Christian churches and churches of Christ
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|Christian churches and churches of Christ|
|Classification||Christian, Restoration Movement|
|Orientation||New Testament, Restorationism|
|Separations||Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ|
|Members||1,071,616 in the United States|
The Christian churches and churches of Christ are a part of the Restoration Movement and share historical roots with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the a cappella Churches of Christ. The term does not include all Christian churches.
These churches are best defined as those in the Restoration Movement who have chosen on the one hand not to be identified with the denomination known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). On the other hand, the obvious difference from the Churches of Christ is the use of instrumental music in worship. The instrumental Christian Churches and the a cappella Churches of Christ are otherwise very similar.
Churches in this tradition have no formal denominational ties, and thus there are no official statistical data, but the 2006 Directory of the Ministry documents some 5,500 congregations. Many estimate the number to be over 6,000.[who?]
Congregational nomenclature 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2009)|
The churches are independent congregations and typically go by the name "Christian Church", but often use the name "church of Christ" as well. Though isolated exceptions may occur, it is generally agreed within the movement that no personal or family names should be attached to a congregation which Christ purchased and established with his own blood, though geographical labels are acceptable. Thus, it is common for a congregation to be known as "[City Name] Christian Church,"  but in some areas they may be known as "[The/First] Christian Church [of/at] [City, Community, or Other Location Name]." In recent history, individual congregations have made the decision to change their formal name to break with traditional nomenclature and to adopt more generic names like "Christ's Church [of/at] [City Name]", "[City Name] Community Christian Church", or "[City Name] Community Fellowship". The tendency in Restoration churches to choose names such as "Christian Church" and "Church of Christ" can cause difficulties in identifying the affiliation (if any) of an individual church based solely on its name. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for churches outside of the Restoration Movement to use similar names (see Church of Christ (disambiguation)).
Separation from the Disciples of Christ 
The separation of the independent Christian churches and churches of Christ from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (DoC) occurred over an extended period of time.:185 The roots of the separation date back to a polarization that occurred during the early twentieth century as the result of three significant controversies.:185 These controversies surrounded theological modernism, the impact of the ecumenical movement, and open membership (recognizing as full members individuals who had not been baptized by immersion).:185 Theological modernism and ecumenism led to the development of a denominational structure within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The split occurred as local congregations refused to take part in rapidly developing extra-congregational organizations that eventually evolved into a General Assembly. They were also disturbed by what they saw as liberal influences within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) concerning Biblical criticism and social justice.
The official separation between the independent Christian churches and churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is difficult to date.:407 Suggestions range from 1926 to 1971 based on the events outlined below:
- 1926: The first North American Christian Convention (NACC) in 1927:407 was the result of disillusionment at the DoC Memphis Convention.
- 1930s - 1940s: Symbolic differences and disagreements flourished. Institutional controversy develops. See also Sponsoring church and Churches of Christ (non-institutional).
- 1944: International Convention of Disciples elects as president a proponent of open membership:408
- 1948: The Commission on Restudy, appointed to help avoid a split, disbands:409
- 1955: The Directory of the Ministry was first published listing only the "Independents" on a voluntary basis.:408
- 1968: Final redaction of the Disciples Year Book removing Independent churches:408
- 1971: Independent churches listed separately in the Yearbook of American Churches.:408
Because of this separation, many independent Christian churches and churches of Christ are not only non-denominational, they can be anti-denominational, avoiding even the appearance or language associated with denominationalism holding true to their Restoration roots and firm conviction that Christ has founded only one church which is his body.
Separation from the International Church of Christ and International Christian Church 
Both church movements have their roots in the restoration movement of discipleship and the biblical teachings of "Full Immersion baptism." However they branched off the little known controversial Crossroads movement (Total Commitment Movement). In 1967, though never departing from the Mainline Church of Christ, the Crossroads Church near the University of Florida pioneers evangelizing the secular campuses of the United States, "counting the cost" with each person that desires to be baptized, and the shepherding of the new converts. 
