'Replies from Christadelphians'

2.  Rachel Turner…...

5th October, 2003

Would just like to say that the "expositors" hold false beliefs. If you wish to sit there and bleat out bible teachings, behaving as though you "know what the bible professes" then, please make sure, that you are in fact correct. I haven't had the chance to read all your erroneous beliefs but, as I am so incredulous I felt the need to let your know straight away. You see, when "The Truth" is attacked in such a manner, by anyone, I am naturally upset. I am a Christadelphian, but not in fellowship with the main sect, "or central fellowship", as I do feel based on a knowledge of scripture that they do have some beliefs which are in error, and are a matter of fellowship. Anyway, I may get back to you soon, when I have fully digested the strange way in which you feel the need to denegrate any other religion and I do wonder for whose benefit this is?

Rachel Turner.


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5th October, 2003 - TCE replies:

Dear Rachel


thank you for taking the time to write to us.

We would of course, appreciate any views you may take the time to convey.

Reading that 'Christadelphian' is a 'label' you choose for yourself - despite acknowledging that the main sect or fellowship is in error of some kind - informs us that you accuse us of exactly the same that is professed by your former group. Do you know any other groups that the Christadelphians acknowledge as being in 'The Truth'?

The very fact that you can label something in this way is an acknowledgement by you that there is something in existence which is surely worth defending before the world?

If we, too, believe that there is a single 'Truth' then, obviously, that makes all other teachings false (while allowing for minor variations in belief over matters that are not eternally damaging or damning).

You will find that we do not declare that this 'Truth' is unique to us, but unique to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ found described perfectly in the Bible alone and therefore widely available to all men with a reasonable reading age but, more importantly, to all who can hear and understand a very simple message while allowing that God's Sovereign Grace will save all those He has determined are His.

If you are objecting to our views on the Christadelphians, then please let us know in lucid terms where you consider us to be in error, for one of our main complaints against them is that they have followed a false teacher in setting up 'another gospel' (Galatians 1:6-9) which shuts up heaven to many unable to enter into intensive Bible-study (perhaps you have already viewed our tract at http://www.thechristianexpositor.org/page4.html ).

Because we are perfectly happy to be the sheep of the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20) we do try not to 'bleat' in a denigrating way to those who do not agree with us but, rather, seek to follow the admonition of 1 Peter 3:8-17.

Praying for your certain salvation in His Precious Name

TCE


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3.  Michelle A. Law……
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12th October, 2003

Have you ever tried really listening to whatsomeone says instead of what words they use and then jumping to conclusions. You should give people of the other religions a chance to defend their beliefs instead of ridiculing them in such an aggressive manner on your website after having spoken to them.

After having read what you have said about Christadelphians (I find it disrespectful that you shorten our name.) I feel that you have completely misunderstood what we believe and what we are about. Why don't you speak to a few of our Brothers in Christ to get a more complete feel for what we are.

I hope that you come to a better realisation of the Truth and find a more peaceful and accepting way of life.

Love in Jesus

Michelle A Law


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15th October, 2003 - TCE replies:

Dear Michelle

thank you for taking the time to write to us.

In your rush to castigate us, you may not have noticed that much of what we write is in response to supposed replies to questions we have raised.

Is it our fault that devotees of other religions either do not know or cannot defend what they claim to believe in?

Perhaps it is your interpretation of 'aggressive' that causes you to write in such a confused and contradictory manner in your opening paragraph? We would be interested to know in detail where you think we are ridiculing others and perhaps with reference to the style of writing prevalent in most Christadelphian booklets circulating in the United Kingdom and particularly to the fictitious account given in
'At Last True Christianity' by Alan Eyre (Christadelphians Worldwide; published 1976) of the attempts to spread the Christadelphian 'gospel' in the West Indies. This Bunyanesque fiction gives obvious names to those who are ready to accept this false gospel, such as Stephen Searchwell, while the Protestant/Trinitarian dupe who can (obviously) offer no Scriptural refutation of this 'gospel' has the deliberately insulting name of Demas Dumhead. Perhaps the fact that they are openly displayed for the public to take at 'Bible Exhibitions' does not mean they are actually meant to be read.

Please do not mistake conviction for 'aggression,' but seek to answer the questions we have posed just as we seek to answer in the manner described on our home page (1 Peter 3:8-17).

In reference to your claims concerning Christadelphians we only abbreviated the name to CDs to save space on the original reply circulated by 'snail mail' to many Christadelphians who participated in the meeting in Cardiff.  No offence was intended, but perhaps you would be more offended by our comments on Stephen Palmer's claims for the name?

Regarding your invitation for us to speak with 'a few of our Brothers in Christ to get a more complete feel for what we are' - we will soon update our web-pages with an account of such conversations in Cardiff, since you are not the first Christadelphian to give this advice.

