About

This is a project to collect the stories of those who have left the Christadelphian community.

The site doesn’t promote any particular belief system and is open to stories of any ex-Christadelphian – whatever you believe now, and regardless of whether you jumped or were pushed. It’s also for those who have been involved in the community – such as children from Christadelphian families – but have left without committing.

exdelph@gmail.com.

 

34 Responses to About

  1. Momska says:

    I’m what some might call a “late bloomer”. At about age 50, it was ultimately my body that got through to me- I became ill when attending meeting, every Sunday.

    I too was born into a C family, going back several generations. I married a non-C, but diligently got my children to every possible C event. I must admit- as does my husband of 42 years- the community did provide our kids with a structure that was positive in many regards. But now I realize it was the aspect of “community” which provided that support. I’m still sorting out what the cost of that security has been. At a time when we needed that community the most, it was completely inept and unable to help in any way- but advised us not to seek any “outside” help. That moment pulled me out of being a critical observer of life, and thrust me forward as a participant.

    With respect to other religions, I have friends now who also have family religious traditions, but they tend to see that tradition as a tool or framework, not an end unto itself. Therein lies the difference. Too many of my relatives have been restricted or disfellowshipped (more aptly “excommunicated”) which is abhorrent to me. In each case, the individual was not considered- just chapter and verse. In some cases, it ultimately ruined lives of entire families. I see that practice as a short-cut to avoid the real work of learning to love unconditionally; a fear response which does great harm, and misses the point.

    My home ecclesia doesn’t know what to do with me politically. I’ve made it clear we have very little in common, and I do not intend to ever “change my mind”. It’s been over 10 years since I stopped attending. But since my family has such a legacy they are reluctant to disfellowship me officially. (As I write this, I find it so appropriate that my spell check can’t figure out “Christadelphian”, “ecclesia”, or “disfellowship”.)

    I’ve been written off by some C family members, but for the most part, have been treated in a civil manner by C’s. I respect the right of others to stay involved, if they truly want that path. I think it would serve the community well, if that “Christian” consideration was reciprocated. The “choice” so often touted in the community, is really just a choice when a person is baptized, not if. That kind of pressure is merely an insidious form of hellfire.

    Thanks so much to everyone who is making the effort to share their experience. I appreciate it, and applaud your life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Im a bit blown away by the fact that there’s a blog for ex-chrissies and that some consider it a cult. Also by the common experiences and issues that people see to have faced.
      i was born into the chrissies – my wider family was a bit notorious as most of them got chucked out in the sixties/seventies because of some radical ideas suggesting that the first chapter of genesis may be a metaphor for creation?! my parents stayed in and seemed to try really really hard to be extra committed because of the shame about the ones who’d been chucked out.
      i had the usual stuff – lots of meetings ( oh, the boredom and the pinching for wriggling too much), regular reminders to “be in this world but not of it” so i couldnt bring school friends home or sing hymns that were not chrissie acceptable in school assemblies etc…the fact that im female but outspoken + feisty obviously wasnt a trait that was appreciated in a sexist environment….oh and i hated billing and feeling like an idiot in a town centre on a saturday afternoon handing out bills at for the recruitment drive they do…
      It was all pretty repressed at home – my mom is feisty too and so, though head covered and silent at the ecclesia, she let her frustrations out at home big time. we were bullied,haranged and physically/emotionally abused (my dad and siblings) undetected as the chrissie policy is not to talk about feelings – for people so convinced they have the truth it amazes me how narrowly they perceive what truth is and dont see their hypocrisies )
      Highlights of the horror were being raped by a brother about 10 years older than me ( who also did the same to my sister who is still a chrissie) when i was 18. i told my parents about it some time afterwards ( id left by then) and they just blanked out what id said.The only way i know that they heard was because everytime this brother spoke at the ecclesia and was “entertained” by my family, my dad made a point of mentioning it and he knows that i didnt give a shit about who’s boring the pants off who. that fely inexplicably cruel at the time but i now know how screwed up my parents are.

      i got chucked out for disorderly walk after writing an article about why i though chrissies were misguided for wearing stars of david and criticising other chrisitians for wearing crosses…i had also died my skin-head hairstyle black i was told by people id known all my life that i was a dog returning to its vomit and i was personally re-crucifying christ. Their rejection was gutting and definitely helped me go right off the rails into drugs/booze/sexual self abuse.
      The first corner to recovery was turned when a friend who got chucked out a bit before me was telling me how she’d chosen the worldy life and she’d accept her punishment later when christ returned….listening to her i had this flash of amazing relief that i didnt have to choose or think like that anymore and that i could believe what the hell i liked…it was a fantastic and freeing realisation…another corner was turned when i started spending time up in the hills near my uni on a sunday morning instead of feeling shame at my non attendance… I felt loved and “held” in that wild and beatiful place and at peace. I felt the presence of divine something there – i only ever felt it once before in all my chrissie life whilst singing ” i lift my eyes” at a CYC camp in wales one night under the stars with my peers.

