Church of Christ
Mission USA

A Denominational Preacher Responds To My Article Of 8-2009 “Why Are You A Baptist, etc.

By Perry Sexton

      First of all I appreciate the opportunity to answer sincere Bible questions. This gentleman asks several questions and makes several comments which I am happy to deal with based upon the space here.

      His first question to me is: “Why are you a Cambelight [sic] my friend?” We have heard such as this before from denominational people. Mostly from the preachers and from some of their members who mimic their preachers. They do such in order to try to put the church of Christ on the same level as the churches of men in order to justify themselves. It is simply a lack of understanding the Scriptures or a rejection of them. In my following answer you should clearly see how these accusers misuse our words as they also do the Word of God. It is little wonder that if one is willing to misuse God’s Word they would have no qualm whatsoever in misusing mere man’s word.

      Sir, the bases you have for calling me a Campbellite is as faulty as the bases you have for the denominations. There is no truth to it. That I am a Campbellite cannot be proven any more than justification for the denominations can be proven (cp. 1 Thess. 5:21). Could I prove you to be a Jehovah Witness? No because you are not. Would it be right for me to call you a Jehovah Witness? No, and I do not. On what basis do you call me a Campbellite? Do I call myself after Mr. Campbell. No, I do not. Why then do you? Such designations show that you are a follower of that individual: As Baptist follow Baptist doctrine and Methodist follow Methodist doctrine, etc.

      Sir, you and others make such false accusation, but you have no proof whatsoever. I ask, is such honest (cp. Luke 8:15). God demands proof (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:15). In order for you to prove that I am a Campbellite you must prove that I am following Campbell in some point where Campbell did not follow Christ. You cannot do that. On the other hand, I can prove where any denomination is following man and not Christ in many points. This is why they are a denomination and they readily admit they are denominational.

      I follow Christ according to His teachings, the New Testament therefore I am a Christian (Acts 11:26). I recognize Jesus as Founder (Matt. 16:18); as Head (Eph. 1:22, 23); and as Savior of the church (Eph. 5:23). This body, or church, is of Christ and therefore is called after Him (Rom. 16:16). I wear His name and belong to His church because I follow His doctrine (2 John 9). I have never called myself a Campbellite. Is it honest for you to call me such? If so, on what bases? Concerning the matter of the name followers of Christ should wear; Mr. Campbell argued that followers of Christ should be called “disciples of Christ.” While I am a disciple of Christ (not Campbell as you irresponsibly claim) that is not the God given name (Isa. 62:2; Acts 11:26; 4:12). Now sir, am I following Campbell or Christ? Please answer directly.

      Sir, whom do you recognize as founder and head of the Baptist Church? It is very provable that it is not Christ! Furthermore, the one you look to as founder and head of these man-made organizations—you must also look to for the one to save such an organization and every member of it (please read, understand and accept Proverbs 1:24ff and Isaiah 1:10ff; cp. Matt. 7:21-23).

      The gentleman then says “Your worldly organization calls itself ‘The Church of Christ,’ i.e. ‘The Nominal Church of Christ!’ You [sic] affiliation is no different than any other worldly group.” To make such a statement without proof is not honest. What proof can you provide? Can you name one point where I am not following the doctrine of Christ? You have made accusations without one shred of proof and not one verse cited as proof. The reason is obvious, you cannot do so. To reference any such things you would have to quote from man such as the Baptist Church Manual, etc.  

      The church of Christ (Rom. 16:16) is Heaven born (Matt. 16:18); Heaven bought (Acts 20:28); and is Heaven bound (Eph. 5:25-27). No such thing can be said with Scripture of any denomination, let alone proven by the Scriptures.

      To be a denominational person one must have the mindset that our group is just a part of the whole. You have indirectly accused me of being of that mindset. You cannot quote anything I have ever written or said to justify your accusation. Do you propose to know my mind? What is in my mind, I speak. Are you accusing that what I speak and write is not my mind?

      My mind is that of the Word of God: There is one church (Matt. 16:18); one faith (Eph. 4:5). This is all God recognizes as right with Him and therefore this is all that I recognize. Can you prove that I believe other than what I say in this? Can you prove I am secretly a Campbellite contrary to what I say?

      On the other hand the denominations recognize many different churches with many different doctrines contrary one with another (man what a system—how can any right thinking person continue in such?). Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20, 21); some denominational people pray and thank God for division (what blasphemy!). God plainly tells us that there is to be no division (1 Cor. 1:10). Yet, man rebelliously promotes division (cp. 1 Sam. 15:22, 23).

      Ephesians 4:5 says “one faith” but the denominations recognize many faiths as they do many bodies/churches contrary to verse four. Consider: “Denomination--A group of religious congregations having its own organization and a distinctive faith” [WordWeb 5.52]. Of course their faiths do not agree with one another and none agree with the “one faith” of the Bible. I, sir, am of that “one faith” and encourage all people to follow only Jesus.

      The gentleman says “The worldly church does not save.” He has that right (denominations are worldly), but it puzzles me greatly as why he continues in a church of man that is contrary to the church which Jesus built. Jesus’ church or kingdom “is not of this world” (John 18:36). The Bible teaches the saved are “added to the church” (Acts 2:47). Which church is this? By the way which church did Jesus build? And to which church did the apostles belong? And which denomination did they belong to? None! Salvation is in Christ (2 Tim. 2:10); the body is the church (Eph. 1:22, 23). One cannot be saved without being a member of the church of Christ.

      He says “Denominationalism means nothing to Christ.” It is obvious he claims to know the mind of Christ without the Word of Christ, as he does my mind even contrary to my word. This is very presumptuous, but such is what every denomination is built upon! Well, sir, where is book, chapter and verse for that profound declaration? I give book, chapter and verse for everything I believe and practice because I am a follower of Christ--Christian. You cannot do so! You mean Christ cares nothing that evil men teach error (2 Pet. 2:1-3); and that He cares not that men pervert the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9); and He cares not that men would divide His body (John 17:20, 21; 1 Cor. 1:10)? It is obvious you do not believe His Word. This is why you are denominational. More next time.  ♥