This young lady needs our help and advice please

I’m not a Christadelphian nor have been raised to be one but on the other hand my boyfriend is. I’m concerned and very aware that my boyfriend parents do not believe I am the right person for him, I’m not entirely sure what he has been taught is right/wrong and the pressure that he may be facing with having a relationship with me, maybe you can share your own experience to make me more aware.

"No sex please - I'm a Christadelphian"
When he eventually told me about his religious beliefs, I did not judge him as a matter of fact I encouraged him and even went to a few meetings and CYC to show my support as it is a huge part of his life that I accept. I would also like to add we have not been intimate due to his beliefs, which I have respected.

Recently we have been talking about our future together. He exclaimed that he could not marry me as it would be too hard for him if his wife did not share the same religious beliefs and with this I felt hurt that my boyfriend of a few years could not see a future with me. As admittedly I had seen one in him.

Dating a Christadelphian guy
is a seriously stupid idea!

I have felt a range of emotions the past few weeks and I wondered if he would of had pressure from his parents or members of the Ecclesia about our relationship and I wondered if you could clear a few things up for me to be able to see what he may be facing?

Also I’d like to add I noticed ever since he has been going out with me his parents have been making him attended more and more Christadelphian youth weekends especially over the summer breaks and holidays, do you think they are trying to make him meet new people and potentially a girlfriend with the same upbringing and beliefs as him? Or to stop him from seeing me in the summer?

Thank you for your time to read my concerns,

Yours faithfully      

Susan James


  1. Dear Susan, sadly you have no future with him, saying it bluntly, you must move on, or convert to Christadelphia, this is a very controlling cult minded sect, I know a couple who's marriage has faulted after a partner has joined this sect. You cannot reason with them, they are a bunch of know all's, and very busy religious group. So sorry you picked the wrong guy...

  2. Susan,
    Notwithstanding the comments from EJK and John, I’m not too sure that your boyfriend has lied and cheated, in a deliberate and devious way, however, he certainly did know that unless he could convert you to his parent’s religion, there was never any long term or permanent future for you as a couple that his family would accept.
    However you spin this one though, one thing is abundantly clear. In no way is this fellow mature enough for you to seriously consider him as a partner. You state that his parents don’t think that you are right for him, you wonder if he has had pressure from his parents, and that they have been making him go to youth weekends. Think about it, his parents are controlling what he does, he is not steering his own ship, and even if you were to convert for him, that would still be the case. He is clearly not his own person. Do you really want to be yoked with someone like that? Don’t you realise that you would come under the same control regime were you to join him. To quote my daughter, he needs to “grow a pair” and start acting for himself.
    John has cast this poor fellow in a bad light though. Your boyfriend is behaving as he does because he doesn’t know any better. He has been reared to consider every single person who does not belong to his parent’s religion as “worldly” (meaning bad), he has been reared to think of these CYC meetings and Bible camps as a “safe space”, away from “worldly” (bad) influences, such as yourself. Christadelphian parents are apt to use a biblical reference, Proverbs 22.6 to justify what they call “narrowing” a child, i.e. restricting his learning and activity to that which they (The Christadelphians), consider to be the correct way, in which absolutely everything is to be understood in their interpretation of divine values and viewpoints. To him, his parents, and his whole Ecclesia, your values and viewpoints will be simply irrelevant. Please consider this carefully, and have a look at this page to gain some insight into how, he will have been brought up, and how his parents are thinking.
    Even if you did convert for him, things would not change, your thoughts and views would not be respected because you just weren’t raised the right way. You would be a second class Christadelphian.
    Youth weekends and Bible camps are very much a breeding program for the endangered species that is the Christadelphians. Oftentimes they can’t marry within their own Ecclesia because there are so few young Christadelphians. Of the ones they know close by, they are highly likely to be blood relatives. The chances of bumping into a Christadelphian in the street is (quite literally) millions to one, so they have to use these outlets to find suitable partners.
    He is young, and the testosterone has made him look to you, and you have offered him a natural, loving, physical and intimate relationship. But his upbringing has mentally castrated him, and is giving you clear view of what the future would be like. You deserve better than that.

    1. Wow, that home-schooling link certainly packs a punch. Hard to know where to begin with objecting to it.

      Some of my best friends were home-schooled, but I think I can confidently say they were not home-schooled in *that* way.

      Personally, I think quoting of Proverbs 22:6 should be banned. Of all the Proverbs it is perhaps the most misinterpreted and the one I object to most. I once gave a Christadelphian talk on reconsidering the proverbs and it was my biggest target. The verse gives parents a mandate to try and control their children's thinking. And for those whose children do walk away from their childhood teachings, it gives nothing but an added guilt "Obviously it's my fault, I didn't train them properly. If I had they wouldn't have walked away."

