The Name of The Church: Church of ChristE-Mail: "Where was the church named the Church of Christ before 1906?"
All of the churches in the Bible even called the church of God or the Church in Corinth are always attached to His Name.
Because the Church belongs to Christ as His body it has always existed else Christ would not have a body. It has gone through many attempts to destroy it by making it into a pagan-like institution, but, as in Israel, a tiny remnant has always existed.
If you try to keep one organization operating for two thousand years, it is likely that you will have to prune, medicate and graft new life into it. In the end, you will not have a productive tree.
On the other hand, the Words of Christ are like seed: don't look at all of the dead "stalks" of yesterday, just plant the seed and the assembly will grow wherever there are two or three to meet together. And if there is only one person, the "body" of Christ can exist even though there are not enough for an assembly.
Look at a few exampls.
Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Romans16:16
The church was identified by its geographic location but not by its distinctive teaching.
The "church" in its universal sense included all churches which imitated Christ.
However, it is never called "THE universal church" althought it might be called "the universal church of Christ.
Died C. 110 Ignatius to the Ephesians
And if those that corrupt mere human families are condemned to death, how much more shall those suffer everlasting punishment who endeavour to corrupt the Church of Christ, for which the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, endured the cross, and submitted to death! Whosoever, "being waxen fat," and "become gross," sets at nought His doctrine, shall go into hell.
In like manner, every one that has received from God the power of distinguishing, and yet follows an unskilful shepherd, and receives a false opinion for the truth, shall be punished.
"What communion hath light with darkness? or Christ with Belial? Or what portion hath he that believeth with an infidel? or the temple of God with idols? " And in like manner say I, what communion hath truth with falsehood? or righteousness with unrighteousness? or true doctrine with that which is false?
Justin Martyr defined the role of baptism, weekly worship, taking the Lord's Supper, sending the deacons with the supper to "shut-ins," and SPEAKING the Word of God. Logical, since singing as an act was not added until the year 373.
AD 150-211 Clement of Alexandria
"The universal Father is one, and one the universal Word; and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere, and
one is the only virgin mother.
I love to call her the Church.
This mother (church), when alone, had not milk, because alone she was not a woman. But she is once virgin and mother-pure as a virgin, loving as a mother.
And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, viz., with the Word for childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child fair and comely, the body (church) of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the young brood, which the Lord Himself brought forth in throes of the flesh, which the Lord Himself swathed in His precious blood.
AD 250: Of the Apostolic Constitutions: The first six books are an adaptation of the Didascalia Apostolorum, written in Syria about AD 250. Long before there was an organization named "The Catholic Church" the church was recognized to be part of the universal whole wherever it existed.
"But this peace and haven of tranquillity is the Church of Christ, into which do thou, when thou hast loosed them from their sins, restore them, as being now sound and unblameable, of good hope, diligent, laborious in good works. As a skilful and compassionate physician, heal all such as have wandered in the ways of sin; for "they that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.
"Moreover, do not leave the church of Christ; but go thither in the morning before all thy work, and again meet there in the evening, to return thanks to God that He has preserved thy life.
Epistlel to Paul of Samosata by Malchion
[a.d. 270.] Eusebius1 speaks of Malchion as a man accomplished in other branches of learning2 and well-versed in Greek letters in particular, and as holding the presidency of the Sophists' school at Antioch. Jerome says that he taught rhetoric most successfully in the same city. This synod met apparently about a.d. 269, and dealt with Paul of Samosata
21 But as he was about to do it, and was, so to speak, in the very act of signing the decrees against us, the divine judgment came upon him and restrained him at the very verge of his undertaking, showing in a manner that all could see clearly,
that the rulers of this world can never find an opportunity against the churches of Christ, except the hand, that defends them permits it, in divine and heavenly judgment, for the sake of discipline and correction, at such times as it sees best.
354-430 Augustine of Hippo
For the Jews slew Christ, lest they should lose their place.
Christ slain, they lost their place. Rooted out of the kingdom were they, dispersed were they. He, raised up, requited them tribulation, He requited them unto admonition, not yet unto condemnation. For the city wherein the people raged, as a ramping and a roaring lion, crying out, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him," the Jews rooted out therefrom, hath now Christians, by not one Jew is inhabited.
There is planted the Church of Christ, whence were rooted out the thorns of the synagogue. For truly this fire blazed "as the fire of thorns."
When we have to do with Pagans, and show this coming to pass in the Church of Christ, which before was predicted of the Name of Christ, of the Head and Body of Christ, lest they think that we have forged these predictions, and from things which have happened, as though they were future, had made them up, we bring forth the books of the Jews
605: Bede Ecclesiastical History of England Book II.1799 Alciun to Charlemagne "On you alone dep;ends the whole safety of the churches of Christ."
AT this time, that is, in the year of our Lord 605, the blessed Pope Gregory, after having most gloriously governed the Roman Apostolic see thirteen years, six months, and ten days, died, and was translated to an eternal abode in the kingdom of Heaven. Of whom, seeing that by his zeal he converted our nation, the English, from the power of Satan to the faith of Christ, it behoves us to discourse more at large in our Ecclesiastical History, for we may rightly, nay, we must, call him our apostle; because, as soon as he began to wield the pontifical power over all the world, and was placed over the Churches long before converted to the true faith, he made our nation, till then enslaved to idols, the Church of Christ, so that concerning him we may use those words of the Apostle; "if he be not an apostle to others, yet doubtless he is to us; for the seal of his apostleship are we in the Lord."
While it did not dominate, when Peter came to Rome, the Catholics called the church which existed in that city the Church of Christ.
