California is known for many things, from its famous landmarks to its diverse culture. But many people don’t realize that the state has also played a significant role in the spread of Christianity in the United States. The state has seen several religious movements, revivals, and leaders that have shaped its Christian identity and contributed to the spread of the gospel throughout the country.
In her new book, “Redeem California: With God All Things Are Possible,” Kathy J. Looper examines California’s history and its role in the spread of Christianity. She notes that the state has a long history as a hub for spiritual movements, dating back to the early days of Spanish colonization when Father Junipero Serra established missions throughout the state.
One of the more notable movements in California was the Azusa Street Revival, which took place in Los Angeles in 1906. Led by William J. Seymour, the revival saw the emergence of Pentecostalism, which emphasized the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. It attracted thousands of people from around the world and was a significant turning point in the history of American Christianity.
Another revival that impacted the state and the country was the Jesus People Movement, which emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The movement was characterized by a fusion of Christian evangelism and countercultural ideals, with music being central to its expression. Chuck Smith, a pastor in Costa Mesa, played a critical role in the movement, and his Calvary Chapel grew to become a megachurch with a significant influence on American Christianity.
In her book, Looper argues that California is once again poised for another revival. The state is currently experiencing a host of social and moral issues, such as gender confusion, opioid addiction, and the explosion of mental illness, which are testing the faith of Christians. She believes that God is still at work in the state and is calling Christians to rise up and engage in spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness.
Looper encourages Christians to remember that they have a powerful God on their side who is greater than Satan and has already defeated him. She also points out that they have the Holy Spirit abiding in them, which gives them the strength to fight from a place of ultimate power.
“Redeem California” reminds Christians that they are not powerless against the onslaught of laws, policies, and restrictions that seek to control them. It reminds them that they are fighting a war that they can win, and that God is with them every step of the way. The book is a call to action for Christians in California and beyond to stand up for their faith and be a light in the darkness.