The Symbol of the Faith

A couple of my posts were recently referenced in a blog by some Christadelphians. If you aren’t familiar with the Christadelphians, they’re a rather newish sect that has dredged up and repackaged some of the old Christological heresies of the early church. More specifically, they deny the deity of Christ and argue that He could never be considered at the same level as God the Father.

It’s interesting, though unfortunate, to see groups like this springing up. It means all of the work done by the great theologians of old in putting down these heresies was rejected. Notable theologians such as Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Augustine, Athanasius, and many more, all worked tirelessly to show how the divinity of Christ is clearly found in Scripture. This is why the church set down in writing the statements of faith we know as the three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds definitively declared what the Church believed. The Church did not adopt these statement because they were authoritative in themselves. These statements were adopted because they express in simple and concise language what Scripture clearly states. The most important aspect of the creeds is their affirmation of the Trinity, three Persons but one God. To affirm anything else is to set yourself outside of the Church and is to reject what God says about Himself in Scripture as early as Genesis 1.

Since the writing of the creeds, they have worked their way into the liturgy of the Church, such that they are now regular affirmations of our belief. God reveals Himself to us through Scripture and He reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Seeing and hearing this revelation, we respond, “I believe…” God has revealed Himself to each of us and given us the entirety of that revelation in Scripture. Each of us carries the faith with us, such that, if the entire rest of the congregation were to die in some horrible tragedy, the church would still exist because you are still there to proclaim the Gospel. This is why the creeds were often called the “Symbol of the Faith.” Like an ID badge, they openly declare who we are and in whom we place our faith and trust. This is who we are and this is the God we worship and we want everyone to know it.

The creeds also serve another purpose. There is the positive side to the creeds, declaring who we are. There is also the negative side to the creeds, declaring who we are not. Those who reject what God says about Himself in Scripture have separated themselves from Him and from His people. They have given into their own idolatry in setting their own interpretations over and against the time-honored and Biblically-abundant doctrine of the Trinity and everything that arises from that doctrine. Despite what some may say, we do not worship the same God as the Jews and the Muslims do. Our God is Triune and cannot be known as anything else. Whatever else they may say or do, if anyone does not confess the doctrine of the Trinity distilled from Scripture into the Creeds, they are not Christian and have put themselves outside of God’s kingdom. That includes the Christadelphians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, and anyone else that might bear some resemblance to Christianity.

Take joy in your Creed and confess it proudly. Let the world hear what God claims you as His own. Confess His salvation. Let the world know there is only way to salvation, and that is through the work of the Spirit who brings you to Christ, who then cleanses you with His own blood, that you may be pure and holy to stand before His Father and ours.

6 thoughts on “The Symbol of the Faith”

  1. You write “Christadelphians, they’re a rather newish sect” though Christadlphians are already a known denomination in Christianity since the second half of the 19th century, which according to human ideas is not so “new”. Secondly, Christadelphians are no sect at all, except when you would call Roman Catholics, Charismatic Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists a.o. also sects (which we think you would not call them so — so why Christadelphians calling a sect, whilst they have nothing to do and nothing in common with sects?)

    Those great theologians of old you mention who according to you were “putting down these heresies” were people who went in against the teachings of the apostles, but prefered to go by philosopical ideas and to build further on Greco-Roman culture instead of following the Biblical teachings where is said that there is Only One True God of gods, Who is all-knowing and an eternal Spirit Being no man can see. It was that God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Jesus and his apostles Who declared Himself, Jesus to be His beloved son (something you do not seem to accept). The Jewish Nazarene master teacher Jeshua ben Josef (Jesus Christ) as a Jew worshipped not himself but the god of the Hebrews (Jews) Who si not a Trieune god like those so-called notable theologians such as Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Augustine, Athanasius, and many more, all worked tirelessly to show how the divinity of Christ is clearly found in Scripture, but in reality, is not at all so mentioned in the66 books of the Bible.

