Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Restoration Movement PBB: Sand Creek Documents


Perhaps I should start a new blog just to announce the production of Restoration Movement PBBs.  (This is supposed to be a blog dedicated to preaching). I have another one which is probably the most obscure one to date.  The fellowship of churches to which I am a part (American Restoration Movement or Stone/Campbell Movement) has “officially” divided twice.  Once between the non-instrumental churches of Christ and the rest of the movement (1906) and then with the formation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination and the rest of the movement (1967).  (This is my not-unprejudiced slant on it, here…). 

The first division “unofficially” began with the Civil War:  cultural differences between churches in the South (predominantly non-instrumental churches of Christ) and churches in the North (more often instrumental) created natural tensions.

The outward battles did not begin, however, until the 1880s with a document called “The Sand Creed Address and Declaration.”  It was a document mostly written by Daniel Sommers (pictured) dis-fellowshipping any churches who (among several offenses) used instrumental music.   The battle raged for twenty years or so, until 1906, when the non-instrumental churches of Christ asked the census bureau to list them as a separate church “group” (how that differs from a denomination, I’ll never know).

The late A.K.Guthrie of Lynchburg, VA did all of us a great favor by compiling several documents relating to “The Sand Creed Address and Declaration.”  A couple of contradictory version of it exist and several periodicals of the time commented on it (mostly negatively).  Included in Guthrie’s collection is a history of the Sand Creek church. 

You can find the PBB at my website: www.calhabig.com/PBB.html.

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