A new start for African Christadelphians

Editor's Note: I have removed this article because the content is no longer relevant. But I have left the discussion because much of it is of interest and readers might want to continue the discussion.

27 comments:

  1. Name withheld by Ex-CD editorJanuary 14, 2017 at 6:19 PM

    To Mbalanga Francis. i have seen all the information on ex- christadelphian.com. its quite interesting as such i didnt know. do not worry we are in. will email you direct.

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  2. I'm not usually one for the pioneers, but RR's True Principles and Uncertain Details is interesting (http://www.christadelphianbooks.org/agora/art_less/t24.html). Not that I agree with most of it, but that many have discussed where boundaries of fellowship should fall. In reality, while it sounds nice to accept everyone, I suspect most people feel the need to put boundaries somewhere. We just differ on where those boundaries are put (and yes, they can be fairly strict boundaries in traditional Christadelphia).

    From the above document:
    "This "doctrine of fellowship" (as it is called) is also carried to an excess never contemplated in apostolic prescription. I was called upon by a man in dead earnest who contended there were no such things as "first principles," and that every detail of Truth, down even to the date of the expiry of the Papal 1260, should be insisted on as a condition of fellowship.

    Such outrageous extravagance would not be contended for by every extremist; but in principle, they are guilty of it when they insist on uncertain details, as well as true general principles."

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  3. The situation with these two African brethren is still fluid. They are in the process of deconversion and you are watching it play out in all of its twists and turns and emotional agony.

    We Ex-CDs have all been through it and it hurts like hell. But it is a beautiful thing to watch people deconvert and not get stuck half way through the rebirth like the Berea-Portal team who have aborted their deconversion whilst still in labour! :)

    For example Emmanuel sent this to his rec. bro. last night:

    "Dear Mayende, I am sorry to inform you that I have read a book (Unbelievable) that has made me frank to declare myself a non believer. The book has challenged me just like would challenge you into starting to question your beliefs. Are you sure that you have enough evidence as to why you believe the bible? If my family wants to believe, they can continue with you but for I now declare myself a non believer. Regards. Emmanuel"

    - See what I mean? Deconversion in the raw. That's what this website was set up to achieve and our work continues to yield great results!

    We are going to deconvert the whole of African Christadelphianism and leave the CBM looking like a shorn sheep. :)

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  4. John,
    "Is Jim Cowie Lampstand, or Logos?", neither, just a bad tempered old crackpot, and the sooner he shuffles off the better. I've wasted a couple of hours listening to him over the last few days as Peter has referred to him, and yup, he's as nutty as a fruitcake for sure. Picking dates when he is sure he will have died? No commitment there eh?

    JJ,
    I have no idea what you are on about. In fact this Africa business makes not a lot of sense to me. In my simplistic world, The Africans have rumbled the CBM, and have said "Thanks, we don't want that, we will go our own way", and asked to tag along with us. I say let them, and if they wander off, LET THEM. They don't want to be told to do this, do that, do the other and read "Glad Tidings", they want to live their lives, just like I do.And not be told what to do by clowns in suits with briefcases full of shit.
    I'm guessing that Emmanuel has got an Ebook of "unbelievable", and if he has, then as the JW's found in the '90s, nothing kills the religion like the internet.
    In 2016, the CBM have lots to think about. Back home, in the UK "The Brethren" are obsessed with us leaving the EU, and strutting about claiming it is prophecy fulfilled. Thieving Mike Aston, who stole 300 time an African's wages EVERY YEAR FOR A DECADE wanders about Romsley trying to frighten people into listening to his silly friends talks because of that, but promises NOTHING for those who have lost their jobs because of Brexit.
    Mblanga and Emmanuel may not be aware that in the UK, in 2015, the Christadelphians only convinced 32 people from "outside" to join them. In 2016, it was even less. CBM don't want African s to know that Christadelphians are COMPLAINING because they will have to pay poor working people in the UK a proper living wage to look after them in their care homes, when they have done with riding about in luxury cars and taking twice yearly holiday cruises.They want Africans to do as they say! Make CBM look good eh? Making lots of new Christadelphians!

