CHRISTADELPHIAN RESEARCH

An exhaustive and authoritative investigation into the Christadelphians with links from their own sources as well as insights from former members. Complete examination of their history, organisation, theology, practices, and the challenges they face.

A Christadelphian Church

Winton Christadelphian Church

The above photograph is interesting because we see here a Christadelphian meeting place expressly calling itself a “church”.  For most of its history this would not have happened.  The reasons for that position are its historic associations with forms of Christianity that the Christadelphians rejected.

Christadelphians historically didn’t call congregations a church.  They have called them “ecclesias”.  This is explained within the The Ecclesial Guide here:

1.—The Term “Ecclesia.”
To help in the development, and give scope for the exercise of this faithfulness, obedient believers were required to form themselves into communities, which, in Greek, were called ECCLESIAS.  There is no exact equivalent in English for this term Ecclesia.  It means an assembly of the called.  “Church” (by which it is translated) has not this meaning, and has become objectionable through association with unapostolic ideas and institutions.  Consequently, the original term has to be employed.

The buildings that Christadelphians have met in have generally been called “Christadelphian Halls”, although in its earliest days some called themselves “Christadelphian synagogues”.

Across the Christadelphian community there are lots of signs that words that have been historically rejected as being associated with mainstream Christianity are being more widely used and adopted.  Christadelphians are more likely to call themselves “Christians” and speak of a “pastor” giving a talk.  We also find in Care Groups a willingness to adopt psychological words, approaches and beliefs once defined as “humanism” and in its preaching and management methods using words more familiar to the business world.  Talks are given promoting the worldly accomplishments of its speakers as “scientists”, “doctors” and so forth, something which would also once have not happened.

Despite the mental rigidity required by followers in general, there are signs the movement is altering and there is little will to maintain the historical thinking on all aspects.

In fact a complete adherence to Biblical terms is probably impossible.  Most people don’t speak Hebrew or Greek and we have to use words relevant to situation.  In fact much Christadelphian terminology in regards to organisation comes from the forms of committee that were prevalent in nineteenth century Victorian times.  We don’t read of a “presiding brother” or “recording brother” or “secretary” in the Bible.

More on Terminology here.

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