In my earlier post today, I wrote about taking a theological survey to determine which church I would fit into best. The top two on my survey were: "Anabaptist" and "Church of Christ/Campbellite." After some thought, I realized that those are unfamiliar terms in most circles. So I decided to describe those terms in this post.
Anabaptists are a group of believers who broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s, during the Protestant Reformation. They wanted to return to the faith and ethics of the early Christians. They received the name Anabaptist (baptized again), because they did not accept the sprinkings that they had received as babies. They believed in and taught the necessity of believers' baptism. They were committed to the highest ethical ideals of the Bible.
The term Campbellite was a derogatory term attached to members of the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ during the 1800s, because of the influence of Alexander Campbell as a dynamic and thoughtful leader among the churches. Along with his father Thomas Campbell, Barton W. Stone, and Walter Scott, Mr. Campbell led a movement of people who wanted to restore the unity and the nondenominational structure of the early churches. Today few among the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches would likely be able to recognize his name, but he had a powerful influence on who we are.
I can see why the survey indicated that I think more like an Anabaptist and a member of the Church of Christ than the other groups mentioned. I do share their goal of living by the Spirit and intent of the Scriptures.