The Christadelphian magazine are celebrating fifty years at their office buildings in Shaftmoor Lane Birmingham and it seemed appropriate for us, their "loyal opposition", to also review the past half century of CMPA activity.

The office of The Christadelphian moved from Editor CC Walker's home in Sparkbrook Birmingham to its new location in Hall Green in July 1963. It was a move engineered by Editor John Carter, but he died the year before the move and was succeeded by LG Sargent.

Brother Carter was the last of a line of great editors stretching back to the first editor, Robert Roberts. I used to know John Carter when I was a young boy of approximately ten years of age. I heard him speak and he was mesmerising. He visited our home a couple of times and I loved his company.

Needless to say John Carter was a mentor to me; as were a few other wonderful brethren now long passed away.

So back in 1963, even as an eleven year old boy, I quickly realised that the new editor, LG Sargent, was a Christadelphian lightweight compared to my dear friend and lost mentor John Carter. In my opinion Sargent was a disaster for our religion and succeeding editors have been no better.   

The Christadelphian magazine Office
in Shaftmoor Lane Birmingham UK

I watched in horror as the Christadelphian magazine spiralled downwards into confused rambling and empty platitudes, intellectual poverty, sanctimonious, hypocritical platitudes and general irrelevance to our community and to society at large. The growing problems in the religion were ignored or avoided by editors who had no idea how to take the religion where it needed to go.

The Testimony magazine soon took over as the leading publication of serious Christadelphian Biblical study and discussion, followed by the Logos magazine catering for those who were deeply conservative.

The lack of leadership shown by Christadelphian magazine editors since that time has damaged our religion and community almost beyond repair. Christadelphianism has become a community of white haired old duffers and younger people who are aged before their time by a religious philosophy that appears to speed the aging process at an alarming rate.

Our young people are conditioned by the elderly leadership to think and behave like pensioners. Consequently the religion has become trapped in the past with no prospect of moving forwards or relating to society in in any meaningful way.

By refusing to engage with their young people sensibly, the Christadelphian Office and CMPA have driven the religion into the ground and sent talented younger people (as I was thirty years ago) out of fellowship, or even discouraged them from being baptised in the first place.

Look at the "Faith Alive" magazine produced by the CMPA. It's looks and reads like a seniors' magazine.

This downhill slide culminated in the ten year editorship of disgraced Michael Ashton, who was eventually fired and disfellowshiped for alleged fraud at the Christadelphian Office and disorderly conduct.

You would think that things could not get any worse at the CMPA. But they compounded their error by not forgiving Mike; as is required by the Commandments of Christ:

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)

Instead Mike was fired, disgraced, disfellowshiped and expected to sell his home to repay his debts in his and Jane's old age. Needless to say all of the trustees of the CMPA clung on to their jobs; including their Christadelphian auditors; while they hung the "Unclean" bell around Mike's neck and kicked him out into the wilderness like a modern day scapegoat. (Leviticus 16: 20 - 22)

- In my opinion, you can't go any lower than that. To openly defy the teachings of Christ when dealing with the brother who held the top job in our community. In my opinion that was wrong. May the trustees of the CMPA hang their heads in shame at what they did to Mike and Jane.

I don't greatly care any more because I am an Atheist. But I am entitled to shout "HYPOCRISY" at the CMPA; who will doubtless stop their ears and hide their eyes from my condemnation of their actions.

You either believe that religion or you don't. But don't preach that you believe it and then ignore Christ and demand a refund on your money from the brother who allegedly took it.

In accordance with the basic tenants of the Christadelphian religion and the commandments of Christ, Mike's error should have been hushed up. He should have been quietly retired with an adequate pension. He should have been told to KEEP the money that he allegedly took and the CMPA should have appointed a new editor in his place.

He should NOT have been disfellowshiped. Disfellowshiping Michael Ashton was the equivalent of chucking rocks at the body of the "woman taken in adultery". You don't do that sort of thing if you profess to follow Christ.

