About the Christadelphians
About the Christadelphians
The Christadelphians are a body of believers in Jesus Christ whose faith is based wholly on the Bible.
The name ‘Christadelphian’ simply means ’brothers and sisters in Christ’. It has been used to distinguish the community for more than 150 years. Our aim is to live by faith in Jesus Christ, according to his teaching and those of his followers from the first century AD. Like the early Christians, we expect Jesus to return from heaven to be a king on earth, bringing justice and peace.
Christadelphians are found around the world. We believe the Bible is God’s message and a handbook for life. Our faith is based wholly on the Bible which we try to read daily to learn of God’s purpose, for advice and comfort. What Christ and his apostles taught in the first century was truth, and it is still the truth today. Our beliefs and practices are modelled as closely as possible to the first century church. The Bible is our sole authority, there are no paid pastors, priests, or central authority.
Members contribute their time and energy voluntarily in service to God. Each ecclesia (the New Testament word for ‘church’) organises their own affairs, though the pattern is similar everywhere. Members are appointed to manage the affairs of the ecclesia and to preside at its meetings.
On Sundays we meet for a ‘memorial service’, often also called the ‘breaking of bread’. This is to remember the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. We also have a ‘Bible Hour’ where after a hymn, prayer and often a Bible reading one of the members gives a Bible talk. Midweek we have a ‘Bible class’ to read, study and learn from a section of the Bible.
Background: Over 150 years ago a medical doctor called John Thomas realised that the teachings of mainstream Christianity did not always agree with what he read in the Bible. He set about studying the Bible for himself. He gave talks and wrote articles to convince others in his conclusions, which were based solely on his reading and understanding of the Bible. He never claimed to have received any direct revelation or to have been inspired. Christadelphians today see him as a pioneer and his writings are valued but he encouraged others to read the Bible for themselves.
Christadelphians became a recognised movement and took their name during the American Civil War. At that time, church affiliation was required to register for conscientious-objector status, and in 1865, for registration purposes, Thomas chose the name Christadelphian. The name comes from the Greek in the New Testament and means “Brethren (and sisters) in Christ”.