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This is the outline for a class I taught at

Hoover’s Grove Bible School



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

6.     Creeds

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)

1.     Pentecostalism

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

                                                 iii.     Transubstantiation

                                                 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?

1.     Sunday

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

e.     Re-Baptism

                                                    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?

                                                  v.     Can 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

                                                    i.     Headquarters

                                                   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

                                              viii.     1 Corinthians 16:22

5.     Organization of the church (See also Organization)

a.     Titles – Elders, Pastors, Presbyters, Overseerers
Preachers – Evangelists, Ministers
Deacons – Servants

b.     Duties

                                                    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

d.     Logic

                                                    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

2.     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

                                                 iv.     Heart of restoration motto – Silent where Bible is silent – was ignored by the societies

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

d.     One 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?

e.     Study Colossians 2:14-23

5.     Instrumental Music (See also Music)

a.     Midway, KY – 1858

b.     Principles

                                                    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

                                                 ix.     Teach that Lord’s coming is near – Last Days

2.     New Hermeneutic (See also Hermeneutic)

a.     I 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.

                                                   ii.     Fallacy:

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

3.     Titus 2:1 AND Titus 2:15

4.     Open Membership

a.     From a church bulletin “What is Southern Hills’ Hermeneutic?”

                                                    i.     Principles

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.

                                                  ii.     Implications

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

                                                    i.     Principles

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

                                                  ii.     Implications

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

3.     Conclusion:

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?”

d.     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:

                                                    i.     Salvation

                                                   ii.     Worship

                                                 iii.     Doctrine

                                                 iv.     Organization

e.     Restoration is incomplete in:

                                                    i.     Attitudes

1.     Love the brethren

2.     Judgmental attitudes

3.     Toward God, Bible, Sin, Salvation

                                                   ii.     Zeal and excitement for the cause

1.     Evangelism

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


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