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Peter Harris
About twelve months ago I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Fortunately by the grace of God, I was mercifully delivered from such a shattering experience the intervention of Jesus Christ in my life — praise His Glorious Name! The problem was that like an ever increasing number of people today, I’d been enmeshed in the clutches of a cult. A cult that in their own words claimed to be the last bastion of the Christianity promulgated in the first century. One that stood for 100% truth in its purity.

CHRISTADELPHIANISM

The cult I was involved with for about five years goes under the name of Christadelphians — meaning “brethren in Christ”. It was formed in the 1840’s by a Dr. John Thomas, an Englishman who emigrated to America. To the unwary and spiritually undiscerning, Christadelphianism when first encountered appears to be a solidly Bible-based religion. Its adherents major in prophecy and they put forward many cogent, weighty and forceful arguments in the presentation of their interpretation of Scripture. Moreover, they are extremely sincere in what they believe and are some of the most devoted students of Holy Writ one could ever wish to find.

CHURCHES AND CHAPELS

It was when I came to a true and plain examination of their teachings and their attitude to other faiths, that I began to be aware of that peculiar, grotesque and demonical ‘spirit of error’ so unique to cultism. In common with their brethren in the Watchtower Society, (who insist that they too hold THE truth in its purity — and none else), Christadelphianism has the general attitude that the teachings of the church are ‘strong delusion’. That the religion of the Churches and Chapels is a negation of Bible teachings on almost all points, and affirm that there is no salvation within the pale of any of them.

TRINITY DENIED

In short, they deny the Trinity — it being a stultification — an impossibility. They deny the eternity, incarnation and deity of Christ, and make a mockery of His Blessed Atonement. According to them, “Christ has given no satisfaction, paid no debt”. The Holy Spirit is not a person but the “effluence that fills immensity”. He is impersonal and doesn’t operate today. Nobody ever goes to heaven, “going to heaven is purely gratuitous speculation” they say, and “both hell and eternal torments are a fiction”. They deny the existence of a personal devil (naturally) and deny the validity of any baptism other than their own. Evangelism is regarded with a jaundiced eye. Justification by faith alone is thrown out of the window, and as far as salvation is concerned, then it depends not on what Christ has done — but what I do. Let Robert Roberts (Thomas’s successor) speak here: “Nothing will save a man in the end but an exact knowledge of the will of God as contained in the Scriptures and faithful carrying out of the same. No assurance of salvation is theirs. Roberts also said, and mark it well, “To the charge of holding that the knowledge of the Scriptures in the writings of Dr Thomas has reached a finality we plead guilty”. Little wonder the movement has had so many divisions in its short history.

DOCTRINAL SCRIPTURE TWISTING

Well reader, what the historian Tacitus spoke of crafty counsels, I may as truly apply to crafty errors. “They are pleasant in their beginning, difficult in their management and sad in their event and issue”. And so I left Christadelphianism — the death watch beetle of icy intellectualism dining in the rafters, and the dry rot of schism and contention gnawing in the cellar, and in the living room itself, heaps of false doctrinal and Scripture-twisted rubble. The corridors ever echoing with the hyena cries of one faction whining after their Thomas, and the other warbling for their Roberts. Praise God that He mercifully delivered me from a mere head religion — unto Christ Jesus — a perfect Saviour.

Amen.

"AWARENESS", December 1982