Answering a "refutation" of "Is Christadelphianism Christian?"

It is quite a complement when the groups I tackle on CARM attempt to answer the charges of them not being Christian. Following is one of the papers found on Christadelphian website that attempted to refute the CARM paper titled "Is Christadelphianism Christian?" The Christadelphian article is located at http://www.biblebeliefs.net/carm/Page3.htm.1

I will respond to the "refutation" of my paper. His comments are in brown. Mine are in green.

Christadelphian:

The C.A.R.M. has an interesting approach to the condemnation of various cults. A religious system is either 'Christian,' and therefore able to save despite minor errors, or 'non_Christian,' which cannot save because of major errors. The Christadelphians, they say, are non_Christian. The Christadelphian faith cannot save.Why not? The mind behind the C.A.R.M. has taken it upon himself to conjure up the 'Three Essential Doctrines' of Christianity. Any group which denies any one of these doctrines is non-Christian. These three doctrines are: Jesus is God, the physical resurrection, and salvation by grace through faith.

CARM's Response:

No cult member considers himself to be false. But, Christianity by definition states Christadelphianism to be false. The Essential Doctrines that I have on my website are not "conjured up" by me or anyone else. These essentials are essentials proclaimed by the Bible. I have merely brought them to peoples' attention. For this Christadelphian author to state that I have conjured them up tells me that he did not read the article where I give ample biblical references establishing their essential nature.

Christadelphian:

Now where did the C.A.R.M. get the idea that these are the three essential doctrines of Christianity? Certainly not from the Bible. The Bible teaches that the gospel is 'the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ' (Acts 8:12).

CARM's Response:

Again this person fails to cite the scriptures that I have listed in that article. Therefore, I will briefly list them here:

  1. Jesus is God in flesh
    1. 1 John4:2-3: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
      1. The above verse needs to be cross referenced with John 1:1,14 (also written by John) where he states that the Word was God and the Word became flesh. In 1 John 4:2-3, John is not simply stating that Jesus existed, for that would be too obvious. Rather, he is dealing with the issue of Jesus incarnation.
      2. Likewise, Jesus said in John 8:24: "I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins."
        1. "I AM" is a phrase God used to describe Himself in Exodus 3:14.
  2. Salvation by Grace
    1. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast," (Eph. 2:8-9). "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace," (Gal. 5:4).
  3. The Resurrection of Christ
    1. "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith," (1 Cor. 15:14). "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins," (1 Cor. 15:17).
      1. To deny the physical resurrection of Jesus is to deny Jesus' work, sacrifice, and our future resurrection.
      2. These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead (in the same body He died in -- John 2:19-21), then your faith is useless.

Christadelphian:

The C.A.R.M. says that Christadelphians deny the essential doctrine that Jesus is God in flesh. Christadelphians believe that Jesus was made of the same fallen, no_good substance that composes the rest of humanity: sinful flesh. Because of this, they follow a false Jesus, and 'they are then damned' according to the C.A.R.M. However, never did Jesus preach that we have to believe he is God _ it is not an essential doctrine. In fact, it is not a doctrine at all. The Old Testament teaches One God and Father of all, not One God, a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit. The New Testament must teach the same thing, since God does not change. I am aware that I am arguing without Biblical backup: this is because I do not want to repeat what is said in the Trinity section of this website. If you want to see proof that Jesus was made of sinful flesh, go there.

CARM's Response:

The Bible does not teach that Jesus had a sinful nature. It teaches that Jesus was sinless (1 Pet. 2:22). He was both God and man at the same time. Col. 2:9 says, "for in Him dwells all the fullness of deity in the bodily form." John 1:1,14 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God... and the Word became flesh and dwelt to among us."

As far as Jesus not teaching that we needed to believe that He was God, we simply need to look at His own words in John 8:24 where Jesus said, "unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins." Again, Jesus uses the title "I am" in reference to Himself. Of course, many cultists state that Jesus was simply saying that He was the messiah. But, note that in John 8:58, Jesus said, "before Abraham was, I am." At this, the Pharisees picked up stones to kill Him, but Jesus fled. Then in John 10:30-33, they again picked up stones to kill Him and the reason they gave for trying to kill Him was because He being a man made himself out to be God (John 10:33). When Jesus said "I am" He was equating to Himself the very name of God found in Exodus 3:14 where God says to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you."

