Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brief Thoughts on the CoC/Campbellites

I was watching President Obama kiss a poor black woman tonight and tell her he'd help her out because she was in the dire straits and even though some of his policy (abortion and Israel) appal me, I firmly believe in that moment he was acting in Christian love. Being the labeller that I am - guilty as charged - everytime I see Obama or Max Lucado my first thought is - Churches of Christ or Campbellite.

The Restorationist movement is an interesting tradition within Protestantism. As a mock Church Historian and firm advocate of Tradition I despise them for their 'no creed but the bible' theology which is basically "sola scriptura on crack". BUT as a pragmatist, and constant critic of the apathy of my 'one true church' -which can't do 'one true thing' a Christian Church should do, I love the tradition of the Churches of Christ. I love their attacks on denominationalism and the petty differences which stop us from being a united Christendom, even if I disagree with some of their doctrines. If the Catholic Church was utterly destroyed and I had to rebuild everything I would build the Campbellite/CoC church. It's focus on practicality, Christian action, and general neglect of denominational badges or pride is what makes it one of my favourite 'wrong denominations' (like Hinduism is my fav. 'wrong religion' - I jest, it isn't meant mean-spiritedly).

The only Protestant Seminary I know of (I use the term Protestant loosely as many CoC deny their allegiance to any Reformer) is a CoC Seminary in Lancaster which I am looking at. My parents would never support me going to a Papist training camp/Catholic university so I have to find a school which would accept a Babylonian Whore worshipper like myself, and the selling point of this university was the last sentence "we also have students who are Roman Catholics and Jews". ... Wow if they accept the Jews, they mean ecumenical business.

But as I anxiously read up on the Churches of Christ and Campbell, even indulging myself for a minute that I might yet live me dream to preach in their denomination and yet remain faithful to Catholicism, I then found this book. "A Debate on the Roman Catholic Religion" between Alexander Campbell and the Bishop of Cincinatti. It was your typical polemic, and filled with all the hate of a normal denomination. Again I've entered the world of denominationalism...
But I found this quote funny from the debate, I've used this point with Protestants alot:

"I am prepared to show that the idea of a supreme head (Universal Bishop/Pope) has its origin in the bible, and is supported by the earliest ecclesiastical authority. I must here take notice of the promise he (Campbell) gave to put his finger on the precise day and date when the church called the Roman Catholic church, ceased to be the church of Christ. He has left us as much in the dark as ever on this most important of all events. It is a point which has puzzled the world, and will for ever puzzle it, to fix that date. It will, I am sure, puzzle my friend. The whole world has never been able to state at what particular moment the Catholic church lost her prerogative and the favor of God—when she ceased to be in the true sense the Catholic Church. The reason of this is obvious. She has never forfeited her prerogative." - Bp. John B. Purcell (p. 21 of "A Debate on the Roman Catholic Religion")

and I just took an online test and I'm officially 100% Roman Catholic now, and the next closest is 72% Anglican...I hate being a polemicist, God give me modern theology and ecumenism and people who generally dislike all of 16th century theology....


  1. I can give it a try: The Catholic Church lost her authority when it refused to listen to Contarini and Pole and issued the Council of Trent's dogma as official Catholic dogma.

  2. Restorationist theology is anti-historical, I don't think you'd like it there...Calvin and Ignatius Loyola would be anathema to them!

  3. When I wrote that I thought, 'the only people who would be able to give a date would be Jared and Jay'. Heh, that's an interesting choice of date, though it makes sense. Though it's kindof coincidental that the Church got lucky on the first 16 centuries of dogma. Though I've gleaned from your series on Catholicism that you probably believe it apostasied before with merit, indulgences, etc.

    Ya restorationism was just another torturous moment where I had to see another church which has no orthodoxy (in my opinion) but has alot of orthopraxis, never the twain shall meet it seems... (I hope I used that colloquialism correctly).