But those pious, sanctimonious, judgemental Christadelphians had to have a witch-hunt and wave their dirty washing in the air for the entire world to see the stains.

Michael Ashton was replaced by the CMPA by Andrew Bramhill, who has turned out to be yet another editor with nothing to offer other than to grind out the same old music from Shaftmoor Lane. He wrote to me in June of last year:

"I see my role as helping brothers and sisters to hold fast to the teachings of scripture whilst they await the return of the Lord Jesus."

- You see? No vision for the future of our community. Nothing to offer except the same old diet. Consolidation; not the innovation and progressive reform that I call for.

I asked Andrew more recently what he was going to do about the white hot Evolution debate in our community; I got this nonsense in reply:

"We are currently in the early stages of considering how to deal with the subject in the magazine, but are a long way from reaching any decisions."

- You see that? No firm leadership. Lost in indecision because he does not have the talent for the job. He should have editorial independence; but he hides behind the "We" like he had a committee of geriatric monkeys on his back - which he does.

And what of the Christadelphian magazine today? It is excruciatingly painful and embarrassing to read. While their young people are joining the Christadelphian Atheists in droves and now some of their leading speakers are leaving for our ranks, the Christadelphian magazine has been debating the arrangement of the cloth over the emblems at the memorial meeting.

Look at this random selection of air-head material from this month's (July 2013) Christadelphian magazine:


I could reproduce pages of their octogenarian rambling like this; but I won't bore you any further.

Hardly anyone below the age of retirement even reads this any more. That's why the CMPA are so heavily dependent on ecclesial contributions to keep them afloat. But is it any wonder when they are producing material like this?

I'm an Atheist, but I actually enjoy some serious, informed Bible study. I read Berea-Portal and Rob Hyndman's blog and all sorts of material with enjoyment. But you are not going to get that from Andrew Bramhill or Roger Long.

What Roger thinks he is doing with his "Signs of the Times" I do not know. After one hundred and sixty five years of failed Christadelphian predictions based on Bible prophecy we get this from him in the July 2013 Christadelphian:

WHAT is he talking about? He's so locked in the past that he even calls Istanbul "Constantinople"!!!

This is not cutting edge thinking about our religion. He's been shut up in 404 Shaftmoor Lane for so long that his mind is divorced from the realism of society outside and the world at large. Sane people don't think and talk like that any more. He's one hundred years or more behind the times himself; yet he edits "The Signs of the Times" at the Christadelphian magazine!

Christadelphian Theists: sort yourselves out. If you won't see common sense and join us Christadelphian Atheists, then at least reform your religion and put some effort and thought into what you are doing. Fire the CMPA and put them out to graze in retirement. Find some real talent within your ranks and promote them to positions of responsibility and leadership. Stop covering yourselves in shame by making yourselves and your religion look ridiculous.

If you don't have the common sense to listen to me; then at least have the brains to sort out the mess in your own religion. You are driving talent out of your doors and chasing away your most intelligent young people to Atheism with your lack of vision and your refusal to engage with what is happening outside in the real world.
"Shut up Bedson!"
"We LIKE our Christadelphian magazine just the way it is."


  1. it saddens me to read this and other articles i have read about my brothers and sisters in the truth. I am now 71 years of age and was baptised in 1964 at nottingham forest road east.it was to me the greatest day of my life,and still is, i was a couple of years later dis fellowshipped through,the sow that was washed returned to its wallowing in the mire. but i have continued to keep my faith all these years and wait for the return of our Lord Jesus.I think that Christadelphians became to involved in the signs and times of the return of our lord instead of getting ourselves ready,no man knoweth the hour not even our lord.. it is part of our journey that we forgive each other our sins 70 x7 and it is therefore incumbent on all of us so to do.judge not lest ye be judged,this brother ashton has eered in the error of his ways is not God the judge of all the earth, what has happened to this brother is awful no home what next?He is still a brother just the same as i am it is a relection of the present world. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGGOTTEN SON THAT WHO SO BELIEVETH SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.BE GOOD TO ONE ANOTHER.RIGHT THIS WRONG.FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE???? THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US, Brother in our lord jesus...JOHN BARRY PICKBOURNE

    1. Why did they disfellowship you? Did you sneeze during a prayer or not sing a hymn loud enough? - Or was it something less serious like believing in Evolution?

