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Author Topic: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?  (Read 18797 times)

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Offline Seeking Answers

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Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« on: Sun May 16, 2010 - 15:03:14 »
I was raised in the CoC for many years and went to a lot of different congregations due to division about Kitchens being in the congregations, some congregations were more liberal and the Boston movement split one congregation, or the pastor was too liberal and didn't talk a lot about baptism...I am grateful that I grew up to be God fearing and in no way want to hurt anyone's faith in the CoC, but from my experience growing up in the Church, we were taught that Catholics, protestants were not saved and one preacher went so far to say that a more liberal CoC down the street was teaching poison.

I read a great book that helped validate my assumptions when I was growing up because a lot of what I was taught didn't seem to be correct. The book was: Reviving the Ancient Faith by Richard T. Hughes 1996 which gave me the history of the movement in the United States because this never was talked about growing up by my parents or the various Churches we went too.. I had always thought that it was Acts chapter 2 that the Church was founded and never about a restoration movement that started in the US that seeked to restore Christianity.

Anyways to make a long story short, I think the restoration movement was the ideal that Campbell and Stone seeked but I don't know if it was God's will for us to be United in such a complex system and God doesn't want us to depend on a system but rather on him and his grace. Growing up in the CoC I had equated my salvation to attending on Sunday and Wednesday night on how I worshiped instead of depending on God and never thought to consider what God may of intended for me to do, because the restoration movement led me to believe that I had already done everything and just needed to go to Church twice a week.

This is getting to be a brain dump and apologize for rambling but does anyone feel the same way as me as far as Grace never being the focus growing up in the CoC or similar experience growing up in the CoC???

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Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« on: Sun May 16, 2010 - 15:03:14 »

Offline Norton

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #1 on: Sun May 16, 2010 - 21:50:45 »
I have been in the CofC all my life of 62 years. Salvation by grace was always taught, and it was always made clear that you did not earn your salvation. But by the time the preacher got thru it seemed like an earned grace, if there is such a thing. Yes, as you said, one would obtain God's grace and keep it by the things he did. Salvation was rarely if ever, explained as a free gift.  It was kind of like, you earned your salvation, but you got paid a very good salary for the work you did, so you didn't really earn it. However, things have changed much in the CofC since the 1980's.

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #1 on: Sun May 16, 2010 - 21:50:45 »

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #2 on: Sun May 16, 2010 - 22:04:16 »
It depends on the congregation, regardless of the sign out front.

I grew up a Methodist.  We had our weirdnesses, too.  For example, my mom came home from a congregational meeting and told me one woman said that the whole congregation might go to hell because some women wear pants.

One of the things that drew me to the SOFCOC from the Methodist church was that there was no choir.  Based upon my experience growing up as a Methodist, I equated "no choir" to "no disputes in the congregation".

It appears what you may be doing is what I did in thinking that only the outfit you know has problems.  You came to believe getting weird was only practiced by the SOFCOC.  I grew up thinking it was a Methodist thing and maybe a Baptist thing.  Not that I ever attended a baptist church, but most folks I knew growing up were baptist and they seemed to get whacky, at times.

The problem is that whoever you meet with, you are meeting with people.  Getting weird, whacky and wrong is something everyone can and will do on a routine basis.  It isn't a practice cornered by the folks at the local SOFCOC.

So, in answer to the question of the opening thread, it seems to me, yes, some congregations do have it wrong.  I don't believe mine does.  It's been years since I recall a group of people meeting behind a different sign getting ripped from our pulpit.  What is normally preached is the grace of God through Christ.  Like the old song goes, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.  It isn't built on what we find wrong with others, so we don't spend our time looking for the faults.  We preach who can forgive faults and what appears to be the right way.

It seems a good thing to search the scriptures and to try to obey what they teach.  There are some who climb such a lofty peak only to take a swan dive on the rocks below by believing that if they do church right, then that's why they are saved and if they don't do it right, then they aren't saved.  To me, that's a different gospel.

Offline Norton

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #3 on: Mon May 17, 2010 - 21:41:02 »
Mere Nick

You said what I thought and wanted to say, that is, we aren't the only ones who have some weird teachings. But, I have not had the first-hand experience in seeing it as you have.

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #3 on: Mon May 17, 2010 - 21:41:02 »

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #4 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 20:19:45 »
Former CoC preacher.  I was never taught nor fully understood salvation by grace.  Things are changing and many CoCs have a better understanding of grace.  Just not where I live.

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #4 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 20:19:45 »



blituri

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #5 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 20:56:35 »
Hughes and his tribe read just about the same as the old Communists trying to tread water after all of THEIR views were proven wrong.  Hughes like all scholars-for-hire knows that the ANTIism sells books and makes you popular like the ex communists who are the most beloved historians leading universities because the communists failure was that they FAILED to stame out America which they believe has created all of the evils in the world.

This is the same patternism which has made a practice out of sowing discord just to be popular with all of the other loose canons who claim that the Church REJECTS Grace because THEY never grasped it.  They in fact base the claim of ANTI-Grace on those who will not let instruments be IMPOSED and will NOT stopping teaching what we believe the Bible and all recorded history teaches.

By appealing to "Grace gonna cover it" they are in fact confessing that using instruments in the church NEEDS grace to make it acceptable.  The most gracious thing I discovered as a kid was that there was no INSTITUTE going on.

They also cry ANIT-grace or legalistic, sectarian, patternists, hypocrites because people do not go out of their way to FELLERSHIP those who reject baptism.

Never experienced a baptism where the preacher did not make the person fully understand. In fact, the Hughesites spread their ANTIISM on those who insist that members be baptized.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #6 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 21:52:29 »
They in fact base the claim of ANTI-Grace on those who will not let instruments be IMPOSED and will NOT stopping teaching what we believe the Bible and all recorded history teaches.


That's not true in my experience.  About five preachers ago I was told that grace was overblown.  Most of the later ones realize it isn't.  Instruments haven't had jack to do with any of it.   

