CARM (article 3)

Answering the critics: Examining Slick's Christadelphian Info 

Christian Apologetics Research Ministry

First of all, let me say that the reason for posting this here is that I know of a number of people, whether they be Christadelphians, ex-Christadelphians, or potential Christadelphians who have come across a popular Christian website known as CARM - Christian Apologetics Research Ministry. Having reviewed the information on Christadelphians however, it is clear that Christadelphian beliefs and practices have been grossly misrepresented. This article seeks to correct the statements made there and give scriptural reasons for the beliefs what we as Christadelphians hold.

CARM is set up and run by a man named Matt J. Slick from the USA. He believes many mainstream Christian beliefs such as the Trinity, the Immortality of the Soul, the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the belief in a supernatural devil. He is also a Calvanist.

To understand what Christadelphians believe about these contentious issues and to understand why there are differences in belief between Christadelphians and Matt Slick, feel free to click the following links and have a browse of the many articles on numerous different subjects.

The nature of Christ - Christology
Prophecy - Eschatology
The Holy Spirit - Pneumatology
Salvation according to the scriptures - Soteriology
The Devil, Satan and Demons - Demonology

To go alongside this article, you will find 2 more threads on CARM which have been written by Evangelion [see here and here].

Matt Slick states that he does not believe that Christadelphians can legitimately be called Christians and provides scripture to back up his case. Evangelion has responded to this claim here and shows why the scriptures which have been put forward by Slick do say no such thing and shows Biblically why Christadelphians are legitimate Christians.

Matt Slick also set a challenge. He posted 28 questions on his website, questions which he believed would be impossible for Christadelphians to answer scripturally. Evangelion answers all 28 of them here.  

Introduction to Christadelphians - Page 1
Lets examine the claims on the first page of the CARM website:

Christadelphianism is relatively new religious system.  It claims, like many other non-Christian cults, to be the authentic Christian Church with authentic Christian doctrines.

Correct. As linked to above, Evangelion has responded to the claim that Christadelphians are not Christians.

However, it denies the Trinity doctrine as well as the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

This is something which Christdelphians have no fear in admitting. We believe in one God - the Father and one Lord - Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8v6), a man who was born of a woman by the working of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1v35), he was manifested in the flesh (i.e. the promised Messiah came in to being as promised throughout the Old Testament, he was justified of the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed to be the Son of God, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3v16)

Unlike Adam, he did not seek to be equal with God but rather made himself lowly, a humble servant, fully obedient to God. He was later exalted into heaven and now has a name which is above every name. (Philippians 2v6-9).

Christ is a man and is the mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2v5). He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet was without sin (Hebrews 4v15). He was one with God in will, not in essence. (John 17v20-23).

There are no passages to support the belief that either Jesus or the Holy Spirit are deity. However, there are differences in interpretation about passages such as John 1, Philppians 2 and Colossians 1 and if you click the link to Christology in the first post, you will be able to review the true meaning of these contentious passages.

In addition, it states that the Devil is not a real person but is, instead, our natural tendency to sin.

This is half accurate. Christadelphians believe that the devil and Satan are not generic terms for one single being. Rather, they believe that the words "devil" (literally - a 'false accuser') and "Satan" (literally - 'the Adversary') are words used to describe different people every time the words appear in scripture. For example, the devil in 1 Peter 5v8 is commonly believed by Christadelphians to be some kind of magistrate or ruling authority (i.e. the Roman authorities) and in Zechariah 3v2, Satan can be idenitified as being the oppressive nations mentioned in the parallel account in Ezra 4v2.

The identity of Satan and devil is to be determined at each occurence of the words and context needs to be relied upon heavily to help with this identification.

For more explanation and exploration of this subject, see the Demonology section of the Armoury linked to in my first post on this thread.

It also says that Jesus was a created being who had a fallen nature who himself needed to be redeemed.