    2. Br Pickbourne,
      As I have previously stated, Pigs roll in mud for their own good health, it is neither dirty or unnatural. Please see:


      I find myself agreeing with you, Christadelphians have become overly interested in the signs of the times, seeing things that are not there,and their own vey strange interpretation of prophecy has become for them a now unquestioned aspect of "The Truth". For example,the location of Tarshish, as mentioned by Paul here, is not even considered worth questioning- the traditional view of The Cristadelphians is accepted as truth, as of May 2016.


      What happened to Br Ashton is not really so awful. He isn't homeless and never would have been, UK social services would make sure of that, regardless of his actions. Five years on he is back in fellowship, meets weekly with his brethren at Romsley Scout Hut. It was never really his fault anyway, it was just his state of mind at the time. Besides, with an income of £355,000 and an expenditure of £444,000 this last year the CMPA have other things to worry about!

      I like your quote from John 3:16, I used to believe that too. I even went on missions and preached it. I thought that ANYONE who believed in God could find salvation. It was only after I had joined the Christadelphians I realised that not only is salvation dependent on works, but also that John 3:16 should actually read:

      "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him in the way that Dr John Thomas says he should ,should not perish, but have everlasting life."
      Would you agree?

  2. You have no idea if you have the truth.... many Bible historians etc tell a much different story about Tarsish etc...i once was convinced it was Britain... im not so sure now... this truth thing has been drummed into you as a child.. i know for one its nearly impossible to see it any other way... but you dont really know if you have the truth,, anyone who claims that with religion is not telling the truth, no one knows..

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarshish

    1. In other words, no one has a clue where Tarshish was, least of all John Thomas and the Christadelphians. The only place we can be certain was NOT Tarshish is Britain, because apes, peacocks and ivory never came from there (Kings 10:22).

    2. Unless "Tarshish" means something generic like "maritime trading power" (which is "obviously" Britain). Or there were multiple Tarshishes (the one you refer to was accessed from the Red Sea, while the one in Jonah was accessed from the Mediterranean Sea.

      (personally, I don't think it's likely that Tarshish is Britain, or even relevant nowadays).

  4. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14254-tarshish

    whatever ... this brexit is going to be a long drawn out thing...the trigger hasnt really been pulled as such yet anyway..

  5. It's all about Christ return, "Signs are here" again, Britain is exiting Europe\the Beast, all running with their bibles under their arm's preaching to the followers of this foolish\ cultish sect, "you can see it unfolding in front of our eyes" another foolish attempt to prove that Jesus is just around the corner, bunch of fools...

    1. I'm a bit confused about all of the hype and excitement from Christadelphians over brexit.

      If I understand correctly, even if you concede all of the stuff Christadelphians believe in, the Bible never actually predicted Britain would leave the EU. And the reason for that is quite simply that the Bible never predicted that Britain would be in the EU to start with! Apparently two wrongs really do make a right...

      To claim that this is in any way a fulfilment of prophecy is just blatant dishonesty. It's more like removing a major thorn from the side of an existing prophecy. The prophecy itself is no more or less true than it was before!

      While I'm here... Presumably we're talking about Revelation 17 in all of this.

      Does anyone know why the EU is considered to be "the beast" (i.e. somehow related to Rome)? Would any other combination of confederate nations in Europe fit just as well? What is the criteria? Or rather, how different would the EU need to be before it no longer fits the criteria?

      FWIW it seems the EU may have been patterned on the idea of the USA rather than the Roman empire (and indeed I haven't been able to find any reference to the Roman empire on EU websites. Any such connection seems confined to Christian websites only - which would make the connection rather circular!).

      And why does everyone assume that Revelation 17 is speaking of a "successor" of Rome rather than Rome itself? It specifically says 5 kings have fallen, most likely referring to Roman emperors, and suggesting that the later kings were also going to be Roman emperors.

