Talk:Christadelphians

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Please read this first[edit]

A number of users seem to be using this page as a discussion forum. This page is for the purpose of discussing the content of the article on Christadelphians. Wikipedia has its own conventions on formatting. Please take the time to acquaint yourself with these, as it makes it a lot easier to follow discussions. I have rearranged the talk page, archiving some old discussion, moving some to user pages, and re-formatting some parts.

Some recommendations:

  • Do set up a wikipedia account and sign in whenever you edit. This ensures there is no confusion about who is saying what. You can use a handle, e.g. RJB.
  • Do end your comments on the talk page with four tildes (~) so that it is immediately obvious which user you are.
  • Do indent with a semi-colon if you are replying to another user's comment.
  • Do use private email (if possible) or user talk pages if you wish to discuss an issue between yourself and another user that does not involve others
  • Do use two equal signs (=) to start a new section
  • Don't use this page for discussing issues not relating directly to the article
  • Don't use personal names if users are using handles.

Perhaps we can have less threats about 'reporting people for breaches of rules' and more effort to follow wiki convention.RJB 22:18, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Discussion between KEM/Ecclesiastic removed to their respective user talkpages. RJB 22:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Discussion between Ekklesiastic/Kevin removed to Ekklesiastic's talkpage RJB 22:18, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Current Introduction - Content Issue[edit]

-This section has been added to encourage discussion, gain a 3rd (hopefully multiple) opinions to reach consensus and avoid an edit war. I am trying to initiate one of the first steps of dispute resolution. A recent editor (can be viewed in the page history) who is very concerned with the relation between Christadelphians and Jews (and broadly on Wikipedia in regards to Judaism) is using the introduction of this article to discuss a very specific and higly unknown area of christadelphian doctrine. This editor has neen persistent on discussing the '3rd millennium' and cd views on Judaism in the introduction. As a Christadelphian, I can asure Wikipedia that the idea presented is not widely known or taught. Please can other christadelphian editors verify this below. I reverted the text to the original with the description that this isn't an appropriate discussion in the introduction, pointed out some other notable differences which may be discussed and suggested moving it into the 'diffferences with mainstream christianity' section. There is subsequently a very large writeup in the section which I suggested. Although I believe it to be disproprtionate, out of assumption of good faith, I have left it. However, I am extremely concerned that this user has reverted my edit and not carefully considered the suggestions made and earlier comments by another Christadelphian editor on the 3rd millenium on this section. I am reluctant to revert (again) however am extremely concerned that this part of the introduction is inappropriate and very inaccurately portrays the general differences with 'mainstream Christianity.' Please can we have a discussion as to wether this is appropriatly in the intro or not and if is better served in the 'differences with 'mainstream Christianity section' as it currently is. And if not, as I believe, can I please have another editor to revert this as I don't want to seem to be biased by being christadelphian or engaging in an edit war. So lets start building a consensus below. Thanks, and lets hope this can be resolved soon. Lintonna (talk) 17:16, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Here are links to some websites for individual Christadelphian churches/ecclesias where they discuss what Christadelphians believe. The current information on the '3rd millennium' is not mentioned here. Please satisfy yourselves by looking at other Christadelphian Websites. http://www.claytonchristadelphians.org.au/about-us.html http://www.canterburyecclesia.org.au/content/what-we-believe http://www.hallgreenchristadelphians.co.uk/AboutUs.asp http://www.cvchristadelphians.org/ My aim of displaying these links is to show that what is currently mentioned in the introduction should not be in this section. Lintonna (talk) 03:21, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Discussion below relates to the currents posts above and gives reasons as to why I have decided to proceed with the revert.

It seems you would be right to revert again the 3rd millenium comment you reverted as the source given looks bloggish / self published. Also as a no longer new user you might want to turn your user page blue, rather than be a redlink, cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

(cur | prev) 21:57, 8 May 2015‎ Sjones23 (talk | contribs)‎ . . (127,890 bytes) (-3,445)‎ . . (Reverted 6 edits by Prinsgezinde (talk): Acoma Magic, you are no longer welcome to edit Wikipedia. All your edits will be reverted, immune to 3RR. (TW)) (undo | thank)

I also noticed the revert you made of Prinsgezinde the user mentions above, the edit summary, unless I have misread it, seemed to suggest a sock of another user Acoma Magic. If this is a sock then shouldn't an SPI be initiated and both users blocked? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:46, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi. I have initiated an SPI at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Acoma Magic. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 16:28, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks for your help. I have since reverted the edit. I will copy this to the talk page to ensure the rest of Wikipedia can see the reasoning for this decision. Redlink has been changed. Lintonna (talk) 23:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lintonna (talkcontribs)

Delete this page[edit]

This is a piece of propaganda... Shame...