    In the Bible you shall also find that Jesus, who was born and die (some things God cannot) was seen by many people (though God can not be seen by man according to His own Words in the Bible). According to the Scriptures, God is not a god of lies, so when He declared Jesus to be His son we should believe Him and not those people who claim that Jesus would be a god son. That man of flesh, blood and bones (all elements that a spirit does not have – though the Bible tells us God is a Spirit and Jesus tells us he is not a spirit, like his heavenly Father is), had to learn everything and by the end of his life still did not know a lot of things. You seem to forget that God knows everything, even what we think and how we feel in our hearts. In case Jesus would be the all-knowing God than he would have lied on several occasions, though the Bible tells us Jesus was without sin. In case Jesus would be God, then that would make of God a very cruel being, having waited such a long time before presenting that charade, acting as if He was a human being and after He would have saved mankind letting them suffer still such a long time. In case Jesus would be God mankind has still no hope in the resurrection of man, because then there is no proof at all that man could step out of the dead. So you take away all our hope of a future better life in the Kingdom of God!

    The church which set down in writing the statements of faith you and the members of the Trinitarian Churches know as the three ecumenical creeds they have to keep to, as would they be the Apostles’ Creed, which those Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed are not. Never taught the close disciples of Jesus (who were Jews and very well knew that there is only One God Who is One like the Torah tells) those sayings of the Creeds which were imposed on people by those clergy who wanted to comply to the Roman rulers and later adapted even more rules to pagan traditions and feasts.

    The Christadelphians as Brothers in Christ still follow those Biblical teachings like the first followers of Christ taught them to those who wanted to follow Christ and accept him as their Messiah. As such we still being in line with the teaching of “The Way” or Christians of the first hour are not at all a new group of followers of Christ, but a continuation of that line, like all other non-trinitarian denominations or real Christians.

    As you insinuate “The creeds also serve another purpose. There is the positive side to the creeds, declaring who we are. ” and as such showing very clearly to people what you prefer to follow as teachings instead of following the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, what we consider to be the infallible Word of God, to which we should listen more than to human beings who impose their words as so-called ‘theologians’ on to people.

    Strangely enough, you yourself write ” Those who reject what God says about Himself in Scripture have separated themselves from Him and from His people.” and by saying that truth you forget that is what the Roman Catholic and other Churches have done. Those Trinitarian churches do not want to accept that Jesus has put his own will aside to do the will of God (In case Jesus is god he would always have done his own will) and that Jesus gave his own body as a ransom price for all, and that therefore God made this man who was first lower than angels (whilst God was, is and always shall be the Highest) made Jesus higher and took him to sit next to Him (what you do not seem to believe either) to be a high priest for God and a mediator between God and man. That you shall be able to find in the Bible, though these are things those Trinitarians refuse to accept and live by. So it are they and you who are rejecting the sayings of God, like Him saying that Jesus is His son (what we Christadelphians believe).

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    1. I’m interested to hear from you and have been digging a bit into your statement of beliefs since my blog was referenced. I feel obliged to respond and will try and address your various points.

      First, in terms of the whole life of the Church, coming around in the mid-19th Century is still pretty new. I say Christadelphians are a sect because they, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others, have diverged from the teachings of Scripture that have been distilled and codified in the Creeds. Though we may disagree about many things, we Lutherans, along with the Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, and others, will all at least agree that what the Creeds say is true. They will say it is true, not because the Creeds have value in themselves, but because they accurately state what Scripture says about God. Since Christadelphians reject that most fundamental of Scriptural teachings, the doctrine of the Trinity, they cannot be considered part of the Church.

      Secondly, you make a pretty harsh accusation against me and against the theologians I mentioned, saying that we seem to have fabricated the doctrine of the Trinity, and specifically the divinity of Christ, out of whole cloth without any reference to Scripture and they did so because of their fascination with Greek philosophy. That’s a bold and erroneous argument to make because those theologians are doing exactly the opposite of that. Bishop Arius and the various others that began their own Christological heresies are primarily doing so out of their own veneration of Greek philosophy. It is not the Bible that causes Arius to reject Christ’s divinity. It is that Greek philosophy stated that the attributes of God are incompatible with the attributes of man. Therefore, despite what the Bible seemed to say about Jesus, He could not be both God and man. There had to be another explanation. The theologians addressing these controversies are arguing against philosophy and they are doing so from Scripture. I have the complete writings of many of these theologians and would be happy to give you excerpts from some of them where they specifically reference Scripture passages to make their points. Your argument indicates you don’t understand those controversies and what is driving them. I don’t reference the works of Augustine or Gregory of Nazianzus or even of Luther because I believe these men had some kind of special revelation or because I hold them in such high regard that I believe nothing they say could be false. I read and reference them because what they say about the Trinity reflects what the Bible itself says. I read the Bible for myself, using my own God-given reasoning and intellect. I see the Trinity clearly presented and these men do as well.

