Who are the Christadelphians?
We are a small religious group that has tried to get back to the faith and character of the early Christian church in New Testament times. This involves a return to Biblical doctrines and practices as taught by Jesus and his apostles.
- What does the name mean?
It comes from two Greek words, Christos (Christ) and adelphos (brother), and thus means “brothers in Christ”.
Jesus describes his followers as his brothers.
“He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”[Hebrews 2:11-12]
[see also: Matthew 23:8]
- Where are they found?
We have members in all continents of the world.
Like the Christians of the first century we meet in homes, rented rooms and, in some cases, our own halls.
- Christadelphian beginnings
Many believers since the times of the apostles have held the same faith as we do. There have been many independent communities throughout the world, which have studied the Bible and accepted its simple message.
The modern Christadelphian movement originated in the 1840s in the USA and the UK.
- Why be different?
We try to follow Christ and his apostles in both belief and practice, as taught in the Bible.
However, in the second century some Christians began to tamper with the original faith. The result is that in at least some aspects of teaching and practice every Christian group now differs radically from the original message. Yet Peter, one of Christ’s apostles, said that there is no other way by which we can be saved.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
It is clear, then, that to have a part in God’s plan of salvation we cannot persist in beliefs and practices that He says are wrong. The teachings of Christ and his apostles are of vital importance in our understanding of God’s plan for the world and the standards that we need to aim for.
For these reasons we wish to be distinguished from the vast mass of Christianity. We differ from other denominations in some of our beliefs and, sometimes, in our way of life.
Our way of life
How is our way of life sometimes different from other Christian groups?
- The Bible – our guidebook
We believe that as the inspired word of God the Bible is the sole authority on which our lives should be based. Fulfilled prophecies, internal harmony and the clear message of hope for the future point to a divine author. Its truth has been confirmed by modern discovery, archaeology and history.
We read from the Bible every day, using a systematic reading plan, which covers the whole Bible in one year. In addition many of us study more widely than this.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” [2 Timothy 3:16]
[ see also: Acts 17:11; Romans 15:4; 1 Timothy 4:13-16; 2 Peter 1:21]
Jesus taught his disciples to pray and instructed his followers to pray to God. We make a habit of daily individual prayer, when we praise and acknowledge God, and ask him for forgiveness for our sins.
“Be anxious for nothing, in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” [Philippians 4:6]
[see also: Matthew 6:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17]
Just before his death Jesus showed his disciples, and all other subsequent followers, how they were to remember his sacrifice. This involves all baptised believers breaking bread and drinking wine each week, and participation in this meeting is the focus of our religious life.
“Do this in remembrance of me.” [Luke 22:19]
[see also: 1 Corinthians 11:23-6]
Many groups of Christadelphians hold additional study evenings and seminars. We try to tell people about the gospel or good new of the kingdom. After his resurrection Jesus told his apostles to preach throughout the world and this is what we attempt to do, both in our local area and by travelling abroad.
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’.” [Mark 16:15-16]
[see also: Matthew 28:18-20]
Jesus taught his followers that belief, repentance and baptism are all necessary for salvation. We therefore always follow the early Christian practice of baptising responsible adult believers by complete immersion in water. Christening small babies has no Bible basis and bears no resemblance to the command of Christ, which symbolises the washing away of sins and a change of heart to follow God.
“He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” [Mark 16:16]
We work in a variety of jobs, but choose our occupations carefully so as not to conflict with Christ’s commands. Following the teaching and example of the apostle Paul we aim to support our families and ourselves by working.
“If any would not work, neither should he eat.” [2 Thessalonians 3:6-12]
- Family life
Jesus taught his disciples that the relationship between a husband and wife is parallel to the relationship between Christ and his followers. This means that marriage is life-long and family life should be treated with the utmost respect.
Children are brought up in the knowledge of God, attending Sunday School and being involved in doing the daily Bible reading with their parents. The elderly are cared for by their family and other Christadelphians as far as possible.
[see: Ephesians 5:22-33, 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:3-4]
We are a lay community patterned after first century Christianity. Each meeting is called an “ecclesia” (from the Greek New Testament word for church). We have no paid clergy or church hierarchy. Members or each meeting are addressed as “brother” or “sister”, and all help in the organising of our activities, although on the “brethren” conduct services.
We do not take part in politics. All members contribute their time, resources and energy voluntarily in service to God. A strong common belief binds us together. Membership is open to all with the same beliefs, following their baptism.
Based on the Bible, Christadelphians believe that:
- The Bible is God’s only true message and reveals the true purpose of life
- The one true God really cares about the earth and its preservation
- God has made some promises that tell us about His plans to take over world government and establish one worldwide kingdom on earth, solving all human problems completely and forever
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the man appointed by God to be the future king of the world
- Soon Jesus will return visibly to earth to reign from Jerusalem over Jews, Arabs and all nations
- The Gospel is true – that Jesus lived, died and rose again to save us from sin and death and to give us a hope of life forever
- Repentance, belief and baptism by immersion are essential for salvation
- Resurrection of the body at the return of Jesus is the only way of escape from the curse of our mortality
All Christadelphian beliefs are the same as those taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles.
The ‘Lexicon‘ section on this site provides more information about these beliefs.