C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
The Christadelphian Unamended Statement of Faith
In 1898 a division occurred over who would be responsible at the judgment to come.
Most Christadelphian congregations amended a clause in their statement of faith as a
result. Those congregations who did not amend their statements of faith were
considered by those who did to not be in fellowship with them, even though many had
the exact same views.
Many of the congregations who did not amend the relevant clause were later
reorganised around a new statement of faith (below). This was compiled by Thomas
Williams in 1909 after attempts to seek reunion following the death of Robert Roberts
(who was instrumental in the creedal process) failed. Although they simply called it
“The Christadelphian Statement of Faith” it was essentially a revision of the old
Birmingham Statement and therefore it is often termed the Birmingham Unamended
Statement of Faith (or BUSF) to distinguish it from other Christadelphian statements of faith. The “unamended” appellation originated because the clarification that limited views on who was responsible was not included, not because it is the original Birmingham Statement of Faith. In fact it has at least as many changes and amendments as the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith.
The Unamended Christadelphians are largely found in The USA and Canada and the terms “Amended Christadelphian” and “Unamended Christadelphian” tend to only be used in North America as a result. The main body of Christadelphians are usually referred to by the smaller breakaway groups of Christadelphians elsewhere as “Central.”
Notes in RED show places altered from the original Birmingham Statement of Faith with further notes in BLUE
TRUTH TO BE RECEIVED
1. That the only true God is He Who was revealed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by angelic visitation and vision, and to Moses at the flaming bush (unconsumed) and at Sinai, and Who manifested Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the supreme self-existent Deity, the ONE FATHER, dwelling in unapproachable light, yet everywhere present by His Spirit, which is a unity with His person in heaven. He hath, out of His own underived energy, created heaven and earth, and all that in them is.
Isa. 40:13-25; 43:10-12; 44:6-8; 45:5; 46:9-10; Job 38-40; Deut. 6:1-4; Mark 12:29-32; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; Neh. 9:6; Job 26:13; Psa. 124:8; 146:6; 148:5; Isa. 40:25-27; Jer. 10:12-13; 27:5; 32:17-25; 51:15; Acts 14:15; 17:24; 1 Chron. 29:11-14; Psa. 62:11; 145:3; Isa. 26:4; 40:26; Job 9:4; 36:5; Psa. 92:5; 104:24; 147:4-5; Isa. 28:29; Rom. 16:27; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Chron. 16:9; Job 28:24; 34:21; Psa. 33:13-14; 44:21; 94:9; 139:7-12; Prov. 15:3; Jer. 23:24; 32:19; Amos 9:2-3; Acts 17:27-28; Psa. 123: 1; 1 Kings 8:30-39, 43, 49; Matt. 6:9; 1 Tim. 6: 15-16; 1: 17.
2. That Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, begotten of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, without the intervention of man, and afterwards anointed with the same Spirit, without measure, at his baptism.
Matt. 1 :23; 1 Tim. 3: 16; Acts 2:22-24, 36; Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-35; Gal. 4:4; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 3:16-17; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; John 3:34; 7:16; 8:26-28; 14:10-24.
3. That the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth on the earth was necessitated by the position and state into which the human race had been brought by the circumstances connected with the first man.
1 Cor. 15:21-22; Rom. 5:12-19; Gen. 3:19; 2 Cor. 5:19-21.
4. That the first man was Adam, whom God created out of the dust of the ground as a living soul, or natural body of life, "very good" in kind and condition, and he was placed under a law through which the continuance of life was contingent on obedience.
Gen. 2:7; 18:27; Job 4:19; 33:6; 1 Cor. 15:46-49; Gen. 2:17.
(slight alteration of wording from "and placed him under" to "he was placed under")
5. That Adam broke this law, and was *sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken-a sentence which defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity.
(*phrase "adjudged unworthy of immortality" removed)
Gen. 3:15-19, 22-23; 2 Cor. 1:9; Rom. 7:24; 2 Cor. 5:2-4; Rom. 7:18-23; Gal. 5:16-17; Rom. 6:12; 7:21; John 3:6; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22; Psa. 51:5; Job 14:4.
6. That God, in His kindness, conceived a plan of restoration which, without setting aside His just and necessary law of sin and death, should ultimately rescue the race from destruction, and people the earth with sinless immortals.
Rev. 21 :4; John 3: 16; 2 Tim. 1: 10; 1 John 2:25; 2 Tim. 1: 1; Titus 1:2; Rom. 3:26; John 1:29.
7. That he inaugurated this plan by making promises to Adam, Abraham and David, and afterwards elaborated it in greater detail through the prophets.
Gen. 3:15; 22:18; Psa. 89:34-37; 33:5; Hos. 13:14; Isa. 25:7-9; 51:1-8; Jer. 23:5.