      Third, I think there is some confusion as to who Jesus is. You argue Jesus is man. I think you believe we say He is God. Neither of those is quite correct. The truth as presented is Scripture is that Jesus is neither strictly God nor strictly man, but both God and man together, 100% of both. Anything that can be said about God can be said about Jesus. Anything that can be said about man can be said about Jesus. This is precisely what those steeped in Greek philosophy had such difficulty accepting because, in their way of thinking, this is completely impossible. Arius and others said the immortal cannot be joined to the mortal, the infinite to the finite, and so forth. In arguing against the Trinity, you’re actually making the very same arguments those steeped in Greek philosophy made. This completely undermines the point you are trying to make.

      Fourth, you claim to want things clearly presented in Scripture. This is a laudable goal, particularly for something as important as the divinity of Christ. In that regard, how then do you address passages such as John 1:1 and 1:18, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” That the Apostle John is referring to Jesus seems pretty obvious. Unless you’re going to twist the Greek language to make it say something it doesn’t actually say, which is how the Jehovah’s Witnesses deal with this passage, there isn’t really another way to take how John speaks here.

      John relates this further in John 10. Unless you want to argue that someone other than God can give and sustain life, Jesus’ words in John 10:17-18 become rather difficult, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” Jesus continues further down, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Can man give life? Jesus very clearly says He is the one giving eternal life in this sentence, not the Father, but then goes to say He and the Father are one. Does Jesus not mean precisely what He says? There is nothing here to indicate we should take His words as metaphorical or symbolic in any way. Thus, a straightforward reading of Scripture would have us take Him at His word.

      C. S. Lewis, in his masterful work, Mere Christianity, points out how bizarre Jesus’ claim to forgive sins truly is, if He is just a man. Those individuals He forgives, such as the paralytic in Luke 5, have not offended Him in any way. We don’t have any indication He has ever even seen these people before. Yet, He forgives them as if He is the aggrieved party, as if they have wronged Him specifically. As a pastor, when I pronounce forgiveness, I do so not on my own authority, but on God’s. Jesus makes no such claim. The scribes and Pharisees in Luke 5:21 understand exactly what Jesus is saying and are completely correct when they ask, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Yet, Jesus does indeed forgive sins and He does so on His own authority and makes it clear that’s what He’s doing, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” As C. S. Lewis says, the only way Jesus can claim to be the aggrieved party, and thus be able to forgive the offense, is if He is: A. a complete lunatic, or B. God Himself.

      We see this again playing out as we look at Christ in the wilderness in Luke 4. Satan asks Jesus to worship him. In response, Jesus responds with Scripture, saying, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” So far, so good. The problem comes when we look later at Luke 24 when the disciples are leaving after Jesus’ ascension, for Luke tells us, “And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” The Father is not the subject of this sentence and is not mentioned around there at all. The subject can only be Jesus. We find this again in Matthew 14 as Jesus walks to the boat on the water, “And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” In Matthew 28:9 after the Resurrection, “And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him,” and again in Matthew 28:17. Again in John 9:38. In each place the verb is same (προσκυνέω). Jesus is not simply accepting praise and adoration. He is accepting the worship that He Himself declared is for God alone. Either He contradicts Himself, in which case He isn’t even much of a teacher, or He means what He says.

      Fifth, all of this is looking at things from a primarily exegetical standpoint and does not take into account the big picture of the Scriptural story. I’d be a poor systematician and Doctor of the Church if I couldn’t show from Scripture not only why Jesus is God, but why it is imperative that He is God.

