Broadening your perspective

An important part of moving on from the Christadelphians is learning to see the community from an outsider's perspective. This includes understanding that the Christadelphian community is not an entirely unique phenomenon but forms part of a whole array of nonconformist movements that emerged around the same time and in a similar social-historical context.

In this article at JWfacts.com, a former Jehovah's Witness shares a few thoughts on a number of 'similar religions' which all developed around the same time, including the Christadelphians. He points out that Witnesses are required to believe that their beliefs and practices are unique and that they are the only ones to possess truth and the correct understanding of the Bible - much like the Christadelphians. Once you realise this isn't quite the whole picture, you're on the way to breaking out of the bubble and achieving a more objective view - no matter which group you belong to.

Have a browse around this well-written and interesting site (www.jwfacts.com) and you may recognise more similarities between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians - as well as some key differences. Both are instructive.

6 comments:

  1. Several Christadelphians have insisted to me in the past that the Christadelphians simply do not believe that only Christadelphians have the truth and/or will be saved. Most times this is stated emphatically as if I have grossly misrepresented their views.

    However, the amusing thing is that on every occasion when I press them further on this, and start talking about the actual numbers of those they think will be saved (going so far as to list off other religions and doctrines), suddenly it becomes apparent that what they really meant was that there might possibly be a few others in the world who hold the same beliefs while not officially identifying themselves as "Christadelphians". It's a classic deceptive tactic whereby their initial claim appears to suggest that Christadelphians are not so exclusive and in fact they think most people will be saved, but when pressed further it is clear that what they meant was absolutely not what they implied.

    They really do think that only those who believe the correct doctrines (those held by the Christadelphians, in their view) will be saved, and they will concede (if pressed) that the number of people who believe these doctrines is much less than 0.001% of the world's population. They just don't like other people saying so.

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    1. I agree with that. I once was rebuked by a CD from a more liberal ecclesia for saying that CDs claim a monopoly on salvation.

      Dr T. was baptised several times as he thought (an now CDs think) you had to be right on everything for the baptism to be valid, well not everything - there is a list of 'doctrines essential for salvation', which amount to CD distinctiveness. I know that some CDs do worship with us in the mainstream, by going to our conferences (Spring Harvest), so not all believe the above, but on paper they do claim a monopoly on salvation.

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  2. The other weird thing is that they have no problem believing that Christadelphians have the "one true religion" and that the JWs (and others) are mistaken, while never apparently realising that those born into these other religions are doing exactly the same thing!

    This being the case, surely one needs to go much further than simply using interpretations of proof-texts to defend their own religion. If being raised in another religion can bias a person so much that they become incorrectly convinced they are right, why do Christadelphians assume they are immune to exactly the same phenomenon?

    One of the eye-opening things for me was the realisation that almost all Christians think they have "the truth" and even refer to their religion that way. It's quite common for mainstream Christians to refer to their beliefs as Truth (with a capital T). The more you look into other religions, the more difficult it becomes to see Christadelphians as special.

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    1. Yes we mainstream Christians do indeed use the term, John's Gospel etc. We even have a song with the words 'I am happy to be in the truth'. But we dont believe that our version is required for salvation. We dont generally want to convert from another denomination to ours. We have fundamental differences of opinion on key doctrines, such as infant baptism vs believer baptism, obviously one of us is wrong, but we still have joint worship services, we still believe we all belong to the same one catholic (ie universal) church. We dont impose a uniformity of doctrine. I think that is an important distinction that separates us from Christadelphian, JWs, etc.

      So for me I would never go back to somewhere that not only told me in great detail (and tested me on) what to believe, but also required that I believe everyone else is wrong.

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  3. Christadelphians and Jehovah's witnesses are 95 percent alike in their beliefs. The 5 percent differences are merely down to the interpretation of a handful of cryptic bible passages.
    But of course Christadelphians say they have the "truth", and Jehovah's witnesses say that they are correct in their interpretations.
    So who is right.......?

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  4. Pastor Gaylen FaggittFebruary 23, 2018 at 10:36 PM

    Hard to say Mark, given that humans and cabbages share 50% of their DNA...

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