Restoration of the Broken

     Every church has a set of values that are central to it's identity. Among Biblically sound churches there is and should be much common ground. However, there are usually a few things that the church values that are distinct to that specific congregation. Restoration Church has four values that make up our core identity. We'll use our blog to expound on these values over the next several weeks. These values are Restoration of the Broken, Corporate Worship, Authentic Community, & Global Involvement.
     Restoration of the Broken. Several things are implied here. First, something is broken....which means it was once unbroken or whole. Let's start there. At the most foundational level mankind is broken. However, we didn't start out this way. In the beginning God created Adam and Eve in His image. He declared that this creation was very good and He was pleased with them. According to Genesis 2:25, "the man and his we were both naked an not ashamed." At the beginning, man and woman existed without shame. This is crazy! We can't even really fathom this kind of shameless existence. We live in a world that exploits our insecurities, profits from our shame and entices our selfishness. Mankind has not always functioned with this brokenness. We see that in the beginning there was a perfect peace. There was peace between mankind and God. There was peace between man and woman. There was peace between mankind and creation as they dwelt in the garden. There is a Hebrew word for this kind of peace.....Shalom....a deep abiding peace. Unfortunately, through an act of pride and rebellion against God this peace was broken. Sin explodes into history and begins to wreak havoc on all of creation. As the effects of sin unfurl, death and destruction reigns. In an instant everything from marriage to manhood is broken as well.

> Shameless turns into Shameful.
> Innocent becomes Guilty.
> Joy is drowned out by Greed & Discontent.
> Communion fades to Separation from God.
>Peace turns into Enmity.
> Righteousness exchanged for Sinfulness.

    However, in spite of the rage of sin and destruction, God had a plan for restoration. At the fullness of time He would send his Son to make things right. Jesus stepped into human history to seek and to save that which was lost. He lived a sinless life, teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. He was the image of the invisible God while at the same time being a friend of sinners. Jesus was the picture of humanity restored to it's intended purpose prior to being marred and abused by sin. Then, to satisfy the wrath of God and provide forgiveness for our sins, Jesus died on a cross. He was betrayed, beaten, stripped, shamed, mocked, scourged and crucified. Jesus, the God man, hung on a cross and bled out to make atonement for the sins of his people. You see, God is both perfectly loving and perfectly just. He hates sin and requires that it is punished. This sin is what separates us from Him. God requires righteousness from us. In Jesus we see a beautiful collision of God's wrath and love. He pours out his wrath on his Son so that He can provide the righteousness He requires from us. Through the work of Jesus on the cross the deep abiding peace that existed at the beginning can be restored. For those that put their faith in Him, we see the reversal of the effects of the fall and the restoration of what has been broken.

> Shame gives way to Forgiveness
> The Guilty are declared innocent
> Greed & Discontent are overwhelmed by Joy
> Those who were Separated are now brought near
> Where there was enmity there is peace
> Sinful people are declared Righteous

    This restoration affects everything. Once a man has been restored at the base level you will almost certainly see the restoration of masculinity....not that he'll be some over the top meathead, but the he'll return to a biblcial masculinity that was intended to be there. You begin to see his role as husband and father restored to line up with the restoration of his soul. This will in turn affect the community he lives in and the place he works. If you have ten or twenty or a hundred men and women like this in a community it will begin to affect the culture. Through the restoration that is found in the cross of Christ people, families, communities and cultures are being restored.
     Restoration Church will be a community of people that is built around this biblical narrrative....the story of the restoration of the broken. This will be a group of people that leverage their resources (time, money, energy) to see this sort of restoration take place around them. There is no greater cause than the restoration of the broken. Jesus gave his life for it. God gave his Son for it. We leverage all that we have to this end. We tell the story and sing the songs of this restoration as broken people that have been and are being restored.