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.

The Amended Clause in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF)

A big division within the Christadelphians ocurred because of a question that arose over whether everyone who knows the gospel will be raised to judgment or only those who both know and are also baptised.  The historical phrase used is that of “the enlightened rejector”.

The main grouping of Christadelphians amended their statement of faith in January, 1898, as a result to what is now called the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF) and so became known as the Amended Christadelphians.  Those who did not alter the statement of faith became known as the Unamended Christadelphians.  Contrary to common understanding the Unamended Christadelphians do not have the statement of faith prior to the amendment, but have also subsequently amended their own statement of faith, commonly called the Birmingham Unamended Statement of Faith (or BUSF).

The clause amended in 1898 is sometimes called the “Responsibility Clause” and is clause 24 in the BASF.

The original version states:

That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (faithful and unfaithful), dead and living—obedient and disobedient—will be summoned before his judgement-seat “to be judged according to their works”; and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.”

The amended version states:

That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living—obedient and disobedient—will be summoned before his judgement seat “to be judged according to their works”; and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.”

The part highlighted in blue was inserted to rule out the belief that baptism made a person responsible rather than knowledge and that “enlightened rejectors” could avoid judgment.

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