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.

John Thomas Promoting Exclusiveness

(From the Ambassador of the Coming Age (later renamed The Christadelphian magazine), 1866)

The following article shows the growing exclusiveness that was being promoted by John Thomas.  The “Doweities” he described were a group of people who had following many of his teachings that promoted independence of thought without creeds and called themselves “Baptised Believers in the Kingdom of God” since at that time the Christadelphian name had not been coined.  George Dowie was a leader in the Edinburgh church at that time and the title was used for all those congregations associated with his.  Likewise the “Benjamites” had also been adherents, Benjamin Wilson having been baptised by John Thomas.  Their “sin” was to not follow John Thomas fully in all his conclusions.  The Storrites, Millerites, Adventists and Campellites were likewise former brethren.  It should be noted that these names given by John Thomas were based upon the names of various leaders and were not denominational titles.

The characteristic of a true Christadelphian is “the obedience of faith” and a “walk worthy of God”; in other words, he first understands the things of the Kingdom of God and Name of Jesus Christ; secondly, he believes what he understands, and loves what he believes above every other thing; thirdly, his “faith, working by love” causes him to be immersed into the Divine Name; fourthly, he walks in the Truth, and is careful to do nothing to its injury; and fifthly, he will not fellowship those who do not so believe and do.  This is the Christadelphian theory and practice which separates us from Dowieites with you and Benjamites and “brethren in the West” over here.  Personally, I might gain by a less ridged and exclusive order of things:  but then the truth would suffer; therefore I repudiate it.  This is the barrier between us and certain in the West who may have obeyed the gospel; they fellowship those who have not; and for us to fellowship them, would be to let in Storrites, Millerites, Adventists, Campbellites, and such like, who, coming in like a flood with their traditions and fanaticisms, would swamp the truth, and in a very short time destroy the labors and conflict of years.  I have been endeavoring to get back to apostolic distinctiveness, and to carry back as many with me as possible, and I will not stand by inertly and see knaves, hypocrites, and brethren too “charitable” for the good fight of faith, making void this endeavor.  I lift up my voice against it, and though it may be little heeded, there is a satisfaction in doing the best we can.

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