Posted by Phil in our new Discussion Room - 20 June 2013

Editor's note: The views portrayed in this article do not represent the views of this website.

hello everyone,

i joined the old paths christadelphians in england in early 1980, and at the time was euphoric at being part of the only "true god community".

but as time went by i began to feel uneasy. i felt there was something missing, something absolutely vital to a christian, but i could not put my finger on what it was.
it was only in later years, a long time after i had left, that i realised not only what was missing, but in fact delphism was also a chalice of poison from which i eagerly used to drink.

so in the end what did i realise? well put simply 1/ no love and 2/ blatant legalsim

the early things i noticed was the lack of outward shows of emotions and affection, in fact they were frowned upon. they said a formal handshake was the sign of fellowship among them, but to me it was the sign of a worldly business man. if you hugged a woman ( sister) you were viewed as letcherous and driven by sex. if you hugged a man ( brother) your sexuality got questioned. 

 i also noticed that simple clean jokes were frowned upon, so was laughter, informal dress, having worldly friends, having a hobby, mixing with anyone from other christian religions, and in fact even saying you are "christian" yourself was condemned.
and woe betide anyone who married "out of the faith"

 and if anyone had a moment of lapse and had sexual contact with someone outside of marriage to another delph, you were hauled over the coals and made to feel filthy before the whole meeting, regardless of how much remorse you showed.

i soon started to rebel, but not knowing what i was rebelling against. i refused to wear a suit to the meeting saying clothes mean nothing to god and that jesus's clothes must have been grubby due to amount of rough sleeping out he must have done.......well that unleashed some wrath against me i can tell you.

 i was told i was showing disrespect to god by not wearing sunday best and that i was offending all the meeting and causing bad feeling at the lords table ( breaking of bread) and that jesus's clothes were always spotlessy white.

i started missing daily readings and attending bible classes. i felt there was nothing to be gained from reading the same bible pages over and over again and that learning what the book of daniel was prophesising beared little profit when it came down to actual works of faith.

my best and most trusted and beloved friend was a non believer, and i was told i should no longer see him.
and that i was to give up writing and recording music with him as it was "of the world"
this i was simply not willing to do no matter how much guilt they laid on me

in the end i was totally ostresised ( i might have spelt that wrong, sorry)

i left in 1989 a broken man and walked away from not only delphism but god too and went my way in the world

i really went downhill, sleeping with as many women as i could meet, not bothering about my old values of mercy and compassion. doing just what the hell i wanted.
this went on for 13 years.

finally i got the internet and joined msn messenger. and by some chance i friended a woman who had been disfellowshipped by the delphs for complaining about being raped by her delph husband.

what these conversations started in me was a realisation of what i could not put my finger on between 1980-89.

lack of emotional love and blatant legalism.

in the years following 2002 until today, i now friend anyone who is christian.
i have slowly come to realise that legalism is the cancer of mankind and all organised religions are legalism.
the truth which christ preached was not doctrines, but love, mercy, charity, benevolence, forgiveness and patience.

 matthew 25 vrs 31 to 45 clearly show what criteria jesus will apply at judgement to decide who lives and who dies, and none of his criteria are doctrinal issues or matters of rituals or religion.

i could write a 1,000 page thesis on the subject but i wont bore anyone here.
but i will write something i found out that might come as a shock to many.
the last supper, breaking of bread and drinking wine in memory of jesus, was never a religious thing.

 jesus chose a close family and very informal occasion to introduce it.

 the term "breaking of bread" we read about in the acts does not mean what we think it does. 

 it does not mean "hold a formal religious service" but actually was a term used in those days to mean "to share an informal meal" regardless of what type of food was eaten.

 so when we read "they went about from house to house breaking bread" it actually means they frequently went to each others houses to share a meal and enjoy each others company in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

 eating and drinking in memory of christ was just a quiet moment of an otherwise informal occasion. 

 no suits and sunday dresses, no hymns and long winded prayers, no exhortations and lectures etc.

if i break break now it is part of my meal with my wife. informal and relaxed.
legalism decided that it had to be solemn, serious, formal, and in a certain and set order.

legalism and organised religion are poisonous and murderous.
they remove the concept of grace and deceive the doer into a false sense of self righteousness and self holiness that convince the doer that salvation is something that can be earned by one's own merits.

grace, hoever, leaves us in no doubt that immortality at the judgement, is a gift which no one can earn or will be worthy of, except jesus himself

how i loathe legalism.

god bless



  1. God gave the Jews divorce "for the hardness of their hearts"? I can't remember where the Jews asked for it. It just seems to pop up as part of the Law that was given with the rest of it by God, almost as if it was a "normal" {aspro and a lie down if that is too much) procedure.

