How long have Christadelphians been around?Historians (see Alan Eyre’s book The Protesters) have traced small groups of believers, who have shared these Bible beliefs, down through the centuries - especially since the reformation. The scientist Sir Isaac Newton, the philosopher John Locke, and the translator of one of the first English versions of the Bible, William Tyndale, all believed very similar doctrines to the Christadelphians. In fact, as we share the faith of such Bible worthies as Abraham, it can be argued that Christadelphians have been around for thousands of years, though obviously not under the same name.
What does "Christadelphian" mean?The name "Christadelphian" means brothers and sisters in Christ. We share the beliefs of Jesus and the apostles, as our beliefs are based solely on what the Bible teaches.
Where does the term "Christadelphian" come from?Prior to 1861 and the American Civil War, Christadelphians were known simply as the "Brethren in Christ". However, with the outbreak of War in North America, the brethren had to register as Conscientious Objectors. The American authorities would not accept the term "Brethren in Christ" as it was too general, thus the word "Christadelphian" was coined, encapsulating the two Greek words which mean "Brethren in Christ".
Do you have a founding member?Not exactly, we look to Jesus Christ as our founding member. However, you may be interested in the following information: In the nineteenth century Christadelphian meetings sprang up rapidly in Britain, America and throughout the English-speaking world. This was largely due to the preaching of a medical doctor, John Thomas. He was sailing from Britain to America, in the capacity of ship’s doctor. During this Atlantic crossing the ship was caught in a storm, and - as do many of us when we’re in danger - he prayed that if God allowed him to live, then he would find out what the Bible really said and try to live by it. He did exactly this. As he studied the Bible he began to speak and teach about what it said. Soon many were brought back to Bible Truths (such as the return of Jesus and his establishment of The Kingdom of God on Earth) from which many orthodox churches had strayed. However, even though many present day Christadelphians "are what they are" as a direct result of John Thomas’ preaching, he cannot really be said to be the founder member of Christadelphians. This is because people have adhered to the same beliefs down the millennia, since the time of Christ and even before that. He can be said to have "re-discovered" the Truth which has always had many faithful followers (see The Protesters). Interestingly, many groups and individuals have simply read the Bible for themselves, and discovered its truth on an independent basis. They have then come into contact with Christadelphians, and joined our members. This is a powerful witness to the fact that we simply believe what the Bible teaches.
What do you believe?For an answer to this question go to our Beliefs page.
Do you have priests or a paid clergy?No. It is clear from reading the New Testament, that the first century ecclesias, or churches, simply elected a small group of overseers. Each ecclesia, whilst sharing a common faith, made its decisions democratically and independently. Indeed, the book of Hebrews clearly shows that true believers only have one high priest: the Lord Jesus. We follow these biblical practices. See Do Christians Need Priests? for further information.
How many Christadelphians are there worldwide?That’s very difficult to say, especially as there could be many people who share our faith who we don’t know about (there was a recent case when a Christadelphian travelling in Nepal met many groups who shared our beliefs, and who were previously unknown to Christadelphians). On saying this, there are roughly 20,000 Christadelphians in Britain and many thousands more world-wide: in Albania, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eire, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon,Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia,Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pacific Islands, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, East Timor, Togo, Turkey, Turks & Calicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, USA,, Vietnam, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe and many other countries. Records of numbers are not really kept, as Christadelphians don’t want to impress people with statistics, we merely want to generate enthusiasm for reading the Bible and help those searching for Truth. As Jesus said, ".. small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7 v 14).
What sort of activities do you run locally?See our What's On page Please feel free to Contact Us with any other questions or comments.
Further information:To find out more about our beliefs, you could visit the Christadelphian Office website and download some free literature to read.
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