In March 1885 the founding editor, Thomas Williams, sent out the first edition of The Christadelphian Advocate magazine to the brotherhood of Christadelphians
The revival of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus came about in the mid-eighteen hundreds through one John Thomas, whose indefatigable labours in the glorious cause of truth, have resulted in arresting the attention of many good and honest hearts. Their studies caused them to embrace the one gospel apostolically delivered almost two thousand years ago. Those having embraced the one gospel, have necessarily come out from the broad ways of the apostasy, and have banded together in groups known as ecclesia’s (brethren in Christ), now to be found in many places in the world.
Many among the brothers and sisters in Christ living in America had for some time, desired a monthly periodical in America, for the purpose of advocating the truth “concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ;” and also to be used as a medium of communication between Christadelphian bodies scattered throughout this continent; so that they could make their appearance in response to such desires, under the name of “The Christadelphian Advocate”.
The object for the different Christadelphian publications is to declare to the dying race of humanity the unadulterated word of the gospel, and to maintain the “form of sound doctrine delivered unto us”. In carrying out this object, the publishers of the Christadelphian Advocate shall do as advised in the language of a brother, namely,
“Let your contributors be none others than veterans in the truth – not in rhetoric, nor “the wisdom of this world,” – but in sound doctrine.
This conservative method may not be the most popular, and indeed may end in disaster, financially, to The Christadelphian Advocate, but what of that? In case they would after of popularity and financial success, they should be found in different ranks than those of the despised Nazarene. If the work cannot be carried on in accordance with the principles of the truth, which lead in none other than the “strait and narrow way“, and if in pursuing the strait and narrow way, it becomes crippled, and falls for lack of financial support, then let it fall rather than step out into the “broad way that leads to destruction”.
Such choices do not make it easy, as we ourselves our facing a huge deficit at the moment and not much financial help to come to us.
While taking this uncompromising and unflinching stand, we are convinced followers of Christ Jesus have to go out into the world and preach the Good News. As a community that is very scattered all over the world, local magazines can best respond to local needs and connect local people. This also can best happen in the local language. We, for example, having our office in Belgium offer printed magazines in Dutch, French, German and English. The advantage of the English magazines is that they also can reach people for whom there is no specific magazine in their native language.
There may be several Christadelphian websites in different languages but big organisations are spare.
Brother Thomas Williams, as stated above, founded The Christadelphian Advocate (or The Advocate) in 1885, and continued as owner and editor until his death in 1913. Prior to his death, Brother Williams contacted with six brothers who were to become by transfer, the owners of all assets associated with the magazine, and the right to publication. This included the printing press as well as all books, tracts, pamphlets and sundry electrotype plates. All property of the magazine was transferred by sale to the six brothers by Sister Williams.
It is very evident that The Advocate originated as an independent private enterprise, and has continued as such to the present time, with ownership vested in the committee, and further, that the committee has the responsibility and the authority to appoint the editor and committee members as the occasion may require. The succeeding editors, up until the 1980s, were burdened with not only editing, but also publishing the magazine. In the early 80s, the publishing of The Advocate was separated from the editor, thus easing his burden somewhat.
The aim of that magazine was kept, like our aim and of our fellow brethren to “cry aloud and spare not.” The Christadelphian Advocate wants now to sound out the alarm to this godless and mammon-worshipping nation, that the day is near at hand when the judgments of God’s intervention will be poured out upon the world of humanity, causing
“a time of trouble such as never was…even to that same time” (Daniel 12:1).
Let us herald the gladsome news of the soon-to-be-established kingdom of Jehovah upon the ruins of the ungodly kingdoms, empires, and republics of men.
The publication’s purpose and charge for which it is accountable is not, in the end, to the readers, but to the Lord, conducting the magazine in the way of righteousness (Proverbs 12:28; 2 Peter 2:21), fervently seeking to benefit and edify the body of Christ as we wait for Jesus his return.
While their commission has not changed over the past 130+ years, the way the editors of the Advocate communicate and gather news and information has. Interest in printed media steadily declines in favour of electronic and social outlets. The Internet with its myriad of social platforms, blogs, forums and news sources take the place of the printed word for many, while Bible-based and Scripture-oriented periodicals are no longer the primary source for current events and news. This poses a daunting challenge for sustaining interest in a printed magazine while seeking to engage and edify future generations of believers.
When we see the cost of printing, plus all the energy that goes into making a magazine, sometimes we doubt, when noticing how poor or how little response and / or support we receive from readers.
The Advocate Publishing Committee is currently evaluating various options as to how best to reach out to a wider audience and provide more timely and relevant content. A website overhaul seemed like the logical starting point that would serve as a springboard for this effort. The new website has many of the same features as the old one while integrating a friendlier user interface and rotating/updating feature articles, books, ecclesial news and questions on a regular basis. The next phase of development is focused on digital publication, e-newsletters or other online and interactive materials.
The Advocate is dedicated to the task of edifying and encouraging its readers to faithfully uphold the original faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3); to reflect their dedication to their Creator by leading a life set apart from the world, and by close observance of the Commandments of Christ, without which, holiness before God…at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, is impossible (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
We are pleased to advise you to the renewed website of our American brethren.
The Christadelphian Advocate Publishing Committee stands today as its founder, the late Thomas Williams stood, namely, upon the Scriptural basis set forth in the Bible which we believe to be the Word of God; and which is conveniently summarized in The Christadelphian Unamended Statement of Faith.
The charges to be made for The Christadelphian Advocate Magazine, and for any books or pamphlets distributed by The Christadelphian Advocate Publishing Committee shall be determined by the actual cost of publication and distribution. No profits are to be taken from the Lord’s work, nor are any members of the organisation to receive any salary or remuneration other than for authorised “out-of-pocket” expenses. All labour is to be gratis, as unto the Lord.
Please do find the renewed site: Christadelphian advocate organisation