Category Archives: BASF & CCA

A common understanding? A strategic retreat.

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

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If you’ve got it all wrong, you’re in excellent company

Discipleship is about wonderful growth – the baptised believer rises from the water on a promise to imitate Jesus, to be made anew in his image. Some time later, it goes bad. Piety and traditions obscure our understanding of God, His ways and works. Reverence becomes the enemy of clarity. Tradition inhibits growth. Reality is too painful, we argue based on what we think God should have done, based on what we think his character should be. It’s an affliction.

Continue reading

True principles and uncertain details: RR tolerated varying opinions on Adam’s state

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

ACBM – rewriting the basis of fellowship

The ACBM is in contravention of the basis of interecclesial fellowship in Australia.  It’s requirements of fieldworkers stands in stark contrast to the voice of Australian ecclesias expressed in the 2016 Sydney Conference then ratified by an Australia wide vote.  Ironically its additions to the basis of fellowship demonstrate that the official basis as expressed doesn’t necessarily contradict evolutionary creation. Continue reading

Sin leads to death, grace to life

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

Fellowship is with God and judged by Jesus

charles (chas) wauchopeFellowship is established with God and His son.  It is with each other by extension.  Disfellowship and exclusion are practices fraught with the danger of becoming human tradition.  This topic has been explored before.  An old friend recently presented us with a reprinted copy (from around 1989) of Bro Charles (Chas) P. Wauchope’s study dating to circa 1925.  It is reproduced below and a pdf of the booklet is at the bottom of this post. Continue reading

The history of the BASF

Is theistic evolution or evolutionary creation (as we prefer) able to be reconciled to the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF) which is the most commonly used statement of faith for Christadelphians?

Christadelphians historically recognise the statement of faith is a product of the time, human rather than inspired and should not be read at a word for word level (eg see here).  However, in response to Christadelphians accepting the reality of evolution, some have promoted new and narrow ways of reading the statement of faith to try and exclude evolutionary creation.  (Many of the same ecclesias a long time ago added specific additions to their Doctrines to Be Rejected to exclude evolution – thereby demonstrating that the BASF etc IS NOT of itself sufficient to exclude “theistic evolution” as they call it). Continue reading