The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) originated on the American Frontier during the early 19th Century. We are often referred to as the most “American” of Christian denominations because the ideals of the “Spirit of ’76” had a major impact on our beginnings. Our first leaders were Barton Stone, Thomas Campbell, and Alexander Campbell; Presbyterians who reacted against sectarian frontier religion and urged a union of all Christians founded upon the restoration of New Testament Christianity. They advocated believer’s baptism by immersion and weekly observance of The Lord’s Supper.
Worship styles vary from congregation to congregation, but all Disciples congregations observe The Lord’s Supper each Sunday. The symbol of our denomination is a chalice bearing the X shaped cross of St. Andrew. The chalice represents the centrality of the Lord’s Supper and the St. Andrew’s cross symbolizes our Scottish Presbyterian heritage.
Disciples live by the admonition, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things, love.” Creeds may be used in worship and teaching, but they are not seen as tests of fellowship. We hold that the scriptures witness to all things necessary for salvation, and we encourage each person to study the scriptures and to seek God’s will for their life. The unity of all Christians continues to be held before us as our “polar star.” The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has always served as a “bridge church” or a common ground for people with diverse denominational backgrounds.
As Disciples of Christ, we believe that all people are created by God and therefore entitled to respect and freedom. Freedom to think for ourselves, govern our own congregations, interpret the Bible in our contexts. “Unity with diversity” has long been a motto. We value open discussion, even disagreement, as we seek to interpret and express our understanding of God’s will for ourselves and our society. While we do not confuse unity with uniformity, “Unity” is indeed a polar star. We believe God seeks the reconciliation of all divided peoples…whether by age, race, gender, nationality, or any other human division. As Disciples we also believe in individual responsibility… that every member is a minister, responsible to use their spiritual gifts in the service of God’s mission.
For more information about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ ) visit the Disciples.org website.
Or watch this video: A Movement for Wholeness