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.