Who are the Christadelphians?
The Christadelphians are a Bible
based group who accept the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments as wholly
inspired by God. The only problems
found in the Scriptures are due to faulty translations. We hold that the Bible
as we possess it today is the only work that is to be received as God breathed,
and that any later work that is claimed to be inspired should be rejected. For
instance, one work that is claimed to be an inspired translation from original
plates is found to have 1,339 changes since the original edition.
If the translation itself is a work of inspiration, even one change would
have been tampering with the work of the Spirit of God.
Therefore, Christadelphians do not believe that any translation of the
Bible is inspired but we do teach that the original writings of God’s servants
through whom He sent his word were beyond doubt, a work of inspiration.
Brother John Thomas (1805-1871), a medical doctor, migrated from England
to America in 1832. The ship on
which he sailed on his way ran into a severe storm, and it became apparent that
the ship was in danger of being destroyed.
Finally Bro. Thomas warned one of the ship’s crew that the direction
they were headed would soon run them ashore.
The man ridiculed the idea and ignored Bro. Thomas, but soon the ship was
scraping the bottom of the ocean and was in danger of breaking up.
In the darkest moment, Bro. Thomas remembered exclaiming, “Lord, have
mercy upon me for Christ’s sake.” He
then determined that if he ever got ashore he would never rest until he found
out the truth of the matter, that he might never again be found in such an
uncertain state of mind.
Bro. Thomas set about to fulfill his
promise as soon as he arrived in America. His
search lead him to the Campbellites, and for a time he sojourned in their midst.
Over a period of time his studies caused him to disagree with some of
their teachings, and a series of searching questions for which he could receive
no logical answer caused a rift between them. This led ultimately to the
establishment of a group who later in 1864 became known as the Christadelphians,
which in Greek means “brethren in Christ”.
We do not consider that Bro. Thomas was inspired by the Holy Spirit, as were the prophets
of old and the apostles of Jesus. However,
we do believe that God chose him for the work of searching the Scriptures to
retrieve into one body the principles of truth that were changed and
contaminated by pagan mysteries about a century after the life and crucifixion
Bro. Thomas’ search for truth recovered in one body of believers the faith
“once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Some may ask why would the Truth have to be recovered?
Hasn’t the truth in its entirety been here and believed by the masses
for the past 2000 years? Protestants
can’t hold that view, because the only organized religious group that traces
its unbroken continuity any farther back than a couple of centuries is the
Roman, “mother” church. All
other churches have a comparatively recent beginning.
As to the
question as to why the Truth had to be recovered, the Scriptures reveal the
answer in an abundance of passages. First, the prophet Daniel foretold four
empires that would arise in the earth (Dan.2 and Dan. 7).
In the 8th chapter, he foretold a little horn that would arise
and be found among the nations in the fourfold division of the Greek, third
empire. Rome was the little horn
who entered the arena at the invitation of Pergamum, who asked Rome to assist
her against her enemies. Thus, the
nation that ruled the fourth empire entered into the arena.
It was foretold in Dan.8:12 that that little horn would “cast the truth
to the ground.” Jesus and the apostles lived during the first century of Rome’s reign over their empire.
They all foretold of an apostasy from the truth (Matt.
20:29-30; I Tim.
4:1-3; II Pet.
2:1-3; I John
17 and 18).
As stated earlier, only one church has been around with an unbroken existence for
the last 2000 years. Paul foretold
in II Thess. 2 that an entity that would come up soon after the apostles
departed from life and would be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming
2:3-8). Since only one group has been around for these 2000 years, it’s easy to understand who is in
view in the prophecies pertaining to the apostasy.
Since the Apostle Paul declared that there would believers living at the end time (I
Cor. 15:51; I Thess.
4:17), it follows that a revival of the Truth was expected
near the end of the Gentile times. We
strongly feel that the Christadelphians possess that Truth, which comprised the
Apostolic Faith once delivered to the saints.