C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
Christadelphian Statements of Faith
The community started originally following preaching efforts by John Thomas who expressed the idea that each individual should search the Bible for themselves, not follow church leaders or creeds. Hence the initial movement (which had yet to call itself Christadelphian) had some diversity as different members followed his teaching to varying degrees. This however soon proved unacceptable to the majority and it seems various statements of faith within the Christadelphian community emerged fairly early on in with various congregations forming their own.
Without any central form of church authority and a strong belief that baptism is ineffective without the correct beliefs the Christadelphians subsequently emerged as a highly creedal church. Whilst many independent congregations initially had their own statements of faith (some still do) this proved unsatisfactory to the majority. In order to ensure conformity of views a divisive process led to the adoption of inter-church statements as a basis for both fellowship and co-operation. The first statement used in this inter-congregational manner was the Birmingham Statement of Faith which was written in 1877. It can be found in the Ecclesial Guide written in 1883 by Robert Roberts who acted as a leader to the early Christadelphian movement after the founder, John Thomas died.
The development of Statements of Faith is closely tied to events in Christadelphian History. Today the most common is the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (or BASF) and it has had at least three additions. There was a Foundation Statement added in 1886, an Amended Clause was added in 1898, and a further clause was added to the Doctrines to be Rejected later when some Christadelphians became special constables (which many felt to be wrong). Close analysis shows a number of minor adjustments have also taken place.
It should be noted that in addition to the statemented doctrines there are many customary beliefs and practices which haven’t been defined within it such as the role of women, homosexuality, which practices are considered worldly, and certain prophetical beliefs and speculations.
Documents in this Section
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)