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Non-Christadelphian Doctrines believed by those who have been presented by Christadelphians as Former Brethren

In order to try and establish a credible line of former brethren who had the same beliefs as Christadelphians prior to John Thomas, some Christadelphians have searched though historical records and selectively represented those beliefs of theirs which agree with them. The most prominent examples of this are two books The Protestors and Brethren in Christ written by Alan Eyre.

Another Christadelphian, Ruth McHaffie, finding in her own research contradictions, and unhappy with the intellectual dishonesty, comprehensively researched all the people presented as former brethren, and found the following list to be amongst their beliefs not mentioned. It is taken from a booklet called Brethren Indeed  (p. 32) which summarises the findings of her book, Finding Founders and Facing Facts which is currently out of print.

If these people presented as brethren were alive today they would be disfellowshipped for holding such beliefs, but the claims there are antecedents to Christadelphians within history continue, and are frequently claimed on Christadelphian websites despite the lack of any substantive evidence.

A Summary of Doctrines

  • The Trinity (in a variety of forms).
  • The literal pre-existence of Jesus Christ.
  • The perpetual virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus.
  • That Jesus was the natural son of Joseph.
  • A supernatural, personal devil.
  • Evil spirits.
  • Hell-fire.
  • Heaven as the dwelling place of the saints.
  • The death of Jesus as a penalty paid to assuage the wrath of God.
  • Predestination.
  • The breaking of bread unimportant.
  • Water baptism not essential for salvation.
  • Various modes of baptism which included pouring, sprinkling and a cross of water placed on the forehead, as approved alternatives to immersion.
  • The salvation of unbaptised children.
  • Immortal immergence (i.e. the saints will be raised immortal at the resurrection).
  • No resurrection of the “enlightened responsible.”
  • The abolition of the Old Covenant by Jesus Christ.
  • No place for a Jewish nation in God’s future plan of salvation.
  • No promise in the Old Testament of eternal life.
  • The descent of Jesus to hell after his death where he preached the gospel to the conscious Old Testament worthies.
  • An ascension of Jesus prior to his ministry.
  • Military service, political involvement, judicial office and public support for social justice regarded as Christian duties.
  • The Holy Spirit as the chief of the good angels.
  • The Holy Spirit an ever-present strengthening power bestowed on the believers, giving their leaders authority in church discipline.
  • The interpretation of Scripture only possible by the assistance of the Holy Spirit which is available to post-apostolic Brethren and also to Sisters.
  • Public preaching by Sisters.
  • The use of the Apocrypha as authoritative.
  • Wide doctrinal divergences and practices allowed within fellowship.






Christadelphian Quotes

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)