Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 4 Page 19 April 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles
By Louis Rushmore

May Christians
Wear Jewelry?

 

“In like manner also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with brooded hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” - (1Timothy 2 9-10). Mr. Rushmore, this verse not only speaks of apparel, but of jewelry as well. So...should I throw out my gold earrings? ~ Eve Lopez

 

The Scripture to which the querist refers is similar to the following passage.

 

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Peter 3:1-6).

 

Both 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:1-6 mention apparel. In the latter passage, apparel or clothes are enumerated in the negative list. Certainly, the apostle Peter is not urging Christian women to forgo wearing clothes ¾ that is, go naked. Neither the apostle Paul nor the apostle Peter, likewise, forbids one’s adornment with jewelry. However, gaudy and extravagant adornment can displace or lessen the effect of inward, spiritual adornment. Both passages present a contrast for the sake of emphasis where the point is that inward, spiritual adornment is more precious to God (and Christianity) than outward, physical adornment. Religious people who make the wearing of jewelry a doctrinal issue make a law where God’s Word did not legislate.


The Campbells &
The Churches of Christ

 

I know the Lords church has been here since Pentecost but people tell me the church of Christ is a denomination started by the Campbells, do you know of any congregations before Campbell? ~ David Peery

 

The church for which Jesus died to establish began in A.D. 33 in Jerusalem (Acts 2) ¾ in fulfillment of hundreds of years old biblical prophecies (Isaiah 2:2-3; Daniel 2:31-44; Joel 2:28-3:2). After the death of the apostles and the close of first century, our Lord’s church began to apostatize from the New Testament pattern. Eventually, the Roman Catholic Church developed through these departures from biblical truth and the first universally recognized pope was selected in A.D. 606.

 

The Catholic Church continued to evolve away from primitive Christianity. Then, in A.D. 1517, a Catholic priest named Martin Luther launched what became known as the Reformation Movement. He protested against selling indulgences by posting 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The Reformation Movement flourished in Europe and the British Isles through the efforts of other Reformers, too, including: John Calvin, John Knox and Huldreich Zwingli. Several new churches were organized in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church, including: Lutheran (A.D. 1530), Episcopal (1534), Presbyterian (1536), Baptist (1611), Methodist (1739), etc. The Roman Catholic Church responded to the Reformation Movement with its infamous inquisitions.

 

A new wave of Reformers later objected to aspects of the Protestant denominations that had come about from earlier opposition to Catholicism. Many of these religious leaders became known as Restorers and were credited with launching a new Reformation or Restoration Movement. The Restoration Movement differed from the Reformation Movement in that the Reformers attempted to rejuvenate or improve the Catholic Church, but the Restorers endeavored to go back beyond Protestant denominationalism and Catholicism to restore the church of the Bible.

 

Several religious men throughout various locations in western civilization and from various religious backgrounds participated in the early Restoration Movement. For instance, in 1730 John Glas organized independent churches in Scotland. In 1755, Robert Sandeman espoused tenets of the church of the Bible and in 1765 established a church after the New Testament pattern in Portsmouth, NH. In 1794, James O’Kelly, a former Methodist preacher, and about 30 others call themselves the Christian Church and practice congregational government in Surry County, VA. Thousands of Methodists began leaving the Methodist Church to align themselves with the arm of the Restoration Movement led by James O’Kelly. In 1798, Greville Ewing left the Church of Scotland and formed a Congregational Church which adopted many tenets of the primitive church. In 1799, James and Robert Haldane started an independent church in Edinburgh, Scotland which aspired to restore the church of the Bible. In 1801, in an independent movement, Abner Jones, a physician and Baptist preacher, organized the Christian Church in New England at Lyndon, VT; its members only called themselves Christians. Also in 1801, Barton W. Stone, a Presbyterian preacher, preached in a camp meeting at Cane Ridge, KY; he came to lead another arm of the Restoration Movement. In 1802, Elias Smith preached in a New Hampshire home that followers of Christ should wear the name Christian only and he denounced the names Baptist, Methodist, etc., and spoke against man-made catechisms. Abner Jones organized two more independent churches in New Hampshire towns that year, too. In 1804, 15 congregations in the Barton W. Stone arm of the Restoration Movement meet in Kentucky and Ohio. John Walker, also in 1804, forms an independent congregation in Ireland.

 

In 1806, Abner Jones, Barton W. Stone and James O’Kelly, each leading an arm of the Restoration Movement, become aware of each other. Previously they and others in western civilization were unaware of each other while each attempted to restore primitive Christianity. In 1807, a church of Christ is established in Antioch, GA. The Restoration Movement started to spread more rapidly in America commensurate with the mobility of the American population. Independent churches striving to imitate the church of the New Testament were being established with greater frequency in many areas.

 

Not until 1808 does Thomas Campbell, a former Presbyterian preacher, form an independent group in western Pennsylvania. In 1809, John Mulkey forms a Restoration church in Tompkinsville, KY. The church of Christ at Philadelphia, Warren County, TN began meeting in 1810; it was initially unacquainted with Campbell, Stone, O’Kelly or other Restoration Movement leaders. Alexander Campbell organized an independent church in 1811.

 

From this time forward, which is beyond the scope of the inquiry, the Restoration Movement continued to blossom. Due to the great distance religion had evolved away from primitive Christianity through Catholicism and Protestantism, the return to New Testament Christianity was a slow, gradual progression. Several religious leaders, independent of each other and often unaware of each other, in Europe, the British Isles and America and over a period of several decades sought to restore New Testament Christianity. Therefore, it is inaccurate historically as well as theologically to suppose that Alexander Campbell is the founder of the churches of Christ or that the churches of Christ are a denomination. The purpose of the Restoration Movement was to restore undenominational Christianity.

 

We are neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish. We are Christians only! We endeavor to practice the primitive worship about which one can read in the New Testament. We imitate the congregational church government discernible on the pages of inspiration. We practice the biblical plan of salvation depicted in the Gospel of Christ. Our affiliation as Christians and congregations is wholly dependent upon our common regard for the Bible without earthly headquarters or human creeds.



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Louis Rushmore, Editor
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