Who are the Christadelphians?
The Christadelphian movement was begun in the 1830s by an English physician named Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) as a result of a personal search for truth and independent study of the Scriptures, whereby he came to the conclusion that most Christian denominations were biblically inaccurate in their teachings and sought to create a community of believers patterned after the early Christian church of the first century. Dr. Thomas was initially a follower of Alexander Campbell (of the Campbellite movement, from which came the Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ) and later a follower of William Miller (of the Millerite movement, from which came the Adventists), who himself influenced the founders of the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith. In 1848, Dr. Thomas introduced his Christadelphian movement in Great Britain, where it now has its largest following. In 1864, "The Christadelphians" (Greek Christos + adelphoi, "brethren in Christ") became the official name in order for members to be exempted from military service as conscientious objectors to the U.S. Civil War. There is no formal church, heirarchy, or clergy. Congregations are referred to as ecclesia, the New Testament word for church, and services -- which consist primarily of Bible studies and communion -- are held by laypersons in homes, rented rooms, and Christadelphian halls. Personal, independent study of the Bible is the primary emphasis, with reliance soley on Scriptures for guidance in life. Christadelphians reject such traditional doctrines as the Trinity, the sacrificial death of Christ for the atonement of sins, an immortal soul, a fiery torment of hell, the inheritance of heaven for believers, and the devil as a real creature. They also believe the present day anitchrist to be the traditional body of Christian believers.
"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
"Welcome to the home of the Christadelphians in Australia. The Christadelphians - a bit of a mouthful isn't it! The Christadelphians are a Christian community who hold the teachings of the book known as the Bible. We want to help you find the message of the Bible. It is the Word of God - the Almighty God who made all things in this universe. Surely, it is worthwhile finding out what He says about Planet Earth, and about the men and women who inhabit it. We don't have to defend the Bible. It stands alone, and has stood alone for centuries in the face of intense criticism. It is still here, and its message is just as important today as it ever was. True, the Bible records history, but it also speaks of the future - the time soon when Jesus Christ will return to Planet Earth and set up the rule of God on earth. Amazing stuff, but that's what the Bible predicts."
Bedford Christadelphia Ecclesia
"Christadelphians or, as the name implies, the Brethren of Christ (Hebrews 2:11), are a body of people associated together by a belief in the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12); and by immersion into Christ (Gal. 3:27) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and identification with his resurrection (Rom. 6:5). We do not profess to have received any new revelation, but hold that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are able to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Believing in the Divine Authorship of the Bible, we think it only reasonable to eschew any interpretation thereof which fails to harmonise all the testimonies of the Holy Scriptures; and finding that the creeds of the various existing sects are, in a great variety of ways, opposed to the direct teaching of the Bible, we feel compelled to stand apart, making appeal in all such matters to the statements of Scripture, and testing all teachings thereby. We believe in the personal, visible return of Christ to the earth, to set up his power and reign thereon, and they seek to share this knowledge with others. They offer their services in expounding the message of the Bible without cost of any kind."
The Berean Christadelphians
"We organize locally into groups we call "ecclesias", which is a Bible Word in Greek that means A called out assembly. We have no clergy, and share responsibilities for various tasks among the baptized members of the ecclesia. Our ecclesias associate with one another by having what we term - fellowship, which is Christian association in many forms. In the Berean Christadelphians, EVERY brother and sister who is in fellowship in one of our ecclesias is automatically in fellowship with every other brother and sister in the whole of the Berean Christadelphians worldwide... John Thomas and Robert Roberts wrote a lot of expositional and exhortational material in the 1800's. Although it was quite a while ago, the message remains clear, and these works are very helpful for understanding the Truth the Bible teaches. Every sister and brother in Christ should read these to get a clearer understanding of the Scriptures. One goal of this site is to get more of these various works by J. Thomas and R. Roberts up online for more people to enjoyl. An extremely interesting feature of these writing is their freshness. They are not polluted with a theological stench, instead, they are thoughtful and quite analytical studies of the Word of God. When studied, they help people to learn to understand the HOW to study the Word of God for themselves, independent of any seminary or church."
The Bible -- God's Word Wholly Inspired and Infallible
"THAT CHRISTENDOM is astray from the system of doctrine and practice established by the labours of the apostles in the first century, is recognised by men of very different ways of thinking. The unbeliever asserts it without fear. the church partisan admits it without shame, and all sorts of middle men are of opinion that it would be a misfortune were it otherwise. The unbeliever, while himself rejoicing in the fact, uses it as a reproach to those who profess to follow the apostles whom he openly rejects, the churchman, while owning the apostles as the foundation, regards it as the inevitable result of the spiritual prerogative vested in "the church," that there should be further unfoldings of light and truth leading away from the primitive form of things; and the moderate and indifferent class accept it as a necessary and welcome result of the advance of the times, with which they think the original apostolic institution has become inconsistent... Never mind if others do not consider it their business to study the Bible. Remember that the majority have always been in the wrong in all ages of the world. Look not at your neighbours, think not of your friends in this matter. They are in all probability like the world in general. They lack independence, and are subservient to their worldly interest. They cannot afford to deviate from orthodox sentiment and usage, and long conformity has deadened their power to judge of the evidence. With all their churchgoings and religious profession, the anxiety of the majority of people centres in the present evil world. Act for yourselves. Do as Peter told a Jewish assembly to do in Jerusalem: - 'Save yourselves from this untoward generation.' "
Cdelph.org - A Christadelphian Web Site
(by Matthew D. Smith)
- That the Bible is only partly the work of inspiration--or if wholly so, contains errors which inspiration has allowed.
