So Alexander Campbell eventually came to realize the problem and accepted a standard hermeneutic approach called necessary inference as legitimate in some cases. It is not unusual to encounter members who basically hold a view that the Holy Spirit and the Bible are inseparably linked. Campbellite:Pejorativelabel applied by opponents to members and churches of the movement accusing them of beingfollowers of Alexander Campbell; almost always rejected by insiders. There are some differences today among the various subgroups of the Restoration Movement regarding baptism. Disciples of Christ Historical Society archives materials related to all churches in the Stone-Campbell heritage and offers research assistance to interested parties.
Stones movement generally practiced open membership; Campbells did not. It is important to understand the origin and beliefs of this movement in order to make \ a redemptive response to those deceived by it. Water baptism, with faith as the principle of action is the means through which God by the power of the blood of Christ imparts remission.19 When pressed on the question of whether or not this requirement of obedience made baptism a work, Campbell answered, We do not place baptism among good works. In Psalm 45:8 worship with stringed instruments have made you glad. And then we see in the new heavens and earth that God enjoys praise and worship with instruments. Your donations support the continuation of this ministry, Containing todays events, devotional, quote and stories, Copyright 2022. By Craig Branch Most people are aware of churches which contain the name Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ, but most people, including many in those churches, are not aware of the early history of these churches and their founders. When Thomas Campbell arrived in America in 1807 he discovered a rancor not unlike that which he fled in Ireland. These are the questions we will address in what follows. Another major division came about with the influence of a liberal theological movement called higher criticism which eventually led to the denial of the inerrancy of the Bible. Even the Scriptural references to the churches negate their claim. The name reflects that these congregations undertake independent mission efforts because they object to the practice of open membership and to perceived liberal theology among Disciplesleaders. A third subgroup believed the others had gotten too soft and wanted to return to the aggressive pattern of evangelism, one-on-one discipleship accountability, and denouncing church autonomy. In 1968 the more progressive wing of the Christian Churches, through a process called Restructure, formed a mainline Protestant denomination: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). 3:5; 3:15), and many places the Scriptures calls the church by the name of the town it is in (Acts 11:22; Rom. Those not wishing to be identified with that denomination are often called Independents and usually refer to themselves as Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. NACC: North American Christian Convention, the largest annual gathering of members of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. One of the Campbells driving passions was to see the various denominations, which he referred to as sectarian, unified by the elimination of what he considered man-made creeds, and a return to the Scripture alone. He wrote in the Christian Baptist of 1826, I have no idea of adding to the catalogue of new sects. The official website of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The American frontier of the early 19th century was brimming with religious fervor.
This might be seen as their first mistake. After many testimonies, published analyses, and conferences exposing the theological and methodological errors, Kip McKean announced his resignation in 2001. I labored to believe it, but could not consciously subscribe to it.3 Stone was ordained anyway in 1798 amidst some controversy. Related to baptism, their view is often referred to as baptismal regeneration., Alexander Campbells view of the meaning and effect of baptism noticeably shifted during the decade of 1820-1830. Among their errors is their belief that all other churches, even evangelicals, are false or apostate churches. He combined the aggressive evangelism and high accountability discipleship with his legalistic framework.
Independent Christian Churches:Same as Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. John 1:1; Phil 2:5-12; Col. 2:9; John 16:5-15; Acts 5:3-4), and it reveals the truth of the triune God, while still retaining a place for the mystery of it (Deut. church(es) of Christ: A little c is used by some congregations to indicate that they do not see themselves as part of a denomination or historical tradition, but simply as a church that belongs to Christ. Not all of them go this far, but most Campbellites do believe that in order to return to original and true Christianity it is necessary to have weekly communion. Some of these doctrinal essentials, which separated even Campbellite churches, included questions over whether or not musical instruments were allowed in worship, whether or not more than one cup could be used in communion, the participation of women in worship, the use of Sunday School, church support of or affiliation with religious institutions like colleges or mission organizations, and the historical formulation on the doctrine of the trinity. Throughout the 1900s this liberal view infected a significant number of Disciples of Christ congregations that eventually separated, some of whom still call themselves Christian Churches, and others who formed the Disciples of Christ denomination in 1968.12. Scott was also raised Presbyterian, but upon arriving in New York from Scotland, he became influenced by George Forrester. That is, individual congregations are seen as the pinnacle of church expression, are independent/autonomous organizations, and advocate the separation of church and state. Born Feb 1 in County Down, northern Ireland. (615) 327-1444 They believe that there is no mention of instruments in the New Testament.
