Aug 05

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In this fourth article written under the above title, there is a need to raise the question: “Just what are confessions, catechisms, and creeds?” This need arises because Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer Pastor, of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Greenfield, Iowa, writes in his “A Lutheran Response to Those Positions” to what he calls “Various Doctrinal Positions of The Campbellite Church of Christ,” in which he charges the churches of Christ with having such!
Of course, as noted in the earlier articles, he maliciously calls the churches of Christ, “The Campbellite Church of Christ.”
First, what is a “confession?” The Encyclopaedia Britannica gives the following under “Confession of faith:” “formal statement of doctrinal belief ordinarily intended for public avowal by an individual, a group, a congregation, synod, or a church; confessions are similar to creeds, although usually more extensive. They are especially associated with the churches of the Protestant Reformation.”
Second, what is a “catechism?” Catechism derives from the Greek word “katekhismos,” which is defined as instruction conducted in a question-and-answer format. The root of katekhismos, “katekhein,” means “to resound” or “to echo,” which describes the nature of a catechism. A catechism presents a set of questions, which when read prompt an accompanying set of answers. “A catechism is a teaching tool and encourages memorization through repetition.”
Third, what is a “creed?” A creed is “an authoritative formulation of the beliefs of a religious community (or, by transference, of individuals). The terms “creed” and “confession of faith” are sometimes used interchangeably, but when distinguished “creed” refers to a brief affirmation of faith employed in public worship or initiation rites, while “confession of faith” is generally used to refer to a longer, more detailed, and systematic doctrinal declaration. (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Let it be understood in spite of Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer malicious words, the churches of Christ have no “Confession of faith,” no “Catechism,” and no “Creed,” but the word of God! The only question anyone is asked before being baptized is: “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?” Generally, just before the believing, repentant, confessing person is baptized, the person doing the baptizing will say something like: “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in order to have your sins forgiven.” However, it is not necessary that anything be said. The words are said, so all present will understand what is taking place!
Now we turn our attention to the question: “Do some churches of Christ use books written by members of the churches of Christ in Bible classes?” Yes! Some churches of Christ through the years have used the book written by Leroy Brownlow, “Why I Am a Member of the Church of Christ.” It is a good book! However, there are members of the churches of Christ who have never studied this book and some who have never even heard of this book! The same thing is true of the five volume set of books entitled “Sound Doctrine” by written by C. R. Nichol and the three volume set of books entitled “Hardeman’s Tabernacle Sermons” by N. B. Hardeman! The charges made by Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer are false, and what is more, he knows they are false!
Here is a question for Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer Pastor, of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Greenfield, Iowa, who appears so brave as he writes; is he brave enough to back up his written words in public debate?
In fact, Dr. Schweitzer writes: “The position of this writer is one that claims the Campbellite Church of Christ to be a cult. It has throughout its history lied and distorted the facts concerning its origins and many of its aberrant doctrines.”

Frank R. Williams

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