In the 1846 “Millennial Harbinger” Alexander Campbell included what he called a “well written essay from the forcible pen of M. C. Beecher”, a Congregationalist. In his essay Beecher chronicled the rise to power of the Roman Catholic Church. In that essay he wrote the following:
… What were the Romish arguments from the days of the Nicene debate down to the pontifical anathema? They were, Truth is one – therefore true believers cannot differ. But they do differ – therefore there is heresy. Heresy must be kept out. Make a creed to keep it out; and as to which is heresy, “Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus”, – that is, heresy is the opinion which is in the minority. A strange rule in a world where wise heads are certainly not in the majority, but a rule eminently convenient and practical. Yes; shear of the troublesome tinkers, and sing stagnant hallelujahs. This by way of keeping the church pure! This has been Rome’s policy….”
Does all of this sound familiar? The Churches of Christ have used the same arguments and practices to establish their sects. The leaders in their thirst for control and power have said “believers cannot differ” and thus have established unwritten creeds to weed out true believers who differ. It’s “eminently convenient and practical” under the guise of “keeping the church pure” to blackball or exclude those who challenge or question your views. “Yes; shear off the troublesome tinkers, and sing stagnant hallelujahs.” Demean and degrade honest, intelligent, studious brethren, taking away their liberty in Christ, and divide the community of believers because they will not conform in peripheral matters. How is this different from Rome?