This is the outline for a class I taught at
Hoover’s Grove Bible School
THEN AND NOW
This study will not focus on the history (names, dates, places); but will focus on the issues faced in each part of the restoration movement’s history. Here is an outline of where we will be going in this study.
The early struggle – to get out of denominations – (1775 – 1850)
1. Infant Baptism
2. Lord’s Supper
3. Immersion Baptism
4. Unity vs. Separation
5. Organization of the Church
The middle struggle – to clarify issues – (1850 – 1945)
1. Civil War (killing, relationship to civil government)
2. Missionary Society
3. Co-Operation (orphan homes, area-wide meetings, sponsoring missionaries)
4. “Anti”-ism (one cup, located preacher, schools, classes, literature, saints only)
5. Instrumental Music
The current struggle – to remain distinct – (1945 – present)
2. New Hermeneutic
3. Pattern Theology
4. Open Membership
5. Authority of Elders
6. Continuing Restoration
While we will be examining and learning from history, our primary goal will involve learning the Biblical basis for the struggles of the past and the present.
Each student will need to bring their Bible and some notepaper. With some lessons there will be a handout sheet. There will be no specific textbook other than the Bible.
The early struggle – to get out of denominations –
(1775 – 1850)
1. Infant Baptism
a. Background and History
i. March 12, 1811 – Alexander Campbell married Margaret Brown. Their first baby, Jane, was born. This caused a deeper study of infant baptism.
ii. Alexander studied everything in English and French. The arguments for infant baptism were weak. He also studied the Greek. He decided:
1. Baptism was immersion
2. Only for believers
3. His baptism as an infant was not valid
iii. Found Mathias Luce, Baptist preacher, to baptize him – June 12, 1812
b. Background of Campbell – Presbyterian
i. Part of the Bush Run Association – October, 1810
ii. Became independent in 1811
iii. Joseph Bryant refused the Lord’s Supper until immersed
c. KJV vs. Greek – textual problems
i. Baptidzo – dip, plunge, immerse
ii. For KJV to translate would require a change in doctrine and practice for the church of England
iii. Result – transliteration of the Greek word
d. Two views
i. Children are born lost – total depravity
ii. Children are born heirs of heaven
e. Biblical matters
i. Explain – “households” – Does this include infants?
1. Acts 10:2
2. Acts 18:8
3. Acts 16:32-33
ii. Psalm 51:5 – Does this teach babies are “born in sin”?
iii. Mark 16:16 Believe AND be baptized
iv. Acts 2:39 – Promise to you and your children
2. Lord’s Supper
a. Abuses in Corinth – 1 Corinthians 11
b. Changes through the dark ages
i. Priest took the wine
ii. Litergy, Ceremony
iv. Mass – reenactment of the D, B, and R.
c. Issues for the Reformation Movement
i. Can those of other groups partake?
ii. Yes – all are Christians
iii. No – They are not of us
d. Issues for the restorers
i. Who should partake?
1. Only recognized members of local congregation – Closed
2. Only members of the church – Close
3. All who believe – Open
ii. When to partake?
2. Holy Days
3. Thursday night
4. Sunday night
iii. Who administers communion?
1. Elders preside
2. Deacons serve
3. Preacher (priest) only?
iv. Elements to use
3. Immersion Baptism (See also Baptism)
a. After infant baptism came the question of immersion
b. What is the purpose for baptism?
c. What must one know and understand?
i. Essentials – Faith, Repentance, Confession
ii. Essentials – Mode (immersion), Purpose (forgiveness of sins), Subject (believers who repent and confess their faith)
iii. Not necessary to understand all doctrines, recite all purposes, know details of worship, service, and work of a Christian
d. Is denominational baptism valid? Acceptable?
i. No – wrong mode, wrong purpose, wrong prerequisites
ii. Yes – if these things are correct
i. Study Acts 19
ii. What if the subject is “too young”?
iii. How young is too young?
iv. Should we ask them to “wait a year or two”?
f. Does it matter who baptizes you?
i. Is there a “chain of succession” needed?
ii. Can a wrong man do a correct thing?
iii. What about Mathias Luce?
iv. Is our baptism based on the quality of the person doing the baptizing?
one be self-baptized?
