A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization and doctrine. Individual bodies, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as church or sometimes fellowship. Divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity"; these branches differ in many ways through differences in practices and belief. Individual denominations vary in the degree to which they recognize one another. Several groups claim to be the direct and sole authentic successor of the church founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD. Others, believe in denominationalism, where some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices; because of this concept, some Christian bodies reject the term "denomination" to describe themselves, to avoid implying equivalency with other churches or denominations.
The Catholic Church which claims 1.2 billion members – over half of all Christians worldwide – does not view itself as a denomination, but as the original pre-denominational church, a view rejected by other Christians. Protestant denominations account for 37 percent of Christians worldwide. Together and Protestantism comprise Western Christianity. Western Christian denominations prevail in Western, Northern and Southern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and Oceania; the Eastern Orthodox Church, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, is the second-largest Christian organization in the world and considers itself the original pre-denominational church. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church is itself a communion of independent autocephalous churches that mutually recognize each other to the exclusion of others; the Eastern Orthodox Church, together with Oriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East, constitutes Eastern Christianity. Eastern Christian denominations are represented in Eastern Europe, North Asia, the Middle East, Northeast Africa and South India.
Christians have various doctrines about the Church and about how the divine church corresponds to Christian denominations. Both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox hold that their own organizations faithfully represent the One Holy catholic and Apostolic Church to the exclusion of the other. Sixteenth-century Protestants separated from the Catholic Church because of theologies and practices that they considered to be in violation of their own interpretation. Members of the various denominations acknowledge each other as Christians, at least to the extent that they have mutually recognized baptisms and acknowledge orthodox views including the Divinity of Jesus and doctrines of sin and salvation though doctrinal and ecclesiological obstacles hinder full communion between churches. Since the reforms surrounding the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, the Catholic Church has referred to Protestant communities as "denominations", while reserving the term "church" for apostolic churches, including the Eastern Orthodox.
But some non-denominational Christians do not follow any particular branch, though sometimes regarded as Protestants. Each group uses different terminology to discuss their beliefs; this section will discuss the definitions of several terms used throughout the article, before discussing the beliefs themselves in detail in following sections. A denomination within Christianity can be defined as a "recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church". "Church" as a synonym, refers to a "particular Christian organization with its own clergy and distinctive doctrines". Some traditional and evangelical Protestants draw a distinction between membership in the universal church and fellowship within the local church. Becoming a believer in Christ makes one a member of the universal church; some evangelical groups describe themselves as interdenominational fellowships, partnering with local churches to strengthen evangelical efforts targeting a particular group with specialized needs, such as students or ethnic groups.
A related concept is denominationalism, the belief that some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices.. Protestant leaders differ from the views of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the two largest Christian denominations; each church makes mutually exclusive claims for itself to be t
Eastern Christianity comprises church families that developed outside the Occident, with major bodies including the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the denominations descended from the Church of the East. The Ukrainian Lutheran Church is an Eastern Christian church that uses the Byzantine Rite; the term is used in contrast with Western Christianity, although its scope has been one of continual discussion. Eastern Christianity consists of the Christian traditions and churches that developed distinctively over several centuries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Malabar coast of South India, parts of the Far East; the term does not describe religious denomination. Some Eastern churches have more in common and theologically with Western Christianity than with one another; the various Eastern churches do not refer to themselves as "Eastern", with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.
The terms "Eastern" and "Western" in this regard originated with geographical divisions in Christianity mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latin West, the political divide between the Western and Eastern Roman empires. Because the largest church in the East is the body known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the term "Orthodox" is used in a similar fashion to "Eastern", to refer to specific historical Christian communions; however speaking, most Christian denominations, whether Eastern or Western, consider themselves to be "orthodox" as well as "catholic", as two of the Four Marks of the Church listed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed: "One, Holy and Apostolic". There are several liturgical rites in use among the Eastern churches; these are the Alexandrian Rite, the Antiochene Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite and the West Syriac Rite. Eastern Christians do not share the same religious traditions, but do share many cultural traditions.
Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions. It would be many centuries that Western Christianity split from these traditions as its own communion. Major branches or families of Eastern Christianity, each of which has a distinct theology and dogma, include the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox communion, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. In many Eastern churches, some parish priests administer the sacrament of chrismation to infants after baptism, priests are allowed to marry before ordination. While all the Eastern Catholic Churches recognize the authority of the Pope of Rome, some of them who have been part of the Orthodox Church or Oriental Orthodox churches follow the traditions of Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy, including the tradition of allowing married men to become priests.
