10 reasons why Christadelphians cannot know The Truth - (1) Indoctrination

Who are you following?
By John Bedson

Most Christadelphians cannot be objective in their search for truth because they belong to a religion in which almost every member was born and bred into the religion. Christadelphian offspring almost invariably follow the family religion. Likewise Catholics beget Catholic children, Jews beget Jews, Muslims beget Muslims, Hindus beget Hindus and every other faith based religion gives rise to children of their own faith who only rarely change their childhood beliefs.

In their late teens to early twenties these young people of all faiths often claim to have re-evaluated their religious beliefs and surprise surprise they almost invariably conclude that their family religion is correct and that all other faiths are false!

From its inception Christadelphianism has been a reactionary faith believing that Christendom is astray from Biblical teaching. This has produced a degree of paranoia amongst its adherents which they in turn have instilled into their children. There is therefore something more extreme about the religion than most other Christian denominations that can often show a degree of ecumenicalism. Christadelphian children are manipulated by their parents, relatives and other Christadelphians into acceptance of this faith in a manner that verges on cult-like behaviour.
  • They are persuaded by their parents and by indoctrination from Christadelphian talks that secular society is evil, humans are worthless sinners, and that other religious beliefs are false.
  • They are persuaded that normal, reasonable, rational human reasoning is faulty - "the thinking of sinful flesh." 
  • They are persuaded that human society and other religions are not a suitable emotional support system.
  • They are persuaded that Christadelphianism is the only true religion.
  • They are persuaded that the Christadelphian way of thinking and interpreting the Bible is superior to the "World" outside the rligion.
  • They are isolated by every means possible from learning about contradictory ways of thinking such as other theologies, Skepticism, Atheism and Agnosticism etc.
  • If possible they are made to attend Christadelphian day schools such as Heritage Colleges, or some are even home schooled in an effort to isolate them further and to stifle their natural instincts of free thought, doubt and independent thinking which could lead them to challenge Christadelphian belief.
  • The urgency of speedily accepting the family faith is impressed upon Christadelphian youngsters by scaring them with talk of the imminent return of Christ to judge non-Christadelphians and Ex-Christadelphians like us.
  • The rewards of accepting the family religion are emphasised. These include family acceptance, a Christadelphian social support network, forgiveness of supposed "sins", eternal life and everlasting happiness.
  • The unpleasant consequences of rejecting or leaving the family religion are explained to them. This usually entails the loss of friendships, shunning by relatives and a harsh and permanent reaction and or rejection by their parents and siblings. We Ex-Christadelphians know to our cost the bitter emotional price that we were made to pay by our Christadelphian loved ones when we left the religion.
  • Christadelphians then establish a life-long system of re-enforcing their religious beliefs in the minds of young people. Regular attendance at meetings is enforced by the threat of excommunication. Christadelphian dogma and their peculiar way of looking at society and life is repeated week after week, year after year at meetings, in books, magazines and online forums where their mantra is repetitively instilled.
  • The result is a religious community that is not able to think rationally about their beliefs. Change is resisted and reform opposed. Their doctrines, dogma, attitudes and beliefs acquire a rigidity that is the antithesis of the example of their founder Dr John Thomas.
  • As human understanding, science and society progress and enlightenment spreads, Christadelphian beliefs become increasingly separated from reality and irrelevant to normal people. The result is increasingly paranoid thinking by Christadelphians. Many of them have come to see the rapid advance in science and human understanding as a conspiracy to reject the Bible and to engage in lascivious behaviour.
This well known phenomena of childhood religious and cultural conditioning establishes a vice-like grip on the human mind that is almost impossible to break. The idea that a young person can objectively re-evaluate his family faith is an illusion. We Ex-Christadelphians can witness from our own personal experience that it is incredibly difficult to break away from our family faith. It invokes a huge amount of emotional pain and distress. It required us to think the unthinkable and accept that our family religion was wrong.

When a Christadelphian young person or adult attempts to re-evaluate their faith the human mind's various cognitive bias's operate to re-enforce the individual's pre-existing beliefs. Evidence that challenges their faith is either dismissed, doubted or given a low value. Evidence that supports their faith is prioritised and given a high value.     

Human cognitive bias is so strong that even the most feeble evidence in support of a pre-existing belief is elevated into the delusion that it lends support to one's faith. For example Christadelphians often quote natural disasters or political events in the Middle East as being portents of the imminent return of Christ. They have been engaging in this sort of behaviour for almost two hundred years and other Christians have been doing it for two thousand years. Others quote trivialities like the instruction in the book of Leviticus to wash hands as some sort of confirmation that the Bible contains wisdom that was not known before it was written. This sort of reasoning is defined by psychologists as Apophenia.

There are approximately ten thousand different faith based religions in the World and each one imprints their religion into the minds of their children. Those subjected to this conditioning find it almost impossible to think rationally about their faith. The only way that Christadelphians can know the truth about religion is if by pure coincidence they happen to have been born into the correct religion. They have to be holding a winning ticket in the lottery of religion and that ticket was given to them through descent, not by faith. This is an absurd method by which God would select his chosen and cruel to the billions of unfortunate children who have the wrong religious brand of parents. A loving God would not be so heartless and capricious. Therefore it cannot be true. It must be a logical impossibility.

For more on this topic click here.

11 comments:

  1. As a happy Christadelphian 50 something that has been through University and enjoyed God's blessings through bringing 3 children up, who were given total freedom to accept God's way or regect it,as was I, I do not recognize your description of my community in one little bit.

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    1. In my opinion you do not realise what you have done to your children. You were so brainwashed by your parents and by the Christadelphians as a child that you don't recognise that you inculcated and conditioned your children into the religion.

