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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Highest Court in the Land

From Wikipeebia; 

http://wikipeebia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=681


BDH was not the first to claim that the Exclusive Brethren Assembly was the highest court in the land. BDH's claim is the most extreme, but J. H. Symington said it first.

You find it in the Ministry of JHS, Vol. 104 page 188, which is a transcript of a meeting held on 27th March 1982 in Westfield. He began the meeting by saying,

Quote:
I thought these scriptures might afford help to understand assembly administration. The highest court at the present time, I think, is the assembly. As assembly persons, if we are that, matters ought to be resolved in the assembly. We have, of necessity, been brought before judges in other connections. We’ve found the unjust judge. It’s clearly beneath the dignity of brethren to pursue their matters before the unjust judge and not before the assembly. It would be in the area of God’s indirect government, whereas in the assembly it’s the area of His direct government.

The BDH quotation came 21 years later in Vol. 16 (meeting in Sydney, Saturday 12 April 2003)

Quote:
The devil is at our households, trying to get in, he is at us all the time. Whether we can see that if I take measures, whether young persons can see the advantage of taking measures ahead of something disastrous happening. See, some terrible things have happened in these motor vehicle accidents, young brothers getting jail sentences, it's a frightening matter. Our beloved brother [ John S Hales] used to tell us, didn't he, he said when you're caught out, he said ignorance is no plea. Can't exactly expect to get mercy in the judicial system. Of course, the assembly is the highest court, so that's a matter that we can take comfort in. It's a very great matter, I think, to know that this place, the assembly, is the highest court. It's the area of God's direct dealings, and it's got the power to overrule other judgements if there's a righteous basis for it. But it's the consequences of lawlessness which we often don't count on when we're young. It would seem in the judicial area that matters are getting more severe, young people should be warned about it, these are not light matters. May be able to talk your way out of certain things, but when you're in front of a judge it's a different field.


J. H. Symington claimed copyright of the first of these quotations, and the Bible and Gospel trust claimed copyright of the second.

Which of these is The Highest Court in the Land?



22 comments:

  1. Does any EB assembly have any scope to pass a judgement?

    All matters are referred to BDH and he decides, the local assembly just enforces it

    What would happen if a local assembly wanted to be Christian and go by Scripture, yet BDH and the system said something else?

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These two extracts from a book written in 1883 provide a simple summary to the quoted Exclusive Brethren aka Plymouth Brethren Christian Church ‘ministry’ at the top of this thread.

      1 - Deception covered by a sanctimonious garb….have drawn the simple and unwary into their nets - Carson 1883

      2 -The Darbyites, find it more easy to change Scripture than to change their own pet views. - Carson 1883

      The book written in 1883 by Carson is a forthright & accurate assessment of the dangers of Exclusive Brethrenism

      Christians are taught to ‘test’ what is said by ‘men’ who claim to speak ‘Christian Truth’ against what Gods Word actually states in the Holy Bible. If what is said by ‘men’ cant be supported by, or is contradictory of Gods Word the Bible, then it is not Christian teaching

      Compare what is said in the ‘ministry’ extracts above regarding authority, law, courts, etc to what Gods Word actually teaches

      JND version 1 Peter 2 – 13-16- Be in subjection [therefore] to every human institution for the Lord's sake; whether to [the] king as supreme, 14 or to rulers as sent by him, for vengeance on evildoers, and praise to them that do well. 15 Because so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye put to silence the ignorance of senseless men; 16 as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.

      JND version – Titus 3-1 - Put them in mind to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient to rule, to be ready to do every good work

      JND version – Romans 13, 1-7 - Let every soul be subject to the authorities that are above [him]. For there is no authority except from God; and those that exist are set up by God. 2 So that he that sets himself in opposition to the authority resists the ordinance of God; and they who [thus] resist shall bring sentence of guilt on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to a good work, but to an evil [one]. Dost thou desire then not to be afraid of the authority? practise [what is] good, and thou shalt have praise from it; 4 for it is God's minister to thee for good. But if thou practisest evil, fear; for it bears not the sword in vain; for it is God's minister, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil. 5 Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience. 6 For on this account ye pay tribute also; for they are God's officers, attending continually on this very thing. 7 Render to all their dues: to whom tribute [is due], tribute; to whom custom, custom; to whom fear, fear; to whom honour, honour.

