Why People Leave The Christadelphians

Ex-Christadelphians accept modern scientific
advances in human understanding and reject
faith based religious dogma 
Christadelphians find it exceedingly difficult to comprehend why anyone would deliberately choose to resign and become an Ex-Christadelphian. The typical Christadelphian imagines an Ex-Christadelphian to be a lonely, depressed, dejected, forlorn individual, without any hope or purpose in their life, enjoying the pitiful pleasures of sin for a short season while trembling at the prospect of Christ returning to heap damnation on their head at the final judgment.


But in reality, while the Christadelphian community is hidebound, leaderless, divided, conservative, exclusive, paranoid, out of touch, largely geriatric and increasingly irrelevant; the Ex-Christadelphian movement is a young, well educated, fast growing, confident, vibrant community. We have several different websites, discussion and support groups and an outreach programme designed to encourage Christadelphians to leave their religion. The truth for the Christadelphian community is that their brightest and best are often leaving to become Ex-Christadelphians because they see no credible evidence to support their family religion.


Ex-Christadelphians accept the findings of science about the great age of the Earth and of the Universe. We agree with human understanding about Continental Drift, Evolution and Genetics. We acknowledge the latest Israeli archaeological findings which deny the historical accuracy of the Pentateuch and much of the Biblical narrative prior to 700BC. We are liberal, reformist, inclusive, progressive and academically attuned to modern times.
 
So why the misunderstanding? Why don't Christadelphians "get" what we Ex-Christadelphians are all about? Why did we Ex-Christadelphians trade the prospect of eternal life and endless bliss in The Kingdom and beyond, for a few short years of frail mortality followed by endless death?

Are we the most stupid people on the face of the planet? - Or are we on to something? Could it be that we have found a prize that we value significantly higher than the prospect of living for ever?

Yes, we have. We Ex-Christadelphians have gained something that in our estimation is absolutely fantastic. The prospect of eternal life fades in comparison to what we have gained and we won't swap it for anything. We love what we have gained and we want the remaining Christadelphians to share our joy by writing their letter of resignation to their arranging brethren.

But sadly, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen because most Christadelphians place no value on the precious thing that we Ex-Christadelphians have. They don't understand it; they don't even begin to comprehend what we have gained. When we try to explain it to Christadelphians they return a blank stare of baffled puzzlement. They are lost for words and shake their heads in confusion because they don't have the faintest idea what we are saying to them.

It's rather like a wealthy American tourist trying to explain to a destitute North Korean peasant what life is like in Manhattan. They just would not get it.

- Because we have gained our reason. We have broken free from an eccentric family religion and finally discovered that the whole Christadelphian thing is just a bunch of nonsense and that the promise of eternal life and "The Kingdom" is as empty and meaningless as the words of Christadelphian founder Dr John Thomas when he predicted that Christ would return in 1866.

We joined the Christadelphians because we thought that they had discovered "The Truth" but it was only when we plucked up the courage to leave that we finally found it.

Our truth is not a "Statement of Faith" that can be printed, copied and learned by rote. Our truth is an unfinished journey of discovery. Mankind has travelled some of that path and much of it lies uncharted in the future. We Ex-Christadelphians have fearlessly resumed our journey of seeking truth and we rejoice in our travels. We sorrow for the Christadelphians who have ended their journey of discovery and instead they have sat down in the road, suffering a group delusion.

Christadelphian founder Dr John Thomas wrote:

"Investigate everything you believe - if it is the truth it cannot be injured; if error, the sooner it is corrected the better. Never be afraid of results to which you may be driven by your investigations, as this will inevitably bias your mind and disqualify you to arrive at ultimate truth."

We Ex-Christadelphians agree with that statement; even if we disagree with almost everything else that John Thomas wrote. If those words and that philosophy were the guiding principle of the Christadelphian movement we might have delayed our leaving. But following the death of John Thomas, Robert Roberts, the first editor of The Christadelphian magazine, declared that "The Truth" had been discovered by John Thomas and he threatened excommunication to any like us who continued to search for truth about life and the Universe.

