Reading the Christadelphians website is like reading from a Watchtower. The following beliefs could be put in a Watchtower and no one would realize it was not written by Jehovah's Witnesses.
As taken from christadelphian.org.uk (15 Jan 2006);
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.
- Dont believe in the Trinity
- Dont go to war,
- Dont follow the Sabbath
- Dont believe in Baby baptism
- Dont believe the earth will be destroyed
- Believe in mortality of the soul; evil to be annihilated
- Believe in righteous live on earth, not in heaven, for 1,000 years
- Believe in water baptism
- Believe that the Catholic Church is Babylon
The main difference between Christadelphians and Witnesses is the doctrine of Satan. Christadelphians reject the personhood of Satan, using the same reasoning to reject the personhood of the Holy Spirit. This is perfectly acceptable for any group that does not believe the Trinity as it follows a consistent application of personalisation.
Dr. Thomas was greatly interested in prophecy during the height of the Great Advent movement and in 1834 started a magazine called "The Apostolic Advocate" and later "The Herald of the Future Age." When the American Civil War broke out, Christadelphians needed a name to be recognized as a religious group that did not believe in fighting.
In Greek Christadelphian means "Brethren of Christ." They trace their spiritual roots through such groups as the Waldenses, Albigenses and Huguenots. As their website explains;
The early nineteenth century was a time of great religious ferment in the United States, especially on the expanding frontier. America was being settled by a new kind of men and women, who were independent, and untraditional. The last part of the eighteenth century had seen a revival of interest and enthusiasm in the churches known as the Great Awakening. The Methodist movement of John Wesley had swept across the country at the turn of the century. Then came the Campbellites, preaching a reform of the paganism of the churches of the day, to be followed soon by the Millerites (also known as the Adventists) preaching the end of the world. Each of these movement questioned some part of the traditional Christianity of the time.
What kind of people are Christadelphians?
We are made up of people from most walks of life. We would like to think that we are normal, but our beliefs do tend to be held with a strong conviction and this probably reflects in our character. Our faith encourages us to be enthusiastic in our work, loyal in our marriages, generous in our giving, dedicated in our preaching, content in our circumstances. We tend to have little interest in much that the modern world finds entertaining; for example most of us would rarely, if ever, turn to the television for comfort or relaxation.
What's so different about Christadelphian beliefs?
Hardly any Christadelphian belief is unique to us, but major differences with most of Christendom would include: we do not accept the Trinity of the Godhead; Jesus is God's son and not co-equal with the Father; we believe existence ceases at death until a (bodily) resurrection, which will take place when Jesus returns to the earth; we believe that Jesus died as mankind's representative rather than as our substitute; we look forward to the overthrow of human governments at the return of Christ.
For information on Christadelphians see www.cbm.org.uk and www.christadelphia.net.au. A touching site by a former Christadelphian is beyondthechristadelphians.wordpress.com.