America is a fractured family. Outwardly, we’re a unified nation, but on the inside, we’re at war with one another over a multitude of issues. And in contemporary history, this conflict has seldom been worse than it now is.
If you’re like many, you’ve probably felt a growing sense of tension in your own family over issues such as politics, race, religion, and economics. This is a conflict that threatens to create irreparable rifts not only in our national family, but in our personal lives, as well.
Christian actor Kirk Cameron is making an effort to heal these rifts in his upcoming event, Revive Us 2, by calling a national family meeting, inviting both celebrity guests and you to talk about possible ways to achieve unity in our families and, subsequently, in our nation, through the power of Christian thought.
Broadcasting live on October 24th, and in an encore presentation on November 1st, you can catch this meeting in theaters across America.
To help you better understand how Cameron plans on bringing hope and healing to our families and nation, we caught up with him and asked few questions about Revive Us 2. Let’s check out what he has to say about his latest project.
What are the current cultural forces that prompted you to plan another Revive Us? What’s changed since the last Revive Us?
Well, last year, at this time, I hosted what I called a national family meeting for the family of faith because so many Christians were just filled with anxiety and concern about the presidential election, and therefore the future of the country. And I said, ‘There’s no more exciting time to be a Christian than when you feel backed up against the way and you see God part the waters.’
I believe that the 150,000 people who came to Revive Us last year were awakened and invigorated—they were motivated to activate their faith and get involved.
This year, I feel like there is just as much of a need for the family to get together—perhaps even more, because now it seems that we’re more divided than ever. We’re divided over race, religion, politics, gender, economics—even our families are divided.
We need unity, and a path to get there, now more than ever. And so I’m calling a second national family meeting—Revive Us 2—and this time, joining me, is going to be Dr. Ben Carson, Ravi Zacharias, Joni Eareckson Tada, and filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, as well as musical guests like worship artist Zach Williams and Christian Cuevas from The Voice.
And we’re going to be broadcasting live to the nation from the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.
What are some specific changes you’d like to see happen once viewers take part in Revive Us 2?
What I want people to know is that there are voices that are telling us that we are irreparably divided. I don’t believe that. I travel the nation, and I see things that others don’t see.
I see an awakening—I really do. I see a fresh momentum building, and a shift in our culture. A shift away from people of faith hiding their faith, relegating it to something private that they experience on a Sunday morning to elevating their Biblical values front-and-center, and realizing that ‘if I don’t’ live out my faith in selecting leaders for my school board and for my nation, if I don’t live out my faith when it comes to my business practices and my choices of art and entertainment, well then, other people will make those choices for me. And so maybe my faith applies to everything, and I want to make a difference.’
I’m seeing people with that mindset, and they see that the alternative doesn’t bring the kind of blessing and protection that they’re looking for. And so they’re waking up and they’re wanting to be involved, and I’m hoping to offer a strategy and a plan for creating unity—not just for the family of faith, but a solution that will work for everyone.
Who is your intended audience?
I would say that this is primarily a family meeting for the family of faith—so old and young, everybody is invited. And it’s primarily for the family to get together. You know, at important times, when grandpa rings the bell and says, ‘Hey, everybody. Meet at the kitchen table. We need to talk’—That’s how I feel we are at a national level.
We are millions and millions strong in the nation, but if we remain divided over race and religion and politics—or think that we’re divided—we’re going to stay weak. And the nation desperately needs people who love God and love their neighbor to lift those values to the forefront and give people observable examples of why that is the best way.
Speaking of observable examples, has anything in your own life or experiences shaped the direction of Revive Us 2?
Well, I’ve seen how, in my own family, and in my own church, people have different background, different opinions. We’ve adopted four of our children—they’ve come from different racial backgrounds, different socioeconomic backgrounds.
In my church, we have people from atheist backgrounds, religious, non-religious, people from different nationalities, different political stripes. But I’ve seen how God can bring people together in a very unique way—to the point where our differences can actually help us. They can actually sharpen our thinking the way iron sharpens iron, when we don’t use those issues to fight over, but rather to learn from.
But that’s very difficult for people to do. You can stick some Democrats and Republicans in a room, and you may have union by virtue of the fact that they’re in the same room, but you have no unity most of the time. That’s why it’s so difficult to get anything done in congress.
But God can create unity in a very unique and miraculous way.
To play devil’s advocate, what would you say to someone who claims that religion is actually a major cause of the division you’ve talked about?
I’d say that if you listen to the wrong people, and you’re not familiar with the founding of our nation, you might believe that that’s true. But if you look at history, you’ll find, like I’ve found, that the principal of self-government—which is a Judeo-Christian principle—that if you can govern yourself and love God voluntarily, and love your neighbor as yourself, then that produces the highest good, the highest love, for your community.
And you don’t need police and government and everyone else to the degree that you do now if people would govern themselves according to these timeless principles of faith.
So, you know, self-serving religion, political aggression masquerading as religion—always causes problems. But true religion, like we read about in the Bible, the kind of religion that cares for widows and orphans and loves God with all of your heart, and prays for and loves even your enemies—that’s the kind of faith that can change the world for good.
Conclusions: Unity Through Renewed Christianity
The issue of national and familial division is a difficult one, but Cameron touches on something incredibly important toward here. A leading cause for division within Christian families lies in the fact that many simply don’t live out their faith.
But lived-out faith provides the tools of unity. In Matthew 22:36-40, Christ names God’s most important commands as “Love God,” and “Love your neighbor.” This seems to be the heart of Cameron’s efforts in Revive US 2—he’s getting ready to inspire the family of faith to start actually living out that faith, and to become examples of unity for the rest of our nation to follow.
Galatians 3:28, perhaps, wraps this idea up best. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”