Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2005 8:01 PM

In a message dated 1/29/2005 5:46:34 PM Central Standard Time, David writes:

Can you help me with a question about Alexander Campbell and the Church of Christ. The Campbells used to be members of a Baptist Church, they were later excluded for false teaching. Was he, as well as the others, ever re-baptised ,as Baptists do
not believe in baptismal regeneration.
Thanks for your response and God bless

Dear David:

There are several items here for explanation:

1. The Campbells were never at any time received as members by a Baptist Church. They were immersed in June of 1812 by a Baptist preacher, Matthias Luce, but it was done privately or independently from any church, and they did not become members of a Baptist church at that time nor later. Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, pages 396-398.

2. In May of 1811, months previous to their immersion by Luce,  the Campbells -- still pedobaptists at the time -- and some of their followers had formed an independent congregation at Brush Rush. Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, pages 365-369.

3. The Brush Run congregation applied for and despite some opposition was given affiliation with the Redstone Baptist Association in 1813. Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, pages 391, 438-441.

4. Alexander preached what was considered an unorthodox "Sermon on the Law" at an annual Associational meeting in 1816, further contributing to the growing dissatisfaction with Campbell; a move arose among many of the Redstone Association ministers to expel Alexander from the Association. But he eluded the scheme by purposefully being dismissed by the Brush Run church, along with a few other members, in order to form a second independent church located at Wellsburg. By this action he was no longer under the Redstone Association's disciplinary power and he thereby frustrated their plan to expel him. Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, pages 471; Vol. 2, pages 69, 70.

5. The ONLY immersion Campbell ever received was the immersion by Luce in 1812. At that time, he did not hold to the theory later adopted in the 1823-1827 period as to the "purpose of baptism." Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 2, pages 208-220. So he was NEVER baptized in accordance with the later emphasis of the movement on the purpose of baptism.

6. The Campbell movement does not hold to what is usually called "baptismal regeneration." They do believe in the necessity of baptism as one of the "acts of obedience" which completes what they consider to be the "Gospel plan of salvation," but they do not believe that baptism regenerates nor do they believe what is generally understood by Baptists by the terms "new birth" or "regeneration."

They do not hold that there is an inner renewing work by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Gospel or Word of God; rather, they believe in the "Word alone" theory, and that one's initial obedience to the Word and his continuance in obedience throughout his life are contingent "conditions" to ultimate salvation. They do not regard any one as eternally "saved" in this life -- with obedience being a consequence of salvation -- but they teach that one may lose his temporary "salvation" if he becomes disobedient. 

All of this information is available in my books on Campbellism, as well as on the Internet.
See the Memoirs of Alexander Campbell at the following URL: ><

-- Bob L. Ross

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