      How do we know the author was not referring to Rome or the Roman empire of his own day? The language used in verse 8 ("is about to") suggests events in the near term (from the author's perspective). Why would an author living in the late first century be interested in events 1900 years later? Why would they think their readers were interested in it?

      It doesn't make any sense, and yet if you read it as being an apocalyptic prediction about the author's near future, it reads just fine. In fact the author even tells us that in Revelation 1:1! The fact that it didn't happen cannot be used as evidence that the author intended something else. That would be a classic case of begging the question!

    2. Good questions, Steve. My latest favourite answer: preconceptions. If you assume that the prophecy will be fulfilled today, and that it means Europe without Britain, then England leaving the EU would be an obvious consequence. Personally, I'm not sure why you would make those assumptions, but if you do it will be a clear sign that the Bible is speaking to you.

      As for the criteria used for determining, it seems to be:
      1. Should roughly match the boundaries of the Western empire (at some point in its decline). The Holy Roman Empire boundaries may be OK - I'm not sure.

      2. Should be made up of 10 nations, that have in effect given up their power and become one nation.

      3. (Probably) Religion being a major player in the union ("the harlot"). Fortunately, any pronouncement from the Pope giving his opinion seems to be able to fulfil this.

      (2) seems only to be held by the more daring who want the EU to split up further and the core to become more tightly integrated. Another acceptable option to remove the number problem seems to be to say that 10 means many.

      As to why you would care about events 1,900 years later, clearly to give believers in all ages something to cling on to, and to show the full sweep of history to the return of Christ to show readers he is in charge.
      Of course, it didn't help those in the few hundred years after Christ who weren't sure whether it was canonical or not, but let's forget that debate for the moment.

    3. My latest favourite answer: preconceptions. If you assume that the prophecy will be fulfilled today

      ... you would be begging the question. Well, not you personally, but the person making that assumption.

      Again, if someone's preconception starts with the Bible being inspired, why would they then need to turn to prophecy to prove that the Bible was inspired? That's so obviously circular.

      Yes, preconceptions matter, but we don't get to just pluck them out of thin air. They need to be justified, just like everything else we believe. If your foundations are wrong, everything you build on it will be wrong too, so you should look pretty critically at your foundations. There's a biblical principle for you - ironically almost never applied that way.

      As for the criteria used for determining

      Perhaps an added criteria might be that these events should've happened not long after the book was written?

      Rev 17:8 says "The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss". This is apparently an angel telling John that these events are "about to" happen. That doesn't sound like 1900 years to me.

      Btw, that verse suggests that the beast was not in existence/power at the time of writing. That would indicate it is not actually referring to the Roman empire...so I'm a bit lost on that one. Anyone have an answer for that bit?

      1. Should roughly match the boundaries of the Western empire (at some point in its decline). The Holy Roman Empire boundaries may be OK - I'm not sure.

      The Holy Roman Empire actually seems like a much better fit for the prophecy than the EU (though still failing for many of the reasons we both mentioned)...but it's gone now.

      As to why you would care about events 1,900 years later, clearly to give believers in all ages something to cling on to

      You mean something false to cling to...?

      Given that a god would've known that people of every age would (incorrectly) assume that the "time of the end" or "latter days" applied to them, wouldn't it be a little bit deceptive not to clear that up? Do the ends justify the means? Does God tell white lies to manipulate people into doing what he wants them to?

    4. One more thing - is there any evidence that Revelation was not written solely for his contemporary audience?

      All I can see is abundant evidence that is was intended exactly for his contemporary audience. When a book literally names the churches it was written to, and specifically says it is about events that are "very soon", it is surely dishonest to pretend the author meant something else.

      Rev 1:1-3 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen very soon. He made it clear by sending his angel to his servant John, who then testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near!

      1:4 From John, to the seven churches that are in the province of Asia

      1:10-11 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches

      And likewise at the end of the book:

      22:6 Then the angel said to me, “These words are reliable and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”

      22:10 Then he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this book, because the time is near.

