Skip to main content

Introduction to the Restoration Ideal #4

The Church is Jesus’ Church. He loved her and gave Himself for her. We always need to remember the place the Church has in God’s plan. To diminish the Church is to miss what God is doing in the world.

Yet, we also know that what Saint Augustine wrote rings true: “The Church is a whore and she is my moth-er.” The Church has not always been faithful to her first love, and yet without her we would not be part of God’s Kingdom today. It is through the Church that people experience the love and forgiveness of God.

Most of Chapter 2 of Introduction to the Restoration Ideal is a short Church history lesson. In this lesson author Marshall Leggett stresses just how far away the Church has gone from the ideal found in Scripture. Leggett writes:
“More and more, as time passed, Christians became secularized. One historian says, ‘the doors of the church were thrown open so wide, that the distinction between Christianity and the world was obliterated.’ Many Christians protested, but they could not stem the tide of secularism” (p. 19).
Secularism has destroyed the witness of the church because it prevents Christians from being salt and light in the world. It is hard to influence culture when Christians live no different from the rest of culture. The result of this reality is that the Church stopped looking to Christ Jesus as the Head of the Body and began doing things based on what seemed right by the standards of culture.

One of the consequences of secularism in the Church is the creation of numerous sects and denominations among the body of Christ. Our current Christian landscape reveals thousands of different groups that claim the name Christian, yet some are radically different from one another. In fact some groups are openly hos-tile to other groups.

It was to combat this disunity that brought about the Restoration Movement. Leggett writes:
“It is...a movement that began in the early part of the nineteenth century to seek Christian unit on a Biblical basis...It is called the restoration movement because it embodies the ideal to restore the essential marks of the New Testament Church to it pristine purity. It is founded on the premise that the true basis for unity is to return to the church as it was given to, and guided by, the apostles. Its adherents seek to be Christians and to follow the Bible only as they strive to be both Biblical and undenominational in faith ordinance, and live” (p. 24).

I agree with that sentiment except for the belief that there was a pristine New Testament church. The book of Galatians shows us that even among the apostles there was a struggle when it came to making disciples of all nations. In other words, and I think this is part of the beauty of the Church, is that the Church is constantly growing in her knowledge and application of Scripture.

The Restoration Movement is a response to the disunity in the Church and seeks to call people to be united in holiness and mission as we are guided by the Holy Spirit through the pages of Scripture. I think that is a very worthy calling, and I am glad to be a part of it.


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…