Christmas from the Archives

 By Jon Morgan

Different people following this site will have different views of Christmas.  Clearly it contains both religious elements and secular elements.  As it's less than a week away, I thought I'd link a few Christmas posts from the archives.

For myself, last night I went to a carols concert in a cathedral, and really enjoyed it.  I don't believe the events referenced in many of the carols actually happened, but enjoy the music and the memories.  On Christmas Day I expect I'll spend time with family members.  Religion will probably get a mention, but it won't be the centre of the day.

Merry Christmas to all readers!

Christmas cartoon

 

The evidence for the existence
of Santa is all around you

A Christmas poem

By Mancott

It was Sunday in a small town Ecclesia, it had fallen on a bright Christmas Day
The President said "Now please bow your heads we are just now a-goin` to pray"

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Comment of the Week - From Mancott 

I was indoctrinated into CDism from the cradle. I believed in it as fervently as I believed in Santa Claus. Then Santa Claus was revealed as my dad creeping into my bedroom with presents early on Christmas day. 

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The true meaning of Christmas

Here in Australia, it’s Christmas time. The houses sport Christmas lights, the streets have Christmas decorations, and the shops are filled with busy shoppers buying gifts or completing their Christmas preparations.

But, in among the many Christmas traditions, one religion claims to have the true meaning of Christmas: A true meaning that has little to do with all the bustle and confusion. In past years, I made this claim myself. But how does it measure up?

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Last week, I went along to a local church’s Christmas play. Usually, it’s just a bit of fun for the children. I expected to hear claims about the True Meaning of Christmas, and was not disappointed (my take).

However, this time the superlatives were out. The Christmas story was “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. Baby Jesus was “The Greatest Gift Ever Given”. And this was all completely free, with no strings attached.

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Was Jesus born in Bethlehem?

A few days ago, I discussed a positive case for the resurrection story having grown over time. There is a similar case for Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem being a later addition, though it’s a lot simpler: Only Matthew and Luke make explicit claims about Jesus being born in Bethlehem, they have completely separate stories, and prophecy gives a good reason for them to want to claim a birth in Bethlehem.

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126 comments:

  1. We celebrate Christmas as a cultural tradition. And because it brings us joy -- something CDism didn't do. They had a way of raining on everything, pissing on everything. So we celebrate it in a spirit of defiance and contrariness and because we enjoy it. Many millions do likewise.

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  2. Love the cartoon. Reminds me of the Christian saying, "Faith is the evidence of things unseen," which people parroted at me throughout my childhood. LOL, indeed. Faith isn't the evidence of anything at all, in reality, except, perhaps, gullibility.

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  3. To the extent that I and my loved ones remain Christian, we are "cultural Christians," and nothing beyond that. The religious icons and traditions and holidays of Christendom are thus cultural trappings, and nothing more to us. And perhaps that evolution is both wise and predictable, both in terms of individuals and societies.

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  4. In that light....Merry Christmas, One and All !!

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  6. John, you are overreacting. Your "Devil's Advocate" article was intended to stir things up. It did so. You are now going to go occupy "the middle ground" by belonging to a CD ecclesia that allows you to be a non-attending Atheist member? ???? Do you understand how few of us would have that option -- even if we wanted it? How about we all just take a breather for a while and decompress?

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    1. I can imagine the response if a former Christadelphian, now an Atheist, tried to re-join an ecclesia:
      "You say you are an Atheist and you want to re-join us?"
      "Yes, that is so."
      "Um, you mean you want to stop being an Atheist, you`ve had a re-think?"
      "Oh, no, I`ll still be an Atheist. Can a leopard change his spots?"
      "Well, you cast off your Christadelphian spots, didn`t you?"
      "Yes, because you`ve all got it wrong. There is no Heaven, no God."
      "I see. Well, I don`t, but you say you want to meet with us, as we praise and pray to the God you say doesn`t exist?"
      "Yes, that`s exactly what I want to do."
      "It doesn`t seem to make any sense."
      "It does to me."
      "I suppose you could come to the Lectures, and sit at the back."
      "I don`t want to sit at the back, I want to be a member, an Atheist member, come to the Breaking of Bread and---"
      "You---What? I`ll put it to the AB`s, but don`t hold your breath."

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    3. All slightly humorous, John, and it is a bit too personal against Joseph in parts in my opinion. Stop! I`ve had a thought. Someone is sending in these posts having captured John and is holding him the basement of a Liberal meeting room, feeding him on mushrooms from Patmos, and is using his name to further their interests. It`s a revelation, so it is.

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    4. John, I'm Catholic by decent, so I have a third option as well as heaven or hell I'll have you know....
      Do you think you would win the obedience section at Crufts?

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    5. Mancott, it was "bound" to happen when those liberal Ecclesias got a bit too liberal and starting admitting admitting "The Sodomites" into fellowship, all that nodding and winking, and talk of "looking the other way"and chatter of "handshakes" and stuff going on under tables just sent out all the wrong messages, and before we knew it John was over platform, collection bag over his head and an orange in his mouth. I heard that he was shouting and screaming a lot, but had been away since 1986, so could not remember "The Word".

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    7. Making rude or otherwise comments about your new `Make Christadelphians Great Again` article, John, seems difficult, as the reply section seems to have suddenly disappeared. Is this a glitch, or something more sinister?

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    9. So, John, are you the person now running this site, making the rules as to how and where to comment?

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    13. They interest me, too. What a task! It`s not as if one only Christadelphian lightbulb needs changing, it`s as if there are as many as at the Blackpool Illuminations that need removing and changing, so many facets of their long-held and cherished beliefs to tackle and change or eliminate. You don`t have enough time. CD`s in UK most probably will all have vanished by 2040 or so.

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    15. Mancott, I wouldn't worry too much, just comment on the "none-John" posts, and leave him be. I'm sure that you and John are aware that I no longer have any interest in the Christadelphians, I've raised my children now, both are adults, and neither have shown any interest in the Christadelphians, or religion in general, for other than academic and family reasons, so my need to keep an eye on what Christadelphians are up to is ended, and as John so eloquently pointed out, I'm not a genetic Christadelphian, I was just briefly hired in to boost genetic diversity. My interest now is more akin to the interest that one might have when looking into a cage at Dudley zoo, housing a troop of baboons, the hierarchy, family relationships, and all that teeth baring and shrieking, chasing each other off and general scrapping amongst themselves,while entirely isolated from the outside world, interesting for a while, but then forgotten as you walk onto the next enclosure housing a different species, and get curious about their antics.

      A lot of what John is trying to tell them rings true though. As an Anglican, I lived through the trouble caused by social change, people having to leave because of divorces, gradual acceptance of women vicars (which caused many members to leave to enclaves of intolerance or head to Rome), and the appointment of LGBT clergy, and acceptance of LGBT members (which is just more recent social change), continues to divide the community and induce defections. Two years before John left the Christadelphians, York Minster was struck by lightning and badly damaged by the ensuing fire, at the time, my brother was working on his theology masters at Cambridge, and the church was alive with speculation of divine intervention at the appointment of Bishop Jenkins, who had openly questioned the acceptance of the literality of the virgin birth and the physical resurrection. I am sure John is aware that these events have been used many times by Christadelphian speakers to cast doubt on the validity of the beliefs of Anglicans. What is saddening is that the Christadelphians appear to be operating in a timezone at least forty years removed from the one that the rest of us, and other denominations live in, and now in far less sympathetic times, seemingly only have John to guide them through all of the same things.

