"If my Church believes
in an everlasting temple, here on earth, they must build in a more
less permanent way. There are many possible church structures, all of
can be good and useful, but people must not try to make any one of them
into an absolute. People must keep hold of the content, and give it a
form, which is suitable for the people of this age." pg
The Royal Way, by Frans Horsthuis.
About Reformation & Change
by Teri Lee Earl
So why concern ourselves with change?
Generally, two words are used to describe an
over-all change coming to the Church, 'restoration'
and 'reformation'. Each has its strength
and weaknesses in what it portrays or communicates.
presumes that there are lost truths or practices that need to be
'restored'. As in the article posted on this site, Restoration of
the Church by Arthur Wallis, God does work to
'revive' dead obscured truths, often in conjunction with a revival or spiritual
There are various restoration
theories, however, that are in effect, various forms of deception. They
tend to be loosely based on scriptures such as Mark 9:12-13 (please
cross-reference this with Luke 1:13-17) and Acts 3:21 (please notice
the context of verse 20 there, Jesus is the one who
"comes to restore all things").
theories of restoration suppose that all expressions of the Church
right after the early church have been deprived of 'real' truth and
power. To solve this problem, the current movement and its
teachers or prophets or apostles have come to save the day. They will
now help 'restore' the Church to her former glory. At the
least, they will prophecy or teach that missing something.
Perhaps it is that important truth that was
previously-not-known-nor-ever-understood before they arrived upon the
scene. Perhaps it is something that was lost to the early
in times past-- until now.
types of 'restoration' theories culminate in a fantastic expectation of
the current movement, whatever that may be, to finally become the
'true' or 'victorious' Church. In other words, their group
are the ones to be 'restored' to either as good as
the first century church, or even superior to it.
theories lend themselves to gross spiritual pride on the part of their
leaders and followers. They begin or end with odd heresies and
practices that are just as bad or worse than the very things that they
had rejected as 'inferior' to themselves. Failing to produce the
fantastic expectations they set up, many a person is left
disillusioned. It is the wise man who prudently avoids
Reformation is another
word commonly connected to change in the Church, thanks to Martin
Luther and The Great Reformation. Reformation conveys
the ideal of a transformation working from the inside out to reform
that which has fallen into a sort of decadence and state of
seems a good word verb to use, right? After all, fallen man does have a
way of not only obscuring spiritual truths, but warping them also--
often beyond recognition or viability. And so, as it would
to reason that it is a good idea to 'reform' or repair something so
that it can hold the glories and purposes of God once again, right?
Problem is, old
wine skins don't want to be reformed. They have lost their flexibity,
and they burst with any infilling of new wine. Patches are
insufficient to healthy continuity. Jesus
said so! (Matt. 9: 16-17) At this point, God doesn't
reform. He leaves it behind and creates a 'new' form that is still a
wineskin (retaining the substance or 'stucture' of the Church's
truths), yet also is able to work in ways the previous
refused to. Such is what Martin Luther and the Protestants discovered,
being forced to leave their earlier Church structures to find and
implement new ones.
But, what happens (eventually) to new
wineskins? Do they not become old wineskins after
so much time and inflexibility goes by?
Today it is said by
many Protestants, that Protestantism has become not that much different
than their former tutors, the Catholics? Their 'heresies', it is noted,
have become just as dire as any 'mother church' they previously
condemned long ago (or still condemn); their practices became just as
restrictive to the freedom of the Spirit and His people as anything
prior. Why? Because they have exchanged 'protestant' traditions for
'catholic' traditions, but these traditions are still what they are:
traditions of men.
Thus we are humbled
by the fact that man is a sinful, imperfect, creature-- given to
decadence, sillyness, and stupidity in all his ways, except for the
supernatural interventions of God.
The truth is, Jesus
prayed to the Father to send His Spirit so we would not be left as
orphans (John 14:26; 15:26). So it's not about movements or wineskins
or individual teachers or fellowships, as much as it is about His
Spirit testifying to the Person of Jesus. Even though the
Spirit's work might be obscured through the small-minded prejudice of
those who have felt it their duty to build their own self-exalting
kingdoms on the backs of others, Truth and Life, just like Jesus (John
14:6), is never suppressed forever. Love is still expressed by God.
God does 'restore'
or 'revive' obscured truths. Yet He also leaves old wine skins in favor
of the new, in an ever-creative process of adjusting the Church to the
present-day needs of His people and the world. In this way, the Church
remains relevant and dynamic. So, although the Church often loses
battles against apostasy and corruption, She is also ever winning by
the battle by yielding to His glory from one generation to the
Today, the people
of God are discovering and prophesying a new construct, structure, or
even a sort of 'non'-structure. They are leaving the old
structures to discover the new. My husband and I were called
the Lord as workers in this endeavor, having been duly notified by the
Lord that the very thing as we are seeing now, is in His
Because of that, much of this ministry and website is devoted to
manuevering through these radical upheavals, while still staying on
track with the 'core' truths that are always in God's Word.
See also our Spiritual Authority
section, and "Community"
page, Fellowship page,
and Revival page
"Learn from me, how
difficult a thing it is
to throw off errors confirmed by the example of all the world, and
which, through long habit, have become
a second nature to us."
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