      twenty years on i work in mental health and have spent much time healing the damage done.i still find it mildly shocking when i think about my past and reframe my experiences with a mental health professionals eyes ie that i disassociated for years (coped with the bullying, denial, shaming,abuse and brainwashing for years – creating fantasy lives in which i totally believed until I had a breakdown in my early twenties and the reality of my life i had been surpressing came into my conscious brain for the first time ). I now know that disassociation is a common response to trauma as the brain cant compute whats occurring..my chrissie experiences are probably why i ended up doing the work that i do so on one level.im grateful for them.

      my folks still are chrissies….we avoid the topic and in true chrissie way, we dont talk about our feelings or other elephants in the room… i love them and forgive them ( for years i was so angry with them) and i know they are damaged too..we get on ok as long as i stay in role as mental health professional and keep my personal stuff to myself…sometimes i wish i had parents who loved me for who i am but there we are…i have a close network of friends who im closer to than my blood family and i take my needs to and get support from them. i feel blessed and know what a powerful woman i am and how living through what ive experienced has made me the wonderful person i am!

      i wish you all well in your recovery
      wild blessings x

      • Ruth says:

        Hi, I’m sitting here crying after reading your message. I’ve been on antidepressants for years now and just feel so desperately lonely – I don’t fit in anywhere – having left the ‘meeting’ because I couldn’t feel ‘good’ enough so after lots of praying to get help to worship god properly and not getting any help from anyone (including the local CofE minister) I gave up religion altogether. Trouble is, it doesn’t let you go and the guilt and anger and sadness I feel for being a bad person, being told constantly by my mother that I’m failing myy own children by not bringing them up as Christadelphians is pretty bad. I have no friends as I lost all the ones from my religious youth by either them marrying someone very ‘strictly CD’ or by me marrying someone who didn’t like to socialise with anyone so I got tainted with the same stick. He actually didn’t seem to like me much either so eventually I left him after 13 years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough – this time, to get his attention. Of course, that was very bad too as far as they were all concerned and I was disfellowshipped, I presume. I never heard anything from anyone, no attempts at help or anything. I do know, cos she told me, that my mother actually said I wasn’t nice to him and they used to discuss me and how awful I was. This is pretty awful from both a mother and a supposed caring religious person. I’m now married to a lovely man but still deep inside I’m not right. I have no close friends now cos I don’t really fit in, I don’t feel right going out with people to pubs and could never go to discos or anything (when I was younger – too old for all that now!) cos of
        this deep seated something that had been instilled in me that it was wrong. Although I
        know it isn’t, that something won’t allow me to feel totally at ease. I’ve recently come across a few ex-christadelphian things and reading them make me realise I’m not alone in this awful feeling and, indeed, a lot of you have gone through far worse. It’s a horrible hold it has over you and no-one who hasn’t been involved in such a thing can understand. Now I know there are a lot of people like me it helps. Hey, maybe I even know some of them! You know, now maybe I may be able to finally totally recover – thank you to everyone who’s written anything about all this.

    • Bec says:

      This is so, so perfectly put x

      • Dave says:

        Hi Ruth!

        It is such a shame reading through your comments of what you are still going through. I was born into a CD family, and was one until I was 26, and recognise many of the things which everyone has talked about on this site, although I didn’t go to quite the extremities that some have experienced.

        I too never fitted in, and even at youth gatherings (the Swanwick Gatherings in the UK), where I went with a group of about 20 people from my CYC, but was effectively dumped on my own as soon as we got there. Wandering around on my own amidst all this “glorious fellowship” I found that no-one spoke to me, and I had no self-confidence and didn’t know how to strike up a conversation. How can you be lonely amongst hundreds of “friends”? But I was.

        What I did notice was that CDs claimed to have “the Truth” almost to the point that nobody else did, yet the people who lived the Christian life were either CDs who were banned from speaking in CDland, or were Christians from other denominations, who were supposedly in gross error!

        It made me ask questions of this “truth” the CDs had, but unlike most who manage to escape from them, I didn’t give up on God. Instead I put all books, commentaries etc. aside and just read the Bible, and asked God to show me what was true, and I am now happily worshipping in an independent evangelical fellowship, having left the CDs in 1983.

        Although I didn’t leave because of doctrinal issues, I now believe fundamentally different doctrines to the CDs. I was recently introduced to a Facebook group for ex’s, and a high proportion of people in that group are atheists, many of which are militantly so.

        So we have to ask “What kind of Jesus do the Christadelphians believe in if he causes his followers so much grief, so much deep guilt feelings, and to give up on God altogether? It is “another Jesus” and “another gospel” which the apostle Paul warned against so strongly. The CD Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible, which is why CDs spend so much time trying to prove how everybody else is wrong.

