The ideal of the Restoration Movement is to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to what she was intended to be as described in the New Testament. Now this is most likely an impossible task, but just as value is found in struggling against sin and the constant effort to get rid of it from our lives, there is great benefit in struggling to restore the Church. I like what Marshall Leggett wrote on page 11:
“It may be impossible to restore the church perfectly as Christ conceived it and as the apostles guided it. It may always remain in the realm of the ideal. But virtue will be found in striving for that goal or aiming for it.”
Just because something may seem like an impossible goal doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth fighting for or working towards. I think many people would see the United States, as conceived by the founders, to be an impossibility. Yet, I think there is great benefit for people to work toward that ideal of liberty and Constitutional government.
A couple of benefits I think that are found in striving for the New Testament ideal of the church are:
- A dedication to Scripture. Because we want to be like the New Testament Church we are constantly called back to Scripture to understand what they believed, how the lived, and how they worshipped. It bases what we do on God’s Word.
- It helps clarify what is important and what isn’t important. It is so easy to lose our focus, but when we have a goal that we are striving for it helps us evaluate what is essential for us to do as well as what we believe. Rather than arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin we unite on what needs to be done.
It won’t be a failure if we never see the perfect church here on earth, because we will experience the benefits if we strive for it. The journey is just as important as the destination.