The Eastern churches' differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture and politics, as theology. For the non-Catholic Eastern churches, a definitive date for the commencement of schism cannot be given; the Church of the East declared independence from the churches of the Roman Empire at its general council in 424, before the Council of Ephesus in 431, so had nothing to do with the theology declared at that council. Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Since the time of the historian Edward Gibbon, the split between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church has been conveniently dated to 1054, though the reality is more complex; this split is sometimes referred to as the Great Schism, but now more referred to as the East–West Schism. This final schism reflected a larger cultural and political division which had developed in Europe and Southwest Asia during the Middle Ages and coincided with Western Europe's re-emergence from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The Ukrainian Lutheran Church developed within Galicia around 1926, with its rites being based on the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, rather than on the Western Formula Missae; the Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body whose adherents are based in the Middle East and Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, with a growing presence in the western world. Eastern Orthodox Christians accept the decisions of the first seven ecumenical councils. Eastern Orthodox Christianity identifies itself as the original Christian church founded by Christ and the Apostles, traces its lineage back to the early Church through the process of apostolic succession and unchanged theology and practice. Distinguishing characteristics of the Eastern Orthodox Church include the Byzantine Rite and an emphasis on the continuation of Holy Tradition, which it holds to be apostolic in nature; the Eastern Orthodox Church is organized into self-governing jurisdictions along geographical, ethnic or linguistic lines. Eastern Orthodoxy is thus made up of sixteen autocephalous bodies.
Smaller churches are autonomous and each have a mother church, autocephalous. All Eastern O
A credo is a statement of religious belief, such as the Apostles' Creed. The term refers to the use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Mass, either as spoken text, or sung as Gregorian chant or other musical settings of the Mass. After the formulation of the Nicene Creed, its initial liturgical use was in baptism, which explains why the text uses the singular "I...." instead of "we...." The text was incorporated into the liturgies, first in the east and in Spain, into the north, from the sixth to the ninth century. In 1014 it was accepted by the Church of Rome as a legitimate part of the Mass, it is recited in the Western Mass directly after the Homily on all Solemnities. It is recited in the Orthodox Liturgy following the Litany of Supplication on all occasions; because of its late adoption, the length of the text, there are few chant settings of it. What is identified as "Credo I" in the Liber Usualis was widely considered the only authentic Credo, it is the element of the ordinary, most associated with a single melody.
The Liber Usualis contains only two other settings, designated as "Credo V" and "Credo VI,", far fewer than for other settings of the Ordinary. In musical settings of the Credo, as in the Gloria, the first line is intoned by the celebrant alone, or by a soloist, while the choir or congregation joins in with the second line; this tradition continued through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, is followed in more recent settings. In Stravinsky's Mass, for example, a soloist intones the first line, from the plainchant Credo I. In Mass settings of the Baroque and Romantic period the Credo line is set for whole choir, such as in the Symbolum Nicenum of Bach's Mass in B minor, where the composer uses plainchant as the theme for a fugue, in the Masses of Haydn, the Missa Solemnis of Beethoven; the melody of Credo I first appears in eleventh-century manuscripts, but it is believed to be much older, Greek in origin. It is entirely syllabic because of the length of the text, consists of a great deal of repetition of melodic formulas.
In polyphonic settings of the Mass, the Credo is the longest movement, but is set more homophonically than other movements because the length of the text demanded a more syllabic approach, as was seen with chant as well. A few composers have set Credos independently from the rest of the ordinary to allow their insertion into missae breves or their omission where a said or chanted Credo is the custom. Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, factorem cæli et terræ, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible: Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum, And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia sæcula; the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. Et incarnatus homo factus est.. He was incarnate by the Holy Ghost out of the Virgin Mary, was made man. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est, He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate.
And ascended into heaven, sits on the right hand of the Father: Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, And the same shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead: cuius regni non erit finis. Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: who, with the Father and the Son, together is worshiped and glorified, qui locutus est per prophetas. Who has spoken through the prophets. Et unam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam, and one, holy and apostolic Church, Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, And I await the resurrection of the dead: et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen. and the life of the coming age. Amen. Settings of alternative texts as a Credo outside the Mass, as a motet, are rare; the first published polyphonic settings of the Symbolum Apostolorum were settings by the French composer Le Brung in 1540, two further settings by the Spanish composer Fernando de las Infantas in 1578.
