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STUDIES IN THE RESTORATION

Studies in the Restoration
By L. L. Brigance
 
(Leonard Lee Brigance, 1879 to 1950, was a professor of Bible at Freed Hardeman College for many years. His logical mind enabled him to transmit clear, clean-cut thoughts. He was a writer for the Gospel Advocate and in the early '40s composed a number of articles titled "Studies in the Restoration. " He dealt at length with the Christian Church [Disciples of Christ] and demonstrated its drift into liberalism and oblivion. Since the church now has a number of capable men who are tracking the Disciples' disaster, some of the Brigance articles are being reprinted. It is fabulous that brother Brigance more than 50 years ago described conditions now evident in the church - Dobbs.)

There was a time when all those who constituted the Restoration Movement believed that the Bible was inspired of God, that it was infallibly correct, that it constituted our supreme and sole authority in spiritual things, that there was revealed in the New Testament a pattern of the one-and-only church approved of God, that it was fixed and permanent, that the "plan of salvation" was explicitly set forth, that it was inflexible - in short, that we had to find authority in the New Testament for everything we believed or practiced in religion. But alas! Times have changed. A part of that movement has abandoned practically every one of the above propositions. The left wing of the big "D" Disciples have given up the "back-to-Jerusalem," "back-to-the-apostles" plea of the pioneers and are now headed toward Rome, Geneva, London, or some other place unknown to the Bible, unless it be Gehenna. They have given up the undenominational plea for "unity through the restoration of the New Testament church," have fraternized with denominationalism, endorsed it, and, in fact, are one themselves. DeGroot, in discussing the relation of the Disciples to "church federation," says:

Whether the Disciples were, or are, a denomination or not (which, of course, is purely a matter of definition), the fact is that they soon presented the normal characteristics of a functioning denomination, with "our" plea, "our" conventions, and "our" agencies. The Disciples came up in the error of the federation idea looking and acting (though not talking) like a denomination.

Thus they are beginning to admit their denominationalism, and no doubt in a few years they will do it freely and unblushingly. If they were not speaking the language of Ashdod (denominationalism) then, they are now, and in all essentials are just another denomination.

The Model Church

Is there a model or pattern of the church that Jesus said he would build revealed in the Scriptures? Did the apostles through whom Christ built the church have a blueprint and specifications, figuratively speaking, to guide them in its erection? Let us see.

The need of patterns in material things. In nearly all of the relationships of life man must have patterns, models, and standards to guide and govern him in whatever he does. Is he about to build a house? He must have a pattern, a blueprint, and specifications either on paper or in his mind. He cannot build without it. The garment maker generally has a pattern by which to cut a gown and then a model on which to shape it. One of the most important workmen in a foundry is the patternmaker. Every piece of metal must be molded (modeled) according to the pattern. In buying and selling, trading and trafficking, there must be standards by which to be governed. The commerce of the world could not be carried on without units of measure


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