Sunday, February 19, 2006

Campbellism Exposed!

Like the majority of my blog readership, my church heritage is the Church of Christ, who are also called "Campbellites" after one of the founders of the restoration movement that spawned our denomination (and anyone who wants to expound on this-- you know who you are-- feel free). We aren't perfect, but we aren't horrible, either*.
Well, the primary Bible bookstore in our town is run by the Baptists (called "The Baptist Bookstore," but they let the goyim in). A couple of years ago I was looking around the store and happened upon their "tract rack" (yes, I suppose the CofC doesn't have a monopoly on them...). One of their tracts jumped out at me, because it was titled, "Campbellism Exposed! One Hundred One Reasons for Not Being a Campbellite" by Ben M. Bogard, LLD (and if anyone knows what LLD stands for, please let me know). It was only $.99 so I bought a copy.
Well it's quite interesting, let me tell you. This stuff is even better than "The Onion" or "The Daily Show"!
Mr. Bogard gives his reasons (all 101 of them) and then expounds on them. Here are some of my favorite reasons (just the titles):
  • Campbellites claim to have no creed, which is equivalent to claiming to be fools.
  • Campbellism makes priests of its preachers.
  • Campbellites make sport of praying for sinners.
  • Campbellism is made up mostly of people who have been excluded from other churches. (key quote: "The Campbellite church is an ecclesiastical slop-tub...")
  • Campbellism and Mormonism are twins.
  • Nearly all of the other churches have some truth, but Campbellism is false at every point. (key quote: "They are wrong on everything.")
The next two are my absolute favorites and have earned the status of being published in whole here.

#12- Campbellites everywhere have a contemptible grin that nobody else in the world has. That which is characteristic of them everywhere can't be a happen so.
Just dispute the Campbellite doctrine at any point, or preach heartfelt salvation in their presence, and at once they begin to grin.
Nobody on earth has that grin except the Campbellites. I began to notice it many years ago in Kentucky. I wondered if it was not just a local matter produced by ill-breeding. But I went to Tennessee and found the same grin. Then I went to Missouri and they also had the grin. Then I moved to Arkansas, and they still grinned. Then I went to Texas and Oklahoma, and the grin abides. There is something in the Campbellite doctrine that produces it. You can dispute with
Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Mormons and infidels, and you will never see that grin. But even the boys and girls among the Campbellites have it. The grin shows a mingled feeling of contempt, insolence, ill-breeding, ignorance and wickedness, a combination to be found in no one else but the Campbellites.

and my other favorite...

#101-- A poem entitled "The Campbellite Imagination"

We have a people here on earth--
And Campbellite is their name--
Who don't believe the Word of God,
And hence reject the same.

They have an imaginary God,
An imaginary Son,
An imaginary Spirit,
And these three are not one.

Their imaginary Lord
Has an imaginary plan
And they imagine that this saves
A real sinful man.

With imaginary gospel
Preached in imagination, too,
They catch a hardened sinner
And plunge him right through.

He say that he believes
In this imaginary Christ,
Has imaginary safety
In his sin-polluted life.

Then the preacher takes him in
On an unscriptural plan,
And decides the state
Of the poor deluded man.

And the Devil surely laughs
At these deluded folk,
Because he knows if they are right,
Religion is a joke.

Do you imagine they are saved,
And will enter heaven's land?
No, surely they will each one fall
Into the Devil's hand.

Let's preach and pray, and work and sing
Yea, call upon our God,
'Till even the Campbellites repent,
And trust in Jesus' blood.

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
Even Campbellites may plunge in
And lose their guilty stains.

Oh goodness, I'm laughing even as I type! I promise to you guys that this is serious a tract written by a serious man in a serious Christian book store.

If anyone's interested in seeing a copy of this, let me know and I'll see if copies are still available. What I wouldn't give to talk to Mr. Bogard! I'll investigate and see if he's still alive. :)

So there you go-- the truth on us Campbellites! And I had you fooled all along! You just can't see my contemptible grin from behind my computer screen! Muah ha ha!

*This is not a blog on denominationalism. I believe in equal denominational opportunity-- each tradition's followers have the same potential for both good and craziness.


Anonymous said...

Come on, Anne. Use google. :)
"Ben M. Bogard was heralded as the best of Baptist debaters during his day. He debated many preachers in the Churches of Christ including J.D. Tant and Joe S. Warlick. The above tribute was originally recorded in the Baptist journal, Orthodox Baptist Searchlight, but also appeared at the end of the page in the Gospel Advocate bearing his obituary."

So I guess you won't be talking to him any time soon, though you could probably dig up some transcripts of his debates if you're really feeling industrious.

