Concerning administrative and preaching style of Christadelphians

Peter Ojike writes:

Looking back, I think our administrative style and other factors has not helped us spread the gospel as we understand it to other people. Compared to Church of Christ, JW, Mormons, etc, we have had a very slow growth rate.
I suggest a drastic reformation on our style so that we can reach more people with the good news.

1. Christadelphia should be an association of groups, ministries and churches that share a common statement of faith.

2. Autonomy should be optional. Some of these groups/churches may run from a central point while others may want to be autonomous.

3. The name CHRISTADELPHIA is hard to pronounce and meaningless in all languages. Christadelphian churches should adopt a common reasonable name and say AKA the christadelphians.

4. Worship style should change drastically to accommodate the local cultures. In Nigeria for example, we should incorporate clapping of hands, local worship songs, etc in our service.

5. The statement of faith should be left as it is but a simpler version should be made available too.

6. Teachers should pass through a Bible training institute. Not everyone should be a teacher/speaker.

7. An official preaching website must be launched.

I don’t know if these things are right or will be accepted but judging from 1848 till date, we have performed poorly and we need a reformation.

9 thoughts on “Concerning administrative and preaching style of Christadelphians

  1. In English, French, German and Dutch the words Christadelphia and Christadelphian are not difficult to pronounce, neither to use or explain.

    The autonomy of each ecclesia is a great asset. Every group is free how to arrange a service. As such as a group wants to clap hands in the ecclesia or church, why not. Every group is free to express themselves in the way they want.

    It is each individual his liberty and responsibility before God that makes us not slaves of a church or denomination, but free in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If Christadelphia might be meaningless, how does it come that Christian, Christendom and Christianity would not be meaningless. Perhaps people do not know exactly the meaning of Philadelphia or Filadelphia, but for sure would not have difficulty to pronounce it.

    Ojike says “Christadelphia should be an association of groups,” but that is what it is: Christadelphia is an association of groups. Christadelphia is the umbrella name for those believers who gather and wish to feel like a unity under Christ. It is a “city” of “brethren” feeling united under the guidance of Christ Jesus (Jeshua).

    All brothers and sisters in Christ feel united and want to gather in a meeting or in a “city belonging to Christ”.

    The advantage of having no other authority over the community than Christ Jesus, makes it that all willing to meet in a place and to feel as one community put their hope in Christ and agree following his rules and commandments. They do not feel any urge to have a ruling master other than Jesus, the Messiah, whose guidance can be found in the Messianic Scriptures (the New Testament). In case there would be some headquarters with one person in charge or having a function like a pope, that would be leading to the dangerous entrance of human doctrines. Now everybody takes care of everybody and inspects each time that the Book of books, the Bible is followed and no other doctrines than the Biblical doctrines are followed.

    It is that security of no human leader that secures the freedom of every person to go along the path like he or she wants to follow Jesus Christ, the only one way to God.

    Like

  3. Robert Scott Thomson reacts:

    Chistadelphians are not a cult because cults control their memberships from above and usually enforce tithing etc to enrich their leaders. They also inevitably seem to promote immorality amongs their members. To my knowledge, most Christadelphian organizations are controlled from below not above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roger Evans reacts:

      Believe me you can get control from within too, from a leading hierarchy of brothers, or from a collaborative association between the leaderships of several ecclesias. I have seen it in action, usually set in rigid codes of dress and behaviour that are rigorously enforced, usually by consent among the membership and by imposition over the young people. It can even go as far as adding clauses to the statement of faith to reinforce control- you either bow to the clause or walk.Not sure whether this makes those groups cults or not, but it can have quite an effect on one’s faith. Some people thrive in a control environment because it gives them a sense of security, others rebel because it suppresses their individuality.

      Like

      1. We are fully aware that in certain countries there are very conservative Christadelphians who even go so far to put limitations to the entrance of people in their ecclesia hall, wanting that they wear a certain costume or dress. Like in any other church community we can find places where the elders of an ecclesia want to have everything according strict regulations they have put forward. In some cases this even might have given a bad impression to people outside or to ecclesia members who got fed up with such regulations and left that community or even left the Christadelphian community, going to tell what happened to them and presenting their previous ecclesia as if all Christadelphian ecclessiae would behave like that. Because of such bad experiences, like in other faithgroups, you shall be able to find ex-members who show their grudge against Christadelphians by telling lots of lies about them, and not allowing any reply of a Christadelphian on their writings.

        Like

  4. Adapting our worship to suit local culture is important, but this always should be very carefully done. Look for example how the Roman Catholic Church adapted its services to the countries they wanted to convert. In many countries the Catholic Church has taken over the heathen traditions.

    In the ecclesia of one or an other country one might feel the culture and the spirit of that country. The dress but also the way of talking, moving etc. should be in line with the normal behaviour of such people.

