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Above are photographs of  the Cromwell home, Hinchingbrooke where the annual 'Preaching the Whole Council of God' lectures were held each year, until moving to Cambridge in 2010.

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After 1660 repression again was forced on all churches who opposed the State Church of England, now strongly Anglican.  This continued until the Act of Toleration was passed in 1689.  This allowed not only for the legalisation of congregational churches but also allowed preachers to preach against infant baptism (outside the CoE).     

With the newly forming Baptist theology the Lord’s church in Britain largely fell away from the true Gospel.  Some congregations survived both on the continent to the 1950s and in England to the 1800s whereupon they came into fellowship with the American churches of Christ.

In America it would be the Campbells that would start to think in terms of restoration, which they worked very hard at, but in Europe the church had existed for hundreds of years, small but beautiful as the bride of Christ.

What you have read is a short history of the Lord’s church in Europe and especially England.  

What follows is ten Reasons Why You Should Investigate the Church of Christ if you have not already done so.

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thess.  5:21)”

1.    The body of Christ, His universal church is of Biblical Origin.

It began in Jerusalem Palestine on the Day of Pentecost following the death burial, resurrection, and coronation of Christ (Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:6-8; Acts 2:1-47).

2.   It was founded by Christ Himself (Matthew 16:13-19; Psalms 127:1; Matthew 15:13).

3.   It wears and Honours the Name of Christ. We accept every scriptural designation found in the Bible for this one relationship, the bride of Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-33; Romans 16:16; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Corinthians 12:20; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 20:28).

4.   Christ is our only creed.  The Bible is our only rule of faith and practice, especially Christ’s last will and testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 12:48; Acts 3:22-23; Matthew 24:35; Revelation 22:18-19; Galatians 1:6-11).

5.   It is scriptural in organisation: Note: The Universal body of Christ has no earthly organisation. It is made up of individual Christians and not all of the local congregations. 

 Local congregations are ruled by a group of elders who are also referred to as “pastors, bishops, presbyters, shepherds, and overseers” in   New Testament language. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-16; Hebrews 13:7.17). Elders are assisted by deacons to whom they delegate various functions (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-10). As seen in the cited passages these men’s family members also must be what they should be for these men to serve in this capacity.  Where suitable men are not available for the positions of elders and deacons the men of the congregation will serve until a time comes when suitable men will be selected.

There are no synods, hierarchies, district superintendents, Popes, etc., known to the New Testament.   Each congregation under its own eldership answers directly to Christ (1 Peter 5:1-7; Revelation 2:5). The autonomy of each local church must be respected to please Christ.

6.   Local churches worship according to the New Testament pattern :  On the first day of the week, we meet to partake of the Lord’s supper, sing, pray, study, and contribute a free will offering as the New Testament commands (Acts 20:6-7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; Luke 18:1).

We reject methods of attempted worship that are not prescribed in the New Testament such as mechanical instruments of music, speaking in tongues, transubstantiation, consubstantiation, the mass, etc. since all are inventions of uninspired men. Things like tongue speaking was unique to first century assemblies before the New Testament scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Hebrews 2:1-3). Too, for folks to attempt to worship who aren’t in the right relationship with God through Christ is impossible (Ephesians 2:13-17; 3:21). For unfaithful ungodly unrepentant members to attempt to worship is also unacceptable (Isaiah 59:1-2; 66:1-6; 1 Peter 3:12; John 9:31). To engage in unauthorised activities in worship renders worship vain (Matthew 15:8-9; Colossians 2:8).

7.   Gospel preachers in faithful churches of Christ refuse to wear religious titles which tend to exalt one above the other and there is no clergy laity system known to New Testament Christianity (Matthew 20:20-27; Matthew 23:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Psalm 111:9-10).

8.   The New Testament teaches that water baptism is the final act of the new birth of the water and of the Spirit, and that it is a burial of a penitent believer and a resurrection to a new life in Christ. Faithful local churches of Christ honour  these instructions. Baptism not only puts one “in Christ” but also into the universal body of the redeemed, the family of God. One is not baptised into the local congregation. (Acts 2:22-38,40-41, 47; Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:26-39; 10:47-48; 1 Peter 3:20-22; Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16). This is the only baptism that is acceptable to Christ (Ephesians 4:5; Acts 19:1-7).

9.   Faithful local churches urge the membership to live godly lives, upholding the Biblical standard for morals. If and when members disregard the Biblical standard they become subject to disciplinary action beginning with pointed and plain teaching and ultimately leading to being expelled from among the local membership if they refuse to repent and give up ungodly immoral lifestyles. (Titus 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).

10.   We plead for complete obedience to Christ and seek peace and unity based on the Apostle’s teaching as Christ prayed we should and as the apostles admonished we must to please Christ (John 17:17-; 20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10-12; 3:1-6).

Religious error flourishes where people fail to investigate, study, and think. It was noble in God’s sight when the Bereans “..received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).   It is still noble to demand proof that your teaching is what may be proven from the New Testament (1 John 3:1-2; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Jude 3).

In order to please Christ, we must obey Him--even if it means changing beliefs and practices which we may have engaged in for years (Hebrews 5:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 10:32-30; Luke 14:23-34). Truth and humility do not fear investigation--they welcome it (Isaiah 1:18; 1 Thess. 5:21).

If you are weary concerning denominational divisions and doctrines of uninspired men which are constantly changing with the times, we believe you will be happy to learn of the plea made by faithful Christians and by local churches of Christ to lay aside all human elements in religion such as creeds and such and just follow the word of Christ in everything (Colossians 3:17; Acts 3:22-23; Matthew 17:1-5; John 12:48; 2 John 9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). In other words, come with us back to the Bible. Be as broad as it allows and as narrow as it demands.

Let us call Bible things by Bible names.

Let us do Bible things in Bible ways.

Let us seek to obey Christ in all things.

Let us be simple New Testament Christians- nothing more and nothing less and nothing else.

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To purchase the book, containing much more information and footnotes, agents for the book in the USA and Internationally are Chula Vista Books. For individual enquiries, or resale quantities, please click on the logo below:

 

 

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Forbidden books - publishers mission statement, please click here.

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Keith Sisman, the author, contact details below:

 

 

 

OTHER INTERESTING WEB SITES:

 

 

 

The history of baptism page, The Devils Door, the pagan history of infant baptism exposed, click on logo below to avoid Sun worship:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free on-line Bible courses

 

 

 

Scott Harp's Restoration History:

 

 

Scott Harp's other restoration web sites links page:

http://www.therestorationmovement.com/links.htm

 

 

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