From time to time, mainstream Christians take it upon themselves to write a few pages of anti-Christadelphian polemic, in the hope of "educating" and "warning" others about what we believe and practice. Nine times out of ten, this will be done without any proper research, or any regard for the facts. In the vast majority of cases, material is simply borrowed from other mainstream Christians (sometimes referenced; sometimes not), and copy/pasted onto a Website. Selective quoting (without reference to context) is par for the course with anti-Christadelphian polemic, and we will see an example of it here.This article has been written in response to a piece of anti-Christadelphian polemic on a Website calling itself the Christian Study Center. The polemicist's comments appear in the quotation boxes; my rebuttal follows in regular text.
1. Christ had a sinful nature. (What They Believe, p. 74)Biblical Proof of Falsehood: 2 Cor. 5:21, Isaiah 53
A classic example of ignorance and misrepresentation. Without making any
attempt to understand what Christadelphians mean by this exp
ression, the author has mere superimposed his own ideas onto it, and pretended that this is "what Christadelphians believe. Furthermore, he has totally ignored the proper context of Brother Harry Tennant's remarks in The Christadelphians - what they Believe and Preach
, to which he alludes here. Before we move on, therefore, some clarification is required.When mainstream Christians say “sinful, fallen nature”, they do not mean what Christadelphians mean when we refer to “sinful nature.” Mainstream Christians believe in the dogma of “Original Sin”, which states that all men are sinners by virtue of their fallen nature, regardless of whether or not they have sinned. Christadelphians do not believe this. Christadelphians believe that men are only counted as sinners when they have sinned. For this reason, we see Jesus as a man who possessed sinful nature (a nature that is both capable of sin, and prone to performing it), but one who never actually sinned.This is shown to us by Scripture:
Hebrews 2:18.Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Christ was subject to that same “bondage of death” – for he (like us) was mortal. And yet, he was utterly sinless.
Hence article #9 of the Christadelphian Statement of Faith
9. That it was this mission that necessitated the miraculous begettal of Christ of a human mother, enabling him to bear our condemnation, and, at the same time, to be a sinless bearer thereof, and, therefore, one who could rise after suffering the death required by the righteousness of God.References9. MAT 1:18-25, LUK 1:26-35, ISA 7:14, ROM 1:3-4, ROM 8:3, ROM 8:3, GAL 4:4, 2CO 5:21, HEB 2:14-17, HEB 4:15
Finally, from Brother Harry's own book:
Christ was "made sin" for us by sharing our human nature and, though sinless, by being treated as a sinner by sinful men. He "knew no sin" because he never sinned, but not because he was never tempted.In order to bind sin and take it captive, Jesus met it on its own ground, human nature. Thus his victory was both true and unique: true in that he overcame sin though tempted precisely as we are; and unique in that he is the only one who has been totally sinless even though tempted. Christ did not demonstrate righteousness and holiness in a detached way; he brought his sinless life to God in this earthen vessel of human nature.
A little more research on the part of the polemicist (or perhaps a little more honesty...?), and this first objection would never have been raised in the first place.