The belief of Christadelphians is that Christ was a created being who had a nature like ours, and was tempted in all manners like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4v15). Note - Christadelphians do not believe in the doctrine of Original Sin, therefore we do not believe that Christ being a created man makes him a sinner by birth. We believe he did not sin during his life either, therefore, he was not a sinner.

For more on Original Sin, see here.

I say these things upfront as an introduction to Christadelphianism because we need to understand what the heart of this group is.

The heart of Christadelphians is the word of God. This is what teaches us everything we know about Christ and God and we fully rely on the scriptures to help form our beliefs.

Again, it is not Christian.

This claim is dealt with above.

There are, however, disagreements within the camp of Christadelphianism.  Several Christadelphians have pointed out to me that there are differences of opinion within their sect regarding the fallen nature of Christ.  Nevertheless, they all deny the deity of Christ and this is enough to put them outside the camp of Christianity.  A Jesus who is not divine, cannot save anyone -- especially one that needs to be redeemed himself.

The fact that there are small offshoots of Christadelphians such as the Dawn fellowship and Old Paths is irrelevant. Matt Slick himself disagrees with numerous popular Christian beliefs and churches. In fact, he is non-denominational and is therefore in no camp at all.

And as for the claim that "a Jesus who is not divine cannot save anyone", it is clear rather from the scriptures that a Jesus who is divine cannot save. A God-man cannot experience temptations like as we do, because he would have been fully under the control of God, it would be impossible for him to sin since God cannot sin.

In my opinion, Christadelphianism is a dangerous cult because it brings people to eternal damnation by teaching a false God and false gospel.  It deviates from the central doctrines of the Christian faith sufficiently to make them non-Christian.

This is just your opinion as you state. As already linked to above, the statement that Christadelphians are not Christians is unsupportable from scripture.

I would like to add that many years ago I had the opportunity to spend five months attending a Christadelphian Church during their midweek Bible studies.

This is true. It is interesting therefore that there are still misrepresentations in your presentation of Christadelphian beliefs.

The people there were very warm and friendly.  They freely allowed me to present the "opposing view" to their Bible study group on a regular basis.  I was impressed by this. I was impressed by this. They also were very knowledgeable about scripture and listened intently to what I had to say. I found them to be polite and well studied and I enjoyed my time with them. However, they still denied the essential doctrines of the faith even when I "stumped" them in doctrinal matters. Though I remember them with fondness, I am saddened to know that they have chosen to deny the true and living God.

You're very welcome. You will find that this is the case in any Christadelphian ecclesia you attend. You will be warmly welcomed and allowed to discuss your beliefs with members of the ecclesia. If you wish to find a local Christadelphian ecclesia in your area, then I'm quite happy to direct you to this

As for "stumping" Christadelphians you met, I'm interested to know what your response to this thread and the other 2 threads by Evangelion will be. Invites have been sent for your comments numerous times over the last few years, but as yet, there has been no response.

What Christadelphians Teach - Page 2
This section is mainly accurate, although there are some points which need clarifying. For a full statement of faith of the Christadelphians see here.

1. They believe the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God. (The Christadelphians: What They Believe and Preach, p. 82)
2. They teach there is only one God. (Isaiah 43-45)
3. They teach that Jesus had a sin nature (What They Believe, p. 74)
4. They teach that Jesus needed to save himself, before he could save us. (Christadelphian Answers, p. 24)
5. They teach that Jesus will return and set up his kingdom on earth. (What They Believe , p. 268)

This is accurate.

6. They believe that there has been an apostasy and that Christianity is a false religious system. (A tract titled “Christendom Astray Since the Apostolic Age, Detroit Christadelphian Book Supply)

This needs clarification. It is true that Christadelphians believe that the majority of Christianity is apostate and astray from the Bible. Christadelphians believe that there is a true form of Christianity but that the churches of Christendom do not accept it, as evidenced by the false beliefs which we believe many churches hold.