      Delete
  2. These two extracts from a book written in 1883 provide a simple summary to the quoted Exclusive Brethren aka Plymouth Brethren Christian Church ‘ministry’ at the top of this thread.

    1 - Deception covered by a sanctimonious garb….have drawn the simple and unwary into their nets - Carson 1883

    2 -The Darbyites, find it more easy to change Scripture than to change their own pet views. - Carson 1883

    The book written in 1883 by Carson is a forthright & accurate assessment of the dangers of Exclusive Brethrenism

    Christians are taught (by the Holy Bible) to ‘test’ what is said by ‘men’ who claim to speak ‘Christian truth’ against what Gods Word actually states in the Holy Bible. If what is said by ‘men’ cant be supported by, or is contradictory of Gods Word the Bible, then it is not Christian teaching

    Compare what is said in the ‘ministry’ extracts above regarding authority, law, courts, etc to what Gods Word actually teaches

    JND version 1 Peter 2 – 13-16- Be in subjection [therefore] to every human institution for the Lord's sake; whether to [the] king as supreme, 14 or to rulers as sent by him, for vengeance on evildoers, and praise to them that do well. 15 Because so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye put to silence the ignorance of senseless men; 16 as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.

    JND version – Titus 3-1 - Put them in mind to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient to rule, to be ready to do every good work

    JND version – Romans 13, 1-7 - Let every soul be subject to the authorities that are above [him]. For there is no authority except from God; and those that exist are set up by God. 2 So that he that sets himself in opposition to the authority resists the ordinance of God; and they who [thus] resist shall bring sentence of guilt on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to a good work, but to an evil [one]. Dost thou desire then not to be afraid of the authority? practise [what is] good, and thou shalt have praise from it; 4 for it is God's minister to thee for good. But if thou practisest evil, fear; for it bears not the sword in vain; for it is God's minister, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil. 5 Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience. 6 For on this account ye pay tribute also; for they are God's officers, attending continually on this very thing. 7 Render to all their dues: to whom tribute [is due], tribute; to whom custom, custom; to whom fear, fear; to whom honour, honour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The idea of the Brethren assembly being the highest court and having the authority to overrule other judgments is not only significant as an indication of puffed-up pride; it is also potentially dangerous if it is used as an excuse for flouting Court judgments.

    It was in that context of flouting Court judgments that the TV interviewer Quentin McDermott (QM) quoted the Bruce Hales ministry during an interview with Alastair Nicholson (AN), the former Chief Justice of the Family Court in Australia. The interview was broadcast on TV under the title Brethren Express in October 2007. The interview and a transcript of it are still displayed at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20071015/brethren/default.htm. After discussing encounters between leading Brethren and Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson, QM asked about the Brethren’s conduct during child custody cases. Here is a bit of it.

    [start of excerpt]
    AN: I think they have taken every point and pushed it as hard as they could . . . if ever they lost there was always an appeal and there seemed to be unlimited money for the purposes of conducting appeals, no matter how hopeless the appeals were . . . and then there was often difficulty in relation to complying with the Court decision . . . refusal to comply, or grudging compliance, or partial compliance.
    QM: The record seems to show that several judges in Brethren cases have been extremely angered by what they have seen.
    AN: Oh yes.
    QM: In 1981 Mr Justice Walsh commented that the removal by the church of a woman’s children after she was withdrawn from was quite vicious and cruel. That’s a very strong statement indeed.
    AN: Indeed, and I’ve no doubt it was justified.
    QM: And then in 2006 Mr Justice Benjamin described the Brethren’s attempts to prevent children from seeing their estranged father as psychologically cruel, unacceptable and abusive. Is there a pattern there, do you think?
    AN: Oh yes, and I think that is precisely where the problem lies. . . . To treat children that way is abusive of them and it’s psychologically very damaging to the child. It is in effect telling the child that their parent is worthless . . .. That really is quite unacceptable.
    [QM then quoted B. D. Hales’s notorious statement about the Assembly being the highest Court, which could overrule other judgments if there was a righteous basis for it.]
    QM: How do you react to that statement?
    AN: Oh, it’s obviously unacceptable. It’s the sort of statement that one gets from extreme religious people. . . . It is obviously not acceptable in a democratic society for people to treat themselves as above the law, which is really what they’re doing.
    [end of excerpt]