      And it forgets that that's not how proverbs work. Proverbs provide general principles in a pithy form, not absolute statements of truth. If every proverb were taken as literally as that one usually is, Christianity could be quite a different religion...

    2. "The possibilities are endless and exciting because our parents are in control" (said no child ever).

      And really, when is a parent ever "in total control of the moral and spiritual development of our children"? Does that also mean they are taking them out of Sunday School and the meeting because it might be ceding control to others? If you ever let that child associate with anyone else, particularly someone of their age group or another adult they can look up to, you have lost that total control. And if you don't ever let that child associate with anyone else I pity the child.

    3. Last one, I promise. Only lightly edited for comprehension:
      "Controlling the learning gives us the advantage of providing all the damaging, counter productive, and blatantly godly brainwashing in evidence in today’s homes. We are freed from any pressure to avoid or counter Creationism and the Bible, which have not infiltrated most schools."

  3. Susan,
    You have to understand that your boyfriend will have been indoctrinated with Christadelphian beliefs and way of life from the cradle onwards. His parents sole aim for him will be to make sure that he gets baptised into the sect. They will be obsessed with this aim. They will try to influence him in every possible way they can. If they see you as an influence against their aim they will do everything they can to thwart the relationship. Remember, it is likely that his parents may themselves have been indoctrinated in the same way from birth. They, as I often say on this blog, are in a bubble of their own mind-set, and they cannot see outside it. Your boyfriend can only break out of this indoctrination by either his own intellectual rational analysis of his indoctrination, or by experiencing a lengthy break from all the influences he is subject to, which seems to be an unlikely possibility, but I hope he breaks free. I wish you both well.

  4. Fed Up With ReligionMarch 30, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    Hi Susan,

    You need to leave, the relationships days are numbered.

    You can't fix this, you can't make it work unless he leaves the religion/cult. Even then, you will be picking up the pieces of a very confused young man.

    If you decide to join, it will be the worst decision of your life.

    You can't reason with these people, I can't even reason with my own family who are half in and half out.

    Pick your timing and walk away, you don't need to be involved.

    You were intelligent enough to reach out for advice, I hope you are intelligent enough to take it. (from those who know)

  5. Hi Susan,

    I'm sorry to hear about this dilemma you find yourself in. The Christadelphian community can be very difficult for outsiders to understand because in many ways it's just so isolated from mainstream society.

    To let you know, I am speaking from the perspective of someone who was brought up in the Christadelphians and left at the age of 32 having suffered a lot of emotional harm. Based on my personal experience, I generally consider the Christadelphian religion to be a harmful influence and especially so for girls and women because of the gender discrimination and patriarchal power structure.

    I would say that if your relationship with this person is strong and caring, then who knows, you could be his way out of the religion and you could help him adapt to the 'real' world. When you've lived in the Christadelphian community your whole life, you feel like you just haven't been trained to function in normal society and it can be very disorientating. If he had a loving girlfriend to help him through the painful adjustment process, you could do a lot of good. You could also encourage him to make other non-Christadelphians friends. But of course there is no way of knowing whether he would ever break away from the religion, or indeed feel any desire to do so. But I think that simply by being a non-Christadelphian friend, you are already helping him by giving him a link to the 'real' world. A lot of Christadelphians only have friends within the religion, which makes it hard for them to see any other perspective on the world.

    CDs are indeed strongly encouraged not to marry outside the faith, which on the face of it may appear to have noble motivations but in fact is part of the control mechanism used to keep people unquestioning and obedient, because it stops them from being exposed to outsider views. It's entirely possible that your boyfriend has been pressurised to stop seeing you and I think it's quite likely that some engineering is going on to get him to meet someone more 'suitable'. Unfortunately it is probably true that you could never gain his family's acceptance unless you converted to the religion, which I strongly advise you not to do. Your life would not be your own any more, and you would be put under a lot of pressure to obey and comply with the group views, including a bunch of sexist nonsense (for example, most Christadelphians require women to cover their heads and remain silent during services). If you and your boyfriend decided to marry, you would probably have to accept that his family would never accept you the way normal in-laws would.

    However, my basic message is, please don't give up on this relationship just because he's a CD - at least not yet. If you like each other and care about each other, then there is something valuable there that's worth hanging on to. But based on my personal experience as someone who suffered within the CD community, and specifically as a woman, I would strongly advise you against joining this patriarchal and highly controlling religious group. I do not believe it would make you happy. I do however think that both of you could lead very happy, fulfilling lives together outside the Christadelphian community!

    Friendship is always valuable, and he might need your friendship more than he knows. Don't give up on him yet, he deserves a chance of freedom. You could be his lifeline.

    Hope that helps in some way.


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