7. They believe annihilation of the wicked. (What They Believe, p. 187). 8. They believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. (What They Believe , p. 71,72, 207-210)
9. They believe that it is possible to lose one’s salvation. (What They Believe , p. 212)
10. They deny the doctrine of the Trinity. (What They Believe, p. 84-87)
11. They deny that Jesus is God in flesh. (Answers, p. 22)
12. They deny that Jesus existed prior to his incarnation. (What They Believe , p. 85,86)
13. They deny the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit. (What They Believe , p. 115)
14. They deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ. (Answers, p. 25; What They Believe, p. 71)
15. They deny salvation by grace through faith alone. (What they Believe, p. 204)
16. They deny immortality of the soul. (What They Believe , p. 17).
17. They deny that a person exists after death. (What They Believe, p. 17)


18. They deny the existence of hell and eternal punishment. (What They Believe, p. 188-189)

This is not quite accurate. Christadelphians do believe in hell, but that it refers to the grave - a place of unconciousness - rather than a fiery place of concious torment.

And Christadelphians do believe in eternal punishment - the irreversable punishment of complete cesation of existance which is given to all those who are not found to be worthy of salvation on the day of judgement. They do not believe that you will be conciouslly tormented for the rest of eternity. God is not this cruel and the Bible says nothing of this definition of "eternal punishment".

19. They deny the existence of the fallen angel Lucifer as the devil. (Answers, p. 100)

Correct. The context of Isaiah 14 shows that "Lucifer" is a name used to refer to the King of Babylon not "the devil". In fact the passage says nothing of the devil, Satan or angels. For more on this subject see here.

Like so many other cult groups that claim to be the restored truth, they have their own interpretations of the Bible that deviate greatly from orthodox Christianity.

Christadelphians in fact hold beliefs which can be shown verifiably to have been held by the earliest of Christians.

For Christian History, see here, for history of prophecy see here and for a history of the Trinity and Christology see here.

Acts 17v11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Christadelphian History - Page 3
I won't copy all of this as its generally an accurate acount copied from a Christadelphian book. However, just a few points to pick up on:

The Christadelphians do not believe in participating in war. So, when the Civil War broke out, they refused to go. In order to be recognized as a religious group that did not believe in fighting, they needed a name. Dr. Thomas gave them the name "Christadelphian" which, in Greek means "Brethren of Christ."

This implies we are pacifists. This is not true, we are disestablishmentarianists.

Click here for reasons behind this.

Thomas was a tireless worker who sought to study and discover God’s true meaning and doctrine of the Bible.

Correct. This comes back to Acts 17:11, quoted in the previous section.

Unfortunately, despising the counsel and wisdom of those more learned than himself, he sought to single-handedly "rediscover" the true gospel which, in his opinion, had been lost from the earth.

He realised that "those more learned than himself" were wrong and had a lot of "unlearning" to do. Believing what others do because they are in the majority or "going along with the crowd" is a fallacy known as Ad Popullum.

Like so many others in the 19th century, he began a religious movement that really is a development of his personal beliefs. Therefore, the Christadelphian religion, like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Science, is merely another erring religious system begun by a single person who claimed to know more than anyone else about the Bible.

Not quite correct. John Thomas did not put forward "his personal beliefs" rather he set up a denomination which believes the things believed by those alive during the first century. See the links to history in my previous post for evidence of this.

Dr John Thomas also realised that there was much truth aswell as falsehood in the beliefs of the reformation and accepted beliefs which other reformers believed also.

It is also deeply ironic that Matt Slick here states that Christadelphians believe things taught by a single of person, since he believes in Calvanism which was developed by a single person - John Calvin.

Answering a Refutation of "Is Christadelphianism Christian?" - Page 4b
Before I start on this section, I have to admit that the Christadelphian who originally attempted to refute the CARM pages on Christadelphians did put forward a particularly weak argument, which was lacking in scripture. It is interesting also that the refutations of CARM produced by this website have not been refuted by Matt Slick despite the fact that they have been available on this website for around 2 and a half years now and despite the fact there have been numerous invites to do so.

