Friday, October 15, 2010

Introduction to the Restoration Ideal #5

Chapter 3 of Marshall Leggett’s book is the first of several short biographies of the men who were responsible for starting the Restoration Movement. The first biography is devoted Barton W. Stone, especially emphasizing his focus on using the name Christian to describe disciples of Christ. If you are interested in reading about Barton Stone’s life you can do so here.

This how Leggett finishes the chapter:
History credits Stone with being the one who restored the ancient name “Christian” to its proper place. He believed it was the name God had given to His people and the one around which they could unite. He pleaded for all believers to become Christians only (p. 32).

It is this issue that chapter 4 is devoted to, and therefore that is what the next post will be look at. Today I just want to focus on a tangent that I discovered in the chapter. This is what jumped out at me:
The census of 1800 showed that less than one out of twenty persons in Kentucky was a member of any church. This produced a spiritual and moral vacuum (p. 28).

The reason I found this interesting is the fact that we often think that we live in this time of great spiritual decline, and while that is true, the reality is that there have been times in the short history of the United States when the Church’s influence has been very minimal. In other words this should give us great hope because just as there have been revivals in the past we can experience revival once again.

For revival to happen what is required? What is required is for Christians, men and women who bear the name of Jesus, to truly follow Jesus in prayer, compassion, integrity, and proclaiming the truth. It is about truly being salt of the earth and the light of the world.

I want to leave you with this passage from 1 Peter:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:9-12; ESV).

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