Saturday, 20 December 2014

An interesting comment regarding qualification of Hales exclusive brethren (PBCC) leaders

Ian said,

"I have no doubt Libby Lane satisfies all the qualifications to be a bishop, as defined in Titus 1:7-9. I wish every blessing in her ministry."

This is an interesting observation and a valid point. Within the Exclusive Brethren there is no need to satisfy any qualification to take a leading role, as far as I know. I don't believe that a 'priest' (or deacon, elder, overseer, preacher, apostle, or even elect vessel) in the Exclusive Brethren is required to undergo any recognised training, submit to an election, attend theological study, take any CRB checks, be part of a ballot, or acknowledge any other filtering mechanism whatsoever. So those who take responsible roles within the Exclusive Brethren are unqualified, unelected, possibly unsuitable, and potentially dangerous. In short, those who want a leadership role will simply posture and jostle until they get it. No checks. No balances. No safeguards. If you desire power and have a predatory nature, the floor is yours. My experience is that the bullies among them became leaders. I have still yet to see ANY safeguarding policy from the EB. They probably have a hastily created one for the purposes of being seen as charitable, but as of a couple of year ago they had no policy – they may STILL not have one. 

Libby Lane is abundantly more qualified to be a leader than any EB. She has met the required standards of her role - the EB have no standards to meet. Simply be a power-hungry, egotistical, predator, and you may just get your way – many have.

The young, the vulnerable, the impressionable, the weak, the majority, the entire Exclusive Brethren group, need better protection and care. 

(Incidentally, which of these men would you trust)?


  1. All four are Christians...

    1. Anon 20th Dec 22:40

      "All four are Christians..."

      Are you meaning all four men in the pictures above ?

      If so let me remind you,

      Picture 1 includes James Taylor Junior, former leader of the Exclusive Brethren now called Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, an alcoholic womaniser found in bed with another mans wife. JT introduced false teaching and blantant disregard for the Holy Bible instructions.

      Picture 4 is of Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury who the Exclusive Brethren (PBCC) would refuse to have communion, worship, or fellowship with and would refuse to eat or drink with even outside a church environment. If the PBCC EB call Justin Welby a Christian, then why can they not have Christian communion, worship or fellowship with him as biblically taught ?

    2. What the heck does THAT signify?! I hope you're not insinuating that the profession of the Christian faith automatically delivers some sort of elevated place on the trustability index. 'Cos it effing doesn't!

    3. Anon 22.40. I only see one confirmed Christian in the person of the Archbishop. Anon 40 has commented on Picture 1. The other picture shows two men who support, endorse and practise the behaviour and separatist doctrines of Taylor Jnr. Thus, I doubt they can be of the Christian faith.

    4. 'All four are Christians...'..........the lady is a tramp.

    5. There has never been any evidence regarding Mr Jim being in bed with another wonen. In fact several seaches suggest it was extremely unlikely
      The so called "witness" was found to be corrupt and later faced a criminal investigation from police.

    6. There is the evidence from Madeline Ker herself. She admitted in a law court in Holland that she had been naked in James Taylor Junior's bed.

      At the time, the EB referred to this court case as "The Dutch Book Case".

    7. I am sorry to inform you Anonymous at 17.04 there is corroborated and irrefutable evidence that James Taylor Junior was found in bed with a naked woman who was not his wife.
      The woman herself (who is in the above photograph) does not deny the fact so you have clearly not researched this matter very carefully.
      The photo shown above is not very comely for a so-called Christian leader, is it?

    8. Anon 17:14 says...

      "There has never been any evidence regarding Mr Jim being in bed with another wonen. In fact several seaches suggest it was extremely unlikely
      The so called "witness" was found to be corrupt and later faced a criminal investigation from police."