        And why does Christadelphia leave so many people feeling guilty and “not good enough”? Compared with a perfect God, none of us are good enough in our own strength, but the true gospel is about forgiveness, acceptance and restoration. The whole point of the gospel is that we do start off “not good enough”, but that God forgives us for all of that. So as soon as we ask Jesus for His forgiveness, every single part of that “not good enough” feeling, every single part of that “guilty” feeling is done away with. We have a clean slate and a fresh start, and a God who works in us to make us more and more like the people He wants us to be, and deep down like the people we ourselves would like to be.

        The devil, who CDs say doesn’t exist, has put together an entire religious system (one of many) which keeps people in chains and under huge burdens, and everybody on this site has described those chains and burdens so well.

        BUT …… there is life outside of Christadephia, and all you need to do is ask God to let you have it. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ”. Bless you Ruth, and anyone else reading this, and I pray that you do find the freedom and joy which you are looking for.

        In good time I will put my testimony of how I escaped on here, but it will require a lot of time to put together.

      • EJK says:

        Dave, I have met an X CD lets call him MX, I have spend fair bit of time talking to him about him leaving CD’s and joining protestant church. MX tells me that it took him 5 years to de-convert, not an easy thing to do for a CD, “we are in the truth” how do you join a Christian church? MX always been preached how wrong it was to be a Christian, first he went to a Christian church to see for himself how the Christians practiced, MX had intention to slowly convert Christian friends that he started to have theological discussions with them, He was able to see the other side of the coin, searched and found that Christians were strong believers, they did know the Bible well, but perhaps were not as fluent as Christadelphians. Now MX attends Christian church, lost his family, CD friends, one sad story for such a behaviour of so called “chosen” ones to totally abandon a human being for not believing anymore the way CD’s do. So you are either in the group, or you are shunned for ever. This is Christos for you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story. Isn’t it ironic, that believing to be “unique” and above normal behaviour, only makes it harder to grow into a happy, caring adult? I hope you and your family continue to have some sort of fruitful relationship. Your obvious love for them is a blessing for all of you.

  3. EJK says:

    So sad to read these stories,however CD’s are not easy to deal with.The biggest stumbling block is “we alone have the truth”and you are in relentless bible study meetings or seminars.I know of children being educated at home,not to have many outside influence,because all others are astray,most don’t haveTV’s,leave in close contact with CD family activities as the outsiders are no good,pagans and unbelievers.No one has the truth,it is believed to have the truth as a human understand it.As once someone said to me”believe those who are seeking the truth,but doubt those who have found it”.I would like to propose to you to attend some christian church or some evangelical preaching place.You will be welcomed,you will not be judged and if you like it you can continue going there,have an open mind,don’t think like a CD,I am right and they are wrong,nobody is perfect including CD’s,you will find friends that you will be able to mix,just give it a go.

  4. Dave says:

    Hi.
    I’m so upset by what I am reading. I am a Christadelphian. I am so sorry for all those who have been hurt. Personally I truly believe the gospel to hold the means of eternal life and I believe the Christadelphian beliefs to be true to what the bible says. But I understand it involves more than that, it involves me continuing to read and search for truth and for me to live it. Living it is the hardest part, and for those that have been push away by people struggling to live it, I am sorry.

    It’s important to know God, this gives him glory. I’d love to help if I can.

    Dave

    • Momska says:

      I appreciate your contribution, Dave. However, you ended your message with the edict that “it is important to know God, this gives him glory.” As you wrote, and in my experience, Christadelphians have trouble realizing and accepting that not everyone shares that particular belief. Therein lies the issue.

      Regards,
      Momska

  5. EJK says:

    Momska, you are so right. As I said, CDs claim: ‘we alone have the truth,’ do they? Let’s see – end time prophecies which have failed, the return of Christ: J.Thomas 1866-68, R.Roberts 1910, C.P Wauchope 1934, H.P.Mansfield 1968 and Woodville ecclesia South Australia – big advertisement in the local paper, all failed. I read the Russian invasion of Syria is imminent(because of the civil war), but I don’t see the Russian army messing around Turkish border. You see when you guys say we have worked it out, it makes my blood boil, give me one CD prophecy that came true. As I said before “believe those who are seeking the truth, but doubt those who claim that they have found it.” I have no issues with level headed CDs, but I also was told that there is no salvation and resurection outside of christadelphia – I say God and only God will judge me and everyone on earth, not CDs or anyone else, so please get off your perch and accept that others are God worshippers as well, CDs are NOT special, it is CDs thinking mechanism and brainwashing that puts you up there, so relax and have faith in God.

