Do not get me wrong Johnb.....I am not disagreeing with you on a pattern.....
As I have said many times, when I was baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of sins I stand on
If He did not "add" me to His "Spiritual" church/kingdom in His mind by obeying Peter's words:
then there is not a thing I can do about it.
No amount of alter calls, praying through, Lord Supper's attended; singing with the instrument or without
will "translate me into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 2:13).
Now, I know this goes against the Reformed teaching of the "faith only."
This theory of teaching which originated in the mind of Luther (faith only), tweaked by Augustine that faith
comes wrapped in a package of "election" and "infused grace" or that salvation is wholly of God.
You say: " Like Thomas Campbell in the Declaration and Address I believe the kingdom of Christ is one made up of all those who have come to Christ. He understood that the Kingdom of Christ was not of this world something lost in the later RM."
I am not a "Campbellite." I have read most of his works and history of his coming from Presbyterianism/Baptist doctrine.
When I read the principles embodied in the "Declaration" I see where Thomas had a plan for "unity."
He said that he had a plan for unity of all Christians and describing the means in which this unity could be achieved.
He addressed this plan as a formal plan or reform before the Christian Association of Washington (Sept 7, 1809).
Their motto: "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.'
has fallen on deaf ears today in many "Assemblies" who seek unity.
But, Campbell's unity is not the unity which Jesus speaks of attaining in His high priestly prayer in John 17.
The formula is, "I pray that they believe on me through THEIR word" (v. 20).
Quite frankly, I can find no other verse in the New Testament that informs me how to believe on HIM.
So, I am not convinced that Campbell believed water baptism is for the remission of sins.
Like many in the church of Christ today, Thomas and Alexander seemed to waffle and go back to their
roots in the Reformation.
True, the Campbells were brilliant scholars, but so was Apollos from Alexander, Egypt, "mighty in the
scriptures, a man instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught
diligently the things of the Lord knowing only the baptism of John.
The text in Acts 19 goes on to say that when Aquila and Priseilla had HEARD
him speak they took him aside and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."
In my opinion, the Campbells were so entrenched in Calvinism as young men that I do not believe
they ever truly escaped Calvin's tulip garden theory of total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement,
irresistible grace, and preservation of the saints found in his "Institutes of the Christian Religion."
Thomas' son Alexander wrote in his book "The Christian System" in 1863 in an attempt to set forth the
unchangeable aspects of the Christian religion:
"Hence the faith, the worship and the righteousness; or the doctrine, the piety, and the morality of the gospel
institution are not legitimate subjects of human legislation, alteration, or arrangement.
No man or community can touch these and be innocent. These rest upon the wisdom and authority of Jehovah."
It was, in fact, Campbell's own theology. The cry was raised "Campbellite Creed!"
Alexander wrote in his Lunenburg Letter (1837), "Who is a Christian?"
I answer, Everyone that believes in his heart the Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of God;
repents of his sins and obeys him in all things according to the measure of his will."
He writes "A perfect man in Christ, or a perfect Christian, is one thing; and a "babe in Christ," a strapling in the faith,
or an imperect Christian, is another. The New Testament recognizes both the perfect man and the imperfect man
Campbell goes on to say, "We cheerfully agree 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."
Here, Campbell skirts around Peter's answer at Pentecost that "baptized IS for the remission of sins".
Campbell speaks of "putting on Christ," but is implicate in how this connection is accomplished.
I believe the answer does lie in Scripture and in the mind of God.
Paul is absolutely correct when he writes "There is therefore now no commendation to them which are
IN CHRIST JESUS" (Romans 8:1)
A "babe in Christ," if taught correctly, should be aware of this "promise" before stepping into the water.
I can say this, because I hold no allegiance to the Augustinian/Calvinistic idea of "infused grace."