We are hearing much today by those who are not satisfied with the gospel, about there being Christians in all churches. We are being told that we, in the church of Christ, are just another sect, and ~~at we are being narrow minded and bigoted to exclude those who -are not members of the church from our fellowship.
When we begin to question these brethren who hold to this idea, we usually find that they have a very neat and packaged answer by which they dodge the issue. It goes like this: “What about those who were baptized into Christ in years past but have later gone into some denomination?” All would agree that such people are erring children of God and that they need to repent and pray for forgiveness. Unless they are willing to do this, they stand condemned before the Father. However, when we begin to read the writings of such brethren, we find that this is not the construction that is put on the construction under consideration.
In his book, Voices of Action, on pages 104-106, James Lovell contends that we are not the only people who speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent. He further states on page 106 that the salvation of the world may rest with “Catholics, Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Mormons, or some other name whom others of us feel are without hope. Despite the passages which teach contrary to this, there are those who are, without any investigation, accepting such teaching. They aren’t content with the one Lord, one faith, one body, one baptism concept of the Bible, but desire to “heap to themselves teachers after their own lust.
Much of the conflict arises over the question as to when one is scripturally baptized. Many denominations baptize people who have made a confession of faith. But neither the baptism nor the confession is scriptural. If we are now ready to say that this type of person should be in our fellowship, we run into some problems. The command of our Lord was to go preach the gospel and baptize the believers. Since no denominational preacher ever preached the true gospel; it follows that when one responds to the preaching of this preacher, he does not obey the gospel but a man made creed. Certainly, when one obeys the doctrines of men, he is not a Christian and should not be in our fellowship. Someone is quick to point out that Alexander Campbell was baptized by a Baptist preacher. This is true, but let it also be noted that it was not because of the teaching of this preacher that he was baptized.
Brethren, the line was drawn in the first century concerning fellowship. We dare not attempt to remove or rearrange that line for the sake of a so-called unity.