Christadelphians believe that the return of the Jews (as Jews) to Israel is part of God’s plan.
In 1848 lectures on the return of Jews to the Holy Land were given by the man credited with naming the Christadelphians, to often large audiences throughout Britain. He did not invent the topic, it was beginning to be spoken of by many. The subject was expanded in ‘Elpis Israel’, where John Thomas writes of a fallacy in a current belief that Jews should be converted to the popular Christianity of his day (calling it ‘inanity’ that ‘the Gentiles teach’). He added that ‘the Gentiles themselves are in unbelief’,
“there is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation (of Messiah) which is to serve as the nucleus of future restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization …will be on purely political principles…” p441
At that time the Ottoman Empire was still strong, and Jews themselves unlikely in large numbers to go to the Holy Land.
Christadelphians have not departed from that belief that the Jewish state, even though secular, is a work of God as men were moved.
In 1880’s not content with speaking of the Bible’s predictions, Christadelphians began actively assisting Jewish return. Typically, following advice to not let the left hand know what the right is doing (Matt 6:3), the amount donated toward the purchase of land and the Jewish settlement at Rosh Pinna was not known until recently, and is still not widely known among Christadelphians.
The work in Britain related to the children delivered by the Kinder transport, including the hostel set up on the eve of Passover 1940 called Elpis Lodge is a little better known. Typically a researcher found,
“The Christadelphian community in England does not seek
recognition for its work during this time” Morrell
“The Christadelphians made no attempt to convert the children to Christianity, believing that the return of the Jews to Israel was part of God’s plan, and that an Orthodox Jewish upbringing was part of this.”
At the opening
At the same ceremony a certain Bro. Laxon of the Coventry Christadelphian Ecclesia responded “We Christadelphians consider friendship for the Jews a privilege not only for the nation which shows it but for the individual who promotes it. The faith of Christadelphians is rooted in the Law which Jesus said he came not to destroy but to fulfil.”
Since the establishment of the state of Israel, Christadelphians have in small ways given many donations to various appeals. There is a value placed in Youth Aliyah and a special connection to the Israel Goldstein Youth Village.
Christadelphians do not proclaim we support Israel’s often messy politics, but we do believe that the nation is directed as a work in progress towards the kingdom of God, as established in the reign of king David. We believe the Messiah is a physical descendant of King David. The nation is therefore special in God’s eyes, and a living witness of the truth of the Bible.
Christadelphians have taken issue with popularist Christianity seeking to convert Jews to from their beginning. Such an encounter resulted in the book ‘Phanoerois’. Christadelphians accept literally “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deut. 6:4) and reject the dogma of the trinity.
Why Judea & Samaria?
The Bible Magazine April 2005 sums up a Christadelphian’s understanding and the excitement of seeing Jews learn the Torah and Prophets. Of Beit El
“So here is a religious community of Jews dwelling upon the mountains of Israel – and having come forth out of the nations – declaring they are fulfilling Bible prophecy… Beit El is displayed on two pillars of stone..
These ‘signs’ upon the mountains of Israel are there in more senses than one. The literal signs are there – but the real sign is in the presence of the community itself- and in the many other settlements like it. The words of Isaiah 18:3..”
All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye. (Isaiah 18:3)
Whatever else this may mean, the literal and figurative idea is of raising a flag, banner, or sign- a token.”
“A Bible based Zionism emerging in the heartlands of the Bible is a sure sign of the coming Messianic age….
….the pattern is very clear. First the people are brought into the land and the mountains of Israel, then they are to be instructed…. But it is not our privilege to undertake that task- it is reserved for the shepherds whom God will set up over them. For example Elijah the prophet.”