      You argue that no one has ever seen God. I’m not sure where you get that idea, because many people in Scripture have seen God. Adam and Eve saw God. That’s how they knew who was coming as they heard His voice as He was walking, not floating or drifting about but walking, in the garden. In Exodus 24, we are explicitly told, “Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.” It’s significant that He does not lay His hand on them, because bringing unatoned-for sin into God’s presence is to transgress His holiness and bring destruction down on yourself. This is why the “glory of the Lord” of Exodus 40 is significant as well, because it is the indication of God’s unique and gracious presence. Again, that’s why the warnings for the high priest on the Day of Atonement are there as well. To bring unrepentant and unatoned-for sin into God’s presence means death. The prophet Isaiah also sees God in Isaiah 6. Isaiah cries “Woe is me…” which makes little sense if this is purely a dream. But it isn’t. Isaiah stands in the temple before Almighty God seated on His throne and he is a sinner.

      All of that is really just the lead in to the main point of the story of salvation. The real purpose of forgiveness and eternal life is not merely so that we can live forever, but, more importantly, that we can live forever with Him. This is ultimately what we lost in Genesis 3 and God has been working ever since to restore that relationship, to bring us back to Him, not just in a spiritual sense of engendering faith in us, but truly, physically bringing us back to Him. Throughout the Old Testament we see progressively new and more intimate ways in which God is present with His people, from the tabernacle and then on to the temple. The temple is not just a house owned by Him. It is the place where He dwells in a unique and special way that is found nowhere else. This is why Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of the Lord leaving the temple is such a big deal. God abandons His house because He can no longer dwell there without utterly destroying the Israelites for their idolatry.

      That brings us to Matthew 1 and Luke 2. As the angels announces the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, the glory of the Lord surrounds them. Not just a fancy glow, but an indication of God’s unique and special presence. It has returned, which means God has returned. Where is God? In the person of Jesus, who, as Matthew reports the angel Gabriel’s words, is called Immanuel (which means “God with us”). John 1 tells us further that “The Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us.” God has come to earth in the person of Jesus.

      This is also why Jesus, at the Last Supper, declares the bread and wine to be His body and blood. God continues to be with His people in the person of Jesus. (Having read some of your beliefs about the Lord’s Supper, it appears you celebrate it as a remembrance meal and yet there is no mention of it being His body and blood nor of it offering the forgiveness of sins even though Jesus clearly says both of these things in Scripture. Are not the clear words of Christ in Scripture enough to establish this?) This is also why God (the Father) says in Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” In Revelation 22:12, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Jesus uses the very same terminology to refer to Himself as the Father uses to refer to Himself. The only way this is not blasphemy is if Jesus truly is God. The same can be said of the Great Commission in Matthew 28, where Jesus commands the disciples to baptize, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus sets Himself at the same level as the Father, and yet the word “name” (ὄνομα) is singular and not plural. Not three names, but one.

      Taken altogether, the Athanasian Creed is perfectly describing what we find in Scripture, “The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is from the Father alone, not made or created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made or created or begotten but proceeding…Therefore it is the true faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and a human being. He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages, and a human being, born from the substance of his mother in this age. He is perfect God and a perfect human being, composed of a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father with respect to his divinity, less than the Father with respect to his humanity.” You are making the same mistake those who denied the divinity of Christ in the early church did. God becomes man and does so without sacrificing any of His divinity. He is both God and man at the same time and fulfills both roles. This is why is capable of being the mediator and high priest described in Hebrews. This is why He has the authority to forgive sins and bring the dead back to life. He is God. But, He is also capable of being the perfect sacrifice for sins and dying in our stead, because He is man. By robbing Jesus of His divinity, you have made man capable of his own salvation. Man died. Man rose again. Man did it all. This goes against everything Scripture says. God alone saves. God alone forgives. God alone rescues from death and hell. If man alone died, we have gained nothing. If a man, even a perfect man, is the one I am to look to for salvation, then I am well and truly lost.

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  2. Dear pastor, either you do not know the true meaning of a sect, because Christadelphians do not have any of the characteristics of a sect, or you want to blacken the Christian denomination of Brethren and sisters in Christ, who follow Jesus Christ in the tradition of the first followers of Christ or the 1st century Jewish movement The Way.

    You say that we would have dredged up and repackaged some of the old Christological heresies of the early church, but the teaching we follow from the early church are no heresies but in line with the Torah teaching and Jesus’teaching. The church you mention that set down in writing the statements of faith you know (and we know as well) as the three ecumenical creeds are falsely called “the Apostles’ Creed” and are the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, which were agreements made by those religious leaders who wanted to come in agreement with the Roman leaders (in particular with Constantine I, the Great) and were false teachings not following the Jewish Scriptures but mixing Greek and Roman philosophy and putting Jeshua ben Josef in line with Zeus (hence the name change to Jesus > Issou = Hail Zeus).

