The restoration plea implies that man left God’s pattern. By becoming too well-known a product can lose its distinctiveness. The Trademark Association calls this problem “genericide.” Marlin Connelly gives some examples:
All facial tissue is called “Kleenex,”
Any gelatin dessert is “Jell-O,”
Any clear, sticky tape is “Scotch Tape,”
Any carbonated drink is a “Coke” (at least in the South),
Any adhesive bandage is a “Band-Aid.”
This has happened to the words Christian and Christianity. Once brand names for a definite product, they are now used for any kind of vague religiosity connected loosely with the historical Christ. The rigid New Testament ethical code is now fluid and accommodating. Doctrines that in Bible times were black and white are now gray and faded. Practices that were then commanded are now optional. For instance, the creed book of the largest Protestant denomination states: It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism,” and no differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the church, and at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that sense, “baptism was the door into the church.” Now, it is different.
Why is it different today? God has not changed His mind. Men have usurped authority not belonging to them and changed God’s church into something different from what He intended. Surely God wants us to return to His original vision for the church.
The restoration plea implies that God wants His people to restore His original pattern today. In the long ago, God’s prophet urged, as we do today, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). Let’s go out among our neighbors with an open Bible and call them back to these old paths.