We Never Restored New Testament Christianity

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The early restoration leaders had a dream. It was a dream to bring about unity among all the divisions in Christianity (which have only grown exponentially more numerous) through the restoration of first century Christianity.

Some believe we arrived. No. Many believe we arrived. We restored New Testament Christianity, they say, because we look like them on Sunday. Five acts of worship. Scriptural leadership and governance, correct view and practice of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

We restored it. It’s done. Now we rest on our laurels and defend it against all comers because what we have is set in concrete and any change would make us wrong. The vision is to have no vision. The vision is, at most, maintenance of the status quo.

But look back at the first paragraph. Can we say we have restored New testament Christianity merely through mirroring practice if the actual goal was never achieved? Unity.

I don’t see how we can say it is restored if we aren’t united in the same way they were in those early years.

Unity involves far more than doctrine. Unity in the early church also involved bringing people from all nations in the church. Racially diverse congregations. Jews and Gentiles all in the same house (which was a big deal – see Acts 10:27-28), indwelt by the same Holy Spirit, worshiping the same God (see Eph 4:3-6).

We turned to defense mode because we seemed to have accomplished the “How” of our vision but never the “Why”. We should still be on the offensive – making inroads toward unity – across socioeconomic lines, racial lines, etc. Until that is accomplished, the restoration goal isn’t met because we still don’t look like them and don’t embrace their ethos. We have the first century veneer without the skeletal structure of the first century body of Christ.

6 Responses

  1. I hear you Brother! The letter of the Law without the Spirit. Grace needs to be extended to each one seeking regardless of who they are currently. God calls them, we receive them in Love.

  2. It’s funny to me that Paul never said and here are the five acts of worship. Or stand strong in holding to them, or committed Timothy to teach them. I don’t believe even with all the good we’ve done, we ever sought for Unity. We’re invested in seeking truth through knowledge and exclusion. We’d do better with sticking to know Jesus and him crucified and nothing else. Unity is not supportive when you seek to limit who your brother and sisters are by fighting over scripture. Unity is to be lived out in action through the fruit of the spirit. The world needs more goodness, kindness, love, gentleness etc. But to do that you have to trust the Spirit and not your own ways. Unity does not mean we’re all robots. Our struggle has been to make everyone the same without exception to any. Sing like us, preach like us, dress like us, take Lords supper like us. Until Jesus is the reason for unity, the goal will not and cannot be reached. All souls matter.

  3. You are correct in what you have written. However, how can you make inroads across any line if you can’t make unity on one pew, much less two pews? The proper church service and organization should not be so concerning if you still have 2nd- and 3rd-class Christians.

    1. Second class Christians include single people, women, those with no children, partisan minorities, and those not in the inner circle. Basically, they can come for the serivce and donate money but will not be included in anything else.

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