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Does It Matter What We Believe?. NORTH AMERICAN RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL The basic reason for seeking the reconciliation of brethren.

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Presentation on theme: "Does It Matter What We Believe?. NORTH AMERICAN RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL The basic reason for seeking the reconciliation of brethren."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does It Matter What We Believe?

2 NORTH AMERICAN RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL The basic reason for seeking the reconciliation of brethren is the clear, simple principle in the gospel – THERE IS ONE BODY. We are called in one hope, reconciled by one savior that we might have access by one spirit unto the Father.

3 SECOND LETTER THE NEWSLETTER Of the Committee of Concerned Brethren October 9, 1986 Your responses to our first Newsletter encourage us to hope that substantial interest in SOUND SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE still exists within the Unamended community.

4 “This is a reproduction of the old Birmingham Statement, with the following corrections made:” The Christadelphian Statement of Faith or Doctrines Forming Their Basis of Fellowship

5 When the Statement was amended in 1898 a third class was added and defined in the BASF as “the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and are called upon to submit to it).” This addition to the Statement of Faith did much more than expand the area of people responsible to God. It changed the basis of responsibility and the reason for responsibility to the judgment seat. Consequently it was a major change in the officially declared doctrine as set down in the previous Statements of Faith. Those responsible to resurrection and judgment were said to be all people who knew the will of God and not simply the servants in the household. This was a very significant extension of the Statement. continued…

6 This change had grave consequences. Those who forced this change, namely C.C. Walker, who had at this time become acting editor of “The Christadelphian” magazine, and his associates declared that any ecclesia which would not agree with this change would be barred from fellowship. The ecclesias in Britain were thrown into turmoil. CHRISTADELPHIAN HISTORY “A Story of Division” K. G. McPhe e

7 There has been a change in Proposition XXV for the purpose of getting the rejecter into it so as to make the responsibility question a test of fellowship, and consequently, a reason for refusing fellowship to certain brethren. “Adamic Condemnation” Selected Works of Thomas Williams p. 456

8 October 10, 1979 To: The Unamended Christadelphian Ecclesias in North America From: The Unamended Christadelphian Continental Reunion Committee Dear Brethren and Sisters, Your committee has tried diligently to maintain a positive attitude toward any reasonable possibilities of achieving an honorable reunion. It is now fairly clear from the latest CMPA letter that they regard the only possibility of a reunion as being upon the following terms: continued…

9 total acceptance by the Unamended community of the Amended position upon all doctrines relating to the Nature of Man, The Nature and Sacrifice of Christ, Baptism, Fellowship, and Responsibility to the Judgment Seat of Christ. This course of action has been open to any individual Unamended member or ecclesia for the past eighty years; consequently, nothing essentially new has come out of the long, tiresome, and expensive effort that we have undertaken in good faith.

10 November 28, 1983 To: The Unamended Christadelphian Ecclesias of North America From: The Unamended Christadelphian Continental Reunion Committee The enclosed copy of this committee’s letter to the Amended Continental committee serves to explain to you how matters have gone during the past year’s attempted extension of the reunion effort. We hope that the letter explains the current status of our relationship with the Amended Continental Committee. So long as continued…

11 that committee will consider no reunion possible unless the Unamended abandon the BUSF and change to the BASF, this implying that the Unamended must teach the responsibility to Christ’s judgment seat of so- called “enlightened rejecters,” we cannot foresee any hope of an honorable reunion between the two communities of believers on this continent. This committee feels that it has exhausted every avenue of approach to a Scriptural, continued…

12 honorable, and brotherly meeting of minds on doctrine. Everything substantive that can be said in the direction of seeking agreement has been said many times; therefore we can see nothing to be gained by “beating our heads” against a wall of prejudice, even though a handful of our members feel that we should go on forever. John S. Peake Unamended Continental Committee

13 May 24, 1985 To: Fellow Christadelphians Concerned with Preservation of Saving Truth From: John S. Peake Dear Brethren and Sisters, I am writing this letter to you to express my alarm and deep concern for the integrity of our Unamended Christadelphian beliefs based upon the whole Word of God, rather than upon chosen passages taken to give substantiation for certain current philosophical trends. Furthermore, I have deep concern for the survival of our continued…

14 Unamended Christadelphian community. Today there seems to be far less concern for the purity of the truth entrusted to us by such of our pioneers as John Thomas, Robert Roberts, and Thomas Williams than is held by an ever- widening group of our members for a superficial, social harmony. In my estimation this is the resultant of several forces, chief among which are (1) the rapidly changing social, moral and religious standards of the world and (2) neglect by our members of serious, devoted study of the Holy Scriptures. continued…

15 This change of emphasis away from strict, Scriptural doctrine and toward accommodation with psycho-social and ecumenical or charismatic approaches to religion is threatening the demise of that form of fellowship that had been our bulwark against discouragement and loss of faith, and which has served as a continual rejuvenator and sustainer of hope. The irony of this disturbing situation is the fact that it is being spawned and promoted from within our midst, some of our own brethren being the chief instigators…

