Does It Matter What We Believe #152 PP – short version

Does It Matter
What We
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
Of the Committee of Concerned Brethren
October 9, 1986
Your responses to our first Newsletter
encourage us to hope that substantial
DOCTRINE still exists within the
Unamended community.
“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
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.
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.
“A Story of Division”
K. G. McPhee
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
“Adamic Condemnation”
Selected Works of Thomas Williams
p. 456
October 10, 1979
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:
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.
November 28, 1983
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
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 socalled “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,
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
May 24, 1985
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
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 everwidening 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.
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…
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
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
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
October 1987
Letter # 12
of 5,459 ballots distributed
“The total ‘yes’ vote in some regions surely could
form a basis of further reunion activity.”
NASU Report on Phase 1 Ballot (4-11-05)
Ecclesial Response
No Decision
Total Responses
Non Responding
99 (86.8%)
14 (12.3%)
1 (0.9%)
19 (27.5%)
33 (47.8%)
17 (24.7%)
35 of 144
Ecclesias (23.4%)
17 of 86
Ecclesias (19.7%)
“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.”
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
5. Resurrectional Responsibility. This is, officially, the
area of difference which brought about the division
of 1898.
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
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
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.”
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.”
Unamended – “Transgression of God’s
laws and sin nature bar men from
complete fellowship with God. Both
acquired and inherited sin requires
Amended – “Those who believe…are
baptized into his death, for the remission
of their sins.”
Covenant Relationship
Emphasizes Abrahamic – Davidic – Everlasting
covenant in relation to salvation. Covenant
Relationship is necessary for resurrection through
the Law of the Spirit.
Covenant confirmed by the death of Christ.
Participation is achieved through baptism.
Resurrectional Responsibility
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
Resurrectional Responsibility
“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…”
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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