As we read in the Acts of the Apostles, the Christian church was called into existence in AD 30. Since that time there have been many struggles and issues. In the early part of the 16th century, Martin Luther protested against practices that had grown up in the Catholic Church, and he released the Bible and a new understanding of being ‘justified by faith’ to the world. Later, John Calvin stressed the divine sovereignty of God. John Wesley agitated for more spirituality in the churches. Around these great movements of God, great denominations grew, but so did divisive walls. As time went on, more and more splits occurred as people claimed authority and insight. By the 19th century there were hundreds of ‘denominations’ and groups claiming to be THE true church.
In the midst of all this, a movement emerged that centred on Christ and the Bible. The spirit of God was moving in the lives of many people unknown to one another, yet who shared a common sense that all this divisiveness was wrong- Christ had founded one church, one body with one mission. Their collective heart was to call on all Christians to unite on the basis of restoring New Testament faith and practices. There was a conviction that through this reformation, the church would be restored and reborn into what God intended.
Churches of Christ in Queensland is part of this ‘restoration movement’, which began around 1800 in the USA. Believers from various denominations began to come together with the goal of attempting to reproduce the essence of the church as presented in the New Testament. They saw themselves as a movement and had no thought of founding another denomination. They still had theological differences, but they insisted that this was acceptable as long as all beliefs were based on the Bible. A shared principle of the Churches of Christ movement was the saying from the Saint Augustine, used by John Wesley and other Christian leaders: “In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things, love”.