Will you ever return to the Christadelphians?

By Jon Morgan

I have been asked by a number of Christadelphians whether I will ever return. Depending on how the question is asked, my answers have ranged from “I don’t see any path back” to “I don’t rule it out”. But I think it very unlikely that I will ever return to being a Christadelphian. Here’s why.

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13 comments:

  1. No I won't return to the cult of christadelpians

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  2. Hello Everyone - will I ever return to the Christadelphians? - er, no.

    But, I returned twice in the past - both times were quite a few years ago and in both cases I was not in a good place at the time. Being in a bad place was why, I returned.

    I am third generation Christadelphian and grew up in a fairly traditional meeting. I got into the Christos in a serious way when I was 15 years old and then, went on loads of preaching campaigns.

    I went off the rails in my 20s and the reason I mention all this is, because a big part of the reason I got messed up and came back was because of the unfeeling, judgmental and emotionally cold culture of the Christadelphians. This emotionally crippled me where I could not leave and I could not stay! It was a terrible place to be - in, or outside the Christos.

    My third leaving of the Christos was about 15 years ago. Since then, I have explored progressively & increasingly open minded versions of Christianity. Then I dropped the Christian bit and I now think of connection to other people as a kind of secular spirituality - this works for me.

    About 13 years ago, I attended, for just one evening, an evening lecture at the Meeting I grew up in. What struck me was how really, cold the atmosphere was. This in spite of one, person who spoke to me being friendly and welcoming. It was like the lobster that gets put in cold water & does not notice that the water is getting hotter and hotter - but only in reverse - where the water got colder! Because I had been away from this cold atmosphere for a while and experienced warmer groups of people, I really sensed the cold and sterile atmosphere of that evening meeting - it was palpable. This, in particular, is why I will never return to the Christos nor any other nonsense religion!

    Physically leaving is hard but to grow out of the conditioning and emotional abuse is a whole other ball game! I'm still only part of the way there, but I'm recovered enough not to ever, want to go back. I am so grateful, that I woke up, got out of and began to find a real, warm, meaningful and kind, life for my self.

    Mad Max

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    1. // Hello Everyone - will I ever return to the Christadelphians? - er, no. //

      If only I could answer questions so simply! :)
      But I do like to give reasons at both the rational and the emotional level, as both are factors and I think typically Christians focus on one or the other.

      But yeah, I get what you mean. It's a long journey starting from scratch, and I'm not sure I'm through with it, but so many things about Christadelphia and religion generally seem odd now that were perfectly normal once.

      Sounds like you're a lot better off now, which is good to hear. It's never going to be a perfect world, but nor is it evil and out to get us.

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    2. "I really sensed the cold and sterile atmosphere of that evening meeting." The coldness and sterility is one reason I couldn't go back to a Christadelphian meeting. No joy, no real feeling. The meeting room was such a bleak place. Like Mad Max I found the 'real' world offered much more warmth, joy and meaning.

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  3. From having a childhood upbringing I actually enjoyed being in Christadelphia, took part fully, and was well trapped inside their bubble, though I didn`t realise it. Until . . . around ten or so years after my baptism I moved house and went to live in another area and joined another ecclesia. It was, as Antonina says, cold, no joy, and a bleak meeting place, no flowers allowed, and at first no discussion after the bible class, and very unyielding views about anything discussed outside of it.
    I started avoiding certain Sunday and weeknight dates, and soon found I wasn`t attending at all, although I did attend, now and then, other distant ecclesias with CD friends. This led, after about a year, but with no attempt by my ecclesia to discuss my absence, to being disfellowshipped for "long continued absence".
    During this time, and for some time afterwards, I was in a sort of limbo of thought about what I had left. But it was not long before the constant drip drip drip effect of Christadelphian indoctrination began to wear off, and my brain was allowed to have some rational thoughts. I began to realise that there were serious questions I should have asked myself about what I had been taught to believe during my years from the cradle and beyond.
    If only I had had the maturity to question my Sunday School teachers about the "stories" they were telling me.
    I now realise that the Cd`s have very little idea of what the bible is all about, that it is man`s word, and not even a god-guided man`s word, and that there are so many discrepancies and questions that need to be asked about it, that they have no reason whatsoever to claim that they have THE truth.
    There is not a chance that I will return to the Christadelphians, and they wouldn`t have me, because I don`t believe in what they would insist that I must profess to believe in, before being accepted back.

