Saturday, 30 November 2013

Pie and outreach day cancellation due to 'the rapture'


  1. The Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer did a pretty robust job of debunking Darby’s secret rapture doctrine and the idea of a two-stage Second Coming. He shows that it contradicts many different scriptures.
    See .

    Many other writings on the subject for those interested can be found at . These are useful for tracing how, why, when and by whom the idea was made popular.

    1. But Ian, when you're leading a cult, it's a powerful tool to keep the nervous on the edge of their seats and in total subjection to your dodgy doctrine and ridiculous ramblings.

    2. Yes, that could be part of the reason why the rapture doctrine is popular. You can’t easily keep your followers under control if they are chronically discontented with the grinding boredom of their life and can’t see any hope of it improving. But their discontent can be alleviated if they think the rapture is just around the corner.

      The trouble is, it has been just around the corner for an awfully long time. JND thought it was imminent, and he was wrong. FER thought it was imminent, and he was wrong too. JT and JTJr were equally wrong.

      BDH is no different. Here is what he said in 2003 (White Book 51 Notes of Meetings. Berwick, Australia July 26 2003):
      “I said to a worldly man, I don't often speak to worldly men, do a little bit of it here and there, I spoke to him at the beginning of the week, and I said, Do you realise that the world is about to finish? And he had a very shocked look on his face, and he said, No he said. He said, That's awful. I said, What's awful about that? I said, Where are you going to be? I said, It's going to be in your lifetime, The world is going to finish in your lifetime.”

    3. JHS also predicted the 'end times' and said that children born at that time would not see their 5th birthday. That was about 35 years ago. I think that JSH also had some theory about the rapture being before 2000. Thing is, Hales, Symington, Camping, and many others have all been wrong. Also, if you believe the bible, you would know that nobody knows the minute or the hour.

    4. And if you read your bible it warns of "false prophets"... and that's exactly what the EB are led by.

    5. I sometimes think about that extract from Bruce D Hales's ministry in July 2003.

      To my mind, it's appalling that a leader of a professedly Christian group should call someone he's met "worldly", but I'm even more astonished at Mr Hales's brash assertion about the timing of the end of the world.

      With the might of Rome established in Judea, The Galilee, Anatolia and elsewhere, Jesus and the apostle Paul both felt they lived in the end times. Jesus believed that his Father God was in control of all this and that no human knew the detail.

      It's amazing that Bruce D Hales appears not to know this. Nor, it seems, is he aware of church history, where precise end times have sometimes been falsely preached.

      As has been said, the relatively short history of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church also amply illustrates the folly of predicting the date of the end of the world. Perhaps Bruce D Hales has never thought about J N Darby's death in Bournemouth in 1882. He died knowing that he hadn't been raptured, realising that his ideal ecclesiastical experiment had failed and that his honoured friend, William Kelly, was being badly treated by the Brethren in its latest schism. If you read the last letter JND ever wrote, you'll see that amid disappointment and disillusion what was left for him was his own personal faith in Jesus Christ.

      Mr Hales might like to consider taking a sabbatical in order to study all these matters.

  2. The leader of the EB has admitted that he does not often speak to "worldly men". How does he reconcile that admission with Christ's commission "Go into all the world and preach the gospel"?
    Mr Hales, can I ask you or one of your fellow leaders when was the "great commission" of Matthew 28 withdrawn?

  3. It is rather insulting to use the term “worldly” to mean non-Brethren, because in my experience non-Brethren are generally no more worldly than Brethren, at least as judged by their values, principles and behaviour.

    Here is BDH speaking in New Zealand earlier this year.
    “See, having children in the company of worldly persons, you might say, Oh well, they're pretty harmless, and not a bad family. But you don't know what they're going on with, you don't know what they're going on with.”

    Has it not occurred to him that the non-Brethren have just as much reason for concern for their own children, because they equally don’t know what the Brethren are going on with? Having children in the company of Brethren could be just as big a worry. What if they were to pick up Jim Taylor’s abusive language, or Jim Symington’s antipathy to scholarship, or John Hales’s misogyny, or BDH’s obsession with accumulating money, or any of the leaders’ extreme sectarianism?

    Here is BDH again, Vol. 69 page 184 (2007)
    “You have to do with worldly persons, it can be difficult at times. I think our beloved made a remark, something like, that it was awful, he said, to have to deal with worldly people.”

    Yes, quite. Enough said.