Posted by: Priscilla ()
Date: July 11, 2016 05:10PM

I am an ex Christadelphian (X'ad). I was born into an X'ad family and it became my own belief, and remained so until my late 30s. We were members of 'The Dawn' fellowship - a smaller separate group to the larger 'Central' fellowship. The core beliefs are the same but the practical out workings are slightly different. For instance, a believer who gets divorced and remarried will have fellowship 'withdrawn' from them by the Dawn, as it is believed that they are living in adultery, but they can then join Central - as they take the view that only God can judge their situation. The Central fellowship allows more autonomy to their 'meetings' (religious gatherings) but the Dawn fellowship allows for no autonomy, each 'meeting' being accountable to the whole. When one arrives at a meeting (breaking of bread), one is met by a 'brother'who has been stationed at the door. If it is not your usual meeting and he doesn't recognise you, he will ask your name and what meeting you belong to. This is written down for later publication in the regular magazine in the section where meetings put their news. A list of visitors names will be included. Thus in this way, the movements of all, can be checked by all. A 'stranger' or otherwise unbaptised individual will normally be allowed to sit in the meeting or at the back, but will not be allowed to take the bread and wine. Women are required to wear head coverings and are not allowed to address the meeting or pray out loud. Even in a 'business' meeting the same rule applies, women can only vote for something by raising her hand. One can only become a Christadelphian by taking a lengthy 'Instruction' course and by being 'examined' by two brethren, at the end, to make sure you believe exactly as you have been taught - and if they are satisfied, you will then have to be baptised.

I am relating all this for the benefit of those who don't know - and so as to give you a flavour of Christadelphianism! I have much more to say, but in the next installment!

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 11, 2016 09:38PM

Dear Priscilla, welcome to the message board!

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2016 09:41PM by corboy.

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: Priscilla ()
Date: July 14, 2016 07:11AM

I had a very narrow upbringing. We had no TV and even though were twice given one, Dad refused to keep it saying that he was not having "the world" coming into his house! "The world" was shorthand for every facet of life that pandered to or attracted "the flesh" - ie "the sinful nature". Keeping themselves separate from 'the world' meant not having close friendships with unbelievers, only acquaintances, which kept most of the family and neighbours at arms length. So the only real friends that they had were other Christadelphians but most of them didn't live near us, and we did not have a car, so visitors were rare. The only radio we had was a small one given to my brother by a teacher at Junior school which he repaired. We were for a while allowed to listen to 'Saturday night Theatre' - the radio was so small that it would be balanced on an old gramophone horn so as to amplify the sound! However, this luxury was axed by Dad when the word "bloody" started being used! Dad would sometimes get The Observer newspaper on Sundays, but no others, and we were allowed to have 'comics' - but Dad would read them first! My sister and I progressed onto 'The Judy'comic for girls, which was tolerated, but in our teens we wanted 'The Jackie'- for teenage girls, and the contents of this was strongly disapproved of! My parents were out of touch with the modern world due to their insular lifestyle and Dad in particular was unnecessarily old fashioned. While others had electric record players and pop records, we were still listening to classical music on '78' records played on wind-up gramophones! As children,the only outside influence we had was at school, and neighbouring children, who we were allowed to play with outside in the summer. We all travelled by bus to the 'meetings' on a Sunday morning, where we had to attend Sunday school and we'd had to learn Bible verses to repeat by heart while there. All these verses were called"proofs" - verses wrested from Scripture which were used to prove that X'ad doctrine was Biblical. Every evening, we were required to do 'the readings' as a family, following a Bible reading table that with 3 portions of Scripture a day, meant that over a year the old Testament was read once, and the New, twice. There was always discussion about the daily readings afterwards, another opportunity for us, as children, to be further indoctrinated. We were very poor, Mum did not work, and Dad's job was not well paid, and there were eventually 6 of us. There came a time when they couldn't even afford the bus fares for all of us on Sundays, so either Mum or Dad would go, and the other would give us 'Sunday school' at home. For a while, we had a couple of local boys, whose mother my Mum had got talking to, joining us in this Sunday school.

Our family did not really 'fit in' with those who lived around us, and we as children did not fit in terribly well at school, and this became more pronounced as we entered the teenage years. Others thought we were strange and odd, and we were picked on. My own sense of being 'different'from others, was increased, along with the loneliness it produced. I believed I was one of the "chosen" ones - as in "many are called but few chosen" - but it wasn't a feeling of superiority for me.

Are there any psychologist's out there? Then you will have an idea how such an upbringing as mine can affect a child. I grew up trusting and believing what my parents told me, and underwent a sort of brainwashing, coupled with a life sheltered from outside influences and imprinted with the idea that anything to do with 'the world' was bad, plus the belief that unbelievers should be kept at arms length, that we (the Christadelphians) were the only 'right' ones and that everyone else including the whole of Christendom was wrong!