Thank you again for your invitation to 'come to a better realisation of the Truth and find a more peaceful and accepting way of life.' This is, of course, a tacit claim that Christadelphians know more than others of 'the Truth' that brings such peace and acceptance and, really, exactly your complaint against us.

In Christ Jesus

TCE


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4.  Ibrahim David……
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1st June, 2004

Hello,

I have a few questions. Although it is justifiable to accuse and openly prove certain groups to be 'cults', whatever that really means, I am very upset to see what is unbalanced generalisations.

I propose that you have made a grave mistake in saying the following - 'Christadelphians'. What does this mean? Are you actually aware that there are several groups of Christadelphians and that your attempt to brand this word under one title is unjust and uncalled for. There is Central fellowship, Dawn Fellowship, Berean Fellowship, Antipas Fellowship etc. How do you suppose that all these groups share the exact same 'faults' that you have notesd on your website, when clearly there are differences from one group to another.

Another thing, you say that 'the example of the thief of the cross' is something which proves salvation without knoleddge, baptism, and obedience - TRUE. Christadelphians would not deny this fact. What they would deny is that this is alwaqys the case, and that ANY person can be saved in this same way, as the thief on the cross.

You are incorrect in implying that Christadelphians deny the salvation of the theif on the cross. What Christadelphians deny is not this, but that salvation is possible without knowledge, baptism, and obedience. I am sure Christadelphians would appreciate the re-wording of this statement at least. I mean, if you are going to make accusations, they should at least be well-informed.

Ibrahim.


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7th June, 2004 - TCE replies:

Dear Ibrahim David,

thank you for taking the time to contact us and express some of your views.

You wrote:  Although it is justifiable to accuse and openly prove certain groups to be 'cults', whatever that really means, I am very upset to see what is unbalanced generalisations.

TCE: our clear definition of 'a cult' is made from an orthodox Christian position and is found at page 55.

You wrote:  I propose that you have made a grave mistake in saying the following - 'Christadelphians'.  What does this mean?  Are you actually aware that there are several groups of Christadelphians and that your attempt to brand this word under one title is unjust and uncalled for.  There is Central fellowship, Dawn Fellowship, Berean Fellowship, Antipas Fellowship etc. How do you suppose that all these groups share the exact same 'faults' that you have notesd on your website, when clearly there are differences from one group to another.

TCE: there are invariably break-away groups from every religious movement and we know that the same is true of the 'Christadelphians'.  We have based all of our writings on the 'Christadelphians' on three main points of reference:

1.   The teachings of the 'Christadelphians' in the Cardiff area (ref. Page 62), as expressed at the meeting detailed and in conversations and correspondence over the years.  We will probably expand the information on the website with regards to these interactions some time in the future.

2.   The teachings and arguments expressed in the books and booklets circulated by the Cardiff 'Christadelphians' (published by Lightstand, Films, Videos and Publishing for the Christadelphians, 10 Oxhayes Close, Balsall Common, West Midlands, CV7 7PS, UK; and 'Preparing for Baptism - a guide for the instruction of those seeking baptism into Christ' by Christadelphian Scripture Study Service, 17 Braemar Road, Torrens Park, South Australia, 5062);

3.   Books written by the founder of the 'Christadelphians' (e.g. Dr John Thomas' 'Phanerosis') and those considered authoritative (e.g. Robert Roberts' work and Harry Tennant's 'Christadelphians - What they Believe and Preach';


If any of the 'Christadelphian' groups you name, or others, teach doctrines at variance with these authorities you may care to do them a service by detailing these differences.  It is our experience that major/central doctrines of most religious groups do not vary extensively and we have no reason to suppose that these 'Christadelphian' groups are an exception (you have supplied no evidence!).  If you wish to prove otherwise then we will print any reply from you (uncorrected) on our pages, limiting you only to the number of pages presently designated to the subject of the 'Christadelphians' and asking that you carefully document any statements you make from the official publications of the group to which you refer.  We do, of course, reserve the right to comment on anything you care to write to us (see conditions under which we accept e-mails - Page 5)

You wrote:  Another thing, you say that 'the example of the thief of the cross' is something which proves salvation without knoleddge, baptism, and obedience - TRUE.  Christadelphians would not deny this fact.  What they would deny is that this is alwaqys the case, and that ANY person can be saved in this same way, as the thief on the cross.

TCE: you are splitting hairs to try and suit 'Christadelphian' doctrine, while trying to avoid the obvious contradiction.  Also note that you should clarify what you mean by 'knowledge' and 'obedience.'  Nobody would recommend the pathway that the 'thief on the cross' took to salvation, because the very idea is fraught with danger, since none of us knows for sure the moment when we will die!  And we certainly never suggested that this is 'always the case'. However, in orthodox Christian circles, this does not rule out 'death-bed repentance' in any way and there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that many others will not be saved in the last moments of life in the same manner as the thief.  By contrast, the whole 'Christadelphian' idea of works-salvation denies the possibility or opportunity for such an utter demonstration of God's grace, because of their unrelenting emphasis on 'belief, baptism, obedience' to the point of Nomianism (slavery to the law).  The thief believed and fulfilled all that was required for salvation before he died and, if it was possible for him to enter Paradise through simple faith in the Saviour, it is obviously equally possible for others to be saved by utter grace in the same manner.