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    1. Joe, I responded to a comment by John on fellowship which looks like it has since been deleted. Personally, I don't care too much what exact steps happen in Africa: I relished the freedom to make my own decisions based on what I had learned without interference, and I want that freedom extended to others.

      However, I don't really understand how a fellowship stance that says "We accept everyone" works. What does it actually achieve? (over and beyond say "We all belong to the human race"). I think even when people are trying to avoid drawing boundaries, most people agree that you have to put a boundary somewhere otherwise your group has no coherence. Where people differ is on where that boundary should be drawn.

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    2. As for Unbelievable, it's an interesting book. As a personal memoir, it's not comprehensive, nor is it intended to be, but it did point out interesting things I was unaware of. I particularly enjoy the third section, because it is about reactions from others, not just simple right and wrong, fact or faith.

      I noticed recently that it's freely available online, which I don't think it was when I read it. And yes, Rob's probably going to have people on his case again saying he's trying to "convert" people, which is not his intent: just putting his experience out there.

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    3. I thought Rob's book, "Unbelievable", was fantastic. Not much of the material was new to me, but it was very well articulated. I was actually a bit surprised by how closely I agreed with it despite having never collaborated with Rob at all. It doesn't mean either of us are right of course, but I also don't think the agreement was coincidental.

      Probably my favourite part of the whole book was where he said that beliefs should be falsifiable. I think even if people just took that one point to heart, that alone would be enough to see the problems with faith (that it is inherently biased towards self-deception and indistinguishable from such) and let it go.

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    4. Christadelphianism is self-referential. You prove the truth of your hypothesis by having faith that the hypothesis is true. I once used that method of reasoning when I purchased some shares in Centro Corporation and it did not end well for me! :)

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    5. I agree, Steve. Having read a lot by him over the years, clarity is one of his greatest strengths. And another thing that clearly shines through is the importance to him of being honest to his beliefs.

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  5. Mbalanga put it in a way that we can all understand: Christadelphians take the food they have, and cook it badly. Stand back from that bad food for a while and taste some good stuff, and it is obvious! It's what Mancott said years ago! Step out of the bubble and eyes will be opened, that is all that has happened to these Africans. As they said, it will now spread like a brush fire.

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  6. I was directed to you by Emmanuel Gubika. I was a Catholic by faith but my faith went down overtime so though I think that there God am not an adent follower. I have known Gubika for long and do not accept the christadelphian teachings. But about science Iam curious to learn and discover. The issue of the name Christadelphian gives me trouble. why don't you call yourselves a nother name such as Congregation of Science so as to make us non christadelphians fit in? Where is your center of study in Uganda. I live in Busia town 35 kms from Emmanuel. Can I have my own study center here? I run an orphanage school here in Busia. What do say about it? Hear from you. sincerely. Wandera Anthony

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    1. I think it should be made plain that the Ex-Christadelphians are not an organisation. African Christadelphians should not be expecting to join an established organisation named Ex-Christadelphians. It doesn`t exist. Those of us Ex-Cd`s who contribute to this blog site are simply individuals who have, for one reason or another, left the Christadelphians. We are all different in our understanding about the bible and about God, ranging far and wide in opinions, as can be seen from a trawl through past posts. By all means let us encourage African and ALL Christadelphians to examine their beliefs in the light of the vast amount of material available, online and elsewhere. The idea of establishing some form of new fellowship as an organisation, in my opinion, is unwise. Let the "fellowship" be the friendly participation of comments and ideas which show up the Christadelphians to be misled in their understanding of what they call "The Truth".

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    2. Mancott: The Africans do understand that clearly. Their 'Universal Christadelphians' fellowship was their idea not mine. It was nothing to do with this website.