    The C.A.R.M. has an interesting approach to the condemnation of various cults. A religious system is either 'Christian,' and therefore able to save despite minor errors, or 'non_Christian,' which cannot save because of major errors. The Christadelphians, they say, are non_Christian. The Christadelphian faith cannot save.Why not? The mind behind the C.A.R.M. has taken it upon himself to conjure up the 'Three Essential Doctrines' of Christianity. Any group which denies any one of these doctrines is non_Christian. These three doctrines are: Jesus is God, the physical resurrection, and salvation by grace through faith.

    My Response:
    No cult member considers himself to be false. But, Christianity by definition states Christadelphianism to be false. The Three Essential Doctrines that I have on my website are not "conjured up" by me or anyone else. These essentials are essentials proclaimed by the Bible. I have merely brought them to peoples' attention. For this Christadelphian author to state that I have conjured them up tells me that he did not read the article where I give ample biblical references establishing their essential nature.

The claims that Christadelphians are not Christian has been answered already by Evangelion. The link to this refutation is available in the first post on this page.

    Now where did the C.A.R.M. get the idea that these are the three essential doctrines of Christianity? Certainly not from the Bible. The Bible teaches that the gospel is 'the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ' (Acts 8:12).

    My Response:
    Again this person fails to cite the scriptures that I have listed in that article. Therefore, I will briefly list them here:

Jesus is God in flesh
1 John 4:2-3: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
The above verse needs to be cross referenced with John 1:1,14 (also written by John) where he states that the Word was God and the Word became flesh. In 1 John 4:2-3, John is not simply stating that Jesus existed, for that would be too obvious. Rather, he is dealing with the issue of Jesus’ incarnation.

1 John 4v2 provides no problem for Christadelphians since they do believe Christ came in the flesh as a human being, whereas others at the time of Christ were saying that he came as a spirit and was not really human. The way that Matt Slick reads this passage here is "those who do not acknowledge that Christ was God come in the flesh". This is adding to the text.

The passage in John 1 speaks of something to different to 1 John 4v2 and the Trinitarian interpretation of John 1 is examined here.

Likewise, Jesus said in John 8:24: "I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins."
"I AM" is a phrase God used to describe Himself in Exodus 3:14.

"Ego eimi" is the Greek phrase for "I am" used here. It is not just used by Jesus, it is used by others in the New Testament as part of perfectly normal sentances. It literally means "I am he". It should also be noticed that Christ uses this phrases on numerous other occasions aswell and he was never once accused of claiming to be God. This shows that when the people at the time used the phrase "I am" they did not use it to refer to God, it was often used as part of normal sentances to simply mean "I am he".

So when Jesus said in John 8v24 he was not saying "unless you believe I am God you will die in your sins", rather he was saying "unless you believe I am he (i.e. the promised saviour) you will die in your sins".

See here for more on this passage and especially the last post on that page where the phrase "Ego eimi" is used as part of sentances by those other than Jesus.

Salvation by Grace
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8-9, NIV). "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

Baptism is an essential part of faith. It is not a law as in Galatians 5v4, it is an acting out of faith, it saves us and is the answer of a good conscience towards God (1 Peter 3v21 and Mark 16v16).

But its not a case of "I'm baptised therefore I'm saved", baptism is just the beginning of a life long dedication to serving God and it is by Gods grace that we are saved according to our works and by our faith.

For more on this matter, see here.

The Resurrection of Christ
"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (1 Cor. 15:14). "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17).
To deny the physical resurrection of Jesus is to deny Jesus' work, sacrifice, and our future resurrection.
These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead (in the same body He died in -- John 2:19-21), then your faith is useless.

This is not something which Christadelphians disagree with.