4. Unity vs. Separation (See also Unity)
a. Redstone Baptist Association
i. Sermon on the Law in 1816 caused some dissent
ii. Opposition grew till 1823 – put out of Redstone
iii. Joined the Mahoning Baptist Association
b. Formation of separate “associations”
i. Springfield Presbytery
ii. Last Will and Testament
iii. They began to see this as the formation of a denomination
c. Autonomous – independent congregations
ii. Ruling bodies
iii. Church – papers, schools, literature
d. Should they stay inside and try to lead them out?
e. Should they separate and point out the differences?
f. NOTE: d. and e. are difficult to answer. When do you quit fixing the old car and buy a new one? Patch a leaking roof vs. new shingles?
g. Scriptures to study:
i. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
ii. 2 Corinthians 7:1
iii. Revelation 18:4
iv. Isaiah 52:11
v. 2 John 9-11
vi. Romans 16:17
vii. 2 Timothy 3:5
5. Organization of the church (See also Organization)
Titles – Elders, Pastors, Presbyters, Overseerers
Preachers – Evangelists, Ministers
Deacons – Servants
i. Of each office
ii. Extent of authority
iii. Working together
iv. Limitation of authority
c. What if:
i. No elders
ii. Preacher takes over
iii. Elders overstep their authority
d. Greek words
i. Episcopos – bishop, overseerer, foreman
ii. Presbyteros – elder, one mature in the faith
iii. Poimain – pastor, shepherd, one who feeds and cares for the flock
iv. All 3 words are used for the same office in:
1. Acts 20:17, 28
2. 1 Peter 5:1-4
6. Creeds (See also Creeds)
a. History and background
i. Declaration and Address – Thomas Campbell
ii. Last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery
iii. First point of restoration was creeds
1. James O’Kelley – 1775 – Methodist
2. Abner Jones – Baptist
3. Elias Smith – 1801 – Baptist
4. Barton W. Stone – 1801 – Presbyterian
b. Development and revisions
i. Creeds are still being revised, changed, corrected
ii. To many the creed is more important than the Bible
c. Their purpose
i. To crystallize teaching
ii. Loyalty to a set of doctrines
iii. A test of fellowship
i. If the creed teaches MORE than the Bible – too much
ii. If the creed teaches LESS than the Bible – not enough
iii. If the creed teaches SAME as the Bible – not needed
The Middle Struggle – to clarify issues – (1850 – 1945)
1. Civil War (killing, object to serving in military, relationship to civil government) (See also War)
a. History of most religious groups
i. Every major denomination split – north and south
ii. Restoration movement did not divide over this issue
b. The views of David Lipscomb and others
i. Toward civil government – pay taxes – nothing else
ii. Toward serving in the military – object
iii. Known as Pacifists
c. Study the teaching in Romans
i. Romans 12:17-21
1. Peace, no vengeance, return good for evil
2. Conclusion: don’t kill, don’t go to war
ii. Romans 13:1-7
1. Government is God’s minister
2. Conclusion: Christians can serve, can go to war
iii. Blend these passages together
1. Romans 12 – Individual – no vengeance
Romans 13 – Government – acts as agent for God
2. Missionary Society (See also Societies)
a. Background and history
i. Cooperative meetings
1. Started as evangelistic
2. Became area-wide business meetings
ii. State meetings
1. Delegates from each congregation were sent
2. A bureaucratic system was created
iii. National organization
1. To oversee the state organizations
2. Established demands on all members and congregations
3. Choice was removed – churches were taxed
b. Evolution of the societies from 1849 – 1906
i. Foreign Christian Missionary Society
ii. Christian Women’s Board of Missions
iii. National Benevolent Association
iv. Board of Ministerial Relief
v. Board of Extension
vi. National Temperance Board
c. Evils of the missionary society
i. It is doing what God gave the church to do
ii. Violates the local church autonomy
iii. Violates the principle of respect ofr authority
Heart of restoration motto – Silent where Bible is silent – was ignored by the
3. Co-operation (orphan homes, homes for elderly, area-wide meetings, sponsoring of missionaries) (See also Cooperation)
a. Some introductory matters
i. Authority of Scriptures
ii. When is an example binding? (When it illustrates a command.)
