The “Great Communion”

On October 4, 2009, churches which were historically identified with the “Restoration Movement” (Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, and Disciples of Christ) sought participation in a memorial to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Thomas Campbell’s “Declaration and Address.” This memorial was in the form of a special partaking of the Lord’s supper at 4:00 p.m. in Nacogdoches at the First Christian Church.

Douglas Foster from Abilene Christian University called the “Declaration and Address” the “constitution” of the “Restoration Movement.” A “constitution” is “the fundamental laws that normally govern the operation of a state or association.” What is the difference if we call this document a “constitution” instead of a creed? Is it not true that the religious world has been divided by the creeds of men? What makes a Baptist a Baptist apart and distinct from a Methodist if it is not his church manual?

There are a number of reasons why the “Great Communion” is wrong and does not represent the beliefs of the Loop 287 Church of Christ.

  • First, participation in the “Great Communion” is a violation of the Bible doctrine of fellowship (2 John 9-11).
  • Second, the “Great Communion” is an effort to demonstrate a unity that is contrary to scripture (Colossians 3:17).
  • Third, a celebration of the writings of Thomas Campbell as our constitution is an insult to the sufficiency of the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We cannot endorse nor participate in this “Great Communion” celebration. It is said that some took the great memorial of the Lord’s supper and used it to advance a sectarian and divisive agenda and then claimed that it is a way to demonstrate unity.

Kyle Campbell