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Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Hales Exclusive Brethren's predilection for modern history

Why do the Hales Exclusive Brethren choose to sweep ancient history under the carpet?

23 comments:

  1. I presume the question arises from examples of ministry like the following.

    Ministry of B. D. Hales Vol. 66 page 160 (Perth, 2007)
    “My father never really believed in studying ancient history, he wouldn't let any of us do ancient history, it was always modern history.”

    Ministry of B. D. Hales Vol. 127 page 45
    “Our beloved brother was a great studier of history. He didn't hold forth about it, but he knew history very well. He didn't worry about ancient history, he knew that too, but he was only interested in modern history. When we went to school he wouldn't let us study ancient history, . . .”

    B. D. Hales did not say why his father wouldn’t let them study ancient history, but it disturbs me that any field of honest inquiry should be forbidden or censored. If you put any value on truth and have the best interests of your children at heart, you would surely allow free and open inquiry into any field of honest, objective study.

    What do you want to hide? Does ancient history contain facts that the Brethren are unwilling to face up to? Are they afraid that it might contradict their own worldview? If that is the problem, it is not only ancient history that would put their culture at risk: almost any field of honest, objective inquiry would pose exactly the same problem, whether in the arts, the sciences or the humanities. Any serious and honest pursuit of truth could demolish the Taylor/Symington/Hales branch of Exclusive Brethrenism, dependent as it is on blatant falsehoods.

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  2. What carpet and where's the broom?
    A picture of a man holding a spear and riding a chariot...

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    1. My comment has not appeared, so I will repeat, with apologies for any repetition, regarding the "man" in the chariot - the picture depicts a woman, Boudica (Boadicea) who led the Iceni tribe in a revolt against Roman rule in 60-61 AD.

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  3. Do the Brethren take what Bruce D Hales said about his father’s lack of enthusiasm for ancient history to mean that they also shouldn’t be interested in the subject? Ancient history doesn’t grab everyone, of course, but it’s surprising if a mainstream church which says it goes by the Bible seems to discourage study of at least the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, the Iron Age and the Roman period in the Ancient Near East.

    It’s a pity that the bulk of J N Darby’s personal library was sold by the auctioneers Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, in London in November 1889. A PBCC member told me not long ago that the nineteenth century Brethren should never have disposed of his library in that way. Perhaps if the PBCC today owned this valuable collection some members would share J N Darby’s interest in all things ancient - volume after volume in the list of books which were auctioned concerns the study of ancient history, not just in the biblical lands but also much wider afield in places like India and China. It’s troubling if today PBCC members aren’t free to emulate J N Darby in his eclectic approach to learning.

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  4. Now, Anon 22.41....If you had studied ancient history you might have known that the illustration is not of a man, but of a woman - Boudica (Boadicea) who led the Celtic Iceni tribe in a revolt against Roman rule in 60-61 AD. Clearly, the Iceni were more progressive than the PBCC as women were able to take positions of leadership!

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  5. I wonder what BDH would call the bible accounts of the Pentateuch and Chronicles and Samuel? Or do they consider them to be unreliable?

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  6. Christian Church History

    The Exclusive Brethren’s lack of knowledge about Christian Church history also astounds me.

    Since we left the Exclusive Brethren we have learnt all about Christian Church history, something we never had the opportunity to do while in the EB. The EB don’t study or teach anything about Christian Church history in their meetings, they have no study groups.

    If they learnt about Christian Church history they would find most of the heresies & false teaching brought in by each successive ‘minister of the Lord in the recovery’ (universal leader), is just a repeat of past heresies & false teaching from Christian Church history, which the wider Christian Church has had to contend with and refute in centuries past.

    Or maybe that’s why they don’t teach or study Christian Church history, because if they did they would discover the EB position & dogma to be utterly false and a repeat of previous errors and the so called ‘recovery’ by Darby, James Taylor, etc, to be complete nonsense.

    D

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  7. The Questioner - have you read J N Darby's paper, 'Remarks on "Christianity and Modern Progress" by the Rev. A. Raleigh, D.D.', which you'll find on the Stem Publishing web site? It's an interesting example of how John Darby engaged with all kinds of issues about the past as they were being raised in C19.

    The Rev'd Raleigh's book was published in 1868, so J N Darby probably wrote his response soon afterwards. Darby once told his colleague, William Kelly, that he (JND) wrote in order to understand what he was thinking, and in this paper you can feel his mind wrestling with the challenges of C19 archaeological and historical discoveries. Needless to say, he's pretty scathing about "infidels", and Christian dissenters too!

    It would be excellent if B D Hales were to follow J N Darby's lead and engage in a similar way about, for example, the Pentateuch, Chronicles or Samuel, and openly discuss the Old Testament from a knowledge of its context and documentary history. Of course the Bible is a moral compass for believers, but ignorance about the ancient settings of its documents only short changes the reader. For all his harshness of tone, J N Darby didn't simply ignore the complex and absorbing issues around these ancient scriptures.

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  8. Agreed, Joan. I assume the PBCC take the OT writings mentioned as literally true in every way (despite contradictions) so to that extent read ancient history. Perhaps they don't like any other history because it would challenge their world view. I certainly wasn't intending to suggest that I consider these writings as literal truth in every case but must be read in context. It sounds as though thougj the PBCC don't believe in context - unless it suits, of course.

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  9. Sad to say, I think the EB's approach for the past few decades is to try and find a scripture and twist it to fit with their current way of thinking rather than seeking to promote what the bible actually teaches.

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  10. Christian Church History

    The Exclusive Brethren’s lack of knowledge about Christian Church history also astounds me.

    Since we left the Exclusive Brethren we have learnt all about Christian Church history, something we never had the opportunity to do while in the EB. The EB don’t study or teach anything about Christian Church history in their meetings, they have no study groups.

