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JimPhillips

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I just noticed on bro. Genusa’s web site, that he has yet another reference to me. He writes:

"Jim Phillips, a Berean, incorrectly claimed Harry Fry did not attempt to teach clean flesh, but a false doctrine of fellowship."  (See Quote Here)

Now, from a guy who has suggested that changing the title of "A Christadelphian Fellowship" to "The Christadelphian Fellowship" is such a crime as to require the perpetrator (myself) to be listed with the errorists of his Christadelphian history, this carelessness seems quite shocking.

He has derived this conclusion from the following paragraph I wrote on this message board:

""Echoes of Past Controversies" is not an attempt to teach false doctrine. It is an attempted rewriting of the history of the truth, written from a very biased position, intended to cause brethren to make wrong decisions on fellowshipping error (not unlike bro. Genusa's history!) It was a cleverly disguised argument for tolerance, which tried to blend the truth with error."

I would think it is pretty easy to see bro. Genusa’s carelessness. In his eagerness to bring such silly charges against me, he says that I say "Harry Fry" did not attempt to teach "clean flesh." I said no such thing. I said this particular book that Harry Fry wrote, "The Echoes of Past Controversies" was not an attempt to teach "false doctrine." Rather, it was an effort to corrupt the brethren’s understanding of "ecclesial history" as it relates to the doctrine of fellowship. I stand by that. I made the argument for what I said in the post. I really can’t see how anyone familiar with the booklet, and familiar with the history of that era, could reach any other conclusion. Perhaps he will explain himself.

The article is buried way down in the thread, and it really is not possible for bro. Genusa to link to that particular post. I will reproduce the entire post here. That way bro. Genusa can link directly to the post in question. It is as relevant and accurate today, as it was four year ago.

From May, 2009

Our attention has been drawn to a recent complaint by bro. Genusa concerning some writings from the Mutual Magazine (the forerunner to the Berean). The complaint centers on three points. First, a series of articles in the Mutual Magazine called "Echoes of Past Controversies" by bro. Harry Fry. These articles occurred prior to the Berean division in May of 1923. Second, Jury Duty, by bro. F. G. Janaway, and third, the "Work of National Importance" concerning the Christadelphian movement and bro. F. G. Janaway.

The first point that comes to mind in reading this is a certain satisfaction derived from the fact that bro. Genusa has had to go back to before there were Berean ecclesias, to complain about Berean ecclesias. It sort of reminds me of bro. George. Booker's article "Confessions of an Ex Berean." The first thing bro. George confesses, was that his first complaint against the Bereans, (that Bereans received into fellowship divorced and remarried brethren) had been wrong, and the Bereans had been right all along. Yes, bro. George, we know that!

Now bro. Genusa is telling us that before the Bereans separated from Temperance Hall Fellowship, there were errorists, and defenders of errorists in Temperance Hall Fellowship. Yes, bro. Genusa, we know that! That is why the separation took place.

Bro. Genusa finds it incredible that the brethren who ultimately formed the Bereans, gave bro. Fry every benefit of the doubt to the point of publishing this group of articles. I don't find it surprising at all. I think a consistent characteristic of Berean brethren, has been (and still is) that they are far too willing to give false brethren every benefit of the doubt, even when the time for such benefit is long past. Bro. Fry came forward with the argument that some brethren were acting in a manner extreme to our past. His argument was, paraphrased:

Of course the sin in Christ was literal and physical. Of course he had to offer for himself to be rid of this sin. But you are ignoring the other side of this, which is that our sins are forgiven for Jesus' sake.

It was in this context that he brings forward his erroneous "Partial Atonement" arguments. And I find it not at all surprising, that those who were separating were very anxious to hear this argument out. The 1923 division was not carried out quickly. The seeds were sewn over ten years previous. When you go back and read the articles from this time frame, you find that the British brethren were focused on the Constabulary Issue at Temperance Hall, but were being very careful about the "clean flesh" teaching in the USA. Most of the prominent British brethren were claiming that bro. Strickler was simply misunderstood. After all, bro. Roberts had even mentioned that while A. D. Strickler was crotchety, he was fundamentally sound. So when bro. Fry comes with this article, suggesting, as he does, that the brethren "overseas" are taking an extreme position, it played right into the British brethren's preconceived notions, including those who were anticipating separating from Temperance Hall.. That the brethren were very cautious, very interested in considering if they were acting properly, is consistent with the Berean's history.

The articles, which became the booklet "Echoes of Past Controversies" are at their root, a defense of the notion of maintaining error in fellowship. Bro. Genusa charges that the booklet teaches "Clean Flesh" and, in a fairly evasive manner, it does, but that is not its intent. If you think about it for a minute, you'll realize there couldn't be anything specifically identifiable as false doctrine in this booklet. If there was, bro. Fry would have lost all influence with the class of brethren (the true believers) which he was trying to influence to remain with the newly forming Synagogue of the Satan (Temperance Hall). He knew there was no problem holding the pseudodelphians, those brethren in name only, along with the errorists in Temperance Hall Fellowship. It was the sound brethren, the Christadelphians who were poised to separate from Temperance Hall, which provided the obstacle to bro. Fry's desired union. Had he produced something in his booklet that could have been clearly labeled as error, his entire effort would have been exposed and thwarted.

