Christview Christian Church is part of what is called “The Restoration Movement.” We are not part of a national denomination, although we do recognize a national (even international) brotherhood. What this means is that all decisions regarding ministry staff, programs, facilities, and more are all made on the local level. No other body exists to impose decisions upon Christview, and Christview does not attempt to impose decisions upon other congregations. We do have sister churches of the same background. These congregations can be found not only in our immediate area, but across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the globe. Each congregation handles its own affairs, and we are all proud to call one another brothers and sisters in Christ.
This Restoration Movement began in the colonial period of the United States. A father and son duo, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, were part of the “Old-Light Anti-Burgher Seceder Presbyterian Church,” and as members of that denomination they were not allowed to have fellowship with those of the “New-Light Anti-Burgher Seceder Presbyterian Church.” These distinctions were made in England (their homeland), but in the New World the walls between denominations were found to be rather pointless.
At this time a feeling was coming over more people than just the Campbells- a belief that denominational differences were getting in the way of serving God. Several people decided that Christians should be united so that people would know that Jesus is God’s Son (as Jesus prayed in John 17:23). In an effort to find a “place on which they can stand” for unity, it was decided that the New Testament would be adopted as the rule of faith. No other beliefs or practices would be mandated other than that which is found in the Scriptures. If the Bible mentions it, the matter is settled, but if the Bible says nothing on the matter, then it is open for opinion.
This new movement did not develop any creeds- indeed, they found creeds to be more divisive than unifying (a later writer would say that the creeds “were almost universally right in what they affirmed, but almost universally wrong in what they denounce”). Instead, they developed slogans. “No Creed But Christ” meant that a person would not be required to recite a creed in order to join; they must merely announce allegiance to Jesus Christ. “Christians only, but not the only Christians” means that these believers seek to simply be known as “Christians.” As they follow and serve Christ they admit that they are not the only group who can be known as Christians, but that is the only name that they themselves will claim.
Unity was expected on matters that are essential to the faith. Jesus being God’s Son and the Bible as the Word of God are both doctrines about which there will be no debate. The Bible is also to be the supreme authority- people are allowed their own opinions, but where the Word of God is clear on a matter there is room for only the decision of God. We follow God, not opinions.
On matters which are open to opinion, freedom is to be exercised. The Bible does not proscribe forms of worship or a style of building (among other things), and these are left to individual preference. A particular congregation may have a tendency toward one opinion or another, but the freedom to practice other opinions is always recognized.
In all things, a spirit of love is to maintained. No opinion gives a person the right to act in a nonloving manner to another Christian. Even in the event of a disagreement on the essentials, love should rule over all.
Christview Christian Church itself was begun in 1965 with the intention of preaching God’s Word in St. Charles, an area that was just beginning to experience growth. Time has passed, the faces have changed, the area has exploded with growth, and we are still preaching that same Word of God. Together with our sister congregations, we still today strive to call people to God and His Son Jesus, and to be Christians only.