    Strangely enough you insinuate that we would have rejected what God says about Himself in Scripture, but it are we who keep to the words of the Almighty God Who declared Jesus to be His beloved son (= not Him God). So it are not we who have separated ourselves from Him and from His people (the Jews who believe only in One Singular God, the God of Abraham and not in a Trinity.). You also insinuate that we would have given in to our own idolatry in setting our own interpretations over and against the time-honoured and Biblically-abundant doctrine, which is not a doctrine of the Trinity and everything that arises from that doctrine. We by only worshipping Jehovah God and not having pictures or graven images of Him have no idols like many Catholics and certain protestants, who have a God the Father, god the son and a God the Holy Ghost really have three gods.

    It is good that he ends with “Let the world hear what God claims you as His own. Confess His salvation. ” That is what we hope and pray for all the time, because it is the Bible which explains everything. We only can hope and pray that more people shall come to read the Bible and shall come to see what is really written in there. Nowhere shall they find anything that points to such a three-headed god as the one Trinitarians are worshipping. Nowhere in the Bible shall people find the word, Trinity. But they shall(if they want to listen to what God says in the Scriptures) find that the God Who is no liar says that Jesus is His beloved son and that Jesus who did not sin says himself that he is a son of man sent by God to tell about Him and His Plan with the world. Those coming to read the Bible then also shall find that Jesus was not able to do anything without his heavenly Father, the Only True God Who is One (and not two or three).

    Christadelphians do believe in that son of David who put his own will aside to do the will of his God (when Jesus would be God then asking that God would not do Jesus will but would do His Will, was an act of deceit pretending to be something other than what it was). Christadelphians also do believe Jesus really died and believe the words of the Bible that God as an eternal Spirit Being can not die.

    Even though our movement only received its name in the second half of the 19th century, we would not consider ourselves to be a relatively new movement, especially since we are simply a continuation of the faith of the 15th and 16th century Brethren and of the Ana-Baptists and Baptists of continental Europe.

    For Christadelphians Christ Jesus is the Way to come to God and not one or another church, like many Trinitarian churches want people to believe. Strangely enough, you as a pastor claim that Christ, cleanses people with his own blood, that people may be pure and holy to stand before His Father and ours, but at the same time, you forget that God as a Spirit Being has no blood and that Jesus showed his wounds saying that he is no spirit like his heavenly Father is a spirit.

    We sincerely hope people shall be willing to compare our teachings and this pastor his teaching with what is written in the Bible and shall come to see who is the closest to what is written in that Sacred Book and following those words instead of the many words of human beings pressing on their human doctrines instead of letting people go by the Biblical doctrines.

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    1. Please note, I didn’t say Christadelphians are a cult. I said they are a sect. Thus far I have not seen anything to suggest Christadelphians operate the same way as, say, the Scientologists or Mormons. However, I say Christadelphians are a sect because that’s what you openly declare. The Church did not adopt the Creeds to appease the emperor. The Church adopted the Creeds to definitively put an end to heresy. Constantine called the Council of Nicaea because the Church was divided over who Christ is. As I mention in an earlier comment, it was Arius and the other rejecters of Christ who were injecting Greek philosophy into their theology and using that to reject the divinity of Christ, not the other way around. The Trinitarian theologians were drawing strictly on Scripture and refuting the philosophy-laden theology of their opponents. The Athanasian Creed draws entirely on Scripture when it says, “But it is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore it is the true faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and a human being. He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages, and a human being, born from the substance of his mother in this age. He is perfect God and a perfect human being, composed of a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father with respect to his divinity, less than the Father with respect to his humanity.” I don’t say you’ve set yourselves outside of the faith. You say that yourself.

      I have no idea where you got the idea the Anglicized name of Yeshua became Jesus because of an amalgamation of “Hail Zeus.” That isn’t the case at all. “Jesus” is simply the Greek name used for Jesus in the New Testament (Ἰησοῦς, pronounced “Iesous”) and Romanized. Latin uses the letter J to make a Y sound, much like modern day German does. There really isn’t anything more to it than that. If you want to place blame for the Greek spelling of His name, you’d have to lay it at the feet of the Gospel writers themselves for choosing to write in Greek instead of Hebrew.