iii. Two wrong approaches:
1. Bind what God has loosed
2. Loose what God has bound
b. The basic proposition – One church may contribute to another church which has assumed oversight of a work.
i. I AM NOT SAYING:
1. Forfeit independence or autonomy
2. One church is over another church
3. We should have centeralized control or authority
ii. I AM SAYING:
1. One church may assist another church
2. They may give – people, materials, money, talent, skill
iii. What does the Bible say?
1. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
a. Perfect = complete written Word
b. Part = revelation in bits and pieces
2. Elements to consider
a. Evangelism and benevolence is required – Mark 16:15; Matthew 28: 18-20; Luke 24:47; Galatians 6:10
b. Each church has the right to find the best way to meet these requirements – Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 8:10-11
c. Each church involved is equally related – both have the same goals and purposes
eldership can be responsible – Acts 11:27-30
4. “Anti”-ism (one cup, located preacher, schools, literature, religious papers, Bible classes, saints only, visual aids, women teachers, etc.) (See also Antiism)
a. Early holder of these views – Daniel Somer – called Somerites
b. Karl Ketcherside – took up the banner
c. Today – “Where the Saints Meet” – lists 17 different doctrinal differences among congregations
d. Basic Issues:
i. Are these matters doctrine?
ii. Are they tests of fellowship?
iii. Do they involve making laws for God?
iv. Can I bind my rules on others?
Study Colossians 2:14-23
5. Instrumental Music (See also Music)
a. Midway, KY – 1858
i. Authority –
1. Luther – Not forbidden is approved
2. Zwingli – Not authorized is forbidden
ii. Others said – Why make a fuss about it?
c. Greek word – PSALLO
i. Originally meant – pluck, twang, twitch
ii. Does this word include the instrument?
iii. Is the instrument – optional?
iv. Is the instrument commanded?
d. New Testament passages
i. 1 Corinthians 14:15
ii. Ephesians 5:19
iii. Colossians 3:16
iv. James 5:13
v. Acts 16:25
vi. Matthew 26:30
vii. Hebrews 2:12
viii. Hebrews 13:15
e. Today – this struggle continues
i. Many do not see it as a sin
ii. Hand clapping, entertainment groups, choir
iii. We are always one generation away from apostasy
The Current Struggle – to remain distinct – (1945 – present)
1. Pentecostalism (See also Pentecostalism)
a. History – Shakers, Quakers, Pentecostals (1900)
b. In the restoration movement
i. Cane Ridge – Barton W. Stone
ii. Today – Pat Boone, Ben Franklin, et. al.
c. Reasons for the impact
i. Legalistic in their approach – no emotions
ii. Ignorance about the Holy Spirit
d. Major fallacies and errors
i. Holy Spirit baptism
ii. Tongue speaking
iii. Continuation of spiritual gifts
iv. Make sanctification a “second blessing”
v. Teach instant spirituality
vi. Allow women a major role in leadership
vii. Foot washing
viii. More emphasis on Holy Spirit than on Jesus
Teach that Lord’s coming is near – Last Days
2. New Hermeneutic (See also Hermeneutic)
will study this and the next point together.
3. Pattern Theology
a. We are living in a period of restoration rejection
i. Some are fixed – defend the status quo
1. Always did it this way
2. Not open to change or revision
ii. Some see flaws and reject the plea
b. Examine the objections to the restoration plea
c. No Pattern
i. In the NT is not the pattern, we do not have one.
ii. Quote – “I reject pattern theology. The Scripture is not a book of case law to be cited like a bunch of proof texts. I am not looking for a pattern. I am looking for a person.”
d. Person (Jesus) taught a pattern theology
i. Romans 6:17 – Form (pattern) of doctrine
ii. 2 Timothy 1:13 – Pattern of sound words
e. Law vs. Love Letter
i. The idea is that the NT should not be looked at as law, regulations, and rules. It should be seen as a love letter.