      In any case I think that the 'Universal Christadelphians' fellowship is a none starter. These brethren seem to have already abandoned this idea.

      The situation is extremely fluid. With twists and turns every day. For example I was told by the Africans an hour ago that "two ecclesias are ready to deconvert immediately." Quite what that means and what they are deconverting to I'm not at all sure.

      There seems to be a very deep resentment against the CBM by the African Christadelphians for a whole variety of reasons, with (in my opinion), corruption being a serious concern.

      In my opinion CBM funds are not being honestly spent in Africa and I think that Christadelphians back in the UK would be scandalised if they knew what the Africans are spending their money on.

      Food, drink, the renting of homes and even private school fees are being paid for out of CBM funds from what I have been informed.

      One recording brother gave a list of all the free stuff they get from the CBM and asked what I would give them if they converted. "Will you cater for us" were his words. "I can't leave" he said, because of all the goodies that the CBM were giving him.

      Or do the CBM not know what their money is being spent on? Is the corruption at a local level?

      But one way or another, in my opinion, the Christadelphians back in the UK are being scammed out of their money to pay for all sorts of luxuries other than preaching in Africa. In my opinion Africans are being bribed to join the CD religion and that accounts for the success of the CD work in Africa. The brethren who wrote this article call it a "scam" and note that the Catholic Church don't do that.

      I suspect that this may be bigger than the CMPA scandal, perhaps much bigger. But these are only my opinions based on what the Africans are telling me. Continued in the next comment.......

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    3. .........The well known African Ugandan Christadelphian who is often praised in the Bible Misionary (BM) magazine, Mayende Erisania, told me in an email that his house is paid for by the CBM and that the school fees for his kids are paid by the CBM! - I never read that in the BM magazine. Because of all the loot coming to him from CBM funds he told me "I can't leave!"

      That is why I suspect that these Africans may be being bribed by the CBM to stay in the religion.

      I also wonder if that is why the numbers of Christadelphians in Africa appear to be greatly inflated. Is it because the locals can claim more welfare money from the CBM for ecclesias and people who don't exist?

      The CBM claim 107 ecclesias in Uganda but the locals tell me that they only have about seventy ecclesias and many of them have no members.

      Are the CBM paying for ecclesias that do not actually exist?

      One CD told me that corruption was everywhere in the CDs and that he did not know anyone who was not corrupt. Was he exaggerating or was he telling the truth? I don't know and its not my money so I don't care. But if I were a CD in the UK I would be worried.

      Look at this quote taken from the Bible Missionary magazine"

      "Kitgum was one of the places we visited on our trip to Uganda in March-April 2015. We’d been told that there were a good number of brothers and sisters there and had built a hall on the strength of that. However, it turned out that there was only one brother left."

      - Is that a confirmation of what I am saying?

      Or this from the BM magazine:

      "the area was flooded by evangelical Christians from the US, who taught the people to worship in a typically Pentecostal fashion. They baptised a lot of people and call each other “brothers and sisters”, as Africans do in general. So getting the answer “Yes” to the question “Are you baptised?” does not mean someone is a Christadelphian. And when you are told there is a large number of brothers and sisters in a place it does not mean they are Christadelphians."

      - But are the CBM being scammed for the welfare for all of those Pentecostal brothers and sisters? And where is the money actually going?

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    4. I've just received this email from the Mayende Erisania mentioned above. I leave you to draw your own conclusions:

      "Bedson, I see you mad, and a cult. Take Emmanuel to your cult. You are out of our beloved fellowship and you cannot do anything to us. Yes,
      Emmanuel has influence but we don't want his sinful ideas. We can remain two and reach the Kingdom. Leave alone and go to Hell with your
      cult! I have nothing to do with Emmanuel and his family. I know he has no funds to undo our work! I repeat god to Hell with your crazy cult ideas. Stop writing to me! I will no longer open your rubbish emails.

