Looking At Restoration Movement History: Part 13

1891 James A. Harding (1848-1922) and David Lipscomb found Nashville Bible School. (now David Lipscomb University)

1892  From the Gospel Advocate, by David Lipscomb

Bro. Sommer publishes for our benefit the Sand Creek “Address and Declaration, by the congregations represented by their respective church officers in a mass meeting at Sand  Creek, Shelby County, Illinois, August 17th, A. D. 1889.”

 We never saw it before. The evils opposed, we oppose. But there is no more authority for officers of different congregations to assemble in a meeting or convention to oppose and provide a remedy for these sins of individuals and churches, than there is for individuals and church representatives to assemble to oppose and provide a remedy for the failure of Christians and churches to evangelize the world. This was a convention of the elders to oppose and remedy one class of evils. The society is a convention to oppose and remedy another.

 Then they say: “We state we are impelled, from a sense of duty, to say that all such as are guilty of teaching or allowing and practicing the many innovations and corruptions to which we have referred, that, after being admonished and having had sufficient length of  time for reflection, if they do not turn away from such abominations, that we can not and will not regard them as brethren.”

 This was signed by the elders and members of six churches. This looks very much like a  convention unknown to the New Testament exercising judicial and executive functions to oppose error and maintain truth, and it looks very much like doing the thing they condemn. It has been the besetting sin of Christians, when they start out to oppose a wrong, to commit another wrong to oppose this. There is no more authority for that convention of elders to rectify these wrongs, than of the convention to rectify the wrongs of Christians and churches in failing to preach the gospel. 

1894 T. B. Larimore was called by the Houston Street Church in Sherman, TX, to mediate a dispute over the introduction of an organ into the church building. On January 3, he began an evangelistic meeting with the congregation. The meeting lasted 22 weeks and produced 254 additions to the congregation. Nine weeks into the meeting he wrote to a friend:

 “I am well. Nothing can be better for me to preach twice every day and three times on Sunday, unless it is to preach three times every day and Sunday too.”

 During the whole meeting, he never mentioned the organ issue.

1902 Dr. J.G. Thomas, a physician and a Congregationalist minister, had earlier developed individual cups and their holding tray. The rising concern over the spread of disease quickly made individual containers popular. Their use first spread in the Christian churches but by 1902 Daniel Sommer announced that “one apostolic church” had adopted them because they did not want to drink after some tobacco users. The practice then spread south.

1904 THE SAND CREEK CHURCH CASE (Circuit and Supreme Courts of Illinois in a trial of rights of property.) Decision in favor of the “Church of Christ of Sand Creek” vs the “Christian Church of Sand Creek.”

 G.A. Smith complained in 1904 that the church at Weatherford, Texas was
building a $10,000 stone building with two towers, three vestibules, a side porch and 600 seats. They were “trying to outstrip” the Christian church in an “extravagant” building.

G.W. Savage called this a “sin” and said the church had better things to do:

“Until the unfed beggar ceases to totter from the door; until the poor destitute preacher in the field is clothed; . . . until widows and orphans in our midst are provided for, Christians ought not  to put much money in fine church houses to try to be like other people and be called ‘respectable,’ as it is called.”

1906 U.S. Government lists two separate groups: Church of Christ and Christian Church. Christian Churches outnumber Churches of Christ, especially in the North. 

1907  “The partisan takes it for granted everything his party holds is right, and everything the other party holds is wrong and to be opposed. Hence, the party lines define his faith and teaching . . . A truth lover and seeker always looks into whatever party he comes in contact with and will first look to see what truth the party holds. All parties hold some element of truth. A true lover of truth seeks out and appropriates as his own every truth he finds, no matter who holds or teaches it.”  
           David Lipscomb

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Filed under Church History, Church of Christ, Religion, Restoration Movement

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