C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
Doctor Thomas on Free Enquiry and Other Matters
The following article is from the “Fraternal Visitor,” a Christadelphian magazine that was written in November 1894. The context was a division resulting from attempts to alter the main Christadelphian statement of faith that was in use at that time. It reflected concerns that had simmered since other attempts to impose more creedal requirements into the movement and a sense that there was an authoritarianism of approach by a man who had become de facto leader of the organisation, Robert Roberts. It quotes the founder of the movement, John Thomas and the ethos that had initially been promoted by the movement. It should be noted that quotes by him later in life had moved away from some of this early emphasis, which was not embraced by all the people who joined early on.
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PAGE VISITS FROM 16/09/13
THE TRINITY HURDLE
NOVEL: HOLY BIBLE
You lay a great stress upon facts throughout your letters, and are incessant in your demand that I should attend to them. This is good; but facts have to be rightly put together, and then you must have all the facts. I do not think you put the facts rightly together, and you leave out some, I am sure.
(Robert Roberts, a Christadelphian Pioneer, quoted
by Ruth McHaffie in Brethren Indeed)
The Spirit of liberty, based upon the law of faith, is the Spirit of Christ; and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess, and having it, to breathe. I claim the right of exercising this privilege, as well as my contemporaries; and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…
(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians, when he was against creeds in
The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)
(John Thomas, from Apostacy Unveiled, p. 137,
quoted in The Christadelphian Magazine, January 1906)
Must a man never progress? If he discovers an error in his premises, must he for ever hold to it for the sake of consistency? May such a calamity never befall me! Rather let me change every day, till I get right at last.
(from a letter written by John Thomas in 1848, quoted by Robert Roberts, in Dr. Thomas: His Life and Work)
Do what is right; be valiant for the Truth; teach it without compromise, and all lovers of the Truth will approve you. For all others you need not care a rush!
(from a letter written by John Thomas to Robert Roberts and published in The Christadelphian magazine, February 1866)