DENIAL AND BETRAYAL OF THE RESTORATION PLEA
In 1973, a man who was viewed as a prominent preacher in the Lord’s church made the startling statement, “The church of Christ is a big, sick denomination, and I mean all three of those words – big . . . sick . . . denomination!” He had been taught better, had known better, and had preached better. If I am not mistaken, his family had been converted from denominationalism. But in this instance, he caved in to the religious pluralism of our age and turned his back on the restoration principle, the restoration plea, and the commitment to be Christians only and simply the undenominational church of the New Testament. He has been a friend for over sixty years (ever since our student days at Freed-Hardeman College [now University]). He is still loved, and it is sincerely hoped that he has seen the error of his way and returned to “the old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16) of New Testament Christianity, but I know of nothing to indicate that he has done so. Continue reading
THE RESTORATION PLEA: IS IT VALID?
The restoration plea is a plea to go back to the Bible for all that we preach, teach, believe, and practice in the realm of religion. As we noted in our essay last week, it is a plea to take the Bible as our only guide in religious matters and use it as the divine pattern by which to reproduce in the present day the church as it existed in the first century—in faith, doctrine, and practice. It is a humble plea to speak where the Bible speaks and to remain silent where the Bible is silent, to call Bible things by Bible names and to do Bible things in the Bible way.
Is the restoration plea valid? Is it a sound, reasonable, logical, and defensible plea? Should people today be concerned about discovering what God has authorized in the Scriptures in the way of religious belief and practice and hold to those same beliefs and practices today? Continue reading
THE RESTORATION PLEA: WHAT IS IT?
There are three inseparably connected and interrelated concepts with reference to the way God’s people approach scripture and their service to the Lord.
First, there is the restoration principle, the principle that says we need to go back to the Bible for authority for all that we believe, preach, and practice in the realm of religion.
Second, for those who take this principle to heart and believe that others should take it to heart as well, a clear and compelling proclamation is made of it. This is known as the restoration plea, a plea to actually go back to the Bible for one’s religious faith and practice.
Third, as the principle and plea are advanced and people see that they are both right and necessary, a restoration movement begins to unfold, a movement that takes people back to the Bible for all that they preach, teach, believe, and practice in religion. Continue reading
HOW NOT TO ADVANCE NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY
(The following is a true personal story, except for the pronounced use of the expression “church of Christ” in a decidedly denominational sense. The story is told in an effort to show how the Lord’s church should not be viewed, how it should not be spoken of, and how utterly unsuccessful one who resorts to this kind of language will be in promoting New Testament Christianity.) Continue reading
Here’s where the religious world thinks we came from. We must show people the truth.
Yesterday, Cory Collins shared three ways to answer those who accuse us of teaching that we’re the only ones going to heaven. Check out his post, well worth your time.
The accusation obviously works only within a denominational framework. (See chart, click to enlarge.) People today have been blinded by Satan. They can’t think of being a Christian outside that framework. The recent description of the church of God being “predenominational” is a good effort to knock that notion in the head. The church of God existed before the first denomination appeared. Continue reading