      Amid all this, Christadelphians closed their churches and cut off contact with the outside world, in a barely believable act of self destruction such as never before, and went, like high street shops, online only. Young people for two years running went away to University, unbaptised, to be exposed to different religions, lifestyles and thinking. When these young people bring partners home, will they be welcome? Expected to convert? I agree with John.

      The demography of the Anglican church, after all this, and all the church closures, even today, is the near reverse of the Christadelphians, who have near double the percentage of elderly members, and, crucially, a spectacularly high proportion of elderly leaders who have been in post for far too long.

      John is, or was,(who knows?) a successful business man, and his post reflects this, what he is presenting is a standard "burning platform" talk (perhaps made well known when Stephen Elop was discussing the future of Nokia but quite literally relating to the Piper Alpha disaster). The business world is littered with failures on a grand scale by companies who relied too long on past glories (like all those outstanding orators John mentioned), just think Kodak, Nokia, BlackBerry for a few.






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    16. I love John's paragraph on fellowship. When I walk into my old Church, (infant baptised, 1964, confirmed 1977, left 1990), I just get shaken by the hand, and when it comes to the breaking of bread, I just get invited up and included, or if I decline, offered a blessing. It's almost as though they are more concerned about me than about what I have decided to believe this week. Same when my brother is round for dinner, when we have said our thanks, we are more likely to chat about steam trains or the leaking shed roof than the finer points of doctrine and whether I accept it or not. Please listen to John.

      When I comment on BITN I often mention how spooked Christadelphians are that society has given up on it's "biblical" principles, that Christadelphians never liked anyway. As a former evengelist myself, I understand that converting someone to a belief set is much, much harder if they have no basic understanding of the religion you are talking about at all. Christadelphians know this, and are fearful of it. Not only are people today less likely to have been brought up in a religious family, they are less likely to have encountered institutionalised religion as they grew up. Start talking to them about literal creation, the imminent return of Jesus, and prophecy that sounds like Nostradamus, and you won't get a second chance, they will have dismissed you as lunatics, and rightly so. My older daughter did a work placement in a Catholic primary school. I was getting messages every day about what on earth they were talking about, and having to explain. They might as well have been talking Swaheli for all she could make of it. Christadelphian beliefs sound much the same to most people.

      I wish John good luck, I'm just relieved to be out of it and not have any familial ties that could keep pulling me back for forty years.

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    17. John, I think I`m already quite Lightened-up enough, I get on well with CD friends and we recognise each others beliefs. But as for me applying for fellowship in the CDs? Get real.
      You say you "see no requirement to change or eliminate long held...CD beliefs". But your whole article is about how you see the need for CDs to change those very beliefs and practices.
      Fellowship: Central to their requirement. When I was looking recently to find out which ecclesias were still closed (re Covid), I came across one which welcomed (non-baptised)visitors to their Exhortation meetings, but to note that they could not take the bread or wine.
      Tolerance - accepting belief in Evolution, Dinosaurs: Brethren are still writing articles and vehemently preaching against belief in such.
      Marriage "out": When will they accept this as a general acceptance, rather than kick out, then re-admit?
      Lack of Attendance: They have a delight in using disfellowship "for long continued absence".
      Prophecy: Discard their reliance on the (many) interpretations they so love to use as "proof"?
      And there are so many more one could list, and very many of these are so deeply held that even a stick of dynamite, or a JCB, couldn`t shift them.
      I really cannot see you making any headway at all with getting such fundamental changes accepted generally. I think it is possible that you might get some members to accept, leaving others to reject and continue in their "old" ways. And what might well happen is that you would cause more ecclesial schisms to occur adding to those in existence at present.
      As Mark commentated, I too have read and commentated on this blog since the time of the very much missed Corky, and during and since that time have been helped by your contributions; but I`m not recognising or understanding the John Bedson who has posted of late.
      We are better off here continuing to examine CD fundamental beliefs (forget practices for a bit) and to show to the best of our several abilities where they are making their belief blunders, enabling wavering individuals to see that getting out from delusion is a good move to make.

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  7. John's plans are wonderful. Although I suspect at the proposed truce would last about as long as the ones on the Palestine/Israel border usually do. I've heard on the grapevine that John's influence is so great, he has even been able to convince hard line Christadelphian groups to join the truce wholeheartedly, and they have agreed, after nearly 200 years, to stop slandering other Christian groups. A true achievement, that has my full support. I'm looking forward to watching his new videos on bibletruthandprophecy, and his guest writing on BITN.

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  10. As far as I'm concerned, all are welcome to contribute or not as they see fit, and that includes John. I have mostly maintained a light touch approach to moderation, which has pros and cons, but so far I would say the pros outweigh the cons.

    That said, I have occasionally moderated comments where they have been off topic. For example, many of the criticisms of Christadelphians we've been seeing over the last couple of weeks would be more likely to be off topic on an article about the origins of the Bible, or the existence of God, or evolution. My observation on the web generally has been that it is much harder to keep comments on topic (or even define what is "on topic") than it looks (which is also true of normal human conversation...). But it can be tried for on articles with specific topics.

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  11. I have been a reader and commenter on this site for a number of years, since the days of Corky. But these latest rants from John either signal that he is trolling us all, or he needs immediate psychiatric help.

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    1. Indeed, best thing to do is not read his rants. No point in engaging, other than to attempt to annoy him into deleting his BS - by getting some negative posts past the gatekeeper, but why bother. Not sure why the editor allows someone who claims to not be an ex-CD write article for an ex-CD blog. On the now deleted post I suggested he wanted to close this blog, which he denied, now it seems he wants to do a John Thomas and convert it to some other thing.

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    2. No, he is fine. In fact I heard this morning that Shirley ecclesia have chartered a plane at Birmingham airport and are despatching 6 of their best looking and most culinary talented sisters to care for him and relieve his stress as he prepares all the new talks and videos he has planned. I've been told that they were instructed just to pack bikinis and aprons, as most of the work will be done "poolside". They are due back in the UK in 9 months time, as the Sunday School is expected to greatly expand around that time.

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    3. It seems to me that if John is allowed to delete replies at his will, then the site will become a useless Alice-in-Wonderland laughingstock to ex`s and others alike.

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    4. Mancott, it surprised me too. But it looks like what he's done is close comments on his posts - which as the post author he is able to do. As far as I know, he doesn't have control of other posts.

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    5. Jon, I'm not overly concerned, but when you say that you do not know, does that mean that you are not the site administrator? For John to post, and edit posts, and approve comments, he would need administrator rights, as I once had.Can we assume that John never actually rescinded those rights, or did you or Steve hand them back to him? As I say, I'm not too concerned, just that as Mancott points out, things get very disjointed with willy nilly editing.

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    6. Joseph, I'm the site administrator. John is an author, not an admin, and I gave him that role when he asked for it sometime last year. I just hadn't realised that the post author was able to turn off comments for that post.

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  12. Ah John. Taking the p*ss to the extreme. Like the tide - in. out, in, out....

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  13. Why do I sense the arrangements for a lobotomy being prepared somewhere?
    Or does saying that mean I too hate all Christadelphians?

