About The Pittsburgh Christadelphian Ecclesia
INDEPENDENT BIBLE STUDENTS AND DISCIPLES
The Christadelphians are Bible students and followers of Christ. We are joined together as an ecclesia by agreement on Bible teaching and the hope which it gives. All the activities and work of the congregation are carried out by the members. All ecclesias, worldwide, even those numbering a thousand members, function without any paid employees or officers.
Each ecclesia is an independent body, though bound together in fellowship with other ecclesias around the world by a common faith. There is no central governing body or hierarchy, and no officers are appointed except those which each ecclesia selects for itself for its own self-government. The ecclesial officers are appointed yearly by vote of the members; the principal officer is the recording brother. At this time, Mr. D. Pommer, Tarentum, PA holds this office for the Pittsburgh ecclesia.
THE NAME CHRISTADELPHIAN
We would like to say a few words about our name, Christadelphian Ecclesia. Just as Philadelphia comes from two Greek words meaning "brotherly love", Christadelphian is derived from two Greek words meaning "brethren in Christ". The New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, and so Bible students tend to make use of it. Thus, we also use the word "ecclesia" (very similar to a Greek word) to refer to our congregations, instead of the word "church". Church has generally come to mean a building, and so we use ecclesia to emphasize that the name speaks about the people that make up the congregation. God is seeking out faithful people to be His ecclesia (church).
The Christadelphians are not a new body of believers. The first ecclesias were organized around 1850, one in particular being formed in New York City in 1852. This beginning was a result of the preaching of John Thomas,an English doctor who had emigrated to America in 1832. The Christadelphians regard Dr. Thomas as having been an outstanding Bible scholar and preacher, but do NOT believe that he received any special revelation.
AN INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP
Now, with God's blessing over the years, there are over 500 Christadelphian ecclesias in over 30 countries around the world. Of these, more than 300 are in Great Britain , and more than 100 are in North America. The Pittsburgh ecclesia (which is now meeting in Verona) is a continuation of the ecclesias which met in the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh and in New Kensington in the past. Today, many of the Pittsburgh ecclesia members are third, fourth, and fifth generation Christadelphians, and some have moved to Pittsburgh from ecclesias elsewhere.
The Sunday worship service is simple and consists of prayer, Bible reading, an exhortation, the memorial service (communion),and hymns. While anyone is welcome to attend Christadelphian worship services, communion is for baptized members only.
The Christadelphians believe that it is important to have a clear understanding of Bible teaching. They reject any doctrine which is contradicted by the Scriptures, but believe that it is up to Christ to judge who are his followers. Christadelphians believe in one God, the Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that God gave His only son to be a Savior for sinful mankind. Christ willingly submitted himself to his Father's will and died upon the cross to show that only God is righteous and that all men deserve to die because they have sinned. Throughout Christ's mortal life he faced temptation just as we do, but he never sinned. When he accepted death in obedience to God's commandments, he "died to sin". Being raised from the dead, he was free from temptation forevermore. Thus he is fit to become the perfect king over the earth, in order to destroy all God's enemies, even death itself. This he WILL do when he returns.
SALVATION BY FAITH
To receive salvation, we must have faith in God and in Christ; by that faith we acknowledge God's righteousness, and our sinfulness. That acknowledgment makes it possible for God to give eternal life to a faithful person, and the faithful will enter into God's Kingdom on the earth when Christ returns. The unfaithful will be punished by being cast out, and finally by the second death.
We hope that this short introduction has been interesting to you. We think that you will find, as you become better acquainted with us, that our beliefs are "a religion that you can understand", because they are based completely on the Bible, and not confused by the contradictory ideas of men.