    If they learnt about Christian Church history they would find most of the heresies & false teaching brought in by each successive ‘minister of the Lord in the recovery’ (universal leader), is just a repeat of past heresies & false teaching from Christian Church history, which the wider Christian Church has had to contend with and refute in centuries past.

    Or maybe that’s why they don’t teach or study Christian Church history, because if they did they would discover the EB position & dogma to be utterly false and a repeat of previous errors and the so called ‘recovery’ by Darby, James Taylor, etc, to be complete nonsense.

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  11. Because history only begins in 4,000 BC. The brethren bible says so.

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  12. 19:52
    Another thicko in our midst...
    The PBCC have a wealth of knowledge about church history. Check out their publications.

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    1. I know of very few publications about church history from Exclusive Brethren.

      There was “The Recovery and Maintenance of the Truth” by A. J. Gardiner, which presented a distorted and sectarian view of church history, more an attempt to justify his branch of Brethrenism than an objective inquiry into what actually happened. It was his book that popularised the manifestly false notion that modern Exclusive Brethrenism is a recovery of something that existed in the past. We know of many varieties of Christian doctrines and practices in Apostolic times and in the first few centuries, but none that particularly resembled modern Brethrenism. EBism is not a recovery of anything: it is a new religious movement, with new doctrines and new practices.

      Then there was Peter Trevvett’s book on The History of the Jews. Its greatest weakness is a failure to distinguish between history, legend and folklore.

      I know of only one commendable book on church history that has come from an EB author, and that is Peter Trevvett’s book on Paul’s missionary journeys. I was very impressed by it. Are there any others that I should look at?

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    2. What publications are those then ?

      Please enlighten us

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    3. Knowing ancient history may not be gain by itself. A turd in those times may have contained waste from a different diet, but at the end of the day, it remains a turd.

      The Recovery is the continuation of a line what goes back to the Great men of Old and is of much profit.

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    4. Anon 17th Dec 13:19

      Your comment does not make any sense at all

      Knowing about & understanding Christian Church history is very important and would bring great gain to any who even studied it briefly.

      As I said above in post 16th Dec 19:52

      - “If they learnt about Christian Church history they would find most of the heresies & false teaching brought in by each successive ‘minister of the Lord in the recovery’ (universal leader), is just a repeat of past heresies & false teaching from Christian Church history, which the wider Christian Church has had to contend with and refute in centuries past.”

      Knowing what persons had to contend with and refute in Christian Church history would go some way to help us today to avoid making the same mistakes, errors and false teachings

      Your comment that – “The Recovery is the continuation of a line what goes back to the Great men of Old and is of much profit” - has no basis at all in reality, fact or evidence, it is a delusion.

      When JN Darby and others set up the original Plymouth Brethren there were already plenty of Christian Churches in existence which recognised error in the main denominations & had separated from them. These non denominational Christian Churches were already focusing on the Lords Supper, were already doing without the traditions of robes, bells & incense for clergy and were already going back to a system of biblical elders, pastors, shepherds as instructed in the Bible. This trend has accelerated in the last 150 years.

      However, the Brethren were outside and separate to all that because Darby and others set up their own organisation in the late 1820’s 30’s. This system invented by ‘men’ had no connection to the ‘Great men of Old’ (as you term it). Darby and others had absolutely no family connections or genetic connections to the Biblical Apostle Paul, Timothy, Titus etc, & Christians and Christian Churches that followed NT Church practices were already in existence in the 1820’s 30’s, outside of any connection to the Brethren.

      However, what is even more critical & more important, is that following the Bethesda split in the Plymouth Brethren creating the Open and Exclusive Brethren, the Exclusive Brethren (now renamed PBCC) took a very distinctive sectarian path littered with false teaching, abuse of the Christian Bible, harm and detriment to those associated with it & creating divisions between Christians.

      It is quite clear the so called “recovery” was never a recovery of anything because what Darby & others were trying to do was already being done, & has continued to be done (increasingly so), outside of the Exclusive Brethren to this day, furthermore, doing a careful comparison of the practices & history of the Exclusive Brethren (PBCC) with the Christian Bible clearly shows that the God of the Holy Bible would never associate with such false evil abuse as perpetrated by the Exclusive Brethren PBCC, such as -

      Drunken leaders
      Immorality from leaders
      Refusing to eat or drink with other Christians
      Family division
      Blatant ignoring of Biblical instruction
      Blatant twisting of Gods Word
      Separation from all other Christians
      Calling all other Christians iniquitous & evil
      Introduction of blatant false teachings

      It is also to be noted that only the main harmful cultish sects claim to have ‘recovered’ the true church & be a bastion of some kind of unique ‘recovery’ that no one outside of ‘them’ is privileged to have. For example, The Jehovahs Witness (JW’s) claim the same unique ‘recovery of the truth’ & the Mormon’s also claim the same unique ‘recovery of the truth’. The Exclusive Brethren (Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) also claim the same unique 'recovery of the truth' ! Its all a delusion

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  13. The PBCC even changed the history of the so-,called Aberdeen event. Not exactly reliable.

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  14. Anon 2.24...Following on from your comment I checked for publications but could only find the PBCC Ltd prospectus: "Living our Beliefs".Did you have any other works of scholarship in mind?

    Anon 13.19, I can see there is much profit in the continuation of the recovery line; would that link with the lining of pockets, do you think?

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  15. Look closer Anon 16:21. I think the true title of that publication is "Drinking our Beliefs"

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  16. "Another thicko in our midst...
    The PBCC have a wealth of knowledge about church history."
    As one PBCC member said to me the other day: "You Ex's think we know f*** nothing but in fact we know f*** all!"

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  17. Sounds like EB speak!

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  18. 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.

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