      This last one seems really odd to me if we are to assume Revelation is predicting events 1900 years in advance. People like to point out connections between Revelation and Daniel, so here's one I'm pointing out.

      In Daniel 12:4 Daniel is told to seal up the book until the time of the end.
      In Rev 22:10 John is told not to seal the book, because the time is near.

      Yet Christadelphians believe Daniel was written about ~600 years earlier than Revelation. So apparently ~2500 years is too long, so seal up the book...but ~1900 years means the time is "near" ?!

      Isn't it far more likely that the author of Revelation thought that Daniel's "time of the end" was just around the corner?

    5. The Catholic Bible(Douay Reheims Bible) comments on Revelation 17:11 That the Beast appears to to be the Roman Empire also spoken of in Revelation 13..

      One could argue that Revelation 17:10 still has one more revival to come... it depends on which commentator you listen too... The Roman Empire fell in 476AD..how many attempts have there been to revive it.. some say 6.. others disagree. Time will be the ultimate referee..i dont claim to have a clue..

    6. Steve, I'm afraid I can't help you on traditional Revelation interpretation, since I never knew much about it (only bits and pieces from talks and conversations). But I can see you are making clear errors. How could you possibly set up a criteria like "should have happened not long after the book was written"? You should be able to look around you and see that hasn't happened, so that can't be the right interpretation. ;) And as for expecting the Old Testament and the New Testament to be interpreted in the same way - haven't you ever heard that God worked differently in those different ages? Interpreting Revelation through prophecies like Daniel requires discernment, but fortunately I've got a simple rule for you to follow: if it broadly supports the traditional interpretation of Revelation, it's correct.

      Seriously, though, I would agree: Revelation does seem to follow the New Testament paradigm of "the return of Christ is near". Which I'm sure means there's no need to find a new way to explain it away...

  6. Steve/Jack,
    You are both over complicating the matter. Christadelphians believe this stuff because it is what John Thomas taught in Elpis Israel etc. Not teaching it would go against the founder, and it must thus be "proved". Please listen to Jonathan Bowen's talks from this years Swanwick Bible School. The EU/Christadelphian thing has been bubbling for as long as I can remember, In last months "Christadelphian" they even had to publish an article reminding The Brethren NOT to vote, and a Brexit is "the result we (the christadelphians) want".

    1. Joe, you are correct. Sometimes it derives from "John Thomas must have been right". But that's really only shifting the problem. There were reasons why he made the predictions/interpretations he did. Not necessarily good ones or ones that still apply today, but it wasn't completely made up...

  7. One more thing I remembered: there's been a lot of talk here about whether Scotland will leave UK to try and rejoin EU. I'm not sure it will get beyond talk, but if it does it could be interesting from a prophecy interpretation point of view. I can't remember what Andy Walton said about the last Scottish referendum, but given fighting a war of independence couldn't get the US out of being a young lion I imagine Scotland would stay one too. But having it part of the beast wouldn't fit.

    So do we confidently say with Bible in hand that Scotland will not leave Britain and join the EU? Or do we say that (if possible) the Bible says even less about Scotland than it does about Brexit?

    1. Jeremiah McDoodleJuly 5, 2016 at 2:45 PM

      Bible prophecy about Scotland in the Last Days is mostly covered in Revelation chapter 35 verses 8 - 29 where it describes the rise of the tartan monster from Loch Ness that has ten horns, two heads (SNP and the Labour Party) sixteen legs, five deep fried Mars bars, twenty three offshore oil rigs and a Trump golf course.

      The Jehovah's Witnesses claim that this refers to Albania and not Scotland, but I would say that the Christadelphian interpretation that this predicts Scotland leaving the United Kingdom is correct.

      It all goes to prove how wrong you Ex-Christadelphians are. Everything is falling into place just as predicted in the Bible. When Christ soon returns we Saints will be able make your stupid website disappear and herd all the Ex-Christadelphians into gas chambers, as predicted by Robert Roberts in Christendom Astray chapter fifteen. Bedson and Joe will be at the front of the line.