604: LAURENTIUS succeeded Augustine in the bishopric, having been ordained thereto by the latter, in his lifetime, lest, upon his death, the Church, as yet in so unsettled a state, might begin to falter, if it should be destitute of a pastor, though but for one hour. Wherein he also followed the example of the first pastor of the Church, that is, of the most blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles, who, having founded the Church of Christ at Rome, is said to have consecrated Clement to help him in preaching the Gospel, and at the same time to be his successor. Laurentius, being advanced to the rank of archbishop, laboured indefatigably, both by frequent words of holy exhortation and constant example of good works to strengthen the foundations of the Church, which had been so nobly laid, and to carry it on to the fitting height of perfection. In short, he not only took charge of the new Church formed among the English, but endeavoured also to bestow his pastoral care upon the tribes of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, as also of the Scots, who inhabit the island of Ireland, which is next to Britain. For when he understood that the life and profession of the Scots in their aforesaid country, as well as of the Britons in Britain, was not truly in accordance with the practice of the Church in many matters, especially that they did not celebrate the festival of Easter at the due time, but thought that the day of the Resurrection of our Lord ought, as has been said above, to be observed between the 14th and 20th of the moon; he wrote, jointly with his fellow bishops, a hortatory epistle, entreating and conjuring them to keep the unity of peace and Catholic observance with the Church of Christ spread throughout the world. The beginning of which epistle is as follows
635: On the arrival of the bishop, the king appointed him his episcopal see in the island of Lindisfarne,as he desired. Which place, as the tide ebbs and flows, is twice a day enclosed by the waves of the sea like an island; and again, twice, when the beach is left dry, becomes contiguous with the land. The king also humbly and willingly in all things giving ear to his admonitions, industriously applied himself to build up and extend the Church of Christ in his kingdom;
While claiming to be the unique church, the Catholic church and most others grasp that "catholic" was never a name but the church belongs to Christ:
"In the writings of the New Testament the words are sharply distinguished. With them ecclesia denotes the Church of Christ; synagoga, the Jews still adhering to the worship of the Old Covenant. Occasionally, it is true, ecclesia is employed in its general significance of "assembly" (Acts, xix, 32; I Cor., xiv, 19); and synagoga occurs once in reference to a gathering of Christians, though apparently of a non-religious character (James, ii, 2.) But ecclesia is never used by the Apostles to denote the Jewish Church. The word as a technical expression had been transferred to the community of Christian believers.
"In asserting that the Church of Christ is visible, we signify, first, that as a society it will at all times be conspicuous and public, and second, that it will ever be recognizable among other bodies as the Church of Christ. These two aspects of visibility are termed respectively "material" and "formal" visibility by Catholic theologians. The material visibility of the Church involves no more than that it must ever be a public, not a private profession; a society manifest to the world, not a body whose members are bound by some secret tie. Formal visibility is more than this. It implies that in all ages the true Church of Christ will be easily recognizable for that which it is, viz. as the Divine society of the Son of God, the means of salvation offered by God to men; that it possesses certain attributes which so evidently postulate a Divine origin that all who see it must know it comes from God. This must, of course, be understood with some necessary qualifications.
"The Church of Christ has from the first claimed to transcend all those national differences which divide men. In it, the Apostle asserts, "there is neither Gentile nor Jew . . . Barbarian nor Scythian" (Col., iii, 11). Men of every race are one in it; they form a single brotherhood in the Kingdom of God
b. Oct. 27, 1469, Rotterdam, Holland [now in The Netherlands]
d. July 12, 1536, Basel, Switz.
"As if the Church had any deadlier enemies than wicked prelates, who not only suffer Christ to run out of request for want of preaching him, but hinder his spreading by their multitudes of laws merely contrived for their own profit, corrupt him by their forced expositions, and murder him by the evil example of their pestilent life. Nay, further, whereas the Church of Christ was founded in blood, confirmed by blood, and augmented by blood, now, as if Christ, who after his wonted manner defends his people, were lost, they govern all by the sword.
born July 10, 1509 , Noyon, Picardy, France died May 27, 1564 , Geneva, Switz.
There are two circumstances by which men are wont to recommend, or at least to justify, their conduct. If a thing is done honestly, and from pious zeal, we deem it worthy of praise; if it is done under the pressure of public necessity, we at least deem it not unworthy of excuse. Since both of these apply here, I am confident, from your equity, that I shall easily obtain your approval of my design. For where can I exert myself to better purpose or more honestly, where, too, in a matter at this time more necessary, than in attempting, according to my ability, to aid the Church of Christ, whose claims it is unlawful in any instance to deny, and which is now in grievous distress, and in extreme danger?
There is no saint of any celebrity of whom two or three bodies are not in existence. I can name the place where a piece of pumice stone was long held in high veneration as the skull of Peter. Decency will not permit me to mention fouler exhibitions. Undeservedly, therefore, are we blamed for having studied to purify the Church of God from such pollutions.
Calvin's Calvinism On the Eternal Predestination of God by John Calvin
The Pastors of the Church of Christ at Geneva pray that God would grant to those most excellent Men, their supreme Lords, and to the Syndics and Senate of Geneva, a just and holy administration of the State, and all happy prosperity and success.
Schaff: The same apparent contradiction we find in Calvin, in Luther, and other Reformers. They cherished the deepest respect for the holy Catholic Church of Christ, and yet felt it their duty to protest with all their might against the abuses and corruptions of the actual Church of their age, and especially against the papal hierarchy which ruled it with despotic power.
1566: Many of the Baptists were connected with the church of John a Lasco which was organized in London in 1550. This was a good hiding place for foreign Baptists. The practice of this church was dipping. Their Catechism prescribes:
Q.--What are the sacraments of the church of Christ? A.--Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
Q.-- What is baptism? A.--It is a holy institution of Christ, in which the church (?) is dipped in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Denkleynen catechismus, oft kinder leere der Duytscher Ghmeynte van London. An. 1566).