Offline Barabbas

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #7 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 23:04:19 »
Quote
Hughes like all scholars-for-hire knows that the ANTIism sells books

Somehow I doubt Hughes is getting rich off a book with a fairly narrow subject of interest.

blituri

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #8 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 23:15:02 »
 moved
« Last Edit: Wed May 19, 2010 - 10:54:55 by blituri »

Offline Barabbas

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #9 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 23:33:21 »
Quote
This is getting to be a brain dump and apologize for rambling but does anyone feel the same way as me as far as Grace never being the focus growing up in the CoC or similar experience growing up in the CoC???
Maybe - but I think of it as more a reaction to protestant calvanism and experiential christianity in particular.  Depending how you look at it - it could be thought of as very grace based.

For instance - many evangelical christian groups in the 19th century stressed that one must have a God experience in order to confirm their christianity.  This came from a calvanist teaching that only the elect have salvation ... but how did you know that you were one of the elect?  Having an experience such that you know that God has saved you was their answer.  Trouble was not everyone had this emotional experience that they knew was God.

Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.

I don't see that the church of Christ has graceless theology - but I do think it tends to be more works based.  I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing - it depends on what works one is teaching.  I think they would agree that you can't work your way to heaven - or they would at least give lip service to that statement.

Offline Barabbas

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #10 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 23:38:10 »
Quote
It is true that a faithful book would not pay for the printing cost.

Oh I don't know - the Bible seems to do pretty well.

Quote
Joke. Q. What's the difference between a liberal and a conservative preacher.
         A.  Oh, about fifty thousand dollars a year.

I do like your joke though.  ::smile::

Offline Seeking Answers

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #11 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 02:53:58 »
It depends on the congregation, regardless of the sign out front.

I grew up a Methodist.  We had our weirdnesses, too.  For example, my mom came home from a congregational meeting and told me one woman said that the whole congregation might go to hell because some women wear pants.

One of the things that drew me to the SOFCOC from the Methodist church was that there was no choir.  Based upon my experience growing up as a Methodist, I equated "no choir" to "no disputes in the congregation".

It appears what you may be doing is what I did in thinking that only the outfit you know has problems.  You came to believe getting weird was only practiced by the SOFCOC.  I grew up thinking it was a Methodist thing and maybe a Baptist thing.  Not that I ever attended a baptist church, but most folks I knew growing up were baptist and they seemed to get whacky, at times.

The problem is that whoever you meet with, you are meeting with people.  Getting weird, whacky and wrong is something everyone can and will do on a routine basis.  It isn't a practice cornered by the folks at the local SOFCOC.

So, in answer to the question of the opening thread, it seems to me, yes, some congregations do have it wrong.  I don't believe mine does.  It's been years since I recall a group of people meeting behind a different sign getting ripped from our pulpit.  What is normally preached is the grace of God through Christ.  Like the old song goes, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.  It isn't built on what we find wrong with others, so we don't spend our time looking for the faults.  We preach who can forgive faults and what appears to be the right way.

It seems a good thing to search the scriptures and to try to obey what they teach.  There are some who climb such a lofty peak only to take a swan dive on the rocks below by believing that if they do church right, then that's why they are saved and if they don't do it right, then they aren't saved.  To me, that's a different gospel.

Good point regarding growing up Methodist and seeing the same issues as people will be people. I agree that people will bring their issues no matter what congregation; however the difference was... growing up we were always taught that hellfire was in store for people that use instruments, which is a different comparison because at least from my experience, this wasn't a local quibble about the choir but a teaching of every congregation that I went to supported by tracts about don't add to the word of God or take from it or ELSE! etc.

Curious if Methodists were tolerant of Calvinists, or other Protestant groups or if Methodists thought they were the only ones? The CofC congregations I went to were not tolerant of protestant groups usually because of the different teaching on Baptism.

Agree that congregations and people can get it wrong and it could be that a lot of the things that I experienced growing up could have been due to a click in the different churches that were more conservative or strict, which doesn't define the entire congregation as a whole, but my assumptions especially after reading the book mentioned in the OP, helped validate all of the things that I was feeling growing up. It helped me understand, using your words "Why all the wackiness or disfunction" which I think is due to the restoration ideal initiated by Campbell and Stone that seems to trump God's Grace in my opinion.




Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #12 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 06:02:39 »
Barabbas said.
Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.


Not true.  Neither the Campbells nor Stone made baptism a test of fellowship but the life of the person.  You might want to read a little more of their actual words.  

Alexander Campbell "Luenburg letter"  Millennial Harbinger 1837

Should I find a Pedobaptist more intelligent in the Christian Scriptures, more spiritually-minded and
more devoted to the Lord than a Baptist, or one immersed on a profession of the ancient faith, I could
not hesitate a moment in giving the preference of my heart to him that loveth most. Did I act otherwise,
I would be a pure sectarian, a Pharisee among Christians. Still I will be asked, How do I know that any
one loves my Master but by his obedience to his commandments? I answer, In no other way. But mark,
I do not substitute obedience to one commandment, for universal or even for general obedience. And
should I see a sectarian Baptist or a Pedobaptist more spiritually-minded, more generally conformed to
the requisitions of the Messiah, than one who precisely acquiesces with me in the theory or practice of
immersion as I teach, doubtless the former rather than the latter, would have my cordial approbation
and love as a Christian. So I judge, and so I feel. It is the image of Christ the Christian looks for and
loves; and this does not consist in being exact in a few items, but in general devotion to the whole truth
as far as known.
« Last Edit: Wed May 19, 2010 - 06:10:48 by Johnb »

Offline zoonance

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #13 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 06:35:43 »
Quote
This is getting to be a brain dump and apologize for rambling but does anyone feel the same way as me as far as Grace never being the focus growing up in the CoC or similar experience growing up in the CoC???
Maybe - but I think of it as more a reaction to protestant calvanism and experiential christianity in particular.  Depending how you look at it - it could be thought of as very grace based.