    That makes at least three judges who have had very strong things to say about the behaviour of the Brethren. I believe there was another judge who said something to the effect that when a religion is so lacking in compassion, then whatever it is, it is not Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The problem is that the EB involve themselves in matters that they have no right to.
    For example what right has a so called church to tell people how to run their businesses, who they should or should not marry where their children should go to school or where they should live.

    Those are the sort of "judgements" decided by the Exclusive Brethren and if you do not obey the edicts of the local/ area leader and ultimately the universal leader you will be regarded as "lawless" and will be thrown out.
    Thankfully the High Courts in the UK or Australasia would not deal with its citizens in such a manner. Sadly the EB do not consider that their rank and file members have any human rights and most members seem to be so brainwashed that they blindly obey what their leaders tell them to do.
    I am old enough to remember JTjr closing down small meetings in the mid 1960s resulting in elderly people being uprooted from where they lived for 50 years and told to move 100 miles away. That is what they mean by "assembly administration". - You do as you are told whether it complies with natural justice or not.
    Justice??? Fairness??? Compassion??? Mercy??? Not values for which the Exclusive Brethren's "courts" are renowned.

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  5. "The assembly's got the power to overrule other judgements if there's a righteous basis for it." ~BDH

    There is a quite sinister undertone to that comment which gives me the heebie-jeebies. As I think Ken is pointing out above, we all know that BDH is really "the assembly"... he is in charge of all decisions. As far as I'm aware, there are no safeguards in place in the HEB to stop him going a bit mad one day when his shingles are particularly irritating, and decreeing that there is a 'righteous basis' for Brethren to shoot anyone who crosses them. Or any one of countless other illogical and/or dangerous 'decisions by the highest court in the land'.

    Of such arrogant psychotic bent were all of the most dangerous cults in the world to date. Brethren it scares me how far you have gone in your cultic worship of your leaders, particularly the last three.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good post. With regard to safeguards, I agree. But they need more than just safeguards for there being a righteous basis for shooting. They need safeguards for human rights, the young, the vulnerable, the weak, the uneducated, the aged, the frail, the poor, and many others. Their record to date on safeguarding is poor, very poor. Shooting people may be where they are heading. But the death and harm they have caused without the gun should not be under-estimated.

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    2. I heard the comment from an EB (PBCC) member that he thought former leader JT Jnr. was "mad"; however, he did not know what a better alternative might be. What a mindset!

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    3. I heard the comment from an EB (PBCC) member that he thought former leader JT Jnr. was "mad";

      Mmmm, him and Mad Ker, the terrible twins. Anyone know how pimp Alan Ker is these days? Is he still touting her about for privileges?

      Harrow Harlot Watch

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    4. You're out of dates - Alan is dead and has been for a few months!

      Delete
  6. The Questioner6 March 2015 at 07:40

    An example of the perverse EB type of justice: at the time of the so-called review the new priests would say, "We were wrong. So all you need to do now is repent."

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  7. The main problem that I see with PBCC 'justice' is that members of the congregation can be 'forgiven' by priests for the worst crimes imaginable in an effort prevent disrepute being brought upon the 'testimony' by it's becoming public knowledge.

    To be so brainwashed that you genuinely believe you have been forgiven for something anyone else would get a jail sentence for, is frankly terrifying and must render them amongst the most dangerous people in society.

    I also know of young PBCC 'priests' who have gone over matters with and apologised to ex-members, which took place before they were even born!