Repentance and remission of sins, or, as Saint Paul sayeth a regeneration or new birth,
for the dipping into water signifieth that the man to be mortified with sin,
the coming up again or deliverance out of the water signifieth the new man to be washed and cleansed and reconciled to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
1600c: Arminius, Jacobus. Against Predestination
b. Oct. 10, 1560, Oudewater, Neth.
d. Oct. 19, 1609, Leiden
Since such are the statements of our Confession and Catechism, no reason whatever exists, why those who embrace and defend these sentiments on Predestination, should either violently endeavour to obtrude them on their colleagues and on the Church of Christ; or why they should take it amiss, and put the worst construction upon it, when any thing is taught in the Church or University that is not exactly accordant with their doctrine, or that is opposed to it.
VII. I affirm, that this doctrine is repugnant to the Nature of God, but particularly to those Attributes of his nature by which he performs and manages all things, his wisdom, justice, and goodness.
Captain Edward Johnson (1599-1672): Of the Reverend Mr Higginson. In Library of American Literature, Vol. I
About 1631: Whrefore they elected and ordained one Mr. Higginson to be Teacher of this first Church of Christ, set up in those parts. P. 324
Under the First Promotion of Learning in New England.
1637: Thus the Lord heard our groans to heaven and freed us from this great and sore affliction, which first was small, like Elias' cloud, but after spread the heavens; and hath (through great mercy) given the churches rest from this disturbance ever since; that we know none that lifts up his head to disturb our sweet peace, in any of the churches of Christ among us. Blessed forever be his Name.
1651: At Cambridge notes of Mr. John Wilson as Pastor to the Church of Christ at Dorchester... Mr. Sam. Danforth, who hath not only studied Divinity, but also Astronomy; he put forth many Almanacs, and is now called to the office of a teaching Elder in the Church of Christ at Roxbury. p. 327
The date and place of his birth have not been ascertained. It is certain that he was educated at Cambridge. He entered the University, March 15, 1586, in Christ's Collage, and graduated as Master of Arts, 1593 (Burgess, Smyth the Se-Baptist p. 42. London, 1911). He was ordained a clergyman of the Church of England by William Wickham, in 1594.
He was elected preacher of the City of Lincoln, September 27, 1600 (Lincoln Records, f 5b) and ended his services there October 13, 1602. It is certain that while in this place he rejected the doctrines of the Anabaptists and believed the slanders alleged against them (Smyth, a paterne of true Praye, Works, I. p. 164. Cambridge, 1915).
He remained in Lincoln till 1606, when he became pastor Of an Independent Church in Gainsborough. He remained there to some date preceding March, 1608, when he removed to Holland (Smyth, The Character of the Beast, 71. Bodleian Library, n p Pamp.). While he was pastor at Gainsborough a manuscript which purports to be the minutes of the Baptist Church at Epworth and Crowle (Dr. John Clifford, The General Baptist Magazine, London, July, 1879, vol. 81), was found. It records:
1606, March 24. This night at midnight Elder John Morton baptized John Smith, vicar of Gainsborough, in the River Don. It was so dark we were obliged to have torch lights. Elder Brewster prayed, Mr. Smith made a good confession (immediate); walked to Epworth in his cold clothes, but received no harm. The distance was over two miles. All of our friends were present. To the triune God be praise.
I. H., in 1610, wrote a book against this congregation, in which he declares: "For tell me, shall every one that is baptized in the right form and manner (for which ye stand much on) upon the skin be saved?" (I. H., A Description of the Church of Christ, p. 27). The Baptists differed from their opponents upon "the form and manner" of baptism. The form of the Puritans was pouring; the form of the Baptists was immersion. He further asks: "Has the water of Holland washed ye all so clean?" (Ibid, p. 25). Such a question is inconsistent with pouring.
Heres: But we have found a rule of truth in God's word, plainly directing us to the making matter of the Church of Christ,
none but such as are qualified by faith,
are fit subjects of baptism, which faith is wrought by teaching and then baptism of dipping admits and gives entrance unto such believers to have communion in church fellowship with us in the holy ordinances of God; which church ordinances are not understood, but neglected and contemned of all the heretics you have named and conferred with before, therefore we are the true church, for we profess but one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. Eph. 4:5.
Truth: Sir, I perceive you are an Anabaptist, and therefore I shall speedily make good my late promise, and indeed, some thirty years since, Mr. Morton, a teacher of a church of the Anabaptists, in Newgate, then his confession comprehended all the errors of the Arminians which now of late, many that go under your name, in and around London dissent from, as seems to you (I. G(raunt), Truth's Victory, p. 19).
The battle was not over the purpose of baptism but the subjects: Catholics and others "sprinkled" babies who could not believe. However, Smyth and others insisted on "believer's baptism."
That did not mean "already saved's baptism." It meant that one had to be a believer in order to qualify for baptism. Then, Smyth believed that baptism was essential to Christ adding you to the church.
The third broached theirs in the year 1525, which was this:
'That baptism ought to be received by none,
but such as can give a good account of their faith;
and in case any have been baptized in their infancy, that they ought to he rebaptized after they come to years of discretion, before they are to be admitted to the church of Christ
SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH IN XX ARTICLES BY JOHN SMYTH
(12) That the church of Christ is a company of the faithful; baptised after confession of sin and of faith, endowed with the power of Christ.
(13) That the church of Christ has power delegated to themselves of announcing the word, administering the sacraments, appointing ministers, disclaiming them, and also excommunicating; but the last appeal is to the brethren of body of the church.
(14) That baptism is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants.
A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
His religious views led him to become briefly a Baptist, later a Seeker. In 1644, while he was in England getting a charter for his colony from Parliament, he wrote the work from which this dialogue is taken.
1644: And then I ask whether upon this ground it must not evidently follow that:
Either there is no lawful common earth nor civil state of men in the world, which is not qualified with this spiritual discerning (and then also that the very commonweal hath more light concerning the church of Christ than the church itself).