For instance - many evangelical christian groups in the 19th century stressed that one must have a God experience in order to confirm their christianity.  This came from a calvanist teaching that only the elect have salvation ... but how did you know that you were one of the elect?  Having an experience such that you know that God has saved you was their answer.  Trouble was not everyone had this emotional experience that they knew was God.

Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.

I don't see that the church of Christ has graceless theology - but I do think it tends to be more works based.  I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing - it depends on what works one is teaching.  I think they would agree that you can't work your way to heaven - or they would at least give lip service to that statement.



It would appear to some that the inclusion of all biblical revelation from God to His adopted children involving personal responsibility to the sin in their lives would smell of what has been eroneously defined as "works based theology"  just as erroneous as the other human defined "grace based theology".   The truth is that grace and obedience are not foreign concepts to the clear teachings of the inspired authors.  Too much emphasis on one blinds the reader on the other.   We no more work our way to heaven than we do to coast in with our untransformed lives excused away by a misguided definition of God's grace.  Both extremes focuses on "me, myself and I".  Listen to the apologetics.  Both extremes sound like they are focusing on God but real focus is on "ME"  no matter how much the long explanations to the contrary.

Offline jb728b

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #14 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 07:44:51 »
It's not so much that we got it wrong it's more of a misplaced emphasis.  We are saved by grace and that can't be denied by a rational person.  That being said we tend to focus more on the acceptance of grace than the purpose of grace. This is a failure on our part because it tends to make man the focal point instead of God.  That, of course, is not to say that acceptance of grace is secondary; it merely expresses the truth that teaching acceptance sounds dogmatic and "works oriented" if you don't also teach purpose.

Of course, if you go the extreme in the other direction you negate personal responsibility (which is not a work of merit by the way). God's grace will save, but only if you accept it.

blituri

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #15 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 10:56:02 »
You should burn all of the books writen by the ANTI-instrumentalists who never in fact believed in the Church beyond what it took to get on the staff of a once-Christian college to divert it.

Alexander Campbell "Luenburg letter"  Millennial Harbinger 1837
Read the Rest of the Lunenburg Letters.

http://www.piney.com/AC.Lunenburg.Orig.html

If you read the whole lunenburg correspondence, you will see that Campbell spoke of lc "c"hristians as those who lived by Christian principles.  However, an UC "C"hristian is only those who have obeyed the gospel. Sure, I would rather associate with a good infant sprinkler than with an evil "baptizer."

The Quoted out of context.Should I find a Pedobaptist more intelligent in the Christian Scriptures, more spiritually-minded and more devoted to the Lord than a Baptist, or one immersed on a profession of the ancient faith, I could not hesitate a moment in giving the preference of my heart to him that loveth most. Did I act otherwise, I would be a pure sectarian, a Pharisee among Christians.

Still I will be asked, How do I know that any one loves my Master but by his obedience to his commandments? I answer, In no other way. But mark, I do not substitute obedience to one commandment, for universal or even for general obedience.  And should I see a sectarian Baptist or a Pedobaptist more spiritually-minded, more generally conformed to the requisitions of the Messiah, than one who precisely acquiesces with me in the theory or practice of immersion as I teach, doubtless the former rather than the latter, would have my cordial approbation and love as a Christian.

So I judge, and so I feel. It is the image of Christ the Christian looks for and loves; and this does not consist in being exact in a few items, but in general devotion to the whole truth as far as known.


However, Campbell continues:

Many a good man has been mistaken. Mistakes are to be regarded as culpable and as declarative of a corrupt heart only when they proceed from a wilful neglect of the means of knowing what is commanded.

Ignorance is always a crime when it is voluntary; and innocent when it is involuntary.

Now, unless I could prove that all who neglect the positive institutions of Christand have substituted for them something else of human authority, do it knowingly, or, if not knowingly, are voluntarily ignorant of what is written, I could not, I dare not say that their mistakes are such as unchristianize all their professions.

True, indeed, that it is always a misfortune to be ignorant of any thing in the Bible, and very generally it is criminal. But how many are there who cannot read; and of those who can read, how many are so deficient in education; and of those educated, how many are ruled by the authority of those whom they regard as superiors in knowledge and piety, that they never can escape out of the dust and smoke of their own chimney, where they happened to be born and educated! These all suffer many privations and many perplexities, from which the more intelligent are exempt...

I do not formally answer all the queries proposed knowing the one point to which they all aim. To that point only I direct these remarks.

And while I would unhesitatingly say that I think that every man who despises any ordinance of Christ or who is willingly ignorant of it, cannot be a Christian; still I should sin against my own convictions, should I teach any one to think that if he mistook the meaning of any institution while in his soul he desired to know the whole will of God he must perish forever.

But to conclude for the present--he that claims for himself a license to neglect the least of all the commandments of Jesus

    because it is possible for some to be saved who through insuperable ignorance or involuntary mistake,
    do neglect or transgress it; or he that wilfully neglects to ascertain the will of the Lord
            to the whole extent of his means and opportunities because some who 
            are defective in that knowledge may be Christians,
            is not possessed of the spirit of Christ and cannot be registered among the Lord's people.
            So I reason; and I think in so reasoning I am sustained by all the Prophets and Apostles of both Testaments.


The Baptists were just as ignorant or misleading as the "scholars" who have an AGENDA.  They rejoiced that Campbell had accepted them as Christians when Campbell thought of the good ones as christians as in "we are a christian nation." He ridiculed them and we should ridicule all of the INCLUSIVES who EXCLUDE anyone who does not walk their gangplank;

I. With all despatch, then, I hasten to show that I have neither conceded nor surrendered any thing for which I ever contended; but that on the contrary, the opinion now expressed, whether true or false, is one that I have always avowed.

    (Footnote in original reads: It is with us as old as baptism for the remission of sins,
    and this is at least as old as the "Christian Baptist." Read the first two numbers of that work.) [/b]

1. Let me ask, in the first place, what could mean all that we have written upon the union of Christians on apostolic grounds,
        had we taught that all Christians in the world were already united in our own community?

