Sunday, 18 May 2014

Going to Church.....particularly if your Church causes detriment and harm


  1. Some Christians insist on their own favourite definition of what a Christian is, but there is no generally agreed definition, nor are we ever likely to agree on one. Some define it in terms of beliefs, some in terms of behaviour, some in terms of church membership, some in terms of baptism, some in terms of love of God and neighbour, and for the purposes of a census it is usually defined by self-description.

    It is much easier to define Hales Exclusive Brethren, because you are either in or out, or occasionally in the half-way position of “shut up.” You will be accepted as a member if you unquestioningly subscribe to and obey the dictates of “These Great Men” and especially the current “Great Man.” So long as two or three are gathered to the name of B. D. Hales, there will be a Hales fellowship. Its connection with Holy Writ is tenuous and contrived and its connection with the Christian Church is as limited as they can possibly make it.

    Membership of Hales Brethrenism cannot be defined by belief, because in a society where deviant beliefs are suppressed and punished, it is impossible for members to know what other members really believe. Non-members sometimes find out what they really believe, because members will sometimes tell them that they don’t believe any of it, but are trapped because it is too difficult and traumatic to leave.

    So the Hales fellowship is diverse in some ways but completely uniform in others. Some members count themselves as Christians and some don’t. Some behave like Christians and some don’t. But they all outwardly declare unquestioning loyalty to B. D. Hales and his predecessors. That is what defines them. It is one of the salient characteristics of a cult.

  2. Interesting comment; regarding unswerving loyalty to the leader of the moment, I have been reliably informed that an EB (PBCC) member, during the last period of Jim Taylor Jnr.'s leadership was quoted as saying he thought Taylor was "mad" but that there wasn't any alternative! This is the thinking and reaction of frightened and indoctrinated subjects of authoritarian regimes.


  3. I'm just about to go to Holy Communion at the Church of England church where we worship. I've never been aware that anyone in our congregation has ever declared undying loyalty to Thomas Cranmer or Justin Welby. Of course not!

    Nor have I ever met another Christian who follows the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000 BC - c.1500 BC) Ancient Egyptian purity rules as the Hales Exclusive Brethren do. Read Genesis 43:32. This account of events, which had happened 800 years or so before, was written in Judah in the Iron Age, around C8 BC, and it seems, according to Herodotus, that the Egyptians were still sensitive about whom they
    ate with even in C5 BC.

    It's very odd that Bruce D Hales should require his followers to adopt pre-Christian Ancient Egyptian purity directives in the matter of eating.

  4. Two to three years ago my wife and I met up with a couple who had been excommunicated from the Hales Exclusive Brethren because their children had been associating with "those outside" and had been engaged in activities considered by the EB to be worldly.
    During the couple of days we spent with this couple it emerged that the wife had personal faith in Christ but the husband told us that he "had given up religion".and had no intention of entering another church. He acknowledged that he missed the social side of the Exclusive Brethren but believed that keeping his family intact was more important than spending time (euphemism for drinking) with his friends in the EB. His wife said she missed Christian friendship and would like to find Christians from other denominations. The husband had come to the conclusion after a couple of years "out" that most of the EB rules were "bonkers" but still would not acknowledge that other churches might have something to offer him.
    I recall this incident because I remember saying to him that being a member of the EB or indeed any other church did not make a person a Christian. His reply was "well, I am not sure I ever was one"

  5. All domination's seem to have one thing in common.They are slow to change.Slow in making apologies.Slow to compensate for any harm that their group caused.Of course all these groups believe in eternity.Therefore they also may not see that there is much need of any real urgency

  6. The Questioner23 May 2014 at 10:46

    Other than seeking to follow Jesus Christ, what, if anything, makes you a Christian?