Creed Hoppin, Richard. Medieval Music. New York: Norton, 1978. Pages 136-138
Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal and indivisibly united in one being, or essence. Certain religious groups that emerged during the Protestant Reformation have been known as antitrinitarian, but are not considered Protestant in popular discourse due to their nontrinitarian nature. According to churches that consider the decisions of ecumenical councils final, Trinitarianism was definitively declared to be Christian doctrine at the 4th-century ecumenical councils, that of the First Council of Nicaea, which declared the full divinity of the Son, the First Council of Constantinople, which declared the divinity of the Holy Spirit. In terms of number of adherents, nontrinitarian denominations comprise a minority of modern Christianity; the largest nontrinitarian Christian denominations are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oneness Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, La Luz del Mundo and the Iglesia ni Cristo, though there are a number of other smaller groups, including Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, Dawn Bible Students, Living Church of God, Assemblies of Yahweh, Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, Members Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians, The Way International, The Church of God International, the United Church of God.
Nontrinitarian views differ on the nature of God and the Holy Spirit. Various nontrinitarian philosophies, such as adoptionism and subordinationism existed prior to the establishment of the Trinity doctrine in AD 325, 381, 431, at the Councils of Nicaea and Ephesus. Nontrinitarianism was renewed by Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the Unitarian movement during the Protestant Reformation, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century; the doctrine of the Trinity, as held in mainstream Christianity, is not present in the other major Abrahamic religions. Christian apologists and other Church Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, having adopted and formulated the Logos Christology, considered the Son of God as the instrument used by the supreme God, the Father, to bring the creation into existence. Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus of Rome and Tertullian in particular state that the internal Logos of God —his impersonal divine reason—was begotten as Logos uttered, becoming a person to be used for the purpose of creation.
The Encyclopædia Britannica states: "to some Christians the doctrine of the Trinity appeared inconsistent with the unity of God.... They therefore denied it, accepted Jesus Christ, not as incarnate God, but as God's highest creature by whom all else was created.... View in the early Church long contended with the orthodox doctrine." Although the nontrinitarian view disappeared in the early Church and the Trinitarian view became an orthodox doctrine of modern Christianity, variations of the nontrinitarian view are still held by a small number of Christian groups and denominations. Various views exist regarding the relationships between the Father and Holy Spirit; those who believe that Jesus is not God, nor equal to God, but was either God's subordinate Son, a messenger from God, or prophet, or the perfect created human: Adoptionism holds that Jesus became divine at his baptism or at his resurrection. Arius' position was that the Son was brought forth as the first of God's creations, that the Father created all things through the Son.
Arius taught that in the creation of the universe, the Father was the ultimate creator, supplying all the materials and directing the design, while the Son worked the materials, making all things at the bidding and in the service of the Father, by which "through all things came into existence". Arianism became the dominant view in some regions in the time of the Roman Empire, notably the Visigoths until 589; the third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession held that both homoousios and homoiousios were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the Son: "But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin substantia, but in Greek ousia, that is, to make it understood more as to'coessential,' or what is called,'like-in-essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding".
They interpret verses such as John 1:1 to refer to God's "plan" existing in God's mind before Christ's birth.
Baptism with the Holy Spirit
In Christian theology, baptism with the Holy Spirit or baptism with the Holy Ghost, is distinguished from baptism with water. It is associated with incorporation into the Christian Church, the bestowal of spiritual gifts, empowerment for Christian ministry; the term baptism with the Holy Spirit originates in the New Testament, all Christian traditions accept it as a theological concept. Different Christian denominations and traditions have interpreted its meaning in a variety of ways due to differences in the doctrines of salvation and ecclesiology; as a result, Spirit baptism has been variously defined as part of the sacraments of initiation into the church, as being synonymous with regeneration, as being synonymous with Christian perfection, or as being a second work of grace that empowers a person for Christian life and service. Before the emergence of the holiness movement in the mid-19th century and Pentecostalism in the early 20th century, most denominations believed that Christians received the baptism with the Holy Spirit either upon conversion and regeneration or through rites of Christian initiation, such as water baptism and confirmation.
Since the growth and spread of Pentecostal and charismatic churches, the belief that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience distinct from Christian initiation has come into increasing prominence. In Christian theology, the work of the Holy Spirit under the Old Covenant is viewed as less extensive than that under the New Covenant inaugurated on the day of Pentecost; the Spirit was restricted to certain chosen individuals, such as high prophets. Termed the “spirit of prophecy” in rabbinic writings, the Holy Spirit was associated with prophecy and divine inspiration, it was anticipated that in the future messianic age God would pour out his spirit upon all of Israel, which would become a nation of prophets. While the exact phrase "baptism with the Holy Spirit" is not found in the New Testament, two forms of the phrase are found in the canonical gospels using the verb "baptize", from the Greek word baptizein meaning to "immerse" or "plunge"; the baptism was spoken about by John the Baptist, who contrasted his water baptism for the forgiveness of sins with the baptism of Jesus.