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  14. I find it very objectionable that by frankly recounting my manhandling by Christadelphians -- and, yes, my treatment and that of many others was indeed brutal and traumatizing -- that I become designated as a "hater."

    I understand what Mr. Bedson is hoping to do. He wants to be a "cultural Christadelphian," like the kind of "cultural Christian" or "cultural Jew" who is connected to his former religion only to the extent that it is part of his cultural identity. Yet this can't happen, because except for a very few situations, in the vast majority of ecclesias you have to support a statement of faith and you have to attend meetings and you have to take communion and you certainly can't sit in their midst and say you're actually an atheist. His goals are admirable -- he wants to deconvert Christadelphians by coaxing them out with appeals to their logic and reason -- but what he's hoping to achieve will never happen.

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    1. Donald, read Jon's clarification in answer to my question. John is an author on here, not an administrator, Jon, not John will decide if your comments are to be removed. In my experience Jon is a very fair arbiter, and no one has anything to fear.
      John has made it fairly clear that he does not desire communication with any of us here who do not meet his stated criteria,this has been his position since leaving his editorship some years ago. It is the reason that apart from a few very recent posts, (and for comedy reasons only)I have not addressed him in any way, whereas I usually do address the poster in a reply. It seems the correct thing to do. We should all respect his wishes and not reply to him, comment on his posts, address him in responses, or make any attempt to communicate with him. He is using the platform to directly communicate with his target audience, and that does not include you, me, or 99.99% of other posters here. I have no problem with that, and neither should you.

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  15. Since Mr. Bedson is emulating most of the Christadelphian "mainstream" by restricting and censoring speech, I believe no comments should be posted in response to his articles.

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  16. This is something which has been discussed back and forth in various ways here over the years. Personally, I don't view "Ex-Christadelphian" as an organisation to sign up to so much as a descriptor, exactly the same as, say, "former Christadelphian" would be.

    It is a fact that I was a Christadelphian, it is a fact that I was raised that way from birth, and it is a fact that that has affected my life and continues to do so in some ways. But for me now it is just one small part of my life - it doesn't define my life like Christadelphia used to. It shows more in some parts of my life, like running this site, and is completely irrelevant in other parts of my life.

    Many here faced more problems while in than I did, and had a more difficult exit than I did. And those experiences continue to affect them. I believe their stories matter, and don't think it's ever appropriate to tell others that they should just move on.

    I have to a fair extent moved on, in my own time and in my own way. Not because others told me I had to, but because I realised over time it had become less important to me. Some of the ways I reacted to my upbringing and chose to build a new and different life are probably similar to many others here. Some of them are probably unique to me. And I think that's as it should be. We're individuals here, not card carrying organisation members.

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  17. It would appear that Mr. Bedson is uncertain where he belongs. He rejects most Ex-Christadelphian refugees as being "too intolerant and bitter," despite describing them himself with some pretty vicious language, and he talks about somehow fitting back into the world of Christadelphianism, which is not possible, considering the facts he is providing to us about himself. He would appear to be trapped between the two worlds, which is sad indeed. We must try to feel empathy for his confusion and angst. It is symptomatic of yet another casualty of that dingbat religion.

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  18. Mr. Bedson is obviously highly intelligent has a lot to offer this community, however, he has become Exhibit A for sowing bedlam and temper tantrums at this time. I think his postings should be restricted for the time being.

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    3. Well, the wheel turns again; as John B. appears, sadly, to have thrown his toys out of the pram, and wrapped up the pram and put it aside, we must continue to post in a way that we hope will help and support ex - or former - Christadelphians, and to give the same support to wavering CDs. Jon will moderate as he see fit.

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    5. John: You are more and more resorting, I am sorry to find, to twaddle. You are sweeping us all under a carpet of your ignorance about our personal current and future circumstances. You write, "we" Christadelphians? You are either "ex" or "former", according to choice, unless you have thrown over every single syllable of what you have written about them in the past, and re-joined. In a few posts ago I was your "friend". Now I am a "cry baby" and "can`t afford a luxury retirement home" (what do you know?), and "no one will find my dead body for years". Twaddle. Something very strange has happened to the "old" loveable John, and you should take a long hard look in the mirror at yourself and ask yourself some hard questions about the person you see there.
      p.s. No ecclesia kicked me out. I left. My choice.

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    6. Holmes! John`s comments have suddenly disappeared. Whatever has happened to them?
      He`s had second thoughts about them. Elementary, my dear Watson.

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    7. Mancott, you know how this game is played. John will be back soon.

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    8. Boomerang Bedson?

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  19. A human life is often spent transitioning between groups, individuals, ideologies, and institutions. Sometimes we get stuck in the transition process, and never fully separate ourselves from what we think we have discarded or need to discard. If these separations are painful, there is a healing process, which can take some time. Let us all give one another enough room to say and be what we need to say and be. If that includes some of us being stuck in a grey area between two things or conditions, then let's afford that safe place also. We must each make room here for all others.

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  20. True, but sometimes, if our intentions are good, the transition must be precipitated by others. I grew up in an abusive CD household. The word "abuse" is a euphemism for the things that were done to us, and all while the public face of the family was idyllic.

    All of my siblings have abandoned CDism, yet still spout CD doctrine and still kowtow to relatives who remain in it, even though it is self-evident that the ideology and some of its members have been extremely injurious to them. My friends ask me, "If this religion causes such damage, why are your siblings still half in it?" My answer? For the same reason that almost a thousand people drank poison Kool Aid in Jonestown, Guyana -- because their relative and/or leader Jim Jones controlled them. For the same reason that eighty people burned themselves alive in Waco, Texas -- because their relative and/or lover and/or leader David Koresh controlled them. For the same reason that a battered and violated child -- and yes, I was one of those -- will defend an abusive parent from the authorities, so desperate to have a bond with the parent that they will sometimes maintain it right up until the point where the parent kills them.

    This does not describe this site's current kerfuffle precisely. It does not describe the internal dynamics of the kerfuffle precisely. But there are elements of it in what we're witnessing in this internal squabble. In the absence of a compelling reason, there is no need to return to the well of CDism, to reason with its adherents, to appeal to their logic, to sit in their midst and pretend they have something worth having, or anything else. There is also certainly no reason to pretend to respect some of their potentially destructive behavior and doctrine.

    We can understand and be sympathetic if this occurs. But ultimately, it surely means someone is stuck in the transition process. Some of us may sojourn on this site and similar sites for many years. What almost never occurs is that we return to the poisoned well and imbibe further.