70.55.120.111 (talk) 02:47, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Role of Women[edit]

I would like to see a change in the following paragraph: Christadelphians understand the Bible to teach that male and female believers are equal in God's sight, and also that there is a distinction between the roles of male and female members. Women are typically not eligible to teach in formal gatherings of the ecclesia when male believers are present, and do not sit on ecclesial arranging committees. They do, however: participate in other ecclesial and inter-ecclesial committees; participate in discussions; teach children, other women and non-members; perform music; discuss and vote on business matters; and engage in the majority of other activities

I do not think that women 'do not sit on ecclesial arranging committes' is a correct statement. A number of ecclesias in the main body of Christadelphian ecclesias (within Australia anyway) have women on ecclesial arranging committees and women teaching and reading from the bible at formal gatherings. I see that the word typically has been inserted at the beginning of the sentence which is an improvement however I still feel that the sentence and paragraph as a whole gives off a very negative feeling about the subject. The subject of the role of women is one of great interest, change and development at the moment in the Christadelphian community and I do not feel that the current paragraph is a fair and up-to-date representation of the understanding of the community as a whole. A great number of believers disagree with these particular teachings and whilst it remains the practise in the majority of ecclesias it should be noted that many ecclesias do things differently and that there is huge variety in styles of service and worship and the roles of members between ecclesias and youth groups.

Also, why are the roles of women discussed in detail with such a negative slant while the roles of men are completely ignored? This alone is sending a message to readers that there is something 'weird' or 'wrong' about this part of Christadelphian practice. I feel the section should be re-written with emphasis on the great variety of opinion on this topic and giving examples of both positions.

--- —Preceding unsigned comment added by Katieannegeorgette (talkcontribs) 04:51, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Please feel free to edit the article with your own suggestions. --Taiwan boi (talk) 04:36, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Can't see an awful lot wrong with the paragraph to be honest. Might need re-wording slightly but not much. Will take a good look at it. Cls14 (talk) 12:15, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Notable Christadelphians[edit]

I'm wondering how people feel about removing the Notable Christadelphian section until we have some actual Christadelphians to add. The people currenlty mentioned grew up in Christadelphian homes but are not Christadelphians themselves. There is also mention made of some famous academics but that should probably be taken down as well until we can add some names.Wintrlnd (talk) 00:06, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Personally fully agree, not sure who/why added it in the first place In ictu oculi (talk) 15:28, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I am only a "noob" at this discussion page, but I am not sure what the purpose of the section is. It fame and fortune in this world are not things to be sought after, are we saying that the lack of "notable Christadelphians" shows our success in this respect? For what it's worth, I think it would be best if the section were removed.Misterbluesplayer (talk) 21:49, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Dawn Fellowship (numbers, locations)[edit]

We're getting some traffic on the numbers of the Dawn fellowship:

  • 23 Dec "Dawn = 670 (UK 200, Africa 200, Australia 200, Ontario 50, Poland and Russia 20)" (primarily BTDF estimate)
  • 2 Feb Revision as of 14:56, 2 February 2010 (edit) (undo) Misterbluesplayer

Dawn = "1000+ (UK 500, Africa 200, Australia 200, Ontario 50, Poland and Russia 20, plus Ecclesias in India, Mauritius, the Philippines etc)"

  • 7 Feb "Dawn = approx 1000". 17:48, 7 February 2010 (hist | diff) N User talk:86.171.63.255 ‎ (←Created page with 'Sorry should have signed in as 'Elpis' further changes made because upon reflection the number of members is enough infomration to provide, further details are not ...') * 17:45, 7 February 2010 (hist | diff) Christadelphians ‎ (→Fellowships today) (top)

I guess that reads "further details are not ... verifiable?" but got cut off? The numbers not being verifiable is true of most of countries where census information is not available, and hence most groups, not least the total number of Christadelphians of all groups (which seems to be anywhere in 55,000-65,000 range of error. But it should be possible to do better than "approx 1000" and no indication of location (probably the second most important piece of information for any user of this paragraph). We can get information by email (that is how the original numbers were obtained) but maybe Misterbluesplayer and Elpis can follow up on this and do some verification? Then put what is verifiable e.g. (UK 370-420?) Africa 200, Australia 200, etc. and reassign minor bits of information such as the individuals in Mauritius, the Philippines to a footnote? As it stands the last edit looks like a step backwards in providing meaningful and accurate information. :) In ictu oculi (talk) 01:54, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

