One hundred years have passed since the falling asleep in Christ of Brother Thomas Williams, the founder and first editor of The Christadelphian Advocate. Brother Williams was an exemplary brother who stood up for the Truth and worked diligently for peace and unity among brethren. It is largely due to his efforts that a substantial number of brethren were united in standing their ground on the teaching of the Bible as expressed by the Unamended Statement of Faith (USF). Though the Unamended community has kept this steady course over the years, it is facing serious challenges yet once again, with its very existence being threatened from without and within. There are genuine concerns that the Truth, as expressed in the USF, is not being set forward in our ecclesias with the clarity and zeal of former generations. There may be more indifference to, if not acquiescence with, errors in understanding that compromise the first principles of our faith. It is our view that errors in both understanding and in conduct as brethren need to be addressed and corrected in a spirit of meekness. How we might go about undertaking that task is a primary focus of this letter of appeal.
We are writing out of a deep concern for the spiritual well-being of Unamended Christadelphians as an ecclesial community. As brethren responsible for publication of The Advocate, we have a duty to stand up for the sound beliefs, right behavior and spiritual needs of our community. However, in seeking to do so, we recognize we are not an authority; we neither have nor seek power over anyone and exercise no control over any ecclesia. Our task is to call attention to what is written in the Scriptures and to plead with our fellow-servants to follow it and help us do the same. We pray that our counsel might be according to the Scriptures and that it is received with goodwill and thoughtful reflection, to the intent that it might contribute to the making ready a people prepared for the Lord.
As was the manner of Brother Thomas Williams, The Advocate committee will open its pages for discussion of points raised in this appeal. We do not suppose that we have all the answers to the issues and challenges before the community. Those who choose to respond are asked to state their comments as concisely as possible and in a manner that becomes brethren in Christ.
The Christadelphian Advocate Publishing Committee
January 31, 2014