What Kind of Church Is This?

What Kind of Church Is This? (January 14, 2018) – Greg Robbins

With so many churches to attend on Sunday morning, what is so different about the Rockville Christian Church?  RCC and other independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ are a part of a fellowship of churches called, “The Restoration Movement.”  

The Restoration Movement finds its origin in a unique Christian unity movement that took place on the American frontier during the early 1800’s.   Early American Christian leaders, such as Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, and Barton Stone, believed that Christian unity could be achieved by restoring the simple beliefs and practices presented in the New Testament.  Jesus prayed for such unity in John 17:21 “… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”

The Christian Church is not a formal denomination.  We are a self-governing, free body of believers. We are shepherded by elders from within our church. Our elders, deacons, trustees, and staff members make our congregational decisions.  We also hire our own ministers and decide locally the missionaries we will support.

Historically, the convictions and ideals of Restoration churches have been conveyed, not through elaborate doctrinal statements, but through slogans.  These slogans represent the early convictions of the founders of the Restoration Movement and they continue to serve as relevant, guiding principles of faith and practice for our churches today.  Some of the slogans include:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.”

“No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible.”

“Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent.”

“We are not the only Christians; we are Christians only.”

These slogans clearly summarize the genius of the Restoration Movement, which represents a tradition of churches who have desired to be “Simply Christian.”   This simple message of unity based on the authority of the Bible has tremendous appeal to those who are disillusioned by traditional churches who have abandoned the Word of God and have bought into a cultural mindset that says anything goes.

Rather than being Lutherans, Pentecostals, or Episcopalians, the Restoration Movement asks, “Can’t we just be Christians only?  Can’t we quit fighting over non-essential doctrines and find unity based on the essential beliefs and practices of the Christian faith?  Can we fulfill the prayer of Jesus in John 17 by restoring and practicing simple, unadorned New Testament Christianity?”

This is the “Restoration” plea.  This is the “Restoration” idea. And it is really a simple idea: The unity of all Christians based on the authority of the Bible, and the Bible alone, for the purpose of mission and evangelism. The Rockville Christian Church is proud to be a part of this movement to restore the beliefs and practices of the New Testament church. We invite you to worship and serve with us.

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