1. This assumes that love does not rule.
2. Rejects the idea of “tough love”
a. Love demands some tough decisions
b. Love letters can contain commands
iii. Study NT Teachings
1. James 1;25 – perfect LAW of liberty
2. Galatians 6:2 – fulfill the LAW of Christ
3. 1 Corinthians 9:21 – under LAW to Christ
iv. Historical / Critical Approach
1. Bible was written for another era, time, culture
2. Assumption: The Bible is not relevant to today.
3. Customs, culture, traditions – shift and change
4. Principles from God – do not change
a. Baptism – Matthew 28:19 – perpetual
b. Communion – 1 Corinthians 11:26 – till He come
v. The Man, not the Plan
1. Quote “We have tended to be TEXT centered rather than CHRIST centered.”
2. We can not separate the Man from the Plan he taught
vi. New Hermeneutic
1. Rejects – Command, Example, Necessary Inference
2. Teach – No doctrine can be a test of fellowship
Titus 2:1 AND Titus 2:15
4. Open Membership
a. From a church bulletin “What is Southern Hills’ Hermeneutic?”
1. The church of Christ is not the only church but is a part of the universal church.
2. The Bible is not a rule book but a guide for living.
3. Rules are not as important as people.
4. Christianity is not legalistic; rather God’s grace provides personal and corporate freedom.
1. Accept other fellowships and welcome involvement of believers from non-church of Christ backgrounds.
2. Christianity is a way to be emotionally and personally happy and a way to live in the secular world.
3. Personal spirituality take precedent over legalistic interpretations.
4. Persons previously limited in worship and church activities are given greater opportunities to participate.
b. Church in Stillwater, OK
i. Bulletin – “Southern Hills is not an ordinary church but neither is Stillwater; we have a lot in common.”
ii. They declared allegiance to these “principles and implications”
c. Bulletin banner heading from Arizona – “We fellowship 27 different denominations”
d. From Nashville, TN – Central Church of Christ
i. Changed their name – now Nashville Church
ii. Reasons – “better represents who we are”
iii. “We are not what most people think the Church of Christ is. Here, there is a stereotype of what that group is and we are trying to be more nondenominational.”
e. In Frnaklin County, TN
i. Two area preachers formed a mixed quartet and sang at a multi-denominational Thanksgiving service.
f. In Coffee County, TN
i. A preacher told me that he would support and work for a Billy Graham crusade in this area.
ii. Another preacher exchanged pulpits with a Baptist church, called them brethren, welcomed the fellowship.
g. What does all this mean?
i. Notice the trend in thinking
ii. Be aware of the dangers involved
iii. Understand the implications of this attitude
h. Dangers include
1. Reject our “undenominational” position
2. Reject the Bible as a pattern for living
3. Deny authority
4. Deny the existence of rules to obey
1. Open fellowship with error
a. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
b. Ephesians 5:7, 11
c. 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14
2. Situation Ethics – “I need to be happy”
a. Matthew 6:24 – can’t serve two masters
3. Spirituality is more important than obedience
a. 1 Samuel 15:20-23
b. Ecclesiastes 5:1
4. Open pulpit and classes to women and error
1. 1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3
2. Titus 1:9-11
a. If the grace of God which brings salvation can be found in any or all denominations, then what is our excuse for existing?
b. If salvation can be found outside the church which Jesus built, we own the world an apology.
5. Authority of Elders
a. Some feel that elders are dictatorial
b. Elders see the church as rebellious sheep
c. Ruel Lemmons, Firm Foundation editor, wrote “Who Calls the Shots?”
Some are now teaching that the only authority of elders is to be a good example
to the flock.
6. Continuing Restoration (See also Finished)
a. What Lack We Yet?
b. Are we done?
c. Have we restored ALL aspects of New Testament Christianity?
d. Restoration is complete in:
e. Restoration is incomplete in:
1. Love the brethren
2. Judgmental attitudes
3. Toward God, Bible, Sin, Salvation
ii. Zeal and excitement for the cause
2. Foreign mission work
iii. Commitment to the work, dedication
iv. Spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law
v. Accepting Biblical authority