Revival in Nagaland—Opposition

Previously I wrote a little about the revival in Nagaland which started in the 1950’s. In any move or work of God we should be aware of potential opposition. Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us,

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.


Certainly those involved in the Nagaland revival found that opposition was manifest not only from outside the church but from within. I shall use rev. Angami’s own words to express some of what was experienced.

“As the revival fire spread there was great opposition from people who had not experienced the touch of the Holy Spirit. Some church leaders were excommunicated because they came under the sway of the Holy Spirit and became part of the revival. Many members of the congregation because of their ardent support for the revival movement were persecuted and threatened in many ways and asked to withdraw their support for the fast spreading Holy Spirit revival.

Rev Angami goes on to tell of believers who constructed their own building after rejection by other churches,

One night when the service was continuing, some people who were against the revival came and set fire on the church building…right after they [the believers inside the church] came out, the roof of the church burned and crushed down. In many places church buildings were dismantled and burnt. Believers were severely persecuted. In 1962 I went to Mungchun village with six other people. We had a prayer meeting in a private house as we were not welcome in the church. After the night service, we, the visitors, as we came out of the meeting, were led away by a group of young men and were beaten and dragged out of the village. we were ordered never to visit the village again. they left us in the jungle and went back to their village.

One final quote perhaps sums up the work of God in all of this,

Instructions were issued (both in written and verbal) that Christian revival preachers should not be given pulpit. However, the revival fire continue to spread even to this day. (My emphasis added.)

The irony of Agathos not kalos

I have started 2018 by doing something different—reading a devotional book. The book in question is The Pleasure of His Companyby Dutch Sheets and I have ben greatly encouraged and stimulated by it.

Sheets spends three chapters talking about Martha and Mary and the incident related in Luke 10:38-42,

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

For the sake of simplicity I shall quote some of Sheets own words regarding one aspect of this passage and allow the Holy Spirit to challenge and convict you.

The passage says that Mary “chose” the right activity. Most of us don’t believe, or don’t consciously take the time to consciously consider, that we always have the ability to choose the simple devotion demonstrated by Mary. But we do.

After informing Mary that only one thing was really necessary, Jesus referred to Mary’s choice as “good.” That seems really lame until the Greek word used is really understood. There are two Greek words that could have been used, agathos and kalos. Kalos means something is well made and looks good. It is even used for “beauty” or “handsome”; in our day we use the term “good looking”…The word stops short, however, of suggesting practical usefulness. A good example of kalos would be a beautiful picture—it looks good but has no practical value.

When a word is needed however, that adds the concept ion usefulness or benefit, agathos is chosen. To fully convey this aspect, agathos is often translated “good works.” Essentially, kalos is good looks, agathos is good works. Jesus said Mary chose agathos.

The irony of this is astounding. The person doing nothing was credited with doing the “good works,” not the person doing all the good works! …Christ was saying, “You look good Martha, but your busyness won’t produce the good works you’re looking for. Mary chose that which will enable her to truly do good works, and her fruit will remain.”

As one who gives his life to full-time ministry in the church, I am terrified by this passage. It shows me that I can be very busy in ministry without it producing genuine and lasting fruit. I can look good, without really doing good.