Restoring Prayer (8 of 10) by Roger Thomas
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Restoring Prayer (8 of 10)
April 15, 2001
This is a New Testament church. We are part of a heritage commonly known as the Restoration Movement. This means that among our core value is the view that the Apostles Doctrine, the teachings of Jesus' first followers, is intended to be the pattern of the church for all time. This doesn't mean that we wear sandals and robes and ride camels or donkeys to and from church meetings. It means rather that we believe a lot of corruption and distortion have entered the life of the church through the centuries and every congregation would be better off, closer to God's plan, if it restored the doctrine and life of the first church.
Two practical and observable results of that core value are our practices of baptism and the Lord's Supper. We practice believer's baptism by immersion because we believe that was the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles. The vast majority of biblical scholars agree. But because many simply don't share our core value, they conclude that what the New Testament church taught and practiced is not that important. We disagree.
The same principle accounts for our practice of the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day. That was the norm for the first 1500 years of church history. But the practice became distorted and the doctrine perverted in the Middle Ages. The Protestant Reformers rightly observed the problems, but decided, rather than return to New Testament doctrine and practice. Instead most Protestant leaders chose to de-emphasize the regular observance of the Lord's Supper. Because of our core value of restoring New Testament Christianity, we have concluded that the solution to the problem is not to abandon the distorted practice, but to restore the practice to its biblical doctrine.
The same core value affects our organization of elders and deacons to lead the church. It also causes us to resist denominational labels and traditions ...
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