Robert Roberts ignorantly nailed "The Truth" to the floorboards when he fixed it in "The Statement of Faith" and in so doing he killed it. He killed it because he ended the search for truth and arrogantly proclaimed that he held it in his hand. He was wrong.

For a while, when we were Christadelphians, we Ex-Christadelphians were also afflicted by the group delusion of our family religion. But one by one we had the good sense to realise that all was not right in our religion and we plucked up our courage and handed in our letters of resignation, or allowed the Christadelphians to throw us out.

Now we rejoice in our freedom and the joy of our resumed search for truth. To us it is the most precious thing in the World. We are never going to return to the soporific, mind destroying tyranny of our Christadelphian days. Instead we are reaching out arms of love to our much loved previous brethren and sisters, to encourage them to awake out of their sleep of delusion and to join with us in our walk towards what our founder John Thomas called "Ultimate Truth."

Therein is the real difference between Christadelphians and Ex-Christadelphians. The former believe that they have found "The Truth." We believe that we are on a journey of discovery towards "Ultimate Truth."

20 comments:

  1. Reading this article made me feel like Bob Dylan did the first time he heard Elvis Presley I FELT LIKE I HAD JUST BUSTED OUT OF JAIL. As the son of a devout christadelphian family,it has been a sheer delight to know that you are all out there feeling the way I do.Thankyou so very much.

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  2. You have brought absolute disgrace to the name Christadelphian or brother in Christ - in no way is this giving glory to God. You are ignorant of evidence that what the Bible says is 100% right, and you have thrown away the greatest hope anyone could have - this world has nothing to offer, that is why I am a christadelphian. The truth - God's word - is plain in revealing His plan for us all, and when Christ returns which we know is soon by current world events, he will pour judgement on you all and send you into everlasting shame and contempt, only to die in the world you chose to live in.
    You are pulling others from the greatest hope they could have - life eternal in God's kingdom, and fulfillment in faith and hope in this evil age which you choose to live. Readig this article has disgusted me - how dare you openly encourage Christadelphian believers to live under sin and the flesh for the short life we will live before the return of Christ, instead of eternity in God manifestation and perfect bodies, where there will be no more confusion, pain, suffering or sickness of any kind for us.

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    1. Maybe. Or maybe you are the one who is mistaken, having merely believed what you were taught as a child and now indoctrinating other young minds to believe all this nonsense and give up the only life they have in the hope of something that sounds like a fairy tale.

      Rather than being ignorant of evidence, most of us were persuaded by the evidence to change our minds.

      I don't believe in your predictions of the future nor your empty threats of punishment. That kind of fear-mongering won't work any more sorry. Yet that's exactly the kind of rhetoric you inflict on the young to keep them from questioning. Why not just be honest and follow the evidence where it leads, being aware of your biases and doing your best to overcome them?

      Suppose you were wrong. How would you know? (if easier, imagine you had been raised as a Mormon. How would you recognise your error?)

      If you were wrong, what would you expect the world to look like?

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    2. CD believer; those of us (many) who at one time had convictions like you, wrote to unbelievers like you, spoke like you, have subsequently come to a sincere well-thought out conviction that we were wrongly indoctrinated. Many of us from the cradle by misguided CDs. Yes, we do dare to speak as we do. We have been where you are now, and we have found that position of belief to be untenable. If you want to find real truth, instead of thinking you are in 'The Truth', start to attempt to prove what you believe by carefully examining the claims of the bible. Read what others have found out. Examine their reasons. Trawl through some of the articles on this blog and honestly weigh up the writers` reasoning. We changed our minds by evidence, and refused to slavishly follow unsubstantiated fairy stories and myths.

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    3. So if we're so ignorant of evidence that the Bible is 100% right, perhaps you could share it?

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    4. Hopefully CD believer will come back and discuss honestly why he/she is so insistently sure that he/she is correct in the belief he/she holds. Will he/she be strong enough to discuss rationally and with an open mind?

