ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
RESTORING A THING OF VALUE
Lovely works of art are often marred by accumulations of dirt and grime. Specialists are employed to restore them to their original beauty. They carefully remove the foreign matter that obscures their true nature. Fine furniture can become worn and damaged. Its beauty is hidden by tattered upholstery and layers of paint. To see it as it came from the hands of the artisan, it needs to be restored by a skilled workman, The paint and ragged upholstery need to be stripped away.
Christianity is two thousand years old. Its modem appearance is greatly marred and distorted by the accumulation of human doctrines and practices imposed upon it over the ages. A careful reading of the New Testament provides one with an accurate picture of Christianity as it came from the hands of Jesus. Comparing that with modern "versions of Christianity" reveals a stark difference. Hardly a single teaching or practice of the original faith has been untouched. Human hands have defiled and marred its beauty with their changes. But as with the work of art or the fine furniture, we can restore the church to its original simplicity and beauty.
First we look to the New Testament of Christ to determine just how He intended the church to be; what she was to believe; how she was to worship. We then resolve that we will follow those guide-lines faithfully. Each item of faith and practice must be examined carefully in light of Christ's word. Anything not as old as the New Testament must be discarded. Anything that has been left out or neglected must be put back in its proper place.
We must be willing to endure the complaints, criticisms, and ridicule of those who love their human traditions more than they do the original faith of Christ. We must be prepared to be a minority because Jesus said, "Many are called but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). We must resolve to hold fast to that which we find to be true lest we let it slip from us (Hebrews 2:1). The labor will be intense, the cost will be high, but when we have done the necessary work of restoring, we will possess the pure and holy church of Christ which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). We will have found the way that is right, which cannot be wrong.