Rerun: Backgrounds of the Restoration Movement: The Social Gospel, Public Education, and the Fourth Great Awakening

[I was checking to see which of my old posts had drawn the most hits, and this one was among the highest. I had no idea. In fact, I’m not sure I remember writing it, and it’s way longer than most of my material. And it goes into areas that most theology doesn’t.]

passioncartoonSocial Gospel

As stated in the Wikipedia,

In the late 19th century, many Americans were disgusted by the poverty level and the low quality of living in the slums. The social gospel movement provided a religious rationale for action to address those concerns. Activists in the Social Gospel movement hoped that by public health measures as well as enforced schooling so the poor could develop talents and skills, the quality of their moral lives would begin to improve. Important concerns of the Social Gospel movement were labor reforms, such as abolishing child labor and regulating the hours of work by mothers. By 1920 they were crusading against the 12-hour day for men at U.S. Steel. Many reformers inspired by the movement opened settlement houses, most notably Hull House in Chicago operated by Jane Addams. They helped the poor and immigrants improve their lives. Settlement houses offered services such as daycare, education, and health care to needy people in slum neighborhoods. The YMCA was created originally to help rural youth adjust to the city without losing their religion, but by the 1890s became a powerful instrument of the Social Gospel. Nearly all the denominations (including Catholics) engaged in foreign missions, which often had a social gospel component in terms especially of medical uplift. The Black denominations, especially the African Methodist Episcopal church (AME) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church (AMEZ) had active programs in support of the Social Gospel. Both evangelical (“pietistic”) and liturgical (“high church”) elements supported the Social Gospel, although only the pietists were active in promoting Prohibition.

In the United States prior to World War I, the Social Gospel was the religious wing of the progressive movement which had the aim of combating injustice, suffering and poverty in society. During the New Deal of the 1930s Social Gospel themes could be seen in the work of Harry Hopkins, Will Alexander and Mary McLeod Bethune, who added a new concern with African Americans. After 1940, the movement withered … .

At the same time, men such as Horatio Alger and Russell H. Conwell preached the gospel of wealth: Christian values and hard work will lead to wealth, which the Christian holds in trust to serve others. Andrew Carnegie, who became one of the richest men in the world through making steel, taught and practiced this, giving his fortune away to many good causes. He wrote,“The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”

The Social Gospel largely died out during the Great Depression because it succeeded so thoroughly that the federal and state governments took over its agenda. Laws were passed banning child labor, women’s suffrage was granted, Prohibition was passed, mandatory, free public education became a right, and the Fair Labor Standard Act set a minimum wage and required overtime pay after a 40-hour work week.

The elements not taken over by the government, such as foreign missions, continued on.

Public education

In the 19th Century, almost all schools were private schools, and education was far from universal. The churches had been providing schooling, but massive immigration and population shifts overwhelmed church resources, causing them to look to the government to take on the massive task of educating all children. The Social Gospel advocates argued that free, compulsory, public education would make better citizens and eliminate poverty and so eliminate crime. By the turn of the century, most states had been persuaded to provide mandatory, free elementary school.

During the 20th Century, public education was expanded to age 16. According to one source,

From 1900 to 1996 the percentage of teenagers who graduated from high school increased from about 6 percent to about 85 percent.

Now, the goals of the Social Gospel movement to provide a free education for all children was laudable, but the Christians did not get what they’d bargained for.Some states actually tried to ban private schools, forcing all children into public schools, leading to the 1925 Supreme Court ruling in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, holding that states could not prevent children from attending private schools at their own expense. Just so, in the 1960’s, the Supreme Court banned compulsory prayer in public schools, leading to the complete secularization of public schools.

The original goal of education — going all the way back to Sunday schools in England — was to teach literacy and the Bible. But once education was taken over by the government, schools were designed to teach literacy and good citizenship — and most certainly not the Bible. The Christian community has been resisting this change ever since, but it’s quite unrealistic to expect the state to pay for religious instruction.

