Aug 12

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The boldness of some writers is seen in their own words! In this series of articles, we are answering a thirty page, that’s right, a thirty-page article entitled: “Various Doctrinal Positions of The Campbellite Church of Christ And a Lutheran Response to Those Positions” written by, Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, 505 NE Dodge Street, Greenfield, Iowa 50849. This is our fifth response to his charges!
In this article we take up another charge made by “Pastor” Schweitzer: “Campbellite Church of Christ Position: ‘We believe a person must complete five steps in order to be saved. A person must: a. Hear the Word; b. Believe the Word; c. Repent of his sins; d. Confess his sins publicly; e. Be baptized by immersion only.” For all those who might happen to read this article, here is a question: “If you believe that Jesus followed through on his promise to build his church (Matt. 16:18), just where would you read of such building activity?” Would it be in the book which is the history of the activities of his ambassadors, the apostles of Christ? This book is “The Acts of the Apostles” and is the inspired historical record of the establishment and the building of the church to which the Lord added those who were saved (Acts 2:41, 27). Luke the inspired historian records for the truth seeker, case after case, of those who were converted to Christ. It is noticed by the careful reader that different answers were given to the same question; this fact should compel any honest reader to ask why? The simple answer lies in the fact that those who asked the same question, “What must I do?” Were in different places in their learning and understanding. Thus, the answer was given accordingly! However, it will be noted that all five of the points given by the doctor are correct, but one, which he incorrectly states!
On the day of Pentecost, the text says, “Now when they heard this” (Acts 2:37)! Peter answered the question of these believing Hebrews, who had been looking for the coming of the Christ; their question was: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Please notice in his answer, Peter does not tell them to believe for it is understood they already believed; as he said: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38). So, to this point what do we have: 1) they heard the gospel; 2) they believed the gospel; 3) they were told to repent; and 4) they were commanded to be baptized for “unto” the remission of their sins! Charge or not, in the first case of converts in the gospel age that we have four of the five steps which Dr. Schweitzer is making fun of? But, this is not all! As we keep reading, the inspired Luke wrote: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Verse 41).
Now, as an honest seeker of truth, we read in the eighth chapter of Acts and notice that Philip went down to “the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them” (verse 5). Please notice what happens! In verse six Luke wrote, “hearing,” and in verse twelve he wrote: “they believed,” then he says, “they were baptized.” However, let us read on in chapter eight and we come to “a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure” (27). The amazing thing, at least in the eyes of some, is what takes place here. After Phillip “preached unto him Jesus” (verse 35) unto this honorable man, he asked Phillip: “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (verse 36). Now, don’t allow this next point to get away from you, as it addresses point “d” of the doctor’s charge; though he is willfully incorrect in his words: “Confess his sins publicly!” Here is what Philip said: “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (verse 37). Now get this as the eunuch replies: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” There is the “confession!” In my forty-eight years of preaching, I have never asked more and have never heard of any church of Christ preacher asking for any more. Not only have we proved the five points required in being saved for past sins, but we have also proved Dr. Schweitzer is willfully wrong in his charge against his so-called “Campbellite Church of Christ Position!” Never have I seen, or heard of anyone doing what Dr. Schweitzer writes in his point “d. Confess his sins publicly,” in the churches of Christ before being baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27)!
Honesty requires that a person get the whole truth on any subject being studied, and the answer to the question: “What must I do to be saved?” is no different! There is no other book, under heaven, where the inspired answer to this question is given in its fullness, than in “The Acts of the Apostles;” our good “Pastor” Dr. Schweitzer not withstanding!

Frank R. Williams

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