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 the painting’s 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 modern 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 its beauty with changes. But as with the work of art, we can restore the church to its original simplicity and beauty.
First, we look to the New Testament to determine just how Christ intended the church to be; what it was to believe; how it was to worship. We then resolve to follow those guidelines faithfully. Each item of faith and practice must be examined carefully. Anything not part of the New Testament must be discarded. Anything that has been left out must be put back.
We must be willing to endure the complaints, criticisms, and ridicule of those who love human traditions more than they do the original faith. 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 that which we find, lest we drift from it (Hebrews 2:1). The labor will be intense, the cost high, but when we have done the necessary work of restoring, we will see the pure and holy church of Christ He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). We will have found the way that is right, which cannot be wrong.