Rather, we now have a system that allows religious instruction in church and at home but not in public schools. However, parents generally don’t provide religious instruction at home, and church-based instruction is often very poor. You see, by the time our children are mature enough to really understand the scriptures — in high school — our youth programs often find it easier to entertain the kids or teach at a 4th grade level. The problem is far more in the homes than in the churches. We’ve not taught parents how to be Christian parents for children who attend public schools.

Today

There are two conflicting approaches to the Social Gospel in modern American evangelical Christianity. First, there are those who see Christianity as purely a private concern. We go to church on Sundays, we have the correct doctrine, we study Bible at home and at church, and Christianity is between us and God. If there are problems in society, the cure is evangelism, and we should seek to evangelize our neighbors. Therefore, if workers are being abused, we just need to persuade the bosses to become Christians.

This view severely compartmentalizes our Christianity — so that Christianity doesn’t apply in the public sphere. When we vote, we vote out of self-interest, not love for our enemies and our neighbors.

The other approach is that if we truly love our neighbors, such as abused workers, we should use the power of government to compel fair treatment of workers. If workers are being underpaid or forced to work in dangerous conditions, the solution is a minimum wage law or OSHA.

However, for most of the 20th Century, those taking this view also compartmentalized their Christianity. The goal was to alleviate poverty and crime, but not to change hearts and bring people to Jesus. The concern was for the needy was real enough, but it was expressed in entirely secular terms. Indeed, Christians of this persuasion could work perfectly well with atheists and other non-Christians to achieve their goals.

And we see this split in American Christianity quite plainly. White, evangelical churches fit in the first camp. They tend to vote Republican, they favor free markets, and they oppose government intervention. However, they are serious about evangelism and believe that Christianity requires a true rebirth. They distrust big government and public schools because they don’t see much Christian about either.

Mainline churches, such as the United Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) (not the independent Christian Churches), fall in the second camp. They tend to vote Democrat, they favor government solutions, and they are very weak regarding evangelism and missions. Indeed, these churches can be quite accepting of theological liberalism (even the denial of the incarnation), because the agenda is much more about humanistic solutions rather than being reborn.

You see, the Social Gospel began as an entirely appropriate Christian response to serious problems, but as it got in bed with government, government became the savior. Thus, these churches correctly understand the importance of loving their neighbors, but they tend to see the goal as eliminating financial poverty to the exclusion of spiritual poverty.

On the other hand, the evangelical community tends to deeply see the importance of alleviating spiritual poverty but often has very little concern regarding financial poverty. Indeed, there is often very little difference between the Democratic Party and the mainline denominations, but then there is often very little difference between the Republican Party and evangelical and many fundamentalist denominations. I mean, go to any predominantly white Church of Christ, and you’ll find a building full of Republicans, with any Democrats present keeping quiet about their political views.

This division in American thought traces back at least to the Third Great Awakening, following the Civil War. On the one hand, there were great revivalists converting people by the thousands by promising a personal relationship with Jesus. On the other hand, there were established churches working hard to relieve genuinely tragic social conditions. And both movements had great success — but they were separate movements.

The Social Gospel movement dramatically improved the qualify of life of many people, but it failed to win souls — indeed, by preferring humanistic, governmental solutions, it had the ironic effect of teaching that man and man’s government is the solution to man’s problems.

The revivalistic, Fundamentalist movement helped many denominations escaped the faithlessness coming from liberalism, but often denied that the church has any role in society, focusing almost exclusively on the individual’s relationship with Jesus. And, ironically, this over-focusing on individuality allowed the churches to develop a certain selfishness. In the 1950s, some Churches of Christ actually taught that it’s sin to help non-Christians, even the unbaptized children of Christians!

Social Darwinism

Following the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, Darwinism became the intellectual rage of the age, and many scholars adapting Darwin’s thought to other fields. In particular, Social Darwinism was taught by many, in two different forms.

In economics, it was argued that the freer the markets, the better the markets. Survival of the fittest justified laissez faire governmental policies, which did indeed lead to increased prosperity. However, it also led to abuses, such as child labor, 12-hour work days, and extraordinarily dangerous working conditions.

