The Truth Concerning Christ's Offering For Himself First Made a Matter of Fellowship in 1898

The following ecclesial news of May, 1898 is very much to the point. Bro. Roberts, though traveling, was very much in charge of the magazine. Bro. Walker says he did not publish controversial fellowship matters without Bro. Roberts' approval. This happened to be at the height of the Resurrectional Responsibility controversy, though not directly related. It is clear that neither R. Roberts nor C.C Walker considered that the truth concerning Christ offering for himself was Andrewism. They totally opposed Andrewism: they totally approved this fellowship stand. The item is from Bournemouth, and is by G.S. Sherry, whom those familiar with the history of the events of these times will recognize as a prominent and sound brother. --G.V. Growcott

Additional Note: Bro. Growcott published this article in the Berean Magazine without the name of the brother who was withdrawn. We place it back in, not for purposes of embarrassment, but because bro. Fry later, after having been reaccepted at a different Central meeting, published a booklet during the Strickler division. The booklet was called "Echos of Past Controversies", and it was a defense of Central's decision to fellowship A. D. Strickler, a decision that even John Carter later admitted was wrong. ("A Time to Heal", Chrisatdelphian Magazine, 1940) This booklet was circulated in 1978 by Richard Stone, Los Angeles California, Central, to show that his position was consistent with the previous Christadelphian stand. Instead, his using H. Fry's works showed that his views likewise, in Robert Roberts days, would not have been tolerated in fellowship.---JPP

BOURNEMOUTH: "We have had trouble in our midst, which has resulted in division. Bro. H. Fry publicly proclaimed the doctrine that Jesus was not in a position requiring to offer himself as a sacrifice to secure his own redemption; that the sacrifice of Christ was required only to effect the salvation of actual transgressors. Jesus being no transgressor, for himself his sacrifice was not needed.

"This teaching strikes at the root of the Scripture teaching of the condemnation of sin in the flesh, and also at the doctrinal basis upon which our ecclesia has been founded.

"It was necessary to meet this error in order to maintain the purity of the Truth. After private and collective effort, which proved fruitless, it was decided to re-affirm and define our doctrinal basis of faith upon this subject; and as to those who refuse to acknowledge and accept it, we feel duty bound from such to stand aside. The following propositions were submitted to every member of the ecclesia for acceptance

"1. That the Scriptures teach: That Adam was created capable of dying, but free from the power of death; and when he disobeyed in Eden, he was condemned to death for that disobedience; and that he came under the power of death solely on account of this sin. That in consequence of this offense, all his descendants have been condemned to death, but without the moral guilt of his transgression attaching to them; and that those who are not actual transgressors die under the condemnation they inherit from their first parents.

"2. That the Scriptures teach: That Adam was created very good, and was then utterly devoid of that which the Scriptures style 'sin in the flesh'; that from the time of his disobedience, and in consequence thereof, he had sin in his flesh; that sin in the flesh of his descendants, although not involving them in the moral guilt of Adam, has the power of death in them; that Jesus Christ, who was sinless as to character, by his sacrificial death and resurrection put away his sin nature (which was the only appointed means for the condemnation of sin in the flesh; that is, as a basis upon which it, the flesh, could be redeemed), and by which he destroyed the devil and death in relation to himself. That this destruction of sin and death by Jesus Christ has been made the basis of their future abolition in relation to all the righteous.

"3. That inasmuch as the foregoing scriptural truths substantially form part of our doctrinal basis of fellowship, and are essential to 'the things concerning the Name of Jesus Christ,' we hereby resolve from this time to discontinue fellowshipping all who believe that the descendants of Adam were not condemned to death on account of Adam's sin, or that Jesus Christ's sacrificial death was not necessary to REDEEM HIMSELF as well as others from that condemnation, until such time as they repudiate these anti-scriptural doctrines."

It was the same issue in 1923 with Stricklerism, but with R. Roberts gone, action was not so sound.

--Bro. G.V. Growcott