Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 5)

SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

(Part 5)

13. John T. Johnson (1788-1856). The eighth of eleven children, Johnson was born on October 5, 1788 in Scott County, KY at Great Crossings, about three miles west of Georgetown. His father, Robert Johnson, was a colonel in the army and his brother, Richard M. Johnson, would later serve as the ninth vice-president of the United States during the presidency of Martin Van Buren. In 1820 John T. turned his attention toward politics and was elected to serve in the U. S. Congress, and then was re-elected for several terms. In 1821 he joined the Baptist Church in Great Crossings, his home community, but after his retirement from politics in 1830, he became interested in what was derogatorily called “Campbellism” (then sweeping his community) and determined to make a study of it in the light of the Scriptures. He said, “My eyes were opened, and I was made perfectly free by the truth” (John Rogers, The Biography of Elder John T. Johnson [Cincinnati: 1861], p. 21, as cited by Earl West, The Search for the Ancient Order, Vol. 1, p. 234). Johnson immediately set about to convert the Baptist Church at Great Crossings, but did not take into account the power of religious prejudice, though he did baptize his wife, as well as his brother Joel and his wife. With others, he formed a congregation in Great Crossings that worshiped after the New Testament order. Johnson went on to become an extraordinarily successful preacher of the gospel and an ardent advocate of the principles calling for a restoration of the New Testament order. Alexander Campbell said of him, “I wish Kentucky had a few persons equally gifted for taking care of the sheep, as brother Johnson is for marking them and putting them in the green pastures” (a reference to converting people to the right way of the Lord) (The Millennial Harbinger, June 1839, as cited by West, p. 228-229). Samuel Rogers said of him, “As an evangelist, I have thought John T. Johnson the best model I have ever known. Perhaps I ought not to speak of him as a model at all, for no man could imitate him” (as cited by West, p. 229). On the first Sunday evening of December 1856, Johnson preached his last sermon. He developed a case of pneumonia and died in the home of Thomas Bledsoe with whom he was staying in Lexington, KY. When told that death was approaching he said, “I did not think death was so near, but let it come.” In his delirious moments he would quote scripture or preach on the sacrifice of Jesus for sin. On December 18 he closed his eyes in death. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 4)

SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

(Part 4)

In November I wrote three essays under the above heading, with vignettes of three great leaders constituting each essay. I have been encouraged by a number of readers to write some additional articles along this line, and intermittently over the next several weeks I plan to do so. I will resume with the previous numbering of the articles (i.e., this will be Part 4), as well as with the numbering of the men I shall mention (i.e., Barton W. Stone will be number 10, etc.). Continue reading

#biographies, #hughfulford, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 3)

SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

(Part 3)

Here are the remaining three vignettes in this series of some of the great leaders of the Restoration Movement. The numbering sequence continues from the two preceding articles. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers, #restoration-history, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 2)

SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

(Part 2)

Below are vignettes of three more great leaders of the Restoration Movement. The numbering sequence continues from last week. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 1)

SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

(Part 1)

In the movement to bring about a restoration of original, apostolic, undenominational Christianity—Christianity as it existed in New Testament times—there are literally hundreds of men who stand out as stalwart leaders. Over the next three weeks (D.V.) we shall provide vignettes of nine of them, three per week. Continue reading

#alexander-campbell, #hughfulford, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Humble Beginnings)

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

In the Millennial Harbinger of January 1842 (Volume VI, Number I), Alexander Campbell, one of the leading voices in pleading for a restoration of original New Testament Christianity, looked back to the earliest days of the movement and gave a recap of a sermon he preached “under an oak” some eight miles from Bethany, Virginia (now West Virginia) in June of 1811 when he was 22 years old. Below are excerpts from the article by Campbell in which he gives the background to his sermon titled “Humble Beginnings.” Following that are excerpts from the sermon itself in which Campbell set forth some of the principles upon which he and others were launching out in the establishment of an independent congregation based on the New Testament alone. This was before any of the group had come to be immersed. (“We were all then Pedobaptists,” Campbell acknowledges, meaning they had been sprinkled as infants or very young children), thus indicating the infancy of the movement. Excerpts are in Campbell’s own words (as well as his spelling and punctuation), not the words of some Restoration Movement historian giving his spin, twist, or “interpretation” of what Campbell wrote and said about the event. Continue reading

#history, #hughfulford, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Lime Green Cars)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

LIME GREEN CARSAND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

For several years I have been a member of an internet discussion group dedicated to a study of the history of the Restoration Movement, a movement that began in the early 1800s and that has as its aim a return to the Bible alone as the authority in religion and a restoration of the church as set forth on the pages of the New Testament. We are a diverse group, made up of a wide range of people whose notions about what it means to restore and be the New Testament church in the present age are by no means uniform. In addition to our main objective, we sometimes wander far a-field into other areas that are interesting to talk about but have little direct bearing on our main purpose. We have been known, for example, to discuss where the best barbeque is to be found (North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas); foods unique to different parts of the country; which college football conference is the best (as if there is any real question about that!); favorite Christmas music; moves, retirements, birthdays, anniversaries, travel plans, and speaking engagements of various group members; what it means to be chic; what it means to be a part of the “Old Guard” elite, as well as a host of other matters. All in all, we have a lot of fun, and as one of my old college professors, W. Claude Hall, used to say, “If one is not careful, one will learn something!”

A few weeks ago in a rather rhetorical fashion, I asked, “If some of the early leaders of the Restoration Movement men such as Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, Walter Scott, “Raccoon” John Smith, and Samuel Rogers, or later leaders such as David Lipscomb and T. B. Larimore, should return to the scene today what might be their reaction toward homosexuality and the growing phenomenon of same-sex marriage?”

One list member was quite forthright to say that he had no doubt but that they would be greatly shocked by these things.

Imagine my surprise, however, when he went on to say that if Henry Ford should come back today he also would be greatly shocked to find that the cars marketed under his name were being sold in colors such as lime green rather than the uniformly black of Ford’s day.

I find it utterly amazing that anyone would make what Moses the prophet of God called an abomination (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13) and what Paul the inspired apostle of Christ labeled as being that which “is against nature” (Romans 1:26-27) analogous to lime green cars! I hardly see how it would be possible for anyone to more egregiously trivialize such a serious moral matter! Lime green cars and same-sex marriage on an equal level?!

Recently, Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop (Anglican Church of South Africa) of Cape Town, made international headlines when he went on record as saying he would not worship a homophobic God, would “refuse to go to a homophobic heaven,” and, instead, would choose “the other place.”

I wonder how long the Bishop would have to be in “the other place” before he decided that he would like to leave that place and be allowed to enter the “homophobic heaven”! Has he ever read the story told by Jesus and recorded in Luke 16:19-31? Continue reading

#homosexuality, #hughfulford, #restoration-movement