In sociology, it led to eugenics. As described in the Wikipedia,

The modern field and term were first formulated by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, drawing on the recent work of his half-cousin Charles Darwin. From its inception eugenics was supported by prominent people, including Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, H. G. Wells, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Winston Churchill, Linus Pauling and Sidney Webb. Its most infamous proponent and practitioner was however Adolf Hitler who praised and incorporated eugenic ideas in Mein Kampf, and emulated Eugenic legislation for the sterilization of “defectives” that had been pioneered in the United States.

[Christian writer] G. K. Chesterton was an early critic of the philosophy of eugenics, expressing this opinion in his book, Eugenics and Other Evils. Eugenics became an academic discipline at many colleges and universities, and received funding from many sources. Three International Eugenics Conferences presented a global venue for eugenicists with meetings in 1912 in London, and in 1921 and 1932 in New York. Eugenic policies were first implemented in the early 1900s in the United States. … The scientific reputation of eugenics started to decline in the 1930s, a time when Ernst Rüdin used eugenics as a justification for the racial policies of Nazi Germany, and when proponents of eugenics among scientists and thinkers prompted a backlash in the public.

Now, the modern Republican Party is heir to economic Social Darwinism, as evidenced by the attitudes of the Bush II administration toward anti-trust enforcement, environmental regulation, and the financial industry. It was the Bush II administration that reduced the capital requirements for finance firms such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, which is part of what caused their bankruptcies and helped trigger the current recession. (I’m very much in favor of free markets, but no so free that our key financial institutions can so over-borrow that they destroy the economy.)

But the modern Democratic Party is heir to the eugenics movement, in its support of abortion on demand, and the efforts of many within that party to use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Of course, some favor abortion not because of eugenics but rather to have the freedom to avoid the consequences of irresponsible sex — hardly a Christian perspective either.

The Fourth Great Awakening

Some argue that we are in the midst of a Fourth Great Awakening. That may be true. It’s certainly not true that there have been huge increases in the number of American Christians in the last few decades. Most denominations are in numerical decline, and have been since the late 1960s. Some, such as Southern Baptists, grew rapidly for a while but are now in decline. However, there is a dramatic rethinking of what it means to be a Christian and the church of Christ. And it’s a much-needed rethinking.

The key is to get away from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin and return to Jesus of Nazareth. That means we find our values and solutions in Holy Writ rather than the platform of either political party. And that means the church doesn’t form coalitions with evil, such as the pro-choice lobby or the grossly-irresponsible deregulation lobby. We have no business being a special interest group within either party.

You see, both parties are coalitions, and both parties include groups that are very anti-Christian in their worldviews. These groups carry enough political clout to push their parties in very unhealthy directions. Hence, we have the choice of being unconcerned with the environment (Republicans as a party) or pushing for some genuinely extreme positions (Democrats as a party). Where’s the middle ground? Well, we don’t even go looking for a middle ground because we’ve allowed our values to be defined by the Karl Roves and James Carvilles rather than Jesus Christ. We just assume that we must pick one or the other. But we don’t have to pick either one.

As American Christians look to find a truer, less secular, less compartmentalized, less compromised way of being God’s people, we have to realize that both parties are smart and want to push the church to become a part of their coalitions. The first step, therefore, is to leave both parties and therefore to leave behind the desire for secular power, being content with God’s power.

“My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9)

And this means we’ll sometimes agree with one party or the other, and often disagree with both. We can be passionate about the environment without worshipping the environment. We can be passionate about raising the poor out of poverty while insisting that we must also let Jesus lift them out of spiritual poverty. We can be passionate about free education while insisting that children who don’t know Jesus aren’t really educated. We can be passionate about free enterprise while insisting the enterprise should not be free to oppress the weak.

We can look for solutions entirely outside the government or in coordination with the government, so long as we never ever see the government as the solution. Jesus is the answer, and there is no other.

The Fourth Great Awakening, if there is to be one, will come from combining the best of both elements of the Third Great Awakening — a revivalistic fervor for Jesus combined with a desire to help both spiritual and material needs, and seeing the government as a necessary element of the solution, but not the solution. We must never again allow Christ’s church to be a puppet of the politicians or compromise God’s principles in order to have secular power. Rather, we must combine the best of both elements of the Third Great Awakening, see Christianity as about individual salvation into a corporate church given a mission to the world that meets both spiritual and physical needs — serving both the poor (Luke 6:20) and the poor in spirit (Matt 5:3).