Christadelphian:

The C.A.R.M. also speaks of one doctrine of Christadelphians as 'absolute heresy' and 'demonic doctrine.' This is the doctrine that Jesus Himself had to be saved. Why is this doctrine demonic? Jesus' mother required atonement for giving birth to him (Luke 2:24) which would not have been necessary unless she was bringing forth a fallen creature.

CARM's Response:

The reason the Christadelphian doctrine is so bad is because it denies that Jesus Christ is God and states that Jesus was a sinner who needed salvation. That is blasphemy.

Christadelphian:

The C.A.R.M. also says that Christadelphians deny the essential doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I quote, "Christadelphians add a work to salvation. They say that baptism is part of the saving process. But, baptism is not necessary for salvation. Instead, it is a representation of the inward reality of regeneration (1 Pet. 3:21), a covenant sign of God's work upon the heart (Col. 2:11-12)." These are flowery words with no real meaning: inward reality? A covenant sign of God's work upon the heart? You should note that when you are writing and put a Bible reference in brackets at the end of a sentence, it is supposed to back up what you have said. However, the two references they quoted have nothing to do with inward realities or the heart. What does Col. 2:11-12 say? Speaking of Christ, "In whom ye also are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:" In the context Paul is explaining that the traditions of men such as circumcision are obsolete (v. 8). Writing to the Colossian believers (mostly uncircumcised Gentiles) he tells them that through the circumcision of Christ, they have put off the sins of the flesh, and can be redeemed. What is this 'circumcision of Christ' that is required to put off sin? Read on _ verse 12: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." When a person is immersed in water, they are figuratively buried and risen with Christ. Through this act of faith, we can obtain resurrection from the dead, since God raised Christ from the dead and we are being 'buried with Christ.'

CARM's Response:

Baptism is a very important part of Christianity. All Christians should be baptized. But, baptism is not an essential requirement of salvation. We can see this when we look at the whole of scripture which tells us that we are justified (made righteous) by faith (Rom. 5:1), not faith and something we do (Rom. 4:5); that people are saved before baptism (Acts 10:44-48; that baptism is not part of the gospel which saves (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and that Paul came to preach the gospel and not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17). For more on this please read "Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?"

Christadelphian:

I should also speak of how the C.A.R.M. condemns baptism as the works of the Law. Paul speaks frequently in his epistles about how the works of the Law were not necessary to be saved anymore. The Law had waxed old as a garment; it was a schoolmaster to teach the Jews about the coming Messiah. This is all fine and good. Now look at the C.A.R.M.'s major stretch of reasoning. Rom. 3:20 tells us that "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his [God's] sight." This is the Law of Moses, which at this point had become obsolete. But the C.A.R.M. says, in other words, we are not saved by anything we do. Where did that come from? We are not saved by the Law of Moses: we are saved by grace through faith. And as Col. 2:12 told us, baptism is the operation of our faith! Baptism is necessary for salvation.

CARM's Response:

I do not want to get into a dissertation on baptismal regeneration and its error. My previous mention of the article "Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?" is worth reading here.

Christadelphian:

C.A.R.M.'s conclusion to this section is that Christadelphianism is a false religion. They are sincere, but "sincerity does not bridge the gap between God and man. Only the blood of the real Jesus does that." I agree, sincerity cannot save us. However, the C.A.R.M. has not shown us that Christadelphianism is a false religion.

CARM's Response:

The fact that Christadelphianism denies that Jesus is God in flesh is sufficient to make it a non-Christian cult. Faith is only as good as who you put it in. The Christadelphians have a "savior" with a sinful nature who himself needed to be saved. This sinful version of Jesus cannot save anyone.  The true Jesus needed no savior. The Christadelphians do not have the true Jesus and because of that their faith is misplaced and in vain.

Dear reader, do not be deceived by the Christadelphians.  Jesus is God in flesh. It is only God who can save us from our sins.  We have a perfect and holy High Priest, Jesus.  He was sinless and will forever love us and hold us close to Him.  But, the Jesus of the Christadelphians, our older brother who had a sin nature, is false.  A false Christ cannot save.

Jesus said, "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect," (Matt. 24:24).

 

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  • 1. The domain biblebeliefs.net is apparently no longer in operation by the Christadelphian author.

 

 

 

 
 
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