The word "Christadelphian" is a combination of Greek words that means 'brothers and sisters of Christ'
The Christadelphians became a distinct group about the middle of the nineteenth century, in the eastern United States. Since then, we have grown across the world, with core communities in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Australia. There are also smaller groups throughout the rest of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Pacific Rim.
The Christadelphians believe that the Bible (66 books) is the inspired word of God, complete and self-sufficient to instruct us in the way of salvation. We do not believe that any Christadelphian, past or present, has received any type of special revelation. It is only through sustained and prayerful reading of the Scriptures that we come to an understanding of the purpose of God in our lives, and how He would have us conduct ourselves day to day.
The Christadelphians have no central leadership. The highest level of organization is the ecclesia (i.e. local church) which is typically led by a rotating selection of the members. It is our distinct beliefs and dedication to hospitality that have enabled us to survive as a separate community though in most places we are quite thinly spread. Communication is sustained between ecclesias through much travel, mail, and several magazines which publish not only articles, but also ecclesial news and announcements of ecclesial study days, community and youth gatherings.
Christadelphians beliefs are based on those of churches in the first century and their beliefs have not been modified by influences from other sources, such as mythology or other civilisations/ cultural beliefs. There are several notable differences between Christadelphians and what is commonly referred to as "mainstream religions", these include:
Christadelphians can prove these beliefs from scripture and these positions have not changed since their beginnings in the mid nineteenth century.
- God is one rather than part of a trinity
- Heaven as a place for the afterlife is not a Bible teaching
- We has no immortal soul that exists past death
- Hell is not a literal place where eternal torment in inflicted on sinners
- The Devil/Satan is not a real being that exists in opposition to God
- God is one rather than part of a trinity
The term "cult", when referring to a religious organisation, does raise concerns and suspicions. Some have used this label for Christadelphians.
The Oxford Dictionary meaning of "cult" is -
1. "A system of religious veneration directed toward a particular figure or object "
This definition is true if we are talking about a religion that is focused on Jesus Christ. It is worth noting that under this definition all Christians religions would be in fact "cults".
2. "A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices, regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members"
Christadelphians number around 7000 individual, baptised members in Australia plus children and regular visitors. Whilst our beliefs do differ from "mainstream secular religions", Christadelphians hold that our beliefs are much less strange than a belief, for example, in a supernatural devil or an immortal soul that lingers in limbo forever. As in any religion there are extreme elements that impose more control over members and Christadelphians are no exception. In the past, most religions suffered reputation damage from these fringe, extreme elements. Luckily in modern Christadelphian church communities this behaviour is not the "norm". Churches are more welcoming and individual worship takes many forms, without many of the damaging, restrictive and unnecessary requirements and attitudes of the past and without compromising our central beliefs.
Christadelphians unashamedly take being disciples of Jesus Christ seriously and proud of the fact that our fundamental beliefs have not changed, despite pressure from other religions, ever-changing social attitudes and the pressure of being a minority in a larger Christian sector. While Christadelphians welcome all, they also have a specific requirement for "fellowship" (which is the more formal part of meeting together). Christadelphians hold this view based on the original practices in the first century churches. "Fellowship" which involves full membership, sharing a memorial of the last supper (with bread and wine) is given based on belief, repentance and adult baptism and dedication to the principles set down by God.
For more information about the beliefs and principles of the Christadelphians, we always encourage reading The Bible as the original and authentic source of truth. Our website also includes other pages that have more detailed explanations.
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