Great Principles of the Restoration Movement
• “In matters of Faith—Unity.”
• “In matters of Opinion—Liberty.”
• “In all things—Love.”
Great Mottoes of the Restoration Movement
• “Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.”
• “Call Bible things by Bible names, and do Bible things in Bible ways.”
• “Have a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ for all that we do in matters of religion.”
The church that Jesus died to establish, and which was established according to the New Testament (Matthew 16:18, Acts 2; Colossians 1:18) was not, and is not, a denomination. The churches of Christ (Romans 16:16) departed from the way of the Lord and apostatized sometime after the First Century (1 Timothy 4:1-4). For centuries thereafter the church in its First Century form was unknown to many. It was hidden by religious oppression, darkness, error, ignorance, and superstition. Approximately two centuries ago certain men began to call for a restoration of the church by returning to and following the New Testament without addition, subtraction, or substitution.
Many men sacrificed much to help restore the Lord’s church to the New Testament pattern (Hebrews 8:5). They sought for, and called upon, men to follow the way of Christ as set forth in New Testament simplicity. They called upon men in matters of religion to do only that for which there was New Testament authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 22:18-19).
The church was restored after many years of great sacrifice. We are grateful to those pioneer preachers who paved the way and pleaded for the return to the “ancient order.” The history of the Restoration Movement is exciting to read about and study. We must make four points very clear, however:
- The restored New Testament church (the church of Christ) is still NOT a denomination.
- The church of Christ was not “born” out of the “Restoration Movement.” It did not originate in the “Restoration Movement.” The church is simply the Lord’s church restored – nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing that I believe or practice that originated during the “Restoration Movement.”
- The men who called for the restoration of the Lord’s church did not intend to start any denomination, and did not start one. That was not their purpose. The church of the Lord was not established by any mere man. Men such as Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone did not establish the church of Christ. Therefore, in studying about these good men whom we admire and appreciate, we must remember that we cannot exalt men to any position above that of mere men (Acts 10:25-26).
- The “Restoration Movement” is not my “God,” nor is it my Savior. It is not that to which I look for authority. It is not the beginning and end of all things spiritual. It is not the Source. God, and His Only Begotten Son, through His word as given to the Holy Spirit, who gave it to holy men of God (Holy Spirit-inspired men in the First Century, 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) is the Source. Some of the great principles and mottoes of the “Restoration Movement” were derived from principles set forth in the New Testament. Some mottoes are not according to good hermeneutics (Bible interpretation), such as, “We shall do nothing the Bible condemns.”
When the “seed” of the kingdom (the word of God, Luke 8:11; Matthew 13:19) is sown in good and honest hearts, the only thing that is produced is Christians (disciples). Those Christians compose the church that Jesus died to establish–nothing more, nothing less. It never produces a denomination.
Restoration Movement Links
*Please note this Disclaimer. The restoration links provided here are for one’s personal study and research. There are some links on some of the sites, however, that will give good information about some aspects of the “Restoration Movement,” but some links on some sites may also promote error, and thus, do not point one unto Christ. Some men who have sought to have a “say” in the restoration era are without doubt, false teachers. One or more men have sought to be men of “leading thought” in many spiritual matters. This was particularly true in the 20th Century. Such worldly ambition is sin and may cause one to err in his thinking on many things. One must be able to sift the wheat from the chaff and throw away the chaff. Thus, we admonish the reader again to be cautious, and “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). We do not condone any error!