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Restoration Movements - Stone-Campbell Movements

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Introduction:  We are the product of a group of people who tried to restore the church to its 1st century form.  We have looked at many of these types of move-ments in the OT.  None of them lasted for very many years.  Our movement is much older than any of them; however, our movement (in my opinion) has gone the way of those restoration movements.  It has lost its focus and is no longer searching the Scriptures to find and practice God’s will.

I. Stone-Campbell

     A. Early 19th century

          1. The movement sought to restore the church and "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament."

2. Christianity should not be divided; Christ intended the creation of one church.

3.  Creeds divide

4. Key leaders in the early movement were Barton W. Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott

     B. Slogans

          1. Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.

          2. We are Christians only, but not the only Christians.

          3. In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love.

          4. No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine.

          5. Call Bible things by Bible names; do Bible things in Bible ways.

          6. Key passages

              a. 1 Corinthians 1:10

              b. John 17:20-21

              c. 1 Corinthians 4:6

              d. Revelation 22:18-19

              c. Acts 2:38


II. Division occurred about the time of the civil war

     A. Disciples of Christ emphasized unity and compromised Scripture

     B. Christian Churches emphasized Scripture, but not as literally as us

     C. Churches of Christ emphasized following Scripture as literal as possible

III. Failures

     A. We have never been able to agree on what is essential

     B. We do not love those who disagree with us

     C. We emphasized structure and neglected holiness

          1. Other movements did the opposite

          2. Mennonites, Amish, Wesley’s

     D. We believed that we had everything right; we had arrived (pride)

IV. Where do we go from here?

     A. Walk away from where we are and start over?

     B. Stay where we are and try to reform the church?

     C. Restudy every issue and try to follow Scripture, even if it means changing?

Conclusion:  The question we must answer as a group is:  What will we do with the information we have looked at during this series on Restoration Movements?  Will we go back to the Bible and try to practice it?  Or do we want to maintain the status quo?

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