What does the name Christadelphian mean?
The name means “Brethren in Christ”. It is a name that has been used to distinguish the community for more than 120 years. The name Christadelphian was introduced at the time of the American civil war so that those holding our views could register as conscientious objectors.
When were the Christadelphians established?
The origins of the Christadelphian movement can be traced back to an English doctor, Dr. John Thomas who emigrated to America in 1832. Circumstances led him away from medicine and towards the Bible. He formed the conviction from extensive Bible study that the teachings he was encountering in Christendom 150 years ago did not represent the faith of Christ and the Apostles. He lectured and wrote extensively about his convictions for the last 30 years of his life. Congregations holding Christadelphian views began to form around 1840.
Where are Christadelphians found?
Christadelphians are located throughout the world in something like 120 countries. We meet in homes, rented rooms and in our own halls.
How are Christadelphians organized?
We are a lay community patterned after first century Christianity. We have no paid ministry, head of the church or legislative council. Each local congregation (or Ecclesia) is autonomous and members are addressed as “Brother” and “Sister”. It is our strong common belief (embodied in a Statement of Faith) that binds the congregations together into a Brotherhood.
Why are Christadelphian churches called “ecclesias”?
Over the years the word “church” has come to be associated with a building as much as with the congregation. However the Greek word “ecclesia” that is translated church in the Bible refers to people who are called out to serve God. We use this name to emphasize this point.
What kind of people are Christadelphians?
We are made up of people from most walks of life. We live ordinary lives but our beliefs are held with a strong conviction and we would like to think that this shows in the way we live our lives. Our lives are centered in the future hope of immortality and sharing in the Kingdom of God when Christ returns.
What’s so distinctive about Christadelphian beliefs?
Our beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity on several key points. We believe that Jesus is God’s son and not co-equal with his Father as Trinitarians believe. We believe our existence ceases at death until bodily resurrection takes place when Jesus returns to the earth and therefore reject the doctrine of the immortal soul. We believe that Jesus died as mankind’s representative rather than our substitute. We believe the term “the devil” personifies human rebellion against God and that the idea of a supernatural evil being who tempts people to sin is not scriptural. We look forward to the overthrow of human government at the return of Christ to the earth.
We are not part of the ecumenical movement seeking world wide Christian unity because we think that agreement on doctrine is important.