1. A Concern for Christian Unity
In the 1808 Declaration and Address Thomas Campbell wrote that the “Church of Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally and constitutionally one.” Barton Stone, said, “Let the Unity of Christians be our polar star.” The ‘Christian’ movement was a movement for unity within the fragmented and often hostile and competitive church environment of that time.
Today there are different understandings of how Christian unity might be understood and achieved ranging from commitment to the ecumenical movement, with some involved in dialogue and with other church families, through a belief that there is already an underlying God-given unity despite apparent division, to those who feel that they have discovered what the church should be like and that unity will come through others recognizing this and joining with them.
The Stone-Campbell movement is convinced that unity is both the gift of God and the calling of all Christians.