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    1. Yet another immature, inaccurate, spiteful, Anti-Christadelphian comment. What has that achieved? Nothing. It is counterproductive to the purpose of this website. The purpose of this website is shown in the strap line at the top of this and every page. "Have doubts? Questions? You are not alone." That shows that this is an outreach project designed to help Christadelphians who may be having doubts about their faith. But the articles and comments here do the opposite. They criticise, mock and vilify Christadelphians. They convince Christadelphians that Ex-Christadelphians are a bunch of intolerant, arrogant, self-righteous bigots who are no better than the religion they are leaving. That’s why I resigned from the Ex-Christadelphians in 2015 and that’s why Rob Hyndman refused to join us. He looked at the extremist Ex-Christadelphians website that Corky and I had created and he walked away holding his nose against the stench. Instead he termed himself a “Former Christadelphian” to differentiate himself from the monster that I had created. Eventually I deleted all my articles and comments here because I realised my mistake, and I handed over the editor’s position to Steve Pryde. Comments like this one by Jody are an attempt to ease an inner psychological pain. Writers like this feel injured by the Christadelphians, so they come here to voice their grievance hoping that Christadelphians will read it and they will achieve some sort of revenge. The language is an extremist generalisation accusing all Christadelphians with guilt that only a very small minority deserve. I have spoken at hundreds of different ecclesias around the world, and I have got to know many thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Christadelphians over the past sixty five years. I still have hundreds of Christadelphian friends. Generally speaking, they are really nice people; nothing like the way they are depicted on this website and in Jody’s comment. I regret resigning as the editor here. If I had my life over again I would delete it off the Internet and start again with a fresh website going down a new path of moderation and tolerance; a site that treats Christadelphians as equals and not as idiots. I think this website stinks. I think that Jon should delete it. I have registered the site “Former Christadelphians” and I’m going to do what I should have done years ago. I’m going to start over again, and this time I’ll do the job right.

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    4. This website had 5 articles last year and 165 comments in total. 45 of which were caused by me on the Christmas article this year not last year. That gives a total of 120 comments in 2021 if you subtract my comments and replies to me. My new article in January of this year garnered over 120 comments in a few days before I deleted it, and the comments all disappeared along with the article.
      So I can get as many comments in ten days as this site can generate in a year!
      There were 3,944 page views in 2021, but without me stimulating readership of the Christmas article that would have been about 3,700 page views. That's in a WHOLE YEAR!
      Corky used to get around 2,500 page views PER MONTH and at its peak I got 35,000 page views PER MONTH!!!!
      That's why I started posting here. Jon is not being supported by Ex-Christadelphians either contributing new articles or making comments. The website is dying, and without help there is nothing Jon can do about it. I came to help and I can help. I can reinvent this website for Jon and get him 35,000 page views per month again, with many thousands of comments.
      When I open my new ‘Former Christadelphians’ website this site will be hit hard, because that’s where all the readers and commenters will go. - Plus thousands of new ones, both Christadelphian and non Christadelphian.
      So here’s my offer. Wipe this website. Don’t delete it, but wipe ALL of the articles and comments until there is nothing left. Then rename the site ‘Former Christadelphians’ and adopt my proposed new style of moderation, tolerance and respect for Christadelphians and their faith. Anti-Christadelphian comments (which are most of the comments here) will be deleted.
      The mission of the new website will NOT be to attempt to deconvert Christadelphians or attack them. The mission will be to provide a neutral meeting place where Christadelphians and Former Christadelphians can meet online, discuss, and get to understand each other’s thinking. We won’t make any attempt to deconvert them, and they don’t try to reconvert us.
      They can explain to us why they believe as they do, and we can respectfully explain where we might see weaknesses in their arguments. But the whole thing will be done in the spirit of friendship and cordiality. Commenters who violate these boundaries will have their comments deleted, and if they persistently offend, they will be banned.
      I will write lots of new articles and I’ll ask friends to write articles. Christadelphians will be welcome to contribute new articles. I will email lots of Christadelphians and non Christadelphians and encourage them to look at our new, revised website.
      I think that could work. It’s certainly worth a try, because right now this website is finished unless I write here. - Which I won’t if I continue with the creation of my new “Former Christadelphians” website. I’ll be writing there instead.
      Jon could make a backup of this site before he wipes it, so if things don’t work out as planned, he could restore it quickly and easily from the backup. But I don’t think that will be necessary.

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  21. Jody: "Appalling" and probably, no synonym in a thesaurus is strong enough to describe what happened to you. But I do not think that this type or level of abuse is typical of the behaviour of all, or of many CDs, and almost certainly of very few only.
    An abuse which is general, in my opinion, comes from their unwillingness to change, and their forcing, indoctrinating, their young people into their unbending ways and beliefs, which can lead to so much grief and distress later in their/our lives. I see no reason why, on this site, we shouldn`t continue to highlight this form of abuse -- refraining from personal accounts of specific abuse received -- and to continually repeat the reason why we do. If CDs read what we post, they may not be moved to change, or even consider doing so, but we will have fulfilled one of the aims of the site.

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    1. Yeah, appalling. But this website is not the place to wave dirty washing. The same goes for you Mancott, saying that Christadelphians are abusing and indoctrinating their young people. Yeah, maybe they are. Maybe not. But the place to say that sort of thing is the Ex-Christadelphians private Facebook Group where Christadelphians can't read the horrid things you are saying about them. Saying it here, where they can read it, is to sabotage the mission of this website. Stop throwing sh@t at the Christadelphian readers we are trying to attract. Otherwise they will boycott this site, which is what they are doing now. Christadelphians have figured out that they can kill this site by not reading it. They are correct. That's why this website is almost dead. I can breathe new life into this site, but only if the current bunch of commenters get out of my way. Go back to the Julia Wallman site and bitch about the Christadelphians there. Stop killing this website with your Christadelphian hate. Either that, or support Jon and start writing articles for him. I’m willing to do that and I have the talent to do it. But I’ll only do it if the Ex-Christadelphian hooligans leave. If you don’t leave, I’ll do the job on my new ‘Former Christadelphians’ website instead, and if you visit that site, I’ll ban you, because you are not helping the cause.

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  22. What is the constant need of Mr. Bedson, to repeatedly apply lipstick to a pig called Christadelphianism? I understand his strategy. I think it deserves a hearing. But as to prettifying a sect that isn't remotely pretty or interesting or compelling or anything else -- what is up with that? Yes, let's avoid open hostility in our language. But why defend this little sect like we have an obligation to protect it?

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    1. Barbara: "Lipstick to a pig" eh? I could ask you a similar question to the one that you have asked about me: What is the constant need of Barbara to unjustly defame the religion of my family, my son and my grandchildren? Is she "without sin" so she is entitled to "cast the first stone"? (John 8:7.) Stop it Barbara - and the rest of you. You are undermining the mission of this website and making Ex-Christadelphians look like ignorant, uncouth, self-righteous bigots. I'm seventy years of age. In my time I have known multiple thousands of Christadelphians and I have visited hundreds of different ecclesias in Europe, North America and the Caribbean. They are mostly great people. How many ecclesias have you visited Barbara and how many thousand Christadelphians have you made friends with? The same goes for the rest of you reading this comment. If you only have 1% of my vast depth of experience of the Christadelphians then keep quiet, because quite frankly, you don’t know what you are talking about. You write: "why defend this little sect?" I'll tell you why, because it is the mission of this website to try to help them straighten out their thinking. And we can't do that if the likes of you call them "pigs." Our first step in carrying out this website mission has to be to treat Christadelphians with respect and courtesy, otherwise they won’t listen to us.

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    2. In a respectful and courteous way, and an honest way, I repeat, that Christadelphians indoctrinate their own young and the young of others in a way of belief and living that often causes those young pain and distress in later life. I think that they should at least examine in a rational way what they are doing. I see no reason why we on this website, if CDs are willing to take part in a discussion about this, can`t have a reasonable debate, putting forward each "sides" point of view. If we don`t point out, in a respectful and courteous way, where we think they are in error, ignorant of the truth, (we don`t necessarily have to point out how often they are self-righteous at the expense of non-believers), then we are not fulfilling the mission of this site.

