Tag: Boston

Revolution Through Restoration I: From Jerusalem to Rome, From Boston to Moscow

Preface : by Al Baird
“Let it begin here!” cried the American revolutionists in Lexington and Concord over two centuries ago. The British band played The World Turned Upside Down as their troops marched into battle. No one knows who fired the first shot, but it soon became the “Shot heard ’round the  world.” Revolution had come.

What more fitting a theme for July 4th than Revolution? In 1992, Kip McKean wrote “Revolution Through Restoration” for Upside Down magazine. In it he describes the beginning of the church in Lexington, Massachusetts, and how it has truly become today’s “shot heard ’round the world.” This article explains who we are as God’s modern-day movement and where we came from, better than any other single piece of which I am aware. For this reason I frequently give a copy to someone with whom I am studying the Bible or to someone from the media who wants to know more about us.

Introduction: by Kip McKean
Revolution was and is in each step and breath of those who dare follow this man called Jesus. Revolution comes about only when there is at least one person willing to take a stand for God and say “the present system” is wrong and thus will not accomplish the purposes of God. All of God’s purposes center on His glory and meeting the needs of people. Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary.

After the first several centuries of Christianity, men tried to reform from within an apostate movement. When the Christian establishment rejected these men and women, denominations formed that genuinely attempted to be God’s movement. These predecessors, who strove to return to the Bible even to the point of death, are to be commended for their faith. Now in our day, we are confronted with unbelieving seminaries and dying denominations with systems of doctrines that have been compromised and crystallized short of the Word of God. However, His Spirit continues to call all men and women to make the ideals of Scripture become our everyday standard and sole authority.

Therefore, revolution in Christianity–a return to the doctrines and lifestyles of the first century church–can only occur when we abandon the apostatized systems and their poisoned foundations of traditions and hypocrisy. This path is both frightening and exhilarating, for only by studying the Bible and then by trial and error implementation of these rediscovered teachings can a movement be forged like the original that shook the entire world in one generation. Enemies and critics, Pilates and Judases will abound, for with each restoration of Scripture a more clear, narrowing and convicting, path appears.

The restoration of ancient paths evokes the same ancient reactions God’s movements have always received. Therefore, I felt the need to write a more complete explanation primarily for those who are seeking the truth but have heard only our critics, and secondly, to encourage and strengthen God’s people everywhere. My prayer is that this treatise will produce a deep, abiding sense of gratitude to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I write this article not as an apostle inspired by God, for I am not. I am simply a Christian who dreams that God’ s modern day movement will never stop restoring and living out God’s Word.

LA Story – From Here To Eternity

Twenty years ago a few people in Boston began to dream. By today’s standards it was a small dream – a dream to evangelize the four million people living in the Boston area with its 200,000 university students. But God had much bigger things in mind, planned before time began.

Just this week in Boston, a scene was played out that gives us just a glimmer of the countless lives that have been influenced for eternity by that small beginning. Theresa Slade is dying of cancer at age 59. She is a wife and a mother. In the world’s eyes, this is a tragedy. It is sad, but not tragic, because Theresa became a disciple of Jesus Christ 15 years ago when she was born again in the waters of baptism and became a part of the Boston Church of Christ. Through those 15 years she had an impact on many lives with her example and her teaching. Her spiritual family, physical family and friends decided to do something unique.

LA Story – Braveheart

Freedom fighters capture our attention and spark our imagination. Braveheart, the theme for this issue of LA Story, was the title of an Academy-Award-winning movie about a 13th century Scottish rebel warrior who fought to overthrow a tyrant English king. Jesus Christ is the ultimate freedom fighter. He issued his declaration of independence at the beginning of his ministry in Luke 4. Freedom fighters come and go, but Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, has been leading the fight for freedom against Satan for 2,000 years. Through the centuries many have fought
valiantly and died under the spiritual banner of Lord Jesus. We, his modern-day disciples, have also answered his call to battle (Matthew 28:18-20). Because the present chapter of this fight is only a few years old, starting in Boston in June 1979, our honor role of men and women who have died in battle as heroes is still small. Today, I want to add a name to that distinctive list, the name of Bob Ricker. 

Bob Ricker was a bravehearted, freedom fighter from the day I first met him in Boston in the early part of the 1980’s. He was a college student with a single-minded purpose: make disciples. He really believed that the whole world could be evangelized in just one generation. He wanted to do his part and he did. For instance, Bob met a young nurse, Carol Best, and invited her to church. She came and brought her boy friend, John McGuirk. Both Carol and John became disciples, married, and became missionaries in Paris and Brussels. John converted his sister, Sue. Sue married Steve Shoff, and they went into the full-time ministry. At UCLA, Sue met and converted Candice Figueras. Candice now leads the women of the church in Istanbul, Turkey.

Breaking Away

Travelling the broad road (Matthew 7:13-14) is easy. It is Comfortable. Many people are going that way. the narrow road is a different story. It is difficult. It is hard to find, It is not heavily travelled.

The River Wild

Water brings life. Three-fourths of the earth’s surface is water. Ninety-eight percent of our bodies is water. No wonder God uses so many metaphors, parables and direct teachings about water.

The Right Stuff

Our theme for this issue of L.A. Story comes from the movie about the early years of the American space program. It was a tribute to those who risked their lives to “push the outside of the envelope.” The Kingdom needs men and women who are eager to set the pace in whatever they attempt to do. Jesus is our model. The people marveled about him: “He has done everything well,” (Mark 7: 37).


What more fitting a theme for this July 4th issue than revolution? Two years ago Kip McKean wrote Revolution Through Restoration for the Upside Down Magazine.