- That God is three persons.
- That the Son of God was co-eternal with the Father.
- That Christ was born with a "free life."
- That Christ's nature was immaculate.
- That the Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father.
- That man has an immortal soul.
- That man consciously exists in death.
- That the wicked will suffer eternal torture in hell.
- That the righteous will ascend to the kingdoms beyond the skies when they die.
- That the devil is a supernatural being.
- That the Kingdom of God is "the church."
- That the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ merely.
- That Christ will not come till the close of the thousand years.
- That the tribunal of Christ, when he comes, is not for judgement of saints, but merely to divide among them different degrees of reward.
- That the resurrection is confined to the faithful.
- That the dead rise in an immortal state.
- That the subject-nations of the thousand years are immortal.
- That the Law of Moses is binding on believers of the Gospel.
- That the observance of Sunday is a matter of duty.
- That baby sprinkling is a doctrine of Scripture.
- That "heathens," idiots, pagans, and very young children will be saved.
- That man can be saved by morality or sincerity, without the Gospel.
- That the Gospel alone will save, without obedience to Christ's commandments.
- That a man cannot believe without possessing the Spirit of God.
- That men are predestined to salvation unconditionally.
- That there is no sin in the flesh.
- That Joseph was the actual father of Jesus.
- That the earth will be destroyed.
- That baptism is not necessary to salvation.
- That a knowledge of the Truth is not necessary to make baptism valid.
- That some meats are to be refused on the score of uncleanness.
- That the English are the ten tribes of Israel, whose prosperity is a fulfillment of the promises made concerning Ephraim.
- That marriage with an unbeliever is lawful.
- That we are at liberty to serve in the army, or as police constables, take part in politics, or recover debts by legal coercion."
Christadelphian Bible Web
"Do you ever wish you had a really satisfying religious faith - a faith that did not ask you to believe impossible things but made good sense that would enable you to live a happier and more worthwhile life - that would help you to stand up to all life's difficulties and face the future with serene confidence? We Christadelphians have such a faith! This may seem like boasting - which a Christian should not do! But it was Bertrand Russell philosopher, historian and unbeliever - who, after studying the Christians of the first century, and the Christian sects of the 20th century, said: "Christianity was in its earliest days, entirely unpolitical. The best representatives of the primitive traditions in our time are the Christadelphians who believe the end of the world to be imminent and refuse to have any part in secular affairs." Bertrand Russell's conclusion was shared by another independent scholar, Professor G.C. Field, who, when commenting on the beliefs and practices of the Christadelphians and one other community, said: "I feel little doubt that their attitude is much closer to the attitude of the earliest Christians than that of the larger religious bodies." As Christadelphians, our aim is to recapture the beliefs and practices of the early church. We have our faults of course, but this is the right road to travel, and we would like you to explore it with us."
"The Bible gives effective direction to our lives. We try to rely fully upon God and develop a faith which is active in prayer and good works. At the same time, however, we recognise that salvation is by grace. With God's help, we seek to please and obey him every day, striving to imitate Christ who faithfully obeyed his Father. We therefore endeavour to be enthusiastic in work, loyal in marriage, generous in giving, dedicated in preaching and happy in our God. A widespread custom amongst Christadelphians is to read the Bible every day using a reading plan which enables us to systematically read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice each year. Of course, many read much more widely than this. We may also attend one or more evening Bible classes each week. Every Sunday, we attend a service we call the "Memorial Meeting" or "Breaking of Bread". This is similar to the "Communion" of some churches. All members partake of bread and wine and an 'exhortation' is given based on the Bible. Attendance at this service is the focus of our religious life. We also have Sunday Schools and Youth Groups; a weekend away at a Bible Study camp is always popular with Christadelphian young people. Some members travel overseas on mission work; others care for the elderly in our nursing homes and hostels. There are several monthly magazines to read (and write). The Christadelphians are a close-knit community working in God's service in whatever ways we can."
Christadelphians - Bible Believing People
"The Christadelphians are a religious group who base our beliefs wholly on the Bible, regarding it as fully inspired by God, and hence believe it is error free. The name "Christadelphian" was first used in the mid-1800s, but we believe that there have been people who share our beliefs throughout history. We are confidently waiting for Christ to return to earth when he will set up the Kingdom of God. The fundamental Christadelphian beliefs are:
- The Bible is God's word and the only message from him. It is without error, except for copying and translation errors.
