The Restoration Ideal is an attempt to establish unity in the Church. In some ways I have been very encouraged as I have surveyed the Church. Even though we see a decline of church attendance in the west, we have also noticed that the divisions seem to be less severe. Denominationalism is less of an issue than it was when the Restoration Movement began in the early 19th century. It seems that even though this movement hasn’t been very effective at times (let’s be honest there have been times when we have been the source of division), God has been working to bring about unity.
Christian unity is something that Jesus wants for His Church. Why is unity so important? Marshall Leggett on page 13 of Introduction to the Restoration Ideal wrote:
“However, even Christian unity is not an end in itself, for, like the restoration ideal, it will remain a means to the real end. Notice Jesus’ prayer. Why did He want His followers to be one? He said, ‘that they may be one...that the world may believe that thou hast sent me’ (John 17:21). The purpose of unity was that the world might believe. It was evangelism.”
The importance of Christian unity is that it is evidence for the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are united as a Church, then the message we have becomes more real and believable.