7 Consistent Scriptural and Historical Perspectives17 showing that the Fellowship Practice of the Central Community has consistently restricted fellowship to the Central Ecclesias
Robert Roberts (1885): “That it is the duty of the friends of the truth (brothers and sisters) to uphold it as a basis of union among themselves by refusing to receive either those who deny any part of it, or those who would receive those so denying” (pg. 388).
Suffolk Street Reunion Committee (1957): “…recognition (reunion) can only be extended to those ecclesias who accept the agreed basis. This is the unanimous view of the Suffolk Street Committee” (pg. 50).
California Reunion Proposal (1987): “We agree to restrict our fellowship at the Memorial Table of the Lord to Christadelphian Ecclesias in the Central fellowship, and to Unamended Ecclesias in California who subscribe to these (reunion) statements and honour them in fellowship” (pg. 28).
The Christadelphian (1992): “We can welcome to the Table at our ecclesia only those who are in fellowship with an ecclesia that meets on the same basis as ours…Nor do we invite anyone to share our fellowship even if they agree with our Statement of Faith, when they are members of another group meeting on a different basis” (pg. 64).
Pacific Coast Christadelphian Reunion Committee (1995): “PCCARC agreed that Central ecclesias follow a generally accepted, but unwritten, fellowship policy as follows: “When traveling, members of Central Ecclesias will attend and break bread only at ecclesias which use the BASF as their basis of beliefs. Central ecclesias will welcome to participate in their breaking of bread service, only visitors from ecclesias which use the BASF as their basis of beliefs.” (See Appendix H).
The Christadelphian (1998):Alternatively, a person…(may) agree that (the BASF) adequately summarises the first principle teachings of the scriptures, believing also that these teachings are essential if we are to be in the way of salvation. But he may not see the need to restrict fellowship accordingly. Once again, this is not our position and, although it appears in this case that a person is much closer to us, we could not in fact extend fellowship on this basis, because that view of fellowship is radically different from ours (pg. 385).
The Tidings Magazine (2008, pg 533): So what does “ecclesial-based fellowship” mean in practice? There are three criteria that form the general policy for an ecclesia to be part of the Central fellowship:
1) The ecclesia declares itself to be in the Central community…
2) The ecclesia restricts fellowship (i.e. partaking of the emblems) to those with the same basis of fellowship, that is to members in good standing of Central Christadelphian ecclesias. In other words, Central ecclesias practice a “closed” fellowship, as taught in Scriptures.
3) The ecclesia is recognized and accepted as being in the Central community by neighboring ecclesias.
These three actions form the established practice of the Central Christadelphian community. If any one of them is in question, the standing of the ecclesia within the Central community will be in doubt.