While we're on the subject, Misterbluesplayer or Elpis can you verify how many Watchman in the UK, (Watchman 30 in India, cf 50 in Dawn in India)? In ictu oculi (talk)

I do know that in the last year or so, six Watchmen members have (re-)joined Dawn and at least a couple have joined Central and some have fallen asleep. I believe them now to be vary small, but don't have precise figures. Misterbluesplayer (talk) 18:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Lead improvements needed[edit]

Can someone who knows add something to the lead about what the group is about? Currently it only says how many members it has and that it is a Christian group started in the 19th century. The lead should make it clear why these people are notable other than just because a few thousand people around the world are members and they are Christians. I'm sure it's in the article somewhere but it's long and dreadfully boring and I could find it in the 30 seconds I looked. Earthdirt (talk) 00:22, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Very fair comment but it's not going to be easy to add a soundbite that really makes that point in a nutshell about how the WYSIWYG systematic theology of Christadelphians is distinctive. Theologically Christadelphians are notable as the main, and in most countries only, "Biblical Unitarian" denomination still active today - rejecting that Christ existed before his birth, or was conscious during his death, but preaching a miraculous birth, resurrection and future return. So how does that get into header-language? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:33, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Rearrange order of article sections?[edit]

I wonder if the article would be more immediately interesting /readable if the history sections were moved further down, swapped with the 'Major beliefs in the Statements of Faith' section (which could be followed by the 'Other historical groups and individuals with some shared doctrines' [that section should probably follow the "belief" section anyway; preceding it is a little odd]). Those are the types of thing that people are generally going to find more interesting, after which they may want to read some of the history. Woofboy (talk) 23:07, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Agreed that (B) 'Other people with shared beliefs' coming before (A) 'Beliefs' is very odd. I suggest you go ahead and move (A) up before (B). While you're doing it if (A)

But as regards moving both A and B up before history I'm not sure that can be done, seems many if not most church articles on Wikipedia go: INTRO (which are usually better than this article), CONTENT BOX, 1. history -> 2. belief -> 3. modern organisation/practices. I may be wrong. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:35, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Good move. I have broken up Beliefs with 6 subdivider lines. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:28, 3 October 2010 (UTC)


External Links[edit]

Please can we discuss the criteria used to determine which external links are added. I added a factual site on the Christadelphians, Christadelphian Research. This was removed and restored, then removed with a note suggesting it was a self promoting site. Whilst this is my site it is not self promoting. Instead it is based upon research and contains a considerable number of links elsewhere so information can be validated. Since self promoting sites were given as a reason not to be added I removed the existing two sites, because both have clearly been written to promote Christadelphian beliefs and would better fit the self promoting criteria than my own. My own site takes the form of an investigation and contains information and links to all manner of sites, including mainstream Christadelphian ones , whereas the Christadelphian sites have restricted theirs to those that simply support views Christadelphians prefer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.96.198.25 (talk) 17:55, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Your site says "I was disfellowshipped by the Christadelphians" so you have an axe to grind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.94.154.235 (talk) 19:04, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

No, it simply means that in certain respects I do not believe everything adds up the same way. Sure that means I have some personal bias against certain views. That's inevitable. No one is fully impartial and a site that promotes Christadelphians views isn't impartial either. For people to be able to get an impartial view it means they need to see different aspects and read around a topic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.96.198.25 (talk) 20:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

You havet a site that tells people to leave the Christadelphians and that isn't just impartial it is TELLING PEOPLE TO LEAVE. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.94.154.235 (talk) 20:10, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe it does, actually. I would interested in knowing where. On the other hand your site are TELLING PEOPLE TO BELIEVE CHRISTADELPHIAN DOCTRINES. That's hardly impartial.81.96.198.25 (talk) 20:16, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

http://www.christadelphianresearch.com/outoffellowshipchristadelphiansupportguide.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.94.154.235 (talk) 21:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

that's not telling people to leave, its simply dealing with that fact that many do and its not always voluntary either81.96.198.25 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:50, 3 October 2011 (UTC).

