Answers to "Ask Mike" Questions
28. What do you mean by "Restoration Movement"?
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ are part of a world-wide movement with roots traceable to centuries prior to its actual beginning in the nineteenth century.
The Restoration Movement, or the Nineteenth Century Reformation as it is often called, began shortly after the American Revolutionary War. It was a reaction to the division and bickering between denominational sects struggling for supremacy in a nation where the government determined to recognize no group as the official national church. Many denominations also wrestled with factionalism within as a result of disputes in their homelands Ė disputes that made no sense on American soil.
Christians near the borders of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as in New England, Kentucky, Indiana, and in what is now West Virginia and Ohio, rose up to declare themselves "Christians only." They appealed to fussing Christians to come together on the foundation of the authoritative Word of God and just be Christians. These Christians pledged themselves to "preach Christ and Him crucified." They determined to "use Bible names for Bible things" and to take their stand on biblical truth rather than human opinions. Their efforts resulted in one of the fastest growing religious movements on American soil until 1906. Today nearly 5,000,000 believers in three bodies claim the restoration tradition.
Those who identify with the Restoration Movement heritage emphasize the Bible as Godís Word to man, the independence of the local congregation, Jesus as the churchís supreme authority, and call upon Christians to "become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ." We understand that Christians who unite with us are not the only Christians. All those whom God accepts are our brothers and sisters in Christ. All those outside a relationship with Jesus need to hear the simple gospel message and respond humbly and obediently to join "Godís family, the church."
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