In Mark 1 and John 1, the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus "will baptize in Holy Spirit". Jesus is considered the first person to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit anointed him with power. Afterward, Jesus began his ministry and displayed his power by casting out demons, healing the sick, teaching with authority; the phrase "baptized in the Holy Spirit" occurs two times in Acts of the Apostles, first in Acts 1:4–5 and second in Acts 11:16. Other terminology is used in Acts to indicate Spirit baptism, such as "filled". "Baptized in the Spirit" indicates an outward immersion into the reality of the Holy Spirit, while "filled with the Spirit" suggests an internal diffusion. Both terms speak to the totality of receiving the Spirit; the baptism with the Holy Spirit is described in various places as the Spirit "poured out upon", "falling upon", "coming upon" people. To "pour out" suggests abundance and reflects John 3:34, "God gives the Spirit without limit". Another expression, "come upon" is related to a statement by Jesus in Luke 24:49, "I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.
But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high". The language of "come on" and "clothed with" suggest possession by and endowment with the Holy Spirit; the narrative of Acts begins after Jesus' resurrection. The resurrected Jesus directed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and promised, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, to the end of the earth". After his ascension, he was given authority to pour out the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, the messianic expectations found in early Judaism were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts; the Christian community was gathered together in Jerusalem when a sound from heaven like rushing wind was heard and tongues like tongues of flame rested on everyone. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues, miraculously praising God in foreign languages. A crowd gathered and was addressed by the Apostle Peter who stated that the occurrence was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2, "And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy".
He explained how the Spirit came to be poured out, recounting Jesus’ ministry and passion and proclaiming his resurrection and enthronement at the right hand of God. In response, the crowd asked Peter, he responded that they should repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter finished his speech stating that the promise "is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself". Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs elsewhere in Acts; the gospel had been proclaimed in Samaria and the apostles Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem. The new believers had been baptized in water; the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit when John laid their hands on them. The Apostle Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit when Ananias of Damascus laid hands on him, afterwards Paul was baptized with water. In Acts, Peter preached the gospel to the household of Cornel
Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, it is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism; because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church.
For this reason, some Pentecostals use the term Apostolic or Full Gospel to describe their movement. Pentecostalism emerged in the early 20th century among radical adherents of the Holiness movement who were energized by revivalism and expectation for the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Believing that they were living in the end times, they expected God to spiritually renew the Christian Church thereby bringing to pass the restoration of spiritual gifts and the evangelization of the world. In 1900, Charles Parham, an American evangelist and faith healer, began teaching that speaking in tongues was the Bible evidence of Spirit baptism and along with William J. Seymour, a Wesleyan-Holiness preacher, he taught that this was the third work of grace; the three-year-long Azusa Street Revival and led by Seymour in Los Angeles, resulted in the spread of Pentecostalism throughout the United States and the rest of the world as visitors carried the Pentecostal experience back to their home churches or felt called to the mission field.
While all Pentecostal denominations trace their origins to Azusa Street, the movement has experienced a variety of divisions and controversies. An early dispute centered on challenges to the doctrine of the Trinity; as a result, the Pentecostal movement is divided between trinitarian and non-trinitarian branches, resulting in the emergence of Oneness Pentecostals. Comprising over 700 denominations and a large number of independent churches, there is no central authority governing Pentecostalism. There are over 279 million Pentecostals worldwide, the movement is growing in many parts of the world the global South. Since the 1960s, Pentecostalism has gained acceptance from other Christian traditions, Pentecostal beliefs concerning Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts have been embraced by non-Pentecostal Christians in Protestant and Catholic churches through the Charismatic Movement. Together and Charismatic Christianity numbers over 500 million adherents. While the movement attracted lower classes in the global South, there is an increasing appeal to middle classes.
Middle class congregations tend to be more adapted to society and withdraw strong spiritual practices such as divine healing. Pentecostalism is an evangelical faith, emphasizing the reliability of the Bible and the need for the transformation of an individual's life through faith in Jesus. Like other evangelicals, Pentecostals adhere to the Bible's divine inspiration and inerrancy—the belief that the Bible, in the original manuscripts in which it was written, is without error. Pentecostals emphasize the teaching of the "full gospel" or "foursquare gospel"; the term foursquare refers to the four fundamental beliefs of Pentecostalism: Jesus saves according to John 3:16. The central belief of classical Pentecostalism is that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, sins can be forgiven and humanity reconciled with God; this is the Gospel or "good news". The fundamental requirement of Pentecostalism is; the new birth is received by the grace of God through faith in Christ as Savior. In being born again, the believer is regenerated, adopted into the family of God, the Holy Spirit's work of sanctification is initiated.