2. And in the second place, WHY should we so often have quoted and applied to apostate Christendom what the Spirit saith to saints in Babylon--"Come out of her, my people, that you partake not of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues"--had we imagined that the Lord had no people beyond the pale of our communion!

3. But let him that yet doubts, read the following passages from the Christian Baptist, April, 1825:--

    "I have no idea of seeing, nor wish to see, the sects unite in one grand army.
    This would be dangerous to our liberties and laws. For this the Saviour did not pray.
    It is only the disciples dispersed among them that reason and benevolence
    would call out of them, "&c. &c. This looks very like our present opinion of
     Christians among the sects!!! 2d ed. Bethany, p. 85.

4. Again, speaking of purity of speech in order to the union of Christians, we say,

"None of you [Christians] have ever yet attempted to show how Christians can be united on your principles.

You have often showed how they may be divided, and how each party may hold its own, but while you pray for the visible unity of the disciples, and advocate their visible disunity, we cannot understand you." March, 1827, vol. 4.

Offline Barabbas

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #16 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 12:04:28 »
Barabbas said.
Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.


Not true.  Neither the Campbells nor Stone made baptism a test of fellowship but the life of the person.  You might want to read a little more of their actual words.  

Alexander Campbell "Luenburg letter"  Millennial Harbinger 1837

Should I find a Pedobaptist more intelligent in the Christian Scriptures, more spiritually-minded and
more devoted to the Lord than a Baptist, or one immersed on a profession of the ancient faith, I could
not hesitate a moment in giving the preference of my heart to him that loveth most. Did I act otherwise,
I would be a pure sectarian, a Pharisee among Christians. Still I will be asked, How do I know that any
one loves my Master but by his obedience to his commandments? I answer, In no other way. But mark,
I do not substitute obedience to one commandment, for universal or even for general obedience. And
should I see a sectarian Baptist or a Pedobaptist more spiritually-minded, more generally conformed to
the requisitions of the Messiah, than one who precisely acquiesces with me in the theory or practice of
immersion as I teach, doubtless the former rather than the latter, would have my cordial approbation
and love as a Christian. So I judge, and so I feel. It is the image of Christ the Christian looks for and
loves; and this does not consist in being exact in a few items, but in general devotion to the whole truth
as far as known.

How is it not true?  I didn't say their theology of baptism was made a test of fellowship - only that it was a alternative to the calvanist view.

Just like the Bible - it seems anyone can selectively quote Campbell to make any particular point.  He's not particularly consistent in his views.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #17 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 12:31:28 »
Good point regarding growing up Methodist and seeing the same issues as people will be people. I agree that people will bring their issues no matter what congregation; however the difference was... growing up we were always taught that hellfire was in store for people that use instruments, which is a different comparison because at least from my experience, this wasn't a local quibble about the choir but a teaching of every congregation that I went to supported by tracts about don't add to the word of God or take from it or ELSE! etc.

I think I see what you're saying.  Otoh, I've been in the same congregation for close to thirty years and haven't ever read any of our tracts.  There may be some real doozies in them, but I don't know.  It seems to most SOFCOCers I know, most realize that there are some that consider instruments damnable and figure "fine, let's not have them, then, if your opinion is so against them and it matters more to you than to me".

Quote
Curious if Methodists were tolerant of Calvinists, or other Protestant groups or if Methodists thought they were the only ones? The CofC congregations I went to were not tolerant of protestant groups usually because of the different teaching on Baptism.

I'd say Methodists are more tolerant of other protestant groups.  What about those that aren't protestants?  At most, then, all you can say is the COC's intolerances are different from other groups' intolerances.  Likewise, I've experienced what comes across as major intolerance from many baptists. 

Quote
Agree that congregations and people can get it wrong and it could be that a lot of the things that I experienced growing up could have been due to a click in the different churches that were more conservative or strict, which doesn't define the entire congregation as a whole, but my assumptions especially after reading the book mentioned in the OP, helped validate all of the things that I was feeling growing up. It helped me understand, using your words "Why all the wackiness or disfunction" which I think is due to the restoration ideal initiated by Campbell and Stone that seems to trump God's Grace in my opinion.

I don't believe it can be laid at the feet of Campbell or Stone, but at the feet of some of the more militant ones who came along later wanting to be significant big shots and tried to build themselves up on the perceived faults of others.





[/quote]

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #18 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 14:47:43 »
Barabbas said
How is it not true?  I didn't say their theology of baptism was made a test of fellowship - only that it was a alternative to the calvanist view.

Just like the Bible - it seems anyone can selectively quote Campbell to make any particular point.  He's not particularly consistent in his views.


You said Campbell used baptism to decide if one is a Christian.  I have used his own words to show that is not the case.  It is not a selective quote.  I can post the entire letter and the Declaration and Address by Thomas if you wish.  Although they came to believe personally in adult baptism they did not judge a person based on that or any one act.  The Campbells (like everyone) changed some of their beliefs but to say they were not consistent is simply not the case.  They despised the sectarian spirit where ever they found it.

Here are your own words again notice you said that is how he was able to recognize a Christian if they had been baptized.  That simply is not the case.

Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.

Offline Seeking Answers

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #19 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:01:10 »
Quote
This is getting to be a brain dump and apologize for rambling but does anyone feel the same way as me as far as Grace never being the focus growing up in the CoC or similar experience growing up in the CoC???
Maybe - but I think of it as more a reaction to protestant calvanism and experiential christianity in particular.  Depending how you look at it - it could be thought of as very grace based.

For instance - many evangelical christian groups in the 19th century stressed that one must have a God experience in order to confirm their christianity.  This came from a calvanist teaching that only the elect have salvation ... but how did you know that you were one of the elect?  Having an experience such that you know that God has saved you was their answer.  Trouble was not everyone had this emotional experience that they knew was God.

Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.

I don't see that the church of Christ has graceless theology - but I do think it tends to be more works based.  I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing - it depends on what works one is teaching.  I think they would agree that you can't work your way to heaven - or they would at least give lip service to that statement.