      You are accusing Trinitarians of worshipping three gods, or “a three-headed god,” but that is a misrepresentation of the doctrine of the Trinity. I’d encourage you to reflect on how the Athanasian Creed expresses the doctrine of the Trinity
      ( https://thebookofconcord.org/three-universal-or-ecumenical-creeds/athanasian-creed/ ).

      Trinitarians are not modalists and we reject any notion of God appearing in three different forms or having three different appearances. He is one God. He is always one God. And yet, He is at the same time God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God has always been Triune and always will be. Jesus becomes capable of death because He takes on humanity. God cannot die. Man dies. For God to die and carry out the payment for sin that He alone can do because we sinful and imperfect humans are incapable of being sufficient sacrifices, God must become man. God offers Himself as the perfect sacrifice and the only way out from the curse of the Law. How else do you account for Jesus’ ability to appear and disappear at will in the post-Resurrection period? If you want to argue that the Father is picking Him up and moving Him around, then you are making a statement the Bible does not make.

      I have not studied Anabaptist theology in great depth, however, I can say with a great deal of certainty that none of the Reformers, not Martin Luther, not John Calvin, not Ulrich Zwingli, not Menno Simons, rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity. They all disagreed on a number of important issues, but that was not one of them. Thus, I argue how much of your theology can be said to stem from the Baptists and Anabaptists.

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      1. You write “I say Christadelphians are a sect because that’s what you openly declare. ” but we never declared ourselves to be a sect.

        According to Longman’s Dictionary sect is “a group of people with their own particular set of beliefs and practices, especially within or separated from a larger religious group”but a further deffinition gives also that such a group is very easy to enter but very difficult to go out and where the members of such a group or sect follow a personal leader.
        Another definition, is that it might be a group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice. Perhaps it is that way you see a sect and not in the way we at the European continent look at sects and cults, which have a very bad connotation, because then it is about brainwashing and keeping people under dominion.
        So in case you speak of it as being another denomination or schism we can understand it, but we wonder if you would speak about the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Evangelists, Pentecostals as sects? We are convinced that there you would not use that word, so why for Christadelphians?

        The Unitarians, people not willing to go by the thought of those Trinitarians were following the Torah teaching and the teachings of the Jewish Nazarene who worshipped not himself but the God of his Jewish brethren and sisters. No Jew shall ever accept the Trinity as their godhead. And those Jews who would go for a Trinitarian congregation would be considered to be no Jew any more. It is for that reason that several Jews who have accepted Jesus do not want to be called Christian, because that word has the very bad connotation of the majority being Trinitarian. For the same reason numerous Jews do not want to be called Messianic, because by the Messianics there are also Trinitarians coming from a Jewish but often much more from a goyim background. Therefore Jews following Jeshua ben Josef (Jesus Christ) as the Messiah would prefer to be called Jeshuaist or Jesjoeaan.

        You write also ” I don’t say you’ve set yourselves outside of the faith. You say that yourself.” Where would we have said that we have put ourselves out of the Faith in God or faith in Christ?

        It are we who believe that God is higher and mightier than Jesus, what you do not seem to believe because you believe Jesus is God. By your belief, you do not accept the saying of Christ Jesus, whilst we go by his sayings.
        We go by the following texts from Scripture which stan much above the writings of your theologians.

        “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned [them] on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape] who turn away from him that [warneth] from heaven:” (Heb 12:25 ASV)

        “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 28 Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. 30 I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me; 31 but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” (Joh 14:27-31 ASV)

        (In case Jesus is God he would be the equal of his heavenly Father and would not go to God but enter himself his heavenly Kingdom.) > How can it be that Jesus is God whilst Jesus says God is greater than him? And how can this God being greater than himself whilst in His Word is written that God is the head – so the higher one – of Christ? In case Jesus is God why can he not know everything and can he do not do everything – this when Scripture also tells us that God is unchangable and has been the same from the alpha to the omega – from begin to end- never telling lies?Jesus never felt himself equal to God. He himself always pointed to his heavenly Father as that One being the Only God from Who he came forth. The Bible does not speak about an incarnation of God (remember also that incarnation is an abomination in God’s eyes, so why should He do something where He is against such teaching of incarnation? God’s Word tells us clearly that Jesus is the sent one from God and as such not God having come down to fake His death and resurrection (which would serve for nothing, because than man has no proof at all of the ability of a man able to step out of death.The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the subordinate of God and that Jesus put aside his will to do the Will of his heavenly father.<