  6. D says:

    I started dating my Christadelphian 3 years ago. It was the beginning of a long painful relationship. The first three months seemed normal. He would call me ahead of time really wanting to see me. We were so compatible. We both loved the outdoors and would kayak, hike, I taught him to rollerblade and he fell in love with it. We played tennis on a couples league on Friday nights and had developed friendships through that. We also loved playing each other on the court in the summer. Our activities out on the town were always fun. Our intimacy was wonderful. Our personalities were so compatible. We were happy all the time when we were together. Everything seemed perfect. But, as time went on I tried his church twice. It seemed odd. Men from the church would prepare a sermon kind of guessing what the words could have meant in the bible and preaching it like it was the truth.
    The women wore scarfs on their heads during the service. As I learned more about the religion he told me the different inidividual churches would all have their different degrees of rules. His church frowned on anyone attending another church out of the christadelphian religion. So, if you were vacationing you would choose to not go to church to worship God because it was more important to not go into a different church. They do not believe they should be part of the earthly world. So, they would not participate in juries. I asked him if his brother had been murdered would he go to a judge and tell him his church doesn’t believe in juries so he should let the murderer go? His answer was one I heard often. Well, I don’t agree with everything they say. They don’t believe in participating in the military either so they let others defend them. They will ask a member to leave if they are homosexual, or if two people decide to live together before marriage. So there are homosexuals in the church that just hide who they are. The members are having sex out of marraige but don’t let anyone know because that would be banishhment from the church as well.. When I posed the question ,my boyfriend told me he wanted to live with me and yes sheepishly agreed that he would live with me if we were in a state that the church would not see us but it was not possible for him to leave the state due to some family obligations. In other words the church promotes their members to lie. Unfortunately, we live an hour apart. It has been three years and we have had this painful lonely partial relationship where we see each other Friday nights and some of Saturday. If he has a sermon to write he takes all day Saturday so we don’t see each other on that weekend more than Friday night. I’m lonely, I love him and wanted us to be together. But, because I did not want to become a member and was not willing to continue this weekend relationship we have now gone our own ways. It happened after me deciding we would not have intimate relations anymore because it did not feel like this was a true relationship and if the living together was a sin I did not want to be helping him with the other sin of having sex out of marriage. That is when his frustration began and how our parting seemed to begin. He said our relationship was going downhill and his frist reason listed was that we weren’t having sex. He told me he couldn’t bear to be thrown out of the church because his whole family is in the church. That is how it happens. They make you feel guilty if you don’t attend all their functions. Your life becomes this group and to leave it is to lose your life. He considers himself the minister of his church. God’s love and truth? I think not.

    • EJK says:

      D, believe me you that you have done the right thing, this cult minded sect is so up themselves that He would have had to leave his family( most unlikely) and the ecclesia or you would have had to convert into the sect. You had no future with him without conversion, what has kept you together was the “lust” love and act of sex. I know a couple, whose wife has converted to this “know all” sect and their marriage has faulted within two years. If they marry outside of their faith, that union is regarded null and void, until that “non believer” becomes one of them. They cannot be called a cult, but they are a cult minded sect, no matter what you say, they are always right. Anyone who gets interested in this sect should do their homework, search out the matter, as christos say. There is no one special in this earth, so for CD’s to claim that they have been called out is a brainwashing tactic. They are stuck on end time prophesy, return of Christ, each time there is some action in the middle east or Russia says something, out comes: Jesus is coming soon. A preaching brother said about Syria not long ago :” the coming of Messiah is rapidly drawing closer with Syrian war, the methods being used by the most High, who rules in the kingdom of man, to put hooks into the jaws of Gog of the land of Magog ( Russia) and draw him and his armies into the area of conflict, which we will see the Lord Jesus triumphant in all earth, – then he brags- very few people in the world are privileged to see these things as we see them, but the scripture is written in such a way, that the key of knowledge is needed to unlock their secrets” then he quotes Prov.25:2- It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. So CD’s are the kings and everything they come up with is the truth. Well where is Magog ? Looking at biblical maps we find that “land of Gog” was in Lydian Kingdom, Asia minor, todays Turkey. Lud.Meshech,Tubal, Gomer Togarmah, all were in Asia minor and not Russia as christos preach. CD’s guess is that Russia with some catholic nations from Europe ( including Vatican-Pope) will join in military force and attack Israel, and this is all started to happen now. I googled : christadelphiansbooksonline, and found CD writer Harry Whittaker’s comments on the time of end-Gog of the land of Magog and he refutes some of CD’s wild guesses, He was not liked by some but by hell he has some good points. Ezekiel Temple, he with George Booker pulls that theory apart, excellent reading, Jesus to perform animal sacrifices ??? cannot get my head around that theory. What about Heb.10:10- by the which will we aresanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL. Enough said I think.

  7. Anon says:

    Someone wrote this on FB and thought it ideal for this page:

    You may blame circumstances and conditions for what you are but the ultimate responsibility of what your is at the moment rests upon you. It may be true that you have been denied opportunities that others had ,but there is no reason why this should influence the rest of your life. You are giving your disadvantages greater power than your ability to deal with them.
    If you feel that life has given you a raw deal, and you are resentful, it is obvious that you are filled with self pity and lack ambition. If you wallow in gloom and despodemcy you cannot expect to be filled with enthusiasm and confidence . You will never know the joy of overcoming disadvantages and succeeding. When you choose Christ as your moulding influence, your outlook is completely changed. You see disadvantages as challenges; praise and thanksgiving dispel fear and gloom, confidence overrides inferiority, and you become a new person as you identify with the forces of righteousness. When you commit your life to the living Christ all the failures and fears that have haunted you will be overcome and you will be filled with inspired confidence. You cannot know the true potential of your life until you have committed yourself to Jesus,the Messiah. It is this act of acceptance that influences the choices you make. So ,brethren & sisters,we choose the influences that mould our lives. The Lord proves men and women in the furnace of fire,( Heb. 12:6_12) .

