"Camel Eye" church

Status
Not open for further replies.

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
I was listening to a very interesting audio recording of my great-grandfather, talking about growing up in Navarro County, Tx at the beginning of the 20th century. He said that the town had a Baptist church, a Methodist Church, and a "Camel Eye" church. My grandfather asked distinctly for clarification "camel eye?" and my great-grandfather repeated "Yes, camel eye. It's what we called the Christian Church in our neck of the woods. They didn't have any music: no organ, no piano, and had communion every Sunday".

After thinking about it, I wondered if it might have been a verbal corruption over time of "Cambellite", but found it interesting that it ended up evoking some imagery of the camel passing through the eye of the needle (although I'm not sure how that would apply). Presumably the "Christian Church" is related to the Church of Christ?

Has anyone ever heard this before or know anything about its origins?
 

Frosty

Puritan Board Sophomore
My wife grew up in that organization. They have a well-earned reputation for being legalistic- and so I'm thinking it relates to them making it even harder for folks to come to the Lord.

I would guess it's a (slight) pejorative.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
My first thought was one of the crossroad, independent, vaguely Baptist churches you used to find all over the south. But they rarely had a high view of the Lord's table. The Church of Christ had already taken a major dive to the left, but a fair number of the small churches took that name because they were independently the "true" Christian church. Camel Eye is intriguing indeed!
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Yes, the Christian Church and the Churches of Christ are both Campbellite in heritage. And the description certainly fits some Campbellites. I too wonder if "Camel Eye" is merely a misunderstanding or is a clever dig at how those churches can tend to think the true church is so narrowly defined that hardly anyone is being saved.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Well, the description certainly fits some Campbellites. I too wonder if "Camel Eye" is merely a misunderstanding or is a clever dig at how those churches can tend to think the true church is so narrowly defined that hardly anyone is being saved.
That was my first thought, despite my pretense at humor.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
"Christian Church" is another name for the Campbellite derived "Churches of Christ" and "Disciples of Christ".


And it sure makes the most sense that "Camel Eye" was a corruption of "Campbellite".

Yes, I'd read the same Wiki page after I realized "camel eye" sounded something like Cambellite, and that, combined with "Christian Church" as one of the derived groups was what got me wondering. Very interesting, regardless!
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Are you talking about the Churches of Christ i.e. Campbellites? Aside from the Disciples of Christ denomination, I did not know they were liberal.
I was thinking of the United Church of Christ that enveloped many of the congregational churches that had started in the puritan era.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Are you talking about the Churches of Christ i.e. Campbellites? Aside from the Disciples of Christ denomination, I did not know they were liberal.
There's a "Church of Christ" in my area that has made a distinct left swing in its theology: the pastor regularly uses and quotes a wide variety of post-evangelical figures (like Richard Rohr, Brian Zahnd, and Rob Bell) and the church is egalitarian. They still do mostly a capella worship and take communion weekly and see themselves rooted in the Church of Christ tradition though.
 

bookish_Basset

Puritan Board Freshman
Both @wcf_linux and I grew up Campbellite (he has a more recent history with it than I do). I've never heard that nickname, though.

My perception growing up was that we were sort of in between the churches of Christ (especially the non-instrumental ones) and the Disciples on the conservative-to-liberal spectrum.

I was definitely raised with a distrust of denominations and creeds. Interestingly, though, if my grandmother (a lifelong member and beautiful saint) didn't feel up to driving all the way to our church, she'd occasionally go to the nearby Presbyterian church instead -- it was apparently the least objectional alternative! (It probably has to do with the fact that her entire branch of the family were Presbyterian before joining the Christian Church in the early 1900s.)

Nowadays, my family just seems glad that Kevin and I are active members of a Bible-believing church.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top