Alan Campbell (pastor)
||This article possibly contains original research. (January 2009)|
Pastor Alan Campbell is the Pentecostal pastor of the Cregagh Covenant People's Fellowship in Belfast, Northern Ireland, director of Open Bible Ministries and a prominent scholar and lecturer in the British Israel movement. Pastor Campbell is also popular in Historicist circles because of his Reformed theology in the identification of the Papacy as the Antichrist of Biblical prophecy.
Pastor Campbell's ministry, including his web site, has now been closed.
Alan Campbell was born in Belfast on 6 August 1949 into a staunchly Presbyterian home, in a Roman Catholic area. His grandmother was a very firm adherent of the doctrine of British Israelism, and thus he was exposed to this teaching from a very early age. Despite his upbringing, however, he didn't experience a true conversion to Christianity until 19 September 1965, when he repented in the Ravenhill Free Presbyterian Church after listening to Ian Paisley preach on Matthew 8:12 ("But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth").
Alan Campbell states that, shortly after being "saved" (a common term among evangelical Christians, used to denote their conversion): "I began to attend Bible Studies on the subject of Prophecy at the Revival Hall on the East side of Belfast. My only problem was that these people were Pentecostals who spoke in tongues, which ran contrary to everything I was taught at my own church where speaking in tongues was forbidden. However after some time I reached the conclusion that the Bible taught that the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues was in place until Christ returns". Because of his "Kingdom Identity" views (which hold that Israel, not the church, is the bride of Christ, in contradiction to the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith) and his conversion to Pentecostalism, Pastor Campbell left the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and, he no longer continues to promote Ian Paisley and his literature due to what Campbell sees as his compromise and sell out to Irish Republicanism and to recent attendances by Paisley at ecumenical services (he does adhere to the Presbyterian doctrine of Calvinism), many of the clergy that Paisley moderates have attacked Campbell, such as Reverend T.A. Dunlop.
Pastor Campbell began preaching in May 1974, and preached his first sermon on Bible prophecy on 24 September 1978 (he expounded on Ezekiel 38, interpreting it as a prediction of a future invasion of Ireland by Russia), and was baptised by full immersion in 1979 (although he had already been baptised by sprinkling as an infant). He was officially ordained to the ministry by Dr Francis Thomas on 18 July 1988. He graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor's degree in History, and from the Queen's University of Belfast with a Certificate in Biblical Studies. He recently retired from the post of head of religious studies at Newtownabbey Community High School near Belfast. He is author of a number of Bible study books, no longer available after his work was closed under a "cloud", and has lectured on Protestant and Prophetic platforms throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, his ministry was decidedly centred in Ulster, and many of his messages and website updates - now closed - dealt with the political situation there. Campbell has contact to the Christian Assemblies International.
Views and opinions
So controversial are his views on the IRA, whom he describes as "the Roman Catholic terrorists of the Marxist IRA" that he was sent a death threat on 7 June 1999, in the form of some mailed ammunition and a warning to leave the country in seventy-two hours. This prompted "an urgent call to prayer" in the Open-Bible Ministries' "Kingdom Tidings" webpage - now all closed. The threat was disregarded by the police.
Pastor Campbell preached obedience to "God's Laws" to the point of condemning miscegenation, sometimes using rather unorthodox interpretations of certain verses to justify his objections to race-mixing. In the second part of his series "Jeremiah: From Jerusalem to the Emerald Isle", he quotes Jeremiah 2:22 ("for though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord before asking his audience: "What sin could the people of Israel have committed that soap and water wouldn't wash away?" He answers his own query with "miscegenation", which he opposes vociferously. Campbell believes that "they had mingled the holy seed with the other races and peoples and nationalities", and, as he does in his sermon "The Unholy Land — (2)", he teaches that Isaiah 3:8-9 refers to the "alien" facial features adopted by the Hebrews through intermarrying with other peoples. The Unholy Land — He is a firm believer in the observance of the Sabbath; however, he believes that it does not need to be kept on the seventh day of the week, but simply on whichever day the Christian wishes to rest. (In his sermon on "The Real Saint Patrick", he says, in an apparently approving tone: "The Celtic Church taught obedience to God's Laws and they didn't keep the same festivals as the organized Roman Church, and, although I'm not getting into this tonight, I have read some accounts by various authors who actually state that the ancient Celtic Church, for a period of time (not their whole history, but for a period of time) were Saturday worshippers. This suggests some sympathy towards seventh-day keepers such as the Seventh-Day Adventists, who share many beliefs with him.) He does not eat pork (although some of his disciples do), and he defended the observance of the food laws.
He also refutes what he sees as the 'unbiblical' doctrine of the immortality of the soul, teaching instead the heterodox view of annihilationism. It should not be unclear what Campbell's views on the Trinity are; as, he has referred to Pastor Gordon Magee, a Oneness Pentecostal preacher and debater most renowned for writing a booklet called "Is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus?" promoting the pre-Nicene heresy of Monarchianism. Although the only translation used at his Bible study meetings is the King James Bible, nevertheless unlike the Ruckmanites, however, Pastor Campbell also uses an Amplified Bible, a Ferrar Fenton Bible, and a Lamsa Bible in his personal research, but he insists: "I'm only looking at them in the same sense as I would look at a concordance or a lexicon, and I'm not looking at them in the same way as I view the Authorized Version of the Scripture, from which I preach".
The Sunday Life reported in December 2013, that Campbell's church had closed. Speaking to Sunday Life about the closure, Campbell said he had been seriously ill earlier this year.
- Henry McDonald, The poison at the heart of the Orange Order, Guardian, 9 July 2000
- Sunday Life, 22 December 2013