Leicester Christadelphians

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you find that this page does not answer one of your questions please do not hesitate to email us.

You may also be interested to read about what to expect when you visit one of our meetings.

Q: So what makes the Christadelphians different?

A: They have attempted to get back to the faith and character of the early Christian believers in New Testament times.

Q: What does Christadelphian mean?

A: The name “Christadelphians” has been in use for nearly 150 years. It comes from two Greek words and means “Brethren in Christ”.

Q: How many Christadelphians are there?

A: It is thought there are 50,000 members in 130 countries throughout the world with large groups of Christadelphians in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, North America, India, Asia and Africa.

Q: What are your buildings / halls like?

A: Most Christians call their building a church, whereas we call it a “hall” or “meeting room”. Like the early Christians, we meet in homes, or rented rooms, In some cases (as in Coventry), we have our own simple hall. We hold both regular talks and special events in our halls.

Q: What kind of management do you have?

A: Each group of Christadelphians is called an “ecclesia” (the Greek New Testament word for group of believers). Patterned after first century Christianity, we have no paid clergy or church hierarchy and all are involved in organising our activities. Members contribute their time, resources and energy voluntarily in service to God.

Q: What do Christadelphians do?

We hold regular meetings for worship, Bible study, and preaching. The most important of these is held every Sunday morning when all the congregation meets together for "the breaking of bread". This is a service in which, after an exhortational talk, Christadelphians share bread and wine in remembrance of our Lord's sacrifice and in anticipation of his return.  By doing this we are obeying the instruction of Jesus, through the Apostle Paul, given in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (we also call this service our "Memorial Meeting").  The meeting is preceded by a Sunday School (for children and young adults).  We have a mid-week Bible Class for in-depth study, and we also hold regular public addresses to preach the gospel. We do not have a paid ministry (or clergy); all our studies, seminars and administrative activities are performed in turn by our own members.

Q: Why do you give Bible talks?

A: We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. The Bible contains promises of eternal life to those who believe. The purpose of these talks is to explain a different aspect of Bible teaching each week to help you make your own decisions about God’s word.

Q: What happens at your Bible talks?

A: The Bible talk is the focus for the evening, before this a hymn will be sung followed by prayer and reading some verses from the Bible. The Bible talk lasts for around 35-40 minutes. Afterwards, there will be a hymn and a prayer. You do not have to join in the hymns or prayers but there are Bibles and hymn books available for you to use if you wish to

Q: Why should I study the Bible?

The Apostle Paul wrote concerning the first principles of the Truth:

"by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain". (1 Cor. 15:2)

It is therefore important to study the Bible in order to learn about the Ways of God, and how He wishes us to life our lives. Again, the Apostle further wrote:

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 3:15).

We must therefore study in order to be "approved unto God". This site offers many aids to study the Bible, and all of our publications should be read with the Bible in hand, and not on their own.

Q: What do you make of the Bible … And which version?

A: We accept the whole of the Bible as God’s message to us and don’t acknowledge any other religious writings. Instead, we try to uncover the original meaning and interpretation that the writer intended. We don’t insist on any particular version of the Bible but the KJV (King James Version) is widely used.  At Glenhills we use the New King James Version.

Q: Will there be a charge or collection?

A: No. The Bible talks are completely free of charge to all who attend.

Q: Why won't we worship with other Christians?

We are not an ecumenical movement because we believe that agreement on doctrine is important (see for example Ephesians 4:4-6), and therefore we only break bread and drink wine (communion) with other Christadelphians, because we share with them a common faith and understanding of the gospel.

Q: If I attend, will I be asked to ‘join’ the Christadelphians?

A: No. Our Bible talks are simply aimed at making it easier for you to understand the Bible. In the Bible God himself invites men and women to believe in His word, this is explained during our Bible talks. We hope that the Bible will one day make its own impression on you.

Q: How do I become a Christadelphian?

A: It is most important that you share the central beliefs of Christadelphians (some times referred to as first principles). That’s why we interview applicants at length before they join us. Membership is offered to those who have been baptised (fully immersed in water) after sharing these beliefs. Only then can they share the bread and wine with us at the memorial service.

Q: So what is the History of the Christadelphians?