1646: How the Pilgrims sailed from Delft Haven (p. 130)
keep their names and nation, and not only be a means to enlarge the dominions of our State, but the Church of Christ also.
1600 Late: John Locke
But since men are so solicitous about the true church, I would only ask them here, by the way, if it be not more agreeable to the Church of Christ. Many other references.
to make the conditions of her communion consist in such things, and such things only,
as the Holy Spirit has in the Holy Scriptures declared, in express words, to be necessary to salvation;
1697: A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft, and How Persons Guilty of that Crime may be Convicted: And the means used for their Discovery Discussed, both Negatively and Affirmatively, according to Scripture and Experience.
By John Hale, Pastor of the Church of Christ in Beverley, Anno Domini 1697.
1700: Deodat Lawson. It is written of Justin Martyr, who lived in the second Century, that he was before his conversion a great Philosopher; first in the way of the Stoicks, and after of the Peripateticks, after that of the Pythagorean, and after that of the Platonists sects; and after all proved of Eminent use in the Church of Christ.
In His private writings Jonathan Edwards would agree with the church of Christ in rejecting the trinity of separated persons in the Godhead.
1718: MR. DAVID BRAINERD was born April 20, 1718, at Haddam, a town of Hartford, in Connecticut, New England. His father was the worshipful Hezekiah Brainerd, Esq. one of his Majesty's council for that colony; who was the son of Daniel Brainerd, Esq. a justice of the peace, and a deacon of the church of Christ in Haddam.
Nov. 10, 1742; the fourth is Mr. John Brainerd, who succeeds his brother David as missionary to the Indians, and pastor of the same church of Christian Indians in New Jersey
He also was much engaged in expressing his longings that the church of Christ on earth might flourish, and Christ's kingdom here might be advanced, notwithstanding he was about to leave the earth, and should not with his eyes behold the desirable event, nor be instrumental in promoting it. He said to me, one morning, as I came into the room, "My thoughts have been employed on the old dear theme, the prosperity of God's church on earth. As I waked out of sleep, I was led to cry for the pouring out of God's Spirit, and the advancement of Christ's
1750: Commencement of Difficulties at Northampton XVII
Letter to Mr. Erskine. "Northampton, Nov. 15, 1750.
"that now when the enemy comes in as a flood, the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against him. When the church of Christ is like the ship, wherein Christ and his disciples were, when it was tossed with a dreadful tempest, and even covered with waves
"There he prepared, within a little period, four of the ablest and most valuable works which the church of Christ has in its possession.
The solemn caution of the apostle, in I Cor. iii. 10--15, to every minister, to take care how he builds up the temple of God, of which Jesus Christ is the foundation--a caution, which refers not only to the nature of the doctrines which he teaches, but also, and even more especially, (as will be obvious from verses 16 and 17) to the character of the members whom he adds to the church of Christ, which is the temple of God;--is here enforced most solemnly, by arguments derived from ex-perience.
Speaking of Northampton
4. Crafty designing men have abundantly filled the ears of the more ignorant with suggestions, that my opinion tends to overthrow all religion, and to ruin the present and future generations, and to make all heathens, shutting them out of the church of Christ.
The church of Christ is called upon greatly to rejoice, when at any time Christ remarkably appears, coming to his church, to carry on the work of salvation, to enlarge his own kingdom, and to deliver poor souls out of the pit wherein there is not water. Zech. ix. 9, 10, 11. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, they King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation: --His dominion shall be from sea to sea.--As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water."
The ark ascending up into a mountain, typified Christ's ascension into heaven. It is evident by the psalms that were penned on that occasion, especially the 68th Psalm, that the exceeding rejoicings of Israel on that occasion represented the joy of the church of Christ on his returning to it, after it has been in a low and dark state, to revive his work, bringing his people back, as it were, from Bashan, and from the depth of the sea; scattering their spiritual enemies, and causing that though they had lien among the pots, yet they should be as the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold; and giving the blessed tokens of his presence in his house, that his people may see the goings of God their King in the sanctuary.
First, The weaning of the church form its milk of carnal ordinances, ceremonies, shadows, and beggarly elements upon the coming of Christ, and pouring out of the Spirit in the days of the apostles. The church of Christ, in the times of the Old Testament, was in its minority, even as a babe: and the apostle tells us that babes must be fed with milk, and not with strong meat:
but when God weaned his church from these carnal ordinances, on the ceasing of the legal dispensation, a glorious gospel-feast was provided for souls, and God fed his people with spiritual dainties, filled them with the Spirit, and gave them joy in the Holy Ghost.
THAT THAT GREAT FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT, IN WHICH THE HOLY GHOST SHALL, NOT ONLY FOR A SEASON, BUT EVERLASTINGLY, BE COMMUNICATED TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, IS CHARITY, OR DIVINE LOVE.
IV. That charity, or divine love, is that great fruit of the Spirit, that never fails, and in which his continued and everlasting influence and indwelling in his church shall appear and be manifest. -- We have seen that the Spirit of Christ is forever given to the church of Christ, and given that it may dwell in his saints forever, in influences that shall never fail.
1. We may consider the church of Christ with respect to the particular members of which it consists.
2. We may consider the church of Christ collectively, or as a body.
And at the end of the world, when the church of Christ shall be settled in its last, and most complete, and its eternal state, and all common gifts, such as convictions and illuminations, and all miraculous gifts, shall be eternally at an end, yet then divine love shall not fail,
but shall be brought to its most glorious perfection in every individual member of the ransomed church above.
1729: Goat Yard Declaration of Faith A Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church of Christ at Horsely-down, under the Pastoral Care of Mr. John Gill, &c.
