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By Curtis Pugh

On River Street in the city of Benton, Arkansas there is still standing, I believe, a meeting house with this message on the front: “EST. 33A.D. IN JERUSALEM” exactly as I have reproduced it here except for the quotation marks. As you may have guessed this building is used for religious meetings by a portion of the Campbellites of the town. This particular group identifies with those calling themselves “Churches of Christ.”

Aside from the fact that the letters “A.D.” or “Anno Domini” meaning “in the year of our Lord” should always appear before the numbered year and not after it, there are other errors perpetuated by these few words.

First of all there is not a verse nor even a hint in the Bible that any kind of church was formed, founded, organized or that otherwise came into being in the year A.D. 33 or A.D. 32 or A.D. 34 for that matter. It seems that these folk subscribe to the Catholic-Protestant falsehood that the Lord's church began on the Jewish feast of Pentecost just after the Lord's ascension to Heaven – a purely man-made idea.

Second, well documented history proves that the Campbellites (a.k.a. “Christian Churches,” “Disciples of Christ,” “Churches of Christ,” etc.) had their origin with father and son Alexander and Thomas Campbell and Barton W. Stone. These were all one-time Presbyterian ministers who founded their own “Restoration Movement.” This movement was first composed mostly of excluded Baptists which group they tried to infiltrate at one time. Obviously all this took place prior to the death of Alexander Campbell in 1844. As with all such “restoration movements” (whether Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestantism, Reformed Baptists, etc.,) all are based upon the lie that the Lord's true churches passed out of existence and had to be “restored.” Of course this makes Christ out to be a liar for He promised perpetual existence to His church (Matthew 16:18).

Third, in the Bible Christ's church is spoken of as His bride. It logically follows then that since John the Baptist pointed out that Christ had His bride during his (John's) ministry (John 3:29), the date A.D. 33 is about three years too late for the establishment of Christ's church. Any church newer than Christ and His apostles is too new! We could also as well say that any church that is newer than the days of John the Baptist is too new, but then we would constantly have to be answering the false charge that we believe that John the Baptist started Christ's church. What is evident from the Bible is that Christ had His bride (church) prior to the death of John the Baptist.

So then, what we have is either gross ignorance on the part of these people or deliberate false claims. Whichever, it is typical of Protestants of all colors to believe what they want to believe even though they generally claim to believe and follow the Bible.

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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