8. That these promises had reference to Jesus Christ, who was to be raised up in the condemned line of Adam, in the line of Abraham and David, and who, though wearing their condemned nature, was to obtain a title to resurrection by perfect obedience, and, by dying, abrogate the law of condemnation for himself, and all who should believe and obey him.
1 Cor. 15:45; Heb. 2:14-16; Rom. 1:3; Heb. 5:8-9; 1:9; Rom. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 8:3-4; Heb. 2:15; 9:26; Gal. 1:4; Heb. 7:27; 5:3-7; 2:17; Rom. 6:10; 6:9; Acts 13:34-37; Rev. 1:18; John 5:21-22, 26-27; 14:3; Rev. 2:7; 3:21; Matt. 25:21; Heb. 5:9; Mark 16:16; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:22; Psa. 2:6-9; Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 11:15; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 14:9; Eph. 1:9-10.
(the words in red are an addition)
9. That it was this mission that necessitated the miraculous begettal of Christ of a virgin descendant of Adam, enabling him to bear our condemnation, and, at the same time, to be a sinless bearer thereof, and, therefore, one who could rise after suffering the death required by the righteousness of God; and thus he destroyed in his own mortal nature that having the power of death, which is the devil; and will finally destroy the devil, or sin in the flesh, in all its forms of manifestation.
Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; Isa. 7:14; Rom. 1:3-4; 8:3; Gal. 4:4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 2:14-17; 4:15.
(the phrase "virgin descendant of Adam" replaces "mother", the end section is an addition)
10. That being so begotten of God, and inhabited and used by God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was Immanuel, God with us, God manifested in the flesh-yet was, during his natural life, of like nature with mortal man, being made of a woman of the house and lineage of David, and therefore a sufferer, in the days of his flesh, from all the effects that came by Adam's transgression including the death that passed upon all man, which he shared by partaking of their physical nature.
(Emmanuel changed to Immanuel)
Matt. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:17.
11. That the message he delivered from God to his kinsmen, the Jews, was a call to repentance from every evil work, the assertion of his divine sonship and Jewish kingship; and the proclamation of the glad tidings that God would restore their kingdom through him, and accomplish all things written ia the prophets.
Mark l:l5; Matt. 4:17; 5:20-48; John 10:36; 9:35; 11:27; 19:21; 1:49; Matt. 27:11-43; John 10:24-25; Matt. 19:28; 21:42-43; 23:38-39; 25:14-46; Luke 4:43; 13:27-30; 19:11-27; 22:28-30; Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:44.
12. That for delivering this message, he was put to death by the Jews and Romans who were, however, but instruments in the hands of God, for the doing of that which He had determined before to be done-namely, the condemnation of sin in the flesh, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, as a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God, as a basis for the remission of sins. All who approach God through this crucified, but risen, representative of Adam's disobedient race, are forgiven. Therefore, by a figure, his blood cleanseth from sin.
Luke 19:47; 20:1-26; John 11:45-53; Acts 10:38-39; 13:26-29; 4:27-28; Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:10; Rom. 3:25; Acts 13:38; 1 John 1:7; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2:24; Heb. 9:14; 7:27; 9:26-28; Gal. 1:4; Rom. 3:25; 15:8; Gal. 3:21-22; Gal. 2:21; 4:4-5; Heb. 9:15; Luke 22:20; 24:26, 46-47; Matt. 26:28.
13. That on the third day, God raised him from the dead, and exalted him to the heavens as priestly mediator between God and man, in the process of gathering from among them a people who should be saved by the belief and obedience of the truth.
1 Cor. 15:4; Acts 10:40; 13:30-37; 2:24-27; 4:27-33; Luke 24:51.
(retains the non capitalisation of the words "the truth" in contrast to the BASF)
14. That he is a priest over his own house only, and does not intercede for the world, or for professors who are abandoned to disobedience. That he makes intercession for his erring brethren, if they confess and forsake their sins.
Luke 24:51; Eph. 1:20; Acts 5:31; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8: 1; Acts 15:14; 13:39; Heb. 4:14-l5.
15. That he sent forth apostles to proclaim salvation through him, as the only Name given under heaven whereby men may be saved.
Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 26:16-18; 4:12.
16. That the way to obtain this salvation is to believe the Gospel they preached, and to take on the Name and service of Christ, by being thereupon immersed in water, and continuing patiently in the observance of all things he has commanded, none being recognized as his friends except those who do what he has commanded.
Acts 13:48; 16:31; Mark 16:16; Rom. 1:16; Acts 2:38, 41; 10:47-48; 8:12; Gal. 3:27-29; Rom. 6:3-5; 2:7; Matt. 28:20; John 15:14.
17. That the gospel consists of "The things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ."
Acts 8:12; 19:8, 10, 20; 28:30-31.
(retains the non capitalisation of the word "gospel”)
18. That the things of the Kingdom of God are the facts testified concerning the Kingdom of God in the writings of the prophets and apostles, and definable as in the next twelve paragraphs.