  8. Momska says:

    Dear Anon,
    It’s wonderful that you see Christ as your “moulding influence”. However, your “forces of righteousness” may not be that for others. Some see handguns as a force for righteousness, others see them as a force for violence. Right thinking, right effort, and selflessness can restore a dejected soul to a healthier place; where a person finds a path to those, I cannot dictate; I don’t think Christ is the only source. When I finally took that step to leave the fold, it was because a third party showed me a truth I couldn’t ignore: “belief” is just belief. It is not truth or fact in and of itself. I hope there are universal truths: kindness and a smile seem to be appreciated by all. How we get on a well path, and which path that will be, is up to each of us to decide.
    Momska

  9. midlandman says:

    I read all of the recent posts in the blog, and I read most of these comments fully. I never became baptized. After ten years of Christadelphian Sunday School from age 5 to age 15 I took my leave, not without reprobation from my parents. That was fifty-three years ago and I still have issues that haunt me because of the closed life I was forced to live as a child. Denied the friendship of other non-Christadelphian children and alienated by the poverty I suffered in an Ecclesia consisting of wealthy patrons. Wearing the hand me downs of other Christadelphian children who would often try to take back the clothing their parents had given mine. I still do not know how to make friends. Leaving was the very best thing I ever did. Now I am a Noachide, not quite a Ger Toshav and probably never will be. The only part of Christadelphianism that has remained with me is my Love for God, the rest is tossed out as brain washing and garbage. I did get baptized in another Christian community and I absolutely do not deny Jesus. However as I am lonely (my whole life) I still seek to fellowship with others.

    I want to say that the Christadelphian experience is not something I would wish upon any child and I know that other religious communities do not behave the same way, others have their faults, but none I have encountered are as rabidly unloving as Christadelphians. Their behavior is so unlike Jesus Christ that a person would be hard pressed to even recognize any component of Christ’s teaching in their methods.

    I feel deeply for those that have suffered at their hands and under their tutelage and the remarks by anon are typical responses of Christadelphians to those who have difficulties after events that compound the blind refusal to treat people as fallible humans who need love and care not more critisism. Why are you even commenting in this forum anon, for it is for the wounded and hurt by your religion not your prosyletizing high handed and opinionated words.

    I have not recovered, I am still reproached by my quite elderly mother who has been expelled or whatever they call it. The damage done to children by brainwashing is almost irreversible. This is my testament to that fact.

    • EJK says:

      Yes, I have seen this with my own eyes in seven years they destroyed my friends wife’s mind beyond repair, you are so lucky to escape, good luck in your new found journey. May the Lord be with you.

  10. Dave says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading the blogs for a long time. I’ve seen it all as well. In fact many I know can empathize with so many of these stories. The last comments on the world events really got me thinking about what the CD’s preach… I know that last blog was negative but… The things the CD’s preach about the end times are coming true… Maybe for those of us that have had bad experiences and been Hurt.. It’s driven us away, because of the fault of sin and failures of others… But what if the message is true… What if they have the right ideas but just struggle to live it…

  11. EJK says:

    Dave, there is no special religion on earth, all are made by man, CD’s have not been called out by God, their preaching brothers tell that to the followers. CD’s prophesies about end times has failed many times. I know Jesus will come back one day and it maybe tomorrow so we should try to be ready, but to tell people that what is happening now in the world are signs is false. JW’s made the same mistakes and now say that it is up to God. Jesus said I will come like a thief in the night, no one know the time except the father. So lets have a look what CD’s said publicly so far. John Thomas in 1868 said that: JC will arise to his inheritance, Kingdom of God-failed- Mr.RR who took over the sect, did the same mistake. He calculated that Christ will reing on earth in 1910-failed- That wasn’t enough, prominent Australian CD CP Wauchope said: Armageddon will happen in 1934-failed- CD book writer HP Mansfield claimed in 1968, that the world lives in the very shadow of Christ’s second coming, he again in 1985 said: Russian growing power is a witness to the immanent return of Christ-failed- Well known CD Roger Stockes in 1987 said: massive coming of nations together against Israel will devastate the JEWS- failed- In 1999 Woodville ecclesia in south Australia advertised in the local paper that Turkey will capitulate to Russia and Russian forces will smash their way to Jerusalem-failed- Andy Walton is guessing a lot about Syria ” that could be the start of things” really, no one knows. Duncan Heaster well known CD who used to preach\ prophesy in Hyde park , has said about himself that ” I was a well meaning false prophet”, he also tried to predict Christ’s return. CD’s lost lot of respect, because of failed prophesies and also using discriminative language, such as ” unbelievers “. A person who does not believe in God can be called an unbeliever, but just because I don’t believe the way you do, does not give you the right to call me an unbeliever. I see the CD’s as: ” self elevation and gratification goes wild” like the preacher claimed that they hold the key of knowledge. That is a brainwashing attitude, we alone hold the truth, no that’s the way you see it. Unbaptised children and idiots will perish ? what did Jesus say, let those children come to me, the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children. I believe that anything is possible with God, It is not up to humans it is God’s choice, we humans fail constantly, and CD’s need to realise that they will never be able to guess when Jesus will return. I have no issues with level headed CD’s but most are caught up in this fanatical behaviour that they are superior to others and know it all. If you knew it all then the prophesies would have come thru, Blunder after blunder and people look up to those false prophets. Jesus accepted so many followers, they did not have to pass any exams like CD’s interrogate their followers about biblical knowledge, then you may be accepted, and if you don’t follow what they teach, you are out because you must accept what other man say. Ladies have no say anyhow, they must sit quietly. All I tried to say here Dave, you CD’s are too much up yourselfs. I have asked a CD, do you worship Jesus ? no he said, we honour Him. But I said people in the bible worshipped Jesus, and He did not rebuked them, oh we worship God only. I don’t know, I don’t understand this sect at all.