"Echoes of Past Controversies" is not an attempt to teach false doctrine. It is an attempted rewriting of the history of the truth, written from a very biased position, intended to cause brethren to make wrong decisions on fellowshipping error (not unlike bro. Genusa's history!) It was a cleverly disguised argument for tolerance, which tried to blend the truth with error.

By running these articles, bro. Genusa reasons that the Bereans (though bro. Genusa acknowledges the Bereans are not yet formed) are somehow responsible for "Clean Flesh" in Central. This is Ahab's argument to Elijah, "art thou he who troubleth Israel?" Exactly how bro. Genusa figures the Bereans contract this guilt is unclear. He acknowledges that all the ecclesias were independent. I'm sure (relatively sure at least) that he understands that the Mutual Magazine, and the Berean Magazine which followed, are private enterprises, and not the responsibility of any ecclesia confederating itself with the Berean ecclesias. How he makes the jump from independent ecclesias and private magazines operating before there were Bereans, to some sort of community guilt which continues 90 years is, as I said, unclear.

The brethren separating from Temperance Hall, finally come to a correct conclusion concerning bro. Fry, and took the appropriate action.

I share bro. Genusa's question concerning what were they thinking as they read this, and why did it take them so long to figure bro. Fry out? Now, while bro. Genusa and I share that question, we take a completely different approach to the answer. Bro. Genusa is quite hard on those brethren, pretty much concluding that they are without excuse. He blames them for introducing "Partial Atonement" to Christadelphians. As we have seen throughout this exercise, his history is usually quite flawed. This is no exception. So lets go back over the material he has presented us.

In 1898, bro. Fry had been withdrawn from by Bournemouth, for teaching what would today be called "Partial Atonement," a derivative of the "Clean Flesh" doctrine. A year later, the same ecclesia brought him back into fellowship with the following explanation:

BOURNEMOUTH (WINTON).It is with extreme pleasure we report a reunion on a Scriptural basis with those from whom we have been for some time separated. Brother H. Fry has removed to London. We have commended him to the fellowship of Gresham Hall ecclesia. Sister Beck, from Salisbury, has come to reside here and will meet with us. Visitors during the month have been sister Ludlam, Bristol; brother W. Taylor, London. Death has been amongst us once again. This time it has taken from brother Wyatt his only son, aged three months. Oh that the time may soon come when there shall be no more death, pain, or sorrow. We are sorry to report our withdrawal from sister Emma Witheridge and brother Witt, for continual absence from the Lord’s table.—J. Wilkinson. [my underlining--JP]
The Christadelphian : Volume 36 Bd. 36. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1899, S. 36:80

Bro. Genusa says bro. Fry is brought back into fellowship without changing his mind. Well, that may be. How can anyone truly know what is in a person's mind? But somebody at least confessed that they changed their mind. The ecclesia says that a re-union occurred on what the ecclesia called a Scriptural basis. So either bro. Fry said he changed to agree with the ecclesia's understanding of Scripture, or the ecclesia changed to include bro. Fry's understanding of Scripture. One way or another, someone confessed to a change, so that this reunion could take place. A quick search of bro. Fry shows that he soon returned from London to Bournemouth, and he was a frequent speaker in neighboring ecclesias. He was often accompanied by bro. G. S. Sherry, who was the Recorder when bro. Fry was removed from fellowship. Bro. Growcott personally relayed to me that bro. Sherry was a very sound brother on the Nature and Sacrifice of Christ. How bro. Growcott knew this, I do not know. The recorder of Bournemouth when bro. Fry was brought back into fellowship was bro. J. Wilkinson. When the division took place in 1923, bro. Wilkinson separated from Temperance Hall and joined in the confederation of ecclesias which came to be known as the Bereans. That bro. Fry could have peacefully coexisted with these two brethren for 20 years would seem to me to indicate that bro. Fry must have admitted to a change in views when he returned to fellowship, and if the change had been insincere, he kept it well hidden.

Now we come to the articles themselves, published under the name "Echoes of Past Controversies" which I will shorten to "Echoes." Were the foundations for false doctrine cleverly laid in the articles? Yes, we see this quite clearly in retrospect. But the foundations of the truth are acknowledged and affirmed as well. These articles were a blending of truth with error. Would we have seen this had we been living at a time contemporary with bro. Fry? Or, knowing the proper context of the quotes he used, and knowing that they did not teach "Clean Flesh," would we have seen these quotes as bro. Fry's effort to maintain the balance so often missed on this subject, which was his public contention? Its always hard to correctly judge that question.

It is nearly 25 years after the death of bro. Roberts. Many brethren at this time, never knew him, or heard him speak. And so now comes a prominent brother, quoting him, and saying that he knew him, and this is what he taught! I find it no more unusual that bro. Fry commanded an audience this way, than I find it unusual that bro. Genusa's history receives some following today. If we go back to the 1960s, we find bro. Harry Whittaker and others lamenting the fellowship practices which required complete separation from error, in the "Victorian Age." But a lot of time has passed since then. Brethren don't know the true history of the time. And so bro. Genusa can get away with telling us that those lamenting the "iron curtains" of the past were wrong, and bre. Roberts and Thomas never set up such things.