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  3. I am a Trinitarian preacher before, under the guidance of Franciscan sisters. But later when we studied deeply the bible, the more I have questions regarding the Trinity doctrine. By God’s enlightenment, I can’t agree with the trinity doctrine anymore. After many years of searching and studying ,and now I stance in Biblical Unitarian position, I don’t belong to any Church right now.
    I study the doctrine of Christadelphians, and we have a lot of agreement, except for Satan view. I already sent them email, how they will explain that biblically. I am planning to meet them this year. I hope for the positive outcome, for God’s glory…

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    1. Um, ok. Not really sure why you thought we'd be interested.

      Good chat.

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    2. Rebe, just in case it's not clear: Many on this site (including me) no longer believe that the Bible is an inspired text. So arguments about the "right" way to interpret it are at best of academic interest.

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    3. Dear Rebe, nice you came to see that the Trinity is a false doctrine. It has many untruths like on this platform seem to be told also many untruths about Christadelphians, who seem to be presented here as a bunch of retarded old folks who would be creationists and not believing in natural evolution.

      In Christadelphianism, I do agree, is a lot of division, and shall you be able to find very conservative but also very progressive thinkers and believers in Only One True God Who is One and Who gave us His Word to find answers on a lot of matters.

      Please are not afraid to have a wider look at the net, to find what Christadelphians really think and how they try to make the best of their life. (At several of my sites you shall be able to find links to different interesting Christadelphian sites.)

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    4. Marcus, good to have you back with us after so long away, but I would just make a couple of points of order:

      In 2015, the UK Christadelphians had a "Big Conversation", that YOU reported on. They stated that 80% of UK Christadelphians were, at that time, over the age of 60. Hence it does not seem unreasonable to refer to them as "old folks". They also stated how difficult it was (is?) to recruit new young member from "the outside".

      We generally believe Christadelphians to be creationists, because that is what they repeatedly define themselves as, both personally, and in their group publications.

      https://www.thechristadelphians.org.uk/booklets/ (evolution or design)

      https://lifesbigquestions.org/has-science-disproved-the-bible/

      Along with all the videos,talks (i've heard plenty, and none support evolution as the world knows it-just a doctored up version at best), and reading material, it is beyond doubt that the group is for the most part, creationist.

      Native English speakers no longer use the term "retarded" in the way that you suggest we might do here- it is now a term of derision or at least offensive.

      http://familybibleschool.co.uk/about/objectives

      Please note what it says:

      "It is expected that all brothers and sisters attending accept without reservation the Gospel contained in the Word of God as expounded in the writings of pioneer brethren and epitomised in the B.A.S.F. and reject the teaching of evolution/ theistic evolution.

      We ask all attending to conduct themselves according to the Commandments of Christ and to refrain from entering into controversy over fundamental issues, although we do not of course wish to curtail discussion on the Scriptures.

      The organisers of the school wish to acknowledge that God hates putting away and they do not wish the harmony of the school to be disturbed in any way with this kind of problem."

      Thus Christadelphians attending must accepts and follow the beliefs of pioneers from 150+ years ago, no exceptions! This could indeed make them look (in your words) "retarded". So, you either accept creation or be "put away", which means of course "shut up" or "thrown out".

      Reality is Marcus, that Christadelphians are not even clear about what they beive themselves, never mind being able to convince others.

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    5. Marcus, This is what you wrote:

      "Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests".

      Perhaps you need to be sorting out your own religious group, rather than throwing stones at other religions and none. But you can't. Because Christadelphians have been doing that for 150 years and think themselves very clever for doing so.

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  4. I agreed most of the doctrines of Christadelphians, but how they delivered and practice it, totally i don't know, i never fellowship anyone of them yet. Not all people are the same, Some people just want to live a simple life rather than heavy theology to study with. The best way or approach it, in my opinion, is to build a **relationship** to God through Christ, and focus on everyday life with God, rather than academic. Believing the Bible and God, need not only in academic and knowledge , it need to be experienced and we can only experience that if we can have a good relationship with our Creator.

