The Brethren have two quite contrasting sets of written policies concerning separation. They have the statement of Faith in Practice that they produced to appease the Charity Commission and they have the separation ministry founded largely on the dictates of Jim Taylor Jr.
Faith in Practice says separation is moral rather than physical, whereas Jim Taylor says separation is legal, moral and physical.
Faith in Practice says those who leave will still be cared for, whereas Jim Taylor’s extensive ministry on abandonment was taken (even in the last few years) to mean that those who leave should be abandoned.
Faith in Practice says excommunication will only be used for serious misdeeds wholly at odds with basic scriptural teaching, whereas Jim Taylor and his supporters established the practice of excommunication of anyone who questioned the authority of the current leader.
Faith in Practice says they should interact with non-members openly, honestly and fairly, whereas Jim Taylor imposed a culture of secrecy, distrust and avoidance of non-members.
The statement of Faith in Practice in fact amounts to renunciation of great swathes of Brethren ministry. I could make this list much longer.
It is easy to understand how the ordinary members of the EB are confused, and don’t know which set of policies they are supposed to follow. The leaders can hardly rule on that question explicitly because it would mean choosing between an explicit rejection of Jim Taylor and an explicit defiance of the Charity Commission; between undermining the mythological status of “these great men”, or putting at risk their tax concessions.
So, as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the leaders try to pretend that the rules have not changed, and the followers don’t know what to think. As with many Brethren contradictions, it’s probably easier for them, on balance, not to think.