Note that all the things bro. Genusa claims as error in "Echoes", are not, by themselves, error. (This is partly due to his poor selection, as there are clearly erroneous statements in "Echoes.") But for the most part, the quotes used by bro. Fry are almost all derived from statements by bre. Roberts or Thomas, and when properly understood in the context bre. Thomas and Roberts set out, they represent the truth. Those of us who have read "Out of Darkness into Light," or "A Defense" or any of the writings by Richard Stone, John Hensley, or John Martin are well conditioned to see through these arguments. But these brethren were doing this on the fly, experiencing this argument for the first time. Is it fair to judge them by our standards?

Also, quite different than modern "Partial Atonement" believers, bro. Fry's statements are also couched in statements that "Clean Flesh" and "Partial Atonement" advocates could never say. Most importantly of all, bro. Fry early on confirms the accuracy of bro. Thomas' statement that sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, had it not existed there. He affirms bro. Roberts statement that the declaration of God's righteousness was the condemning of the sin body on the cross. You cannot affirm "Clean Flesh" while affirming either of those positions. I don't personally agree with the detail bro. Fry brings out, but our objection to the teachings of the "Partial Atonement" has never been to what they teach, but rather to what they deny. Bro. Roberts, in "Questions and Questions," gives us this basis. He asks, In whatever sense Jesus bore our sins, did they not become his. And if his, did they not require an offering? I would conclude from "Echoes", that Bro. Fry would have answered this question, Yes. Here are some of his writing from "Echoes" setting forward the truth of our position, in opposition to that taken by modern "Clean Flesh" and "Partial Atonement" advocates.

"Unfortunately some brethren fix upon a particular class of quotations expressing one aspect of truth, and exclude others presenting another phase, whilst other brethren give their undivided attention to that aspect excluded by the former.

"Looking at the matter from these two angles is like looking at the two sides of the proverbial shield, and strife results because each interprets the one in a manner which excludes the other. Brethren quote extracts such as we have already referred to, showing that Christ was a partaker, by inheritance from Adam, of our sin-defiled and condemned nature : e.g., " Sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus it it had not existed there;" "his body was as unclean as the bodies of those for whom he died ; " and similar extracts which teach that Christ was cleansed from this inherited sin taint ; and redeemed from Adamic mortality in the process of death, resurrection, and immortalization.\

"Now all these are literal physical facts.But they are only part of the facts. There are other facts and figures to take into consideration. It is also a fact that God appointed the particular mode of Christ's death, that the ritual symbolism of the Mosaic law might converge, and be repeated in, the death of Christ, upon the I fundamental principle of sacrifice that ''the blood is the life" (Lev. xvii. 11-14). The first series of facts made Christ especially _ suitable as a subject of the ritual and ceremonial symbolism which his death was intended to exhibit. He was to be the "sin-bearer," to redeem others of the race from death ; and the fact that he inherited death as the consequence of sin. (not his own, but the sin of Adam—from the effects of which he had to redeem himself) made him the suitable representative of sinners, to bear away their actual transgressions in a ceremonial or ritual manner, or as expressed in literal language, provide a basis for the forgiveness of those who identified themselves with his sacrificial death or had died in faith under the old covenant. (Rom. vi. 2 ; Heb. ix. 15). When brethren look at Christ and seek to find in him personally the reason for the tragic event of Calvary, they take too narrow a view." [Emboldening Mine--JP) Mutual Magazine, 1922 pg 36

What "Clean Flesh" teacher will argue today, that bro. Thomas' statement that sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus. had it not existed there, was a "literal, physical fact," and "one aspect of the truth" of the matter? Bro. Fry did, showing he wasn't teaching "Clean Flesh" but urging tolerance for the "Clean Flesh" views already present in Temperance Hall Fellowship. Again he references bro. Thomas' statement, acknowledging that sin existed in Christ as a fact:

"The sin that was condemned in this ceremonial way is sin in the larger general sense. The sin-nature which Christ personally possessed, stood as representing sin in the abstract; just as he stood personally as the representation of transgressors. When Dr. Thomas said that " sin could not have been condemned in the body of Christ if it had not existed there," it by no means implies that it was only the sin that existed there that was condemned." [Emboldening Mine--JP] Mutual Magazine, 1922 pg 42.

Again, bro. Fry, acknowledges that sin existed in the body of Christ, and that it was condemned there. Bro. Fry, while downplaying its role in the current controversy (current to 1923,) never denies the physical aspect of sin. He writes:

"There was a time when it was needful to emphasize the physical aspect of sin, because it was this aspect that was ignored, but the pendulum swung to the other extreme. Undue prominence to this aspect has resulted in quite a mechanical view of justification, and sin bearing." [Emboldening mine--JP] 1922 Mutual Magazine pg 165

Modern "Partial Atonement" folks have no such thing as a physical aspect of sin. To them, the physical body "symbolizes" sin, and is not an aspect of sin. To them, sin is only moral. This is an important distinction bro. Fry never makes in this article.