XI. We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until his second coming;
and that the former is absolutely requisite to the latter;
1772 - 1780: "The Church of Christ meeting in Morrisons Court, between 1772 and 1782. They had 180 members in 1818. This group also worshipped each Lord's day. As to the order of services, they followed the pattern of Acts two where "they continued in the Apostle's doctrine, and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Realizing the importance of doctrinal purity, they explained "it is necessary to guard both against too much and too little forbearance; and especially in respect to the external order of the society."
In 1818 a church in New York sent a letter to "the churches of Christ, scattered over the earth," asking them for a statement of their views and practices. These letters were later printed in The Christian Baptist, a paper edited by Alexander Campbell (1788-1866).
1798: "The Church of Christ assembling in Leith Walk, Edinburgh" was planted around 1798. In 1818 they numbered 250, including three elders and four deacons. At one time they only observed the Lord's supper once a month. After careful examination of the New Testament, they returned to the "apostolic tradition" of a weekly observance (cf. Acts 20:7). During the services on Sunday morning "the names of those who had applied for fellowship are also read, and the result of the conversation which the elders and two or more of the brethren have had with them, is stated. If the church be satisfied, they are baptized in the course of a week, and received next Lord's day."
1805? Alexander Campbell In Glasgow: The hour at which the administration of the Lord's Supper was to take place found him still undecided, and, as there were about eight hundred communicants, and some eight or nine tables to be served in succession, he concluded to wait until the last table, in hopes of being able to overcome his scruples. Failing in this, however, and unable any longer conscientiously to recognize the Seceder Church as the Church of Christ, he threw his token upon the plate handed round, and when the elements were passed along the table, declined to partake with the rest. It was at this moment that the struggle in his mind was completed, and the ring of the token, falling upon the plate, announced the instant at which he renounced Presbyterianism for ever--the leaden voucher becoming thus a token not of communion but of separation. This change, however, was as yet confined to his own heart. He was yet young, and thought it unbecoming to make known publicly his objections, and as he had fully complied with all the rules of the Church, he thought it proper to receive at his departure the usual certificate of good standing.
Campbell often uses the term "Christian Church" or "church of God."
1807: "The Church of Christ at Tuber-more" first met in May, 1807. Their 250 members met together every Lord's day to worship. Concerning fellowship they said, "We do not plead for forbearance as a useful scheme left to our own discretion, or justify it, as some have done, from that pleasing variety found among the works of God.
This small congregation was established in 1810 with only three members. Elders and deacons were appointed in 1817. The next year they numbered 33. Aside from three meetings each Lord's day, they also met twice during the week for prayer, scripture reading and teaching. They attended to the observance of the Lord's Supper every Sunday afternoon.
1810 - Dublin, Ireland
The Stephen Street congregation in Dublin was established in 1810 and consisted of 100 members in 1818. Their order of services was almost identical with the church in New York. They had not yet appointed elders because they could not agree upon the necessary qualifications. While explaining why they were more tolerant of differing opinions on Bible themes, they said, "that all blindness, as to apostolic precepts, is chargeable on the folly and slowness of our hearts. The same folly and slowness of heart prevented the apostles from receiving many truths at the mouth of Jesus; but as their folly and slowness of heart was not indicative of a rejection of Christ, so neither in these days do we apprehend that in the folly and slowness of professors to receive many truths in the apostolic records, is in all cases indicative of a rejection of their authority; and as the Lord bore with the apostles, we see not but his example was recorded for our imitation."
1811: Of Alexander Campbell, Richardson, chapter XX, notes;
He also thought much of some things in the writings of John Walker, from whose "Address to the Methodists in Ireland" he extracts the following passages as worthy of special attention:
"4. It is no part of the work of grace to mend the corrupt nature. That nature is as bad, as wholly evil, in a believer as in an unbeliever; as bad in the most established believer as in the wickedest; as bad in Paul the apostle, just finishing his course and ready to receive the crown of righteousness, as in Saul of Tarsus, a blasphemer and a persecutor of the Church of Christ
In the Book of Commandments, a work containing the revelations of Smith, published in 1833, from start to finish refers to the church as "The Church of Christ." The title page reads, "A Book of Commandments for the government of the Church of Christ."
"Another point is that the LDS Church's title has not always had Christ's name since its foundation on April 6, 1830. The Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants 20:1 reports that the original name of the church was the "Church of Christ." In 1834, the name was changed to "The Church of Latter-day Saints" (History of the Church 2:63). This took place at a priesthood conference at which Joseph Smith was present. The vote was unanimous. Note that the name of Christ was completely omitted. This was the church's official title until April 26, 1838 when it was changed again to its current name.
1834 Sand Creek, Ill
From the time of the organization of said congregation, in 1834, up to its division, in 1904, it was called the "Christian Church of Sand Creek" or the "Church of Christ of Sand Creek," the name "Christian Church" and "Church of Christ" seem to have been used synonymously by the members of the Sand Creek congregation, some preferring one name and some the other.
1852 Again, Uncle Tom's Cabin itself had a background in religion and especially moral theology: it was an improving tract as well as a piece of political propaganda.
"O, Church of Christ, read the signs of the times! Is not this power the spirit of HIM whose kingdom is yet to come, and whose will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven? But who may abide the day of his appearing? "For that day shall burn as an oven: and he shall appear as a swift witness against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger in his right and he shall break in pieces the oppressor."
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Uncle rloms Cabin, 1852
1868 W. Robertson Presbyterians called Church of Christ
We have counted 29 places where Robertson, a Presbyterian, calls the church, the church of Christ. This is a common usage throughout history. Presbyterian denotes a characteristic but the church is recognized as the Church of Christ else Christ is not given credit as being the Head of the body.
1884 James Kerr Writing about Jubilee 1894 which the YOUTH repudiated.
In the region of belief, the Church teaches for doctrines, the commandments of men, and thus, eventually shutting out God, the minds of men are deprived of liberty, and their souls of everlasting life. John Knox detected the essence of this principle when he wrote: "I would ask if Jesus Christ be not King and Head of His Kirk. Then it becometh the Kirk of Jesus Christ to admit what He speaketh, to receive and embrace His laws,
and when He maketh end of speaking or law-giving then to rest.