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    1. Jacobus ArminiusJuly 3, 2018 at 6:30 PM

      Rebe,this is a site for people who have left them. They wont even let you join if you only agree with most of their doctrines. You have to agree (or say you agree) with all of them, then they will test you on it, then they will insist on re-baptising you). So not much chance of you becoming an ex-christadelphian. There are plenty of Christadelphian sites you could visit if you really are thinking of joining them. They are not much into personal relationship stuff either, for them it is mostly about the correct interpretation of scriptures, endless study of the Bible along with a book of nonsense called 'Elpis Israel' written by their founder. Their founder wrote other nonsense too but its mostly lost in obscurity now.

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  5. Rebe, how does one build a relationship with an invisible being?

    Do you approach other relationships this way?

    You say this relationship should be experienced. So what should I expect to experience and how would that differ from what people of other religions claim to experience? If they have the same experience yet worship a deity that doesn't exist, how could I be sure I wasn't doing the same?

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  6. God’s plan is too big for us to comprehend all by human understanding. **Faith ** really matters. The God of Abraham, Jacob, David and Lord Jesus Christ, have revealed in the scripture, and working through every one of us, although not everyone experience, and notice it, for not everyone have faith. I myself will testify on this, thru the many good things that happen which I can’t imagine it will happen in perfect time. Maybe some will call it *luck* or *coincidence*, for one time maybe, but for many times I don’t think so. When we pray for something, sometimes it will be given, sometimes it will not, but I will thanks Him later, for His plan is greater than mine.

    I always recalled one time, after work as night shift and walking in the city, while roaming around to find some place to drink a coffee, I read an add; **hiring automation engineer for Taiwan**. Well I am not really interested, but just give a try. The agency sent me right away to the scheduled exam and interview in the hotel auditorium, when I walk in I was really surprised around 500 applicants in there. Well I prayed; **“Lord if this is your will, guide me through this, because I just supposed to drink some coffee but now I’m here”**. On the following day I follow up the result, the agency told me:“don’t expect only one was hired”, so I don’t expect, later the agency called me congratulating, I am the one.

    After 2 months in working overseas, after paying all my debts. I talked to my parents via phone back in the province; devastating El nino, destroyed all our livelihood back in my homeland. I thanks God, just in time I’m in overseas with 6x higher salary offered than my previous job, just in time when I pay all my debts. A perfect time I was given an opportunity to support my parents, brothers and sister and help some of our neighbors. As a farmer son I always thanks God for everything.

    How many times in the 80’s during on my grade school, when the rebels trying to invade our land, many times they tried, many times they failed, my father not even triggered his 38 caliber. I praise God for everything.

    Bible is collection of stories of people who encountered God, and people who recognize God’s work in them. God is working through individual we just lack of faith to recognize it. If there is a creation there is always be a Creator.

    Other people believing also to god, praying to cow, and drinking cow urine, some have group sex as there fellowship, and others shout in the name of god together pulled the trigger and bomb,,, bang! you’re dead. I don’t think this is the God that Jesus Christ being preached about.

    By the way you mention- 'Elpis Israel'- I’m not interested in this book, another kind of bible? Just like the book of mormons? another fake thing again?...

    I hope someday you will reconsider again the Bible, not with Christadelphians but in any Unitarian fellowship you are comfortable with. God is good all the time…

    For God’s glory,

    Rebe

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    1. "Maybe some will call it *luck* or *coincidence*, for one time maybe, but for many times I don’t think so"

      How did you determine this? Have you applied statistical methods across the population to determine how likely or unlikely such events are? Many people intuitively feel that events in their life are miraculous and significant because they forget that there are 7 billion people on the planet who each experience hundreds of events every day, and they don't factor in the likelihood of an event (or even several events) happening to any one of them that is later determined to be meaningful. Then they attribute the events to some deity - usually the one their parents taught them to believe in. But where was the evidence of causation? It is all imagined.

      "When we pray for something, sometimes it will be given, sometimes it will not, but I will thanks Him later, for His plan is greater than mine."