- There is only one God - the Father. The Holy Spirit is God's power.
- Jesus is the Son of God, and a human being, through his mother Mary.
- Man is mortal, having no existence when dead.
- By living a sinless life, ending with his sacrificial death by crucifixion, Jesus has opened the way of salvation from death.
- Belief and baptism are essential steps to salvation.
- God raised Jesus from death. Jesus is currently in Heaven, on God's right hand. He will one day return.
- When Jesus returns, he will raise his "sleeping" followers from death and grant immortality to the faithful who have tried to live by God's precepts.
- His followers will help him to rule, bringing justice, righteousness and peace to the whole world - the Kingdom of God."
A Christadelphian Page
"There must be many people who feel that there is something outstandingly significant about the person and the teaching of Jesus Christ. Yet when they survey "Christianity", both in its history and its modern forms, they find a wide variety of churches and communities, all with their differing foundations, teachings and practices. Feeling bewildered by the existence of so many groups claiming the name "Christian", they may well give up the quest for "the truth" as hopeless. This short page is written to draw the attention of the interested enquirer to the existence of a community of believers in Christ, calling themselves "Christadelphians", organised in groups found throughout the world. Wherever they exist they have a fellowship founded upon an agreed basis of beliefs. Fundamental to their faith is the principle that what Christ and his apostles taught in the first century was truth, and it is still the truth today. The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are their sole authority... In the early days, members found that to preserve their identity they had to give themselves a name. "Christadelphians" was chosen because it means "brothers (and of course sisters) in Christ". It has been used to distinguish the community for more than 120 years... But why should the Christadelphians deserve any more attention than other groups of "believers", many claiming to be based on the Bible? The brief answer is this: their understanding of the teachings of the Bible is quite different from that of other denominations. The difference arose from the conviction of one, J. Thomas, that the teachings he was encountering in "Christendom" 150 years ago did not truly represent the faith of Christ and his apostles. Persuaded that the truth must be sought only in the Bible, he embarked upon a conscientious study of the Scriptures. He made no claim to any vision or personal revelation. He eventually came to an understanding of "the gospel of the Kingdom of God and name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12) which was different in a number of important points from that of the churches and other religious sects. His labours attracted the support of others who were convinced of the validity of his conclusions. This understanding of Bible truths has been rigorously tested by free enquiry for 150 years. The distinctive views of the Christadelphians today are the result of this process." (by Joe Pitt-Francis)
Christadelphia World Wide
"The Christadelphians are a world-wide community of Bible students whose fellowship is based on a common understanding of the Scriptures. We aren't some sort of branch cultic group, as we have no central organization telling us what to do and believe. Rather we are tied together everywhere by our distinctive beliefs, which are freely and independantly arrived at. The Christadelphians believe that Jesus the Christ is the son of God, who came to fulfill the Old Testament promises and covenants of God with mankind, primarily the covenants with Eve, Abraham and David. We believe that Jesus is a man, who was tried and tempted as we are, yet who resisted sin even till death. Three days later, the only true God, the Father raised him to eternal life, after which Christ ascended to his Father's side to await the appointed time of his return. The Christadelphians embrace the hope of resurrection to eternal life at the return of Christ. We believe that this will take place soon. At that time the kingdom of God will be established from Jerusalem, growing to encompass the whole world, offering freedom, hope and salvation to all mankind. The people of Israel, as the literal descendants of Abraham, will have a special place in this kingdom. The Christadelphians believe that salvation is attained through faith in Christ. It is through faith that we are baptized into Christ for forgiveness of sins, and thereby participate in the promises to Abraham: to inherit the earth for ever. Doctrinally, the Christadelphians are unique in Christendom in our understanding of the nature of Christ, and the way in which we are redeemed by his death. We reject as unbiblical the idea that Christ could die as a replacement sacrifice for us, thus covering all our sins forever with that one act. Certainly it is through his sacrifice that we may be forgiven, but only if we walk the path of self-denial that he marked out for us."
DMOZ Open Directory Project - Christadelphian
Top: Society: Religion and Spirituality: Christianity: Denominations: Christadelphian
"In New Testament times, believers were united. They held "One Faith", rejoiced in the "One Hope", worshipped "One God", served "One Lord" and each had been partaker of "One Baptism" (Eph. 4:1-6). But obviously, such unity does not exist in the many Christian churches today. This is not surprising because the Bible actual prophesied about a great falling away from the truth... Therefore we must search out which "church" holds to the original doctrines of Jesus and his apostles. The only way this can be done is to search the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the apostles. This search can only be done within the pages of the Bible, because later claims of direct messages from Jesus may be the very lies that the scriptures predicted would come."
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
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