A: Many believers down the ages have held the same faith as today’s Christadelphians. There have been countless independent communities and individuals around the world who have eagerly studied the Bible and accepted its simple teachings. The Christadelphian faith is nothing new. “The Christadelphians” as a distinct movement have their origin in the 1830s, when John Thomas (a doctor) emigrated to America from England. Crossing the Atlantic by ship in a storm so fierce that he feared for his life, Thomas realised that he didn’t know what would happen to him after death. He resolved that he would find out if he was spared. Bible study followed, and John Thomas soon found others who shared his understanding of the Bible. He spread what he had learned giving public talks to capacity audiences and publishing periodicals. In Britain a journalist named Robert Roberts took up the same cause in the magazine “Ambassador of the Coming Age”. Neither Thomas, Roberts, nor any Christadelphians today have claimed to have received any vision or personal revelation – only to try to be honest students of the Bible. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861 those Christian groups who did not fight were required to register with the Union government. Needing a name for their distinctive community, the name “Christadelphian”, or “Brethren in Christ” was registered.

Q: Are Christadelphians Christian?

We believe that Jesus is Our Saviour and we endeavour to follow his teachings, so I am quite happy to be called a Christian. The only reason we have a name is to distinguish ourselves from others who would also call themselves Christians but who believe in all sorts of different things. The name loosely means ?Brethren in Christ? ? another name I'd be happy to use, but again, it is used by people with widely differing views.

Q: Do you believe you are right and everyone else is wrong?

Obviously, if I believed the Baptists had a better understanding of the Bible and its teachings, then I would be a Baptist. All Christian varieties (indeed, all religions) have elements of the Truth, or what I understand to be the Truth. I happen to think that the Christadelphians are the closest I have found.

Q: Christadelphian beliefs are based on the teachings of Doctor John Thomas, aren't they?

I would say that Christadelphian beliefs are based on the Bible. Dr. Thomas did a pretty good job of pulling the threads together, separating the wheat from the chaff. He was not inspired and he was not perfect.

Q: If you disagree with Dr. Thomas, won't you get thrown out?

If someone has a different interpretation of a prophecy which is backed up by Scripture, no-one ought to object. If someone has a sufficiently different view on a ?first principle? such as baptism, salvation etc, then it is no longer in accordance with our understanding of Scripture and we need to ask if we are still truly of One Mind.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

(also 1 Corinthians 1:10)

Q: What about the Statement of Faith?

If someone disagrees radically with the doctrines laid out in the Statement of Faith, why would they want to be called a Christadelphian? However, it is only a fallible human document and simply summarises beliefs found in the Bible and acts as a yardstick, so that others can decide if they are of one mind or if they differ.When the Christadelphians started, they did not have a Statement of Faith, but found that one became desirable when differing beliefs started to creep in. It has been updated more than once, to take into account issues which had not been envisaged when it was written.

Q: Christadelphians don't believe in Salvation by Grace, Do They?

Oh yes they do! Ephesians 2:8 -  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
However, we do not believe that the Bible teaches "once saved always saved - no matter what you do". Scriptures concerning Grace must be reconciled with those concerning Faith and Works to get the whole Bible picture, rather than just part of it. James 2:17 - Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Think of it in terms of cause and effect. If you are being saved, you should want to demonstrate your saving faith, through deeds and actions which glorify Our Father. If, on the other hand, we feel no compunction to do anything, the question has to do asked - "Do you really have a saving faith?"

Q: Christadelphians believe Jesus is just a Man, Don't They?

No. Jesus is the Son of God and the risen Christ is a mighty Spirit Being, second only to God in the whole Universe. But when on earth, Jesus inherited human nature from his mother Mary.

Q: Why don't you believe Jesus is God?

Because we believe the Bible as a whole does not teach this. Certain verses taken in isolation can be made to suggest that Jesus is God but a far greater quantity of scriptures clearly and simply state the Bible Truth - Jesus is God's son. Many New Testament passages become complete nonsense if Jesus and God are one in the same Person.

Example: Real Bible version Matthew 3:17 - And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." trinitarian version:"This is Me and I'm very pleased with Myself". How can it be argued that it's a divine mystery that Man cannot understand!!

Q: Are You Born Again?

We believe that we are born again to start a new life in Christ through the waters of baptism, which represent death and resurrection. But we have not been born again of the Spirit. This will happen at the resurrection - when we are numbered among the sheep.

Q: Why Don't you Believe in the Gifts of the Spirit?

We absolutely believe in the Gifts of the Spirit, because the Bible tells me they are real. What we don't believe is that they are possessed today in the way that they were in the First Century.

1 Corinthians 13 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

Q: If the Bible does not teach the doctrine of heavengoing, where did the idea come from?

The Church of England itself teaches that: "The idea of the inherent indestructibility of the human soul (or consciousness) owes its origin to Greek, not to Bible sources" (Towards the Conversion of England (1945). Like most false teachings, the idea finds its origin in pagan, or Greek mythology, not the Bible.