[sword-devel] Doctrinal Statement

Philip Kapusta sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 27 Jul 2000 20:25:47 -0400

> > Is there a doctrinal statement and/or standard set up for those who
> > contribute to the Sword Project?  I always look at links mentioned on the
> > e-mail list.  One pointed directly to an orginization called the
> > "Christadelphians" which is definitely a cult.

For the record, the Christadelphians are not a cult.  The more correct term would be "sect".   However, the Seventh-Day Adventists
are a sect.  The Baptists are a sect.  There is a difference between a sect and a cult.  "Cult" has the connotation these days of a
mentally disturbed or overly emotional group of people who blindly follow an authoritarian teacher...Jim Jones, David Koresh,
Reverend Moon, etc.

cult  n. 1.a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an
unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

The Christadelphians are not guided by an authoritarian organization or by any charismatic leader(s).  They have no clergy, pastors
or priests.  The Bible is their only authority.  They do not have secret rites, or manifest bizarre behaviors.  They do not shun
discussion with those who oppose them, and in the late 1800's and early 1900's, were actively involved in public debates with other
sects and dissenters.  Having had discussions with them personally, and debated them, I was impressed with their knowledge of the
Scriptures, even if you don't agree with their theology.  They embrace the Apostolic Creed, but not the Nicean or Athanasian...but
then again, the apostle Paul didn't embrace the Nicean or Athanasian Creed either.  And they proclaimed the news concerning the
restoration of the Jews to the land of Palestine as early as 1847, decades before the Zionist movement emerged.

Having performed in-depth research on the group myself in the late 1980's and reviewed their writings as far back as the Civil War
period, I know that these things are true.  Most "Christians" who throw around the word "cult" use it in a derogatory manner of
others, and if the truth be told, most often of others who they know very little about.

Just for the record...