Restoration Movement & Our Heritage

Taylorville Christian Church is an Independent Christian Church that has deep roots and connections to the Restoration Movement. TCC believes in the importance of Missions, we work closely with para-church organizations, we view Scripture as the rule of faith for practice, and everything we do is rooted in the heritage of the Restoration (Stone-Campbell) Movement. We have created this page to help you understand the Restoration movement paradigm and plea and to know TCC's identity within the Restoration movement heritage.




Understanding the restoration movement

The Restoration movement is a movement that began in American around the year 1800, in order to restore the church to the ideals that are pictured in the New Testament. Eventually, this movement became the history of the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.[1]

 

The Restoration Movement's foundation was built upon Jesus' prayer in John 17(17-23), "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."


The Stone Campbell Movement (SCM) leaders believed that this prayer "emphasized the restoration of Biblical authority as the basis for recognizable Christian unity for the sake of world evangelism." It can be said that the Restoration movement was built upon two key concerns: the unity of all Christians in the one body of Christ, and the Bible as the only authority for the faith and practice of Christians.[2]


DOCTRINE

 

Doctrinally, the Restoration Movement churches originally focused on the practice of weekly communion, teaching of baptismal regeneration (remission of sins only happens after immersion), rejection of the deity of Christ and the Trinity, and a rejection of creeds (“no creeds but Christ”).[3] Every church has a belief system. As an Independent Christian Church, TCC’s beliefs stem from many, but not all of the Restoration Movements doctrines. We participate in communion weekly, we believe in the deity of Christ and the Trinity, we do not recite creeds, and we do not believe you must be baptized in order to receive remission from your sins.

 

UNITY

 

The SCM was built upon the unity of all Christians in the body of Christ. The cornerstone for the Stone movement was Christian freedom, which led them to a rejection of all the historical creeds, traditions and theological systems that had developed over time and a focus on a Christianity based on the Bible. The Campbell movement was characterized by a “systematic and rational reconstruction” of the early church, in contrast to the Stone movement which was characterized by radical freedom.

 

Despite their differences, the two movements agreed on several critical issues. Both saw restoring apostolic Christianity as a means of hastening the millennium. Both also saw restoring the early church as a route to Christian freedom. And, both believed that unity among Christians could be achieved by using the ancient church as a model.

 

While there were many differences between the movements, restoration of the church and unity between all believers was the ultimate goal. This can be reflected in statements like, “sink into the body of Christ at large,” “unity is our polar star,” and “in matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, love.”

 

SCRIPTURE

 

The Restoration Movement was based on Jesus’ prayer in John 17. The SCM leaders sought to reestablish Biblical authority for the sake of Christian unity and world outreach. Through this search for scriptural authority within the movements, they developed statements such as, “Where the scriptures speak, we speak; where the scriptures are silent, we are silent,” "Stand on the word of God alone—the scriptures," and “Scriptures are the final authority for knowing God’s will in religious matters.” It is implied by those who believe these statements that they:[4]

 

1. Believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is fully inspired by God

2. Accept the Scriptures as the only authoritative rule of faith and practice

3. Believe that the Bible can be understood by anyone

 

The SCM leaders worked for unity and was of the opinion that the Scriptures are divinely inspired, we all sufficient and we alone sufficient for all the purposes contemplated by God, in giving them.


Other Key Principles:


“Sink into the body of Christ at large”


“Individual interpretation” – responsibility to seek to understand truth and to obey one’s conscious"


Essential difference between Old and New Covenant


"Cooperation without compromise"


"Unity in diversity"


“Though we are not the only Christians, we are Christians only” 


CONCLUSION

 

The Restoration Movement is responsible for many of the churches that exist today. In their search for Christian unity, they were able to “cooperate without compromise” to restore the church to its original intent. Taylorville Christian Church is a product of this movement. While we are non-denominational, we still hold strong to our Restoration heritage.

 

We hope that this section on our website has been helpful to you as you seek to learn more about Taylorville Christian Church, the Stone-Campbell Movement and our heritage.

 



[1]https://carm.org/restoration-movement-churches

[2]http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/WhereTheBibleSpeaksWeSpeak.html

[3]James B. North, Union in Truth, 6.

[4]Ibid, 6.