One night in China, Southern Baptist missionary C.L. Culpepper stayed up late for devotions, but as he tried to pray he felt hard. Finally he asked, “Lord, what is the matter?”
Culpepper then recounts, I had opened my Bible to Romans 2:17. It seemed the Apostle Paul was speaking directly to me when he said, “But if you call yourself a Christian and rely upon the Gospel, and boast of your relation to God, and know His will, and approve what is excellent; and if you are sure you are a guide to the blind, a light to those in darkness, a correction to the foolish, a teacher of children – you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself”
The Holy Spirit used this verse like a sword to cut deeply into my heart. He said, “You are a hypocrite! You claim to be a Christian! What have you really done for Christ? The Lord said those who believed on Him would have rivers of living waters flowing from their inmost being! Do you have that kind of power?”
Culpepper awakened his wife, and they prayed into the night. The next morning at a prayer meeting with fellow Southern Baptist workers, he confessed to pride and spiritual impotence, saying his heart was broken. The Holy Spirit began to so convict the others of sin that they could hardly bear it.
I watched their faces grow pale, then they began to cry and drop on their knees or fall prostrate on the floor. Missionaries went to missionaries confessing wrong feelings toward one another. Chinese preachers, guilty of envy, jealousy and hatred, confessed their sins to one another.
The revival spread through the seminary, the schools, the hospital, and the area churches. Perhaps the deepest impact was made on Culpepper’s friend Wiley B. Glass, a highly respected missionary. As Glass sat in the meetings, a man’s face came before him and God seemed to be asking Glass about his attitude toward that man. Wiley had hated the man for many years, and suddenly the Holy Spirit brought him under deep conviction.
In great anguish, Glass went to Culpepper, fell on his shoulder, and said, “Charlie, pray for me!” Both men went to their knees, but Glass was so distressed he couldn’t express his problem. He was pale as death and kept groaning in his anxiety. I prayed with him and for him several times during that day and the next. In the evening of the second day he came running to me and threw his arms around me.
“Charlie, it’s gone!” he exclaimed.
I said, “What’s gone?” He replied, “That old root of bitterness.”
He told me that thirty years earlier, before he came to China, the man had insulted his wife. The insult had made him so angry he felt he could kill the man if he ever saw him again. He realized a called servant of God should not feel that way, and it had bothered him for years. Finally he just turned the man over to God. When the Holy Spirit began moving in his heart during that week, the question came/, “Are you willing for that man to be saved?”
He answered, “Lord, I’m willing for You to save him . . . just keep him on the other side of heaven!” Finally, he came to the place where he said, “Lord if that man is alive, and if I can find him when I go on furlough, I will confess my hatred to him and do my best to win him to you.” When he reached that decision, the Lord released the joys of heaven to his soul, and he was filled with love and peace. He became a more effective preacher for the lord, and during the next few years he led hundreds to Christ.
Could it be that what we really need in the SBC is genuine revival? Could it be that intentional attempts to damage the reputation or wish harm on others is the very thing for which we need to repent? And could it be that “The Shantung Revival” may very well be a good model for us all?
Food for thought prior to Greensboro.
In His Grace,
Accounts of “The Shantung Revival” taken from Spirit of Revival, October 1991, pp 10-15; also from Higher Ground: The Biography of Wiley B. Glass, Missionary to China by Eloise Glass Cauthen p. 152, and Nelson’s Complete Book of Illustrations by Robert J. Morgan, p. 70.3