Saturday, April 12, 2008

Campbellism Exposed

Living in the Bible Belt one of the first things you will notice down here is the wide spread teachings of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) which is sometimes called "Campbellism" and better know as The Church of Christ or CoC. I really don't have the time or space to discuss Mr. Campbell's bio or background but will just mainly deal with one of his unusual doctrines. One of the most destructive teachings of Alexander Campbell is what is know as "Baptismal Regeneration" which most CoC members will surly deny the use of this terminology but will quickly accept the definition, which is that water baptism is a part of salvation and washes away sins. This is mainly due to Biblical misinterpretation of several scriptures like Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20-21 and Mark 16:15. And in doing so they teach that baptism is a requirement for salvation which ultimately destroys grace and puts baptismal waters on equal ground with the Blood of Christ. Below is a quote from a great resource on Campbellism by William Phillips that was first published in 1860 basically titled "Campbellism Exposed".

"Who could have dreamed that a Protestant reformer, in the nineteenth century, claiming exemption, alike, from Catholicism and "sectarianism," would rake up WATER REGENERATION from the dregs of papal rubbish, and make it a leading feature of his reformation? This Mr. Campbell has done. I do not assert that his views on this subject are precisely those of the Catholic church, but they are substantially the same. Each makes baptism necessary to the remission of sins — a sine qua non in the salvation of man. The following quotations from Mr. Campbell's Millennial Harbinger — extra, No. 1, will show that we do not misrepresent him:

"If we speak Scripturally we must use these terms (immersion, regeneration, and conversion,) as all descriptive of the same thing." "Remission of sins cannot in this life be received or enjoyed previous to immersion." "Immersion alone is the act of turning to God." "No man can enjoy the peace of God, or the hope of heaven, until he is immersed for the remission of sins."

These assertions clearly make baptism a saving ordinance; and I know not that any Papist ever used stronger language in pointing out its importance. And it is well known that these views are received and promulged by his adherents; who, universally, urge "obedience" (by which they mean immersion,) as THE MEANS of obtaining remission of sins. Consequently, Mr. C's "ancient gospel" is literally a gospel of water, for upon its principles, without water there could be no salvation; and his reformation, taking a retrograde direction, goes back to embrace a radical error, which before the time of Luther, had almost driven the spirit of Christianity from the church; and which, if now received, must reform us back to that gloomy period, and enshroud us in darkness."
Excerpt taken from "Campbellism Exposed or, Strictures on The Peculiar Tenets of Alexander Campbell" by Rev. William Phillips, p18-19


Coram Deo said...

Baptismal regeneration, eh? A lot of folks seem to like that particular heresy. Maybe it's because it puts a little bit of the unmerited gift of salvation into sinful man's hands, and you know how sinful man just can't resist being his own little co-redeemer.

It sounds like those folks would get along just swimmingly with the Oneness Pentecostal and/or Jesus Only cultists. On second thought that whole "tongues" thing might be off putting to the Campbellites, never mind. I guess there's only room for one of their "only true church" organizations.

But if either the CoC or the Oneness Pentecostals are the only true church, where does that leave the Mormon LDS church, or the JW's, or the RCC? That's at least five "only true church" organizations!

How is the man centered, works-righteousness seeker to choose? Maybe simply attend all of them just to be sure?

The Bororean said...

They actually don't get along very well, I know of two that worked together and it actually came to the point that they wouldn't even speak to each other. They both remind me of the foolish Galatians "having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 3:3