Want Some Answers ???
Thanks for your interesting email. I appreciate your time. I said you appeared influenced by Christadelphian doctrine,
>>that may have been true 13 years ago, at the moment I am biased towards finding out for myself. the approach i am taking is that its all up for grabs. I'll be asking my old man to tell me his basis for belief in his doctrines and balancing his proofs against standard church teaching. which will also have to prove itself through the bible.<<
Good idea! The only problem asking Christadelphians for the truth, is like asking JW's. The answer is likely to be biased towards error and dressed up in fine clothes. Can be unwise if you are not sure what's true to start with. Eg, if I wanted to know just who Jesus Christ was, it would ask for trouble if I asked the radical religious groups existing today. But the bible will be a great help. Keep in mind, Christadelphianism doesn't hold that the bible is the final authority -"If such works as "Elpis Israel" and "Eureka" are neglected an essential foundation for individual research and investigation is lacking'," Christadelphian Standards p.104. 'Let us also treat with scorn any suggestion to hide or shelve the works of Bro. Thomas and Bro. Roberts', Christadelphian Standards, p.52.
So a mainstream evangelical church for fellowship and friendship would be a good help. And checking a few websites designed for Christadelphian's seeking truth, eg. www.trutheternal.org
>>one thing i will say is that the christadelphians are extremely rigid in their worship and the focus was not so much on living a life of joy in jesus, more on prophecy and being good. i was bad so i didnt fit. they seemed pleased to have someone to disprove and gossip about, be ye holy even as i am holy was their motto.<<
You are right, but it's all for nothing without that vital relationship which should have started with a Spiritual birth. Until then, whatever name or practice they have, they are just a religious social club.
>>as salvation is by grace, which i accept, obviously works and sin after repentance are unable to affect salvation. however i would have thought that turning your head away from god back to the world would be the one thing that could destroy it. however i cant remember what i read about it so i wont argue it until i have reread it.<<
Those who are really God's children are proven by the fact they don't fall away. Not that they are prefect, or don't have problems. But those who fall away suggest they were never truly God's children. The new birth is seen by the eye of God. We can only look for evidence to see if it fits with what the bible says. Ie – changed life – new behaviour – joy – peace - etc.
Most Christadelphian's claim 'salvation is by grace' but they are unaware their doctrines qualify it. Their teachings demand grace and works, they believe salvation can be lost. Obviously, because they don't have the new life the bible mentions, they are insecure, unsure, and fearful of a lost eternity. Something just doesn't seem right (sin) so they feel they need to work to earn salvation. The fact is, one doesn't enjoy God's grace and sins forgiven if never born again. And those who are? He has promised "I will never leave you, nor forsake you" (Heb.13:5).
Those who have received Jesus as their Saviour have eternal life now (1 Jn.5:11-13). Jesus is "the true God and Eternal life" (1 Jn.5:20). The Greek refers to 'never ending life', if it's taken back, it cannot be eternal. To pass "out of death into life" (Jn.5:24) is to receive the gift of God (everlasting life). Only after that can one 'work'. Not in order to be saved, but because they are saved. Only the saved can work (Eph.2:10; Tit.3:3). For all others, "this is the work of God, that I ye believe on Him whom He [God]hath sent" [Jn.6:29]. It's impossible for the spiritually dead to obtain eternal life by their own efforts, (ie dead works). It is only by "the gift of God" as Jesus declared in Jn 4.10 (and Rom.6:23).
>>this is something that i dont think a Christadelphian could explain to me. like i said there is evidence for and against the trinity. also i have read passages where it seems to suggest he was there when god made the world, although, not sure if he helped. if not, why not?<<
There is heaps of evidence for the trinity doctrine, too much to mention here. And useful internet websites, better than my effort -
Regarding – creation; we know God creates (Isa.44:24). Jesus is the Creator (Heb. 1:2,10) 'Through whom also He made the worlds' (aeons). If so, then He was prior to all beginnings. cf. Jn.1:1. Hebrews however links 'aeons' to the physical universe (Cf Heb 1:2 & 11:3) declaring Christ creator of the entire universe, all space throughout all time.
Col.1:16-17 says Christ"…ranks higher than everything that has been made. Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all powers, authorities, lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him."
Clearly such a person is not just a mere man, very different than the Jesus in Christadelphian doctrine.
John Thomas postulated that God was a solitary Deity totally alone for a past eternity. An isolate being forever past! (Isolation destroys personality). Who can survive 50 years alone? But the Deity 'isolate' becomes "Gods" uncountable - millions of gods who create the universe. He says these gods were once 'animal' like creatures of other spheres, Elpis Israel, p. 187. For Thomas, there is a process of 'becoming' God and, according to him; Jesus has already processed to "Godhood".
So 'God' becomes 'Gods' and humans become God. And animal beings of other spheres become God (like Mormonism). If we were created by beings that were once animal and fleshly from other regions, 'Who is supposed then to have created the fleshly beings that created us?' 'In what ways is Christ distinguished from the 'pre-creation' gods? - or the post resurrection gods?'
I found your comment interesting regarding the prayer which results in the new birth -
>>this was the strange thing that happened to me the other day. realising that god doesnt hate me for sinning, that he'd already forgiven me before i was born, and that all i had to do was accept his forgiveness. as soon as i realised that i was filled with a great feeling of joy and peace like never before and i knew god was with me. Then out of nowhere i started crying and saying I'm sorry to him, which really shocked me cos i dont ever lose control of myself. however there is as far as i know, no room in christadelphia for this sort of experience, and since it was real, they must be wrong, at least on this.<<
Your experience appears similar to mine, when I became a Christian. I heard the gospel from a preacher about God's love and Christ going to the cross and the free gift of forgiveness offered. I heard about the bad news of my sin (which I knew). But Jesus died for my sin and wanted to cleanse and renew. An hour or so afterward, I got on my knees & prayed a simple prayer & invited Him into my heart.
I had become a new born babe, and received God's Spirit. And over time, I started to grow. Life was different. I was a 'new creature'. Looking back, I haven't been a perfect angel. I've needed to confess sin, and struggled. But God has been faithful & it's good to walk with Him. Life has meaning and purpose.
At my new birth I didn't lose control. Some people are emotional but my experience was simply one of peace, of having something put right.
>>since then i have been reading the bible, which i have never done except as a duty (and not once for 13 years even), and god speaks to me through its pages. And basically what i was looking for in it was some sort of direction on the faith, works, grace thing. And whether being baptised in the spirit was enough, if water was needed also, basically whether i was in a state of grace now or needed more. as i was unwilling to trust my own feelings on this, but rather be as the bereans. anyway i will continue to read it and see what it says to me. thank you for your help and if you could suggest passages of scripture which you think would be especially profitable i would appreciate that. God be with you, Adam<<
Sounds like good news. If you were born again I cannot be sure, but it's encouraging. Keep reading the Word. I recommend some scripture cassette tapes (particularly the NT) also bible software for the computer and find a good evangelical church. If you go back to the Christadelphians they will fool you.