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When and Where Did The Restoration Movement Begin?

Discussion in 'No Creed But Christ - Restoration Movement' started by notreligus, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. notreligus

    notreligus Member Supporter

    The Restoration Movement began in Scotland in the late 1700's. John Glas is most often noted to be the founder. Glas was a Presbyterian who wanted to break away from the hierarchy of the Presbyterian Church. In England, at that time, Christians were pretty much limited to membership in the Presbyterian Church, the Church of England, or a Catholic Church. Glas was interested in independence.

    The only real connection between the original Restoration Movement and the one that goes by that name and is represented by this forum is Presbyterianism. Those who had joined with Glas were considered "New Presbyterians." Glas' son-in-law, Robert Sandeman, came to America and settled in the Northeast about 1790, as I recall. His followers were called Sandemanians. Other Scottish "New Presbyterians" came to America too. One notable "New Presbyterian" was Walter Scott.

    Walter Scott, after coming to America, joined with a Baptist Association in Pennsylvania called the Redstone Baptist Association. Thomas Campbell, another Scottish "New Presbyterian" was also a member. Thomas Campbell's son, Alexander Campbell, came to America a few years after his father. He too became a member of the Baptist Association. Thomas and Alexander settled in Virginia and established Baptist congregations. Their followers were called "Campbellites" even though they were still considered Baptists. The Campbellites held together for sixteen years until Thomas and Alexander Campbell were "invited" to leave the Baptist group. The Campbells, not too fond of having to abide by Baptist doctrine, chose to take some Baptists with them and start a new group. They had known Walter Scott and Scott joined with them as they formed the Disciples of Christ. Scott claimed that during a particular worship service that God had showed him that baptism had lost its true meaning. He claimed that God had revealed to him that since the inception of the Catholic Church that the true church had stopped baptizing for the remission of sins. Scott came to the Campbells with this and said that "the ancient order (sometimes referred to as the "ancient gospel") with water baptism for the remission of sins" needed to be restored. This was the beginning and basis of THEIR Restoration Movement. The Church had not practiced water baptism properly for 1500 years and it was up to them to restore baptism as they thought it was revealed in the Scriptures and as the early church had practiced it. (They did not let the fact that the early church leadership was called the "circumcision" by Paul get in their way.)

    By 1832 Barton Stone, a Presbyterian but also a Unitarian, had been effective in establishing new congregations in the Ohio Valley (Kentucky) and the Campbells had heard about his success. Stone's followers were called "Stoneites" but Stone preferred to call his followers simply as "Christians." By this time the Campbell's called their followers "Disciples." In 1832 the "Christians" and the "Disciples" officially joined as one new group. Alexander Campbell won-out and the name "Disciples of Christ" was used to designate all of their congregations. Their joint focus was to convert Baptist preachers to their Restoration Movement and to convert members of Baptist congregations who had "not been properly baptized for the remission of sins." (Alexander Campbell and his family had been baptized by Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher. Go figure.)

    How were the Churches of Christ formed? By the 1900s David Lipscomb and others were strongly opposing the use of musical/mechanical instruments in worship services. Part of this was related to the hard-feelings left over from the Civil War. The "northern" Disciples were considered "worldly" with their fancy buildings and their need to use a piano in worship was considered a lavish luxury. They decided to leave the Disciples of Christ and form the new group called the Churches of Christ. They were formerly recognized by the United States Federal Government as a new denomination effective 1906.

    The Christian Churches were formed in later years by those who objected the Disciples having a central headquarters, but they were OK with using musical instruments in worship. Until about 1966 the Churches of Christ and the Independent Christians churches were strongly tied by their opposition with the Disciples over having a headquarters operation, with the use of musical/mechanical instruments being the main thing that divided them. As time has passed the Disciples have been labeled as ecumenical in their acceptance of new members and not insisting on immersion baptism of new members who may have already been baptized by other means, such as affusion (pouring of water).

    The Boston Movement (ICOC or Kip's Church) formed from a split with the Churches of Christ. Having no personal experience with this group I'm not going say too much about this group. They have been called liberals and Kip McKean has been accused of bringing the practice of shepherding into the Churches of Christ and since this was not acceptable to them - we know they are not a denomination :) - the followers of Kip began their own new group.

    This is the Cliff's Notes history of the Restoration Movement and it barely scratches the surface, so to speak. The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement is a rather extensive resource for more information. Theologians from the Christian Churches, Churches of Christ, and the Disciples of Christ participated with contributions to this reference book. The Cane Ridge Revival is also an interesting topic to investigate. This occurred in 1802. This revival began as a community communion service sponsored by Barton Stone, a Methodist preacher, and, I believe, a Baptist preacher. It turned into a long lasting revival which resembled what some would call a Pentecostal worship service. Some of those in these Restoration Movement groups still make pilgrimages (yes, they are often referred to as pilgrimages) to Cane Ridge in Kentucky to visit the original church established by Barton Stone. It is enshrined by an outer building today. This is considered by many to be the first true Christian church established in America.
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  2. Subdood

    Subdood Well-Known Member

    Good [condensed] summary.

    Re "Kip's Kingdom" a good place to find a wealth of information about their apostasy is at reveal dot org.

    I've not heard anyone refer to them as "liberal." Truth is, they are anything but a "shepherding" movement. Their current mantra is "Sold-Out Discipleship." What they are is ultra-ultra-authoritarian, discarding more followers (ones who do not measure up) than they produce.

    They got their start in the Gainesville CofC under the tutelage of Chuck Lucas, who discipled Kip and a number of other leaders of the movement. Lucas later resigned in disgrace for certain "improprieties" of, shall we say, a carnal nature (this is all public record). Kip took up Chuck's banner and eventually started the Boston CofC, aka the "Boston Movement." The Boston Movement morphed into the ICC (International Churches of Christ), then into the ICOC. Kip left for a period after being challenged by leadership over his authoritarian practices and other improprieties, but unrepentant, later broke away (again) and started his own church in Portland, which he has since moved to Los Angeles.

    He's left thousands upon thousands in spiritual shambles, shattered faiths, and spiritual discouragement. Many have left the faith altogether while many others are struggling to mend their wounds. It's terribly tragic what the influence of one individual can have on the lives and faith of so many. Fortunately, God is faithful and is healing so many others.

    Kip's movement has pubicly abandoned the churches of Christ, refusing to recognize them or allow them membership in his church unless they submit to his re-baptism and commit themselves unequivocally to the authority of his group.
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  3. Legroom

    Legroom New Member

    United States Minor Outlying Islands
    And Jesus just set up the simple Kingdom of believers idea. Where in the world did it get so complicated? Ours is a member of Presbyterian Church (USA). I try to stay clear of the politics.