      Erisania

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    5. Erisania was replying to an email from me that was telling him how to keep Emmanuel in his ecclesia.It read as follows:

      "Dear brother Erisania

      If you want to stop Emmanuel and his family leaving you have got to act very, very quickly. If you do not, you will have missed your opportunity and you will have turned your friend into an enemy. He is an enthusiastic and highly intelligent brother and he is capable of taking many ecclesias away from you to his new way of thinking. But it makes more sense to me that you and Emmanuel make peace with each other and not war. I don't want him to leave you. But at the same time I don't want you to humiliate him and bring him back under the yoke of the CBM like an ox pulling a plow. I suggest that you offer to restore him to fellowship IMMEDIATELY. Listen to his great new ideas to improve the religion and if you agree with him act on his ideas. Do not be bought or bribed by the CBM, or bullied anymore............... If you do that I will use what influence I have with Emmanuel to encourage him to return to your flock and NOT join the Ex-Christadelphians. If you do that I will support Medowa ecclesia instead."

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    6. My intention was to STOP Emmanuel joining the Ex-Christadelphians and to instead get him back into fellowship with Medowa ecclesia where he could be an agent for reform. But Emmanuel is against CBM bribery and it looks to me like his recording brother did not like that idea.

      I am NOT accusing anyone of wrong doing. But I am suspicious that something not quite right is going on in Uganda and in the rest of CBM Africa. That is my opinion on this matter.

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    7. John,
      For a long time, as I read in each monthly Cd magazine of the rapid growth of Cd ecclesias in Africa, I couldn`t help wondering if money was at the root of the growth. All sorts of aid from western governments doesn`t fully reach the recipients that it should go to. When the CBM sends financial aid, does it go to various individuals, or just one, for redistribution?

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    8. As I understand it the welfare is often at a local level controlled by one African person in an area. I get the impression that this is often used for nepotism. I may be wrong, but this is what I am being told by locals who resent what is going on.

      On of the writers above put it this way in the article:

      "Welfare is not a belief at all. CBM was and is wrong to think that when you preach you must run a welfare scam. We don't need welfare as an epitome!"

      Another Ugandan CD emailed me to say:

      "Corruption is everywhere. I don't know who (in the CDs) is not corrupt." He meant at a local level.

      Another CD in Zambia (not Mbalanga) resigned because the CDs were lying about the number of CDs in his country. He said that he was lonely in the religion because there were so few and nothing like the huge numbers claimed.

      This is very damning coming from the local African Christadelphians. They appear to be telling us that corruption and lying is endemic in the CBM's African work.

      I do not believe the huge numbers claimed by the CDs. I think that much of it is lies. Even in the BM magazine they admit that many of the "Christadelphians" in Africa belong to other religions and are not Christadelphians at all! What more do we need to know?

      If I were a UK Christadelphian I would not give another penny to the CBM until someone ran an independent investigation. The CMPA investigated themselves. That is not acceptable. In my opinion the CBM should be independently investigated to avoid a cover up.

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    9. This Rec. Bro. Mayende Erisania who is telling Emmanuel to “Go to Hell” was originally converted and baptised by Emmanuel! He has Emmanuel to thank for his cushy job with everything paid for by the White Christadelphian old age pensioners in the UK giving money that they can’t afford into CBM collections and appeals thinking that they are paying for preaching.

      Erisania wrote this to me:

      “CBM spend a lot of money on projects, welfare, like now we are providing food, water to all our members. How are we and all people came to you do you have capacity to cater for them? You ask me to resign i can't, even the house i stay in is paid for by the CBM. My children get free education.”

      But I think that I have discovered the source of the problem. In the “New CBM translation of the Bible”, Mark 16:15-16 reads as follows:

      “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall receive abundant welfare from the CBM including private education for their kids. He that believeth not can go to Hell!”

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    10. Emmanuel told me a few hours ago that Mayende Erisania had cut off Emmanuel's CBM private school fees payments for his children because he has resigned.

