Lyman H. Johnson in Kansas Cyclopedia: Nonsectarian Churches of the Bible Faith.
Transcribed from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
Nonsectarian Churches of the Bible Faith.—This denomination or confederation of churches arose as the result of the preaching of Lyman H. Johnson, who from childhood had been impressed by the evils of sectarianism. He believed that the form of organization of the different denominations tended to gain for them temporal power and earthly success rather than to do any great amount of Christian work. He supported his belief by the history of a number of religious communities such as the Albigenses, Quakers and others, who had protested against the rigidity of church organization. While a minister of the Presbyterian church he preached against the evils of denominationalism, and after 1865 he preached as an independent minister. Gradually his views found acceptance and after some time an association of mutual fellowship was formed with headquarters at Boston, Mass. In the basis of this association lies what the members believe the correct interpretation of the term church. They hold that churches of Christ exist outside of all sectarian systems. To members of this faith the word ecclesia, has the meaning called out "or converted out of the world by a change of heart into the assembly of Christians on earth." Hence, they hold that the church exists where one person is thus called out from the world. They can find no account in the Bible for any Christian joining the church when he is already a member of Christ by faith and they believe that the descriptions of a church in the Bible means one or more Christians living together.
In doctrine the churches agree with the orthodox evangelical churches. They believe that the Bible was divinely inspired, accept it as the only rule of faith and practice, but reject all creeds and forms of discipline, No general ecclesiastical organization exists and no head over the members is recognized but Christ. The elders of the church are regarded merely as teachers and have no ecclesiastical authority. The only authority they regard is that of "truth," which is the authority of God to all who are convinced of the truth. The ministers of the church receives no salary and all necessary expenses connected with the church are met by voluntary contributions. This church has had a gradual growth, being especially strong in the southwestern states. In 1906 there were 204 organizations, located in 28 states. There are 15 organizations in Kansas with a total membership of 331.Pages 371-372 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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