I was walking around the neighbourhood, trying to find a nice church to get involved with when lo and behold, I came across a rather humble building of Christadelphians. At first I thought: 'this looks like a nice church, anything with the word Christ in it has to be good, right?' but soon I found my assumptions to be sorely mistaken.
While I had heard of Unitarians before (those that believe in God as one person and therefore deny the deity of Christ), I hadn't been aware of any operating under the name Christadelphians until recently. The Christadelphians, like many others, claim the orthodox path has been corrupted and that they're the true successors to the early church.
Yeah, yeahâ¦ I've heard it all before.
My truth is truer than your truth
Over the years I've found all sorts of people wanting to influence me with their different beliefs that they claim is the 'true' way, and in this I've found a safety net in orthodoxy.
With all the cults and pseudo-denominations claiming a monopoly on truth, is it any wonder that we're so shaky on truth anymore? That some denominations have seemingly given up the fight?
The Jehovah's Witnesses claim only their way is truth. The Mormons claim only they have total revelation. The Christadelphians claim all other ways have been corrupted. And even within Christianity there are people harping on about their particular doctrine being the position Jesus took.
It's enough to give you a headache. No wonder people are getting confused.
Doublespeak and the Orthodox
We're in a truth war, and that's why I've found orthodoxy to be the best approach. Yes, maybe my orthodoxy isn't the same as your orthodoxy. I'm a non-Calvinist (and non-Arminian for that matter) pre-millennial young-earth creationist. I know there are literal demons out there and if orthodoxy means taking a stand on a literal Devil and Hell, I'll gladly take it.
Being orthodox is the safe way. Because there is so much deception out there and frankly when people harp on about a certain doctrine it gets on my last nerve. I no longer fruitlessly debate theology but I take my stand on the orthodox position of Jesus as the Son of God, as God Himself and the lamb who was slain for our sins.
I take the orthodox position so I can tell when anyone is trying to preach another Jesus to me. So I don't unthinkingly wander into some 'church' like the Christadelphians and start drinking in everything they say like the fruit punch in Jonestown.
Be orthodox but not more orthodox than the others
Orthodoxy keeps you on your guard. And it's needed because even Christian denominations can sometimes act like cults. Yes, it's good to be orthodox but you're arguing semantics when you're in a church that thinks it's more orthodox than other orthodox denominations (oy vey!).
The difference between a regular denomination and a cultish denomination is disassociation. If you join a church which tells you to start disassociating from people â get the heck out of there! If you join a church which puts a black mark on ex-members (calling them reprobates, heretics or dissenters) it's time to freak the freak out and leave.
Don't get caught up in a church that behaves like a cult and does not have due respect and love for other orthodox denominations.
Not shying away from labels
I'm quite content being associated with the orthodox church, the traditional evangelical movement and other labels you can put on me. Why? Because being a 'Christian' doesn't cut it anymore. The Christadelphians claim to be Christian. The Mormons believe they're more Christian than other Christians. I'm not just a Christian, I'm a Christian who clings to orthodoxy.
And that is my truth.
Bridget Brenton has been researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years. You can check her apologetic effort out at 101arguments.com
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html