  12. F says:

    Stage 1.
    Birth: the misfortune of being born into a Christadelphian family.

    Stage 2.
    socialisation: brainwashing, isolation, US/THEM, The Truth/The World, ecclessial family. Conditional love, suppressed emotions, guilt. More guilt. Shame.

    Stage 3. I believe. My mother is so proud of our religious discussions at the dinner table. But please don’t ask me why… I can’t sing Christmas Carols at school, no TV, no after school friends, no inter-school football tournaments.

    Stage 4. I have two lives: I have friends at school. I swear, fake knowledge of tv programmes, vaguely avoid talk of my weekends. Never allowed to get close though. I hide my family from my friends. I hide myself from my family. Sundays are easy, it’s just acting after all. Regular beatings for poor behaviour. Afraid of my Dad’s rage, but mum is stricter.

    Stage 5. Waking up now. Hypocrisy has such a stink. Dramas, gossip, brother X fucked brother Ys wife. Sister A ran off with her boss. Hierarchies, judging, the ABs, the rich the poor. We were poor, so at least I learnt to be a pariah in a safe environment. Really used to not fitting in by now. At home, at church, at school.

    Stage 6. Shit hits the fan. Sexual abuse left right and centre. See those perverts scurry when they lift the carpet. See the ABs desperately trying to hold it down. That’d be 75% of the girls I grew up with.

    Stage 7. Stop believing, keep attending. Teenagers need friends, after all, and cult-sanctioned ones easier. Rebel on minor issues like wearing ties. Dress in ridiculous op-shop suits to piss people off. They didn’t get the irony. Friends getting baptized now, dropping like flies. I can’t fathom their faith. Their acting is flawless, never break character. How can they be so sure?

    Stage 8. Start to argue with friends on doctrinal matters. Question inspiration of Bible. They pass it off as my playing Devil’s advocate. I get a girlfriend from outside, bring her to my flat. Some stop talking to me. Disagree with organised religion. Agnostic.

    Stage 9. Travelled, left, had a life. Short-lived, the prodigal son returns. But now I know. I had real friends, out there. Inside, I fall back into my role. I hate the feeling, I hate being so weak. I left for good, although they still expect me back. You see, it was all that sexual abuse thing that turned me off, nothing intrinsic to Christadelphia. Fuck, sexual abuse is the smell of mildew in every Sunday School room in every ecclessial hall. It’s a condiment in the pantry behind that stale bottle of port during the final prayer just before supper on a Sunday night.

    Stage 10. Got on with being a dysfunctional ex-Christo. Blasphemy still making me cringe. Dark foreboding when watching the news. Lost my mother, whose dying wish was for me to return to “Yahweh”. Struggling with relationships. A catastrophic lack of self. No direction. Squandering potential. Co-dependence. Fear of success. How many boxes do I have to tick?

    This stage, arbitrarily numbered. Really waking up now. doctrines, religions; gone. Always thought I was lucky, getting out. Unscathed by all that abuse. Not a fake plastic Christian. Had a good childhood, loving parents. And now the penny drops. I didn’t have a childhood. I didn’t have friends. I always caved in to my parents wishes. I was chained to their emotions and expectations, and they to the church’s. I internalised a litany of guilty thoughts. I abdicated my life because that cult demanded it. Obedience, rote learning. Not bitter. Just calm, lonely, rudderless . Not because I left the “Truth”, you pathetic bastards, but because YOU left the truth out of everything I was forced to experience. The irony is, I am absolutely contented in this limbo, because my life has always been this way. I am not unhappy. But I guess I am haunted slightly, by the boy who never existed, the boy who took his real friends home from school. And all that might have followed.

