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>>Hi Mark...Thanks for your reply...sorry about the disclaimer, its something that my work email address just puts on, I forgot it was there, and it was certainly not intentional, please ignore it in this case. I agree with you that knowing the history of Christadelphianism, or any other religion for that matter, to know "the truth" or to find salvation, I did not mean to imply that. You will see what I mean by not claming to know all the Christadelphian beliefs by the end of this reply. It has nothing to do with inadequate research. Which group should we follow in this divided community? a good question, and why are we so divided yet profess to being the only ones with "the truth"? another good question, both questions I have struggled with over time, and I can only give you my opinion on these.
Sorry if I came across aggressive or insulting, this was not my intention, merely an accident brought on by my quick fingers and slow brain...my purpose is not to attack or criticise you, also maybe I have accused you unfairly, but in reading what I can on your site you seem to rubbish others opinions fairly readily , and I have already seen a patronising attitude in this email that I have seen in others, but lets stop arguing about semantics, If I have offended I apologise, don't judge me for it..........
A Christadelphians belief structure is laid down in a Document called the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith, or B.A.S.F for short. This is the official belief structure of a Christadelphian in its entirety. Only the statements in this Document can be attributed to every Christadelphian in the World. To say that "A Christadelphian" believes anything not in this Document is wrong. Many Christadelphians believes things additional to this document, but these are not essential to being a Christadelphian......I believe something different from most of the people in my particular congregation, but I believe everything in the B.A.S.F so that lets me be a Christadelphian. It is very difficult to make generalisations about Christadelphians, because very few are exactly the same.
I think this area is where a lot of people go wrong when looking at a summary of Christadelphians, because unless you have been part of a group such as Christadelphians, JW's, Exclusive Brethren and the like you cannot understand the concept of Ecclesiastical pressure.<<
Just a few thoughts on your reply.
I have seen BASF and known about it a long time. As my website column 3 letter 4 (Christo15htm) indicates. I have concerns for Christadelphian (CDís), whatever shades of doctrine held because one will never find salvation following Christadelphianism. CDís deny the fundamental doctrines of mainstream biblical Christianity and endorse the doctrines taught by Thomas and Roberts. Nothing indicates you are different.
The doctrines you believe are all part of what makes a Ďcultí. Not my Ďpoint of viewí any good dictionary of Christian theology will define what's outside mainstream Christianity.
Having done the study, I discovered most CDís are not the free thinkers they make out. They follow the standard BASF and their final authority (not scripture) is Christadelphianism. Lets be honest, you are not Ďborn againí or received the Holy Spirit. If you were you would have received the Holy Spirit. Who or what is the Holy Spirit? CDís mock the doctrine of the trinity, yet the Bible teaches it. To CDís God's Son was not God manifest in flesh, Ďmade fleshí, Ďcome down from heavení, but only a good man. You would deny the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. So this is very serious. You have not received the Holy Spirit as a Person, but the doctrines CD's have teach. Their doctrine rejects the Holy Spirit. John 14:17 "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you". From this verse we see clearly that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not some kind of electric 'power'. If you do not know who He is, or have received Him, you are not Godís child (Rom.8:9)
If you are a clone of CD doctrine, I doubt you know Christ as your Saviour or have 'eternal life' as Christ promised those who know Him. If you 'believe not' that Jesus Christ is the "I am" then "you will die in your sins" (Jn.8:24). To be in confusion over who Jesus is, indicates an unbiblical understanding and indicates deception by a non-Christian cult.
If you are NOT 'born again' you can study, read, work, go to church, keep the law, hope and think you are ok, even pray so, but itís all for nothing. ALL are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin and need to be made alive to Christ [Eph.2:1]. All need an awakening to their lost hopeless condition, not the doctrines of a sect. The Good News is that Christ's sacrifice on the cross covers all sin - past, present and future. This is what the Gospel is all about.
The Bible is intended to point you to Christ, that we might find salvation in what He did for us. That God in the flesh came to earth in His Son and died in our place for us, that we might receive sins forgiven and the free gift of eternal life.
All faith [1 Cor.13:2] works, all love, baptisms, and all the kindness in the entire world can't save anyone who has not had this spiritual rebirth. Without which you will "never see the Kingdom of God" [Jn.3:3]. With CDs their "conversion" is into their group, not the gospel of God's grace. They follow a doctrines which belittles Christ. The Father desires ďThat all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honours not the Son honours not the Father which has sent himĒ (Jn.5:23). CDís dishonor and reject Christ, to them He is just a good man. The more I studied CD doctrine the more I saw it denies the clear teaching of the Bible. They donít know who Jesus is.
>>For example your accusation that Christadelphianism preaches a Gospel of salvation by works, is wrong, because it is not in this document. There are Christadelphians that believe in Salvation by works, and I know some of them, but they would never admit to this being the case, and they are by far the minority of Christadelphians. This is where I explain what I mean by not knowing all Christadelphian beliefs, because apart form the statements in the B.A.S.F they could well be different<<.
