Is belief in baptismal regeneration damnable?

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Greg

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have read several books on their history and theology. Restorationists are typically ... Arminian, amil, inerrantists. In a recent book their scholars were arguing if they are evangelicals. A disproportionate share of mega churches are Restorationists. One of their big guns from Cinncinnati is also a big wig with CBMW (Jack Cottrell). Their current Big Name is Max Lucado.

Max Lucado is a member of CoC? I didn't know that.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes, a friend of mine served on the mission field (So. America) with him before he came back to the U.S. and became famous. Max is a bit of a rebel in that non-instrumental group.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
A relative of mine attended a Restorationist school for a couple of years. He ended up falling in with kids from the surrounding community, crashing and burning, and dropping out of the school. His wife, who attended a secular school but has a stepfather who taught at the Restorationist place, laughs at the reputation of the school in the community. The legalistic rules contrast with the libertine behavior of many of the ex-students who continue to live in the small town. Evidently many of the townfolk look at the school as a producer of rebels and hypocrites. The school still does not offer much in the field of theology beyond an introductory doctrine class since they believe that human systems of theology simply muck up and obscure Bible truths.

This particular school is thoroughly Arminian, generally amillennial, and unapologetically inerrantist and requires a course in Stone-Campbell history and polity for graduation.

CoC is typically non-instrumental and more legalistic. The independent Christian Churches are often more broadly evangelical. Their sectarianism is seen in their tendency to use mostly Standard Publishing and College Press resources. Like some Southern Baptists, they tend to stick to their own and are committed to church growth. That is probably why some of the largest (and fastest growing) congregations in America are Restorationist in heritage.

Historically, the Restoration movement (aka Stone-Campbell Movement) grew out of Baptist and Presbyterian revivalism with a desire to transcend petty denominational distinctives, hence their mantra "creeds divide." They currently exist in a liberal mainline incarnation (Disciples of Christ = 723,000 members), conservative version (instrumental Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (1.2 million members), and a capella Churches of Christ (1.5 million members).

30-40 years ago, Restorationists were often accused of baptismal regeneration and thinking that they are the only Christians around. Today, they often repeat the line: "not the only Christians, but only Christian."
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
One of my best friends in law school is a stringent Church of Christ member. He is conservative, but from my duscussions with him, he and a large part of the newer Church of Christ members don't hold to a lot of the distinctive and, daresay damnable beliefs of their forerunners, i.e. Baptismal regeneration and the exclusivity of the Church of Christ as the only true church on Earth, and rampant legalism. While he respects his elders, he disagrees with their legalism and even the restrictions on drinking.

They seem to be, at the youth and young adult level, becomming more and more like mainline SBC-ers or conservative Methodists.

The denomination as a whole is a puzzle to me. It would seem you can find a wide array of adherants anywhere on the scale of liberal to hardcore conservative, but one of the over-arching themes of the denomination is the semi-gnostic tendency to hyper-extend the fall as not only corrupting everything pervasively, but corrupting everything fully to the point that it is unredemable; that the flesh is somehow "dirty", and any product thereof to be tainted with the same filth.

From this, I think, stems the rampant anti-intellectualism and anti-theology "theology" that characterizes the church, I think, universally. I worked with someone in the CoC campus ministry in undergrad who said he took pleasure in attempting to destroy the theology of other Christians, in a bid to "show them the error of their ways". I found it oxymoronically amusing. :p

P.S. Anyone have any idea why they are SO prevalent in the South? The CoC ministry is almost as big, if not bigger than, the Baptist ministry at the university. Demographically, among the law students, I think I am the only Reformed Presbyterian in my class, whereas there are several CoC guys. The President of the Federalist society (the legal conservative group I am a member of) was a CoC youth minister before he came here.

I tend to hang with them, because I know it's somewhat of a refuge for me, albeit my atheist friend actually changes his behavior entirely so-as not to offend me. :p I know I won't pick up any bad influences from them in speech or behavior, and they're always very kind and friendly.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
I understand. I believe that their are very few groups who actually have a full on Pelagian view of salvation (like Unitarians and their ilk) and it is my understanding that the group which Paul is addressing in Galatians does not fall among these either. I believe, from all I've heard preached on this, that the Judaizers taught faith in Christ, they just taught that faith in Christ must be accompanied by circumcision. That is why I used the phrase "Jesus-plus," becuase it is Jesus-plus-circumcision. In the same respects, this CoC view you are talking about is just Jesus-plus-baptism. In this respect I would put them beyond Arminians because I believe Arminians are solely "Jesus" people, and so fall within acceptable Biblical teachings.

As far as the thought that they might get hung up on the fact that the Galatians passage refers to circumcision, I would just point them then to Ephesians 2:8-9 and ask them if they consider baptism to fall under "grace by faith" or "works." This answer is obvious, and if they say otherwise, then it's probably time to start sharing the Gospel with them again (Unless you just want to shake the dust from you sandals and leave!).

The Churches of Christ are not Arminian but would affirm Pelagianism. Pelagianism is rampent within this group. The undergraduate college where I received my degree was filled with Pelagian teachers and this would be fairly typical of this group.