This weekly requirement is not explicit in Scripture, but could be inferred from the early churchs practice of breaking bread together (Acts 2:42), and is associated on several occasions with the Lords Day (Sunday service). Scott was baptized by immersion in 1819, but in 1821 he had also become convinced that baptism must be for the remission of sins. That is, he came to believe that baptism was not merely an ordinance or ritual, but a decision of the penitent to release God to wash away our sinsa formal remission.8. The Campbell wing of the movement was said to begin with his father Thomas Campbell's publication in 1809 in Washington County, Pennsylvania, of The Declaration and Address of the Christian Association of Washington. Go to the Registration Page, 7229 Main Street In 1803 he withdrew from the Presbytery and later accepted baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.4 He led a group of Presbyterians out of their denomination to pursue the ideal of being Christians only. This idea appealed to many in other churches and a movement began. 2:15; 1 Thess. The shift from plural Christian Churches to singular Christian Church reflected this streams embrace of a corporate, denominational identity.
When the Stone and Campbell camps eventually came together, both Christian and Disciples of Christ were retained as designators. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Help us continue this service. But, in any case, we can show the Church of Christ member that his own statement is false. But they came to believe that the resulting denominations were guilty of the same errors. Thomas Campbell was a Presbyterian minister important in the Second Great Awakening of the United States. The amount psychological and spiritual damage done to many of their disciples began to rise and got the attention of many Christian and even secular counter-cult groups. . 2:8-10; Gal. arcapologetics.org); Also see the article by Ron Rhodes, Defending the Deity of Christ and the Trinity against the Jehovahs Witnesses, Areopagus Journal5:4 (July-August 2005): 23-28. 16:16). Before his ordination and call to a church in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, Stone wrote, I stumbled at the doctrine of the Trinity as taught in the Westminster Confession. The minister, Chuck Lucas, began observing the success of aggressive evangelistic groups like Campus Crusade, and the organized discipleship of the Navigators at the University of Florida. 4, (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931), 505. Impressed with his preaching, the next year the association asked Scott to be become their evangelist. A necessary inference is a deduction based on historical-grammatical and scripture-interpreting-scripture approaches, which is a valid method if used properly. 3:19- 5:2).
In North America today, Stone-Campbell churches are found mainly in three groups (or streams):Churches of Christ,Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, and theChristian Church (Disciples of Christ). In fact, they believe that the only time an instrument is mentioned in the New Testament, it is used negatively (1 Cor. Regarding the Person of the Holy Spirit, Stone wrote the following heretical statement: I understand the Spirit of a person is not the person himself. P.O. Another divisive issue, introduced by Barton Stone, was the doctrine of the trinity. 2:16; Rom. His church began to grow significantly. 1:1; 2 Thess. The Greek word psalmos means a striking or twitching with the fingers on musical strings, a sacred song sung to musical accompaniment.15So, we do have a clear New Testament mandate to use musical instruments in worship. It is true that denominations may elevate certain non-essential doctrines to a higher status than they should, but again these are non-essentials. A large majority of these members have embraced a false, legalistic gospel and are deceiving many others. No disagreement.
