Creeds lead to separation, and that’s a good and necessary consequence, according to William Phillips, who said in an 1837 publication,
“Now suppose this crusade against creeds, confessions, and commentaries to be successful; imagine every thing in the shape of a creed destroyed, every book, manuscript, and pamphlet, from the writings of the ancient fathers, down to the last number of Mr. Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger, committed to the flames, and all the party names of all the christian sects forgotten: imagine, we say, all this effected, and the Bible to be the only religious book remaining in the world.–And what, after all, would be the result? Why, we would have to begin anew to study the Scriptures; and in the investigation, some would arrive at one conclusion, and some at another. Some would consider them to teach that the Savior is the self-existent, unoriginated Jehovah; others, that he is an inferior created being; some would settle down in the belief of unconditional, universal salvation; others would find salvation suspended upon conditions; some would conclude that Christ died int he same sense for every man; others that the merits of his death were only designed for the elect; some would find the condition of the pardon of sin to be faith; others would consider it works; and some would find regeneration by the Holy Spirit clearly taught in the Scriptures; while others, like Mr. Campbell and the Catholics, would refer this to the water of Baptism. Now all these being equally sincere, and as each considers his own views both true and of vital importance, he is anxious for others to embrace them, and wonders why any one should hesitate. Here then is the beginning of strife; and a scene of contention follows far more afflictive and disastrous than any that could arise between the different sects as they now exist, and the only way of restoring peace is to separate, and suffer the advocates of each system to preach Christ as they understand him, and worship him in that manner which they consider Scriptures to authorize.”1
1William Philips, Campbellism Exposed, or Strictures on the Peculiar Tenets of Alexander Campbell (Cincinnati: Cranston and Curtis, 1837), 176-177 .