Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Evolving Church and the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times

A friend of mine once said the following:

The way I approach these difficult topics is to look at the church as a evolving system and allow it the right to refine its teachings over time.

I really like this.

I believe strongly that the term "Dispensation of the Fullness of Times" refers to the condition at the end of the dispensation, not the beginning. There are way too many scriptural passages and prophetic statements teaching that principle for me to believe otherwise - and it also is the only construct that makes sense for me personally. I also believe that the term "Restoration" refers to a process, not an event. Finally, I believe one of the central purposes of both is removing the natural elements of apostasy from the Church that exist through the simple fact that it is made up of people who bring and pass on their own "incorrect traditions" within the organization.

The early history of the Church was incredibly messy on many levels, not least of which was the need to sort through all of the assumptions early leaders (including Joseph himself) would make about the impressions and visions and revelations they were receiving in such a rapid-fire way. It's like they were riding a tidal wave of spiritualism and trying to figure out where it was taking them - trying to establish a firm foundation from everything that was swirling around them.

Personally, I don't fault those that couldn't take it and left - just as I don't fault those now who yearn for rock-solid, never-changing stability and leave for the exact same reason. I don't agree with them, and I wish they could "endure to the end" - but I don't condemn or fault them.

On-going revelation means on-going change - and that change often is radical and unsettling.

1 comment:

Recession Cone said...

Thanks for this, I thought it was very insightful and useful.