      Ephesians 6:1-4 reads as follows:

      "1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right........ 4. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

      Deuteronomy 6:6-7 reads as follows:

      "6. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

      Are you trying to tell us that you disobeyed scripture and the command of the apostle Paul by you not preaching to them and bringing them up in the religion?

      If you condition children from the womb into ANY religion, ninety nine times out of a hundred they will continue in that religion because that becomes their adopted culture and their family religion. Faith has nothing to do with it. You have set their default belief system to Christadelphianism and that brainwashing almost always stays with them for life.

      But how can we show you that you are wrong? By definition, brainwashed people do not realise what has happened to them until the spell has been broken and they break free.

      We Ex-Christadelphians, thousands of us, we HAVE broken free and we know that we were brainwashed as children and we see it in people like you.

      Faith based religion is a cruel blight on humanity and on civilisation. It has impeded human development and the evolution of enlightened morality since the days of Neanderthal man and perhaps earlier.

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    2. Anon,
      I'm a happy ex-christadelphian 50 something who has been through university and is enjoying bringing up two children. I give them total freedom to read the Bible or ignore it. I give thanks at mealtimes, and quote the bible as and when it comes to mind. Even though I do not believe it to be the inspired word of God. My former family compel my children to attend "the meeting" and listen to Bible School indoctrinated teachers telling them that the grand canyon came about through "the flood", and that Jesus will be back any day soon , and that "The Brethren" will be the rulers of the post-Christadelphian-bloodbath world.
      Do you see the subtle difference in approach?

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    3. Anon,
      Your "brother in Christ", Paul Billington, describes Hillary Clinton as "a drug fueled woman seek[ing] to gain the reins of power". Do you think God has confirmed this to him or is he just meddling in politics. Yes, we know, silence...

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    4. Well, I don't know about God, but I think it very unlikely that that comment came from the Bible. I'm guessing he won't be voting for Hillary Clinton?

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  2. // Faith based religion is a cruel blight on humanity and on civilisation. It has impeded human development and the evolution of enlightened morality since the days of Neanderthal man and perhaps earlier. //

    That's one narrative. Another narrative is that faith-based religion helped provide the glue that allowed human society to develop and rule the world. Naturally, neither narrative supports continuing to be Christadelphian right now.

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    1. JJ,
      Yes, I sort of agree with you, however, Christadelphianism has none of the adhesive properties that could be ascribed to the world's great faith based religions. It has no social value at all. Quite the opposite in fact, it is very insular and highly judgmental, seeking to divide rather than unite.

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  3. Mr Bedson seems to spend a lot of effort attacking a minor branch of Christianity. Low risk. Maybe he feels the need to attack others beliefs to feel more confident about his humanistic 'enlightened' views. I guess christadelphians like most religious groups are a 'mixed bag' with a range of opinions viewpoints and ways adherents they live their faith. Its a safe option to attack Fundamentalist Christians. Most profess non-violence in this life. If you were a little braver maybe you would verbally attack Fundementalist Islam and the problems it causes in the world...but they tend to fight back against those who publish derogatory cartoons or articles about what they believe in.

    Ex Christadelphian? Really? You still seem to be spending a lot of time trying to correct what you see as errors in the thinking of others, and have something of an obsession about the number you have converted to your 'ex-christadlphian' way of thinking.

    Christadelphianism like many religions can be a force for good or bad in a person. It depends on the individual.

    I hope one day you can move forwards with your life without the need to impose your truth on others.

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    1. Anonymous: What exactly are you saying? - That it is somehow wrong to discuss if the Bible is inspired or not? That it is a waste of time to discuss if God exists? That it is mean spirited to discuss with members of our old religion and explain to them where we think that they are in error?

      - I'm not all that interested in discussing Islam because that was not my family religion. But Christadelphians pay far more attention when Ex-Christadelphians explain our thinking because we have a specialised knowledge of the religion having once been members.

      And yes we are pleased that there is a strong Ex-Christadelphian community with our numbers growing all the time. We find it to be lots of fun deconverting Christadelphians; it adds to our wonderful Ex-Christadelphian community and gives us an endless source of amusement. We see it as a form of sport and we are playing to win.

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    2. Anon,
      How about you show some bravery and tell us your name or at least one you made up?
      I think you may be a Christadelphian, but pretending not to be. Christadelphians DO NOT consider themselves to be a "minor branch" of Christianity, they believe themselves to be the ONLY real Christians. Many hours of material has, and continues to be published by Christadelphians to this effect. Many even consider that the authorised version (AV)of the bible is the only correct version, others being in error.
      Christadelphians are not a "mixed bag" as you suggest. All are bound by the Birmingham Amended Statement Of Faith, those expressing opinions outside of those limits are removed from fellowship.
      Look at the website of the Rugby Christadelphians or the (now defunct?) suffolk Christadelphians and you will see numerous savage attacks on those that Christadelphians consider "apostates". As a former Anglican with catholic friends, those sites are offensive, and ill informed, beyond words.
      With regards to time spent, neither John, nor the other contributors spend a lot of time here, we all wasted too much time as Christadelphians to make that mistake. It's a hobby. It's fun....and the pityful numbers joining the christadelphians make it all worth while.

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    3. Joe, it's way more complex than that. Yes, all Central Christadelphians are supposed to agree with the BASF, but there are a number of different interpretations of it. Rugby Christadelphians appear to come from the strongly conservative side. And yes, they may set hard and fast rules, but that doesn't mean that all ecclesias follow them. I'm pretty sure my former ecclesia doesn't. The attacks on apostates also tend to be limited to that highly conservative group. Naturally, other groups are required to think that other churches are wrong, but they do not express it in the same way (often just don't talk about it full stop).

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