As a member of the Restoration Movement The sole basis for our belief in our community is the Bible. We hold to the motto: "In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity "
The Restoration Movement is the name for a loosely affiliated group of churches that sought to unify all Christians by following the Biblical model of the Church as closely as possible, while allowing as much diversity as possible around issues not explicitly described in the Bible. The Restoration Movement churches have been especially wary of rituals, written creeds, and governing hierarchies. The Restoration Movement makes no claim to being the continuation of the original Christian church.
In the last 100 years, the Restoration Movement has developed in a variety of directions. Some churches have moved away from the founders' view of the New Testament as a pattern for contemporary worship and Church practice -- for these churches, the focus on Christian unity has led them to adopt practices more typical of other Protestant churches. Others continue to strive to restore their worship and practices to what they believe was practiced in the first century church.
The key beliefs of the Restoration Movement that set its congregations apart from other evangelical Protestant churches are:
1) "No Creed but Christ." The phrase "No Creed But Christ" means that no Restoration Movement congregation will require a believer to read, memorize, sign, recite, affirm, pledge, or in any way have anything to do with a written creed as a litmus test for fellowship, baptism or communion, nor will a seeker or non-believer be expected to learn a creed in order to continue learning or attending. Many, if not most, RM congregations have a written "Statement of Beliefs." Such as statement is for information only, and is not a standard to which one must agree in order to have fellowship. (Romans 15:1-7)
2) "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." In essence, this means that congregations affiliated with the Restoration Movement reject chatechisms and the like, and base their beliefs only on Scripture. (Mark 7:1-13)
3) "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love." Believers affiliated with the Restoration Movement will not exclude other Christians from fellowship based on differing beliefs on "non-essential" doctrines. Restoration Movement believers will show love to believers with whom they may disagree. (1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4:3-13, Col 3:13-14, John 17:23, Psalm 133:1, 1 Peter 3:8, Rom 12:16)
4) "We are not the only Christians, but we are Christians only." Restoration Movement believers do not claim to be the only Christians, and we accept other believers who profess to believe in Jesus Christ as our brothers and sisters. However, we do not attach any other name to ourselves other than "Christian." (Rom 13:8-1 14, Romans 14:1 though 15:1-7)
5) "The priesthood of all believers." We believe that all believers are "priests" and can access God through prayer without a human intermediary. (1 Peter 2:5, Matthew 23:1-12 Eph 4:11-13)
The main practices of the Restoration Movement are as follows:
A) Local control of congregations. Any and all decisions that affect a congregation, such as hiring, transfer or termination of staff; budget allocations; building projects; etc. are made by that congregation. No congregation is accountable to any governing heirarchy. (Acts 14:19-23)
B) Lord's Supper every Sunday. We celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday. Any baptized believer is welcome to participate.
C) Believer's baptism by immersion. Only those who choose to baptised are baptised (we do not baptise infants or children who are too young to understand the decision). We baptise by full immersion.
D) Beauty through simplicity. Most Restoration Movement churches are rather austere, rejecting such things as candles, artwork, or stained glass windows, and are decorated quite simply.
Restoration Movement churches go by several styles of names. The most common type of name is the combination of a geographical place, for example a city or a street, and the words "Christian Church" or "Church of Christ." For example, if you're in Kalamazoo and you drive by Kalamazoo Christian Church, you can be 99% it's a Restoration Movement congregation.
There are some Restoration Movement congregations that practice non-instrumental worship. They almost exclusively use the name "Church of Christ" (as opposed to "Christian Church"). However, not all congregations that use the term "Church of Christ" are non-instrumental.
the Old and New Testaments are God-inspired and without error in their original form. The Bible is the final authority on all matters on which it bears. The Bible teaches there is one God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - each possessing all the attributes of deity, known as the Trinity
God our Father the first person of the Trinity created humans to have a relationship with Him, but humanity choses to turn from God by going their own way and ignoring God's Word. As a result, all mankind needs God's saving grace to end their separation from Him and start their lives anew. This new, eternal life in a loving relationship with God comes only through God's undeserved favor through faith and baptism and must be received personally by every individual.
Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life on earth and voluntarily paid for our sin and eternal punishment by dying on the cross as our substitute. He rose from the dead and is the mediator between us and God. Someday He will return to earth to receive all who have given themselves willingly to Him. Outside of Christ our destiny is Hell, a place of eternal despair and separation from God.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He teaches and nourishes us all spiritual and directs us all to faith in Christ Jesus. He equips believers for personal growth and service to the church and to the world.