Classical Pentecostal soteriology is Arminian rather than Calvinist. The security of the believer is a doctrine held within Pentecostalism. Pentecostals believe in both a literal heaven and hell, the former for those who have accepted God's gift of salvation and the latter for those who have rejected it. For most Pentecostals there is no other requirement to receive salvation. Baptism with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues are not required, though Pentecostal converts are encouraged to seek these experiences. A notable exception is Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, most adherents of which believe both water baptism and Spirit baptism are integral components of salvation. Pentecostals identify three distinct uses of the word "baptism" in the New Testament: Baptism into the body of Christ: This refers to salvation; every believer in Christ is made a part of the Church, through baptism. The Holy Spirit is the agent, the body of Christ is the medium. Water baptism: Symbolic of dying to the world and liv
The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the United States frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century. The pioneers of this movement were seeking to reform the church from within and sought "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament." Since the mid-20th century, members of these churches do not identify as Protestant but as Christian. The Restoration Movement developed from several independent strands of religious revival that idealized early Christianity. Two groups, which independently developed similar approaches to the Christian faith, were important; the first, led by Barton W. Stone, began at Cane Ridge and identified as "Christians"; the second began in western Pennsylvania and Virginia and was led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell, both educated in Scotland. Both groups sought to restore the whole Christian church on the pattern set forth in the New Testament, both believed that creeds kept Christianity divided.
In 1832 they joined in fellowship with a handshake. Among other things, they were united in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God; because the founders wanted to abandon all denominational labels, they used the biblical names for the followers of Jesus. Both groups promoted a return to the purposes of the 1st-century churches as described in the New Testament. One historian of the movement has argued that it was a unity movement, with the restoration motif playing a subordinate role; the Restoration Movement has since divided into multiple separate groups. There are three main branches in the U. S.: the Churches of Christ, the unaffiliated Christian Church/Church of Christ congregations, the Christian Church. Some characterize the divisions in the movement as the result of the tension between the goals of restoration and ecumenism: the Churches of Christ and unaffiliated Christian Church/Church of Christ congregations resolved the tension by stressing restoration, while the Christian Church resolved the tension by stressing ecumenism.
A number of groups outside the U. S. have historical associations with this movement, such as the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada and the Churches of Christ in Australia. Because the Restoration Movement lacks any centralized structure, having originated in a variety of places with different leaders, there is no consistent nomenclature for the movement as a whole; the term "Restoration Movement" became popular during the 19th century. The term "Stone-Campbell Movement" emerged towards the end of the 20th century as a way to avoid the difficulties associated with some of the other names that have been used, to maintain a sense of the collective history of the movement; the Restoration Movement has been characterized by several key principles: Christianity should not be divided, Christ intended the creation of one church. Creeds divide, but Christians should be able to find agreement by standing on the Bible itself Ecclesiastical traditions divide, but Christians should be able to find common ground by following the practice of the early church.
Names of human origin divide, but Christians should be able to find common ground by using biblical names for the church. Thus, the church'should stress only what all Christians hold in common and should suppress all divisive doctrines and practices'. A number of slogans have been used in the Restoration Movement, which are intended to express some of the distinctive themes of the Movement; these include: "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak. "The church of Jesus Christ on earth is intentionally, constitutionally one." "We are Christians only, but not the only Christians." "In essentials, unity. "No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine." "Do Bible things in Bible ways." "Call Bible things by Bible names." During the late Middle Ages, dissenters such as John Wycliff and John Huss called for a restoration of a primitive form of Christianity, but they were driven underground. As a result, it is difficult to find any direct links between such early dissenters and the restoration movement.
Beginning with the Renaissance, intellectual roots become easier to discern. At the heart of the Reformation was an emphasis on the principle of "Scripture alone". This, along with the related insistence on the right of individuals to read and interpret the Bible for themselves and a movement to reduce ritual in worship, formed part of the intellectual background of early Restoration Movement leaders; the branch of the Reformation movement represented by Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin contributed an emphasis on "restoring biblical forms and patterns." The rationalism of John Locke provided another influence. Reacting to the deism of Lord Herbert, Locke sought a way to address religious division and persecution without abandoning Scripture. To do this, Locke argu