Thursday, 7 August 2014

Censorship in the Christadelphian community?

Late last month, I commented with no little pleasure on the appearance of Christadelphian - Origins Discussion, a new Facebook group dedicated to examining the implications evolution has for our theology. Cynic that I am, I wondered how long it would be before it was suppressed.

Well, it's gone. While it's possible that the author has elected to take it down voluntarily, given that there are fundamentalist enclaves in our community which not only demonise evolution, but make it a doctrine to be rejected, it's likely that the author has been intimidated into taking it down. If that is the case, then it represents yet another example of how far removed from the spirit of Christ fundamentalists of this ilk really are. Christ never intimidated. Christ never threatened disfellowship.

History and time are against them, of course. Evolution will eventually be regarded with no more hostility than the fact that the Earth is a sphere, but there is considerable damage that these fundamentalists can inflict on our community before they go the way of all flesh, which of course makes it imperative for every fair-minded Christadelphian to stand up and be counted.

Nearly fifty years ago, in the wake of the Ralph Lovelock disfellowship, the arranging brothers of his ecclesia recognised that the issue of human evolution was not going away, and needed to be discussed in a rational, tolerant manner, admitting that:
we are strongly  of the opinion that the problems that undoubtedly exist should be frankly admitted by us as a community, for we do naught but dishonour to the word of God by pretending that these problems are not there. Our Brotherhood bears a responsibility to those in search of Scripture truth, and especially to those of tender years, to turn its attention to the solving of these difficulties in an atmosphere of calm, sincere, conscientious study, unhindered by the rumours, mistrust, suspicion and hasty judgments that have been all too prevalent among us in recent times.  (Emphasis mine) [1]
Those who are behind the suppression of Christadelphian - Origins Discussion should seriously reconsider their approach to contentious matters.


Thankfully, the person behind the page wasn't pressured to take it down, but did so in order to accommodate the sensitivities of others. One hopes that our community will progress to the point where this is no longer an issue.


1. "Statement From The Watford Ecclesia", The Christadelphian (1966) 103:543