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    4. Mancott: Christadelphians don't really "indoctrinate" their young. They come close, but I don't think they quite reach that point. All parents influence their children, and the family religion, or football team, or love of music or whatever becomes part of that influence. Its part of what makes for a happy, united family. I have five children, so I have more experience bringing up kids than probably anyone writing here. My grandchildren are being brought up by my Christadelphian son and daughter in law, but that does not bother me. Christadelphians are great people and I'd rather they be brought up that way than as Muslims or Mormons or Amish. My granddaughter Jessica is old enough to think for herself and she is doing that. She will make her own choices when the time comes. All religions are weird. Christadelphians are less weird than most religions because they have a very long list of "Doctrines to be Rejected" that outlaws much of the trash of other religions. I tell you all straight: Your hatred of Christadelphians is irrational. It’s like the way Christadelphians hate other religions. It just shows that you have not yet fully left the Christadelphian way of thinking. You are imprinting it on this website and on the Wallman site. You read the ‘Bible in the News’ and other Christadelphian stuff and discuss it at length here as if you were Christadelphians. I used to be like you. I grew out of it and now I’m in a better place. I have so left the Christadelphians that now I can see all the good stuff in that religion and be pals with them, even though I would never return in a million years. When you Ex-Christadelphians get to where I am, you will have REALLY left the religion. But for now, I see you as just another extremist Christadelphian fellowship trapped in their way of thinking and behaving. Mancott's OK. He's been trying to reform me for years. Now I'm more reformed than he is. If I'd listened to Mancott more whe I was editor I would have run this site better.

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    5. Some of my deleted comments are not really deleted. They are revised, so I have to delete the version that I do't like. That's what happend above. I forgot to put "Mancott:" at the start. On the rivised version I have fixed that.

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    6. See? The comment I have just made has a spelling mistake. "rivised". Normally I would delete it and correct the mistake. But to stop confusing you I will leave it a mess.

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  23. Like CDism, this site is what it is. Change nothing. If malcontents in CDism seek it out, they'll find it, warts and all. And they'll be convinced, whatever its imperfections. No particular author drew me to this site or kept me returning to it.

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    1. Barbara: If you don't want to make the effort to figure out how we can make this webiste better, I vote that we don't make you the next editor.!

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    2. How about a im sorry or i apologize for my comments attitude John, then we might go along with you.????

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    3. Or not, Paul. Because while John is able to continually remove his stuff, this is confusing, and we don`t know quite what he is up to, and I can`t help wondering if he does himself. I agree with Manny that it wouldn`t be good for the site if we were forbidden to discuss negative experiences (but in so doing using "acceptable" language), and as Barbara has pointed out, CDism is what it is, and ventilating what it is cannot be other than a good pursuit.
      Yes, there is "good", in some ecclesias and in, probably, many CD`s, but both "good" and "bad" are part of a sect which, because of its entrenched 19th century unchanging unwillingness to allow CDs to sit down together and openly examine, unhindered (as some would like to do), what so obviously needs changing, a continuance of being unable to face facts, then we on this site have a role to play in trying to get them to see what needs to happen.

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    4. Mancott: This I agree with 100%. "Discuss negative experiences (but in so doing using "acceptable" language)" Christadelphians need to know why we left. They WANT to know. They ask me. My point is that we use acceptable language. We are courteous and polite. That's not what is happening now. It needs to change.

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  24. Are we here to promote doubts about the faith, or to be apologists for it? It would appear some of us want to do both, which feels counterintuitive to me. If some of us have had positive experiences in the denomination, does that mean negative experiences must not come under scrutiny? That we are forbidden to discuss them?

    Most Christadelphians are respectable people. Some aren't. Are we not to mention those who aren't? Or our negative experiences because of them?

    I suspect anyone in the fold who ventures here will come back because they're going through the same evolutionary process most of us went through. I doubt a little harsh language will frighten them away. John's method is more polite, and thus perhaps more palatable -- but I don't think censorship is an area we want to delve into too heavily.

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. We help Christadelphians to see their religion in a more realistic light, but at the same time we do it in a respectful and courteous manner. In return they can explain to us where we are in error, which is what Christadelphians have been doing with me ever since I resigned here. They have made some good points primarily that they are not going to read a website like this that is so abusive to them. Calling them "pigs" and other defaming things exposes Ex-Christadelphians as the trailer park trash fellowship of the Christadelphians. It has to stop. I have apologised for my bad behaviour in the past to Christadelphians, and if you guys want to rescue this failing site you are going to have to change your ways. Enough of the Julia Wallman approach to Christadelphians. It does not work. The new reformed John Bedson method does work. They listen to me and they think about what I have to say. I can now get through to Christadelphians and assist their thinking about life and religious faith. But I have only achieved this breakthrough by being diplomatic and by listening to them and considering their opinion on things. This website is not getting through to Christadelphians at all. And we did not get through to them when I was the editor. This is just a wrestling in the mud site. The same goes for Julia's site. In my opinion it's disgusting. Ex-Christadelphians have not left the religion at all. You have carried over the worst of Christadelphianism into the Ex-Christadelphian websites. You are elitist, argumentative, small minded and rude. I was. Now I'm not. Follow me, or stay on the road to nowhere. Corky created the concept of Ex-Christadelphians. We have him to thank for his genius. But before he died of cancer he entrusted me with his legacy, because he trusted my judgment. If he were alive he would be proud that I am correcting past mistakes and sending Ex-Christadelphians in a new and better direction. My contention is that attempting to deconvert Christadelphians is close to impossible. Better that we engage with them as equals and suggest reform within the religion. That is an achievable goal. That should create a form of “Global Warming” in the religion, start the ice shelf melting and the resulting melt water, as people start to deconvert, will flow in our direction. That’s what I was trying to do with that article I deleted. It was a great article. I still have a copy. I might re-upload it here. I think it was the best thing I ever wrote for this website. It expressed the new John Bedson reformed method of engaging with Christadelphians perfectly.

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    2. Manny: Moderation is not really censorship. The comments here need to be moderated to make the site more effective. That's not really censorship.

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  25. I am more than a little alarmed that someone who regards CDism as a "valid and respectable faith choice" would have a shot at being an editor on this site. I distinctly remember going in as a child and having a Sunday School teacher sweetly and sincerely telling me and a group of other toddlers that we had on our shoulders the guilt and blood from the murder of Christ. I remember sitting there, horrified that I was in some way responsible for such a sin. And what a vile psychological burden, to place on a child. And that's just for starters.

    Leave this site as it is. Mr. Bedson's logic is in the right place, but censorship is another matter. If he keeps deleting commentary from readers, delete him instead.

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    1. I never said that Christadelphians are a "valid and respectable faith choice." Don't accuse me of something that you have invented. As for deleting me, 95% that everything I have written on this website over the past three weeks has been deleted by me. That's how I operate. Soon I will delete everything that I have written on this discussion thread. Read me quick, or lose my words of wisdom. Because soon they will be gone.

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  26. Mr. Bedson rushes to denounce "prejudice," but "prejudice" is the act of prejudging something. I spent decades in Christadelphianism, and was entirely familiar with it. Mr. Bedson denounces inflammatory language, yet rushes to use words like "bigot" and "prejudice," and in one comment even compared some critics of his writing to American police officers who casually kill black people. Puh-leez.