All worship, honouring, or service invented by the brain of man in the religion of God without His express commandment is idolatry."
The great Scriptural principle, which alone is fitted to protect the Church of Christ from Ritualism and Romanism, is that
nothing is to be admitted into the worship of God which is not approved in the Word of God.
[page 81] From the organization of the church to the present, there has been much strife and contention as to what the name of the church is. David Whitmer (the sixth person baptized in the gathering, and before the church was organized, one who claims to have seen the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, and conversed with the Angel), together with Harris and Cowdery, the other witnesses, with many other leading men, claim that the proper name is "The Church of Christ." Whitmer's address, pages 73-75.
Many parts of the Book of Mormon show the name of the church was "The Church of Christ." Nephi 12, 3.
Book of Morman, 3 Nephi 27:
7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
To use The Community Church or some other term which detracts from the name of Jesus Christ would violate mormonism. Because Mormons don't claim to be the first century church, they named it "Latter Day." To late to be the church of Christ.
"The proper name of the Church, then, is the Catholic Church. It is not ever called "the Christian Church," either. Although the prestigious Oxford University Press currently publishes a learned and rather useful reference book called "The Oxford Book of the Christian Church," the fact is that there has never been a major entity in history called by that name; the Oxford University Press has adopted a misnomer, for the Church of Christ has never been called the Christian Church.
"As mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, it is true that the followers of Christ early became known as "Christians" (cf. Acts 11:26). The name Christian, however, was never commonly applied to the Church herself. In the New Testament itself, the Church is simply called "the Church." There was only one. In that early time there were not yet any break-away bodies substantial enough to be rival claimants of the name and from which the Church might ever have to distinguish herself.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church in our own day has concisely summed up all the reasons why the name of the Church of Christ has been the Catholic Church: "The Church is catholic," the Catechism teaches, "[because] she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is 'missionary of her very nature'" (no. 868).
"In the same inquiry needs to be made in exactly the same way today, for the name of the true Church of Christ has in no way been changed. It was inevitable that the Catechism of the Catholic Church would adopt the same name today that the Church has had throughout the whole of her very long history.
Many Restoration Movement Churches were identified as "church of Christ" after the Disciples Movement made "the Christian Church" or "Disciples of Christ" mean: "A denominational movement which demands the use of instrumental music in worship." Joining was a "cash-based" proposition.
1887: Andres Ivarson Myher was brought from Missouri to Nashville as an evangelist of the Missionary Society. He began in 1890 at $1500 per annum plus expenses; Lipscomb noted that he was paid more than the state governor.
A convention was called and Myher was sent out to promote a denominational structure under the Missionary Society. As well, he intended to introduce the organ in every church in Tennessee.
It is noted that Myher had subscribed to the idea that the Old Testament was not inspired but was influenced by the myths and legends of the time. If Myher had remained in Norway or St. Louis there might still be no division.
However, after two years of spending a lot of money, out of 50,000 disciples in Tennessee and out of 350 preachers,
there were fewer than twelve preachers present for the Woodland Street Convention.
Only three preachers out of 350 from Middle Tennessee attended. Lipscomb noted that: "We do not believe that this convention work can be introduced into a single one out of 350 churches in Middle Tennessee
without bringing strife and division into that church."
So, if you look for "division" just say that the Missionary Society - pro organ sectarians held a party and only their disciples came.
Does remaining away from a religious meeting mean that you create division? Some would say yes!. Click to See.
In 1891 the General Missionary Society began the "census" division between the churches by numbering the Christian Churches and members in the nation.
Because Myhr began counting those who did not join the new denomination and claiming them by naming them,
Lipscomb began counting churches which were not part of the society and the organ sect.
"The supporters of the missionary society organized the Tennessee State Missionary Convention on October 6, 1890, with one purpose in mind, as stated by J. H. Garrison. He said at that time:
"We will take Tennessee for organized mission work...within five years."
A. I. Myhr was dispatched to Tennessee to head the new state society despite the protestation of David Lipscomb that Tennessee was not a destitute mission territory. Myhr and his supporters moved resolutely ahead to accomplish their mission.
"Their efforts met with some success and the intent was clear. Myhr was aggressive and abrasive in his operations. His actions were of such a nature, in promoting the missionary society, that he came under the direct attack of E. G. Sewel and David Lipscomb. And as later event proved, Myhr was no match for Lipscomb and the Gospel Advocate.
Of course, division was brought about by men trying to move churches out of the South's atmosphere and into the Christian Church and Disciples of Christ which had already organized itself into a Sectarian Society. Of course, when you organize, those who refuse to join are defacto put out of fellowship:
"As early as 1882, Sewell and Harding were urging that a separation be brought about
to identify that part of the Christian Church fellowship which supported the organ and the society.
Lipscomb, at the time, rebuffed his brethren who called for such division. He sought no compromise, but hoped that the church would not suffer division."
"By 1897, Lipscomb was reconciled to the fact that division had already occurred
and the supporters of the innovations would be satisfied with nothing less than
a complete take-over of the churches... (Adron Doran, J.E.Choate, The Christian Scholar, p. 59
In 1902 the church at Newbern was taken over by society and organ people. The church, against Lipscomb's advice, sued to retain the property. Of course the society could muster a majority and won the lawsuit. The decision was handed down in 1905 that the trouble did not warrant the intrusion of the courts:
"The pro-organ party had said during the trial that
when the organ was used as a part of the worship, it was sinful;
but they defended it on the ground that it was an aid to worship. Lipscomb, on the other hand, had insisted that it was a distinct service, and when persisted in always supersedes and destroyes congregational singing.