16 CHRISTADELPHIANS FOR UNITY a new initiative February 1, 1986 Dear Brothers, On December 28, 1985, forty-two Amended and Unamended brothers and sisters met in Virginia to “focus on unity” and to consider the status of the reunion effort. Believing that both fellowships are part of the one body of Christ and that unity is a duty of the household, they unanimously concluded that the reunion effort continued…

17 must continue. The participants of this meeting elected a steering committee of six brothers (three from each fellowship) to direct a new initiative for reunion. George Booker, Secretary

18 CHRISTADELPHIANS FOR UNITY October, 1987 Letter # 12 Interpretation of Referendum Results A majority of brothers and sisters in both fellowships have rejected the CFU unity proposal as a basis for pursuing reunion on a continental level. Therefore, plans for a continental convention have been dropped. Since the charge of the CFU steering committee has been fulfilled, the committee will disband. The New Initiative Steering Committee

19 CHRISTADELPHIANS FOR UNITY October 1987 Letter # 12 of 5,459 ballots distributed 2,901 returned (53.1%) 1,115 yes (38.4%) 1,703 no (58.7% 83 undecided (2.9%) “The total ‘yes’ vote in some regions surely could form a basis of further reunion activity.”

20 NASU Report on Phase 1 Ballot (4-11-05) Ecclesial Response Amended Unamended Accept 99 (86.8%) 19 (27.5%) Reject 14 (12.3%) 33 (47.8%) No Decision 1 (0.9%) 17 (24.7%) ________ _________ Total Responses 114 69 Non Responding 35 of 144 17 of 86 E cclesias (23.4%) Ecclesias (19.7%)

21 “A number of ecclesias have declared their rejection of NASU and of our ecclesias due to our support of NASU, finding the expressions on doctrinal issues fundamentally unacceptable. Accordingly, we are no longer in fellowship with these ecclesias… Should these withdrawing ecclesias seek fellowship with us at some future point, we would continue to view them as out of fellowship, thus requiring comprehensive discussions with them to satisfy ourselves that we are indeed walking together on a sound common scriptural basis.” (

22 We believe that we should identify the areas of concern even though some of them appear to be adequately covered in our respective Statements of Faith. The Unamended Brotherhood is concerned that the following subjects be clearly defined and understood: 1.The Nature of Man. 2.The Nature and Sacrifice of Christ. 3.Baptism – its meaning and purpose; what it accomplishes and why it is necessary. 4.Covenant Relationship – its meaning, purpose and efficacy. 5.Resurrectional Responsibility. This is, officially, the area of difference which brought about the division of 1898. continued…

23 We are now going to set forward what we understand the “Official Positions” of the two groups are on the five matters cited above. We believe that what we state below would constitute the generally accepted teachings of the two groups. The New Initiative for Unity Edward Farrar, Alex Kay, Kenneth McPhee, The Christadelphian Advocate – September 1986

24 Amended Response to The Advocate Editorial of September, 1986 In the editorial in The Christadelphian Advocate, September, 1986, which set out the issues of differences between the Unamended and Amended fellowships, the declarations describing the Amended viewpoint are not truly representative. Below is set out, under the same headings used in the editorial, the Amended position on these issues. Christadelphian Magazine Publishing Association Birmingham, England The Christadelphian Advocate December 1986

25 Nature of Man Unamended – “The physical and legal condemnation has been transmitted to all his posterity and is resident at birth.” Amended – “We are certain of death and prone to sin. We are not held in any way guilty for the nature we bear, because we are not responsible for it: nor are we under any other sentence.”

26 Nature & Sacrifice of Christ Unamended – “Christ was one of the “all men”… born under condemnation. His perfect obedience made him a perfect sacrifice for sin, a lamb free of blemish of personal sins, yet at the same time bearing the sin nature common to all of Adam’s posterity. Christ was the first beneficiary of his own sacrifice.” Amended – “Christ…; like us, was under no other sentence than the physical law of his being. He needed salvation from death…and bore no disfavor or displeasure at any time.”

27 Baptism Unamended – “Transgression of God’s laws and sin nature bar men from complete fellowship with God. Both acquired and inherited sin requires atonement.” Amended – “Those who believe…are baptized into his death, for the remission of their sins.”

28 Covenant Relationship Unamended Emphasizes Abrahamic – Davidic – Everlasting covenant in relation to salvation. Covenant Relationship is necessary for resurrection through the Law of the Spirit. Amended Covenant confirmed by the death of Christ. Participation is achieved through baptism.

29 Resurrectional Responsibility Unamended  God deals with believers by means of covenant relationship.  Jesus was brought from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant.  God raised persons in the past who were not in covenant relationship and may do so in the future. Such persons are raised for a different reason and upon a different basis than those who have been called to be saints. continued…

30 Resurrectional Responsibility Amended “Knowledge of the Divine will…renders a man the subject of a resurrectional judgment. Such responsibility is not created by nor dependent upon covenant relationship…”

31  The Nature of Man  The Nature and Sacrifice of Christ  The Two Acceptations of Sin  Resurrectional Responsibility to the Judgment Seat of Christ  Baptism  Covenant Relationship  Fellowship Considerations

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