I'm pretty sure it doesn't tell people to leave because it is written from an investigative perspective, but a question. Even if it did, how would that be more biased than a site written from the persepctive of seeking to persuade people Christadelphian beliefs are true?81.96.198.25 (talk)

Adding a link to a site written by yourself is by definition self-promotion. This is especially the case when your site has an explicit bias one way or another, with regard to the subject of the article.--Taiwan boi (talk) 07:55, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Not so, Taiwan boi. It would be self-promotion is it was primarily about myself or a particular situation regarding myself and the Christadelphians. That is not the case. It seeks to be a complete overview of the Christadelphians and how they work. It considers how the community works in practice, which is something practically no Christadelphian site does. That's because most cd sites are set up to try and convert people. They are therefore written with a bias. Not intentionally I would agree, but by default. It also contains links which inform people which are not normally found on cd sites, historical, other Christian sites as well as links to articles by sociologists, historians and rather than tell people what to believe it specifically says do your research and explains to people where resources can be found. This includes links to mainstream cd books sources, advice on where meetings can be found, what types of meetings there are, what arguments people put for and against various positions. If there is any reason to inherent bias it is simply due to the fact that I am a former cd. That is no greater than the inherent bias of being a cd. I am suggesting if we have links they should be such so that people can read all around the suubject. I am arguing AGAINST bias.81.96.198.25 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:50, 6 October 2011 (UTC).

You are not using the term "self-promotion" as it is used in Wikipedia. It does not necessarily mean articles about yourself or your situation. It covers linking to sites you own or run, which is seen as using a Wiki article to raise the profile of your own site.That is self-promotion. Christadelphian sites are reliable sources of information for what Christadelphians believe, as primary sources (their bias in this case is irrelevant); non-Christadelphian sites are not, unless they meet the criteria for WP:RS, which yours does not. If you're really interested in contributing information on how the community works in practice, please cite the relevant academic sociological studies.--Taiwan boi (talk) 03:45, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I think you will find that at least one of the sites linked is a Christadelphian site written by a regular cd wikipedian who is fairly agressive at maintaining this site in a specific way. That's why the section about other groups with similar beliefs to cds reads like its trying to prove cd beliefs. You wouldn't find a section like that in a normal encyclopedia and its doubtful its very accurate.06:42, 22 December 201181.96.198.25 (talk) 06:42, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I've just read this article for the first time, and it did strike me (even before I read this discussion) that it puts Christadelphians into a very favorable light. Very little critical material is to be found. So, just to maintain some balance, it would be advisable to include a few links to non-CD sites. That would contribute considerably to making this article less of a fan post and more of an encyclopedia article. Molare (talk) 11:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
There's no problem at all linking to critical commentary on Christadelphians, as long as the sources linked to are WP:RS. One person wanted to use this article to link to their personal website, which was not a WP:RS, so it couldn't be used. But by all means locate critical material from WP:RS and include it here.--Taiwan boi (talk) 13:52, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Brothers in Christ or Christian?[edit]

John Thomas clearly thought the former "Brothers/Sisters in Christ" the most appropriate name for this group, not Christian which means "Followers of Christ". Hence I propose changing the term to "Bible believing" instead of "Christian". This has been reverted once so I thought I'd take it to talk for 10 days before reverting. Comments and discussion welcome in the spirit of good fellowship. Nasorean (talk) 22:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Terminology in Wikipedia articles must follow Wikipedia policies. The Christadelphians are a Christian group, and "Christian" is the term to use when describing them in a Wikipedia article.--Taiwan boi (talk) 13:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

::Please enlighten me as to the Wikipedia policy that judges Christadelphians as a "Christian" group? You will find few Christadelphians claiming to such a fact. If you do, they haven't read Elpis Israel, Eureka (books), Exposition of Daniel by John Thomas and Thirteen Lectures on the Apocalypse by Robert Roberts thoroughly enough. Nasorean (talk) 10:16, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia uses standard English dictionary definitions; for guidance, see here. If you disagree, make a request for comment. Christadelphians are a Christian group according to standard English dictionary definitions. What individual Christadelphians call themselves is irrelevant; this is Wikipedia, not Christadelphapedia. Your personal views on the subject are also irrelevant.--Taiwan boi (talk) 06:13, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

::::You appear to be correct, thanks. The argument and comment would not be correctly made here but rather with the author(s) of the standard English dictionary who have created that misleading and mistaken definition. I have faith that other Christadelphians will raise this issue with the dictionary compilers in due course. Nasorean (talk) 08:28, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. In the English language, "Christian" is an appropriate word to describe the Christadelphians as a group. A change of the dictionary definition would first require a change in the English language. If the Christadelphian community ever abandons their recognition of Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah and the son of God sent to save those who enter, through baptism, the community of people identified by the apostle Peter as "Christian" ("if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed", 1 Peter 4:16), then it would be appropriate to stop referring to them as a "Christian" group. If individual Christadelphians don't want to identify themselves with Jesus and use the word "Christian" as Peter did that's their business, but the fact remains that this article has to use the standard English language term with which other people refer to Christadelphaians as a religious group; Christian.--Taiwan boi (talk) 09:16, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

