When someone withdraws from a contest they started it tells you about the strength of their position. The draft business meeting agenda for the 2018 Australasian Conference included a motion from Salisbury (SA) and Wilston (QLD) supported by Enfield (SA) ecclesia. They were trying to achieve majority agreement on THE way to read the basis of fellowship and thereby exclude evolution creation. Despite having the many votes of the Inter Ecclesial Advisory Committee (a group of SA ecclesias), they withdrew the motion at the last minute. Why? Because many east coast ecclesias advised SA of their opposition. Rather than face public defeat, the South Australians withdrew. Will they now cease insisting their understanding is the only understanding? that they alone are right? We can only hope so – a little tolerance of different consciences is after all biblical. Continue reading
I believe the serpent in Genesis 3 was a literal being created by God with capabilities for the express purpose of testing Adam & Eve. The following article “Eastward in Eden” from the 1964 Vol 102 Christadelphian Magazine disagrees, proposing the serpent is a literary device. Obviously LG Sargent (the editor) disagreed with that assessment. The article also touches on the ability of Adam & Eve to have evil thoughts. Once upon a time variances in views and explorations were tolerated and explored – though passionately debated. Worth a read and consideration of how difference should be dealt with.
In 1898, at the end of his life, Bro Roberts wrote an article calling for tolerance on what he called uncertain details. He specifically warned against pressing too much from our fellow believers. In the article the prime mover behind the BASF stated the possibility of Adam dying in Eden was an uncertain detail. This is markedly more circumspect than the demands made by some in Australia where groups take on responsibility for defining in limited terms what the BASF can mean (showing scant regard for its purpose or history) despite the scriptural evidence on Adam pre fall and the range of views in our community. Bro Roberts article was reprinted by CC Walker in 1923 and again by John Carter in 1955. It is reproduced below as some useful counsel by one whose work is now mis-used to push for expulsion and division: Continue reading
In May 2017 bro Colin Byrnes (a rightly well-regarded individual), published a document called “By One Man”. The document was largely in response to a presentation at the 2016 Australian Conference which demonstrated a wide range of views have been accepted in the community on Genesis 1-3 (note that presentation specifically stayed away from EC as requested by the conference organisers). Continue reading
“Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.” James 1:15 NET
James describes from verse 14 onwards that we are personally responsible for our sins. While God might try us, His objective is not to see us fail. We are tempted and fail due to our own lusts – and the inability to control them. When our lusts go too far, when we do not control them they lead to sin. James says this then leads to death.
The Lampstand Magazine and many conservative Christadelphians insist on a reading of Romans 5:12 that replaces the word death with mortality (claiming the words are equivalent). Clearly such an approach is nonsense – the word mortal cannot fit in James 1.
Furthermore the passage simply shows that death can be used as the fate of the wicked. All humans sin but some will never die 1 Cor 15:51. James is not talking about the forgiven saints whose death is elsewhere styled sleep. They do not die because of sin. It is those who allow sin to reign in their mortal bodies who will reap the reward of death. For those saved by grace it is an altogether happier story as Paul says:
“we were dead in transgressions, [but God has] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved.” Eph 2:5 NET
That Adam’s nature changed and become somehow more sin prone is dogma with most Genesis literalists. However this is not a 100% affirmed by all Christadelphians. Creationists (variously YEC/OEC) have come to the same conclusion as most evolutionary creationists that such a change is NOT found in the Bible. Continue reading
The pioneer approach
Our pioneers believed scientific facts were always in harmony with accurate Biblical interpretation.   They believed the earth was extremely old, and that there had been at least one pre-Adamic creation, despite rejecting evolution. They explained the evidence for evolution by arguing God had made many creations over countless years, creating simple life and repeated replacing it with more complex life, finally creating humans in a pre-Adamic creation, then creating the current creation with Adam and Eve.
Over the years, Christadelphian expositors accepted increasingly higher estimates of the age of the earth, and went further and further in their interpretation of Genesis in order to reconcile it with demonstrable scientific facts. Thus on the basis of geological evidence available to him, brother Thomas believed there had been one pre-Adamic creation; later brother Roberts agreed with brother Simons that there was now geological and fossil evidence of at least five pre-Adamic creations. Continue reading