As a restorationist, there is this goal to restore the 1st century church to the 21st century world. I believe in a pattern that is given in the inspired text to follow in order to be the church for this present culture. You can call me a patternist, a primitivist, or a legalist, just not lifelist. But this pursuit is a difficult goal to accomplish. The church has always desired to follow the pattern of the New Testament text, but we have picked some to follow and some to overlook because of culture. As children of this movement, if one has not wondered why we do not give the “holy kiss” which is mentioned numerous times in the text, but boys cannot wear hats in church because of one reference in 1 Corinthians, but the entire purpose of that section is for women wearing veils, which we do not follow because of the classic culture argument, but those boys better not wear the hats, if you have never dealt with the inconsistency of some of these patterns, you probably have not studied them much. There are some who always have an answer for all of these cases, good, glad you are so smart. The point is that this can be hard work. And this causes people to be so focused on the 1st century that one never considers the culture of the 21st century. One is so intent on restoration that he never wonders how this will be experienced in the 21st century. The influence of culture never influences these people. But sometimes culture should influence, and has lead the way for the church. It was culture that seemed to be more accepting of racial unity before the church was. Wicked nations in the past of been used by God to judge his people. The world can judge the church! Even a fish disciplined Jonah because he was not faithful to the business of the Lord. When a church so isolates itself, it loses the mission of God to reach the lost. And if the church is so worried about getting the bubble right, and never looks out to see what is happening around it, it loses its sense of mission in this world. The purpose of restoration is not one in and of itself, but one of being faithful to accomplish the work of the Lord. On the other hand, there are those who are constantly crying out “look at culture, we need to change.” To what, we need to change to reach the culture, ok, how? If there is no biblical foundation to lead this change, you will become just like the wicked nation that enslaves you. If there is no pattern to be guided by in this process, the natural outcome is total adaptation to the culture. The distinctive of the churches of Christ were given to shape people into the image of Christ. They were not given for doctrinal islands, but to create people into faithful followers of Christ Jesus. Baptism, weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, singing without the instrument, these are commands to be obeyed because these are best for man. They help man be rooted in transformational worship, not culturally relevant baby food. There is always this need to think about what is working, what is not, so that we accomplish the work of the Lord. Sometimes this is hard, but the work must be done. Those who fight everything that is new have missed the mark, those who chase all that which is new have missed the mark as well. The Restoration plea is valid, and guides us on this journey, we are the 1st century church in the 21st century world. There is tension always with specifics, expedients, additions, but instead of throwing this conservation out, we must always be having it.