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Rerun: Backgrounds of the Restoration Movement: The Social Gospel, Public Education, and the Fourth Great Awakening

  1. Gary says:

    A good example of the middle ground you are advocating is the significant Evangelical supportfor comprehensive immigration reform. Regarding abortion it is only fair to point out thatthe opposition of many prominent conservatives today to allowing abortion even in cases of rape and incest allows for no middle ground and has the effect of strengthening those who favor abortion on demand. The more extreme the public perceives conservative demands to be the less conservative will be the outcome. Conservatism today seems to value purity of ideology more than conservative results.

  2. laymond says:

    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    There is no better example of this verse than the cartoon featured in your post.

  3. Oh, so then it’s a good thing…

    I did not get that.

  4. Unfortunately, the smell of money is all over this issue. We cared for the poor ourselves but were happy to let the government start paying for it, so when they started writing checks, we got out of the business. Later, we started resenting even the government using our money for such people. The government’s intrinsic ineffectiveness makes social programs an easy target. Problem is, we have not offered to displace government’s service to the poor in order that it might be done more effectively. That would require us to voluntarily write checks–big checks. Not gonna happen. We will do this to build new buildings and hire better lecturers, but to feed and clothe and house the needy… not so much. (Ever heard of a stewardship program to pay for feeding hungry people? Me neither.)

    One of the saddest consequences of this situation is that the very things which oppress the poor (immorality, drugs, alcohol, fatherlessness) are no longer considered problems from which Jesus would deliver people, but are actually justifications for us NOT helping these people. Our mantra has become, “If they will get their act together, we might help them.” Of course, if they could “get their act together”, they would not need our help. This neat convergence allows us to both feel superior to our moral lessers AND keep our money for ourselves.

    I fear Jesus would be highly motivated to drive a lot of US out of the temple, if that biblical scene were replayed today.

  5. mark says:

    There are big articles out online that say Jesus would not approve of the modern church or what it has become. Ghandi went so far as to say that he liked Jesus, he just did not like his followers.

  6. mark says:

    Also, when churches got in bed with the political parties, trouble was bound to occur. It is very hard to get or retain young Christian liberals in a church which is hard line conservative if that conservatism works it’s way into every sermon. Additionally being a good conservative should not mean that one is an excellent evangelical Christian.

  7. Monty says:

    I don’t believe that we are to bail people out of their problems whether they were created by sinful behavior or due to ignorance or the break-down of the family (that’s hard to do, even among fellow members- financially speaking).We are to show people the love of Christ. To that end, every church I’ve ever been a part of has tried to reach out with a helping hand to the poor, the hurting and the helpless. Can we toss endless streams of money their way? Of course not. The churches I’ve been a part of would never turn someone down asking for gas to get back home (wherever home is) or turn someone down who came asking for food, or turn someone away who needed lodging for the night, or clothes to help clothe some truly needy family. (I did offer to buy a young man some clothes at the local thrift store after he got out of jail, and he supposedly had none. But he turned down my offer when he found out I wouldn’t take him to the local dept. store and buy them. Throwing a lot of money at a problem doesn’t fix the underlying problem.

    Jesus didn’t feed thousands every day. He certainly could have, but chose not to. He even said, you’re just here for the food. Most didn’t want anything to do with his kingdom. There is no record of mass feedings by the Apostles. That wasn’t the solution to people and their sin problem. But Christians did continue to help the needy(especially needy brothers) on a small scale, as needs were presented to individuals and to the local churches.

    Our church has maintained a food pantry for the hungry of the community(albeit on a small scale) for many years, eleven of which I have been a part. I’ve had many people come and describe their food shortage and their desperateness in that area but I haven’t had any who came and expressed their desperateness for their morale condition to be changed. Not one precious soul has ever asked to be taught of the scriptures or even managed to make a service, even though invited. But we still give away food. 🙂

  8. laymond says:

    Monty, you are the epitome of todays Christian. I see your grace extends far above what is commanded in scripture. Jesus said give them your own clothes, treat then as you would be treated, love then as yourself. I see you may have changed that a little, you buy them cloth, you would nor ware, and demand they come and listen to one of your sermons. sounds like everything you do is on a small scale Sounds like the food you give might make their stomach sour.

