Confronting the Cults - The Christadelphians
(meaning "Brethren of Christ) religion was
begun in the USA by a Londoner, Dr John Thomas. Having survived a
threatened shipwreck and seemingly certain death on a sea passage
to New York in 1832, he devoted his life to religion as a result
of a promise he made to God should he survive.
Thomas wrote many books and traveled many times between the US
and Britain. It was through his writings that congregations were
birthed by those who followed his theology. He formed an opinion
that the true gospel was no longer evident, and despising the
counsel and wisdom of those who were more learned, he immersed
himself in the task of single-handedly rediscovering what he
believed was lost.
He was a fellow traveller of so many others in the 19th
century who began religious movements based on personal belief.
The Christadelphians, along with Mormons, Jehovah’s
Witnesses and Christian Science, were all birthed in error by the
prideful act of their founders believing they knew more than
anybody else. As such, the Christadelphians are just another
religious system begun by a single person who despised submission
to oversight, foregoing the Bible admonition that teaches "in the
multitude of counselors there is wisdom."
The Christadelphians today are a nontrinitarian cult which
numbers approximately 50,000 believers in 130 countries. They
underwent schism and division 3 times before 1900, and this has
continued through until today with divided groups remaining.
Christadelphians are not Christian – they are a
non-Christian cult. However, they claim to be an authentic
Christian church with biblical doctrines. Yet their doctrinal
errors are serious to say the least. Here are some examples
- They deny the doctrine of the Trinity. Yet
Jesus said, "I and my Father are one."
- Jesus is not God in the flesh. (see John 1:1)
This marks the Christadelphians as antichrist according to 1
John 4:2-4 which says, "By this you know the Spirit of God; every
Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is
from God; and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus
Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the
spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming and now is
already in the world."
- Jesus had a sinful nature. (see 1 Peter 2:22)
Because Christadelphians do not believe in the Trinity,
they make a fatal error in not linking Jesus with the holiness
and perfectness of God, for if they are one, so must their
character be also. This means that if you don’t worship the
true Jesus you automatically serve a false god.
- Baptism is necessary for salvation. (Romans 5:1
says we are justified by faith – not faith and
- Jesus atoning work on the Cross was NOT
substitutionary. (see 1 Peter 2:24) This error begs the
question as to why Jesus willingly went to the Cross if it
wasn’t to redeem us. They say Jesus did not die as our
substitute, but as our representative. The truth is that Jesus
bore our sin, not His, for He was sinless, and we thank God for
- Jesus needed to save Himself before He saved
us. (see 2 Corinthians 5:21) This is absolute heresy.
Only a sinless man could redeem sinful man.
- Jesus had a sin nature. This follows on from
(6) above, whereby the Christadelphians teach that He inherited a
sin nature from His mother. They concede however that although
tempted, He committed no sin.
- They deny Jesus existed before His
incarnation. A common and understandable error amongst
those who deny the Trinity. John 1:1 blows this heresy to
- They deny the existence of Lucifer as the
devil. Let’s examine this. Isaiah prophesied his
fall. Jesus was tempted by him. James says resist him. Paul says
don’t give place to him. John records his casting out from
heaven. What more can we say?
- They deny the existence of hell and eternal
punishment. When you get as deep as they are into
heresy, you can see why they don’t like the concept of hell
– they are automatically destined to go there if they
continue in their false doctrine.
- Works required for salvation. When
justification by faith is denied, then something must replace the
"free gift" of salvation. The onerous weight of "works" has been
placed upon the Christadelphians through teaching the error that
real faith will manifest itself by works.
The Christadelphian has little joy when the afterlife is
considered. After death, they teach that believers are in a state
of non-existence, and will only experience the resurrection at
the return of Christ, where the accepted will be given the gift
of immortality. Hell is simply understood as being the grave to
which all men go, rather than a place of eternal torment.
The religious and cult world is full of people who in their
own way, wish to serve and honour God. But sincerity is never a
substitute for truth and nor does it bridge the gap between God
and man. Only the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of
God who takes away the sin of the world, and the experience of
being ‘born again,’ is able to do that.