I often hear misinformed people call members of the church of Christ, "Campbellites." One critic recently has brought up that name and attached it to writers of the Spiritual Sword. He has labeled us as cultish and has noted that people who had contact with the American Restoration Movement were involved in the formation of cults in the early 1800s.
I am a member of the Lord's church. I love the Lord's church, because Jesus did. He loved it enough to be its head and Savior. He was willing to die for the church and adorned her as his bride (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32).
I have never quite liked the labeling of our brethren as the American Restoration movement. While I believe in restoring the church to the beliefs and practices of the New Testament (restoration is actually doctrinal and practical repentance), I do not for one moment believe they were trying to start something new so much as they were trying to return to the teaching and practice of the New Testament.
This critic likes to single out those who believe that the silence of the Scriptures are to be respected, who hold to inspiration and inerrancy, who believe in doing Bible things in Bible ways, and calling Bible things by Bible name, as exclusive and thereby cultish.
By doing so, it seems clear he is either ignoring what the Bible itself instructs Christians to be and do or he lacks a good definition of a cult. Christ and his church are inherently exclusive. Those who do not believe can not please God and stand condemned (John 3:18; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Heb. 11:6). This notion was recognized by the Restorationists, but the thought is fully Biblical. The church is to mark and avoid divisive heretics (Rom. 16:17; Tit. 3:9-11). Paul said that in the first century.
This critic does not seem to realize that brethren believe things because the Bible teaches them, not because the Campbells did. They don't seem to understand that people today can evaluate and judge the teachings of the Campbells just as they anyone else.
Neither Thomas nor Alexander Campbell had holes in their hands. Neither is my Lord; my Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ. Only to Jesus do I have allegiance. Only to his blood do I look.
The Scriptures that our sins are remitted at the time of baptism. I don't care what A Campbell believed in 1812 or in 1829. What he believed at either time does not determine the truth. What the Bible says determines the truth. The decision making factor in my mind has everything to do with Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 3:3-7; and 1 Peter 3:21 but not A. Campbell.
I am not a "Church-of-Christer"; I am a Christian. I am not a "Church-of-Christ" preacher; I am a gospel preacher and a member of the body of Christ. I did not become a Christian to join the Campbells. I became a Christian out of love for my Lord Jesus.
Critics often say more about themselves than they do those whom they criticize. This critic loves to debate and deride others. Let him rant and deride. He only shows his own colors (Prov. 26:4).