Who are the Christadelphians?

Our goal is to help you speak English by looking at the Bible. However, you may wonder who we are. Who are the Christadelphians?

There are Christadelphians in many countries of the world. We are people who read the whole Bible. We accept the Bible as a message from God. Christadelphians read the Bible carefully. They believe in the Bible’s promises about Jesus Christ. They believe what the Bible says about the future of the world. They are waiting for the return of Jesus from heaven to set up God’s kingdom on the earth. The name Christadelphian comes from two Greek words that mean “Brothers in Christ”

Lesson 43

Lesson 43 read out in full


Where do Christadelphians live?

There are Christadelphians in over 50 countries. The United Kingdom has the most Christadelphians, followed by parts of Africa. Christadelphians are also in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, parts of South America, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India; Germany and Eastern Europe; and in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia. There are even some Christadelphians in Israel.

What do Christadelphians believe?

Christadelphians believe the things that Jesus and his disciples taught nearly 2000 years ago.

Many Christian churches do not follow the Bible today. They have changed things to how they want them to be.

Since the times of Jesus, there have been small groups of people who believed what the Bible said. Many of these people were cruelly treated in times past.

How did the Christadelphians begin?

In 1832, an English doctor named John Thomas was sailing from London to New York. He was going to America to see if it was a good place to live. As the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a violent storm came. It looked as if the ship would sink and everyone aboard would die. John Thomas suddenly found that he knew nothing about what would happen after he died. He vowed that he would find out if he lived through the storm.

John Thomas

Dr. Thomas lived through the storm, and came to America. As he had promised, he started to read and study the Bible. For the next 15 years, he visited many of the new churches that were starting in America. John Thomas saw that they did not teach everything he read in the Bible. He wrote many books and started a magazine telling others what he had found in the Bible.

He returned to England to tell people there what he had found in the Bible. Another Englishman, Robert Roberts, helped Dr. Thomas. Soon there were people worshipping together in England. In the Christadelphians, each group of believers is called an “ecclesia” rather than “church”. This is because it is the people that are important, not the building. When most people think of churches, they think of the building before they think of the people.

In 1864, there was the Civil War in the USA. The ecclesias needed a name to call themselves, so that they could get permission from the Government not to fight in the War. Dr. Thomas thought up the word “Christadelphian”. The name comes from two Greek words: “Christ”, which is Jesus Christ, and “adelphi” meaning “brother”. So the name “Christadelphian” means “brothers in Christ”.

Christadelphians are grateful to John Thomas for finding the message of the Bible. John Thomas was not a prophet or someone special. He read the Bible, just as we try to do. Christadelphians follow Jesus Christ, not John Thomas.

How do Christadelphians organise themselves?

There are groups of Christadelphians who look after preaching work, the sick, the old, and children. There are Offices in a few countries that print books and magazines. The Christadelphians have no paid ministers or priests. There is no central group who decides what is done or what is believed. The members of the ecclesias give their money to pay for things that must be done. Access to this English Course on this web-site is free to you, the student, because the message of the Bible is free.

How do Christadelphians work together if there is no central group? We are joined together by our common faith in the Bible, and the way we live.

Each “ecclesia” looks after its own affairs, and chooses “elders”. There are officers who work in the ecclesia, but none of them are paid for their work. Members are called “Brother” and “Sister”.

Jesus Christ is the head of each ecclesia. Christadelphians do not build enormous grand buildings. Some ecclesias have their own halls, but some meet in schoolrooms, halls or homes.

The same beliefs

In whatever part of the world they live, Christadelphians have read and studied the Bible, and have come to the same basic beliefs. These beliefs are written in a booklet called the “Statement of Faith”, which every member agrees to when they are baptised. Before anyone is baptised and becomes a Christadelphian, he or she must understand the important teachings of the Bible.

Christadelphians can travel throughout the world and find other Christadelphians. They are friends because they all believe in Jesus. They are in “fellowship”.

What kind of people are Christadelphians?

We all need God’s help. So we believe that it is important to pray. Every day, we try to read some of the Bible. On Sunday mornings, we meet to remember what Jesus has done by dying for us. You will find that Christadelphians are very happy people because they have a sure and practical faith. We are very serious about the way we live, because we are waiting for Jesus Christ to return to the earth and set-up God’s kingdom.

We must be ready for the coming of Jesus.

Christadelphians lead clean and honest lives. We do not drink heavily, and we do not gamble. We try to be generous, as God has been generous to us. Christadelphians obey the law. We try to do the right thing. We do not take part in politics or government; we do not fight or go to war; we do not take people to court. Following Jesus means being true to your wife or husband. We do not have sex outside marriage. The family unit is very important; God wants us to live in families.

Christadelphians want to share the message of Jesus with you.

Christadelphians believe that the message of Jesus is important. We want you to know what the Bible says. We hope that you will read the Bible for yourself, and see that it has a message for everyone. All they have to do is read the Bible carefully, and ask God to help them. Perhaps one day soon, you might like to join us.

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3