Next, Bro. Genusa calls our attention to a debate, published in the Berean Magazine for December of 1923. Even then, it is apparent that bro. Fry is not yet showing his true colors, if they even were, at this time, his colors. He is not defending the Stricikler error. The report is that he in fact, is admitting that bro. Strickler's teaching is error, while arguing that Christadelphians should fellowship with error. It is two years later that bro. Fry either changes back to his 1898 position or shows what his true colors have been all along; (depending on your point of view) and admits to agreeing with bro. Strickler. In 1925 bro. Strickler tells the brethren that bro. Fry agrees with him, and bro. Fry confirms this. But by this time, the Berean confederation of ecclesias are having no fellowship with bro. Fry's meeting, which is continued in Temperance Hall Fellowship.

****

I find bro. Genusa's comments on the military question disconcerting. I recommend all brethren on military committees (I'm on the Berean Committee) familiarize yourself with bro. Genusa's arguments, for we may now be asked about this if and when the draft is reinstated. As you know, nothing on the web, once posted, can be undone. Who knows how the authorities may interpret bro. Genusa's criticisms, and what new questions and objections they may come up with as a result of his discussion.

The "Work of National Importance" program in Britain was the equivalent of our O2 status in the US. These are men drafted as other men in society are, but who serve in only a civilian capacity. We sometimes use the term CPS, meaning Civilian Public Service. On a web site dealing with conscientious objectors, a participant offered that during WW1, the largest participation in the "Work of National Importance" program were Christadelphians, with 1700 participants. I don't know where he got his figures. Bro. Jannaway was roundly thanked by Christadelphians, even by such as bro. Fry, for his participation in this program.

In 1916, when Britain instituted the draft, there were no conscientious objector programs. Britain's first response was to draft men, court marshal them, and imprison them. As a point of emphasis, the War Office shipped (I can't remember if it was 60 or 160) men to France with the intention of executing them as a warning to those who refused to fight for Britain. The War Office thought they could get away with this in France, but they couldn't. This program was exposed, and the men were brought back. The Work of National Importance program, then came into being. I don't know why bro. Jannaway contributed so much money. I've not found any indication that Churches were required to support those in the program. I do know, from my father's experience in WW II, that the brethren in these programs had no money, and often needed donations from the local brethren to even get to meetings. I discussed this program with bro. John Randell who was in it in Britain. He worked on a dairy farm. He was grateful for being in the country, away from people, as they were not friendly to young men who refused to fight for Britain.

Bro. Jannaway confesses to having made mistakes in the early stages of this program. He does not, to my knowledge, say what these were. I always felt they were technical things. Bro. Jannaway's actions, and his position on the draft was exactly what it should have been. Christadelphians then, and now, do not refuse the civilian programs set up by the government. We do refuse to participate in the legal systems, whether national (armed forces) or local (police forces/Special Constabulary).

* * * * *

On jury duty, Bereans take a different position than that publically stated by bro. Jannaway. There may be reasons for this which are not readily apparent. I have always understood that some of the reason for this difference is between the American and British court system. I have been told, and I've seen some research to back this up, that the British system required the jury to merely advise the judge. The judge listens to the opinion of the jurists and then renders his own decision. Some feel Christadelphians could do this, as they are not actually making a decision. In the American system, the judge cannot over rule the jury. He can set aside a juries' decision and call for a new trial, but the jury actually renders the decision. So Christadelphians cannot participate in the American system.

My experience with law, is that it is quite fluid, and apt to be different, not only from nation to nation, but from district to district within a nation. In researching divorce law in the United States, I was amazed at how little uniformity existed today, and this increases 100 fold as we go back in time. For instance, some districts, concerned with polygamy permitted a wife to divorce her husband if he simply converted to Mormonism. I doubt any reasonable amount of study will shed much light on why bro. Jannaway felt it was acceptable to sit on a jury.

* * * * *

I think it is fair to say that bro. Jannaway had a higher opinion of the legal system, than was spiritual. And, people change. He apparently once believed you could sue at law to recover a debt, but clearly changed from that position. And, isn't that the ultimate point? While all this wrangling over history is both enlightening and instructive, none of it changes the bottom line as to where the two fellowships are today. The Bereans today, obey the divine command to separate from error, and not give it standing among us. Central tolerates (indeed elevates) error in its ecclesias, and the errorists chase around and chase away those in Central who still hold fast to the Christadelphian faith. How we got to our respective places is interesting, but won't matter in the slightest at the judgment, when we are are personally asked why we, today, refused to obey a divine command.

Christadelphos

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Perpetuating the wrong.

Notwithstanding all efforts to correct bro Genusa's misperceptions of Berean Christadelphians - and these endeavors have been many - his site continues to perpetuate the same old misrepresentations and false accusation. He continues to add more. Such has become so chronically blatant and bizarre that he's lost the interest of some of the very brethren and sisters that he's been trying to reach.  









JimPhillips

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I'm sure you are correct Christadelphos.