A common name for the members of these churches used by detractors is Campbellites. Criticism from evangelicals regarding most of these churches is certainly justified because they have perpetuated a different gospel (Gal. The various Stone-Campbell-Scott Movement churches (denominations) exist all over the U.S. and in many foreign countries, with members totaling between three and four million. But we are also called into a corporate and historical body, and we are wise to be well-acquainted with the time-tested Councils and Creeds endorsed by the evangelical movement. The name comes from the primary founders of this branch of Christianity. Vine, ed., Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, vol.3 (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell Co., 1966), 229. Restoration Movement: Common designation for the movement, reflecting the ideal of restoring beliefs and practices of the New Testament church perceived to have been lost, neglected, or corrupted. Join the Historical Society Donate to the Historical Society, Register for an Event. Fortunately there have been some positive developments in recent years including the recent conversion of some Churches of Christ into the evangelical mainstream such as Max Lucados Oak Hills Church (formerly Oak Hills Church of Christ) in Texas. Where is it today and how can we redemptively engage them? In Rev. One of Lucass leaders was Kip McKean who went into ministry full time. Even the churches in the Restoration Movement admitted the ICOC was cultic. These titles are essential in their eyes as, keeping with their restorationist aims, they believe this is the name the original churches called themselves (Rom. The Declaration and Address consists of the purposes, objectives and rationale for the Christian Association. So I was curious as to why the third verse. He and a few dozen like-minded individuals established the Christian Association of Washington, Pennsylvania to foster evangelical Christianity. Their founders were Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, and Walter Scott. He was soon joined by his son, Alexander, who quickly became a fruitful itinerant preacher in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.5, Both Campbells had been influenced significantly by the rational inductive epistemological methodology of Francis Bacon and John Locke. Disciples of Christ, disciples Movement: Widely used designation for the whole movement in the early twentieth century. 18 For a thorough biblical exposition of the \ revelation of the Trinity, contact our office and request our information packet on the trinity (www. A Cappella Churches of Christ:Or Churches of Christ. This stream of the Stone-Campbell Movement rejects instrumental music in worship, arguing thatScripture does not authorize it. In 1993 the Boston Church of Christ broke association with the mainline Church of Christ, and changed its name to the International Church of Christ (ICOC).
In 1809 Thomas Campbell wrote a manifesto called Declaration and Address which was a commitment to self-reliance and the Bible alone, and not human opinions.6 Its major presupposition was that the churches have been divided into different parties by speculative doctrines and human traditions not authorized by the New Testament.7. 1:6-9) elsewhere in the this issue.21. As this allegedly scholarly movement took its toll on many mainline Protestant churches, it also affected a group of Restorationist Churches. The Church: Used by insiders before the various divisions to refer to all the churches of the Stone-Campbell Movement. In Kentucky, Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844) was a Presbyterian minister who, along with others, called for a return to simple New Testament Christianity. Some leaders wanted McKeans return and some did not.13In 2006, McKean labeled those who were in line with his ministry the Sold Out Movement, and upon his return to his Los Angeles Church in 2007, he called his movement The International Christian Church.14. Disciples History also tells the Stone-Campbell story through this website and other resources. CH, [Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #106 in 2013], Connecting the life of the mind to the world of revivalism. Lectureships/CONventions: Annual gatheringsoften sponsored by educational institutions. Alexander Campbell was an early leader in the Second Great Awakening of the religious movement that has been referred to as the Restoration Movement, or Stone-Campbell Movement.
One of the divisive issues, then and now, was the meaning, mode, and subjects of baptism. As mentioned earlier, Restoration leader Barton Stone was the first among them to have problems with the doctrine of the Trinity due to his rationalistic approach to interpreting the Bible. So, in 1831 the majority of Stones followers merged with the Campbellites. Most agree that believers baptism is unqualifiedly essential to salvation, but differences occur over whether God accepts the pious unimmersed, or the pious who didnt fully understand why they were being baptized at the time. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):Name adopted in 1968 during the Restructure of the Disciples. The ideological framework of the early years of the American republic provided a greenhouse for the growth of new religious movements. I labor to see sectarianism abolished and all Christians of every name united upon the one foundation upon which the apostolic church was founded.1This is indeed an admirable goal.
The Campbells met with Walter Scott in 1821 and began their relationship. The schisms arose because invariably the practical question arises, Who determines whose interpretations of the New Testament doctrines and practices are correct? The issue always comes back to hermeneutics (applied rules of Bible interpretation). 5 William Baker, ed., Evangelicalism and the Stone-Campbell Movement (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002), 10. After reading the first two verses he concluded that the bread and wine were part of communion representing His body and blood given for us. Stone-Campbell churches fall into the category of Protestant free-church. They were the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Church/ Churches of Christ (Independent), and Churches of Christ (Noninstrumental). Therefore, they cannot be used to worship in Spirit and in truth. Instead, these churches use acapella choirs. Some resisted the name because they felt Campbell should be listed first; others thought it abandoned the Restoration Ideal. Still, it is currently the most widely used designation for a movement that embraces three distinct churches. Box D Campbell, also tired of denominational squabbles and isolation, began to preach for and cooperate with Christians. Stone himself organized revivals beginning in June and extending through July. 14 For a detailed expose of ICOC errors and harmful practices, request ARCs information packet via practices, request ARCs information packet via 0102). Forrester was part of the Scottish independent movement to restore the New Testament Church. The unity movement begun by Stone and the Campbells soon encountered division, Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basis, Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982.