COMMENT OF THE WEEK

Contributed by "String Player"

It is very sad that you had to go through your faith crisis so unsupported John. Even 30 years ago there were circles within Christadelphia where you could have grappled with the big questions without being automatically dismissed and judged as heretical, but you would probably have learned at that stage to think of such groups as the woolly liberal (or even "evangelical" ) fringe who were not proper Christadelphians anyway.

Still, I am intrigued as to your motivation for all this activity of yours focussed on a community you left half a lifetime ago: perhaps you have come to realise that there are benefits to belonging to a supportive community, and that some version of what should be the heart of the Christian gospel ("love one another as i have loved you") is worthwhile whether you believe the "universe" cares or not...
 
I am a little concerned however that your vision for this supportive ex-CD community seems rather to depend on you as the Messiah figure, lapping up the adulation of all the poor deluded CDs as they come to realise the true light of the Bedson Way. Perhaps you miss that time in your life when you were a successful and admired preacher and presenter...

Many of your criticisms of the CDn establishment are well-founded and indeed shared by many existing members (albeit on the fringes in many places, and not often publically admitted). However those who are campaigning for reform are not necessarily going to appreciate too close an association with a self-proclaimed atheist, especially as "you're on a slippery slope to atheism" is often the first criticism of the reformer.


You are also not as well connected with many strands of current CDia in the UK as you might like to think - there is an increasing diversity in thought and practice which is not reflected in the CMag.

Thank you for your concern however...

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Reply by John Bedson
String Player:
 
Thanks for your great comment!
I want to reply to some of the points.
1. I was a Christadelphian conservative thirty years ago. I would have never turned to the woolly liberals.
2. "...perhaps you have come to realise that there are benefits to belonging to a supportive community, and that some version of what should be the heart of the Christian gospel ("love one another as I have loved you") is worthwhile whether you believe the "universe" cares or not..."
Yes, you are largely right. I do see the benefits of belonging to a supportive community. My vision of Christadelphianism is of a community evolving to drop the Theistic element and yet still continue the fellowship and friendship of a supportive community. That's why ideally I would like to see the religion reform and evolve rather than disbanding.
3.  I do agree that admirable morality should be at the very heart of what we are propounding. There is very little admirable morality in the Bible, although there is some. That is why we need to get God out of the picture. He is the main culprit when it comes to reprehensible behaviour. Witness for example the awful things that he did and condoned in the Old Testament. We have to get rid of Christ for the same reason.
Admirable human morality is far superior to the ethics taught in the Bible or the Koran. We don't need Holy Books. We have all eaten of the Tree of Knowledge and we know right from wrong. We know how to behave well. In this endeavour, God and Christ get in our way and hold us back from realising our full potential as moral beings. They hold us back because they are the invention of ancient, primitive people who did not share our enlightenment and developed ethical morality.
Eject God, Christ, salvation, resurrection, and judgment, the Kingdom and eternal life from the Christadelphian religion and you are left with something of great value. Without all that paranormal junk we can go places.
Most Christadelphians will be aghast at me talking this way; but as science continues to suck the life out of religion, there is ultimately no alternative to what I am suggesting. Unless Christadelphianism follows the path that I am outlining, it is going to become irrelevant and die.
4. Your comment:
".....your vision for this supportive ex-CD community seems rather to depend on you as the Messiah figure, lapping up the adulation of all the poor deluded CDs as they come to realise the true light of the Bedson Way."
- is very wide of the mark. I and others work on the "Front Line" advocating reform in the Christadelphian community. But when people leave and become Ex-Christadelphians, they move over to the large Julia Walman Ex-Christadelphians Facebook group for further support.  I am not even a member of that group. I can't read their forum because it is a closed group. I'm not a member because I'm not greatly interested in what happens to people after they leave. They can come to me for help if they want; but that is not my main interest in life. My purpose is to reform Christadelphianism along Atheist lines. I am discussing and debating with the hardcore Christadelphians; not leading those who have left. Julia Walman looks after that side of things. I like Julia and she is my friend; but in reality I don't have much contact with her other than to occasionally email Atheist jokes.
Ex-Christadelphians tend to be a feisty bunch of people. They often throw as much mud in my direction as they do towards the Christadelphians. That's another reason why I don't belong to their group.
In reality there is no cohesive Ex-Christadelphian community. It's a growing, rag-tag army of people who have discovered that Christadelphians don't hold the truth. That's all it is.
I quite like it that way. It's fun. But I mostly keep out of their way.  I spend my time with Christadelphians, teaching them the Truth. I don't want to waste my time with the Ex-Christadelphians who already know the Truth. That is a waste of my time.
5. I am aware of what is happening by way of reform in UK Christadelphianism; of course I support it. But I am a very long way ahead of the pack when it comes to Christadelphian reform. I am looking many decades ahead and outlining where I think that we need to be heading. In effect, I am saying to the Christadelphians "This is where we all need to be ....... a hundred years from now." It's a good thing for someone to do that. It means that we can make a start today to move this community along the first steps in that direction.
6. You are quite right. Serious Christadelphian reform will lead to Atheism. There is nowhere else for it to go. It is the only conclusion because all of the paranormal stuff is bunk. Ultimately we have no choice in the matter. They may go kicking and screaming, but a hundred years from now, all Christadelphians will be Atheists.

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