        “saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lu 22:42 ASV)

        “And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Mt 26:39 ASV)

        <Though in your idea Jesus is God, so that Jesus is will is also God's Will! also according your idea Jesus would be praying to himself and asking himself thing he has to do himself?! Very strange situation and misleading all those around Jesus.We believe Jesus is not God, what he knew very well and therefore asked people not to thank or praise him, but to prais God and to pray to God to Whoe Jesus himself also prayed to, also knowing that he could not do anything without his God!.Do you notice again how the Bible tells us that Jesus himself knew his position very well, him not being able to do all those works without the Power of God.We do agree that there have been many who di not want to believe the words from Christ Jesus. But Christadelpians do believe those words and also have faith in the honesty and truthfulness of the Words of the Only One God, Jehovah, the God of Abraham.Did you read that? That the head of Jesus Christ is God?< [In your thought Jesus being God can not be thehead over himself. Than he could perhaps be master over himself, but in such case there was no reason to pray to himself asking for this or that, and certainly not to aks why he (God) had abandoned him (Jesus) whilst a person can not abandon himself and certainly not when he has control over himself.]How can someone forsaken himself?<

        With some of the Bible texts we quoted we do hope you wome to see how our faith is build up not on human sayings but on saying from the Bible. It are those words from God and from God his prophets, of whom Jesus is one, that we go forth and are taking up the task Jesushas given his followers.
        It were the real followers of Christ who believed in the God of Christ Jesus and the false teachers who went against them. Though it were the false teachers who won the battle and created such creeds and dogma's all people had to agree with and believe (because they themselves would not be able to understand such mysteries – which would make of God a prejudiced man who would divulge His knowledge and scholarship to a few and then exclude illiterate people from the possibility of salvation.

        Christadlphians on the other side do believe God has given His word to all people, whatever their position in life might be.

        Everybody can learn about God by reading the Holy Scriptures. Though it is each individual given to either believe the Words of the Bible or to go by the words of the world, the words of theologians, clergy and others.

        Christadelphians have chosen to have faith in that man of flesh and blood who gave his life for us. For that reason we are thankful to Jesus Christ and honour his name, knowing that God has given this Nazarene man the greatest honour, having taken him to be the high priest for God and letting him serve as a mediator between God and man (something you do not seem to believe).

        “1 These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that the son may glorify thee: 2 even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life. 3 And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, [even] Jesus Christ.” (Joh 17:1-3 ASV)

        “16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 16:16-17 ASV)

        Christadelphians are followers of Christ who want to show others that Christ is tha long promissed saviour in whom we can put faith. We are one of the many non-trinitarians who all confess that Jesus is the son of God and that God was and is with him.

        “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.” (1Jo 4:15 ASV)

        “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God.” (Lu 1:35 ASV)

        “And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (Joh 1:34 ASV)

        “29 Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed. 30 Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.” (Joh 20:29-31 ASV)

        We have not seen Jesus, but we trust the Word of God and have faith in That God and His Words and faith in the words of the prophets, including Jesus, and faith in the word of Jesus his apostles.

        “5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony [to be borne] in its own times;” (1Ti 2:5-6 ASV)

        “Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mt 26:64 ASV)

        When Jesus would be God he would be sitting on his own throne, but once more the Bible tells us Jesus is not sitting in God's Place but at the right hand of God. (Again something you and the many Trinitarians do not seem to believe or prefer this Bible saying to ignore.)

        “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mr 14:62 ASV)

        “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mr 16:19 ASV)

        “For David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,” (Lu 20:42 ASV)

        “But from henceforth shall the Son of man be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” (Lu 22:69 ASV)

        “25 For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance. 29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set [one] upon his throne; 31 he foreseeing [this] spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. 34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.” (Ac 2:25-36 ASV)

        “Him did God exalt with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.” (Ac 5:31 ASV)

        “55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” (Ac 7:55-56 ASV)

        “who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Ro 8:34 ASV)

        “which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly [places],” (Eph 1:20 ASV)

        To be honest, we think as people who want to go by the Bible, we have more security than those who want to be part of this world and want to keep to the teachings of this world. We prefer not to go by the human doctrines but by the Word of God as given in the Holy Scriptures. We prefer to see for and go by the things from above.

