June 2000

Presented to the Stone Campbell Dialogue, Madison Church of Christ, Nashville, Tenn., June 1-2, 2000

Division in the body of Christ is sin — contrary to Christ’s will (John 17).

As Christians, we who are members of Churches of Christ, Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are part of a movement that was in its beginning given a special trust to promote the visible unity of Christ’s church. This movement, begun in the early nineteenth century by leaders like Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell, has a great heritage of focusing on Christian unity.

Instead, we have been guilty of dividing the body of Christ in thought, word, and deed. Many of us have fortified the spirit of division and have failed to do what we should have done to prevent or overcome division.

This betrayal of our trust has impoverished the whole church of Christ and weakened its mission.

We have deeply wounded one another through misrepresentation, suspicion, mistrust, and defamation.

We, therefore, participants in the Stone-Campbell Dialogue, confess to God and to each other that we are guilty of the sin of division and of harboring and maintaining a spirit of division.

We now bring to God our brokenness and repent of the sin of division. We ask God for forgiveness. We ask God to heal us so that our Movement within Christ’s church can more perfectly embody the unity to which we are called.

Assured of God’s mercy and forgiveness, we pledge to move forward in the service of unity within this family of faith to benefit the whole church and the world.

An Affirmation of Faith

As disciples of Jesus Christ

We confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and proclaim him risen Lord and Savior of the world.

In Christ’s name and by his grace we accept the mission to proclaim the gospel to all the world and live in loving service to all people.

We rejoice in God, maker of heaven and earth, and in the covenant of love that binds us to God and one another.

Through baptism into Christ we enter into newness of life and are made one with the whole people of God.

By the gift of the Holy Spirit we are joined together in discipleship and in obedience to Christ.

At the table of the Lord, each week we celebrate with thanksgiving the saving acts and presence of Christ and proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Within the Body of Christ we receive the gifts of ministry and accept the authoritative witness of scripture.

In bonds of Christian faith we yield ourselves to God and one another that we may serve the One whose kingdom has no end.

Blessing, glory and honor be to God forever. Amen.

We invite all those of this heritage to join us in this confession and affirmation of faith, and to make them their own.


Mike Armour, Pulpit Minister, Skillman Church of Christ, Dallas, Texas — Churches of Christ

Paul Blowers, professor, Emmanuel School of Religion — Christian Churches and Disciples of Christ

Raymond Brown, retired minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Douglas Foster, professor, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas — Churches of Christ

Richard Hamm, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Susan Higgins, professor, Milligan College, Milligan, Tennessee — Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

Byron Lambert, retired, Professor of Philosophy — Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

John Mills, minister, Remsen Christian Church, Brunswick, Ohio — Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

Peter Morgan, president, Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, Tennessee — Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Phillip Morrison, editor, Wineskins Magazine, Franklin, Tennessee — Churches of Christ

James B. North, vice-president for Academic Affairs, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary — Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

Gary Pearson, minister, Westminster Church of Christ, Westminster, Maryland — Churches of Christ

Jimmy Sites, Pulpit Minister, Madison Church of Christ, Nashville, Tennessee — Churches of Christ

Sharon Watkins, Senior Minister, Disciples Christian Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma — Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Henry Webb, retired professor, Milligan, Tennessee — Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

Robert Welsh, president, Council on Christian Unity, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Newell Williams, professor, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana — Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)