    I feel compelled to designate that myth about police violence as a lie also -- read Heather MacDonald's book, "The War on Cops." Statistically, no such "war" exists. It is simply politically exploitable Media-driven hype, formulated to sell more copies of tabloids and increase TV viewership.

    Intelligent and rational adults must learn to sort the wheat from the chafe in life, the lies from the truths, the respectable things from those things that aren't worth a use of our time and respect. I do not encourage anyone in my life to waste every seventh day of it (or more) sitting in a sanctuary bowing toward an effigy of an alleged wizard who was God become incarnate and who visited us to save man from perceived misdeeds with his dingus. And after reading many verses granting permission for genocide and the stoning to death of rebellious teenagers, my intellect granted me permission to move on to greener pastures.

    My sense is that Mr. Bedson needs to return to the faith. He need not out himself as an Atheist. He need not attend often. He pretends they won't make quick work of him for those things if they're obvious; we all know a large majority of ecclesias won't tolerate such things for long. He can exist there only by maintaining the silence he is demanding of many of his readers.

    Talk about theater of the absurd.

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  27. For an outsider, it is difficult to see the point of this discussion. John does not like either the volume of output of the site, nor the comments/ attitude of those who visit it. He has registered a new domain, has thousands of CD contacts, and potential writers, and knows better how to run it than anyone else, so surely the answer is for him to "shake the dust of his sandals", and move on as planned. Although that begs the question, why did he walk away from the Christadelphians in the first place if it is so full of lovely, wonderful, tolerant people? He could have just sat quietly at the back and enjoyed the social company, or politely voiced his doubts for them to be tolerant of.

    He has an uphill struggle. Look at Ken Gilmore's blog for a glimpse of how even intelligent thinking Christadelphians speak of each other "of like precious faith", this month's post is a pretty good example amongst many, where Ken uses all sorts of "intelligent" sounding putdowns to dismiss his Brethren's beliefs.

    "a long rambling fundamentalist distortion of the relevant Biblical texts....".

    "one paragraph in the essay caught my eye as it neatly encapsulated the poverty of thought and utter surrender to fideism that underlies the mindset of those who wrote this collection of fundamentalist essays".

    "This is sadly not a parody of fundamentalist thought but the real thing. Inculcating impressionable young people with this material is simply priming them for a crisis of faith when one day they actually look at the evidence rather than blindly rejecting it and realise their fundamentalist faith is a house of cards that will fall at the slightest touch".

    Such lovely words of support from WITHIN the brotherhood, just imagine the distain he would have (has) for those outside of it. See the "about me" section for his thoughts on the former editor...

    Now Ken's well chosen clever words don't fool me, and never have, like so many of his posts, they are dripping with the distain he feels for his fellows, but more in line with this discussion, note how he basically accuses the writer of the essay of failing to understand his Bible, and failing to understand science either, clever words to dismiss a Brother as a "thicko" when you strip away the fluff of it...
    Ken disabled comments on his about 8 years ago, he now just throws rocks about in his own little shiny stainless steel bubble. In true fundamentalist Christadelphian form, the writer of the essays Ken criticises has both disabled comments, and remained anonymous.

    John is welcome to invite this lot to his table for a civilised discussion. I have neither the time nor the inclination.

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    1. Joseph, I find that article interesting because I kinda both agree and disagree with Ken. I wouldn't necessarily use the same words, but I do see it as a big problem starting off assuming that the Bible is true. And I have a lot of experience with this: I see it in my upbringing, I see it in my family, and it caused me significant cognitive dissonance before I slowly gave it up and began to view the Bible as just another historical book (or collection of books...) with its own strengths and weaknesses.

      However, this is the thing I don't get: Surely at some level Ken himself has the same problem? Yes, he is able to interpret the Bible less literally than some, but he still at some level has to consider the Bible "true". Now I'm not suggesting he doesn't believe it to be true, and I'm sure he believes he has good reasons to believe it true (just like I as a young fundie did, actually...).

      So when he says fundamentalism is setting people up for a crisis of faith it's somewhat true. And yet I don't know how many whose faith is important to them will suddenly turn on a dime and the instant something doesn't match their worldview, bang, a new atheist is born. I know for me I spent a long time adding layers of nuance to my understanding as I tried to hold onto the faith and to the Bible. And I know quite a few like me. I am the kind of young person he was talking about, and his description doesn't remotely match my experience. Yes, I eventually left the faith, but it wasn't a "house of cards that [fell] at the slightest touch".

      I didn't go as far as Ken, but that's not because I was unaware of his ideas. No, my big problem with those kind of arguments is that they don't actually give me any reason to believe the Bible. Yes, it means I can't say "YEC is false, evolution is true -> atheism", but I can say "I'm not sure your version fits well with the Bible and to me evolution makes perfect sense without a god or the Bible being true - so why should I believe?".

      To your main point: Yeah, I don't think that post is a model of civil discourse...

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    2. To clarify, I only posted this comment so as to illustrate a point. I read Ken's blog from time to time, simply because he does criticize the Christadelphians, however I find his convoluted reasoning for what he does believe to equally risible, but the references given often educational. The essays to which he referred, (I skip read most of them), seemed to quite accurately reflect the "traditional", if illogical Christadelphian belief set, to which I am used to, his "talking down" and accusation of lack of understanding however, is equally familiar to me as an often used Christadelphian method to handwave off (valid) thinking, discussion or opposition. It's the quick fix, no effort required putdown/control technique that so many of my then Brethren and sisters seemed to be well versed in, and which they seemed to have been reared to excel in. It's not exclusive to the sect though, my younger daughter does religious studies at "A" level, and has an equally, let's say "devout" Baptist in her class who, from my conversations with her, seems to have been equally "blinded" by his upbringing, and is finding being facing with different (or as he sees it, opposing), beliefs.

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  28. John: You are welcome here, to contribute or not as you see fit. No-one is making you do so. But the other commenters are similarly welcome here to contribute or not as they see fit.

    Your suggestions about the right way to run the site would involve suppressing more than half the commenters here, and also suppressing (or at least making private, stuck behind a Facebook wall) valid critiques of Christadelphians. I don't accept that. And I do then find it curious that you have made many references to other commenters needing to "support Jon" following an approach I've made it clear I'm not happy with.

    Generally, I'm with Joseph. If you have the ability to run your own site in the way you'd prefer, why not do so? Why come here trying to change this one? I won't be offended or feel threatened by you launching a separate site. I don't see it as a competition over who will get the most page views, or the most comments, or the most Christadelphians deconverted*. If you can reach people I can't and have a useful message for them, then god speed.

    * As I've also said, personally I don't see deconverting people as a goal so much as supporting those who are already walking that path and making those choices for themselves.

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    1. Again, a clarification, I won't support any effort/website that seeks to deconvert Christadelphians. Quite apart from other considerations, numerically it makes no sense. I got involved here 5 years after leaving the Christadelphians, and a couple of years after my marriage ended. At the time I was under considerable stress from life events that had nothing at all to do with the Christadelphians, and are of no consequence here. John welcomed me, and at the time I was juggling a job, childcare, and considerable pressure from my former partner and family to bring the children up as Christadelphians, clearly I was not happy with this, so I have spent a lot of time trying to make sure that they got to adulthood WITHOUT that affiliation, or any other, being imprinted upon them. What they do in adulthood is their own business, however I would like for EVERY child born into a religious home to be free to make that choice for themselves, in adulthood, and would only support ventures along those lines.

