The Christian Connection
or Christian Connexion
was a Christian
movement which began in several places during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and were secessions from three different religious denominations. The Christian Connection claimed to have no creed
, instead professing to rely strictly on the Bible
. In practice, members tended to cluster around various shared theological concepts, such as a Pelagian-like theological anthropology (i.e. doctrine of human nature), a rejection of the doctrine of election and a radically decentralized form of church government. The Connexion's periodical, the Herald of Gospel Liberty
(first published on September 1, 1808), is considered by some historians to be the first religious journal ever published in the U.S.
In 1792, James O'Kelly
, dissatisfied with the role of bishops
in the Methodist Episcopal Church
, separated from this body. O’Kelley’s movement, centering in Virginia
and North Carolina
, was originally called Republican Methodists. The denominational name was dropped in 1794 in favor of the name Christian
and a commitment to use the Bible
as the only "rule of faith and practice."
During the first several years of the 19th century, two Baptist
ministers in New England
espoused similar views to O’Kelley and began exclusively using the name Christian
. Working independently at first, Abner Jones
and Elias Smith
of New Hampshire
joined together in their efforts.
In 1801, the Cane......