    That is the reason some “Christians ” give, for not supporting welfare . Heck they are eating better than I am. Now if that ain’t Christian, I don’t know what is.

  9. Johnny says:

    My job is in government, I have studied the numbers, looked at the projections and the demographics. It is dismal. I often tell my christian friends that we have said that it is the churches role to care for the poor, that we could do a better job than the government. I believe that can be true, I also believe we are no where near prepared for what is coming. We have spent the 7 years of plenty feasting and laid nothing aside, and the lean years are on the horizon. I pray that the church will be up to the challenge.

  10. One example that shows how churches today are making a difference is in Ukraine. I blogged about that at http://www.committedtotruth.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/link-to-article-posted-by-Edward-fudge/.

    Another example is in how we at Eastern European Mission have repeatedly been invited to supply bibles to public schools in Russia and Ukraine for the express purpose of raising up a generation with a biblical worldview and Christian ethics. While much remains to be done, to date 7,250 schools in Russia (1,511,000 students) and 4,834 schools in Ukraine (1,279,00 students) are able to have regular studies in the scriptures from the time they enter school until they graduate from high school. Will the instruction be perfect? No, it won’t because the teachers there are, as the teachers in our churches here are, imperfect both in knowledge and practice.

    Yet, as putting the bible into the hands of the common people led to the Protestant Reformation, putting the naked bible into the hands of searching people will (and already is) lead to more and more people learning and obeying its truths!

    Without bowing to Caesar, the church is working with civil government to elevate the spiritual health of people.

    Go to EEM.org to learn more.

  11. Monty says:

    Laymond

    Thanks for your condescending words. “Jesus said give them your own clothes”. Which clothes are you referring to sir? The clothes off of my back, which I assure you wouldn’t have fit this man, or do you mean clothes from a dept. store? My family loves to shop at thrift(2nd hand) stores. We love being frugal. I assure you the man could have found name brand clothes he wouldn’t have been embarrassed to wear(albeit, second hand). As far as the food goes, it is the same food I buy when I go to the grocery store. As far as “demanding them come and listen to sermons” nothing could be father from the truth, I certainly didn’t imply that, you made it up. The food is given no strings attached, we don’t even have them fill out paper work with phone # and address so they won’t have to feel like we’re going to “pay them a visit”, but they are invited to come to worship(if that’s wrong, then I apologize).

    And I do find it remarkable that no one ever comes or ever seeks more than just the food when they have so many troubles in their life. And, I also didn’t say that I didn’t support welfare. But I have seen folks in the check out line with buggies filled to the brim with choice meats (that I only buy on rare occasions.) that were paid for with food stamps. There are major abuses of the system, I don’t think you would deny that, but we’ll leave that for another day. Just wanted to say thank again for removing the speck out of my eye. 🙂

  12. laymond says:

    You are welcome, be glad to help anytime.

  13. Monty, some folks like the way they don’t help the poor better than the way others do help the poor.

  14. Kirk smith says:

    i have read all the reply’s however brothers in Christ you fail to realize that the church is not responsible for the non saints ( we a individuals are however) the church is only responsible for the saints on an limited justified situation as defined in scripture.

  15. What? I thought the individuals WERE the church? If the church is not us, who is it? And who are we?

  16. Kirk smith says:

    the individuals make up the body of Christ (1 cor 12:27) but the body of Christ does not make up the individuals. the word church is translated from the Greek word ekklesia which literally means “assembly or congregation”. when brethren come together they form the assembly, the church. when we are separate we are members of the body of Christ ( the universal church acts 2:47), but we as individuals do make the local church when the local church is not assembled. Bible gives us two clear areas of scripture to draw a firm conclusion that the individual and the assembly are not the same. one in Matthew 18:15-17 notice where there were one or two or even three brethren it was not the church. it was the church when the issue was brought before the assembly. the second example would be in relation to the church helping widows (1 timothy 5:16) again we see the individual action of a christian helping a widow, and the distinction made between the individual action and the collective action of the church. clearly the church and the individual have works that are similar and also works that are entirely separate and apart from each other.