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    2. Joseph: I do agree with Jon, support is what we should be about. Most children born into a religious home don`t get the chance early enough in their young lives to make choices. Indoctrination takes hold at a very early age.
      So, I think we are about Deconversion, but this decision must come from within the doubter. By posting articles here which show that the bible record cannot be true, and discussing, is much better than trotting out our grievances against Cds or CDism. I, like Jon, gradually built up my thinking about what I`d been indoctrinated into over time, turning over what I found to be unreasonable CD stones of belief, and finding underneath reasons to not be cheerful about what I was in. It was like building up a Big Mac-Christo, examining layer by layer by layer, until these layers of doubt turned into understanding, and then meant that I could place the bun of decision on top of those layers and bite confidently into a sure deconversion. We need to assist those who are having doubts about the truth of the bible and help them to understand why they are having those doubts.

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    3. Mancott: Yeah, we are about support. Support and education for Christadelphians, Ex-Christadelphians and Former Christadelphians. It all comes as one package. But that "support" does not extend to letting them dump their resentments into the comments section of this website. That mucks up our message and drives away quality readers. I keep repeating: Corky created a site for that sort of thing and it is called The Ex-Christadelphians Faecebook Group. That place is private. Ex-CDs can be as rude as they want about CDs there and no one outside the group can read it. I see it as an undersground sewer flushing away Ex-CD sh@t.

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  29. Somewhat related: Some here may be interested by this recent article: Why I’m post-religious, and you might be too. I think "post-religion" is a reasonable description of me. In fact, I used it in a blog post of my own a couple of weeks before Dale did... But I know it fits others here less well than it does me, and that's fine. Like he says, not everyone has the privilege to just be able to view religion as irrelevant to them.

    The story of OnlySky is actually relevant to this whole discussion. It's new, and many of the writers moved en masse from an old site when it stopped them from writing negative things about religion. It's only just gone live, so I don't know how it will go - but I have found some of the writers who moved really helpful over the last few years.

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    1. We have to lose the name “Ex-Christadelphians.” The reason is that I trashed that brand when I was editor here, and Jon has allowed it to continue to be trashed by commenters. Julia has trashed the brand on her site, and she continues to do so. Rob Hyndman realise years ago that the brand was trash and refused to use it. He chose “Former Christadelphian” to describe himself. He has built that to be a quality brand name. He’s a really smart guy. He’s done all the hard work for us. Adopt that brand here, moderate the comments so it does not get trashed and it will be like having the royal seal of approval. We are lucky. We don’t have to create a new brand. He’s done it for us. I’m not an “Ex-Christadelphian.” That’s crap. I’m a “Former Christadelphian.” That’s like driving a top of the range Mercedes car. That’s like drinking a $250.00 single malt whisky. That’s like having Allison as my wife. You can’t get better than to become a “Former Christadelphian.” We “Former Christadelphians” have as our thought leader the smartest non-Christadelphian on the planet. His name is Rob Hyndman. He's so smart he does not even stoop to write on this website. Never did, never will. He thinks we are all idiots. He's right.

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  30. I think we should give John Bedson the reins for a year, and let him drive the carriage, with the agreement that he will not be heavy on censorship. A kind of trial run. He certainly has enlivened this forum.

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    1. "The reins" is NOT want I want. Jon and I are pals. He lives in the same Australian city as me. I have full confidence in Jon’s ability to run this site and I admire and praise him for what he has accomplished here. I am prepared to support him because he has run out off puff doing all this on his own. That's OK. That's what happened to me when I ran the site. That's what happened to Steve when he was editor. Now that I have worked out how to moderate my own articles that's all I need. I have experience of many different discussion forums going back to the start of the Internet. Comments have to be moderated to ensure that what is presented to the readers is in line with what the editors and authors want to say. This website is not a democracy or a place of anarchy. The people who are willing to put in the hard work providing material for the site get to control the message. That material is not the comments; it is the articles where we lay out our message to Christadelphians. Our message is: "Let us assist you to straighten out your thinking, because we are concerned that you have some serious flaws in your epistemology." That's what Ken Gilmore and the Berea-Portal group are also telling them. But very few other people have the nerve to say that to the Christadelphians. That’s why the religion is in a death spiral. They have remarkably poor and talentless leadership and a compliant membership base that don’t seem to realise that their religion is trapped in a time warp that has not left Victorian times. It’s done me good to have along break from writing on this site. I have not even read the site for years. I lost track of what was happening here. During that long break my thinking about these things has matured and evolved. I have analysed the many mistakes that I made and I have fresh ideas as to how I can empower and invigorate the Ex-Christadelphians/Former Christadelphians movement. But I work better when I have a stable guy like Jon holding my collar, pulling me back when my enthusiasm risks driving over a cliff. I need an editor like Jon who has the power to delete anything I write that goes too far. I’ve lived my entire life on the cliff edge and I love it out here. But I sometimes need someone to grab me before I fall. I fell at Christmas 2018 and it nearly killed me. Quite literally. Oddly enough it was the Christadelphians who saved me. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for that. I owe them my life. That’s why I won’t abide people who insult them. We can pull them out of the Nineteenth Century without insulting them.

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    2. So they saved you. You got lucky. They were kind to you, for reasons perhaps known only to them. To draw you back into the fold? Because of past loyalties? Because those individuals who helped you were kind and honorable?

      And for others who have been injured by the CDs....and there are apparently many who fall into that category....they are to remain silent about their injuries? Says who? You? This site isn't solely intended to appeal to the intellects of CDs; it is also a place where others work through the process of healing and exiting the CDs. That often takes much time and a safe place. This has been, for many people, one such place. You are right in some of your comments, but you have no inherent right to define what language should or should not be tolerated on this site. This site is better with your presence, but it will not be significantly damaged by your departure. The fact that it exists is what's important, and it should not exist as club for CDism's apologists and allies. I have seen the wreckage that CDism made of many lives, and it is a dying faith. It will continue to shrivel, like all nonsensical religious belief systems, with or without our input. In the meanwhile, this is a healing center for those departing CDism, and the healing process quite rightly often involves "venting."

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    4. I'm expecting to see photographs of Bedson in a pith hat, grinning broadly with his boot on the "slain" bodies of Gilmore, Bowen, etc, anytime soon.

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    5. Joseph: What I expect soon to learn, is that on every CD meeting place noticeboard and ecclesial website, John will have managed to place a "Lord Kitchener" type poster -- John`s photograph, arm outstretched, pointing, with the message, "The `Former Christadelphian` Website needs YOU!"

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  31. And now I see that Mr. Bedson has written an article about shifting blame onto ourselves, rather onto CDism. If you were injured in the realm of CDism, if you wasted too much of your life in it, that's on you, not on them.