Right, it was a reaction and fear, at least from the source I have. The Richard T. Hughes book. Campbell was deeply concerned that the US would adopt the European Church that was so powerful and called them "The little popes of Protestantism". I can understand that Campbell was a product of his day and it seemed like a great time to be alive in a free country which so much possibility like America at that time, which probably shaped a lot of his opinions in his younger years. He absolutely did not want the Churches to be like the European churches.

Knowing you were a Christian by being baptized, changing into a new life versus the Calvin model that left you wondering about your salvation, Campbell got it right there as well in my opinion. We don't need to twirl rattlesnakes over our heads or have a spiritual experience to know that we have God's grace in other words.

The problem I have though is that the restoration ideal that seeked to follow the 1st century church has been presented by the CofC as the link to grace. In other words, until this new understanding that happened in the 1800's to the present day is what saves us, and Calvinists, Methodists, Adventists, Baptists be damned. 1st John keeps it simple by stating that those who believe in Jesus are our brothers.

I was taught in the CofC that this wasn't true and the only Christians were in the CofC. I couldn't go with friends to the baptist church or catholic church when invited because they were lost by the CofC standard. Again, maybe these were just the CofC congregations that I attended and may not reflect the views of the CofC as a whole?

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #20 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:10:08 »
Former CoC preacher.  I was never taught nor fully understood salvation by grace.  Things are changing and many CoCs have a better understanding of grace.  Just not where I live.

I agree as I did attend a more liberal CofC or at least that is how they were viewed by the more conservative churches in my area. The more liberal church was teaching the relationship aspect and I think there are a lot of people in the Church today that could be trying to undo what Campbell set in motion. I think Campbell in his later years changed his position at least according to the book by Richard T Hughes, and probably regretted a lot of the positions in his younger years that created a framework for legalistic teaching.

Not saying it was all Campbell as there were universities, publications, and great debates that launched the movement splitting churches and creating new ones. 

Offline Seeking Answers

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #21 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:21:53 »
Quote
This is getting to be a brain dump and apologize for rambling but does anyone feel the same way as me as far as Grace never being the focus growing up in the CoC or similar experience growing up in the CoC???
Maybe - but I think of it as more a reaction to protestant calvanism and experiential christianity in particular.  Depending how you look at it - it could be thought of as very grace based.

For instance - many evangelical christian groups in the 19th century stressed that one must have a God experience in order to confirm their christianity.  This came from a calvanist teaching that only the elect have salvation ... but how did you know that you were one of the elect?  Having an experience such that you know that God has saved you was their answer.  Trouble was not everyone had this emotional experience that they knew was God.

Campbell and others taught that the Bible didn't teach that experiential religion was the sign of a Christian - but baptism was.  A person baptized in the name of Christ was all the confirmation one needed in order to know that they were among the elect (or saved).  This was absolutely a message of grace for those that thought that they had to have some kind of experience in order to know that they were saved.

I don't see that the church of Christ has graceless theology - but I do think it tends to be more works based.  I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing - it depends on what works one is teaching.  I think they would agree that you can't work your way to heaven - or they would at least give lip service to that statement.



It would appear to some that the inclusion of all biblical revelation from God to His adopted children involving personal responsibility to the sin in their lives would smell of what has been eroneously defined as "works based theology"  just as erroneous as the other human defined "grace based theology".   The truth is that grace and obedience are not foreign concepts to the clear teachings of the inspired authors.  Too much emphasis on one blinds the reader on the other.   We no more work our way to heaven than we do to coast in with our untransformed lives excused away by a misguided definition of God's grace.  Both extremes focuses on "me, myself and I".  Listen to the apologetics.  Both extremes sound like they are focusing on God but real focus is on "ME"  no matter how much the long explanations to the contrary.

Right, God's Grace was not reintroduced in a restoration movement. It was there before the reformation and after. Its at mass when my Catholic wife goes to pray and worship just like people in the CofC go to worship and pray. It is in the individual relationship in my opinion and not in a restoration ideal that has led to so much division. 

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #22 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:27:13 »
It's not so much that we got it wrong it's more of a misplaced emphasis.  We are saved by grace and that can't be denied by a rational person.  That being said we tend to focus more on the acceptance of grace than the purpose of grace. This is a failure on our part because it tends to make man the focal point instead of God.  That, of course, is not to say that acceptance of grace is secondary; it merely expresses the truth that teaching acceptance sounds dogmatic and "works oriented" if you don't also teach purpose.

Of course, if you go the extreme in the other direction you negate personal responsibility (which is not a work of merit by the way). God's grace will save, but only if you accept it.

Right, I could of said a misplaced emphasis, but I stand by "got it wrong" if people in the CofC still think they are the only ones saved or teach that.

blituri

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #23 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:40:16 »
No, Johnny! you were reading Campbell deciding whom he preferred: when he spoke of them being chrisrtians he EXPLAINED that this was in the sense of us being a "christian nation."

He defined a Christian as saved as being BAPTIZED for the remission of sins.
Only DISCIPLES are called Christians and disciples are made by baptizing and teaching.

I quoted exactly what Campbell said and IF there were Christians in the sense of being baptized in the SECTS then they should COME OUT OF BABYLON.  You quoted what you wanted to quote and I continued the text.  Sound fair?

Not saying it was all Campbell as there were universities, publications, and great debates that launched the movement splitting churches and creating new ones.

And your last statement is also false: Beginning with Jesus most of church history, the Campbells demand that you are NOT saved if you refuse to obey the Gospel.  Probably only preachers ever think about what others believe except to teach what they believe.  You REVERSE the judgmental by implicating all churches of Christ as having made a CREEDAL STATEMENT. You deem THEM wrong for believing that they are Biblical.

The division thing not a fact either: the Campbells did not set out to set up another church. Thomas left to keep from being disfellowshipped by the Presbyterians for offering communion to those NOT of his presbyterian sect.  You had to be CERTIFIED to be ACCEPTED at the table:



No token: no eaty.

Nextly, Alexander Campbell left to keep from being disfellowshipped by the Baptists because he absolutely always taught that to be a Christian one had to be baptized FOR or in order to the remission of sins and not BECAUSE of remission of sins.  If Campbell believed the Baptists were SAVED why would he preach the bible to them.