  17. Larry Cheek says:

    Kirk,
    This statement in the text above appears to be advocating the opposite of the balance of your message,”but we as individuals do make the local church when the local church is not assembled”
    Were you intending to say, but we as individuals do (not) make the local church when the local church is not assembled, That would seem to be consistent with your message.

  18. Larry Cheek says:

    Kirk,
    If you attempt to limit the definition of , the Greek word ekklesia which literally means “assembly or congregation”. There will be many places in the scriptures where you will find a distortion from the context of the message. Let us know if you don’t locate some, we’ll gladly post a few.

  19. kirk smith says:

    my statement was made in the context of the work of the local church versus the work of the individual.
    I ask u a question so as to see if u and I are in agreement : do u believe that the local church should support human institutions?

  20. Kirk, the “local congregation” IS a human institution. Review the paperwork for your own congregation. The organization was established by humans (their names are on the forms), led by humans (their names are in the church bulletin), with organizational by-laws and decisions promulgated by humans. For the record, I don’t think this is wrong, in and of itself. Perhaps those who deny this obvious reality think it’s wrong to be part of a human organization. That has to be an uncomfortable position to defend, from their spot within such an organization.

    Most congregations are chock-full of members of the Body of Christ. But it is a grievous error to conflate the congregation and the church of Jesus Christ.

    Kirk suggests that charity is a good thing which individuals may do, but if an entire congregation does it, it’s sin. He seems to have created rules for the use of an established congregational treasury, while the scripture never mentions any such fiscal entity. In fact, the only rationale ever proposed in scripture for making up a congregational “kitty” is to provide a group offering for assisting the poor. Kirk wants us NOT to do with our pooled funds the only thing such funds were ever used for in the early church.

  21. laymond says:

    Charles exclaimed ! ” What? I thought the individuals WERE the church? If the church is not us, who is it? And who are we?”
    Charles an individual is a single person which is not a complete church. did you never read Paul who explains that a church is made up of individuals of different skills/gifts . Now we can have an individual church that is made up of many individual members but as far as I can discern there is no church with just one member, even Jesus said there had to be as many as two or three before he would be there.

  22. kirk smith says:

    i think I may have confused you what I meant do believe it is ok to use the church treasury to support a human institution ( red cross salvation army orphans homes Christian schools etc.

  23. So, Kirk, you meant “to support any other human institutions”? Frankly, I think any congregation is free to spend its money in any way it likes: for pizza or prophets or property or pew cushions or paving the parking lot. Maybe even for the poor. As the idea of an autonomous local congregation is foreign to NT scripture, I can’t find any rules to apply to its bank account– beyond perhaps “love your neighbor as yourself”.

    That seems like guideline enough.

  24. Larry Cheek says:

    Laymond,
    It appears that you are identifying church with an assembly of men, as you speak of one individual not being a complete church. Christians in many locations were addressed as the church even while they were not assembled. The point is when God adds an individual to the church and he is not necessarily assembled with a local assembly or congregation he is nevertheless a part or representative of the church. To attempt to identify an individual as not the church, would demand that the church not exist when it was not assembled. It would go in and out of existence according to whether members were assembled or not. The individuals are the complete church even when they are not assembled.
    Are you really saying that Jesus will never be with you if you are not assembled with at least one other Christian? Is that what Jesus was implying?
    (Mat 28:20 KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
    The church was the whole church prior to coming together in the following, in other words it was the whole church prior to assembling. Assembling did not complete those assembled to become the church. If it did then the church could not have existed prior to the assembly.
    (1 Cor 14:23 KJV) If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

    The skills/gifts that you refer to were in the individuals (in the church) while they were not assembled also. The church was not made up of individuals having skills/gifts, but individuals in the church had skills/gifts.

  25. Kirk smith says:

    just what is the restoration movement and what are you trying to restore

  26. Carl Pfountz says:

    Republican vs Democrat. As you say, neither are really Christian and at times become anti-Christian. That is why I am libertarian, with a small “l”. It is compatible with being a Christ-follower.

Leave a Reply