Members of churches of Christ are a people of restoration spirit – wanting to restore in our time the original New Testament church.
Dr. Hans Kung, a well-known European theologian, published a book a few years ago entitled The Church. Dr. Kung lamented the fact that the established church has lost its way; has become burdened down with tradition; has failed to be what Christ planned it should be.
The only answer, according to Dr. Kung, is to go back to the scriptures to see what the church was in its beginning, and then to recover in the twentieth century the essence of the original church. This is what churches of Christ are seeking to do.
In the latter part of the 18th century, men of different denominations, studying independently of each other, in various parts of the world, began to ask:
– Why not go back beyond denominationalism to the simplicity and purity of the first-century church?
– Why not take the Bible alone and once again continue “steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching…” (Acts 2:42)?
– Why not plant the same seed (the Word of God, Luke 8:11), that first century Christians planted, and be Christians only, as they were?
They were pleading with everyone to throw off denominationalism, to throw away human creeds, and to follow only the Bible.
They taught that nothing should be required of people as acts of faith except that which is evident in the scriptures.
They emphasized that going back to the Bible does not mean the establishment of another denomination, but rather a return to the original church.
Members of churches of Christ are enthusiastic about this approach. With the Bible as our only guide we seek to find what the original church was like and restore it exactly.
We do not see this as arrogance, but the very opposite. We are saying that we do not have the right to ask for men’s allegiance to a human organization – but only the right to call upon men to follow God’s blueprint.