Therefore, being SECTED OUT rather than form a sect, the Declaration and Address was used to define a community assembly following the direct commands for the church in the wilderness and commanded by Jesus and described in GREAT DEATAIL by Paul and practiced until in 373 in SOME congregations they violated the command to SPEAK and began to SING as a ACT: act defining legalism and creating discord.

Church is "A school of Christ.
Worship is "reading and musing the Word."

No one was excluded but no one was deemed saved until they obeyed what Christ prophesied, Jesus commanded, the apostles and most of church history practiced.

While the Disciples from the beginning was a continuation of the INSTITUTE of their old religions, it was only in the 1930's that Churches of Christ became more than a community Bible study with communion which was still "teaching."

So, when they tell you that the Church of Christ became a SECT because it refused to BEGIN to do what it had NEVER done for 2000 years, they have lied beyond redemption because to teach something divisive while being ignorant of the Bible is still lying.  Especially since none of the groups added instruments until they overextended and needed a Cash Cow.

Johnny, you have never read ALL of the Lunenburg correspondence and neither has Hughes. The Baptists gloated and believed just what you believe until Campbell pulled the rug out from under them. I quoted some of that: If you are a baptized Christian and still in a SECT then Campbell demands "come out of Babylon."

And he gives no grace to anyone who supposing that there were "Christians among the sects" failed to teach the truth about Baptism. He never approved and never "unioned" with any of the sects including the musical sectarians.


Offline Seeking Answers

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #24 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 16:54:10 »
Good point regarding growing up Methodist and seeing the same issues as people will be people. I agree that people will bring their issues no matter what congregation; however the difference was... growing up we were always taught that hellfire was in store for people that use instruments, which is a different comparison because at least from my experience, this wasn't a local quibble about the choir but a teaching of every congregation that I went to supported by tracts about don't add to the word of God or take from it or ELSE! etc.

I think I see what you're saying.  Otoh, I've been in the same congregation for close to thirty years and haven't ever read any of our tracts.  There may be some real doozies in them, but I don't know.  It seems to most SOFCOCers I know, most realize that there are some that consider instruments damnable and figure "fine, let's not have them, then, if your opinion is so against them and it matters more to you than to me".

Quote
Curious if Methodists were tolerant of Calvinists, or other Protestant groups or if Methodists thought they were the only ones? The CofC congregations I went to were not tolerant of protestant groups usually because of the different teaching on Baptism.

I'd say Methodists are more tolerant of other protestant groups.  What about those that aren't protestants?  At most, then, all you can say is the COC's intolerances are different from other groups' intolerances.  Likewise, I've experienced what comes across as major intolerance from many baptists. 

Quote
Agree that congregations and people can get it wrong and it could be that a lot of the things that I experienced growing up could have been due to a click in the different churches that were more conservative or strict, which doesn't define the entire congregation as a whole, but my assumptions especially after reading the book mentioned in the OP, helped validate all of the things that I was feeling growing up. It helped me understand, using your words "Why all the wackiness or disfunction" which I think is due to the restoration ideal initiated by Campbell and Stone that seems to trump God's Grace in my opinion.

I don't believe it can be laid at the feet of Campbell or Stone, but at the feet of some of the more militant ones who came along later wanting to be significant big shots and tried to build themselves up on the perceived faults of others.





[/quote]

Right, I agree that it can't be laid at the feet of Campbell or Stone as there were others.

I can't speak about other group's intolerance, like Baptists for example. I'm raising the question from my own experience in the CofC because I think the framework was very wrong and all of the division in the movement speaks to that. I could just sweep it under the rug and move on realizing there is no perfect Church or people, like you have mentioned; however, my intent is not to hurt anyone's faith but to find answers and testify about what happened to my faith after reading Richard T. Hughes book which was given to my by a preacher of the CofC one afternoon. I had a difficult time growing up in the movement, and needed answers. My faith is stronger now outside of the CofC box and I know it must be difficult for others who are in a similar legalistic framework. Again, this could be the same in any group, but having the piece of history that I never knew about has really helped...

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #25 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 18:20:09 »
Blit said
Johnny, you have never read ALL of the Lunenburg correspondence and neither has Hughes. The Baptists gloated and believed just what you believe until Campbell pulled the rug out from under them. I quoted some of that: If you are a baptized Christian and still in a SECT then Campbell demands "come out of Babylon."

I have and if you care to read Campbell's own word's here it is.  Not perversions from Piney but AC's words.  I have also read all the D&A have you?  If you spent more time in actual books Bible and actual RM documents instead of Piney propaganda you might actually be able to express some actual thoughts instead of useless copy and paste.

http://bellsouthpwp.net/v/o/volvette/Lunenburg%20Letter%20-%20Alexander%20Campbell%20-1837.pdf

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #26 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 18:23:23 »
Seeking
good posts.  I think you can see some of that legalistic theology even in this thread.  In fact I would call it legalism on steroids. ::smile::

Offline Barabbas

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #27 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 21:46:55 »
Quote
The problem I have though is that the restoration ideal that seeked to follow the 1st century church has been presented by the CofC as the link to grace. In other words, until this new understanding that happened in the 1800's to the present day is what saves us, and Calvinists, Methodists, Adventists, Baptists be damned. 1st John keeps it simple by stating that those who believe in Jesus are our brothers.

I was taught in the CofC that this wasn't true and the only Christians were in the CofC. I couldn't go with friends to the baptist church or catholic church when invited because they were lost by the CofC standard. Again, maybe these were just the CofC congregations that I attended and may not reflect the views of the CofC as a whole?

Yep - I had the same experience growing up.  Unless a person was baptized in the correct Church of Christ way - then they really couldn't be considered Christians.  It leads to a lot of weirdness.  A lot of myths were constructed in order to hold on to the certainty of baptism as the ticket to Christianity, such as remnant theology.  From a very early age it intuitively seemed false to me.  