::::::The Christadelphian community abandoned that recognition when John Thomas termed their name to seperate them from other Christians back in the 1860s. Hence I would suggest individual Christadelphians should not identify themselves as Christian and rather seek to understand why their founder set up this Bible believeing group not to identify themselves that way. Nasorean (talk) 11:34, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

From the time of Peter until now, the beliefs of Christians have changed and they no longer uphold the original ones, becoming incorporated with those contrary to original scriptural teaching. They were also differentiated from Christians by Jesus in his commands not to take up arms for worldly powers and hence are contientious objectors unlike the majority of other people who call themselves Christians. This is why John Thomas used the term Christadelphians during the civil war in America. Nasorean (talk) 18:51, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
That's great, but it doesn't address anything I wrote.--Taiwan boi (talk) 08:01, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

:::::::::Sorry, I didn't write it for you (unless you are Christadelphian). I wrote it for the Christadelphians to raise the issue with the compilers of the Standard English Dictionary to change their definition as mentioned above as that is the only solution I can forsee to this mistake. Also to assist with their arguments regarding contientious objecting upon the advent of World War III. Nasorean (talk) 09:03, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

But this is not the place for you to make such statements; please read WP:SOAP.--Taiwan boi (talk) 05:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

:::::::::::Perhaps, but we both started being a bit guilty of WP:SOAP when you started quoting Peter and advising Christadelphians to recognise themselves as Christians. Nasorean (talk) 10:44, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I didn't advise Christadelphians to do anything. I explained to you the New Testament background of the meaning of the English word 'Christian' (of which you seemed completely unaware), and why it is applied to Christadelphians by third parties. That's it.--Taiwan boi (talk) 04:19, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
(Additionally, although John Thomas had much to say about the 'much-abused name of Christianity', he didn't shy away from describing (people whom he'd consider to be true) believers as Christians.) --Woofboy (talk) 23:37, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Sock puppet edits[edit]

See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Paul Bedson/Archive. Bedson was blocked for misuse of sources, fringe editing, etc. Dougweller (talk) 17:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

I just posted a question at the help desk which refers to this article.

Unreadable due to many references

It refers to one specific part of the article -- it is NOT meant as a criticism of the entire article.

Wanderer57 (talk) 14:33, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Origin of the name Christadelphian[edit]

The description of the origin of the name Christadelphian in the main article is factually incorrect. No primary documents are available, but the following extract from R. Roberts, Dr. Thomas: His Life and Works (ch. 50) can be regarded as authoritative. The main article should be revised based on this material. I have also included material from another source dealing specifically with this subject.

"The sequel came in 1864 while the Doctor was on the tour narrated in chapter 52. It is recorded here because it shows how matters worked out, and because it was particularly important as it caused a name to be adopted to distinguish the believers in the gospel of the Kingdom from other from other denominations.

Dr. Thomas was on the way home, when he visited Ogle County, where a brother Coffman lived. His coming was greeted with gladness for the brethren there were exercised in mind by a “draft” that was expected in the near future, and they hoped he would be able to assist them. The sequel can be best told in his own words. “I told them that the Federal law exempted all who belonged to a denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms on condition of paying 300 dollars, finding a substitute, or serving in the hospitals. This excluded all the known denominations except the Quakers; for besides this denomination, they not only proclaimed the fighting for country a christian virtue; but were all commingled in the unhallowed and sanguinary strife. There was however a denomination not known to the ignorance of legislative wisdom. It was relatively very slam, but nevertheless a Denomination and a Name, contrary to, and distinct from, all others upon earth. It comprehended all those who with Paul repudiated the use of carnal weapons, and not this only, but who, believing the gospel of the Kingdom, became constituents of the Name by being intelligently immersed into Christ Jesus their Lord. The members of this name are not politicians, they are not patriots, and take no part in the contentions of the world, which is the enemy of God.”