      When you don't pray for something, will it be given at the same frequency? How well did you test this?

      Others have tested this in several studies on prayer. Want to guess what the results were?

      As for your other examples, I fail to see the logic in your reasoning. So you thanked God for sending the El nino? Or are you thankful that God helped you while ignoring countless others? I can't see a positive here. Why would you worship a god who failed to prevent this? Any being who either caused it or failed to prevent it is either incompetent or evil. Perhaps it doesn't exist?

      Still, if your belief in God gives you comfort in the face of such awful circumstances, then I'm inclined to leave you be. You've got enough to worry about.

      Meanwhile, you still didn't mention how one could possibly have a relationship with an invisible being. What kind of "relationship" would that even be? What is there to "relate" to?

      The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.

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  7. "The God of Abraham, Jacob, David and Lord Jesus Christ, have revealed in the scripture"

    Nope. People wrote scripture and claimed to speak on behalf of a god. No evidence for this god has ever been presented.

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  8. Hello Sir,

    Have a nice day to you. Wishing you all the best.

    Forgive me for my english sometimes, I am not a natural english speaker, I will just try my best.

    I don’t know what you meant by how do you test this; there were sometimes I receive good thing which I don’t even pray, but when I got home my mama hug me, “yes son my prayer for you has been answered”, I did not pray, but my mama did. But one thing I know for sure God will hear the prayer of the righteous.

    Regarding my example in the previous comment, I can’t explain that much, but the story of Noah would explain that well, why not everyone getting in, and if you can recall in Genesis “Joseph the Dreamer” that would be an interesting story also, can relate that.

    What kind of "relationship" would that even be? What is there to "relate" to?
    That’s cool and it gave me peace of mind, and joyful life, I’m nothing to worry about, even my death nothing to be afraid. Most of the time I’m travelling, my job required that. So most of time I ‘m stepping out in my comfort zone, especially when you are assigned in the middle east near the war zone.
    Just thanks God for every breath I make.

    If only Human can follow the footstep and teaching of Christ, I think there will be peace on earth. Sad to say not everyone have that faith. We are all sinner, but through faith in Christ we are forgiven.

    For God's glory
    --Rebe--

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    1. It seems to me that prayer is something of a good luck charm for you. If it "works", then good for you, but what you've described so far sounds much more like confirmation bias at work. The same thing "works" just as well for people in all other religions. How do you explain that?

      However, the harm in relying on prayer is perhaps best captured in your comment:

      "So most of time I ‘m stepping out in my comfort zone, especially when you are assigned in the middle east near the war zone. "

      If you are engaging in dangerous activities fully expecting a god to save you, and if it turns out there is no such god, then your belief could turn out to cost you your life. This is risky and dangerous. Let me politely suggest that simply not entering a war zone might be a far more reliable method than prayer, for ensuring your ongoing safety.

      You may of course respond that my lack of belief may cost me eternal life, but the same is true for you with respect to all other religions. At the end of the day how we live is a personal choice, but I am very skeptical of any claim about reality that is not backed by sufficient evidence. Faith is never a good reason to believe something. I need evidence and good statistical data, not anecdotes.

      As for peace on earth, we might get a little closer to that goal once people stop killing each other for belonging to a different religion or other ideology (including political). I see no evidence to believe that having faith promotes peace. Usually it is the opposite, as faith often goes hand-in-hand with ideologies that tend towards violence, strong in-group preference, out-group suspicion and hatred, etc.

      You did mention "middle east near the war zone" - that part of the world is probably the most religious (and thus faithful) of all! Why is it a war zone? I understand the conflict has to do with more than just religion, but if you are claiming that more faith = more peace, then that region of the world would seem to be strong evidence to the contrary. And if you track actual statistics on peace, I suspect it is actually the countries with the least faith (i.e. least religion) that are most at peace. You have internet access. You can look it up.

      The idea that one can be forgiven by God for doing harm to another person also doesn't help. The other person should be the one you seek forgiveness from, not an invisible, potentially imaginary, 3rd party.

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