Restoration and Reformation In the Church
It is said, in a paraphrase, that one generations teaching is the next generations doctrine. Normally it refers to our American educational system, but it also applies to teaching and preaching within the walls of the Church. The Church seems to have been so influenced by the popular culture that it has lost its message. It was only one generation ago that the Church had a strong voice in the community, and was the influencer rather than the influenced. As I have traveled the years from the 1950s to the present, the Church has relinquished its role in society to other entities. As the government began to grow and manage more areas of society in the 1960s, the Church allowed the usurpation of its role to occur. The philosophy of the Church became one of living the Christian life within the confines of the home and the church building. Involvment in society became a fleeting phantom. The Church relocated it priorities to foreign nations, and left a few evangelists like Billy Graham to keep their foot in the door in America. Finally God had to do the work Himself, and the Catholic Renewal began in the mid 1960s. I was a consumer of that movement. I say consumer because when the renewal happened all we wanted to do was read the Bible and pray for wisdom, thus we consumed as much of God as we could. In the late 1960s and 1970s the Jesus Movement brought many of the hippy generation back to Jesus. The Church was sceptical and because of that a whole new branch of Christians was born. The Evangelical Movement, which gave rise to the Neopenticostal Movement. The mainstream Church still hung back, and has been losing their population ever since. When the Church, which is commissioned to take the Gospel to the streets doesn’t, two things will happen, God backs away, and then allows darkness to come into the Church.
Where does restoration and reformation come into play. Restoration begins when the offending Church, reaches a position of bended knee and bowed head, seeking God. That position allows the Church to see just how far they have fallen. When the Church allows the culture to dictate their doctrines rather than the Word of God, and condones sin within the camp, God can only do one thing, take their lampstand. That last statement refers to Revelation 2:1-6. God is not mocked, He will not hold him guiltless who falls away, and allows sin to have a place in the camp of the righteous. The Israelites found that out several times, and since God changes not, what makes you, the Church, think you are safe from God’s hand.
Take a position of repentance, with fasting and prayer, seeking God’s heart, seeking God’s face, finding the answers with a solemn and fervent heart. God is not pleased to do anyone harm, but His righteous justice will prevail.
God is not the President who can be voted out of office, He is the KIng of kings, the God of the Universe. He makes laws, and those laws are the rules of the Kingdom. We, as children of God, are within the Kingdom og God. However, if we live within that Kingdom, we are obligated to follow every rule the King lays forth. His word is law, and no one has any right to change it, ignore it, or break it. There is no Democracy in the Kingdom of God. That is why Jesus will return and rule with a rod of iron. Read Revelation 19:11-16.
Church, it is not wise to be in the hands of an angry God, like Jonathon Edwards once preached. It is time for a return to your first love. Climb out of the deep hole you have dug for yourself, and return to the God of our Fathers. If you come to Him, desiring to seek His face, He will run to you so fast your head will spin.
The choice belongs to you, the Church. I can’t do it for you, but I can and will continue to pray over you that the eyes of your understanding be open, and that your heart seeks after the One Who LOves You.