Peter Rice said...

Wow, can you say "inflammatory"?!! I have a generally high opinion of Baptists, so those quotes are quite shocking. So bitter and damning! I hope that man found room for repentance before he went to meet his Maker. Wow, again!

Evelina said...

I thought it sounded pretty dated. You want funny tracts, you should check out anything by Jack Chick.

ann said...

Stephen-- Thanks for the info. I did google him but didn't spend too much time on it, so I didn't see his obituary.

Peter-- I certainly wouldn't let this crazy dude change your opinion of Baptists as a whole. It's like having Bin Laden be the spokesman for Islam or Pat Robertson representing Christianity!

Alissa-- I saw Chick's website... oh my goodness! I laugh at its absurdity a lot, but people who use hate mongering, fear tactics, and "moral superiority" to "save" people really piss me off. Looks like this Chick guy is in big business with it.

Anonymous said...

"Ill-breeding" - well, I guess we're just as organizationally incestuous as any other denomination, but still, wow, such vitriol! Actually, I think it's remarkable how things like tracts can be so fascinating on a sociological level and so absurd at the same time. Honestly, who writes a poem, a bad poem, to describe the faults of a denomination? The sicko in me would love to get my hands on a copy!

Jason Fry said...

I suppose that, were we to look for them, we might find some equally inflammatory, petty, and ludicrous tracts on our own racks against the heresy of the Baptists.

I really think that if we would get over ourselves and actually TALK to the Baptists, and if they would get over themselves and actually TALK to the Churches of Christ, that we'd find that we have more in common than both groups have always preached.

(Insert contemptible grin here)

crittermer said...

Haha, just like the commenter before me, I was thinking that as absurd and offensive as this tract is, I've read some equally absurd and offensive things written about the Baptists by certain Campbellites. The obvious lesson here is that any time any indidividual of any denomination ceases to be amazed at the grace that was given him at Calvary and instead lets himself sit in the judgement seat, the results are ugly. Let us never forget that God has called us to humility not arrogance, to be Spirit-filled and not mean-spirited.

EandJTrygg said...

"That which is characteristic of them everywhere can't be a happen so."

My head is still spinning! What does it mean?

--Erik (grinning Campbellitically)

Misty said...

You know, they make Cambellites sit in the back of the bus over here in England, they're that campbellophoic. True story. But then again, I'm a Cambellite, so you can't trust a word I say.

Anonymous said...

LLD = Doctor of Law.

Anonymous said...

W.A. Williams wrote an excellent, Bibilical and balaced book on the teachings of Alexander Campbell, back in 1866. It's a rate book, but sometimes available as a photocopy on ebay. The title is "Campbellism Exposed". Its a very, very helpful work that is not into "name-calling"; Williams as done an especially good job of refuting the baptismal-regeneration errors of Campbell, as well as some less than satisfactory teaching of Campbell on the work of the Holy Spirit. William's work is quite a bit better than others on this topic, if one wants to do a serious study of this topic, this is the work (read along side the bible) that will perhaps help people the most. Again, its long out of print and hard to find, but very much worth finding.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This much is true. Campbellism and it's view as salvation via baptism is either true or it is not true. If it is true, one presumes 99% of Christendom is hell bound. Certainly all of Christendom prior to the Campbells must be in hell, since it took for the 1800s for the Campbells to come along and finally get the gospel right. Wonder how the OT saints made it without hydro-salvation and the Campbells? Ahh well...

Anonymous said...

Ben Bogard is the patron saint of the American Baptist Association. Speak ill of him in many ABA churches and you are condemned to share the fate of anyone in the Southern Baptist Convention. Yup, yer goin straight ta hell!

I am an ABA affiliated pastor but I must confess that I find a lot of his writings tainted with a "holier than thou" attitude.

Thankfully, much of his overbearing writings are being weeded out of general publication at the Baptist Book Store. BTW... the tract is no longer available to order. If you find anything in the store it's likely left overs (showing how poorly it sold).

Anonymous said...

I would not trust a Campbellite as far as I can throw a bull by its tail.

Lee Anne said...

Hi, would like to ask some questions about Campbellism, because it sounds a lot like the Church of Christ God brought me out of 9 years ago.
It all began when they excommunicated me for visiting other Churches of Christ that had a kitchen, those they claimed were going to hell for being too liberal by having a kitchen.
That is when I began to do some serious research into their actual doctrine, which I found to be "works-oriented" rather than salvation by Jesus alone.
What is your take on that?

Anonymous said...

Yes Lee Anne The CofC is a works based salvation.

The Lord led you out of that cult.

Grace and Mercy to you Lee Anne.

And Grace and Mercy to you CofC.