    2. Revelation 35:28 states: "A drunken old whore will ride the tartan beast for seventy weeks before falling off into the bottomless pit ." (RSV)

      Does this mean Nicola Sturgeon, Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton or Theresa May?

    3. Jeremiah, thanks for your input. I had forgotten that passage. However, I hope you are aware that other ancient authorities say 25 rather than 23. It is also not clear whether the disputed term ABTOR ZAMNA should be translated "oil rigs" or "coal mines". Interestingly enough, the same Strong's Numbers were also used for the bottomless pit of Revelation. I hope you have taken these points into account when interpreting it? We wouldn't want a shallow interpretation.

    4. Jeremiah McDoodleJuly 7, 2016 at 8:36 AM

      Oh you are a Christadelphian Coalite are you? We Riggers split from the Colaites in 1894 after the big debate in Aberdeen between brother Angus McDuff who was a Rigger and that idiot brother Willie Shorten who made out that 'Abtor Zamna' meant coal mines. We don't share the emblems with you Coalites, we don't invite you to our fraternal gatherings, we have a different hymnbook from you with all references to coal mines removed and if you come within fifty yards of a Rigger ecclesial hall we slit your throats.

      You are worse than the Ex-Christadelphians. At least Bedson had the sense to know that the drunken old harlot of Revelation 35 owned oil rigs.

      When I was a wee bairn ninety six years ago my Mother warned me about you Coalites. She explained that your heresy was a sign that Christ was going to return within the following weeks and she was right, (or almost right).

    5. Good to know that you are passionate, but surely your passion should be directed towards love and good works?

      As for the split, I don't recall expressing an opinion, but since we don't (yet) have a split here I haven't needed to. I was just reminding you of the inherent dangers of making a statement of fact based on an interpretation of one possible translation of a disputed verse.

    6. Jeremiah McDoodleJuly 7, 2016 at 10:05 AM

      "Love and good works"? - I'll give you "love and good works" you hapless Central Fellowship, Coalite bed-wetter.

      Jude exhorts us to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" but you prefer to return to your own vomit rather than accept the simple truth contained in Revelation chapter 35.

      I expect that you also believe in the "Clean Flesh" heresy. Most coal miners think that they have clean flesh, but to my way of thinking that is impossible.

    7. I consider myself agnostic on the Coalite question. So just bear in mind the well-known (secular) quote:
      "One who puts words in the mouths of others is no better than one who makes up classical quotations" (Marcus Aurelius).

    8. I was brought up a Christadelphian Rigger. All of my relatives are Riggers. Jonathan Burke was a Coalite, which is probably why the Logos tricked Taipei ecclesia into disfellowshipping him.

      Brother Percy Mansfield was an outspoken Rigger and most of his mistresses were Riggers. One of them was an old drunken whore which is why he wrote a book about Revelation chapter 35.

    9. Ken Gilmore is a Coalite Agnostic. I was once out drinking with him at an Irish Bar in Brisbane and we'd both had a few too many. "Ken my old mate" I said to him, "Whad'yathink of Revelashun 35?"

      With alcohol crazed eyes he replied: "Revolution 35 is GREAT. - It makes good cat litter!"

      He then proceeded to list all of the other books and passages in his Bible that he had shredded for his cat box or fed to his goat, but after twenty minutes the bouncer threw him out onto the street because he was shouting so loudly. I stepped over him, caught a taxi and left.

  8. I'm just going to leave this here...

    Revelation 17 LCV

    You can all thank me later ;)

    1. I refer you to 2 Peter 3:3.
      How does it feel to be fulfilling prophecy? ;)

    2. I can see why you would think the LCV would be "scoffing", but I prefer to see it as making the "good book" into a great book.

      In fact for 2 Peter 3:3 the LCV says "Haters gonna hate", and I guess that's a fairly apt response to your suggestion that it is the work of scoffers and evil-seekers :P


To become a blog member please email us: Ex-Christadelphians@Hotmail.com

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.