Speaking of the brethren of Ogle County he went on to say, “this was their view of the matter,” adding, “Their determination is to be shot at their own doors rather than serve in the armies of the North or South.” To assist them in their endeavour to gain exemption from service, they desired the Doctor to write something that they might put in to certify the truth of their claims to have a conscientious objection to military service. This raised a question; how was he to describe them in a way that they should be clearly distinguished from all other claimants? Hitherto there had been no particular name for them; they had been baptised believers; in New York they had adopted the title “The Royal Association of Believers,” but that was obviously unsuitable for the purpose of securing exemption from military service.

“I did not know a better denomination that could be given to such a class of believers (writes the Doctor) than ‘Brethren in Christ.’ This declares their true status, and as officials prefer words to phrases, the same fact is expressed in another form by the word Christadelphians, Christou adelphoi, Christ’s brethren.”

Having decided on the name by which the small community should be known, the Doctor provided them with certificates, of which the following is a copy: -

“This is to certify that S. W. Coffman and others (The names of the ten male members were given) constitute a Religious Association denominated herein, for the sake of distinguishing them from all other ‘Names and Denominations,’ Brethren in Christ, or, in one word, Christadelphians, and that said brethren are in fellowship with similar associations in England, Scotland, the British Provinces, New York and other cities of the North and South—New York being for the time present the Radiating Centre of their testimony to the people of the current age and generation of the world.”

“This is also to certify, that the Denomination constituted of the associations or ecclesias of this name conscientiously opposes, and earnestly protests against ‘Brethren in Christ’ having anything to do with politics in wordy strife, or armsbearing in the service of the Sin-powers of the world under any conceivable circumstances or conditions whatever; regarding it as a course of conduct disloyal to the Deity in Christ, their Lord and King, and perilous to their eternal welfare.”

“This being individually and collectively the conscientious conviction of all true Christadelphians, they claim and demand the rights and privileges so considerately accorded by the Congress of the United States in the statute made and provided for the exemption of members of a Denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms in the service of any human government.”

“This is also further to certify that the undersigned is the personal instrumentality by which the Christian Association aforesaid in Britain and America have been developed within the last fifteen years, and that therefore he knows assuredly that a conscientious, determined and uncompromising opposition to serving in the armies of ‘the Powers that be’ is their denominational characteristic. In confirmation of this, he appeals to the definition in respect to war on page 13 of a pamphlet entitled ‘Yahweh Elohim’ issued by the Antipas Association of Christadelphians assembling at 24 Cooper Institute, New York, and with which he ordinarily convenes. Advocates of war and desolation are not in fellowship with them, or with the undersigned,

John Thomas.”

Dr. Thomas, and the applicants went before a notary public to affirm the genuineness of his signature, and the truth of the certificate in substance and in fact. The County seal was affixed and the document handed to Brother Coffman for safe keeping until such time as it should be required. Having done this, a copy was sent to the brethren in Henderson City so that they might know what course had been taken in the North.

Although the Conscription Act in the Northern States, and the Certificate referred to above, seemed to do all that was necessary, it was deemed desirable in 1865 to address a petition to the Senators and Representatives of the United States asking for exemption to be accorded to members of the Christadelphian body. The document is too long to print here, but it pointed out that the petitioners belonged to the “sect everywhere spoken against,” whose members now chose to be known as Christadelphians, or Brethren of Christ. As such they had been taught not to resist evil, to love their enemies, bless them that curse them, do good to them that hate them, pray for them that despitefully use them, etc. They therefore were of the class provided for in the enrolment Act as conscientiously opposed to the bearing and use of weapons of war, and to the shedding of human blood. Owing allegiance to Christ as King, they positively refused under any circumstances, to engage in the armies or navies of any government.

They further pointed out that in the Southern States their fellow believers had refused to bear arms in the Confederate armies, and that those States had passed a law recognising their refusal and right.

What might have been the outcome of the petition cannot be said, for, in consequence of the victory of the Northern States the Conscription Laws were suspended."

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that in the Southern States the circumstances were different. Conscription laws exempted ministers of the gospel, and on this basis Dr. Thomas obtained exemptions for some affected brethren by certifying that they were ministers of the gospel.

The extract from the blog mentioned above provides further detail:

(a) The churches which were later to be called Christadelphian initially resisted a denominational name. Throughout the USA and Britain these churches generally went by the names of Believers, Baptised Believers, the Royal Association of Believers, Baptised Believers in the Kingdom of God, and other similar names. They generally referred to each other simply as "believers". I'm unaware of any documentary evidence that they regularly called themselves "Brothers or sisters in Christ".

