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broBW

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Reply with quote  #91 
Of Logos Fellowship Practice

Bro HPM reported that he was once asked why he did not leave Central. His reply, published in the Logos, was something to the effect that he remained because nothing would make the wolves happier than to see him leave. Perhaps he enumerated other reasons as well, but this particular one I recall because a few of us followed his rationale while in another group.

This may or may not be among bro G. Mansfield's reasons for his ongoing fellowship practice. However, the HPM rationale is still extant in certain quarters of both the Central and Advocate groups. Having once been in this MO, I can both understand and appreciate their approach, but only to a point. The problem becomes one of non-closure. Fellowship problems are talked to death and ultimately the Apostolic commandments concerning withdrawal are allowed to languish. There's nothing Biblical about that.

We know it is asserted by some in Central that they are either not currently in fellowship with others in Central or that they were never in fellowship with them to begin with. This makes absolutely no sense. How can ecclesias say they are members of the Central Fellowship;  how can other ecclesias say they are members of the same Central Fellowship, yet not be in fellowship one with another? It is a very large contradiction.

The Central Fellowships would be a fitting appellation for what actually transpires, that is, several mini-fellowships or groups operating independently, instead the same operating under a single banner that does not match the practice.

When one reads or hears "The Berean Christadelphian Fellowship," rest assured that it means what it says and says what it means. Brethren and sisters in our community may fellowship at any of our ecclesias worldwide. There is no such thing with us as "at the door" fellowship. Yes, there is a very small group that uses the same name as we. They left our fellowship some years ago. There is nothing that can be done about that at the moment. However, unlike the Central, neither they nor we claim to be operating in the same Fellowship, likeness of name notwithstanding. (It may not be generally known that among some, one is euphemistically styled, The Ecclesial News Group and the other as The Real Bereans.)

I am truly sorry that the Central is unable to be of one mind; that they cannot seem to arrive at a consensus that would result in a cessation of fellowship of both individuals and ecclesias in their group who promulgate and wink at error.

If a group is going to call themselves a Fellowship, then they need to be a true fellowship, and not one in name only.


-BW

Final edits 5 am 6/1/09



JimPhillips

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Case # 17

This is another article which is clearly just a filler, such as we have previously explained.  It is half a paragraph, excerpted from a much larger article, and placed in the magazine to occupy space, and deliver an important warning, or thought.  It is merely an observation  by bro. Thomas concerning individuals who come into contact with the truth.  There is a class who loves the truth, and are willing to stand with it.  There is also a class which is uncomfortable with a straight forward presentation of the truth, and who squirm when the truth is boldly presented.

The article itself occurred in the Herald for February, 1855, under the title, "The Gospel of the Kingdom and the Baptists 200 Years Ago."  It was a commentary on the fact that the Baptists of bro. Thomas' day would not recognize as brethren, those who founded their faith.

In explaining his objection, bro. Genusa writes:

I don't cite this example as an example of doctrinal modification per-say but rather of the habit of presenting unnoted but altered pioneer writings as if they were the actual writings of the pioneers.

Well, bro. Genusa has already admitted that there was NO doctrinal modification throughout the booklet.  So why he is bringing it up here, as if there was, is baffling.  But his objection that this is offered as if it was the actual writings of the pioneers is even more baffling.  It is the actual writings of a pioneer, bro. Thomas. 

The article, and even the paragraph from which it is taken is quite long and not relevant to our discussion.  I will compare only the quote itself.

"CRY ALOUD AND SPARE NOT!"

LIFT up thy voice like a trumpet, and show the people their transgressions, and the sons of Belial their sins ! I never heard a man yet, thoroughly imbued with the truth and a love of it, cry out against a hearty and uncompromising castigation of error, as bitter and too severe. Where men's faith is weak, and their minds are full of uncertainty, and they are conscious that their own deeds will not bear the light, you find them full of "charity," and sensitively fearful of the truth being too plainly spoken, All their sympathies are with the corrupters and transgressors of the word. They don't want their feelings hurt, lest it should do harm! The fact is, they don't  want the truth too plainly demonstrated, lest it should make them unpopular; or they should be themselves obliged to defend that of which they were not fully assured....

...Cry aloud, and spare not; lilt up thy voice like a trumpet, and show the people their transgressions, and the sons of Belial their sins ! I never heard a man yet, thoroughly imbued with the truth and a love of it, cry out against a hearty and uncompromising castigation of error, as bitter and too severe. Where men's faith is weak, and their minds are full of uncertainty, and they are conscious that their own deeds will not bear the light, you find them full of "charity," and sensitively fearful of the truth being too plainly spoken, All their sympathies are with the feelings of the corrupters and transgressors of the word. They don't want their feelings hurt, lest it should do harm! The fact is, they don't  want the truth too plainly demonstrated, lest it should make them unpopular; or they should be themselves obliged to defend that of which they were not fully assured....

You will note one minor edit in the piece, which was probably removed as a redundancy.

broBW

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Quote:
One Berean says, "If a group is going to call themselves a Fellowship, then they need to be a true fellowship, and not one in name only."

