In our last blog we considered some areas where the attempt to restore the New Testament church was already making strides. The roots of this movement began in the Old World but found fertile ground in the newly founded United States of America. The strength of this movement is found in Scotland, Ireland, and in portions of England. Many influential men like O’Kelley, Jones, Stone, Campbell, and others were catalysts.
From studying the history of these men, and the roots of the movement, several conclusions begin to emerge. (1) They were contending for the all-sufficiency of the Word of God. (2) They were contending that Christian baptism is an immersion in water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (3) They were contending that believers were subjects of baptism. (4) They were contending that baptism was for the remission of past sin. (5) They were contending that in conversion the Holy Spirit operates through the Word and never without the Word of Truth. (6) They were contending that the organization of the church must be in accordance with the pattern found in the New Testament. (7) They were contending for the proper observance of the Lord’s supper.
Many years ago, a farmer was plowing in his field when the plow became lodged on an object in the ground. Thinking that the plow had become entangled with a root, the farmer tried to remove the obstacle only to learn that it was a more difficult undertaking. It was not a root in the ground, but something like a stake that the plow had hit. He tried to remove the object but soon discovered that it went deep into the earth. There seemed to be some large structure buried there. Archaeologists were called in and they began to excavate the site of this structure. To their amazement, there was a building buried beneath the earth. It had been covered over some years before by a natural disaster. Frantically they removed the dirt and rubble that had hidden this building for perhaps hundreds of years. The building had once been some kind of temple or house of worship. An effort was made to remove all of the debris and restore the building to its original condition.
In a similar way, what men like O’Kelley, Jones, Stone, Campbell, and others attempted to do was unearth the New Testament church. They sought to remove all human creeds, human names and religious divisions that had obscured the church for many years and restore it to its original order.
Churches of Christ throughout the world are seeking to follow the pattern laid out in the New Testament. By speaking where the Bible speaks, by being silent where the Bible is silent, we can restore first century Christianity in the twenty first century. If you are seeking a church that ascribes to these same principles, please reach out to us and we will help point you in the right direction.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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