        “If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.” (Col 3:1 ASV)

        “who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb 1:3 ASV)

        “But of which of the angels hath he said at any time, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet?” (Heb 1:13 ASV)

        “but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Heb 10:12 ASV)

        “looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2 ASV)

        Yeshua like Yehowah are the old ways of writing and in the world all languages evolve and as such in the present spelling in many languages, like in English, Dutch, German, French the Y has become presented as a J the same as the English I now also has become a J; like the V(in the original Kingg James) know also often is presented as a u. We have to go with the world and his spelling rules imposed by language boards.

        As such we do not write any more

        Mat 17:1 KJV-1611 And after sixe dayes, Iesus taketh Peter, Iames, and Iohn his brother, and bringeth them vp into an high mountaine apart,

        And the saying of God which was presented in English as follows

        Mat 17:5 KJV-1611 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud ouershadowed them: and behold a voyce out of the cloude, which saide, This is my beloued sonne, in whom I am well pleased: heare ye him.

        would become for example
        Mat 17:5 ESV  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

        Exo 6:3 KJV-1611 And I appeared vnto Abraham, vnto Isaac, and vnto Iacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by my name IEHOVAH was I not knowen to them.

        might become

        Exo 6:3 KJB:PCE And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

        With writing " For God to die and carry out the payment for sin that He alone can do because we sinful and imperfect humans are incapable of being sufficient sacrifices, God must become man. God offers Himself as the perfect sacrifice and the only way out from the curse of the Law. How else do you account for Jesus’ ability to appear and disappear at will in the post-Resurrection period? If you want to argue that the Father is picking Him up and moving Him around, then you are making a statement the Bible does not make." you undermine the work Jesus has done. Also then you ignore many of the Bible fragments of some we quoted above.
        That Jesus is taken into heaven is not something we fabricate. It is clearly written in Scriptures. But with your saying you prove again that you do not want to accept such scriptural writing because it does not fit your trinitarian thinking.

        You are right in saying that none of the Reformers, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, but thorughout history there have always been people going by the original apostolic teaching and not going for the Trinity. Mazny have for their ideas been put to death. But even there having been so much prosecution the non-trinitarians kept
        going on, often risking their lives or hiding and not drawing too much attention to their non-trinitarian thought.

        It is in line of those real Christians that the Christadelphians continue their way.

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      2. I’m going to make this brief because you didn’t really listen to my points and obviously didn’t read the Athanasian Creed I linked for you. I have made the assumption that there are only two options, that Jesus is either God or that He is man. With the abundance of language that indicates His humanity, you reject any possibility of His divinity, even though there is plenty of language that speaks to His divinity as well, which I have outlined. You fail to see the third option, which is that Jesus is both. Greek philosophy does not allow such a thing to be possible, and you have sided with them in rejecting that as a possibility. Scripture never says this cannot happen, but you do.

        The early church theologians are not fighting for the doctrine of the Trinity so hard because of their own prides or egos. They are not creating this idea from nothing. They read the Bible and only the Bible, in order to see how this is the only possibility that fits everything that’s said about Him. These theologians, literally, for centuries, to advocate for the Trinity and you haven’t spent any time reading what they have to say and why they believe the Bible tells us that Jesus is both God and man.

        Even if we only take into account the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, we already account for most of the Christians of the world. Add to that the Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, and even the Baptists you claim to draw from, will all affirm the Creeds and the doctrine of the Trinity. You have heard the doctrine of the Trinity and rejected it. The Creeds are the most basic test of whether someone is Christian or not. The Athanasian Creed says the Trinity and the two natures in Christ are the most essential elements of the Christian faith. Since you reject those, you are set yourselves against the vast majority of Christianity going back to at least the 2nd Century. That, by your own definition, makes you a sect, for you have separated from the larger Church.

        Since you won’t even do the little bit necessary to understand my point of view, there really is no basis for further discussion here and I see no reason to continue.

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