In 1979,in a small suburb of Boston Kip McKean was hired to take charge of a struggling 30 something member Lexington Church of Christ. Soon the "30 would-be disciples" would be the first church in what would soon become the fastest moving and growing church in the world the International Church of Christ (aka ICOC) or the "Boston Movement". The ICOC differs from the mainline Church of Christ in 8 major doctrinal ways: Bible Church just not a New Testament Church, only disciples are true christians, each and every member of the church must be a disciple, each member should be in discipling relationships, a vision to evangelize the nations in a generation, the planting of new churches to achieve this vision, central leadership not autonomous congregations, and the role of women. However in 2002 the International Church of Christ returned to a mainline Church of Christ theology. The ICOC forced out Kip McKean and fired the Central Leadership. They soon adopted a "Co-operational" agreement among themselves appointing a new lead Movement Evangelist every 2 years and a democratic method of governing. They soon after voted as well to return to mainline Church of Christ theology.
In 2003, Kip McKean was invited once again to lead a small struggling congregation in Portland, Oregon then at 25 members the Portland International Church of Christ. In one year the church baptized 140 members. By the end of 2006 the church grew to over 400 members the fast single growing church in the history of the ICOC or mainline Church of Christ. Kip McKean called every member back to the doctrinal requirements of the ICOC except now he calls every member to be a "Sold-out Disciple" thus church and the new movement has been dubbed by its persecutors "The Sold-out Discipling Movement." On October 15th of 2006 the Portland International Church of Christ leadership renamed the church the Portland International Christian Church to symbolize the differences in doctrine from the ICOC and the number of both remnant US domestic and international churches that left the ICOC to join the Sold-out Movement.
Not to be confused with the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ, DoC) or Churches of Christ (CoC) the ICOC and the ICC are two different movements of churches that had differing views on baptism, accountability, central leadership, Bible teachings and discipleship from the DoC or CoC. Although most ICOC churches have dropped the "International" from their name to show they have returned to a mainline theology very few ICOC congregations still teaches the same teachings they preached back in Boston in 1979. Both movements of churches view the Restoration Movement as a part of their church history and the reason they have progressed in their knowledge of the biblical "One Church, One Body" teachings.
Because the Christian churches and churches of Christ are independent congregations there is no set creed, but The Directory of the Ministry contains the following general description:
"Members of Christian Churches and churches of Christ believe in the deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and the autonomy of local congregations. Following the basic principles of the 'Restoration Movement', they accept and teach regenerative baptism by immersion into Christ for the forgiveness of sins; they assemble for worship on the first day of the week, making the observance of the Lord's Supper a focal point in such worship. They seek the unity of all believers on the basis of faith in and obedience to Christ as the divine Son of God and the acceptance of the Bible particularly the New Testament as their all-sufficient rule of faith and practice."
Of the principles cited above, one characteristic marks most Christian Churches and Churches of Christ as distinctly different from other modern evangelical Christian groups today. That is the teaching that a person is ultimately regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and receives the remission of sins, during his baptism.  Baptism is:
- by immersion [Rom 6:4],
- for publicly confessing believers in Jesus Christ [Acts 8:37],
- a work of God's grace, not a work of man [Col 2:12],
- a promise received through obedient submission [Acts 2:40, 41],
- necessarily accompanied with confession of sinfulness and repentance [Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Rom 10:9,10],
- the occasion when one receives God's forgiveness for their sins [Acts 2:36-37; Acts 2:40-41],
- the occasion when one calls on His name for salvation [Acts 22:16],
- the occasion when the equipping, indwelling Holy Spirit is received as a seal and promise of heaven [Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5],
- a "circumcision" or transformation of the believer's heart by the hands of Christ himself [Col 2:11,12],
- foreshadowed in the Old Testament ceremonial washings, now fulfilled in a believer's shared experience with Christ [Heb 10:22],
- symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ [Rom 6:4], and the only assurance of the hope of the resurrection from the dead [Rom 6:5-7],
- specifically emphasized and commanded by Christ in his brief closing remarks ("The Great Commission") before ascending into heaven,
- not only an outward sign of an inward change, but is both simultaneously [e.g. "born again" John 3:4, 5],
- one baptism indeed, both physically in water and spiritually in the blood of Jesus [Eph 4:5; John 3:5],
- entry into the body of Christ at large, and hence, the only viable entry into the membership of a local congregation of the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (as in the Church of Christ (non-instrumental), a candidate for membership is not usually required to be re-baptized if they have previously been "baptized into Christ" in accordance with the above general understanding and/or guidelines) [Eph 4:5].
