An Overview of the Christadelphains
As Christadelphians, we base our beliefs wholly on the Bible, and accept no other texts as inspired by God. We believe that God is the creator of all things and that he is a separate being from his son, Jesus Christ. We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but the power of God used in creation and for salvation, and at certain times in history has been given to believers.
We believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah, in whom the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament (particularly those to Abraham and David) find their fulfilment. Jesus is the Son of Man, in that he inherited a sin-prone human nature from his mother, and the Son of God by virtue of his miraculous conception by the power of God. Although tempted, he committed no sin, and was therefore a perfect representative sacrifice to bring salvation to sinful humankind. God raised him to immortality and he ascended to Heaven, God's dwelling place. Jesus will return in person to establish the kingdom of God on earth. His throne will be in Jerusalem and he will be king over the restored kingdom of God in Israel. Jesus will also rule over the whole earth.
People become disciples of Christ only by belief in his teachings, by repentance, and through baptism by total immersion in water. Although saved by faith in God's grace, real faith will manifest in works, thus the disciple should seek to live a life consistent with Bible teaching. We believe that the Scriptures clearly state that death is the complete cessation of life. After death, believers are in a state of non-existence, knowing nothing until the Resurrection at the return of Christ.
We reject a number of doctrines traditionally held by the mainstream Christian denominations, notably the immortality of the soul, the Trinity, and the pre-existence of Christ. We believe that where the words devil or Satan occur in the Bible, they should be understood as the inherent evil within man (i.e. sin) and his inclination to disobey his Creator. These terms may also be used in reference to specific political systems or individuals in opposition or conflict. Hell, is understood to simply refer to the grave to which all men go, rather than being a place of eternal torment.
We believe the doctrines we reject were introduced into Christendom after the 1st century, and cannot be demonstrated from the Bible. We believe that many of the beliefs of mainstream Christianity can be clearly shown, from Scripture, to be in direct opposition to clear Bible teaching.
We are conscientious objectors and refrain from involvement with politics, joining the armed forces, the police force, or other organised bodies such as trade unions. There is a strong emphasis on personal Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, morality and congregational worship.
There is no central Christadelphian organization or hierarchy. Congregations or Ecclesias are based on a common acceptance of the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith.
We do not have paid ministers. Most male members are eligible to teach and perform other duties, and these are usually assigned on a rotation, rather than having a designated preacher. Governance follows a democratic model, typically with an elected committee for each individual ecclesia. This unpaid committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the ecclesia and is answerable to the rest of the ecclesia's members.
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