The Kingdom Journey Series shares how Christians with roots in the Restoration Movement came to embrace Kingdom Christianity.
Name: Ted H. | Age: 67 | Location: Culver, Oregon | Rest. Mov. Roots: Disciples of Christ
Read part one of this interview here.
4.) How did you become interested in a more “radical”, Kingdom focused Christianity?
So part of our journey was sudden, but much of it has been gradual: seeking our Lord through reading and studying His Word, having times of prayer, and seeking His will for us – what He would have us do regardless of what we want.
There were times growing up where I would have questions. And, of course, the church has changed much from what it was like when I grew up in it. We have visited a few Christian Churches over the years. I believe the members are very sincere in their faith. It just doesn’t feel like “home” anymore.
5.) What have been some of the difficulties along the way?
There were just a few times people seemed to think we were maybe “putting on airs.” After all, they knew us before! We weren’t perfect. We still aren’t perfect – but we are allowing God to perfect us.
We believe strongly in a few things that are different from the way either of us were raised:
That we should honor the Lords day by not working or cause others to work.
We are to dress – and act – modestly. And as far as we are able to live our lives beyond reproach.
That divorce and remarriage is wrong in God’s sight.
That we are to be non-resistant in life; not taking people to court, not voting, not fighting with others, and to obey authorities in the government and church as long as it does not conflict with Scripture.
That the Christian women’s prayer veiling is for today
Our beliefs here have caused some friction in our families and friendships.
6.) Can you explain how Kingdom-centered Christianity has played out practically in your marriage?
I shared above that I was very much backslidden when I met my wife. We married when I was working as a logger in Forks, WA. I know if I had died in that state of not walking with God I would have had nothing but eternal condemnation.
We met and had a long distance relationship for barely 6 months before we married – I drove from Forks, WA to Lebanon, OR on weekends to see her at her parents’ house. In other words, we hardly knew each other.
If I had not come back to the Lord, and we had not given our marriage over to God, I very much doubt we would be married today. I recommend no one gets married under these circumstances. Kingdom-centered Christianity plays out in every day of our marriage in forgiveness, non-resistance, submission, love, putting the other first, and many other Kingdom attributes necessary for marriages
7. ) What can conservative Anabaptists learn from the Restoration Movement and vice versa?
I believe conservative Anabaptists could learn from the Restoration Movement not to place too much emphasis on outward appearance. I do believe outward appearance, like ritual, helps us to remember who we are–who we worship and whose we are–but our heart condition is essential to our faith!
I also believe conservative Anabaptists could learn to support their pastors more, not necessarily just financially, but by helping in the church more so the entire load doesn’t fall on the pastor’s shoulders.
The Restoration Movement, I believe, could learn of nonresistance from the Anabaptists. Accepting our lot from God, taking our lumps from the world, and trusting Him for our sustenance and safety. And also the idea of using the lot to allow God to choose pastors from the spiritually minded men of the congregation, rather than hiring pastors just based on a seminary degree.
8.) What church do you attend currently?
We attend, worship, and hold our membership at the Mennonite church near our home in central OR – Grace Christian Fellowship in Culver, Oregon. And since my work as an Agricultural Consultant takes me into different parts of Oregon, we occasionally worship at Sheridan Mennonite Church in Sheridan, Oregon, where we used to live before moving back to central Oregon.
9.) What encouragement would you give to a reader in a Restoration Movement church who is going through a “Kingdom awakening” of their own?
Read God’s inspired Word! Meditate on it. Pray, asking Him to help you apply His Word to your life!
10. Finally, what is on your book shelf or what are you reading currently (in Scripture or otherwise)?
It was my turn to teach the adult Sunday School class this quarter, which went through the book of Romans, so that was mostly what I have been reading. I also preached (I am not the pastor, but am asked occasionally to bring a message) through I Thessalonians and just recently concluded that series of messages.