But human nature being what it is, those of a mind to disobey divine precept, are always looking for an excuse to justify them doing so. Bro. Genusa enables this class, and they credit him for it.  I'm afraid that gate will always swing both ways.  It takes personal discernment to determine where obedience lies.
Christadelphos

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H.J.E. (Harry) Fry

H. Fry was baptized in 1891 and was a member of the Bournemouth ecclesia.  He was later withdrawn from for proclaiming "the doctrine that Jesus was not in a position requiring to offer himself as a sacrifice to secure his own redemption, that the sacrifice of Christ was required only to effect the salvation of actual transgressors. Jesus being no transgressor, for himself, his sacrifice was not needed." (The Christadelphian, January 1898, p 218).

In 1899 Bournemouth commended him to - and he was received into fellowship by -  the South London ecclesia. By 1900 he was back in fellowship with Bournemouth.  There he remained continuously active in the Temperance Hall (Central) group until his death in 1950.  (The Christadelphian February 1899, pp 80-81; June 1900, p 259, et al; 1950 p122.)

In the following from The Christadelphian,  Editor CCW allows H. Fry to refute Frank Jannaway’s booklet Lest We Forget,  Edwin Hill and George Waite to defend A.D. Strickler with "a final word," adds some "practical words" of his own, and then terminates the correspondence.  All of these brethren (Jannaway excepted) proved to be supporters of AD Strickler. Though H. Fry was still being somewhat coy about his beliefs, eventually he showed his true colors, as bro Jim states in his above post.


THE CHRISTADELPHIAN

(He is not ashamed to call them brethren.— Heb. 2:11 .)

September, 1923



“Lest We Forget”

Brother F. G. Jannaway has issued under this title a booklet, to which a letter in this issue from brother H. Fry, of Bournemouth, is a reply. We shall not forget brother Jannaway’s good works, of which we cannot consider this booklet one. It is a good thing to remember the goodness of God; but it is not good to “sow discord among brethren” in the raking up of their alleged sins and shortcomings. If we have anything more to say on this matter it will probably be in the form of a brief epitome of what we have said and done during and since the war. We shall endeavour to keep The Christadelphian as clear as possible of such matters.

“LEST WE FORGET”

 

The following letter represents an “outside judgment” on brother F. G. Jannaway’s latest essay. By “outside judgment” we mean “outside” both Birmingham and London.

 

89, Hankinson Road ,

 

Winton ,

 

Bournemouth .

 

August 19 th , 1923.

 

Dear Brother Jannaway ,—I duly received your little book, Lest We Forget , and presume it will not now be necessary to return the typed copy you sent me earlier.

 

I regret its publication. In my judgment you raise an entirely false issue in reverting to the military question. Let each issue be judged upon its own basis, and its own importance. Few I am sure would disagree with you now upon the question of the R.A.M.C. and Constabulary, or to try to minimise the value of your services in the past. But as you admitted to me when you were last here, we all had to gain experience in the early stages, and in the attainment of the necessary information your valuable help will never be forgotten, and however much we may differ on other matters, I hope will always be appreciated.

 

Brother C. C. Walker himself, when he realised what Constabulary service involved, honestly withdrew his previous reply to one of our local brethren as “A wrong answer” (see The Christadelphian , 1917, p. 557).

 

As a result of gaining the same knowledge, on my own behalf and on behalf of others I resolutely refused Constabulary service when before the Tribunals.

 

The real issue on this question, therefore, is not one of principle but method , and I cannot follow you in your judgment (or, as I view it, your mis-judgment) of the Birmingham dispute.

 

From all the welter of words the salient facts appear to me as follows:—

 

1.—That John Bright Street brethren withdrew from Temperance Hall first (brother Viner Hall’s admission in The Master’s Household is: “We have not been in fellowship with the Temperance Hall brethren since our withdrawal from them on April 5 th , 1919.”—See July, p. 7).

 

The Temperance Hall withdrawal from John Bright Street in October, 1919, was therefore necessitated to regularise their position, and was only done after inviting them to return.

 

2.—That the Temperance Hall strengthened their position and withdrew from a constable brother.

 

3.—That brethren Pearce and Davis do not advocate joining the Constabulary, and would not do so themselves, but would not under the special circumstances which prevailed vote for withdrawal.

 

The charges against Temperance Hall (and brother C. C. Walker in particular) appear to me therefore to be untrue.

 

The action of the brethren in declining to vote for withdrawal only indicates a difference of judgment as to what course was necessary to uphold Christ’s command. It also appears to me that the charges against the Temperance Hall ( if sound ) would be equally applicable to your own meeting, in view of the fact that you have for some time had a constable in your fellowship, and have also fellowshipped other meetings where there are such.

 

If the sin consists not only in using violence or taking the oath, but also in merely being a member of the Police Force, then constables ought not to be received into fellowship, or immersed, until they have resigned, as they would still be “living in sin.” This is entirely in opposition to the principle you lay down in Practical Words ( The Christadelphian , 1896, p. 43). If it is merely being “ in the Force ” that constitutes the sin, then Clapham has been more “unfaithful” than Birmingham, for the Temperance Hall withdrew from a constable whilst Clapham retained one.

 

Then again there is your own case. You charge Temperance Hall with “unfaithfulness” in “harbouring those who do not unreservedly accept their basis” (p. 26).