(b) It was at the home of Jacob Coffman in Illinois that John Thomas, Jacob and Samuel Coffman met to form the new denomination, Christadelphians, during the final years of the Civil War. This was done, apparently, to protect the members from military duty.

There are no records in Ogle county which bear witness to the outcome of this meeting. Nothing is recorded at the county courthouse, although there are dozens of transactions by the Coffmans regarding their real estate transactions, and dozens more recordings by other denominations to register their trustees and board members in order to conduct church business.

If John Thomas did not register Christadelphians as a new denomination within the county, he may have registered it through the war department. If this is so, the records have not been located to document it, although historical researchers have searched for them.

What benefit was there in registering Christadelphians as a denomination during the Civil War? There was no exemption given to clergy in the Union states. The Union’s Militia Act of 1862 did not provide exemption for clergy or conscientious objectors. The only way a man could avoid the military was to pay $300 and hire a substitute. In an interview with the great great grandson of Sam Coffman, Mr. Ralph Coffman confirmed that Samuel W. Coffman did not serve in the Civil War. However, there are no family records available to determine if he hired a substitute, nor could this be determined via a search of Civil War records*.

Presumably, denominations had to register with the federal government and be recognised as pacifists, and to receive tax-free status. An Income Tax was imposed during the Civil War. Those commonly recognized included Shakers, Quakers, and Mennonites. The historical record does not mention the Christadelphians as a recognised pacifist denomination.

Robert Roberts, in Dr Thomas: His Life and Work, provides details of a "certificate" written by John Thomas for the Coffmans. He writes: "the applicants went before a notary public to affirm the genuineness of his signature, and the truth of the certificate in substance and in fact. The County seal was affixed and the document handed to Brother Coffman for safe keeping until such time as it should be required". However, this was not registration as a denomination.

The Civil War involved two governments. Did John Thomas also register his new denomination in the south? He travelled in the south during the Civil War and it would seem that there would be impetus to register a denomination in the south more than in the Union. However, there is no evidence that he registered the Christadelphians with the Confederate government. The Confederate exemption laws were quite lenient to clergy and conscientious objectors, however, even though they desperately needed the manpower. Due to this, he wouldn’t have needed to register his denomination. In fact, Robert Roberts gave details in Dr Thomas: His Life and Work of an incident where ten brethren were granted exemption from military service in the South on the basis that they were "ministers of religion" (chapter 50). So, where is the evidence that Christadelphians were registered anywhere as conscientious objectors?

(c) As there is no evidence that Christadelphians were registered as a denomination or as conscientious objectors, there is also no evidence that 'The American authorities would not accept the term "Brothers or sisters in Christ" as it was too general'. In fact, there is a denomination in the United States called "Brethren in Christ" and they have been in existence longer than Christadelphians (the Brethren in Christ Church in North America began sometime between 1775 and 1788, near the present town of Marietta in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania). Of Anabaptist origins they are also conscientious objectors. Their website says: "At the time of the Civil War in the United States, the Brethren decided to record themselves under the present name of “Brethren in Christ." So, it appears to be simply untrue that 'The American authorities would not accept the term "Brothers or sisters in Christ" as it was too general'.

There is little doubt that John Thomas coined the name "Christadelphian", and that it happened during the American Civil War for the purposes of having membership in a denomination with conscientious objection to military service. But there is no evidence the name or denomination were ever registered with the authorities, and the story as to why "Christadelphian" was adopted is told by Roberts this way:

To assist them in their endeavour to gain exemption from service, they [the Coffmans] desired the Doctor to write something that they might put in to certify the truth of their claims to have a conscientious objection to military service. This raised a question; how was he to describe them in a way that they should be clearly distinguished from all other claimants? Hitherto there had been no particular name for them; they had been baptised believers; in New York they had adopted the title “The Royal Association of Believers,” but that was obviously unsuitable for the purpose of securing exemption from military service.

“I did not know a better denomination that could be given to such a class of believers (writes the Doctor) than ‘Brethren in Christ.’ This declares their true status, and as officials prefer words to phrases, the same fact is expressed in another form by the word Christadelphians, Christou adelphoi, Christ’s brethren.” The Coffman's went on their way with a "certificate" written and signed by John Thomas saying they were members of a "denomination" called "Christadelphians" and "they claim and demand the rights and privileges so considerately accorded by the Congress of the United States in the statute made and provided for the exemption of members of a Denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms in the service of any human government." Thus the Christadelphian denomination was born and named (but not registered).

