Vol.IV No.V Pg.6
June 1967

On Leaving Denominations

Robert F. Turner

This page of PLAIN TALK IS used each month to reprint some carefully selected material from church history. We do not believe in "the authority of the Fathers" nor do we believe the "Pioneer preachers" were right about everything. However, a knowledge of their work, and their solutions for ever recurring problems, will help us to better understand the present and prepare for the future.

Here is a little exchange between F. D. Srygley, and the editor of "The Baptist and Reflector" published in the Gospel Advocate sometime between 1889 and 1900. It was taken from the book, "The New Testament Church" page 50; published by the G. A. in 1955.


I suggested some weeks ago that "the effort should be to get Christians out of the denominations already in existence, and not to build up another one of the pestiferous things." Whereupon the Baptist and Reflector remarks:

"Get Christians out of the denominations already in existence" and into what? Why, into the Christian church, of course, by which is simply meant the Campbellite denomination. That is breaking down denominationalism with a vengeance."

The Baptist and Reflector is confused. I am making no effort to get Christians or anybody else "into the Christian Church,... by which is simply meant the Campbellite denomination." I am not in it myself and I am doing all I can in my feeble manner to get others out of it. My understanding of the New Testament is that all Christians are in the church of God. The same things that make one a Christian constitute him a member of the church. When Christians get into sects, parties, or denominations, they are in something more than the church of God. A Christian who belongs to the Baptist Church, for instance, is in the church of God and the Baptist Church both. The idea is to get him out of the Baptist Church and leave him in the church of God.

And if a Christian is in "the Campbellite denomination," the idea is to get him out of that denomination and leave him in the church of God. The man who does what God requires in the Bible, and nothing more, will be a member of God's church and nothing else.

Whenever the Baptist denomination, or the Campbellite denomination, or any other sect, party, or denomination in religion undertakes to do anything not required by the New Testament, the idea is for Christians who do not wish to be partisans, sectarians, or denominationalists to cut loose from it and stick to the Bible.

That's the way to get folks out of denominations without getting them into anything else but the church of God. What does the Baptist and Reflector think of it?


PLAIN TALK solicits your assistance in finding "quotes" suitable for use.