    The C.A.R.M. says that Christadelphians deny the essential doctrine that Jesus is God in flesh. Christadelphians believe that Jesus was made of the same fallen, no_good substance that composes the rest of humanity: sinful flesh. Because of this, they follow a false Jesus, and 'they are then damned' according to the C.A.R.M. However, never did Jesus preach that we have to believe he is God _ it is not an essential doctrine. In fact, it is not a doctrine at all. The Old Testament teaches One God and Father of all, not One God, a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit. The New Testament must teach the same thing, since God does not change. I am aware that I am arguing without Biblical backup: this is because I do not want to repeat what is said in the Trinity section of this website. If you want to see proof that Jesus was made of sinful flesh, go there.

    My Response:
    The Bible does not teach that Jesus had a sinful nature. It teaches that Jesus was sinless (1 Pet. 2:22). He was both God and man at the same time. Col. 2:9 says, "for in Him dwells all the fullness of deity in the bodily form." John 1:1,14 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God... and the Word became flesh and dwelt to among us."

The comments on John 1 have been linked to above, Colossians 2v9 is commented on here.

Also, Hebrews 2v9&14, Hebrews 9v26 and Romans 6v23 show that Jesus did indeed have a nature which was capable of sinning - although of course, Jesus never did.

As far as Jesus not teaching that we needed to believe that He was God, we simply need to look at His own words in John 8:24 where Jesus said, "unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins." Again, Jesus uses the title "I am" in reference to Himself. Of course, many cultists state that Jesus was simply saying that He was the messiah. But, note that in John 8:58, Jesus said, "before Abraham was, I am." At this, the Pharisees picked up stones to kill Him, but Jesus fled. Then in John 10:30-33, they again picked up stones to kill Him and the reason they gave for trying to kill Him was because He being a man made himself out to be God (John 10:33). When Jesus said "I am" He was equating to Himself the very name of God found in Exodus 3:14 where God says to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’

The first verse quoted here has already been examined above and does not to be mentioned again.

John 8:58 is not talking about the "deity" of Christ... as shown above. I AM in this passage is not referring to the divine name given in Exodus. Neither is he showing his "pre-existance". All he is showing is that he was more important than Abraham and that he was promised before Abrahams time. This is why the people wanted to stone Jesus... because he was making out that he was more important than the Father of their faith who they had so much respect for.

In John 10, the people wanted to stone him because they thought he was making himself God. This was because he said "I and my Father are one". Jesus shows what he meant by the phrase "I and my Father are one" when he says in John 17:20-22 that we can also be one with him in the same way that he and the Father are one. For the Trinitarian argument to be consistant, it would need to be argued that we can be one with God in the same way - i.e. by becoming God incarnated in the flesh. But that is not what this passage means. It was a oneness of purpose, not a oneness of substance. Click here for more on John 10:30.

    The C.A.R.M. also speaks of one doctrine of Christadelphians as 'absolute heresy' and 'demonic doctrine.' This is the doctrine that Jesus Himself had to be saved. Why is this doctrine demonic? Jesus' mother required atonement for giving birth to him (Luke 2:24) which would not have been necessary unless she was bringing forth a fallen creature.

    My Response:
    The reason the Christadelphian doctrine is so bad is because it denies that Jesus Christ is God and states that Jesus was a sinner who needed salvation. That is blasphemy.

The part in bold above is one of the worst misrepresentations of Christadelphian beliefs made by Matt Slick. He knows that this is not true, because he contradicted himself by what he said about Christadelphian beliefs earlier. It is therefore obvious that this is a deliberate attempt to put Christadelphian beliefs in the wrong light.

This issue has been raised by Evangelion with Matt Slick personally, in which Evangelion proved conclusively that Matt Slick was wrong to say this. Slick however refused to change his statement about Christadelphians despite not being able to answer the charge of falsehood made against him. The discussion between Slick and Evangelion can be viewed here.

