Campbellism had become quite the rage by the last half of the 1820’s, and the Kentucky churches in particular became embroiled in controversy. “The quiet, humble Christian could find no rest from these afflicting tumults, except the sanctity of his own home, and even that was frequently invaded by the advocates of the reformation, who felt it their duty to lead their neighbors from darkness to light.”* The General Union was forced to deal with the attacks of Campbell and his Christian Baptist.
Campbell was a member of church in the Mahoning Baptist Association, and his influence was so great in both the church and association that neither his church was willing to discipline him nor the Mahoning association the church for his false teaching. Meanwhile the disciples of Campbell were multiplying quickly. Thus in August 1829 a small Baptist group of churches in Pennsylvania, the Beaver Association, withdrew fellowship from the Mahoning Association for these reasons:
“1. They maintain that there is no promise of salvation without baptism.
2. That baptism should be administered to all who say that Jesus Christ is the son of God, without examination on any other point.
3. That there is no direct operation of the Holy Spirit, on the mind, prior to baptism.
4. That baptism produces the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
5. That the Scriptures are the only evidence of interest in Christ.
6. That obedience places it in God’s power to elect to salvation.
7. That no creed is necessary for the church but the Scriptures as they stand.
8. That all baptized persons have a right to administer the ordinance of baptism.”**
What do you think of No. 2? Or No. 7? Was the association right to discpline them here?
- *J. H. Spencer, The History of the Kentucky Baptists from 1769 to 1885, vol. 1 (Cincinnati: J. R. Baumes, 1885), 598.
- **Ibid., 610.