    I will visit the grave of my gay cousin, born of CDs, who heard all his life about the evils of sodomites, before he snuffed himself at the age of twenty-six. He was a beautiful and sensitive boy, unworthy of the filth spewed at him from pulpits. "I feel like I don't belong in this world," he said to me, before he shot himself in the head under a boardwalk. I will visit the grave of my sister, who was told to rely on the other ecclesia members for mental health counseling, rather than go out into the "godless world" seeking it. The advice of her "brothers and sisters in Christ" didn't cut it, with disastrous results. I will visit my aging relatives, who cannot sit in one's presence for more than two minutes without attempting to sell their religious beliefs -- it's like watching trained monkeys regurgitating tricks in a carnival. And they are genuinely unbalanced mentally, clinging to their rancid religious doctrines because they always lacked the courage to live anything resembling a real life. They are still inside the cult, but perhaps they should "blame themselves" also, even though the cult told them they'd be eternally damned for even thinking about fleeing. I used to try to be polite, and not point out that they are encouraged by their boring religion not to have anything genuinely resembling a life. Their faith is their life, they said, and their imaginary God will bless them with palaces in the Kingdom.

    There's lots of Christadelphian carnage. Talk about blaming the victims. Instead, you've made the victimizers and the cattle who facilitate and accommodate them into the victims.

    How neat, and tidy and loyal of you.

    Why is Mr. Bedson being allowed to use this site as his personal playground?

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    1. Milo: Oh, you don't like my 'Don't blame the Christadelphians' article eh? I'm sorry about that. To make you happy I have deleted it and moved it to my all new, 'Former Christadelphians' website that is now available on the web. Ask me nicely and I'll give you the url so you can read it, watch the new videos and join our new discussion forum. It's a proper forum like the Christadelphians have, not the 'Recent Comments' maximum 20 posts thing that I created fourteen years ago down the right hand side of this page. Christadelphians have never seen anything like it. They have the chance to win a million dollars if they accept our challenge on the home page. Sadly you can't apply because you are no longer a Christadelphian. Sorry about that. Is there anything else of my work that you want deleted off this website? I can do it for you if you ask. Anyone else want to tell me what of my stuff they want deleted here? Articles, comments? I’ll just wave my magic wand and whooooosh they are gone!

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    2. "Playground" is apt, and John seems to favour playing mostly on swings.

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    4. Mancott: Shall I upload a picture of the rabbits on my land? Will that help you to understand my new website better? Oh, and another thing ...... does anyone here have a recipe for rabbit pie?

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    6. No, but you should remove the head quickly as it is usually addled and will spoil the other ingredients, and remove the skin and discard, as it is usually very thick and difficult to get through.

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  32. Weak? You're the one who talked about returning to Christadelphianism and sitting in their presence as an atheist. To me, that is what Christadelphians would call it: "A dog, returning to its own vomit."

    It's obvious you're a brilliant thinker. Think about the inconsistencies in some of your own statements. I agree with the bulk of what you say. I just draw the line at worrying about CDs' feelings. "They" don't worry about the feelings of the people they disfellowship, the feelings of other Christians, or the feelings of people who stay in their midst and offend them or their archaic rules.

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    1. Milo: You say of me: "It's obvious you're a brilliant thinker"? Hmmmmmmm. You and I could be friends! Because you said that of me I am declaring you to be a 'Former Christadelphian' without you having to pass our entrance exam.

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  33. You are kind. But why does the prospect of visiting your new website stir fear and uneasiness in me?

    I hope your new site achieves its stated goal. Your heart is in the right place.

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  34. Not sure my message posted. I do indeed hope your new site achieves its stated goal. I'd say it has a shot at it. You are a unique talent, I'll give you that.

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  35. If you can reply at this time of my day you must live in Australia. So how hot is it where you are? It's 35C here in Melbourne.

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    1. Milo: "The prospect of visiting my new website stirs fear and uneasiness in you" because you are upset that you can't take our million dollar challenge having left the Christadlphians. Maybe you have a Christadelphian friend who could accept on your behalf? Or don't you need the money?

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    2. Milo: If you are worried about my new site, I'll make you an assistant editor so you can delete anything you don’t like. I’m serious. I want several assistant editors so we get a committee of Ex-Christadelphians and Former Christadelphians to run it, and therefore it will gain wide acceptance and readership. I invite Joseph Strong and Jon Morgan to also be assistant editors and be on the committee. I shall invite Steve Pryde, Rob Hyndman and others to be assistant editors. They will all get rights to delete what they want from the website and also from the discussion forum. I want a some Christadelphians on our committee. They will also have deletion rights. I have a few people in mind to ask from amongst my Christadelphians friends. That way Christadelphians will know that their interests will be protected by their own people. It will encourage readership by Christadelphians who are my target audience. It will not be a place of support for Ex-Christadelphians to vent their grievances. They can do that on this site. I want it to be a place of serious but friendly discussion between Christadelphians and Former Christadelphians. Ex-Christadelphians who agree with this mission will be upgraded to Former Christadelphians.

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    3. "I`m serious" you say? For Pete`s sake, John; can anyone in their wildest imaginations think that a group of assistant editors on John`s new "Former CDs" site, comprised of Ex-Christadelphians, Former Christadelphians, Christadelphians, and any other Tom, Dick and Harryians, the whole damn shoot of them with deletion rights, are going in any way to agree with one another? Confucius, he say, Confusion will reign supreme. Will they be issued with guns?

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  36. John Bedson, I will indeed consider it.

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    1. Milo: Don't bother to think about it. When you join, I will give you editorship rights. You don't have to use them. It will make feel like you belong. Like you have joined a family and we have given you the keys to the front door.

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  37. John: I wish you all success with your new venture. And, like all of us, you are free to define "success" however you want.

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    1. Thank you Jon. I came here to support you and I will. I intend to keep writing articles for this site as well as for my own. Please feel free to delete them if they are not in accordance with your vision for this web site and I won’t be offended in the slightest. I’ll try to craft them the way you want them to be. But it is tough doing it all on your own and I genuinely want to help. This website is now awfully dated. The Blogger software has been stripped down by Google to be almost useless. If you want me to re-craft this website with great new software like Wix, I’ll do it for you and pay the costs myself. I’ve used Wix on my new site and it has phenomenal power. Christadelphians like Berea Portal are moving over to the newer software and we must not be left behind. Discussion is a great feature of this site and it’s time to give it a proper forum with powerful software. What we have here is Mickey Mouse stuff. See the forum on my new site. It’s brilliant. That’s what you need here. The two sites have two very different missions and those two missions can’t be combined on one site. But we can work as sister sites helping each other. If we do that we can make them the best two Ex-Christadelphian websites on the Internet. We could get many tens of thousands of page views per month each. I see us as playing good cop and bad cop with the Christadelphians. On this site you beat them over the head calling them “pigs” etc and on my site we patch up their wounds and are moderate and sympathetic to them. But the mission is the same for both sites. “We seek the truth, by which never man yet were harmed.”

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  38. Lots of truths hurt lots of people. Go into your ordinary CD ecclesia and ask the members to meet and shake the hand of your same sex spouse.

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    1. Same in the Former Christadelphians. No Gays allowed, no Irish, no Socialists, no unemployed, no one over the age of seventy five and no one without a university degree or above. Sorry about that. (:

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  39. How can they be the best two "ex-christadelphian" websites on the internet when one of them was set up specifically not to be an "ex-christadelphian" website?

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    1. Joseph: I'm old and confused. Tell me again, what religion do I belong to?

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    2. John: You must have re-joined the Christadelphians AKA the "Old and Confused".

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