The teaching that "salvation coming by grace through faith at immersion into Christ" is the only New Testament example for Christians to follow today is viewed by many groups, particularly those of Calvinist persuasion, as too similar to a salvation by works rather than a salvation by faith alone. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ contend that true faith is not mere belief, but no less than a believing, trusting, and repentant obedience, that baptism is always mentioned in the passive verbal forms in the New Testament (i.e. "be baptized [at the hands of another]", as opposed to Old Testament-styled active commands), because it is a work of God, not man [Col 2:12]. In that respect, (being a work of God) baptism may be considered similar to belief [John 6:28, 29]. The assertion follows that it is Christ's redemptive work one trusts in as they, by faith, accept his free offer of grace. Finally, a life of trusting faithfulness until death is seen to demonstrate the authenticity of one's faith, and further makes his or her calling and election sure.
Educational institutions 
The Christian Churches/churches of Christ support a variety of Bible colleges and seminaries. Because there is no official "denominational" structure in the movement, the local colleges often serve as information centers and allow the local churches to maintain connections with each other.
|Colleges and seminaries||Location||Date Founded|
|Alberta Bible College||Calgary, Alberta||1932|
|Maritime Christian College||Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island||1960|
|Colleges and seminaries||Location||Date Founded|
|Boise Bible College||Boise, Idaho||1945|
|Central Christian College of the Bible||Moberly, Missouri||1957|
|Cincinnati Christian University||Cincinnati, Ohio||1924|
|Colegio Biblico||Eagle Pass, Texas||1945|
|Crossroads College||Rochester, Minnesota||1913|
|Dallas Christian College||Dallas, Texas||1950|
|Emmanuel Christian Seminary||Johnson City, Tennessee||1965|
|Florida Christian College||Kissimmee, Florida||1976|
|Great Lakes Christian College||Delta Township, Michigan||1949|
|Hope International University||Fullerton, California||1928|
|Johnson University||Knoxville, Tennessee||1893|
|Kentucky Christian University||Grayson, Kentucky||1919|
|Lincoln Christian University||Lincoln, Illinois||1944|
|Louisville Bible College||Louisville, Kentucky||1948|
|Manhattan Christian College||Manhattan, Kansas||1927|
|Mid-Atlantic Christian University||Elizabeth City, North Carolina||1948|
|Mid-South Christian College||Memphis, Tennessee||1959|
|Milligan College||Milligan College, Tennessee||1866|
|Nebraska Christian College||Papillion, Nebraska||1945|
|Northwest Christian University||Eugene, Oregon||1895|
|Ozark Christian College||Joplin, Missouri||1942|
|Point University||East Point and West Point, Georgia||1937|
|Saint Louis Christian College||Florissant, Missouri||1956|
|Summit Christian College||Scottsbluff, Nebraska||1951|
|Summit Theological Seminary||Peru, Indiana||1974|
|William Jessup University||Rocklin, California||1939|
A number of slogans have been used in the Restoration Movement to express some of the distinctive themes of the Movement.:688 These include:
- "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.":688
- "The church of Jesus Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one.":688
- "We are Christians only, but not the only Christians.":688
- "In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love.":688
- "No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine.":688
- "Call Bible things by Bible names.":688
See also 
- Christian Church
- Restoration Movement
- Churches of Christ
- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Christian primitivism
- Sponsoring church (Churches of Christ)
- Churches of Christ (non-institutional)
- Directory of the Ministry
- The naming practice is taken as applied doctrine from Paul's use of city names in writing epistles to "the church which is at Corinth" or "the church at Thessalonica" etc.
- Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Christian Churches/Churches of Christ
- Leroy Garrett, The Stone-Campbell Movement: The Story of the American Restoration Movement, College Press, 2002, ISBN 0-89900-909-3, ISBN 978-0-89900-909-4, 573 pages
- First Principles by Kip McKean, July 2012
- McKean, Kip (2005-08-21). "The Portland Story". Portland International Church of Christ. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- Baptism & the Great Commission, pg. 11
- Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon
- Colegio Biblico
- Louisville Bible College
- Mid-South Christian College
- Puget Sound Christian College
- Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Slogans
- Baptism: A Biblical Study; Dr. Jack Cottrell; College Press, Joplin, MO: 1989; ISBN 0-89900-341-9.
- Union in Truth: An Interpretive History of the Restoration Movement; James B. North; Standard Publishing; Cincinnati, OH: 1994; ISBN 0-7847-0197-0.