Bits Of Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell (1898-1972) was a Scottish preacher who played a pivotal role in the Scottish Hebrides Revival. He believed: “Revival is a community saturated with God.” This was a man who whole-heartedly believed in the power of the risen Christ through the Holy Spirit; the same power that is available to us today. One might ask why we, in our modern church, have been willing to settle for so little, when so much is available. We have chosen a God who is “comfortable,” when He desires to move in our lives in a decidedly “uncomfortable” manner: He is the God who is a consuming fire.

“Today, we have a Christianity made easy as an accommodation to an age that is unwilling to face the implication of Calvary, and the gospel of ‘simply believism’ has produced a harvest of professions which have done untold harm to the cause of Christ.”

“How easy it is to live more or less in the enjoyment of God’s free grace, and yet not realize that we are called to fulfill a divinely appointed purpose.”

“There is a kind of gospel being proclaimed today which conveniently accommodates itself to the spirit of the age, and makes no demand for godliness.”

“Can we be casual in the work of God — casual when the house is on fire, and people in danger of being burned?”

“The Kingdom of God is not going to be advanced by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming filled with God.”

“To me, one of the most disturbing features of present-day evangelism is the over-emphasis on what man can do, and I believe this to be the reason why we so often fail to get men and women to make the contact with Christ that is vital.”

“To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength in the day of battle, just to remember that the secret of steadfastness, and indeed, of victory, is the recognition that “the Lord is at hand.”

“How many there are whose lives are weak and whose service is poor and ineffective, just because they have not zealously guarded the time and place of prayer!”

“The preacher who will proclaim this glorious truth and magnify the cleansing power of the blood of Christ will find that his message of full deliverance touches life at every point. He is doing a disservice to his hearers and is dishonoring his God if he substitutes any other theme.”

“The average man is not going to be impressed by our publicity, our posters or our programs, but let there be a demonstration of the supernatural in the realm of religion, and at once man is arrested.”

“When sin exerts itself and we know its power and by its power we are held in bondage, surely our dire need is for God to deal with the cause, a sinful heart.”

“I am disturbed by the attitude of the Church in general toward aggressive evangelism or revival. By evangelism I do not mean just an effort to get people back into the Church; this effort, while commendable, does not get us very far. What I mean is something much more: it is the getting of men and women into vital, saving and covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, and so supernaturally altered that holiness will characterize their whole being: body, soul and spirit. It seems to me that the time has surely come when we must, with open mind and true heart, face ourselves with unqualified honesty and ask the question: ‘Am I alive to my responsibility as a laborer in God’s vineyard?’”

“There is a power that is placed at the disposal of the Church that can outmaneuver and baffle the very strategy of Hell, and cause death and defeat to vanish before the presence of the Lord of Life. Barrenness is made to feel His fertilizing power. Yet, how is it that while we make such great claims for the power of the Gospel, we see so little of the supernatural in operation? Is there any reason why the Church today cannot everywhere equal the Church at Pentecost? I feel this is a question we ought to face with an open mind and an honest heart. What did the early Church have that we do not possess today? Nothing but the Holy Spirit, nothing but the power of God. Here I would suggest that one of the main secrets of success in the early Church lay in the fact that the early believers believed in unction from on high and not entertainment from men.”

“One of the very sad features that characterizes much that goes under the name of evangelism today is the craze for entertainment. Here is an extract from a letter received from a leader in youth work in one of your great cities: “We are at our wits’ end to know what to do with the young people who made a profession of conversion recently. They are demanding all sorts of entertainment, and it seems to us that if we fail to provide the entertainment that they want, we are not going to hold them.” Yes, the trend of the time in which we live is toward a Christian experience that is light and flippant and fed on entertainment. Some time ago, I listened to a young man give his testimony. He made a decision quite recently, and in giving his testimony this is what he said: “I have discovered that the Christian way of life can best be described, not as a battle, but as a song mingled with the sound of happy laughter.” Far be it from me to move the song or happy laughter from religion, but I want to protest that that young man’s conception was entirely wrong, and not in keeping with true New Testament Christianity. “Oh, but,” say the advocates of this way of thinking, “how are we to get the people if we do not provide some sort of entertainment?” To that I ask the question, how did they get the people at Pentecost? How did the early Church get the people? By publicity projects, by bills, by posters, by parades, by pictures? No! The people were arrested and drawn together and brought into vital relationship with God, not by sounds from men, but by sounds from heaven. We are in need of more sounds from heaven today.”

“The Apostles were not men of influence–not many mighty, not many noble.” The Master Himself did not choose to be a man of influence. “He made Himself of no reputation,” which is to say that God chose power rather than influence. I sometimes think of Paul and Silas in Philippi. They had not enough influence to keep them out of prison, but possessed the power of God in such a manner that their prayers in prison shook the whole prison to its very foundations. Not influence, but power.”

“I would to God that a wave of real godly fear gripped our land. Let me quote from a sermon delivered by the Rev. Robert Barr of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa: “This is what our age needs, not an easy-moving message, the sort of thing that makes the hearer feel all nice inside, but a message profoundly disturbing. We have been far too afraid of disturbing people, but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or with a minister who is afraid of disturbing. You might as well expect a surgeon to give place to a quack who claims to be able to do the job with some sweet tasting drug, as expect the Holy Spirit to agree that the tragic plight of human souls today can be met by soft and easy words. Calvary was anything but nice to look at, blood-soaked beams of wood, a bruised and bleeding body, not nice to look upon. But then Jesus was not dealing with a nice thing; He was dealing with the sin of the world, and that is what we are called upon to deal with today. Soft and easy words, soft-pedaling will never meet the need.”
Finally, the early Church believed in the supernatural. Someone has said that at Pentecost, God set the Church at Jerusalem on fire and the whole city came out to see it burn. I tell you if that happened in any church today, within hours the whole of the town would be out to see the burning, and they would be caught in the flames.”

“Revival is not going to come merely by attending conferences. When “Zion travailed she brought forth children.” Oh, may God bring us there, may God lead us through to the place of absolute surrender. Is it not true that our very best moments of yielding and consecration are mingled with the destructive element of self-preservation? A full and complete surrender is the price of blessing; it is the price of revival.”

Original Content Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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