Sunday, 27 April 2014

Global Address Book 2014

This is proving to be an interesting document especially as we can now distribute the full Charity Commission decision document together with our PBCC awareness campaign brochure directly to each PBCC household Universally, many of whom remain 'in the dark' as to the detriment and harm caused by their Church also as to the detail contained on page 20 section 90, page 21 section 94 part 2, and page 51 section7 of the document below;


  1. Are there any arrangements for deleting anyone who has been excommunicated, or has left of their own volition; or does it have to remain, like an unclean stain, until the next revision?


  2. Does this arm of the PBCC have a role in deciding which books should be bought for the Focus Learning Trust's schools? I know that last year the Brethren withdrew a list which they'd composed of books which shouldn't be read by their pupils.

    These Brethren don't seem to encourage their children, young people and adult members to read widely. I can't remember an occasion when Bruce D Hales has recommended a book to the fellowship.

    Recently I came across 'The History of the Jews' published in 1829 by the scholar, H H Milman (1791 – 1868). This was a controversial book when published - in many ways ahead of its time - but J N Darby owned a copy.

    I recently sent a copy of Irving Finkel's new book 'The Ark before Noah - Decoding the Story of the Flood' (published by Hodder and Stoughton 2014) to two PBCC 'brothers'. It's a delightful, scholarly book which would engage anyone with an interest in ancient history and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. One 'brother' thanked me for my kindness in sending it. The other returned the copy I'd sent him and commented that I was undermining Christianity (!) in promoting this book. I was astonished to have a gift returned to me in this way and bemused by the comment. When I wrote to say the book had arrived back, I asked this 'brother' if he knew about J N Darby's personal library - H H Milman's book, mentioned above, was there alongside Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin and many other important books.

  3. The list of unsuitable books that you refer to, Joan, was printed by the Focus Learning Trust in January and declared obsolete by March! That was a quick about-turn. Could the fear of losing charitable status possibly have had anything to do with this decision? If so, what else could they be persuaded to scrap? Jim Taylor? Jim Symington?

    I have also read Finkel’s book about the Flood Story, and it does not in the least measure undermine Christianity. On the contrary, it promotes the honest quest for truth that is a core value of Biblical Christianity. There must be more than a hundred New Testament verses that say so.

    Besides, it was already obvious from the epics of Atrahasis and Gilgamesh that the flood story existed long before Genesis was written. That was well established before Finkel wrote his latest book. He has not suggested anything controversial.

    Objective, scholarly, evidence-based knowledge could never undermine genuine Christianity, because both are committed to honesty and truth. Whatever was being undermined, it was not Christianity. It might have been Hales Brethrenism.

    I have come across similar instances of Brethren strenuously, emphatically denying that biblical writings were in any way derived from earlier writings, despite the fact that some of the scriptural authors explicitly acknowledged their use of earlier documents. And it is also very clear from the study of ancient literature from Babylon, Assyria, Ugarit, Egypt and Greece that many of the stories, ideas, rituals, sacrifices, names of God, poetic styles, doctrines, architectural details of the Temple, laws, and occasionally a whole poem that we find in the Bible existed in similar forms in earlier religious literature.

    An extremist religion that depends on so much falsehood does not deserve to survive, and it probably won’t. When it collapses, I hope the Brethren have something more soundly based to turn to.

  4. There's a useful list of the written sources that the authors of the Old Testament acknowledged in their writings at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_books_of_the_Old_Testament

    Quite a bookshelf!

  5. The practice of the Exclusive Brethren returning gifts has existed since JTjr's time, Joan.
    Shortly after Aberdeen 1970. my wife sent a card and birthday gift to our young nephew. It was sent back by his mother piously stating that they would not accept presents from those under "assembly discipline".
    It would now seem that some of the EBs are unwilling to accept a book from anyone who is not a member of their cult but others behave in a more gracious manner..

  6. I not only had birthday cards for my nieces and nephew returned to me but my brother included a cheque 'to cover my expenses". That hurt

  7. Gal 5.1 and Jill - In my world, if you don't like a present you've been sent you drop a polite note of acknowledgement but you certainly don't send it back. Charities are usually pleased to be given unused presents to sell.

    I'd forgotten that Brethren return gifts, but now I remember that a few years ago I arranged for Amazon to send the excellent 'Dictionary of the Ancient Near East' by Piotr Bienkowski and Alan Millard, published by the British Museum, to a member of this group of Exclusive Brethren. My gift wasn't acknowledged and when I next checked my Amazon account I found I'd been credited with the cost of the book, so my EB friend had obviously returned it directly to Amazon though this was never admitted to me. It was such a shame because it's a really helpful dictionary. Another member of this group of Brethren accepted it from me, though, and tells me he uses it.

  8. On that basis - I wonder if we should return the brethren bibles that were sent to my children by their grandparents in the brethren?

    We didn't return them because they were a gift!

  9. Sadly, the Hales Exclusive Brethren/PBCC "mainstream" church has been insular and self-righteously absorbed in its own wonderfulness for so many decades now, members no longer understand the intricacies of human politeness in wider society. Even 25-odd years ago when I left, I was embarrassed by the vast quantities of social etiquette I had to learn upon leaving - the most basiic things 'worldly' people took for granted, I just did not know. I'm still not sure that I've caught up completely...

    1. Lauren, I associate a lot with ex-EB, helping where I can, and even with 10 years out exes we sometimes have to cope with embarrassing behaviour that I can understand and excuse, but which horrifies my never-EB normal worldy wife!


    2. Are you ex-EB, Anonymous1 May 2014 02:56

    3. Yes, over 40 years out.

  10. I want my name written in The Book Of Life

    This UBT address book just gives a false sense of salvation to trapped cult members