  2. Having read Jeff`s posts I`m struck by the fact of his using many biblical references to support what he is trying to put over. No doubt he does this because he believes that the references he uses are to be taken as"Truth". But he ignores the truth that many of those words can not be said to be certain of being in the original writings. Steve has already pointed out that the story of the woman taken in adultery, for example, is not found in earlier copies of the text - it`s been added later by someone trying to make a point. And there are many other discrepancies, which if Jeff was to admit (or find out about) are there, then he might be more cautious in using his many references as "truth". Many of us have once been in Jeff`s shoes, where at one time we vehemently defended our beliefs (indoctrinated beliefs) as being "truth". Subsequently, either by application of intellect, or a gradual return to rational reasoning, we have found our erstwhile embedded beliefs to have been built on shaky sand and not upon the rock we first thought they were founded. It is unlikely that Jeff will change his views, and we who once saw through a glass darkly, and now see clearly, will be left frustrated by his inability to see as we do.

  3. Jeff,
    You don`t have to reply to this if you don`t wish to, but, apart from the bible, do you read other books, and if so which? Fiction, non-fiction, any examples? The reason I ask is that I once knew someone who would read only the bible, and he came over to me just as you do. I hope you consider this as a nice comment, for as such it is intended.

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for your response. I think you meant to write "as I don`t find" rather than "as I do find", referring to any fascination you you might or might not find in reading books. Sometimes, reading your responses to Steve, I feel you might benefit from "loosening up" a little. Try reading P.G.Wodehouse, the Jeeves or the Blanding novels, but not when on your boat, because you might fall off laughing.
      Anyway, good to learn of some of your interests. No doubt you find fishing an ideal occupation in which to do a lot of thinking.

  4. As you say, Steve, "One can hope". But I don`t think that we shall read about any change from Jeff. It`s not very pleasant to read his constantly trotted out repeated, heartless and misguided beliefs. Love? Caring for one`s fellow human being? I don`t detect any. Is it not time to move on from Jeff? Or do we give up after 490 of our replies?

    1. Steve,
      I don`t take Jeff`s comments personally, I just feel he is taking up too much of your time and effort to reply to him, because he is clearly so stuck within his bubble that it would take a very large and sharp axe-argument to free him. I don`t believe he should be banned, I just think that your thoughtful, polite and lengthy responses are wasted on him. I can`t imagine what anyone reading these comments from him, who hasn`t had the background benefit of understanding about where he has come from and gotten into, can think of him. I do in fact feel sorry for him, for his mind is surely in such an indoctrinated state, that he`ll probably be there in ignorance of anything other, for the rest of his life. In any case, freeing someone such as Jeff might be dangerous for his mental state. Any freeing must come from himself.

    2. Jeff,
      You write "...I` from the sting of Christ has informed me...."

      The problem I find with that Jeff, is that Christ did not inform you. Christ did not write that. Someone else wrote that, and we don`t who it was, and we don`t know from whom or where the writer obtained that hearsay,(or whether it was an idea of his own), and we don`t know when, and we do not know why. And whoever wrote it would appear to have had an agenda of their own.

      And how could it have been a looking forward to that which included you (or me) some 2000 years or so in the future? It`s a really nice and comforting thought that death is not the end for us, but should it be used as the basis for a future hope during this life, on such flimsy unsubstantiated information? Is it morally right that it ever be used as a stick with which to beat those who don`t accept it?

      Could you bring yourself to read Bart Ehrman`s book "Forged"? You almost certainly won`t agree with his findings, but you might actually find it one of the books that you...(do)...find a fascinating read.

      May the fish of truth swim to your rod of understanding.