Belief that Christianity should return to the form of the early apostolic church / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Restorationism, also known as Restitutionism or Christian primitivism, is the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a purer and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies (in the church) by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model.": 635
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Efforts to restore an earlier, purer form of Christianity are often a response to denominationalism. As Rubel Shelly put it, "the motive behind all restoration movements is to tear down the walls of separation by a return to the practice of the original, essential and universal features of the Christian religion.": 29 Different groups have tried to implement the restorationist vision in a variety of ways; for instance, some have focused on the structure and practice of the church, others on the ethical life of the church, and others on the direct experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.: 635–638 The relative importance given to the restoration ideal, and the extent to which the full restoration of the early church is believed to have been achieved, also varies among groups.
More narrowly, the term "Restorationism" describes unrelated Restorationist groups emerging after the Second Great Awakening, such as the Christadelphians (Greek: 'Brothers of Christ'), Latter Day Saints (i.e., Mormonism), Jehovah's Witnesses (from the tetragrammaton for God), La Luz del Mundo (Spanish: 'the Light of the World'), and Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog: 'Church of Christ'). In this sense, Restorationism has been regarded as one of the six taxonomic groupings of Christianity: the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Restorationism. These Restorationist groups share a belief that historic Christianity lost the true faith during the Great Apostasy and that the Church needed to be restored.
The term has been used to refer to the Stone–Campbell Movement in the United States,: 225–226 and has been also used by more recent groups, describing their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form, such as some anti-denominational Charismatic Restorationists, which arose in the 1970s in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.