(the phrase things of the Kingdom of God italicised in original, twelve written in numerals in original)
19. That God will set up a Kingdom in the earth, which will overthrow all others, and change them into "the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ."
Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; Rev. 11:15; Isa. 32:1, 16; 2:3-4; 11:9-10.
20. That for this purpose God will send Jesus Christ personally to the earth at the close of the times of the Gentiles.
Acts 3:20-21; Psa. 102:16, 21; 2 Tim. 4:1, Acts 1:9, 11; Dan. 7:13 [Publisher's Note: Additional passages: Luke 21:24-27; Rom. 11:25-26].
21. That the Kingdom which he will establish will be the Kingdom of Israel restored, in the territory it formerly occupied, namely, the land bequeathed for an everlasting possession to Abraham and his seed (the Christ) by covenant.
Mic. 4:6-8; Amos 9:11, 15; Eze. 37:21-22; Jer. 23:3, 8; Gen. 13: 14-17; Heb. 11:8-9; Gal. 3: 16; Lev. 26:42; Mic. 7:20.
(retains the non capitalisation of the word "seed")
22. That this restoration of the Kingdom again to Israel will involve the ingathering of God's chosen but scattered nation, the Jews; their reinstatement in the land of their fathers, when it shall have been reclaimed from "the desolation of many generations"; the building again of Jerusalem to become "the throne of the Lord" and the metropolis of the whole earth.
Isa. 11:12; Jer. 31:10; Zec. 8:8; Eze. 36:34-36; Isa. 5l:3; 60:15; 62:4; Jer. 3: 17; Mic. 4:7-8; Joel 3: 17; Isa. 24:23.
23. That the governing body of the Kingdom so established will be the brethren of Christ, of all generations, developed by resurrection and change, and constituting, with Christ as their head, the collective "Seed of Abraham," in whom all nations will be blessed, and comprising "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets," and all in their age of like faithfulness.
Dan. 12:2; Luke 13:28; Rev. 11:18; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; John 5:28-29; 6:39-40; Luke 14:14; Matt. 25:34, 46.
24. That a law will be established which shall go forth to the nations for their "instruction in righteousness," resulting in the abolition of war to the ends of the earth, and the "filling of the earth with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea."
Mic. 4:2; Isa. 42:4; 11: 1-10; 2:4; Hab. 2:14.
("Yahweh" is "Jehovah" in original)
25. 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 judgment seat "to be judged according to their works," and "receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rom. 2:5-6, 16; 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 11:18.
26. That the unfaithful will be consigned to shame and "the second death," and the faithful, invested with immortality, and exalted to reign with Jesus as joint heirs of the kingdom, co-possessors of the earth, and joint administrators of God's authority among men in everything.
Matt. 7:26; 8:12; 25:20-30; Dan. 12:2; Gal. 6:8; 5:21; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 2:12; Rev. 21:8; Mal. 4:1; Psa. 37:30-38; Prov. 10:25-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-55; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; James 1:12; Rom. 2:7; John 10:28; Matt. 5:5; Psa. 37:9, 22, 29; Rev. 5:9; Dan. 7:27; 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2: 12; Rev. 5: 10; Psa. 49:7-9; Luke 22:29-30.
(non capitalisation of "kingdom" retained)
27. That the kingdom of God, thus constituted, will continue a thousand years, during which sin and death will continue among the earth's subject inhabitants, though in a much milder degree than now.
Rev. 20:4-9; 11:15; Isa. 65:20; Eze. 44:22, 25; 1 Cor. 15:24-28.
(non capitalisation of "kingdom" retained)
28. That the mission of the kingdom will be to subdue all enemies, and finally death itself, by opening up the way of life to the nations, which they will enter by faith, during the thousand years, and (in reality) at their close.
1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:4; 20:12-15; Isa. 25:6-8.
(non capitalisation of "kingdom" retained)
29. That at the close of the thousand years, there will be * final extinction of the wicked, and the immortalization of those who shall have established their title (under the grace of God) to eternal life during the thousand years.
Rev. 20:11-15; 1 Cor. 15:24.
(* phrase "a general resurrection and judgment, resulting in the" removed)
30. That the government will then be delivered up by Jesus to the Father, Who will manifest Himself as the "All-in-All"; sin and death having been taken out of the way, and the race completely restored to the friendship of the Deity.
1 Cor. 15:28.
31. That the scriptures, composing the book currently known as the Bible, are the only source now extant of knowledge concerning God and His purposes, and that they were given wholly by the unerring inspiration of God in the writers, and that such errors as have since crept in are due to transcription or translation.
1 Tim 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:13; Heb 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Cor. 14:37; Neh 9:30; John 10:35;
(section on the "Doctrines to be Rejected" and "Commands of Christ" in the BUSF not completed as yet)
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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)