I think my accusation is correct concerning all CDís. They all hold salvation by works. Why? Because its described in CD literature and on that webpage as a life long process, the new birth is not mentioned. Note this quote from that webpage, salvation is - ďonly if we walk the path of self-denial.Ē There's heaps of conditions required, designed to keep you locked into the CD sect. And doctrines to reject before one even qualifies for CD baptism. Do you believe one can be saved if they believe in the doctrine of the trinity, and the immortality of the soul and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? If so, you are not a CD.
>>As you can see from this document a Christadelphian believes that not only was the "The gospel of the Kingdom" as you put it, preached to the Jews before Christ, but preached to the Jews and Gentiles after Christ, because this was their hope.<<
No, the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom became of no effect and was overtaken by the gospel (good news) from Christís death and resurrection. And that forgiveness of sin was to be preached in His Name to all nations. The kingdom was delayed. The disciples had to figure out what the rejection of the king meant. They realized that now there was a new message Ė the Gospel of Godís grace and love to all men. Even Christ's return couldn't be compared to that. The gospel of the kingdom was not a message with meaning to non-Jews. John Thomas did not rediscover the old gospel message that was forgotten, he corrupted the gospel with his own ideas.
>>You will find that the majority of Christadelphians worldwide, interpret the Grace of God, as exactly the Gospel of Grace you refer too, except would say that it was in fact preached before Jesus, though couldn't actually happen until after him. You will also find that many Christadelphian;s in this part of the world, in places including, and no necessarily restricted to, Adelaide, Sydney, Wellington and Christchurch, do not "believe" in a gospel of salvation by works but are "encouraged" by ecclesiastical pressure, to believe something very similar. I think it is these of whom you speak when referring to salvation by works. But as you can see, this is not a universal Christadelphian belief.<<
No, I think they are mixed up. All the nonsense from John Thomas has corrupted their thinking (read his books and you will go mad). CD's don't even know they are lost in sin and following a religion.
>>I believe that I have eternal life now, and will receive by Gods grace, immortal life in the future, at the return of Jesus. I think you will find that most Christadelphians believe the same. One thing you will find about Christadelphians is difference in the way they use terms, and use different terms for the same things!! sadly this has also caused great division and argument amongst Christadelphians...<<
Your claim to have Ďeternal lifeí indicates the confusion of terms I find among CD's. CDís believe they can be lost if they donít measure up to the CD standard. They claim only the 'promise' of life - THE HOPE . What part of you has eternal life? The body, soul or spirit? CDís believe at death they become nonexistent, all life ends. Eternal life is not of man, itís a gift from God, given from the Spirit of life at the new birth. So CDís donít have eternal life they are a religious people Ė not Godís children. They cling to a false system and have missed the real gospel.
>>but I have my own ideas on the scriptures, purely based on what it says not on the works of others. I am not stuck in my religion, nor am I particularly committed to this "religion" as it is purely a set of beliefs that I happen to agree with.<<
If you really want the truth, then forget CDís and your ďown ideasĒ, you need to break away from the CD deception and allow only the Bible to point to the One who is the Truth and the Life. You follow a religion, I follow a Person who has given eternal life already in His Son (1 Jn.5:13). Jesus said ďI am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by MeĒ (Jn.14:6). He is the Way (the way is not a religious system). He is the Truth. The truth is not a nice collection of nice beliefs. Having correct 'beliefsí (according to manís thinking) doesnít mean you have 'the truth'. Salvation is in a Person. When you come to Christ and accept Him as your Saviour, you have 'the truth'. And Heís the Life-eternal life (Eph.1:7 Jn.11:26). Christianity is all about a Person not a religion.
>>I would never try and convince you to 'Be a Christadelphian" I am firmly of the belief that you don't need to be a Christadelphian to be "saved", you need to understand the bible and believe it, and do what is says, you don't need to be a Christadelphian to do this. Hope this has helped in some way for you to understand where I am coming from, and that maybe you have a different view of Christadelphians from that that you may have had, if you had been exposed to different Christadelphians...Try this site www.bbie.org its by an English Christadelphian doing mission work in Lithuania, whose opinions are different from those I think you have been exposed to. Also check out the other Christadelphian literature online section, I think you will be surprised to find that there are a lot of us who think like you... David<<
A common ploy of CDís is to tell me I donít know what they believe, then go about to establish the same old belief. They argue that to reject their doctrine is to misunderstand what they believe. They say I reject CD doctrine because I donít understand what Christadelphianism is. They will deny what they believe, claim to believe different, and in the end after a few emails prove beyond doubt they are nothing but another CD. Most CDís say what you have said here, check my website and see. Then after one or two emails itís obvious they fit perfectly into the CD mold. All that denial, that they are different, or they are Christians, comes back to haunt them.
P.S If I were you, I wouldnít sleep until you have obeyed what Jesus commanded. He said, "What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God" (Jn.3:5 LB). Let the Bible have THE authority. Donít trust the CD system and ignore the Bible.