      I have a few issues with this post. 1. To say "there has never been any evidence" is a bit silly as it would require one to study all evidence there ever was - not possible. Would be more reasonable to say " I have not seen any evidence". 2. There is actually court evidence in the public domain given by the mistress that she was indeed in bed with James Taylor Junior and that she was naked at the time. 3. The witness, if she is corrupt, never withdrew her testimony, and is still upheld by the Exclusive Brethren as being beyond reproach.

    9. What are you talking about Anon21Dec@17:04?! Here are legal statements from two of the main parties involved. Are you off your trolley? - you seriously need to have a read.

    10. Anon 20 December 2014 at 22:40

      All four are Christians...

      Does that include the dirty old man copping a boob feel on the young woman?

      Not generally Christian behaviour that.

    11. 'The so called "witness" was found to be corrupt and later faced a criminal investigation from police.'

      Was the 'so called witness' ever found guilty of any offence?

      Anyone know who killed PBCC member Esther Soper?

  2. During a discussion with a respected brother from the Open Brethren he said he had not identified any evidence in the behaviour of James Taylor junior of him being a Christian. Could someone who has knowledge of BDH tell us when and at what age he made a profession of salvation.
    JTjunior certainly did not have the character or qualifications to be an elder. Drunkenness and immoral behaviour are not characteristics one would associate with a person exercising authority in a Christian church.

  3. The EB head honchos appear to be power (and money) hungry. What a farce when they supposedly are taking their directions from the Bible and the life/death of Jesus. Other "religious" leaders as the one shown above with the cross and poppy could teach them a thing or three!

  4. I doubt it, but only they woukd know.

  5. The ability and willingness to listen to people is an essential part of the profile of a Christian minister. Justin Welby, pictured above, has commented about people who disagree with him, "If you love them you listen carefully".

    1. Joan,

      You have a wonderful way of being able to shine light where it is needed. I also noted Justin's comment regarding love and listening. It speaks volumes about where he is coming from.

      I would love to hear similar things from the EB, but I think that this kind of thing is beyond them at the moment. My prayer is that over the coming months and years that the EB learn from other Christian groups (or are pressured financially by a certain government agency) to learn compassion and respect for others and, ultimately, learn to listen to them.

  6. The original comment that is the title of this thread says –

    “So those who take responsible roles within the Exclusive Brethren are unqualified, unelected, possibly unsuitable, and potentially dangerous. In short, those who want a leadership role will simply posture and jostle until they get it. No checks. No balances. No safeguards. If you desire power and have a predatory nature, the floor is yours. My experience is that the bullies among them became leaders.”

    This is absolutely correct.

    The Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church do not appoint any local elders, shepherds, pastors, deacons etc. Those biblical local church leadership roles are ignored in PBCC EB. The local meeting (assembly / church) would not be sure who their local elders, shepherds, pastors, deacons are, if they were asked by an outsider. There is no selection process, qualification process, laying on of hands, or agreement by the local meeting (assembly / church). These biblical processes are ignored in PBCC EB.

    In PBCC EB, roles of apparent local church leadership are all assumed, the ones who assume these roles are the ones most likely to be dogmatic & forceful in their approach, gather followers based on personality & are always the ones to enforce PBCC EB non biblical rules from “these great men” rather than follow Gods Word from the Bible.

    All of which creates a state of confusion & constant flux. Persons win favour & fall out of favour very quickly & those who have assumed a position can easily back away if something goes wrong because there is no accountability to the local meeting members because the local meeting members did not approve of, nor select, nor qualify the person concerned as biblically instructed.

    This is why the biblical apostle Paul & others clearly wrote down the criteria for local church / assembly leadership in order to bring in checks & balances & accountability to the local congregation.

    Yet the PBCC EB have chosen since the days of JN Darby to ignore what is biblically instructed. There is one glaring example of the damage that this non biblical approach can cause, which is the case of James Taylor Junior.