About 6-7 years ago my wife and I attended a local CoC congregation for about a month or so. We were looking for a place to worship closer to home and was invited by an acquaintance. We had no idea what they believed, but it didn't take long before red flags started to go up.

We came across their Pelagianism as well. We were told that there is no such thing as original sin, that's it's just a man-made doctrine with no biblical basis. I was told, "We are all born into this world just as Adam was in the garden prior to his fall."

Wow, I've heard just the opposite from one CoC member.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
I have read several books on their history and theology. Restorationists are typically ... Arminian, amil, inerrantists. In a recent book their scholars were arguing if they are evangelicals. A disproportionate share of mega churches are Restorationists. One of their big guns from Cinncinnati is also a big wig with CBMW (Jack Cottrell). Their current Big Name is Max Lucado.


Max Lucado is not trypical of this group and does not affirm much of their doctrine. Jack Cottrell is much more evangelical than the rest of his group.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
I understand. I believe that their are very few groups who actually have a full on Pelagian view of salvation (like Unitarians and their ilk) and it is my understanding that the group which Paul is addressing in Galatians does not fall among these either. I believe, from all I've heard preached on this, that the Judaizers taught faith in Christ, they just taught that faith in Christ must be accompanied by circumcision. That is why I used the phrase "Jesus-plus," becuase it is Jesus-plus-circumcision. In the same respects, this CoC view you are talking about is just Jesus-plus-baptism. In this respect I would put them beyond Arminians because I believe Arminians are solely "Jesus" people, and so fall within acceptable Biblical teachings.

As far as the thought that they might get hung up on the fact that the Galatians passage refers to circumcision, I would just point them then to Ephesians 2:8-9 and ask them if they consider baptism to fall under "grace by faith" or "works." This answer is obvious, and if they say otherwise, then it's probably time to start sharing the Gospel with them again (Unless you just want to shake the dust from you sandals and leave!).

The Churches of Christ are not Arminian but would affirm Pelagianism. Pelagianism is rampent within this group. The undergraduate college where I received my degree was filled with Pelagian teachers and this would be fairly typical of this group.

About 6-7 years ago my wife and I attended a local CoC congregation for about a month or so. We were looking for a place to worship closer to home and was invited by an acquaintance. We had no idea what they believed, but it didn't take long before red flags started to go up.

We came across their Pelagianism as well. We were told that there is no such thing as original sin, that's it's just a man-made doctrine with no biblical basis. I was told, "We are all born into this world just as Adam was in the garden prior to his fall."

Brother, for the sake of your family I am glad you did not stay. :)
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
A relative of mine attended a Restorationist school for a couple of years. He ended up falling in with kids from the surrounding community, crashing and burning, and dropping out of the school. His wife, who attended a secular school but has a stepfather who taught at the Restorationist place, laughs at the reputation of the school in the community. The legalistic rules contrast with the libertine behavior of many of the ex-students who continue to live in the small town. Evidently many of the townfolk look at the school as a producer of rebels and hypocrites. The school still does not offer much in the field of theology beyond an introductory doctrine class since they believe that human systems of theology simply muck up and obscure Bible truths.

This particular school is thoroughly Arminian, generally amillennial, and unapologetically inerrantist and requires a course in Stone-Campbell history and polity for graduation.

CoC is typically non-instrumental and more legalistic. The independent Christian Churches are often more broadly evangelical. Their sectarianism is seen in their tendency to use mostly Standard Publishing and College Press resources. Like some Southern Baptists, they tend to stick to their own and are committed to church growth. That is probably why some of the largest (and fastest growing) congregations in America are Restorationist in heritage.

Historically, the Restoration movement (aka Stone-Campbell Movement) grew out of Baptist and Presbyterian revivalism with a desire to transcend petty denominational distinctives, hence their mantra "creeds divide." They currently exist in a liberal mainline incarnation (Disciples of Christ = 723,000 members), conservative version (instrumental Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (1.2 million members), and a capella Churches of Christ (1.5 million members).

30-40 years ago, Restorationists were often accused of baptismal regeneration and thinking that they are the only Christians around. Today, they often repeat the line: "not the only Christians, but only Christian."

I was a minister in the instrumental churches of Christ (the group connected with Cottrell) and we were far from evangelical and would even distance ourselves from evangelicalism.
 

Greg

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Churches of Christ are not Arminian but would affirm Pelagianism. Pelagianism is rampent within this group. The undergraduate college where I received my degree was filled with Pelagian teachers and this would be fairly typical of this group.

About 6-7 years ago my wife and I attended a local CoC congregation for about a month or so. We were looking for a place to worship closer to home and was invited by an acquaintance. We had no idea what they believed, but it didn't take long before red flags started to go up.

We came across their Pelagianism as well. We were told that there is no such thing as original sin, that's it's just a man-made doctrine with no biblical basis. I was told, "We are all born into this world just as Adam was in the garden prior to his fall."

Brother, for the sake of your family I am glad you did not stay. :)

As am I. Like I had mentioned, at the time I was completely ignorant of their doctrinal beliefs. After about a month or so, and enough red flags, I sought out the advice of a couple Christian brothers who were much more knowledgeable than I was when it comes to different faiths, religions, cults, etc... and they both said the same thing to me...leave.
 
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