Saturday, 8 February 2014

Separation as practiced by the Hales exclusive brethren

Is interpersonal separation a Christian principle?


The principle of separation is practised by all people, nations and religions in some form or other.

The Bible refers to it in many passages – from Genesis chapter 1, where God divided between light and darkness, right through to Revelation chapter 22, where there are those who are within and those who are without.

The Lord Jesus said as to His disciples “they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” John 17 v14. The world in this sense refers to the system of sin and lawlessness under the domination of Satan.

As a Church, we wholeheartedly seek to dedicate our lives to this principle. We choose to follow the teachings of Jesus as set out in the Gospels and taught in the Epistles of the New Testament. Refer passages such as Matthew 16 v24-26, Mark 10 v28-30, 2 Timothy 2 v19 and 2 Corinthians 6v14-18.

Separation represents a moral distinction between what is right and what is wrong, what is righteous and what is unrighteous. Christians as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ are exhorted to “refuse the evil and to choose the good” Isaiah 7 v15.

We make a commitment to eat and drink only with those with whom we would celebrate the Lord’s Supper – that is the basis of our fellowship.

This does not mean that we hold ourselves as superior to our fellow men, women and children. We live and work harmoniously alongside them, in the mainstream of society.

Our practice of separation does not preclude interaction in the broader community.

We help our neighbours and they help us. We care for and protect their property and they do ours.

We appreciate the good that we receive from many of our fellow citizens, and welcome the opportunity to fulfil our responsibility in the community. Our attitude is to do good to all, as opportunities arise.


  1. "We make a commitment to eat and drink only with those with whom we would celebrate the Lord’s Supper – that is the basis of our fellowship."

    In the 1950s, two Exclusive Brethren teachers in the state grammar school where I was a pupil ate and drank in the normal way with colleagues, students and parents. These women were in fellowship with the James Taylor Senior group of Exclusive Brethren. He died in 1953, and his son James Taylor Jnr did not succeed him till 1959 so there was a period of interregnum for six years or so.

    When James Taylor Jnr was accepted as leader he began to introduce all kinds of directives and not eating or drinking with non-members was one of the most harmful of his initiatives. On 16 September 1960, he wrote, "I used to go and eat but have stopped long since. If we are minded to go, it would not be the mind of the Spirit and invariably we are contaminated when we do go, for uncleanness comes out over the table." (In the printed version 'invariably' is written in italics, presumably for emphasis.)

    One of my two EB teachers left the J T Jnr Brethren, the other stayed and was unable to continue in the teaching profession. In January 2004 she told me, about not eating or drinking with me, that "It's not personal - it's a matter of principle." I recall replying, "It's very personal." I was worried that she should ever think it would contaminate her to share a cup of tea or eat lunch with me.

    On February 3rd this year I wrote to Peter Trevvett "Where is your evidence that uncleanness has ever been present at our meal table or in our home? Your policy over eating and drinking is untenable for mainstream Christians. It is damaging and unjust."

    It's heartbreaking that my former teacher, who was such a decent and hospitable young woman when I knew her in the 1950s, should feel obliged not to share food with me whenever she's invited me to her home. She commented to me in 2004, "This is not the hospitality we like to give." I think we were both equally sad about all this.

  2. There are two sides to separation.
    Even the EB will tell you there is 'separation from' & 'separation to'

    Why do the EB always jump to and focus on the negative side of destructive separation

    There are Scriptures that speak positively about separation, yet their website makes no mention of them

    If they were at all Christian, they would seek to apply separation positively in line with many Scriptures

    "We endeavour to live in the generous and caring spirit of Christ our saviour"
    is what they claim on their site, but I don't see it in practice


  3. There's not one of them in that group that can think for themselves and if there is, they would certainly be punished for it. They don't "chose" anything it's all dictated by Beedy or whichever grand poo bah happens to be in power at any given time.

  4. The short EB article on separation that Laurie has quoted depends on stretching scripture well beyond what is honest or reasonable. To talk about separation of light and darkness in Genesis 1 as a justification for separating from all non-EB people not only gives the scripture a patently artificial meaning but also inverts its supposed application. If you really believe it tells you to separate from darkness, then the solution is to get out of the Hales Brethren as fast as you can, because there must be few places more completely enveloped in darkness. The walls of separation keep out most sources of light, including Christian light.

    To use the term “the world” as a derogatory term for everything outside their little enclave smacks of self-righteousness, and is particularly inappropriate when Brethrenism is as worldly a system as any other, and more worldly than most churches in the values that it promotes.

    If you read your Bible without a pre-conceived agenda of separatism you will find much more justification for inclusiveness than exclusiveness. In the Genesis story you would be much better to concentrate on the joining of husband and wife, and use it to emphasise NON-separation, just as Jesus does in Matthew 19:6, and Paul does in 1 Corinthians 7, two scriptures that Brethren since Jim Taylor have explicitly rejected.

    When your light has become darkness, how great the darkness!

  5. The family of peebs next door to me, certainly don't "protect or care for (my) property". They frequently block my drive, drive over my lawn and drive around at reckless speeds. Most likely after quaffing vast amounts of whiskey judging by how out of control their driving seems at times.
    They're very rude to their "worldly" neighbours too, not to mention the noise at ridiculous times on a Sunday morning as they scoot off to another brainwashing session.
    When I've tried to complain, the only response was a shoulder shrug, and a muttered "worldlies".

  6. PBCC Ltd hype and misinformation exposed, yet again...


  7. I practiced separation - I walked away from the EB system. Like I think everyone else who did the same, I regard it as one of the very best decisions I ever made in my life.