Holy Spirit Restoration, Not Reformation
Following a trip to the former Soviet Union in the 1970s, Billy Graham was asked by a reporter how he felt about the accusation that he had “set the church back by 50 years.” His reply was something on the order of, “I’m disappointed. I had hoped to set it back 2000 years!”
I've always loved that story. I love what I think is the heartbeat behind it. One of my major summer projects this year is to do a study of the apostolic age and the early church fathers. My hope is to look at their relationship with the culture around them. My premise is that our age—as most recently illustrated by today’s US Supreme Court decisions—is more like the early Roman empire than the Reformation era of 1500-1700. The second aspect of that study is to think about eschatology with the early church fathers. I believe they had much more of a “kingdom” eschatology than a “fatalist” eschatology. I’m increasingly passionate about helping the Church to engage more in our world and not less. The more frequently I talk to church friends about it, the more I sense that our church leadership has often resulted in people disengaging from the world rather than engaging.
Ephesians 2:8-10, Matthew 5:12-16, and Hebrews 10:24-25 all tell me to pray more, love more, hope more, and serve more in our world. I don’t want to simply “reform” our church structures and ministries! I want to see them “restored” to what I see in Acts and beyond. The early Church was all “messed up” (just like we are today), but they also were full of the power of the Holy Spirit! I am praying for a Holy Spirit revival that will restore His glory to His Church.
Our world needs the beautiful bride of Christ. Now more than ever.