Saturday, August 25, 2012

Patternism


If the pattern for the church and for the Christian is so plainly laid out in the New Testament such that there can be no dispute (as some would say that 2 Timothy 1:13 states "Follow the pattern of the sound [or healthy] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.") then why did such a perfect Pattern lead to the Catholic church of the middle ages, and all the many thousands of splits and sects that we find today. If the pattern were perfect, the church would be perfect right? Is the pattern really there at all?  Timothy was with Paul for years and the two small letters we have are not the complete story. So when Paul tells Timothy to follow the pattern it's not something that is wholly available to us. Think about how an architect would build a house out of the "pattern" or "blueprint". It's just not all there. We don't have everything, but we have "everything we need" (2 Peter 1:3).

If the goal of the restoration movement is to get back to that pattern, then why do we think that the results will be any different this time around. If all were restored to the way it was in the first century, then just a few hundred years from now things would be heading back to the schisms and sectarianism we find today. Do we think we can do better than those who were so close in time to the events of the gospels? And if the pattern is so clearly laid out, why do we need the Holy Spirit? I guess this is why Patternists often equate the Spirit with the Bible and deny the active indwelling in our lives today.

If we treat the restoration movement as a destination rather than a journey, the situation today is where we end up. If instead, the purpose of the journey is following Christ, then we are on the right path and though each of us starts from a different location and each has different experiences along the way, we will all end up in the same place eventually, in the arms of Jesus.
Post a Comment