You wrote:  You are incorrect in implying that Christadelphians deny the salvation of the theif on the cross.  What Christadelphians deny is not this, but that salvation is possible without knowledge, baptism, and obedience.

TCE: If this is not contradiction, what exactly do you mean?  We have no evidence that the thief came to faith with more than a little knowledge of Christ and His gospel.  The words he literally spoke reveal that he trusted that Christ had the power to grant him entry into His kingdom.  That is all it takes!  Note that the thief initially joined in with the crowd and the other thief in reviling Jesus (Matthew 27:38-44), but within hours of this he was dead.  But in this short time - with little knowledge, no good works, and no baptism - he obeyed Jesus' basic instruction given in many Scriptures to trust in Him alone for eternal life. 

This is a question which stumbles many cultists who ask: 'When Christ was asked (e.g. in
Matthew 19:16ff.) what men have to do to have eternal life, why didn't He just say,' Just believe.  It is enough.'

We find that Christ actually did say that
'just' believing is enough!  Examine examples of his teaching, e.g. after the miracle of feeding the 5,000, when Jesus was still sought by the people, but had walked across the water to join His disciples (John 6:25-29):

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, 'Rabbi, when did you get here?'  26 Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.'  28 Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?29 Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'

What could be clearer?
  Just to believe is the work which God requires!  Keeping the commandments comes after faith in the Saviour God, Jesus, has saved us and follows because those who have accepted Him as Lord and Saviour love Him.

His reply,
'Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you' (v27), parallels His words to the Samaritan woman concerning the 'living water' that did not come from the well.   Like the Samaritan woman, the people could not lift their minds above the physical necessities of life.  Jesus was not commanding them to stop working for a living, but he was saying that their main quest should not be for food that readily perishes.  The 'food that endures to eternal life' is Himself, as the later utterance in v54 states: 

JN 6:53 Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.'

There is another important point:

JN 6:60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, 'This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?'  61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, 'Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.'

Part of the mystery of salvation is the sovereign act of God which is necessary for the 'quickening' of our spirit so that we can
believe and accept Him.  Faith is the result of God's enabling. Unbelief is natural to those who are selfish and alienated from God and who cannot accept the idea that He can do the impossible.  Complete commitment to God is impossible for a sinful selfish heart and the Holy Spirit must awaken and empower it to believe so that, like the man who said to Jesus, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief' (Mark 9:24), the intervention of divine grace is necessary to transform our microscopic faith to saving faith.  This is denied in the 'Christadelphian' material we referenced.

There are so many statements in the Bible that make it clear that it
is only belief in Jesus that saves us, that we must ask where does it say you must 'believe and keep the commandments to be saved'.  In fact, there are an absolute multitude of texts that prove it is believing in Christ alone which saves:

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 3:14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  16 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Verse 18 parallels Mark 16:16: 'Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned'.

It is believing that saves - and unbelief that condemns to a lost eternity.  Good works and baptism play absolutely no part in salvation!

John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.'

John 5:24: 'I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:40:   40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.'

John 6:47: I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

John 11:25: Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'

What did the unbelieving Pharisees need to
believe to be saved?:

John 8:23: But he continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that 'I Am', you will indeed die in your sins.'

Since all the 'Christadelphians' we have ever encountered deny that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God - the
'I Am' of Exodus 3:14 and John 8:24 - then they share the fate of the Pharisees.

You wrote:  I am sure Christadelphians would appreciate the re-wording of this statement at least. I mean, if you are going to make accusations, they should at least be well-informed.

TCE:  As we have shown, the statements you make accusing us of error are unsupported and you are also in error over the matter of the 'thief on the cross' (Luke 23:43).  Until we hear differently from you, or other 'Christadelphians', we will leave our pages unchanged, for the information we have from 'Christadelphians' proves them to be dangerous and heretical.  The world needs warning of a cult that teaches that 'idiots ... and very young children'  will not be saved (ref. Doctrines to be Rejected: Number 22 - 'Preparing for Baptism - a guide for the instruction of those seeking baptism into Christ' by Christadelphian Scripture Study Service) and denies that 'the Gospel alone will save, without the obedience of Christ's commandments' (ref.  ibid. Doctrines to be Rejected: Number 24).  Note, these 'Doctrines to be Rejected' are based on 'The Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith' which is also accepted by the Berean Christadelphians and others.

In Christ Jesus

TCE

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