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
Those who have no secondary interests to subserve apart from the truth only desire to know that they may believe and do. But where to know more would jeopardize the “vested interests” of a sect, and extort the confessions of its leaders and members that they were in error and knew not the truth, investigation is discouraged, and the things proscribed as too speculative and mysterious for comprehension, or, if understood, of no practical utility. In this way mankind infold themselves as in the mantle of their self-esteem. They repress all progress, and glorify their own ignorance by detracting from things which they fear to look into, or apprehend are far above their reach. 
So wrote John Thomas the founder of the Christadelphians. He decried any attempts any limiting open investigation of the bible and also rejected the notion of the bible being in conflict with the facts of God’s creation. He spoke plainly against the restrictions of free thought and investigation common to established organised religion.
Christadelphians who attended the 2018 Glenlock Bible Camp listened to numerous denunciations of the new ideas and investigations of unnamed Christadelphians. The audience were left in no doubt that those present were members of “The Truth” – an unchanging body of knowledge consistent with the first century beliefs. Progress? Not necessary! John Thomas was open to changing his ideas. Some of his thinking in Elpis Israel was incorrect and he changed his mind e.g. his explanation of the angels that sinned in Jude on page 21. In other instances time has proven his understanding of prophecy incorrect.
We could work together quietly on addressing the challenges of the created reality and varying interpretations (many of which have long existed in our community) over various passages. Or we could strongly discourage investigation, condemn those who do/have and ignore the evident and growing problems. The difference between John Thomas’ approach and that proclaimed by some sections of the community is stark.
 Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., p. 4). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.
One of the sadder spectacles is hearing conservative creationists express outrage that Evolutionary Creationists believe Cain married a hominid. It is a simple reminder that many earnest and passionate brethren have very limited knowledge about their subject. Sadly we have heard quite a few prominent speakers (particularly Australians) make this claim. No doubt it plays well as rhetoric. It sounds like Evolutionary Creationists might believe in bestiality or something weird. However such claims demonstrate those condemning evolutionary creation haven’t done their homework. Continue reading
In 1965, in the middle of the evolution controversy with Ralph Lovelock, Bro Osborn had an article published in the Christadelphian Magazine called “Is Christ Divided”. Contrary to the actions of The Lampstand Magazine, ACBM and South Australian groups, Bro Osborn recommended ecclesias be left alone to deal with their own issues – in line with scriptural precedent. Inter ecclesial action promotes strife and destruction. Below are his words – neglected for the most part today. Continue reading
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
High profile creationists decry evolutionary creationists/theistic evolution using their powers of exposition, logic and rhetoric. But the same creationists don’t even understand basic words. How they remain credible is incredible.
The ACBM website as at 25 October 2017 states there are 18 members of the Taipei ecclesia. The ACBM annual report for 2017 reports there are 10. This ecclesia, as suggested by the ACBM information, was not long ago a self-sufficient meeting holding both memorial meetings and study classes. Today there are three sisters, occasionally 4, sometimes 2, clustered around a Skype call listening to an exhort from South Australia. Continue reading