My Response:
    Baptism is a very important part of Christianity. All Christians should be baptized. But, baptism is not an essential requirement of salvation. We can see this when we look at the whole of scripture which tells us that we are justified (made righteous) by faith (Rom. 5:1), not faith and something we do (Rom. 4:5); that people are saved before baptism (Acts 10:44-48; that baptism is not part of the gospel which saves (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and that Paul came to preach the gospel and not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17). For more on this please read "Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?"

A rebuttal of another critics work on this subject is available here. The salvic importance of baptism is discussed here.

    C.A.R.M.'s conclusion to this section is that Christadelphianism is a false religion. They are sincere, but "sincerity does not bridge the gap between God and man. Only the blood of the real Jesus does that." I agree, sincerity cannot save us. However, the C.A.R.M. has not shown us that Christadelphianism is a false religion.

My Response:
    The fact that Christadelphianism denies that Jesus is God in flesh is sufficient to make it a non-Christian cult. Faith is only as good as who you put it in. The Christadelphians have a "savior" with a sinful nature who himself needed to be saved. This sinful version of Jesus cannot save anyone.  The true Jesus needed no savior. The Christadelphians do not have the true Jesus and because of that their faith is misplaced and in vain.

Again, Matt Slick has failed to prove that belief in "the deity of Christ" is essential. A refutation of the trinitarian belief concerning Christ's atoning sacrifice can be found here. It is shown here that according to the scriptures the trinitarian Jesus can not save anyone.

"Cult" Comparison Chart

Christianity Whatever does this phrase mean? Which denomination? Catholic? Methodist? Anglican? Or Matt Slick's personal beliefs which includes Calvinism?

Founder: Jesus Christ. Or rather mortal men who invented the various doctrines such as Athanasius who established the definition of Trinity as we understand it now and also John Calvin who invented Calvinism - a belief which had not been held by any before his time.

The Gospel: That Jesus saves from sin.

Church: Those who are saved.

God: Trinity. God in three persons.

Jesus: God in flesh.

Salvation: by Grace According to your definition of Christian you also have to believe in the Trinity and believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus Resurrection: Jesus rose in the same body he died in.

Scripture and writings associated with the group: The Bible alone. The concept of the Trinity can not be lifted straight from the Bible, so you must have been told about it from somewhere. Also, often today, you usually hear appeals to "Holy Spirit enlightenment" on matters of doctrine, rather than consulting the scriptures.


Founder: John Thomas. Or rather Jesus - since the beliefs held are those taught by Jesus and believed by the earliest of Christians.

The Gospel: Faith in Christ and baptism. I would personally have described this as being "the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God."

The Church: Members of their church. In the Bible, this phrase is used to describe the body of believers. Christadelphians have never said that their "body of believers" has been set up by divine authority and recognise they are just as prone to error in beliefs as any other church.

God: One God in one person.

Jesus: A created being. A man with a sin nature. Christ's nature was capable of sin, yet did not.

Salvation: Baptism is required. Correct, but you've missed one point out. Grace. You cant expect to be saved just by thinking nice thoughts about Christ. It is by baptism that we have salvation made possible for us by God. It is not the actual act of baptism that saves you. It's by faith and according to our works after you have been baptised that could result in you being saved on the day of Judgement. Also, you have to "know" the true God and Jesus Christ who he sent. (John 17:3) Plus, believing that Jesus rose from the dead. See here for more on baptism and its importance in the work of salvation.

Jesus Resurrection: Yes

The Bible is inspired. Elpis Israel, Eureka written by founder. This is another huge deliberate misrepresentation by Matt Slick, designed to put Christadelphians in a bad light. Christadelphians believe that the Bible ONLY is inspired. Eureka and Elpis Israel are expositions not sources of authority. This has been pointed out to Matt Slick personally more than once - each time he has said he would correct himself, but, 2 and a half years have now passed and he still has not corrected his misrepresentation.


We have seen that this "refutation" by Matt Slick is misrepresentative, inaccurate in parts and does not stand up to Bible teaching. If you have any comments on what has been written here, feel free to do so here or in any of the other debate sections of this website.