    • EJK says:

      What a sad story of a now x-christo, more or less free from this cult minded sect. Where is love, affection, Christ like understanding, forgiveness, it’s about boot camp cult, what you must do and don’t do, hope you will get over it and have a peacefull life, I am so so lucky to be challenged by christo’s before I committed myself to these religious fanatics. Oh yes, ” they alone hold the truth”

  13. LM says:

    I wouldn’t call myself an ex christo by any means. I still attend, despite my family’s absence, but one thing about them that disgusts me and I will never excuse or even try to explain is their drive to cover up the illegal, immoral and predatory acts of their respected members. I always hated the catholic church for covering up the rapes and molestations by the priests and when I found out our ecclesias do the same thing I wanted to throw up in my mouth. I could list off at least 20 “upstanding brothers” that have cheated on their wives, molested young girls, raped young men and seduced people who looked up to them. It disgusts me, and other brothers will tell me that christos are people like everyone else and some of them are “sick”. And to a certain extent that’s true. But as people who are not sick we shouldn’t cover it up and pretend nothing happened. I know of a married brother who was a teen counselor for years, ran his cyc, looked up to by all the young people in the area who proceeded to seduce a underage girl he was mentoring and then slept with her at a gathering. His ecclesia found out about a month later, he claimed to be seduced, and nothing ever happened to him. I will never leave the Christadelphain faith because it truly is part of me, but I will do my best to weed out the perverts. I’ve turned into a whistle blower of sorts. I find out about nasty stuff like this from the victims and proceed to warn the young people at risk, and\or the authorities as the case may be. If the arranging brothers don’t have the stomach for it I’ll do it for them.

  14. momska says:

    In my experience, part of the attraction to the C community is the idealistic belief it is a safer community than others. The cruel and counterproductive practice of disfellowship may contribute to the problem, since those considered “wrong doers” are simply sent away. The community then presumes those still in good standing must magically be good people. They are then trusted- often blindly.

    Their doctrine is based on the fact they are all imperfect in need of forgiveness, however, “big” sins are treated as unforgivable. Their belief demands they make an effort to love even those who are harming others- but first they must admit it is happening. C’s also seem to be reluctant to get outside help for such serious problems, either out of embarrassment or denial. That can also put the community at risk.

    I hope your efforts will help those who choose that life, to realize their community is imperfect. That is the only way to keep the vulnerable safe, and to help or isolate those who do not or cannot control their behavior.

  15. John Stephen says:

    Yes I was brought up as a Christadelphian in Exeter but latter the family moved to the Kidderminster where \I continued at Sunday school. Those were the days of continual squabbles between the Suffolk St (Birmingham) and Central ecclesias. Well under pressure from parents whilst still emotionally neive 15 year old I was baptised into the FAITH or the TRUTH as our denomination believed it to be.
    Some years later after starting work – various manual type jobs I became somewhat more worldly, my father died and I was no longer cosseted. About this time my girlfriend became pregnant and I did what in those days was the honourably thing and married her. Whereupon I was hastily excommunicated without trial or even being allowed to listen to the debate. They all said it would not last. In fact it did – 48.5 years later we were still together when my wife passed away from Leukaemia. We had successfully raised 4 daughters and became grand parents to s grand daughters and 3 grandsons. During our marriage I started and still do run a successful mail order business.
    But I determined never to go back to the “Faith” Somehow by not being encumbered with constant brain washing, I was able to search for the truth through various other avenues. I was able to view other religions, politics and current affairs with an open mind. So that I eventually came to my own conclusions about why we are here and how important it was to heed Christ’s teaching to “love thy neighbour ” and “Blessed are the Peacemakers” I developed a web site to promote world peace entirely at my own expense.
    During this period, yes – after I was married, I discovered that I was bisexual that I enjoyed the company of men as well as women. I can certainly assure your readers that it was not deliberate wilfulness but a heartfelt yearning from within. Not surprisingly I experienced a serious nervous breakdown, participated in experiments to cure this “illness” since at this time being gay was still illegal. I was put on various treatments including LSD and antidepressants. But I haver survived with the help of depression preventatives so that I now lead a fairly normal existence.
    The hardest part was telling my family that I was bisexual. Most of them have given me their support. The question I do ask is whether the whole problem could have been avoided if only we had had the opportunity to discuss these problems in an open and sensible way with parents and members of the ecclesia or someone in the church who was responsible for welfare.
    I look back in anger and sadness that like most religions the Christadelphians dictated what they perceived as the “truth” Their very own interpretation of the bible – every religion has its own version and that is why there are so many different versions of the truth.
    For all other people who have been brought up to accept the Christadelphian doctrine as gospel or have been expelled for marrying outside their faith for whatever reason, you have my heartfelt sympathy. I do not believe that this is what Jesus meant when he said ;LOVE ONE ANOTHER’

  16. EJK says:

    Last year I have attended “combined churches ” service, which in my opinion was nice, people from all Christian denomination were present. Of course there was no JW or Christos, they would not worship with ” unbelievers” as they see us. At the end of the service one pastor’s message was: ” when Jesus return’s, there will be one religion”, His only, not these man made divisions\religious groups will be gone forever, man has divided us all, because man’s ego control’s
    his brain, and some think that they know it all. Yes we should ” love one another ” and even be kind to our opposing opinionated folk who think that they are “higher then thou”. I really hope that Christos evaluate their thinking, ” rulers in the Kingdom” with Christ, really.

