C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
The Stance of the Community
Christadelphians (like most Christian groups) believe active homosexuality is a sin and hold that this is what the Bible teaches. The Bible itself actually devotes little attention to the topic and there are only a few relevant verses. In fact, it is only in recent years that anything has been written on this topic by the community, mostly in response to trends in mainstream society. Historically, though, it was presented as a choice resulting from a sinful nature (like other sins) and a departure from normality. The homosexual movement and “gay rights” is therefore seen as a movement that seeks to legitimise “the lusts of the flesh” and is also perceived as destructive to the Christian concept of the family.
Many gays and lesbians today suggest they have no choice in what sexual preferences they follow. Rather than defending it as a life choice, it is suggested by many that it is a natural orientation with a genetic basis. Some Christadelphians would accept at least some genetic predispositions, but would suggest that people have predispositions to other sins also. They would lay weight to the importance of resisting natural sinful tendencies. In other words if it is true that someone is gay by nature they are required to wrestle with that and live a celibate lifestyle. Christadelphians would stress that they do not hate homosexuals, only the behaviour itself, although anyone actively homosexual or promoting that would be disfellowshipped.
There are few resources within the Christadelphian community for those admitting homosexuality. Ultimately strength would be expected to result from reading the Bible, prayer and through exercising the will.
Some counselling might be available from Christadelphian Care Groups.
The Challenge for Christadelphians
The issue of homosexuality is rising in importance for the community because of changes in attitude throughout the Western world towards it in the last fifty years. It was only decriminalised in Britain for instance in 1967. It is therefore understandable why the gay community is active in promoting “gay rights.” The growing acceptance of homosexuality means the legal situation in society has significantly altered. Discrimination is no longer legal at work or in the provision of services and in schools homosexuality is often taught as a valid form of human expression.
This is increasingly challenging to Christians of all persuasions, including Christadelphians, because it puts them in positions where they are required to agree in order to hold down work. For instance many workers are required to agree with equality objectives. That means for instance a teacher is not allowed the personal liberty of conscience to reveal their personal belief it is sin. It means a hotelier cannot prevent homosexuals sharing a bed together.
A few Christadelphian have lost work as a result of this changing environment. For instance one marriage registrar was expected to conduct civil unions and resigned rather than do so. It also makes other areas of work less tenable for those who conscientiously seek to not be morally compromised.
Increasingly to preach that homosexuality is a sin (as Christadelphians believe they should) doesn’t happen, because it requires more boldness and a greater risk to work and job. In addition it carries the legal risk that such talk is “hate speech.” Few in all honestly seek to outlaw private expression, but many fear that the “gay agenda” suppresses their own liberties and religious freedoms.
These difficulties are likely to increase, because acceptance of homosexuality is leading to calls for further changes. Gay rights promoters usually ally themselves to an LGBT agenda (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender). This has already led to the civil recognition of gay partnerships and is leading towards a redefinition of marriage to include gay couples. It also now includes the adoption of children by gay couples.
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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)