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The spiritual union between us and Christ our head is done by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. We must be clear here. The two events are undoubtedly very closely linked, but they are separate, not being the same thing. The Church of Christ group is right in emphasizing that water baptism is extremely important in the life of a believer. I have no debate with that point.

The issue here is whether the person is not saved until he is baptized in water, or is baptism something that should be close to but directly AFTER salvation, or is it part of being saved. People need to understand what they are doing before they do it, and a simple explanation many times is not sufficient. I have read proofs against the Campbellites because they place baptism before repentance and confession and belief.

The Christian Restoration Series 2: Part 5: Campbellites and Mormons Intersect

Perhaps some of the early founders did teach this, but I am not so sure if all modern day Church of Christ people would agree. See here. Campbellites say that these passages have nothing to do with present day Christianity , so they effectively throw out the Gospels as being normative for faith and practice.

Why I Am Not A Campbellite (Part 2)

The believer has everlasting life, John The believer is not condemned, John The heart is purified by faith, Acts , 9. The believer shall not perish, John The believer is a child of God, Gal. The believer is justified, Rom. The believer is born of God, I John The believer is saved, Eph.

In , Mr. So divided are we upon this question that the census-taker cannot ascertain who we are, what we believe, or our number.

Rightly Dividing the KJB Study Blog: Campbellite "Church of Christ" heresy

But many people antagonists call them Campbellites after their founder. But the Church of Christ people are noted for their disdain for any denominational names and for denominations in general. They insist that denominationalism is unbiblical. If they mean by that, that the control of many local churches by a governing overlord group is wrong, that is the traditional Independent Baptist Fundamental position, and we have no argument with that.

Even so they debate among themselves over this issue, and condemn everybody else for having a name. But very clearly, they fellowship or not on the basis of names. But if a name identifies a group, then they are no different from anyone else on this matter. But the Bible uses many names for different local churches, as well as for all of the churches in a general way. So we must be very clear here.

Increasing understanding of scripture one article at a time

Secondly we see churches identified as being in a locality, Corinth, Galacia, Ephesus, etc. So location names associated with local groups of the redeemed are also acceptable and common practice in Scripture. I would see the very basic premise of the Church of Christ in this matter both unbiblical and very difficult to handle. By this heading I am not advocating that local churches join denominations, because I am totally against this as an Independent Baptist. What I am recommending is that we identify ourselves with words that tell the general public who we are.

The issue is one of not being deceptive or ambiguous. The problem is that being independent, anybody can call themselves by that label without needing an official approval from an authority. They can believe anything they want and use the label.

Why I Am Not a Campbellite

I have come across Baptist churches that speak in tongues and do healings a la Pentecostals. This is supposed the same position as the Church of Christ, yet they attack Baptists anyway. Campbellites proclaim that they, and they alone, are the true church. But their principle thought is to deny all other groups any chance of salvation without coming under their authority and teachings. This is cultic in itself, and this is not what the New Testament taught. They both act as cults claiming salvation is for their own group instead of faith in Jesus Christ, and they both claim that the Holy Spirit is not received until they are baptized in water.

The early preachers of Mormonism started their careers in Church of Christ churches. The very same Restoration line was used by Joseph Smith. Thomas into Christadelphianism, and published a Greek-English interlinear call the Emphatic Diaglott. Like I said before, there are factions of the Church of Christ that is just an outright cult. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, I have met Baptists I am Baptist that are cultic and follow the same path.

But here, these attributes have taken hold in the Church of Christ from the beginning, and it seems to have characterized much in the history of the group.


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Only Campbellites Church of Christ are saved. While this is a very definite cult attribute we alone are saved , I find this difficult to find in most Church of Christ people I know.

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Campbellites deny the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation. While Ross provides some very serious quotes by Campbellite men, I also find that this would seem to be a particular view of some Church of Christ people, though not all. It would be an element to watch out for in their writings but which I have not seen. Campbellites deny that any one is truly saved in this life. Again having talked with people in the Church of Christ, and reading their literature, I would not see this as a widespread concept among them. I have not read great numbers of their books, but I have read some, and I just never came across this at all.

Teaching that believers can lose faith and therefore their salvation. I definitely disagree with this, and note that some or many Campbellites may believe this. The original founders may have laid this false doctrine in the beginning. Having said that, I would also like to condemn equally so the Baptist easy believism churches that teach the same doctrine. I note that I strongly and vigorously disagree with this, and I argue with fellow Baptists over the same issue, so I would not fault the Campbellites as a group for this point, but individually.

Kip Keen and the Boston Church of Christ — This fraction of the movement is definitely cultic in their teachings and practices, being excessively controlling. Each congregation enjoys complete autonomy in managing its affairs, but there is a national convention which meets once a year, and a national secretariat with offices at Indianapolis, Ind. This body is known as the International Convention of Christian Churches Discples of Christ and its members are known infomrally as disciples.

The otehr branch comprises about 10, local congregations, with an estimated two million members.

Each local congegation is termed a Church of Christ, and the movement as a whole bears the name Churches of Christ. But it is even more loosely knit than the disciples of Christ, having no national convention and no central offices or agencies of any kind.


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The nearest thing to a natioanl meeting is a lectureship held each year by Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Tex. Both of the disciples and the Churches of Christ are represented in all 50 states. Disciples are most numerous in the South and the Midwest. Patriarch of the movement was a frontier preacher named Barton W. Stone, who was born in Maryland in He was an ordained Presbyterian clergyman when he went to the frontier to begin his career as a conductor of revival meetings. But he soon became convinced that denominationalism was the curse of Christianity.

In , he issued a manifesto, repudiating all the denominational labels and "man-made creeds" that divide Christians. The sic called upon believers of the Bible to united in a new fellowship, based solely upon the teachings of scripture. He suggested that they call themselves "Christians" to make it clear that they were not any particuar brand or denomination of Christians.

In his impatience with denominationalism and disunity, Barton Stone was years ahead of the ecumenical spirit that pervades today's churches.

Campbellism, Church of Christ

But even in the early 19th century, he found plenty of people who shared his sentiments. The Christian movement gained adherents rapidly, especially in the frontier communities of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. It got a termendous impetus after from leadership of a remarkable father-and-son team, Thomas and Alexander Campbell.

The Campbells were Irish Presbyterians, who immigrated to America and became frontier evangelists. Like Barton Stone, they were passionately convinced that all Christians should unite-- not in a hierarchical church but in a voluntary fellowship based on teh sole authority of the Bible and the absolute indpendence of each local congregation.