C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
Message for Other Christians
This site helps other Christians understand the Christadelphians from someone who has insider’s perspective. Unfortunately many articles show they are written by people with little direct knowledge or experience of them. They therefore sometimes contain major inaccuracies, miss critical points and fail to serve the purpose for which they are written. Many of them also focus on one particular aspect – the theological one. The intention is often stated to be to persuade Christadelphians of their errors, but without any inner understanding or appreciation of what it is like to be a Christadelphian, or any grasp of the inherent mindsets inculcated, the ability to talk on a level which is likely to work is fairly limited. Mainstream anti-cult groups have a very limited record of success and the number of folk who leave Christadelphian and settle within mainstream Christian churches is fairly small.
Unlike some sites we are also not investigating the community from a purely theoretical, theological basis. It takes the form of being a holistic investigation. In other words, how does it all work in practice? When we do this, what we find is that many of the issues raised do not simply apply to the Christadelphians. In fact whilst in the precise set of doctrinal distinctives Christadelphians can claim uniqueness, none of the aspects considered are unique to the Christadelphians. A creedal basis is not, nor is disfellowshipping as God’s will unique to them. Nor is holding the Bible as an infallible book or presenting it as easily understandable by everyone. They are not the only church to believe they are a restoration of first century Christianity or to claim forebears in the diverse Anabaptist movement. For that reason some of the stuff shared on this site has wider interest.
There are a number of groups which have shared origins, sometimes shared beliefs and also similar mindsets. These include churches derived from the American Restoration Movement, the Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the former Worldwide Church of God. I am interested in receiving relevant feedback from historically connected churches where their experience and thoughts may interlock and may even add to the value of this site. Wider still it seems that Christianity is in flux and there is the largest re-evaluation of Christianity since the Reformation. Issues such as how the Bible is inspired, its limitation as a basis of church authority, changes in approach and theology and altering in response to society are not limited to Christadelphians. Huge numbers are re-evaluating what they believe and how to understand all this. Large numbers feel Christianity institutionalised, archaic and lacking in relevance from all denominations. In addition a consideration of Christadelphian theology and church structure inevitably becomes a consideration of theology in general.
It may be that part of the reason why mainstream Christians have been so ineffective at reaching Christadelphians has been their lack of knowing why they believe what they do. In investigating the Christadelphians they may question and even reach deeper understanding of their own faith. It should also be noted that Christadelphians do have considerable Bible knowledge and can raise difficult questions for those who are not well versed. Many can for instance state they have a belief in the authority of the Bible, but not know how the testaments relate to each other. An encounter with the Christadelphians can sharpen ideas we hold but have not tested.
VIEW THE MIND MAP
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)