    The PBCC version of 'justice' is a joke. Child molesters are treated better than people who watched a TV in a shop window or smoked a cigarette.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is what they describe as 'Assembly Justice'

    I hope I’m not breaking any confidences when I post this, but I think it vital that the general public should find out what the so called ‘charitable’ Plymouth Brethren Christian Church aka Exclusive Brethren, is really like.

    The harm & detriment this so called ‘charitable’ organisation causes is shocking.

    The fact they use the cover of ‘Christianity’ to help disguise it, is even more shocking & despicable. The fact a few MP’s & even some Christian religious organisations (Christian Institute) have been sucked in by the half truths, spin, misinformation & lies of the PBCC EB is equally sickening.

    However,

    The following is a quote from a UK former member of the PBCC EB, who is trying to locate his own brother who is seriously ill in a UK hospital. This is happening right now in March 2015

    Quote

    I phoned my parents last night to find out which hospital my brother Bruce is in. I was told that because "You are opposed to truth that has been handed down through the ages by the great ministers and you are in touch with persons who were opposed to 'The Only True Position' we can't tell you which hospital your bother is in". I was also told that I was withdrawn from for being in touch with said persons and NOT, and I quote, "the problem you think you have got (being homosexual)". I also learned during the course of the conversation that my brother was taken ill EIGHT weeks ago, not five! He is apparently out of ITU now and on a Neurological ward.

    End Quote

    This sickening & unchristian action is also in complete breach of the UK Charity Commission Agreement which the PBCC EB signed up to in Jan 2014

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    Replies
    1. I know which hospital your brother is in and also the fact that, believe it or not, he has the right to make choices and he doesn't actually want a bedside visit from you.....brother or no brother!

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    2. Is that what Jesus would say?

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  9. 01.25.....Anon 14.21 does not mention having a brother in hospital; your comment does not make sense.

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  10. Would anyone care to contribute to the notions of indoctrination, coercion and free choice? Is choice freely made by the indoctrinated? What are the prerequisites for the genuine exercise of "free choice"?

    Pedant

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    Replies
    1. Mr Pedant,

      There is a whole book that is largely concerned with answering these questions of yours. It was edited by an ex-Brethren man, Professor Peter Caws. Its title is Religious Upbringing and the Costs of Freedom.

      Peter is one of the two editors, and an author of the Introduction, The Indoctrination Project, and the sole author of the final chapter, Tragedies of Belief.

      One of the strengths of this book lies in the intellectual weight and proven analytical skills of the many contributors. It consists of a collection of essays that are the personal stories of philosophers who were brought up religiously and have broken free, in one way or another, from restraint and oppression. As trained philosophers, they are well equipped to reflect on and analyze their experiences. In this book, they offer not only stories of stress and liberation but ruminations on the moral issues that arise when parents and other caregivers, in seeking to do good by their children, sometimes end up doing real harm to their personal development and sense of autonomy as individuals.

      You can read more about this book and how to buy it at
      http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-03679-3.html

      and you can read the Introduction at
      http://www.psupress.org/books/SampleChapters/978-0-271-03679-3sc.html

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    2. This book is a very readable book - I struggle with philosophy but I did not struggle with this book. Peter Caws own chapter will certainly mean a lot to the many former brethren struggling to make sense of their childhoods
      Jill

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  11. The Questioner8 March 2015 at 09:15

    The response above would be from fear and coercion. It is against all natural justice and family feeling which the EB claim to hold so precious.

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  12. Anonymous 09.09 - that is a whole essay I am afraid which I am currently working on! can you wait a bit? For those born in a cultic group though - there is clearly no choice at all since it begins at birth, some would say before birth. Part of the problem is that many if not most children do not realise what is being done to them because they know nothing else. Sometimes an enlightened teacher or neighbour sows the seed of realisation that there is another perspective and that there is choice. There is not much written about how indoctrination works on children. There is plenty of literature on how people join cults and the thought reform that goes on then. But for those born into cultic groups there is almost nothing
    Jill

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  13. "You're out of dates - Alan is dead and has been for a few months!"

    I'm assuming he died in the Brethren, so surely "He has gone to be with the Lord". How coarse is the EB becoming?

    ReplyDelete