Men Who Hate the Church of Christ

Someone recently sent me a copy of Dr. Hugh F. Pyle’s book, “The Truth
About the Church of Christ.” The author is an evangelist among the
Independent Baptists. His venom toward the Church of Christ is
undiluted. His book is full of ridicule, sarcasm and contempt for the
Lord’s church and her members. Among his chapters are “Please Drown
Me in the Baptistry” and “Instrumental Insanity” and “Campbell’s
Soup.” Dr. Pyle is one of a long line of Baptist preachers who have
published vicious attacks against the church. In the early years of
our back to the Bible movement men like Jeremiah Jeter published his
Campbellism Examined. J. R. Graves published Alexander Campbell and
Campbellism. Later, Bob Ross gave us his hateful book on Campbellism.
David Martin continues to circulate his Questions No Church of Christ
Preacher Can Answer.

Although it in no way excuses them, Baptist preachers have some basis
for hating the Church of Christ. When they left the Presbyterian
in search of New Testament Christianity, from 1815 to1824
Thomas and Alexander Campbell affiliated with the Red Stone Baptist
Association. In deciding to cast their lots with that association, the
Campbells stated in writing that they would not be bound by the
Philadelphia Confession of Faith (the Baptist creedal statement).

They also insisted that they must be allowed to preach and teach as
they found the Scripture to teach. Young Alexander was a brilliant,
Bible student and preacher. His popularity soon exceeded that of most
of the Baptist preachers of his day. He named his first gospel paper,
“The Christian Baptist.” When he debated the Presbyterian, John
Walker, on the proper mode of baptism, he was the hero of the hour
among the Baptists. However, when he gave his famous Sermon on the
Law at their 1816 association meeting, suspicions were raised.

Later when he debated Wm. McCalla and insisted baptism was for
remission of sins, the love affair ended and the angry Baptist
preachers set out to punish and humiliate him. Knowing they planned
to disfellowship him, Alexander Campbell changed his church membership
to the Wellsburg congregation of the Mahoning Association. Frustrated
that they prey had escaped their snare, those preachers launched a
stream of hate-filled slander toward Campbell and his brethren that
continues to this day. To add insult to their injury, thousands of
Baptists left that denomination to join with Campbell in being Bible
. Most of the Mahoning Baptist Association made that move
as did several others. In the ensuing years the Baptist churches in
the middle states and south suffered great losses as many of their
members chose to be Christians only. Their preachers were bitter about
the loss…and some still are.

But there is a second group of people who likewise hate the Church of
. They too love to call us Campbellites. They ridicule our
emphasis on baptism for remission of sins, our refusal to use
instruments of music in our worship and our firm belief that Christ
has only one church to which he adds all the saved. These critics
likewise resort to hateful sarcasm and ridicule. The difference in
the two groups is astounding. The latter group are disaffected members
of the Church of Christ. Some of these critics have left the Church of
Christ and affiliated themselves with various denominations. Some
have given up all interest in serving God. Many of them preach for
some of our largest churches, others teach in our most prestigious
Christian schools. Some of them are descendants of faithful members
and servants of the church. The most glaring examples of this
anti-Church of Christism is found in the literature of the change
movement. Each year a number of new books of this genera are issued,
written by these unhappy members of the church, most of which are
designed to denigrate and belittle the church, her worship and her
faith. They ridicule those whose loyalty to Christ will not allow
them to embrace their agenda of change.

These are two kindred groups of haters of the Church of Christ. Both
serve the same master. Both walk the same path. Both will have a
common destiny. The day will come when the Lord will come with his
holy ones to “execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the
ungodly of all their works of ungodliness and of all the hard things
which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15).

-John Waddey


2 thoughts on “Men Who Hate the Church of Christ

  1. Ken Maddox

    So many enemies of Christanity out there and we fight amongst ourselves. At this point people of faith need to band together like never before. I have my beliefs you have yours. How irrelevant is it on the particulars when we have a world going to hell and non-believers that want to destroy all of us. Thanks for this post, its is well written.

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