  17. Liz Hemingray says:

    Just been reading through your posts. So very,very sad! I’m in my 60’s living in the UK. I’ve been a CD all my life. I totally relate to all your negativity and yes, I had a breakdown in my 30’s. I’m not really sure why I’ve stuck it….suffice it to say, that I’ve carved out my own personal religion, personal bible reading and development of my own personal relationship with Christ. Thankfully I was not brought up in a strict very right wing meeting, although it was fairly right wing. I have constantly challenged ‘orthodoxy’ and regularly re-evaluated my beliefs.
    I moved to a more relaxed meeting 8 years ago and feel more settled. I know a LOT of people, like myself, who shrink with horror at the experiences many of you describe. I allowed my children to bring home friends form school. I allowed them a certain amount of freedom as they grew up. There is the dilemma of getting the balance between teaching a child the things of God without turning them into sheltered freaks. We have a TV. The kids grew up aware of other stuff.
    The experiences you relate make me feel utterly ashamed of the community to which I belong. I do not feel ‘in fellowship’ with such hypocrisy in the same way that Jesus was not in league with the Pharisees.
    Religion is not an aderance to a set of rules. It’s a transformation of our minds into the mind of Christ. This is the journey I have chosen. I hope those of you who feel damaged by your narrow, strict, hypocritical background find healing.
    Loving and caring for others frees our spirits. There is huge joy and peace in true service to God.
    Liz

  18. give it time says:

    How interesting… I was just having a read for interests sake. I noted most of these are very old posts.
    Way back in Aug 2012 at 3.32 am ‘EJK’ writes about ‘end time prophecies’ failing .. Apparently somebody christadelphian ‘prohesied’ years ago that Russia would invade Syria and ‘ EJK’ has a giggle about it not happening… Yet…
    Well, guys.. It looks like it’s happening in the news as I write so.. Just interesting.

  19. EJK says:

    Oh please ” give it time “, what about my comment’s on June 22\2014.

  20. midlandman says:

    Yes “give it time,” it is clear that the so called prophesies have failed. You fail to mention that since Syrias rise to modern affluence it has been a client state of the Russia government, that is going back decades. And your assertion that Russia has invaded Syria is quite incorrect, as Syria is a client state and the Assad family are thus a valuable political asset the Russians are simply throwing their military might against Assads enemies, which might include the invading armies of Western Nations and allieances such as NATO with the United States, the worlds greatest warmongers ever leading the charge. This is not phrophesy, this is hypocrisy and you are promulgating false prophets from within your utterley corrupt church.

  21. midlandman says:

    As an aside, it has been my observation since reading my fathers religious texts from his time with us and his time as a Christadelphian, that the majority of them concerned the writings of Paul. In reality the major portion of so-called Christians follow almost exclusively the writings of Paul. Many have already written that they should properly call themselves “Paulines.” It was Paul that invented “Christ Jesus” which simply means ‘Messiah Jesus’ and somhow that got turned into Jesus Christ. His real name in modern terms would have been Yeshuah ben Joseph. But somehow you Paulines have corrupted the work of even the ‘Saviour’ you propose you follow.
    With Hypocrisy such as ‘give it time’ spouts it is no wonder that Christadelphians hide in their communities of Ecclesia, they are not accepted outside in the mother body of Christian Churches as anything more than a ‘cult.’ I have now left any remnant of Christian belief far behind as I heal and I see religion, all religion for what it is, a means to control peoples minds with fear and loathing. Sorry kids! No love there.

  22. EJK says:

    midlandman, sorry to hear that you view all Christians the same, in my circle, we do not make prophesies, we do not say ” we alone have the truth ” or that we ” hold the key of knowledge “, to be able to unlock the hidden secrets in the Bible, but CD’s do, they like to guess when Jesus will return it is not a cult, but it is a cult minded sect. They hold that position, because it is a small group, they are the ones to rule with Jesus in the kingdom, really? only brainwashed CD’s do believe that. Young generation of CD’s are slowly waking up to these old brain manipulators, but it is going to take time. While attending CD lectures, time after time I did hear how good CD’s were in bible knowledge, how THEY understood the bible, but Christians knew very little, all CD’s did was manipulating bible verses to fit in with their version, no where I read that CD belief is the only belief which is correct one, if it was, people would be running to them to join. But the group I know, in the last 5 years had from outsiders two converts. Are CD’s bad people, I don’t think so, after all they are humans, some are deluded that their version will take them to Kingdom, but others will perish, Is Christianity perfect, sadly no.

  23. Dave says:

    I want to know how to post on the main site, please, so if there is anyone who can help me, as there seems to be no clue on the site. My email is david.ellis20@ntlworld.com

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