Thursday 16 April 2009

The Ecclesia

The Ecclesia

"Christadelphians adopt these principles by common consent in seeking to preserve their faith and way of life in each of their congregations (often called ecclesias ­ a word carried through from the Greek of the New Testament and meaning an assembly).

The community is held together by the common consent of each congregation to the agreed fundamentals of belief and practice as found in the Scriptures. The Christadelphian community has no superintending body, no hierarchy or supra-authority other than the Word of God and the overlordship of Christ. By these means Christadelphians order their affairs in submission to God and His Son. Christadelphians believe that their arrangements are as nearly in accord with first century Christianity as they can achieve.
The community has its own blemishes and has not been able to avoid schism over the years. Happily considerable healing of this has occurred in recent times.

Scripture teaches that preservation of unity is to be striven for and the tendency to fragmentation to be deplored. But unity must be upon sound principles. For this reason, ecumenism as a means of bringing together fundamentally different groups does not find favour with Christadelphians. In any case, our points of difference often make us unacceptable to others.

The weekly breaking of bread service in Christadelphian meetings is the centre of their expression of fellowship in Christ.
Members regularly assemble in this way and meet in other Christadelphian ecclesias when they are on holiday or visiting in other places or other lands. The fellowship thus expressed is
remarkably alive and there is a real family bond among Christadelphians wherever they go.

It is possible for the exclusiveness of the breaking of bread service to be regarded as unfriendly by non-Christadelphians, particularly those who like to have an open fellowship. As the reader will have gathered from what has gone before, Christadelphians base their fellowship on a common faith and a common way of life. We are heartily glad to welcome new members by belief and baptism, but we do not extend our breaking of bread service to any one who might care to come along irrespective of his belief or behaviour. We regard this as fundamental to our existence. Fellowship is not simply friendship.
It is sharing all that is precious in the truest sense. We believe that to be worth preserving."

Brother Harry Tennant
The Christadelphians - What they Believe and Preach

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