 

You have been for many years in disagreement with the Temperance Hall Constitution on the question of “recovery of debts by legal coercion.” You certainly did not “ unreservedly accept their basis,” and although this was known to brother Roberts and others, you never charged them with “ unfaithfulness ” in receiving you.

 

If brother C. C. Walker is unfaithful now, brother R. Roberts was then. Yet you condemn the one and condoned the other.

 

Your own ecclesia has been equally “unfaithful” in tolerating you, in view of the fact that many of them knew it, and yet interpret Christ’s commands on this point in accordance with the Temperance Hall basis.

 

As to the A. D. Strickler case and the “clean flesh” cry, I have proved from personal investigation that this is a mere “bogey.” Brother A. D. Strickler, in his much-condemned pamphlet, Out of Darkness into Light , says, “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God” (p. 13); “God’s commands run contrary to the mind of the flesh;” and of Christ he says, “Christ had the same flesh or nature that in all others save himself sinned” (p. 84). No one can read the section, “The mind of the flesh,” and honestly say that brother A. D. Strickler advocates “clean flesh” as a fact . He may not be a very clear writer, and is inclined perhaps to object to phrases because of their wrong use, instead of correctly explaining them. Hence he says, “The phrases, ‘clean flesh’ and ‘unclean flesh” are nowhere to be found in the Bible, and therefore I refrain from their use ” (Reply to brother Dowling, p. 6).

 

Still he accepts the fact that “human nature is an evil nature” (p. 26), and this is all Dr. Thomas meant by the phrase “unclean.” He is nearer the truth than some of his critics who fail to distinguish the essential difference in the primary and secondary uses of the word “sin,” so clearly defined by Dr. Thomas in Elpis Israel (p. 113, Ed. 7).

 

Brother Roberts taught that as far as Christ was personally concerned, “without setting aside the fact that he partook of our mortal nature, and was redeemed from death because of his obedience. . . . ‘For himself’ it was unnecessary that he should have been nailed to the tree, except as part of the obedience the Father required at his hands. It was ‘for us’ he was thus slain” ( The Christadelphian , 1873, p. 554, and 1894, p. 467).

 

Again in the Andrew Debate, speaking of Christ’s sacrificial death, in answer to question No. 284, “Did Christ require to die for himself?” he replied, “In view of the work he came to do, yes; but if there had been himself only, No.”

 

Again, No. 406: “Does it not teach that the sin nature, which in the first instance has no moral guilt, requires bloodshedding in order that it may be cleansed or justified?” Answer: “Bloodshedding is never spoken of except in connection with actual sin .” Brother Strickler’s great “offence,” in the eyes of some, appears to be that he reiterates this teaching of brother Roberts. At least he is in good company.

 

If it demands withdrawal why was it not demanded in the case of brother Roberts? Instead of that you patted him on the back and encouraged him (see The Christadelphian , 1894, p. 302).

 

I am therefore compelled to regard your condemnation of the Temperance Hall as unjust and illogical, and (whilst you condemn in others what you have allowed in yourselves) approaching the hypocritical, No doubt many are sincere and honestly misled as to the issue and its importance, but on review of facts, as distinct from the war of words, I cannot regard your condemnation of the Temperance Hall ecclesia as justifiable.

 

Sincerely regretting the deplorable state of inter-ecclesial affairs, and with earnest desire for the Lord’s speedy return to settle all differences.

 

With fraternal regards,

 

Yours in the anointed,

 

H. Fry .

“PRACTICAL WORDS” OF LONG AGO

 

Brother F. G. Jannaway writes to say that he does not “go to law to recover debts by legal coercion.” No one says he does; and we are all glad he does not. But he himself says he did once . And he says this in print, and in the pages of this magazine. The following is taken verbatim from The Christadelphian for October, 1898, p. 422, and was inserted by the late editor, brother R. Roberts, in this, the very last issue that he edited. The article is one of a series of letters headed “Practical Words to Practical People.”

 

“On the principle that one fact is worth a score of theories, let me sum up my own experience by reciting one fact. Up till about nine or ten years ago, I felt free to use the law in the recovery of debts. Having changed my mind, I in a leisure hour was curious to ascertain what I was losing as the result of my determination. Briefly—one year’s bookkeeping showed that, after payment of court fees and other incidental out-of-pocket expenses, the balance to my credit was within a fraction of one sovereign! Not sufficient to pay for loss of time attending the court; nothing for worry and trouble; and, the debts owing me practically as they were before I sued, in fact worse, because, having handed them over to the law, I was prohibited from personally applying to the defendants. Whereas, experience has abundantly proved that better, and more profitable results are to be obtained by keeping in touch with the debtors and persistently applying to them. Yes, our Saviour’s advice respecting the law was not only godly, but commercially profitable. A worldly reason for being godly , it may be said. Yes, in a sense; but not a whit the less godly. God has approved the reason—“Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is , and of that which is to come”—a truth calculated to shame those “complainers” who talk as though our calling only possessed drawbacks so far as this life is concerned, whereas Paul’s statement shows that even now our God and Father is pouring down blessings upon us—“filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Realising such to be so, and for a thousand reasons, I gladly subscribe myself, your fellow debtor to God and His dear Son, Frank G. Jannaway .”

