Christian Churches Beliefs
Many Christians throughout the last two thousand years have sought to make their faith as simple as they perceive the practices of Christ to have been. Leaving behind the tradition and ritual that divides believers, they have attempted to rely solely on the integrity of the Scriptures. At just over forty years old, Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) arrived in Pennsylvania from Scotland as a Presbyterian pastor.
Over time he abandoned the ancient creeds that many Churches had relied on as a declaration of their faith with the hope of breaking down the rules and regulations that prevented most from worshipping together. Instead he wished to allow all who referred to themselves as Christian to worship together. After being condemned by his own denomination he wrote The Declaration and Address which scorned the historical division in Christendom. Faith as delineated in the New Testament was sufficient for providing all the guidance needed to live a holy life for God.
He and his son, Alexander, abandoned infant baptism since an infant could not understand what it was he or she was being baptized for.
Among practices he left behind were fasting and musical instruments in Church. He and his son, Alexander, abandoned infant baptism since an infant could not understand what it was he or she was being baptized for. They even had themselves baptized a second time by a Baptist minister. This brought upon them considerable scorn but the persisted and ended up starting the first independent denomination in the U.S..
At the same time there were others developing many of the same ideas elsewhere in the new nation. Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists were leaving behind their historical practices and setting out to clean the Church of dead rituals and meaningless traditions. From New England to Tennessee and out to the western parts of the country camp meetings were organized and preaching concerned itself with holy living, conversion and obedience to God.
Ultimately, the similar groups resolved to agree to these principles: Christ is the only Head of the Church; the Bible is sufficient to learn what is needed for faith and practice; the term "Christian" is worthy of the followers of Christ; unity resulted from Christians working together to convert the world; individual interpretation of Scripture.
Some groups included Christian in their denomination names and other preferred "Disciples of Christ". After joining together in 1832 they simply referred to themselves as Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Their worship tends to be simple, some continue to shun musical instruments in Church while others do not.
While the various names can sometimes be confusing those who adhere to Christian Church principles include the Christadelphians, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, the Christian Congregation, Inc.and the Churches of Christ.
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