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by Dalton Key
for the week of August 12, 2018 
The past several years have produced an uneasy, unfounded shift in brotherhood terminology.  Much has been written in various journals and papers, and even more has been said in countless lectures and sermons concerning “our movement” and “our fellowship,” with less and less being said about the Lord’s church.

Not so long ago, preachers of the gospel proudly proclaimed the beauty and singularity of the Lord’s church.  But times have changed, as has the language and conviction of many current preachers, editors and church leaders.  It appears that now, at least in the minds of what appears to be an ever-growing segment among us, loyalty to the Lord and His blood-bought church is being blindly bartered for affiliations with either an historical, humanly-devised movement or some undefined, nebulous and vaguely-bound fellowship.

It is true that we, as God’s people living now in the twenty-first century, owe much to the honest and truth-seeking leaders of what has been commonly coined, “The American Restoration Movement.”  Good and courageous men such as Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, James O’Kelly – along with countless others of like faith and fortitude – performed a tremendous service to the world by leading men and women back to the Bible.  But our roots run deeper than the American Restoration.  As the church built by Jesus Christ, our history traces all the way back to the first Pentecost Day following the Lord’s resurrection, that wonderful day of beginnings described in the second chapter of the book of Acts.

We are not members of a denomination founded by Alexander Campbell.  Campbell never intended such.  He rather sought to point men back, beyond himself, to the risen Savior.  He urged me to unite in the one, non-denominational, New Testament church.
I am thankful for “our movement.”  I appreciate the blessings and warmth of “our fellowship.”  But my allegiance, my loyalty, yea my very life, belong to the Lord and His church.

Furthermore, I intend to continue calling the Lord’s church, the church of Christ, what it is – the church.