“Raccoon” John Smith: Alexander Campbell Was a Fool

"Raccoon" John Smith and Alexander Campbell

“Raccoon” John Smith (1784-1868) was one of many preachers in the 19th century who saw the division in the religious world and the departures from the New Testament that had occurred. As a result, he became associated with an effort to restore the doctrines and practices of the New Testament.

Smith was also known for his quick wit and colorful statements. One example of this was in a conversation with a certain Baptist preacher who wanted to discredit another well-known preacher associated with the Restoration Movement – Alexander Campbell – by exposing an inconsistency in his teaching. He planned to point this out to Smith and boasted to his brethren that Smith would never be able to answer it.

“‘How does it come to pass,’ observed Elder F—, addressing Bro. Smith, ‘that Alexander Campbell in his debate with McCalla took the ground that Paul was really pardoned when he believed, but formally pardoned when he was baptized, and in his debate with Mr. Rice affirms, in substance, that no man is really pardoned until baptized? Here is a glaring contradiction—an irreconcilable inconsistency. What will you do with it, my brother?’

“Bro. Smith looked the Elder full in the face, and instantly replied: ‘When Alexander Campbell said that Paul was really pardoned when he believed and formally pardoned when baptized, he was then debating with Wm. L. McCalla in the year of our Lord 1823, was a member of the Baptist Church, and just about as big a fool as you are. Now, sir, any further contradictions? If so, I am ready to reconcile them.’

“The Baptist brethren roared with laughter, and Elder F— proposed no further puzzling questions on that occasion.” (Recollections of Men of Faith)

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Alexander Campbell: “New Testamentism”

Alexander Campbell - New Testamentism

Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) is likely the most recognized figure among those associated with the Restoration Movement. The widespread influence he had from such an early period has led some to mistakenly conclude or falsely charge that Campbell was the founder of the church. It is not uncommon to hear the term “Campbellite” used to refer to members of the Lord’s church. However, Campbell did not institute a new religious system for people to follow. He simply wanted to point people back to the standard found in God’s word. Notice the following quote from Alexander Campbell:Continue Reading

Did Alexander Campbell Start the Church of Christ?

[This article was written by Justin Monts.]

Church of Christ 1710Alexander Campbell did not start the church of Christ. The church of Christ began in 30 AD on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38, 47). Campbell was born in 1788, long after the first century. Jesus Christ founded the church that bears his name. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my church.” God gave him to be head over all things to the church which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23). Further, the Hebrew writer tells us that Jesus is the minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and not man (Hebrews 8:2). Since Jesus Christ erected his own church, Campbell could not have possibly started the church of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote in 58 AD, “The churches of Christ salute you” (Romans 16:16).
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