 

Brother Fry’s point on p. 418 of our last issue was this:—Since R.R. “tolerated in charity” for several years F.G.J. with this “reservation,” he too ought to tolerate in charity his “fellow debtor,” C.C.W., in such “reservations” as he may think attach to him. These cannot include the particular point in question; for the present editor, like his predecessor, has never “felt free to use the law in the recovery of debts,” and has suffered accordingly, to the extent of much more than “one sovereign.”

 

We commend to the attention of our brother his letter No. 3 in The Christadelphian , 1896, pp. 43–47, with special reference to his past and present interpretations of 1 Cor. 7:20–24 . In this passage the “freedom” in question was to be obtainable at the discretion of the “slave.” Paul did not direct the Corinthians to require the slave to obtain it on pain of excommunication!

 

With reference to the quotation, in the last-named letter, of John the Baptist’s advice to the soldiers: “Be content with your wages. Do violence to no man,” we may say that we have just stumbled across the late editor’s reference to the case of Cornelius ( Acts 10 .) in The Christadelphian , 1873, p. 236. It arose out of the case of an interested soldier at Devonport. [“Cornelius was in the same position, yet was immersed, and so far as we know, abode in the calling wherein he was called, in which, however, as an obedient disciple, he would do nothing forbidden by the Lord. If a man can be free it is better ( 1 Cor. 7:21 ), but if he cannot, let him like a certain believer of whom we heard during the Civil War in America, who, being drafted, marched but never fought, and came out of the war unhurt.”— Editor .] The present editor, fifty years afterwards, finds himself excommunicated by many for alleged “views” which they tolerated gladly in his predecessor. It is a crooked world! But the Lord is coming to straighten it out.

 

BROTHER STRICKLER’S BELIEF: A FINAL WORD

 

Whereas, brother A. D. Strickler’s answers to questions which were published in April Christadelphian , page 180, have been variously commented upon, and in some cases have been considered insufficient to meet the cleavage among certain ecclesias;

 

In view of this, we, the undersigned, have further taken up the matter with him, and discussed all the features of his case together, and our conclusions are as follows:—

 

1.—( a ) We find his position is the same as when he published in The Christadelphian “The Buffalo Statement,” 1902, and in perfect harmony with the position taken up by C. C. Walker and H. Sulley in their reply to the Chicago ecclesia at the time in relation to the nature of man, the sacrifice of Christ, and the objects in baptism, when at this time his opposition to the Andrew-Williams theory was generally approved by the Household and The Christadelphian .

 

( b ) That of late years he has perceived a growing tendency in the Brotherhood toward the heresy then refuted, i.e. , “That we and Christ, by descent from Adam are morally involved in Adamic Sin; that Christ and we needed an atoning sacrifice for “Justification from Adamic Sin,” “Sin in the flesh,” etc., etc. This line of teaching he strongly objects to.

 

( c ) That he wrote his pamphlet, Out of Darkness into Light , and his “Defence,” to thwart this tendency of imposing on the brethren ideas that would lead them to believe that we and Christ are guilty in any way for Original Sin and to direct their attention to Dr. Thomas’ and R. Roberts’ teachings thereon.

 

We find his position to be as follows:—

 

2.—That he never believed Christ had a free life, nor does he now, and never intended to convey such an idea.

 

2.—He has always, and does now, believe man is mortal because of sin, and subject to death by physical, not moral, inheritance from Adam.

 

4.—He believes, to teach that the guilt of Adam’s sin is extended to us by inheritance, is foolishness and error to be rejected.

 

5.—He believes that it is by God’s decree that man is mortal. God’s wrath is not against mankind on that account but for wickedness of their own. God’s wrath was against Adam personally. We only are subject to the physical effects of that.

 

6.—He believes there is only one kind of human nature styled scripturally “the flesh,” and “one flesh of men,” that this has come to us by inheritance from Adam under condemnation to death.

 

7.—He believes the nature of Jesus was the same as ours, scripturally stated “as concerning the flesh Christ came,” suffering with us all disabilities of our nature from Adam because of sin.

 

8.—He believes that since Jesus “was faithful to Him that appointed him,” he thereby became entitled to and secured his own redemption from the death which has passed on all men because of sin.

 

9.—He believes that therefore Christ died for himself only to obtain deliverance from death and for us also that he might be endowed with power to redeem us from sinful flesh, mortality or death nature.

 

10.—He believes that redemption is not atonement for or forgiveness of Adamic Alienation, Adamic Sin, Adamic Sentence, but physically considered is being taken out of one order or condition of being into another, styled by Paul “This corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality.” Christ the firstfruits in this regard, and we afterwards so that we may rejoice together.

 

11.—The believes that as moral creatures we have no moral concern in being sin’s flesh, sinful flesh or “sin in the flesh.” That these expressions are scriptural ones denoting only that we are mortal because of Adam’s sin. Being “made sinners” means nothing more than being descendants of Adam.

 

12.—He rejects the teaching of being justified from Adamic Alienation as unscriptural, but believes all in Adam are alien to the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the Covenents of Promise, and without hope in them.

