Friday, December 02, 2016

WHERE THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT BACKFIRED

When in preaching school a thread of information came at me that I had no idea existed in such profound quantity.  I had heard of the Restoration Movement, it seemed, from day one of beginning to begin to learn about God and His Divine set-up.

The idea that we strive to be a people who are restored to the parameters of the early church which began in Acts was overwhelming in a most glorious way.  That a people could simply go back to the Bible and be New Testament Christians was surely an attractive concept.

This remains a profound idea.  But, the Movement took on baggage; the very thing it was saying it had escaped.  It became the very thing is disdained.  With profound effort to shed man's tradition and breathe from the simple biblical calling, it wasn't long until man began to impose new rules of his understanding of abiding faith.  This was anything but casual.  As a result the Restoration Movement went haywire and developed a fabric of  "true churches" of varying (even opposing) beliefs; each claiming to be the One True Church.  Within this movement to curb the Movement, egotism volcano-ized.

I found there to a be a similar thread in all divisions as they began to unfurl.  Rules ruled.  New traditions similar to what we thought had been booted out were now a fixture.  And the entire scope of thought had been found to lack three central personalities; Father, Son, and Spirit.  The Word was king.  The practices were proof.

Prayer was vague, if not absent, which signaled Father was not necessary (though we would never voice such).  Jesus was not real; but an historical figure whose name sanctified our prayers at the end.  The the Holy Spirit was treated, no neglected, as if we were embarrassed and ashamed of Him.  We did our best to restrict Him to go no farther than the very end of the book of Revelation.  From there we would manage with our best explanations and efforts.

The Restoration Movement, a once splendid concept, has backfired; significantly so.  Yet, the concept remains feasible and full of Good News.  It is a challenge for all Bible students to remain open to the unfolding reality of God.  His information is not captureable.  It is believable...and there will always be additional ideas and truths to believe which will align with much of what we previously garnered from in-depth study. That would be why we study.  Right?

In reality, as we students take in news (NEWs) of God, we are often found that we must shed some crucial mis-learnings; mis-understandings.  This is too thrilling; not threatening.  We are anticipated by God to look at His Revelation and do things like learn, grow, increase, develop.  The Bible isn't handed to us to pass Bible quizzes.  It is given to us that we can enter increasing glimpses of Life found in Jesus through the Spirit.  Father is quite serious about this.

Yes, we should very much be a part of restoring the New Testament church; one which every time it discovers an answer it seems that four new questions break out.  God is not to be captured; but vigorously pursued.  We are called to know the love of Christ which is beyond our fullest exploration....Ephesians 3:19.




3 comments:

Troy Singleton said...

Yes. Thx!

Debbie Howard said...

Thank you for a wonderful, eye opening article. Well done; lovingly done.

Brother Preacher said...

Dead on, Preacher...dead...on. I REMAIN grateful for your uncanny ability to express things I've never been able to even understand. Preach on, bruddah. - Greg Lee (Brother Preacher)