The Restoration Movement has given us great motivation as well as direction. When I was converted the very nature of such a movement wowed me and continues to do so. I feel, though, we may have allowed the movement to jump its orgininal tracks into a zone open to great human error. The Restoration Movement is not the Word, it is not God, it is not the rule book for the church. It is a man-created society with respectable principles....and that's all.
Some view the Restoration Movement as providing the criteria for what the church should believe and how it should behave. We don't call our preacher pastor even if he does shepherd the flock. We don't call our meeting room sanctuary (but auditorium) even-though such is the only room in the building where we can't take food and drink because it is sanctified.
It is probable that every leader in the church of Christ has hit a fork in the road as to whether to remain committed to the Movement or to the Word. If to the former, the paradigm has no shift. It's cut and dried---some believe---as to what God thinks. Yet, these remain divided and re-divided over exactly what Campbell or Nichols or others concluded we should believe. The latter (the Word) will call for our devotion to both unchange and much change. Jesus will always be the Son and methodology will always be subject to shift. Word study will necessitate perpetual adjustment.
The Restoration Movement set the boundaries and several locked the Holy Spirit out. The Word insists He's in. The Restoration Movement set the parameters for worship......referred to the Word of "decent and in order".....an virtually shut out emotion and expression. The Word authorizes "decent and in order" without curbing the celebrative excitement of praising the Lord.
The ideal of the Restoration Movement may need to slip back onto the tracks of holy writ. Restoration does not mean petrified. We are not a people locked down; but rather, opened up. I see it as it was originally designed; to call us back to the Creed of Jesus the Lamb. Will such include change? Of course. Who would be against changing the number of souls we are winning each year? Who would be against changing the numbers gathering for corporate worship each week? Who would be against learning more of the Word......even if the Word disagrees with our policy to this point? Who would like to see more interest in Jesus by our teens. Who would like to see fewer leaving the church distressed over bickering and arguing? Who would like to see more of the homeless homed and more of the rejected accepted? Who would like to see the church change from rote meetings three times a week to meeting daily....as in the Word? Who would like to see more effective praying....more members praying?
There is so much I am eager to learn. I believe I know about 1% of 1/2% of what He intends for me and I'll not discover as much of it by dragging along my man-created rules. I suggest only two areas the churches of Christ---in general---does not address: prophecy and the occult. I believe we unintentionally have dampened our members' enthusiasm for the Second Coming having ignored the study of Prophecy. Too, I believe we have set the church and her families up for unnecessary struggle due to the disinterest in the spiritualism. These are just two areas that need to change. There must be hundreds more topics we have yet to consider.
Will the Restoration Movement allow change? It's very nature calls for it. Yet fundamentally, our goal is to abide by the Word; not restore the Restoration Movement.