 

13.—He believes we are commanded to cease being alienated to them, and to lay hold of God’s Covenant confirmed in Christ’s blood, by faith and obedience in baptism and for remission of personal sins.

 

14.—He believes that “Atonement” in Christ is the means God has given us whereby we may come before God seeking justification from our own sins that are past, “through the forbearance of God,” even Christ Jesus whom God has set forth “a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past” ( Rom. 3:25 ). So that Christ may present us faultless before the presence of God’s glory with exceeding joy ( Jude 24 ), thus entitling us at that time to receive also, as he did, immortality.

 

15.—He has endeavoured to teach that Christ in character was spotless, and in this sense was a clean thing; and where He says, “God exacted the price of redemption and that price was not an unclean thing,” is to be taken as meaning that God had purposed to grant redemption for perfect righteousness, this being the price so to speak Christ tendered on his own behalf for his redemption and our forgiveness of sins in his name.

 

16.—He believes Christ was the bearer of our sinful nature physically, and that Christ was a sin bearer of our sins in sacrifice only precisely as Dr. Thomas recites, “In the Mosaic and Christian Systems the unsinning victim is regarded as a sinner in the sense of being a sin bearer,” and that he never intended to convey literal sin bearing or substitution. See his “Defense,” page 29–30, and further that whatever Christ did must be understood to be for us not instead of us.

 

17.—We find brother Strickler to be in all respects a firm believer in all the truths recited in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith, without reservation, and that he repudiates all accusations against him of being a believer in Free Life or Clean Flesh or Substitution.

 

18.—We respectfully submit to our brethren everywhere the above as covering all the fundamental truths involved in the present divergence of views concerning brother Strickler, and that they be accepted as fitting assurance on his behalf, and so let this be the end of the strife.

 

( Signed ) George Waite .

 

Edwin Hill .

 

I have read and approved of the above.

 

( Signed ) Allen D. Strickler .

 

Buffalo, August 20 th , 1923.

 

[This correspondence is closed.— Ed. , C .]


***

DEATH OF BRO. H. FRY

Bro. C. Morgan (Bournemouth) notifies the death of bro. H. J. E. Fry on March 8, at the age of 76. He was baptized in Bournemouth over 58 years ago.

“Bro. Fry (writes bro. Morgan) was deeply respected and loved in the Bournemouth ecclesia, and we have a sense of great personal loss in his falling asleep. He was associated with the work of the Truth here in the early years of the ecclesia, and it is impossible to say how much, under the good hand of God, we owe to his labours. He had been actively engaged in the Truth’s service for almost the whole of his time in the meeting. His willing ministrations, and his kindly help and encouragement for young speakers have been of immense service to the cause of the Truth in Bournemouth. He was beloved and respected for his unfailing loyalty and service not only in Bournemouth but also in other ecclesias. During the last three years or so, in failing health and finding increasing difficulty in walking to his seat in the Hall, his very presence at the meeting has been an encouragement and an inspiration. We thank God for his valiant work and for his example of faith.”

Bournemouth Intelligence in The Christadelphian of Oct., 1891, records the baptism of “Harry Fry, one of our Sunday School scholars, the son of bro. Fry”, on Aug. 6.

The Christadelphian : Volume 87. 1950.

 [EDITS COMPLETED 9/17/2014]

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Brother Jannaway's response concerning H Fry.

From The Berean Christadelphian, September 1923:

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Bro Denney's response regarding H Fry.

From The Berean Christadelphian, December 1923:


Debate with brother H. Fry of Bournemouth.

We were lately informed by bro. A.D. Strickler that bro. Fry agreed with his views.

We also heard from bro. Fry recently to the effect that bro. Strickler was misunderstood, and he was prepared to demonstrate that bro. Strickler was sound in the faith.

By the courtesy of bro. J.B. Handley, of Southsea, a meeting was arranged of a “conversational” character (in view of our weakness in the flesh) for Saturday, November 17th, at Southsea.

The meeting was attended by sister Graham who is with us, and a number of members of the Portsmouth ecclesia.

We personally invited bro. Corder of the Marmion Terrace meeting to attend, but two members of that meeting were refused admission by bro. Handley on the ground that sister Corder had been withdrawn from for breaking the commandments of Christ some little time ago, and these supported her. We think they should have been admitted; no harm could have resulted, but probably good.

Bro. Fry’s main contention was for liberty of thought and expression. He maintained that bro. Strickler’s views were not such as to merit withdrawal from him.

When we produced evidence of gross unsoundness from bro. Strickler’s books, A Defence, and Out of Darkness into Light, bro. Fry, again and again, admitted that he could not defend such views.

Finally, the discussion resolved itself into the very simple question— Should brethren who hold unsound views be continued in fellowship? We answered, No! Bro. Fry answered, Yes.

Lovers of the Truth will therefore give a wide berth to the Bournemouth “open-door” Ecclesia at Alma Road, and seek the fellowship of bro. Wilkinson.

(G.H.D.)

[Comment: Bro Wilkinson became the contact for the Berean Christadelphian ecclesia in Bournemouth. Bro H Fry remained in the Bournemouth Temperance Hall ecclesia wherein Stricklerism was tolerated and ultimately embraced.]


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