"The court, passing on this phase of the question, said that the claim that the organ was not a part of the worship was untenable and it could not be considered as merely an aid to worship."
Therefore, by the pro-organ sectarian's (party) own admission, validated by a Judge, instrumental music in worship was defined as sinful.
Peaceful people claimed that instruments were divisive. However, the clear admission that musical instruments as or as part of worship was sinful was was confessed by those who stole the property.
This began with state branches which would grow up to a "federation movement" of the world. Garrison established a set of rules to be followed in 1905. The first meeting was to occur in 1908 and "unity" was based on the high standard of 2/3 vote of the "in" members.
"In case this plan of federation is approved by two-thirds of the proposed constituent bodies the executive committee of the National Federation of Churches and Christian Workers, which has called this conference,
is requested to call the Federal Council to meet at a fitting place in December, 1908.
By having a huge, federal organization of which Lipscomb warned, to be a "Christian Workers Labor union" the watching world would see the grand "unity in diversity" meetings and just naturally want to become "life members" of the church and society.
"What is the meaning of these facts if it be not that God is calling us to ultimate unity through the method of co-operation in all things wherein we are agreed?
Can any religious body justify its holding aloof from this step toward unity on the ground that it has received special light on the subject of union and occupies more advanced ground than others?
"To refuse assent to, and co-operation with, this movement toward unity on the plea that it is not the ideal unity of the New Testament,
would be to ignore the whole law of progressive development in the kingdom of God.
J. H. Garrison, editor of the Christian Evangelist frankly conceded that if one were to assume McGarvey's point of view toward the Bible, McGarvey's strictures would then be consistent. The sectarians believed that the common views even based on the teaching of the Bible could be ammended in the interest of greater attendance. These are called innovators and claim the Catholic's power to be a "high church."
This, of course, confessed that the Bible was not their friend in making these additions.
This was a frank admission that different schools of thought existed in the church relative to the bible.
"Some men might speak of Paul's errors in 'theology,' but not David Lipscomb for it was his profound conviction that all of the writers of the Bible wrote as they were moved by the Spirit of God,
and that the combined result of their writings is a complete, infallible, and accurate guide to heaven for the human race." (Earl West, Life and Times of David Lipscomb, p. 108)
John Locke indicates that this view means that the two views compose two separate religions.
The Christian Chronicle notes that:
"Forty years ago, the answer to that question was clearer. We were the ones who had a biblical name, a biblical organization, and a biblical hermeneutic. We had the right understanding of salvation, worship, the Holy Spirit, the millennium, Bible classes, and church cooperation. We were the New Testament Church.
This assumption of "right understanding" of Scripture leading to the right practices and doctrines led some to argue, implicitly or explicitly, that other groups not believing or practicing the things we did were not going to be saved. If we talked about how many Christians lived in New Zealand or France, we meant how many members of American-planted Churches of Christ lived there. The Christian Chronicle
Of course, the clergy learned this from all clergy who believe they are right or it would be fatally dishonest to take the pay of a Baptist and not believe that, as often stated, churches of Christ are a cult.
Lacking an address, I am taking the liberty of quoting a response from:
Research on history of churches
"American historians have led us to believe that the church of Christ started all over again with the restoration movement. Being a lifelong Christian and a genealogists, I have repeatedly ran into old marriage records, births records, baptismal records and Last Wills and Testaments where the church of Christ is mentioned. I have family records back much further than I am sharing. While legal records do not reveal the doctrinal stance of any Church of Christ, it does reveal that there have been believers who called themselves the Church of Christ for many centuries, in fact, about 1500 years. Below I will share a little of my research.
AD-1799 Sally Hutchins, dau of William Hutchins and Ester Carr was baptized 21 May 1799 at the Church of Christ in Arundel, Maine.
AD-1796 Samuel Knapp and Phoebe McMahon were married at the Church of Christ in New Milford, Litchfield Co., Connecticut on 14 Feb 1796.
AD-1790 Lawsuit in Leland Virginia, mentions a Church of Christ that was dissenting from the Episcopal Church and the Church of England.
AD-1788 Alexander Campbell is born in Scotland. Came to America in 1809, to join his father who had came here in 1807. The church of Christ had already been in existence several hundred years before his birth.
AD-1779 There was a church of Christ at Batter Street in Plymouth, Mass.
AD-1775 A Calvinistic Church of Christ was in Newfoundland known as the dissenting Church of Christ, noted in the Last Will and Testament of John Jones, research shows this became a Congregational Church.
AD-1763 Thomas Campbell was born County Down, near Newry, Ireland, Feb. 1, 1763. In 1783, he married Jane Cooneigle, a descendant of the Hugenoits. He was a minister of the Scotch Seceeder Church and came to Pennsylvania in 1807, and joined by his son, Alexander Campbell in 1809. They initially fellowshipped with the Presbyterian Church here in America. They were instrumental in bringing the restoration plea of a return to the Bible from England to America deploring the division in Christendom they found here which was as bad as they had in Wales, Scotland and England.
AD-1763 Genealogy records of the Church of Christ in Buxom, Maine, preserved and published covering the period of 1763 to 1817. No information about the doctrinal stance of this church.
AD-1762 Nov. 10, 1762, a Church of Christ was incorporated in the 6th Parish of Springfield, which embraced the present villages of Agawam and Feeding Hills, the members of which were: Samuel Mirick, Joseph Bodortha, Benjamin Leonard, John Leonard, Reuben Leonard, Joseph Selden, Joseph Flower, Abel Leonard, Jonathan Bodortha. Historical documents reveal nothing about the doctrinal stance of this church of Christ.
AD-1742 Church Covenant adopted by the Baptist Association which met in Philadelphia on September 25th,
1742 to establish a new church in Jacobstown, Burlington County. Most had been members of the Church of Christ at Upper Freehold in Monmouth County. They were assisted by the
Reverends Oliver Hart and Peter Wilson and started with 30 congregants, 19 women and 11 men. The covenant was signed on October 19, 1785.