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    1. Mancott, your comment about the indoctrination wearing off makes me wonder how many people would go back if they went for say a year without any contact with Christadelphians or their reading material, i.e. if they were all forced to go for a nice walk on a Sunday morning, or have a nice meal with non-believers, or read a thought-provoking book instead. I think it's mostly the constant group reinforcement that keeps it going.

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  4. Another fascinating article, Jon. Thank you!

    There is so much I can agree with, but I especially liked your comment, "I don’t see any path back".

    My answers would overlap with yours a great deal, but primarily I would say that I am extremely unlikely to return because I simply don't believe, and in fact I cannot believe.

    It's not a question of will. I didn't choose to believe in gravity and no amount of choosing to believe I can fly will make it so. All I can do is investigate things to the best of my ability and honestly examine the evidence. So far all the evidence I've found has not pointed to either the Bible being divinely inspired, or the existence of any gods (let alone human interactions with them).

    It is highly unlikely that a fringe religious group founded in the mid-19th century is going to be an exclusive source of truth on just about anything.

    It is also extremely unlikely that despite numerous independent groups of people writing sacred documents throughout history, each with their own following, that any one of them should somehow be divinely inspired. Given their similarities, it's far more likely that all are merely the writings of humans, and there is nothing in the Bible that convinces me otherwise. Any claim that the Bible was somehow inspired while the others were not, needs to be demonstrated, otherwise it is simply a case of special pleading.

    It is just weird to think that a god inspired just one collection of sacred texts (among thousands), but that the vast majority of people he created either misunderstood the core message or concluded that some other text was inspired instead! No matter how you paint it, either this god was extremely incompetent, or intentionally deceptive. Meanwhile the whole universe is incredibly consistent with there being no god(s) at all - which would also be strange if in fact a god did exist and wanted us to know it.

    Probably my favourite quote from your article is this: "Why should I expect a god to show signs to an atheist that he wouldn’t show to a troubled believer begging for help?"

    Indeed.

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    1. "Probably my favourite quote from your article is this: "Why should I expect a god to show signs to an atheist that he wouldn’t show to a troubled believer begging for help?""

      Yep. When I first quit lots of people recommended some variation on "If you just pray to God for help he will give it to you". My first response, as I mentioned, was that this was something I had already tried. I guess it was fair enough: I had known I had doubts for years, but others were learning about it for the first time, were caught unprepared, and were just wanting to "fix" it.

      But now I see deeper problems with the idea. Having a god who paid more attention to people on the exit ramp or outside the door than people in the fold doesn't fill me with confidence. It sounds more like the marketing and customer service at bad companies: Try to lure new people in, then mostly ignore them until they start talking about quitting, then offer them better deals to try and keep them.

      And there is actually a parable for this: the lost sheep. In this story, one sheep gets lost, the shepherd goes off to find it, and at the end everyone rejoices at a returned sheep (a sinner who has repented). But I occasionally wondered "What about the other 99 sheep ('needing no repentance') left alone? Were they safe? Or was a wolf going to come and devour them while the shepherd was off on his mission of mercy?"

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  5. Hi I went to the prophecy day on Saturday in Rugby the talk by Stephen Whitehouse was very strange I think he has some sort of mental health problems he kept going on about the Catholic Church claiming it was the catholic Church which was the religion of the Byzantine Empire when in fact it is the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    Next Jonathan Bowman he turned down the
    usual rhetoric and claimed that the Evangelical Churches were there friends but he did claim thst at the return of christ it will be the world rules who will be cut off

    Milestones talk was just a few news paper cutting put together

    I'm glad I'm not a member any more
    I spoke to a few.people and tried to get them to see things differently

    This yyea was very different there was loads of young people there under 18 I feel sorry for them cos they are being
    brainwashed

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    1. Hi thisisme, if you met Stephen Whitehouse parents, you would realise why he is this way. He has been deeply and thoroughly indoctrinated until his pips squeaked!
      I've met them a couple of times, and their immersion (no pun intended) in the CD world is breathtaking. Their kids had no chance.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hi G*len J Fa**itt.
      Why use ******, th*y do*t disg*ise t*e wo*ds, a*d f*r th*t matt*r w*y u*e s*ch wo*ds an*way? They don`t add much to the quality of the debate.
      Why are you sounding so upset?


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