A Scriptural Resolution
'The Christadelphian' May 1898
carried the following resolution
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 offence, 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 is significant that the one withdrawn from above in sounder days, wrote a book* which set forth his twisted and heretical views upon the Sacrifice of Christ. Earlier forms of this heresy have been largely rejected, and current errorists favor the above book, because it uses all the abilities of the serpent-mind to deceive. Its current proponents do not perceive that their adoption of its serpentine reasoning signals the final victory of error in their midst.
*'Echoes of Past Controversies'. The heretical ideas proclaimed therein by Harry Fry were later taken up by others, notably John Hensley in his own book 'The Relationship of Christ to His Death on the Cross'. And more recently this damnable error has spread throughout "Christadelphia", promoted by self-deluded "teachers" - in reality teachers of "clean flesh". Most prominent is Duncan Heaster who revised 'Bible Basics' to include the error. Another who now rejects his former belief and promotes the same heresy is John Martin, as shown in the book 'Saved by His Life'. And so "a little leaven" has done its ghastly work.
Our concern is for those who are taken in by this disaster. We ask the question: why is it that this "new" (= "old") heresy cannot harmonise with either the Scriptures or the writings of Christadelphian Pioneer Brothers John Thomas and Robert Roberts? Although tortuous attempts have been made, they are inevitably doomed to failure. We appeal to those who are confused by the controversy to go back to "the principles of the doctrine of Christ", learn prayerfully from the Scriptures anew, and read the writings of the Pioneer brethren. Only then will the Truth shine clearly and brightly with the power to save.