      It looks to me as if Erisania and the CBM are "visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children" (Numbers 14:8)

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    11. Looking at our web statistics, it is clear that something is going on. Huge numbers of hits from Uganda and Zambia tell their own story.
      Mancott's point is pertinent, how come all the reports and pictures of hundreds of African baptisms on a continent with different languages and traditions, but with all the backing of fixed premises, popup shops, billing, local witness, etc, etc, the UK home Christadelphians can on convert about 20 people (or less) a year, and rely on about 25% of those being destitute refugees? It simply does not stack up.
      The localised structure of Christadelphianism, relying on dominant family groups, trust and faith,and tradition,rather than accountability and transparent finances is a recipe for corruption as the CPMA found, and failed to learn from, continuing to raise not only money from a corrupt individual, but reinstating him to continue recruiting converts simply beggars belief to those of us outside this bubble. Transplanting this system onto a continent bedeviled with corruption was bound to bring trouble.
      John should have no concerns for UK CD pensioners. None of them are poor,(in truth their are no poor CD's in the UK). Despite believing in the imminent return of Christ to overthrow the wicked system, they have all heavily stuffed their pension pots, and made good use of the wicked system to ensure that the only choices they face are not to eat or send money to the CBM, but Mercedes/BMW/Jaguar/Audi? 2 year lease or 3?, Caribbean or Mediterranean cruise? 2 or 3 week at Disneyland? Business or First?
      If our African contributors can provide us with some documentary evidence that what is suspected of going on, actually has been, then I will happily pursue the matter for them over here in the UK, But they must understand that it is likely that they, and not the CBM will be blamed for any corrupt practice uncovered.
      Finally, a recording brother who tells his brother to "go to hell" (much like one who sniggers when his own ecclesia is corrupt) should draw the attention of all of the brethren to the quality of his conversion in the first place.

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    12. In my experience, the standard assumption in the Western world is that there are more conversions in third world countries because people with less have more need of the hope, and fewer possessions to distract them and lead them away. That's also why the first century church thrived* under persecution, and was noted for appealing to all classes not just the wealthy elites. It has also been said of some missionary targets with a rising middle class that conversions have slowed down for this reason, and more in the cities than in country areas. It's because they've imported all these terrible Western ideals and are being ruined by the love of money (or at least the pursuit of it).

      * and got corrupted

      Those of us who have gone as missionaries have sometimes expressed concerns about the knowledge of potential recruits, but the word comes from home that we need a lovely report in the Bible Missionary, preferably with some good numbers in. Even when making the decision someone doesn't know what they are signing up for, you have a sneaking suspicion that some months later someone will come, decide they are now ready, and baptise them.

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    13. Joseph: You might have missed it, but we had some page views from Ghana earlier on today.

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    14. Australia, UK, and the US still dominate, but yes, Zambia and Uganda have certainly appeared in the top 5.

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    15. Joseph: You will be pleased to learn that the recording brother who told Emmanuel to "Go to Hell" has since altered his stance considerably and he is almost an Ex-Christadelphian by now. Give him another month or two and I'll wager that he will be playing the game for our team.

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  7. As i told you before i have made up mind and not to back to CBM.I resigned by my own no one told me to do so. I
    can not go back to Christadelphians (CBM),no.I'm the first enemy of the CBM because of what i did no one in African Christadelphians has done it around the world. To me the way i received it i tell people to believe in education in science fist if we are to be independent and develop in Africa let us as an African's try to change things for
    better in some ways.I talk to people by emails,phone and some i to then direct.Right now the people of DRCongo in Lubumbashi are waiting for me to go and talk to them about new Universal Christadelphian for Africa.I'm looking for some means to travel to DRC some places we need to talk to people directly to explain about Universal Christadelphians
    in Africa.We need the new website to be able to put some article to deconvert most of African Christadelphians CBM.Please try your best to create this website for us.It is very important to us. This work we have started it will be going foward it will not go back i mean to work hard for this work to bear fruits in Africa.

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