I believe they confuse categories with baptism.  In most Christian groups it's viewed as a sign ... not a means of salvation.  It would be like confusing the gas gauge with the fuel in a car - if your gas gauge breaks and reads empty it doesn't mean your car can't go if it's full of gas.  

blituri

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #28 on: Wed May 19, 2010 - 23:23:04 »
No, Baptism is not a sign: Baptism is the means of obeying Christ and only those who have obeyed that form or "pattern capable of being imitated" are they then "Free from sin."

There is no cleansing of the inside asking for A holy spirit or A good conscience other than calling on the Name of the Lord by being baptized.

BAPTISM SAVES, says Peter because that is CHRIST'S way to REQUEST that He cleanse us of sins

From Johnny's copy:.

2. And in the second place, why should we so often have quoted and applied to apostate Christendom what the Spirit saith to saints in Babylon--"Come out of her, my people, that you partake not of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues"--had we imagined that the Lord had no people beyond the pale of our communion! 

That parses to: if you ae a baptized believer in a sect then AC demands "come out of Babylon." The command is to teach them: not to "fellership" which demands that you APPROVE of them which means that you PASS JUDGMENT in a very dangerous way.

The name Christian is now current in four significations:-- 

1. The ancient primitive and apostolic import simply indicates follower of Christ. With a strict regard
to its original and scriptural meaning, my favorite and oft repeated definition is, A Christian is one that
habitually believes all that Christ says, and habitually does all that he bids him.
 
2. But its national and very popular sense implies no more than a professor of Christianity. Thus we  have the Christian nations, as well as the Pagan and Mahometan nations; the Christian sects as well as the sects political and philosophical. 

3. But as soon as controversies arose about the ways and means of putting on Christ or of making a profession of his religion, in a new and special or appropriated sense,
      "a Christian" means one who first believes that Jesus is the Christ, repents of his sins,
       is then immersed on confession into Christ's death,
       and thenceforth continues in the Christian faith and practice.


That means that those who REFUSE to do those things is NOT a Christian in the Biblical sense. He gives slack only to those who are absolutely ignorant of the commands of Christ.

And of those within the sects who live like Christians:

Now in this acceptation of the word, I think there are many, in most Protestant parties, whose errors and mistakes I hope the Lord will forgive; and although they should not enter into all the blessings of the kingdom on earth, I do fondly expect they may participate in the resurrection of the just.

He would not UNIZE with nor let them teach in his congregation, nor would he participate in the "fellership cult" which DEMANDS that you AFFIRM that they are acceptable. AC HOPES that the Lord will forgive their ERRORS AND MISTAKES.

Offline Seeking Answers

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #29 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 04:51:30 »
Seeking
good posts.  I think you can see some of that legalistic theology even in this thread.  In fact I would call it legalism on steroids. ::smile::

Thanks, yes I think now after having a point of reference with Hughes book, I can understand why the legalism and division. Amazing piece of history and I would recommend the book to anyone who is looking to know....Why?

Again, grateful to be raised in the CofC to know about God, but still hashing out issues due to growing up in that framework because I never had a chance for the Christian experience, but more of a superiority complex or fighting style ready to drop Acts 2, or Romans 6 or Matthew 28 on anyone instead of deeply seeking God to guide me in my life and find what his will is in my life every chance I have.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #30 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 07:20:17 »
Seeking
The RM fathers lived in a day when each sect was claiming to be the " one true church" and would not accept or fellowship with others.  They taught that Christ's kingdom was a spiritual kingdom made up of all believers.  The division has come from misapplication of their efforts.  They did not strive to establish a new church or even "restore the one true church".  Their goal was to have unity and acceptance of all believers while striving to be "Christians only".  However, that very effort causes one to become a new sect.