    Had the PBCC EB followed Gods Word the Bible in the selection, qualification & accountability of JT Junior to be a leader, then he could never have become leader at all, because JT Junior failed to satisfy the biblical qualifications for such a position, not least because he was an alcoholic. Furthermore, as the years of his leadership progressed JT Junior introduced vast amounts of false teaching & blatant disregard for the Holy Bible, had the PBCC EB followed Biblical instructions & qualifications in such matters JT Junior could have been removed from his leadership role very early in his tenure, but no. Then of course there was the UK Aberdeen matter in 1970, (JT Junior being found in bed with another mans wife, young sisters on his knee, drunk in church meetings, etc), again had the PBCC EB followed biblical instructions & qualifications in such matters JT could easily have been removed from his leadership role, but no.

    The cult of personality and the bewitching of the PBCC EB by the teaching of “men” takes priority over following what Gods Word, the Bible instructs.

    Its very dangerous, harmful & detrimental

    1. Very good post, sums up my thoughts and feelings very well.

  7. Hmm... Does Libby Lane satisfy the qualifications of verse 6 of the chapter that Ian has cited? Maybe there is some way to make her qualify, but as an English reader of the text, I don't see how the words "husband of one wife" could be rearranged to allow her to qualify.

    1. That is a valid question. I referred to verses 7 to 9 because these explicitly refer to a bishop (επισκοπον), whereas verses 6 and 7 appear to refer to elders (πρεσβυτερους).

      But you have drawn attention to a genuine problem in the apparent assumption that the elders will be men, which contrasts with the principle of equality, which Paul sets out in his famous declaration in Galatians 3:28. Probably at the time when the Epistle was written, most elders were indeed men, and some were disqualified because they had more than one wife. That could account for the non-inclusive language. Maybe polyandry at that time was not much of a problem and did not need to be mentioned.

      The Graeco-Roman world in New Testament times was totally dominated by men, and so to a lesser extent was the church, but the church was a bit exceptional in having the occasional female deacon, minister, teacher, prophet, apostle or co-worker. The twelve original Apostles were all men, and of the subsequent apostles (Matthias, Paul, Andronicus and Junia) three out of the four were men.

    2. Well a cursory read of the Titus text seems to me to make the elder and the bishop to be the same individual. I can't make sense of it otherwise. It seems to me that the term elder is just another qualification of the bishop. I don't think the Galatians verse contrasts because it is about an entirely different subject. One section is about order in the assembly, and the other about faith as opposed to law.

    3. Anon December 2014 at 03:52

      That's a very interesting viewpoint, suggesting the terms are interchangeable. That makes me want to research this further.

      However, I think it's fair to say that many Evangelicals hold a complementarian view, rather than accepting women as elders, bishops (overseers) etc. However, in love we can work together with the Anglicans and others as the good news of the Gospel is so much more important than this piece of tertiary doctrine.

      Merry Christmas!

    4. Theo,

      True, I suppose I would join with any apostle proclaiming the good news of Jesus and the resurrection.

      What do you mean by "complementarian" and "tertiary"?


    5. Oh, merry Christmas to you too.

      (I think Mr Symington said that's how to reply to that one... I mean he doesn't tell anyone what to do, but said that's how he replies to "merry Christmas") I nearly forgot


    6. Anon 25 December 2014 at 04:23

      Have a look at


      for a basic idea. Equal but different, complementary roles and functions like - these sorts of ideas.

      Tertiary as in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary. Not of first importance - an area where many can comfortable agree to disagree and get on with the primary task of sharing the primary task of the good news of the gospel.

  8. On the whole women were of low status in the Graeco-Roman world, as Ian says, but the followers of Jesus knew that he’d accepted the support of independent women in Galilee. Also, loyal women had stayed with him to the end in Jerusalem and a woman had been the first to be made aware of his resurrection.

    We know that the apostle Paul was a friend and colleague of many women in the earliest churches around the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. In Romans 16:1-16 he sends greetings to named people in the church at Rome, including deacon Phoebe from Cenchreae, near Corinth, who was visiting Rome and may have been the courier of this his last epistle.