"Christadelphian" was adopted because John Thomas supposed that "officials prefer words to phrases", but the story which I've heard a hundred times that "the authorities would not accept the term 'Brothers or sisters in Christ' as it was too general" is simply a myth, as is the story that John Thomas registered his new denomination with the American authorities.

  • This information comes from an article by Church of God General Conference historian Jan Stilson: "An Overview of the Leadership and Development of the Age to Come in the United States: 1832-1871" in A Journal for the Radical Reformation Volume 10, No. 1, Fall 2001. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.30.122.163 (talk) 05:28, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to ask what might be an obvious question, but Which bit of the article do you think is incorrect in this regard? Could you quote the parts that are incorrect, please? Thanks. --Woofboy (talk) 18:42, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Comparisons to other groups[edit]

The theology comparisons are proselytizing and not informative. They should be deleted. (crazenate) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.28.9.135 (talk) 16:21, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the above comment. The Comparisons section is essentially an apologetic work and contains numerous claims which are dubious or debatable, including: Clement of Rome's beliefs about the intermediate state, Jonathan ben Uzziel's beliefs about Satan, the Christology of the Nazarenes, etc. Tjfarrar1983 (talk) 09:26, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I also agree. Anyone opposed to removing this section?Richardson mcphillips (talk) 01:49, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Off-topic information[edit]

This article contains a large section entitled, "Modern mainstream theology developing similar beliefs". It argues that mainstream theology is developing views similar to those of the Christadelphians. The main problem with the section is perfectly obvious: it is not about the Christadelphians, the subject of this article. People come to this article because they want information about the Christadelphians, and nothing in that section explains anything about the Christadelphians; it is thus undue. Frankly, that section looks as though it is an attempt to promote the Christadelphians' views by arguing that mainstream theology is showing them right, which is quite inappropriate, as it violates WP:NPOV. Wikipedia is meant to be informational, not argumentative. If anyone is going to argue that the material in that section is appropriate to the article, such as Lintonna, the user who restored the section, it is up to them to explain why. That I didn't discuss the change first is not by itself a valid ground for reverting it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:46, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi there. Thank you for creating this section in this talk page. You have called me to respond and so I have. I promise I'm not saying your point is invalid. This page was recently a subject of a nasty edit war and of course there are numerous Christadelphians who keep this page on their watchlist. Reverting such content which has been on the page for a substantial length of time which is sourced and referenced needs consensus in order to avoid dispute. Unfortunately that is the fact of this page. This section explains developments in modern theology which relate directly to teachings unique to the Christadelphians. I suppose this can be read as self-promotion. I never have read it in such a way. I certainly agree however that this does not meet the NPOV standards on Wikipedia. I believe that this area does need improvement, at present it does not meet Wikipedia standards. I do believe this section has merit. How about we discuss how we can rework this (and possibly delete and possibly add) some of this section of the article to meet the standards. I believe the article will be richer for it :) Lintonna (talk) 01:22, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

It's not true that all these teachings are unique to the Christadelphians. The Jehovah's Witnesses have similar views in a number of cases - rejection of the trinity, belief in soul sleep, and so on. The article might just as well have a point-for-point comparison of the Christadelphians and the Jehovah's Witnesses - such a section would be every bit as inappropriate as a point-for-point comparison of the Christadelphians and modern theology. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:46, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Just revert it then. It's a shame because it could be reworked and used to enhance the article. I just don't have the energy for this.Lintonna (talk) 13:08, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

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Basing their beliefs solely on the Bible ... not[edit]

They are Millerites because they follow the Day-year principle. So the notion that they base their beliefs solely on the Bible is their own fiction. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 18:41, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Of course. Nobody does straight Bible all by itself. What should we change in the article? Alephb (talk) 20:45, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Nevermind. Found it! Alephb (talk) 20:48, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

An Apology to Anyone Watching This Article[edit]

After a fairly long editing spree, I just discovered the page WP:LINKROT and discovered that I may have removed some dead links from this page that I should not have removed. Any time I dedicate to Wikipedia will be focused on restoring any links I should not have removed from this article until I have restored them all. My apologies. I had it in my head that dead links could simply be removed, and it seems I was wrong. I'll work to make the problem right. After this I'll check John Thomas and see if I removed any links I shouldn't have. If you notice any other times I've violated WP:LINKROT, I'll work to fix those violations as well. In the future I intend to work through the processes recommended at WP:LINKROT first. Alephb (talk) 01:05, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

All right. I reverted my whole editing spree, the article is in the condition I found it in. Alephb (talk) 01:11, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

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