Blit
Your selective quotes are misapplied and out of context.  That is why I posted a link to the entire letter. Any one with even a small measure of reading comprehension could not misunderstand what he said as poorly as you have.  The Campbells despised the very sectarian spirit that you continually display on this site.  Although he did not agree with the understanding and what he saw as errors of application he and other RM leaders freely fellowshipped with many groups and were a part of there associations as long as they could do so in peace.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #31 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 08:30:09 »
CHRISTIANS AMONG THE SECTS
In an article on a query from Lunenburg which appeared in the September number, certain sentences
have been objected to by some two or three intelligent and much esteemed correspondents. We gave it
as our opinion that there were Christians among the Protestant sects; an opinion, indeed, which we
have always expressed when called upon. If I mistake not, it is distinctly avowed in our first Extra on
Remission; yet it is now supposed by these brethren that I have conceded a point of which I have
hitherto been tenacious and that I have misapplied certain portions of scripture in supporting said
opinion. In the article alluded to, we have said that we "cannot make any one duty the standard of
Christian state or character, not even Christian immersion," &c. Again, we have said that "there is no
occasion for making immersion on a profession of faith absolutely essential to a Christian, though it
may be greatly essential to his sanctification and comfort." These two sentences contain the pith and
marrow of the objectionable portion of said article to which we again refer the reader.
Much depends upon the known temper and views of a querist in shaping an answer to his questions.
This was the case in this instance. We apprehended that the propounder of the queries that called for
these remarks was rather an ultraist on the subject of Christian baptism; so far at least as not to allow
that the name Christian is at all applicable to one unimmersed, or even to one immersed, without the
true intent and meaning of baptism in his understanding previous to his burial in water. This we
gathered from her epistle; and of course gave as bold an answer as we ever gave--perhaps more bold
than on any former occasion, yet nothing differing from our former expressed views on that subject.
My high regard for these correspondents, however, calls for a few remarks on those sentences, as
farther explanatory of our views. We cheerfully agree with them, as well as with our sister of
Lunenburg, that the term Christian was given first to immersed believers and to none else; but we do
not think that it was given to them because they were immersed, but because they had put on Christ;
and therefore we presume to opine, that, like every other word in universal language, even this term
may be used as Paul sometimes uses the words saint and sinner, Jew and Gentile--in a part of their
signification.
We have, in Paul's style, the inward and the outward Jews; and may we not have the inward and the
outward Christians? for true it is, that he is not always a Christian who is one outwardly: and one of
my correspondents will say, 'Neither is he a Christian who is one inwardly.' But all agree that he is, in
the full sense of the word, a Christian who is one inwardly and outwardly.
As the same Apostle reasons on circumcision, so we would reason on baptism:--"Circumcision," says
the learned Apostle, "is not that which is outward in the flesh;" that is, as we apprehend the Apostle, it
is not that which is outward in the flesh; but "circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in
the letter [only,] whose praise is of God, and not of man." So is baptism. It is not outward in the flesh
only but in the spirit also. We argue for the outward and the inward--the outward for men, including
ourselves--the inward for God; but both the outward and the inward for the praise both of God and of
men.
Now the nice point of opinion on which some brethren differ is this: Can a person who simply, not
perversely, mistakes the outward baptism, have the inward? We all agree that he who willfully or
negligently perverts the outward cannot have the inward. But can he who, through a simple mistake,
involving no perversity of mind, has misapprehended the outward baptism, yet submitting to it
according to his view of it, have the inward baptism which changes his state and has praise of God,
though not of all men? is the precise question. To which I answer, that, in my opinion, it is possible.
Farther than this I do not affirm.
My reasons for this opinion are various; two of which we have only time and space to offer at this
time. Of seven difficulties it is the least; two of these seven, which, on a contrary hypothesis would
occur, are insuperable:--The promises concerning an everlasting Christian church have failed; and then
it would follow that not a few of the brightest names on earth of the last three hundred years should
have to be regarded as subjects of the kingdom of Satan!!
None of our brethren regard baptism as only outward. They all believe that in the outward submersion
of the body in the water, there is at the same time the inward submersion of the mind and heart into
Christ. They do moreover suppose that the former may be without the latter. They have only to add
that it is possible for the latter to be not without the former in some sense, but without it in the sense
which Christ ordained.
Still my opinion is no rule of action to my brethren, nor would I offer it unsolicited to any man. But
while we inculcate faith, repentance, and baptism upon all, as essential to their constitutional
citizenship in the Messiah's kingdom, and to their sanctification and comfort as Christians, no person
has a right to demand our opinions on all the differences of this generation, except for his private
gratification. He is certainly safer who obeys from the heart "that mould of doctrine" delivered to us by
the Apostles; and he only has praise of God and man, and of himself as a Christian, who believes,
repents, is baptized, and keeps all the ordinances, positive and moral, as delivered to us by the holy
Apostles.
The scriptures quoted in the essay complained of, are all applied to the Christian character, and not to
the Christian state, as contemplated by one of our correspondents. 'They are therefore not misapplied.
It is hoped these general remarks will be satisfactory on this point.
A.C.
Ohio River,

Offline jb728b

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #32 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 08:50:59 »
It's not so much that we got it wrong it's more of a misplaced emphasis.  We are saved by grace and that can't be denied by a rational person.  That being said we tend to focus more on the acceptance of grace than the purpose of grace. This is a failure on our part because it tends to make man the focal point instead of God.  That, of course, is not to say that acceptance of grace is secondary; it merely expresses the truth that teaching acceptance sounds dogmatic and "works oriented" if you don't also teach purpose.

Of course, if you go the extreme in the other direction you negate personal responsibility (which is not a work of merit by the way). God's grace will save, but only if you accept it.

Right, I could of said a misplaced emphasis, but I stand by "got it wrong" if people in the CofC still think they are the only ones saved or teach that.

I have not been to every congregation in the country so I can't speak for them.  I can however speak for those I have had the privilege of working with. What has been taught is that those who have been added to the church by God and have been faithful are the ones going to heaven. True, this has been twisted to say "If your not in our denomination then..."  But a faithful church does not view itself in denominational terms.  Denominationalism serves only to further divide. The fact that denominations exist at all serves only as proof that so many have lost their true identity in Christ.

Those who know me well know that I don't play name games.  It matters not to me what silly sign your building may have on it.  If Christ is not there in spirit and in truth then He is not there in name. 

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #33 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 09:56:10 »
I can't speak about other group's intolerance, like Baptists for example. I'm raising the question from my own experience in the CofC because I think the framework was very wrong and all of the division in the movement speaks to that. I could just sweep it under the rug and move on realizing there is no perfect Church or people, like you have mentioned; however, my intent is not to hurt anyone's faith but to find answers and testify about what happened to my faith after reading Richard T. Hughes book which was given to my by a preacher of the CofC one afternoon. I had a difficult time growing up in the movement, and needed answers. My faith is stronger now outside of the CofC box and I know it must be difficult for others who are in a similar legalistic framework. Again, this could be the same in any group, but having the piece of history that I never knew about has really helped...

Well, it is regretable that your experience is as different from mine.  If you were to write what you did about my congregation, for example, the vast majority would realize you don't know much about our congregation. 

Offline pointmade

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Re: Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding Grace?
« Reply #34 on: Thu May 20, 2010 - 10:51:18 »
Would it be safe to say that Campbell, for the most of his adult life was trying to work his way out of Calvinism? I have read many of his later debates and am not convinced if he ever became convinced in his own mind that water baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.

The question is: "Did the Church of Christ get it wrong regarding grace?" No, how could it?  the early church was founded upon the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42). Men have wormed their way in and around this doctrine since Ananias and Sapphira.

My questin: Is it true the the grace of God is "IN CHRIST JESUS" (Gal. 3:26-29)?
Acts 2:38 is true! does this not make you a "seed of Abraham," and heir according to the promise" in the mind of God? The Bible teaches it does.
Then according to Scripture, you are "in Christ" when God says "you are in Christ" and NOT until....this after all...is the "promise." How we "feel" in our hearts, or what ever piece of the anatomy we want to claim has nothing to do with what take place in the MIND of GOD!

If His "promise" is not backed by His words we are one lost outfit spinning in time and space and Calvin was right..."Man IS totallied depraved"!

 

     
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