    We do know that there are ecclesiae who want people to come to a service in “Sunday best clothing” for men with a Sunday suit, long pants and a shirt with long sleeves and a tie. They should consider the temperatures and cultures of other countries. In Belgium we do allow people to come in shorts and polo or other Summer shirt in Summer or being warmer clothed in Winter. We accept that every person cloths himself or herself according to own wishes and to the season. No regulation of a skirt that must be below knee height, for example.

    Also for the covering of the head do we believe it is a personal choice and therefore each woman is left to liberty to do so or to have no head covering. We believe that Jesus liberated us from the slavery of Law and human people, so it is not to any other human being to limit the freedom of an other person in name of his church.

    Concerning the adaptation of worship forms we always must be very careful not to fall in the trap of human tradition. Allowing one way or another should always be in agreement with the Will of God expressed in the Bible.

    Like

  5. Not only in the Roman Catholic Church we can find adaptations of local customs in the worship service, which are not always according to the Holy Scriptures. Even in other religion we may find differences in handling the teachings of the faith and managing worship services.

    The slow growth of a community has it not to do with such factors that the faithgroup is not willing to merge all the popular traditions in their group? Is it not because people can not find themselves in the ‘so out of the world’ group that Christadelphians are considered a strange bunch, somewhat similar as JW and Church of God people?

    JW may have had a great growth because they went from door to door, and nobody could avoid seeing them. They were and are still very recognizable on the street, by their clothing, the same as the neatly dressed Mormons. Both being American led organization which love to put their American way of life onto other communities.

    Is that not the richness of Christadelphians, that wherever they have an ecclesia, each ecclesia may present a different group of people who are all in unison with each other and with orther ecclesiae, though so different? When in a bigger area this makes it possible for people just to go a few kilometres further to find an other church where they can feel at ease. And Should we not find ourself at ease in a peaceful surrounding, where we can develop spiritually according to Biblical ways that suits us?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The freedom a Christadelphian may have to go to any Christadelphian ecclesia, which would suit him or her best, is what enriches our community, because in such freely chosen community that person shall invest also more time to have the group succeeding.

      A great problem in our community to have it growing is that the majority of people prefer keeping to human doctrines. Not being like the mainstream churches also frightens lots of people to come to know us. A lot of adversaries also call us a cult or even a sect, though everybody should know that just in our community there are no boundaries or chains to any leader or person, and that everybody is always free to come in or to leave. We also never oblige people to give our community money, though to have the community and the ecclesia an orderly place we love demanding all involved in the community to share their thoughts but also to share some energy, for making everything to go in good order. As such we provide rolls for the preaching, but also for the kitchen, the offices or ecclesia building, parking lot, etc. because everything has to be kept clean as well, and because not relying on 10th or teething we hope people will voluntary help the working of the ecclesia.

      Not obliging people to give money, or not going round with baskets to deposit some money, in service, this does not give us much funds to work with. Other church have collections in their service and as such get working funds. We can only hope there will be enough people to be willing to help us practically as well as financially. Though not being a ‘rich church’ we have not many means to have us get known. By preaching via the internet we do hope we can reach more people. But we do know also that in their surroundings there might not be a Christadelphian Church. We can only hope in time they would not mind starting up a house church or an ecclesia themselves. It may take a long time before people dare to make that step, creating themselves a new place to meet with like minded believers.

      We can only be patient and hope that slowly people shall come to know that Jesus is the way and that we all need to unite under his guidance, becoming brothers and sister in Christ, or becoming Christadelphians, a loving brotherhood and Partakers and sons of the Realm.

      Therefore let others know that “Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God“.

      Like

  6. It shall not be so easy in a time most churches are loosing attendance to create a growing community.

    Also concerning the means to build up a church it shall not be so easy. We not often asking for money do have to face a negative account, not sinking by the help of the personal assets of a retired brother who still keeps working to earn money, to make the preaching possible.

    Receiving some funds is not only a problem for us as a small community.

    In June, the annual Giving USA report — a comprehensive overview of Americans’ charitable giving patterns — said giving to religious institutions had been lagging behind other philanthropic sectors for several years. Reasons included declining attendance at worship services and a rising number of Americans not affiliated with any religion.

    Empty Tomb, a Christian organization based in Champaign, Illinois, that researches religious giving, says the decline is longstanding. According to its research, Americans gave about 3% of their disposable income to churches in 1968, and less than 2.2% in 2016.

    For 1919 the numbers seem to be continuing the decline. Smaller groups or nearly unknown movements totally fall out of the boat. As a very small community that does not give us much hope … but we continue our preaching work…. whatever may come.

    +

    Find also to read: Main churches losing population share

    Like

Geef een reactie - Give a reaction

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.