C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
The Amended Clause in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF)
A big division within the Christadelphians ocurred because of a question that arose over whether everyone who knows the gospel will be raised to judgment or only those who both know and are also baptised. The historical phrase used is that of “the enlightened rejector.”
The main grouping of Christadelphians amended their statement of faith in January, 1898, as a result to what is now called the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF) and so became known as the Amended Christadelphians. Those who did not alter the statement of faith became known as the Unamended Christadelphians. Contrary to common understanding the Unamended Christadelphians do not have the statement of faith prior to the amendment, but have also subsequently amended their own statement of faith, commonly called the Birmingham Unamended Statement of Faith (or BUSF).
The clause amended in 1898 is sometimes called the “Responsibility Clause” and is clause 24 in the BASF.
The original version states:
That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (faithful and unfaithful), dead and living—obedient and disobedient—will be summoned before his judgement-seat “to be judged according to their works”; and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.”
The amended version states:
That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living—obedient and disobedient—will be summoned before his judgement seat “to be judged according to their works”; and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.”
The part highlighted in blue was inserted to rule out the belief that baptism made a person responsible rather than knowledge and that “enlightened rejectors” could avoid judgment.
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PAGE VISITS FROM 16/09/13
THE TRINITY HURDLE
NOVEL: HOLY BIBLE
You lay a great stress upon facts throughout your letters, and are incessant in your demand that I should attend to them. This is good; but facts have to be rightly put together, and then you must have all the facts. I do not think you put the facts rightly together, and you leave out some, I am sure.
(Robert Roberts, a Christadelphian Pioneer, quoted
by Ruth McHaffie in Brethren Indeed)
The Spirit of liberty, based upon the law of faith, is the Spirit of Christ; and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess, and having it, to breathe. I claim the right of exercising this privilege, as well as my contemporaries; and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…
(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians, when he was against creeds in
The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)
(John Thomas, from Apostacy Unveiled, p. 137,
quoted in The Christadelphian Magazine, January 1906)
Must a man never progress? If he discovers an error in his premises, must he for ever hold to it for the sake of consistency? May such a calamity never befall me! Rather let me change every day, till I get right at last.
(from a letter written by John Thomas in 1848, quoted by Robert Roberts, in Dr. Thomas: His Life and Work)
Do what is right; be valiant for the Truth; teach it without compromise, and all lovers of the Truth will approve you. For all others you need not care a rush!
(from a letter written by John Thomas to Robert Roberts and published in The Christadelphian magazine, February 1866)