To be continued.

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Re: Christadelphianism - a personal experience
Posted by: Priscilla ()
Date: July 14, 2016 08:05AM


It wasn't long before I was being bullied at Secondary school. Given my odd home life, the unfashionable clothes I was made to wear, the fact that someone found out I was going out (to the 'meetings') with 'mummy and daddy' still, and that we didn't have TV, amongst other differences, all provided ammunition for teasing at best, merriment and scorn, and bullying at worst. I wasn't a confident child and did not know how to deal with it. I wanted to fit in, but felt I had no chance, and began to feel more and more marginalised. When I told my parents that I was being bullied, they were not helpful. Dad took the view that bullying was quite normal and it was just one of those things you had to put up with, and Mum would just repeat the phrase, "they're just jealous dear"! This did not make sense to me at all, as I couldn't see what on earth I had for them to be jealous of!

I started making nasty remarks back, but this only made matters worse. I felt angry I got anger in return. I decided the best way to deal with it was to keep a dead pan face, not react at all, behave as though I hadn't even heard, and just carry on doing whatever I was doing. I kept telling myself I didn't care. My anger turned to hatred - a deep hatred! I would fantasise about going into school with a machine gun and mowing them all down! When the headmaster wrote on my report that I "MUST come out of my shell!" - I was absolutely incensed! I badly wanted to march into his office and tell him why I was in that shell! But I didn't have the confidence. Gradually I developed the ability to create a gap between my thoughts and my feelings by constantly telling myself that I didn't care. I could - and still can - experience something which I should feel a strong emotion about, but the emotion doesn't come till later. It scares me a bit when I think that I could quite cooly perpetrate something horrible and only feel bad about it later - too late! So glad I didn't live somewhere where guns were common place!!

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: Priscilla ()
Date: July 17, 2016 08:41PM

I don't think my parents needed to try so hard to ram religion down my throat. The theory of evolution wasn't taught at school at that time and RE classes only focused on Christianity. We also had religious assemblies every morning, at which hymns were sung. These days, I believe it is important for parents who are religious, to teach their children about their faith - and good luck on their efforts! Their children will be bombarded via the media and at school with the theory of evolution being talked about and taught as though it is fact, and they will not only hear about other faiths even from nursery but take part in their respective festivals also. My granddaughter has recently taken part in a festival at her nursery to mark the end of Ramadan. Why is the theory of evolution given so much air time these days and practically rammed down our throats? Yet if any religion was banded about in the same way (in this country) there would be an outcry! In my view evolution is just another religion - putting man at the top of the pinnacle instead of God, so that by living to please themselves, men effectively worship themselves
instead. By the aggressive promulgation of such a doctrine, someone is going all out to gain as many believers as possible! I wonder WHO is behind it all?

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: Priscilla ()
Date: July 22, 2016 02:56AM

With avid ' preachers' such as Sir David Attenborough, Pro Brian Cox, Chris Rackham and others, the theory of evolution is made to sound a scientific fact, when in fact it is nothing of the sort! In fact there are a good number of scientists who do not believe in the theory. For those of you who are discerning, check the net. As always, people believe what they want to believe - what they feel comfortable with. Just because the 'majority' run with an idea doesn't make it true. You owe it to yourself to think for yourself and look at everything so as to make an informed decision about what is the reason for our existence, why homosapiens are the only species to be actively destroying the environment, and whether our lives are truly meaningless and death-bound for eternity. Why is it that when we are capable of so much more, do we generally gravitate towards shameful treatment of each other? We should be the pinnacle of evolution - but many of the characteristics of animals put us to shame! Why is this? Are we evolving or regressing?

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: magnocrat ()
Date: August 29, 2016 01:24AM

Evolution is based on natural selection which is a survival mechanism and has nothing to do with ethics. Animals are not ethical creatures but humans are due to the fact they are self-aware and self- judgemental. Tigers foxes crocodiles cannot be evil or good they can only be themselves.Freud beautifully explains man's dilemma and concludes accurately man is at war with himself. Our internal ethical conscience is at war with our instinctive survival of the fittest.

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Re: Christadelphianism
Posted by: Servant Victoria ()
Date: July 27, 2017 02:34AM

Dear Priscilla, thank you for sharing. Your story is so important.

I can only imagine the trauma you may have experienced in your adult life as you came to the realization that the parents you loved and trusted had been instrumental in drawing you deeper into a way of life that sounds very restrictive, self-serving and unhealthy. From my own life, I know all too well how such control and manipulation can cause deep wounding within a family.

Have you found a way to forgive and release your parents? If not, I pray that you may find the grace to do so for the freedom it may bring you.

I would love to hear more about how you found your way out of the fellowship as an adult.

Blessings to you...

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