    If you look at the names Paul mentioned in Romans 16, besides male colleagues and Phoebe you’ll notice his fellow women workers Prisca, Mary, the apostle Junia, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus’s unnamed mother, Julia and Nereus’s unnamed sister. Interestingly, six functions are mentioned in Paul’s greetings’ list - deacon, benefactor, co-worker, host of a house church, labourer and apostle - three of them are filled by men (50%) but all six are filled by women (100%).

    Fast forward 55 years to 111 AD when Pliny the Younger wrote to the Roman Emperor, Trajan, and confirmed the pattern of women working in the Christian churches. He mentioned two ‘ancillae’ = slave women or maidservants, whom church members referred to as ‘ministrae’ = ‘diakonoi’ (Greek). Their duties would have included liturgical responsibilities like handing out the Lord’s Supper, but Christian women were also noted as teachers and ‘prophets’.

    Most scholars think that earliest Christianity benefitted from the ministry of women but that as the centuries passed men sought to diminish their rôle in the church. Like the matter of slavery, which was endemic in the Graeco-Roman world, it has taken a long time for some churches to acknowledge the value of women’s gifts and vocations.

  9. OK, let's have a look at this. How many Catholics world wide? About 1.2 billion. How much does the Pope make?

    How many Anglicans? About 80 million. How much does the Archbishop make?

    How many happy and willing PBCC members? About 44,000. How much did Mr Bruce manage in the Hales Family Trust on the last figures published? About $AU 1.3 billion. What does that tell you about whom God supports? Sinner beware. Come to Christ today. Mr Bruce will show you how. Yield to him or perish in the lake of fire.


    1. Patmos,

      These are very telling figures. Thank you for posting them, but they don’t tell what you say they tell. They certainly don’t show that God is supporting BDH, any more than you could conclude that God was supporting Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or the vastly wealthy Russian Oligarchs.

      It would be equally possible to explain these figures if you suppose that the Brethren are gullible and that BDH is exploiting their gullibility. That is not the sort of thing you would expect God to support, unless your god is called Mammon.

    2. Patmos,

      Quote: "Prosperity religions are effectively fertility religions". Professor of Theology Miroslav Volf. So that's a different view on the EB. No different than the primitives of old. (But don't worry, the shortest day has passed, the sun will come back in summer.)

      Question: Are the 44,000 really happy and willing? How do you know? Or are they trapped and unwilling? Leavers suggest the latter. What is your evidence?

  10. "There has never been any evidence regarding Mr Jim being in bed with another wonen. In fact several seaches suggest it was extremely unlikely"

    Dear Anon, I'm sorry to disappoint you but it is undisputed fact (let me have your email address and I will forward the evidence) that JTJr was with another man's wife naked under a sheet. Even Madeline Ker admitted this in the 'Dutch Book Case' although she added 'but nothing happened'. Presumably the ageing alcoholic pervert (sorry, pure man) couldn't get it up. Madeline is still in fellowship, having lived with charmed protection (same for her husband Alan) from the EB since 1970. Ask her. She will confirm this. Have another drink, it will help dull the realisation of the lie you have been living with. Sorry for you.


    1. The photo above of the dirty old man with one hand down a young woman's front and a glass of whisky in the other looks like no minister of God I have met before.

  11. Patmos
    Jesus said "You cannot serve both God and money." The Pharisees who loved money heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. Luke 16 : 13-14

  12. I am ashamed that I once accepted it was okay for JTJr to be in bed with another man's wife but I now realise that the issue is really the upholding of the authority of God's Word. The Exclusive Brethren (PBCC) add to God's Word just like all cults and always have done starting with the Gap Theory that adds to Genesis 1 and makes a liar of God. Other additions are apostolic succession, not honouring parents outside the fellowship, not eating with unbelievers.... Those who claim to uphold the Truth for all mankind do anything but