and spend a few nights trying to get the church’s pulse going again. The fact that they are apparently so feeble that they needs periodic five-day-long jolts from a biblical defibrillator to keep them alive does not appear to bother fundies at all. They rather seem to enjoy it.
Revivals are a great time to combine a lot of fundy favorites: hard preaching, old fashioned altars, evangelist fish stories, and coming up with new things to feel guilty about. Throw in some special music and a few covered dish suppers and it’s a great time for everybody.
Another emphasis of revival services is bringing out lost people to hear the messages. This may strike some as odd since it would seem to be a contradiction in terms to try to ‘revive’ something that’s never been ‘vived’ in the first place. But the philosophy goes that if there’s preaching on sin going on, it’s a good idea to get a bunch of genuine sinners in to hear it. And there’s a reward Bible with your name on it if you can bring in the most.
Oh, Revive us again (and again, and again, and again).