Christadelphians – Prophesies and Pacifism
Christadelphians, a religious sect, was founded by Dr. John Thomas, the son of a British Congregationalist minister. During Thomas’ immigration to the United States in 1832, the ship encountered several violent storms. Thomas vowed that he would devote his life to the study of religion if God would spare his life. Shortly after his arrival in the United States, Thomas briefly associated himself with the Cambellites, while sharing their belief that Jesus Christ would return to earth in 1866. But as he continued to study with the Cambellites, he soon disagreed with their teachings, left the group, and began his own sect called the “Brethren of Christ.”
Numerous religious movements in the middle 1800s began as an outgrowth of religious unrest -- Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, and Spiritism. Each sect tried to discover truth through a new revelation or by combining some truth with their own opinions. When the Civil War began, Thomas, along with his followers, believed that the war marked the beginning of the “Battle of Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). The group embraced pacifism, refusing to participate in war. To be recognized as a religious group exempted from fighting, Thomas renamed his followers “Christadelphians (1848) -- Greek for “Brethren of Christ.” Thomas visited England to introduce his new-found religion and then discovered the soil fertile for his beliefs on prophesy and the coming Kingdom. He returned to America again. His subsequent visits (1862 and 1869) to lecture in England helped anchor Christadelphianism in England. Because of his efforts, England has the largest number (20,000) of members in the world.
Christadelphians – Deception and Denial
As with many pseudo-Christian groups, Christadelphianism claims to follow Christian doctrines. Though they have a belief that there is only one God, Christadelphians’ doctrine is clearly non-Christian (James 2:19). One of their tenets states that the Bible is “the inerrant and infallible Word of God,” yet Christadelphianism denies:
- the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)1 (Matthew 28:19).
- Jesus’ existence prior to His incarnation2 (Revelation 1:8).
- Jesus is God in flesh3 (Colossians 2:9).
- Jesus died in our place for sin4 (1 Peter 2:24).
- the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit5 (John 16:13-15).
- salvation by grace through faith alone6 (Ephesians 2:8).
- the immortality of the soul, that a person exists after death7 (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
- the existence of the fallen angel Lucifer (Satan)8 (Luke 10:18).
- the existence of hell and eternal punishment9 (Matthew 25:41, 46).
Christadelphians – Sin and Salvation
While Christadelphianism may show a great infatuation with the Scriptures, its skewed interpretations offer their members a hopeless future. Believing that Jesus had a sinful nature,10 followers forfeit experiencing God’s grace and mercy through His Son (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15-16). In teaching that baptism is a prerequisite to salvation,11 Christadelphians never receive God’s gift of salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8). And, contrary to Christadelphianism,12 those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior never lose their salvation (Romans 3:22-26).
Christadelphians are sincere about their beliefs, but sincerity doesn’t connect God and man. While claiming to be the restored truth, this cult group relies on its own interpretations (2 Peter 1:20-21). Only the blood of a divine, sinless Christ paid the price for our salvation in full, reconciling us to God forever (Romans 6:23).
1 Tennant, Harry. The Christadelphians, What They Believe and Preach, The Christadelphian, Birmingham, England. 1986. pp. 84-87.
2 Ibid., pp. 85-86.
3 Jannaway, Frank G. (edited by) Christadelphian Answers, The Herald Press, Houston, TX, 1920. p. 22.
4 Ibid., p. 25.
5 Tennant., p. 115.
6 Ibid., p. 204.
7 Ibid., p. 17.
8 Jannaway., p. 100.
9 Tennant., pp.188-189.
10 Jannaway., p. 24.
11 Tennant., pp. 71-72, 207-210.
12 Ibid., p. 212.
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