AD-1732 Tombstone in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut reads: "Here Lies The Body of Dn Josiah Dewey he // Was Born in Windsor 1640 Long Served // the Church of Christ in Westfield And // Ordained Deacon Removed to Lebanon // in the Beginning where He did much // Servis for God & Man He lived A Holy // & a religious life & lived to a Great age // & He slept in Jesus Septemr 7 1732 // in the 92 year of his age"
AD-1725 Jonathan Lawrence, in his Last Will and Testament dated 1725, gave money to the church of Christ for the purchase of a silver vessel or silver vessels for the church's use and 20 lbs to the minister at Groton.
AD-1710 On 30 July 1710, the following letter was mailed from Wales to Pennsylvania: South Wales in Great Britain: The church of Jesus Christ meeting at Swansea, in Glamorganshire, teaching believers baptism, laying on of hands, the doctrine of personal election, and final perseverance. To any church of Christ Jesus in the province of Pennsylvania, in America, of the same faith and order to whom this may concern. Send Christian Salutation: Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied unto you from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. (letter continues).
AD-1695 David Crossley converted the Tottlebank church of Christ, Lancashire to Baptist theology, becoming their pastor in 1695.
AD-1690 In his Last Will and Testament, dated August 1690, Aaron Cooke of Dorchester, Dorchestershire, England, left to the Church of Christ of Northampton, a silver bowl worth 6 lbs.
AD 1645 Joannna "Joan" Sprague, wife of Caleb Church, was born 16 Dec 1645 was a member of the church of Christ in Hingham, Plymouth, Mass. Her parents, William Sprague and Milicent Eames came from Upway, Dorsetshire, England, to Salem, Mass. in 1629.
AD-1618 First book by churches of Christ published in England.
AD-1585 The term puritan was first applied in 1563 to a group of dissenters that refused to become a part of the Church of England. Robert Browne in 1585 was a part of this movement of autonomous churches that called themselves the churches of Christ and congregations of Christ in England and in Holland. In 1591, Browne submitted to the Episcopal faith and became the rector of Adchurch in Hampshire, while the dissenters continued to survive and grow. (Note: "Eklessia" was called congregation until the 1611 KJV Bible translation then it was translated church). Their enemies called these people
Brownist, separatist, puritans, anabaptist and dissenters. In the 17th century, they were called independents. In the early centuries they were reluctant to give themselves a name and would refer to themselves as "the baptized congregation at _______," or "the baptized church of Christ meeting at ______," or some similar description. In
1719 a letter from the Boston fellowship, which began "The Church of Christ in Boston Baptized Upon Profession of their Faith," was shortened that same year in a Newport letter to "We, the baptized Church of Christ meeting at Newport."
John Smythe, who founded the Baptist Church, was affiliated with this movement and believed that baptism by immersion was essential to salvation. John Smythe, Helyws and 24 of their followers were excluded from the Brownist CHURCH OF CHRIST movement and started the Baptist Church in Holland in 1607 (some records say 1609/1610). Smythe and Helyws then tried to fellowship with the Mennonites, who found very little difference in their belief's and teachings for that period of time. Smythe died in Holland in 1612 and Helyws went to London and started what later became the General Baptist Church in London.
Congregational Churches of Christ was carried to America in 1620 by the Pilgrims, at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who were members of John Robinson's congregation in Holland, originally of Scrooby, England calling themselves the CHURCH OF CHRIST.
In 1708, these churches went to a more centralized form of government, similar to the Presbyterians. The Congregational Churches of Christ was a part of the great awakening started in 1734 by the teachings of Jonathan Edwards in New England. Through the evolution of time, these churches from the Brownist, separatists, anabaptist, independents, puritan, dissenters movement calling themselves the Church of Christ formed a Congregational union in Scotland in 1812 and in Ireland in 1829; in 1831 the Congregational Union of England and Wales was established. This group from the oldest available records carried the restoration plea of returning to the Bible until they started forming unions and councils for themselves.
Congregational churches began to meet in local and then in statewide conferences, out of which developed (1871) the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States. In 1972 most British Congregationalists and Presbyterians merged to form the United Reform Church. A move to unite the Congregational Christian Churches with the Evangelical and Reformed Church was approved by the councils of the two denominations in 1957, forming the United Church of Christ which is still in existence today.
AD-1577 The church of Christ in Cockey, otherwise, Ainsworth, Lancashire, England traces its records and ledgers to 1577 and appears on a 1577 Saxton's map.
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This small sketch from history is simply to illustrate that believers in Christ have been calling themselves the Church of Christ for hundreds of years. While legal documents like wills, marriage records, baptisms, do not reveal the doctrinal stance of these churches or what these churches evolved into with the passing of time (much like the Church of Christ is evolving today), it does reflect that without a central headquarters to toot its horn, the Church of Christ has escaped being recorded in history, and the plea and cry for a return to the Bible has always been there along with them. Yes, I have much more information that I have not shared in this brief note, perhaps someday I will share. Someone once said these words of wisdom, "you don't know where you are going unless you know where you have been". Another person said: Heresy is just one generation away.
Clifton Yeager Huber Heights, Ohio
Yeager refers to Reconnecting to our lost identity - December 2000
Throughout Scripture "church of God" is commonly used. However, because in Jesus Christ dwells full Deity (Col 2:9) the name church of Christ or church of God seems appropriate. But Jesus or Joshua means "Jehovah-Saves."
Again, because each congregation (assembly) was independant, Paul could say in the collective or universal (catholic) sense:
Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Romans16:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Col 3:16
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17
Counter added 3.22.05 11:42a 6229 9.02.08 11.14.12 19874
4.22.05 5p 270