What various brethren might do does not dictate what truth is. Check the Scriptures and see if it isn't so. Truth is truth whether Bereans, or non-Bereans, admit it. Does your definition of "a true fellowship" exclude Scripturally qualified brethren? If so then your Fellowship is not Scriptural fellowship. Quit viewing fellowship as the apostasy does, and start thinking like a disciple of Christ. -SG

1. An interesting spin on my words. Checking the Scriptures, we find that someone who is something in name only is not a good thing. 

2. John teaches that our fellowship one with another is predicated upon walking in the light as the Deity is in the light. This is our only true fellowship and it excludes no brethren and sisters who walk therein.

3. With respect to the last sentence, I cannot decide if this is either  argumentum ad hominem or a gibe to get both my attention as well as the bystanders'.  It matters not. The epithethical characterization is incorrect.



STEVEPHS

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Quote:
   What various brethren might do does not dictate what truth is. Check the Scriptures and see if it isn't so. Truth is truth whether Bereans, or non-Bereans, admit it. Does your definition of "a true fellowship" exclude Scripturally qualified brethren? If so then your Fellowship is not Scriptural fellowship. Quit viewing fellowship as the apostasy does, and start thinking like a disciple of Christ. -SG   


Bro Roberts says "The Truth has gradually emerged from the fables in which for centuries it had been lost, and only an inexorable policy on the part of those receiving it will preserve it from a recurrence of the disaster which drove it from among men shortly after the days of the Apostles".  My Days and My Ways.

Let bro SG note that our duty is to "preserve" truth.   If we do not in faithfulness to the Apostolic commands stand aside from error, then in what way are we preserving truth?    He is in fellowship supporting those from whom bro Roberts withdrew in 1885, he is in fellowship with those who failed to act from 1917 to 1923 over the A.D. Strickler issue, and he is in a fellowship which supports re-union which is always based on compromise.   Bro Growcott wrote a sterling article on re-union always based on compromise.   Compromise-of-truth and preservation-of-truth cannot go together!   Where would bro SG have stood in 1885, with bro Roberts or with Suffolk Street?   Where would he have stood in 1923 - with A.D Stricker or with the Bereans?  One brother recentlly said to me that if it wasn't for the swift action of Bro Roberts in withdrawing from Robert Ashcroft, Christadelphia in all probability would not have an inspired Bible today!

Bro Thomas in Elpis Israel says "Believe the truth for its own sake, and obey it; and if you stand alone, be of good courage; I have tried it for many years, and can assure you from experience, that there is more real satisfaction in knowing, and being able to prove, the truth, and in contending single-handed for it, than in all the honor and enjoyment derivable from the applause of men, or the abundance of the world's goods a man may possess.

Bro Steve Male
STEVEPHS

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Removed by the poster on the request of local Central brethren

broBW

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Of bro Genusa's Questions

As indicated earlier, I would examine bro Genusa's questions to us. For those of you who may not be following his site these are:

Quote:
I have asked the Bereans to answer four questions. If Berean claims are true, they should be able to easily answer these questions. I have created a special place to post the answers which I hope are forthcoming:

Please provide at a minimum answers for 1 through 3:

1) A single quote from the pioneer writings which indicates the pioneer brethren advocated and practiced Fellowship unions of mortal ecclesias.

2) A single quote which gives us the name of the mortal Fellowship union which brother Thomas and brother Roberts established and broke bread with.

3) A single quote that gives us the name of the Statement of Faith that their union of mortal ecclesias used as their basis of fellowship.

4) Any series of quotes that demonstrates the pioneer brethren made all the Clauses of the Berean Restatement a matter of fellowship.


In keeping with his minimum request, I offer the following:

With respect to "the pioneer brethren," brother Roberts uses the word "union," or "unions" in  two ways - one positive, the other negative. These are excerpts from the original 1883 Guide:

First the positive. Example 1:

42. -- Ecclesias in Relation One to Another.

                                        If a careful attention is given to these reasonable rules of procedure between one ecclesia and another, there will be little danger of disagreement. The bond of union is the reception of the one faith, and submission to the commandments of the Lord. It is nothing less than a calamity when rupture on secondary issues sets in, where these other conditions of union exist. It is not only calamitous, but sinful somewhere.

Now, the negative. Example 2:

44. -- Fraternal Gatherings from Various Places.

                                        These are beneficial when restricted to purely spiritual objects (i.e., let the brethren assemble anywhere from anywhere, and exhort, or worship, or have social intercourse together); but they become sources of evil if allowed to acquire a legislative character in the least degree. Ecclesial independence should be guarded with great jealousy, with the qualifications indicated in the foregoing sections. To form "unions" or "societies" of ecclesias, in which delegates should frame laws for the individual ecclesias, would be to lay the foundation of a collective despotism which would interfere with the free growth and the true objects of ecclesial life...


In reading through the overall context in which bro Genusa's questions appear, though I could be misunderstanding him, he seems to be asserting that we are more like the latter (example 2) than the former (example 1).

If this is the case, then his questions cannot be answered because he is attempting to define us as something we are not, and then asking us to defend it.

JimPhillips

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Quote:

Does your definition of "a true fellowship" exclude Scripturally qualified brethren?



Does anyone know for sure what bro. Genusa means when he says that?  What qualifies a man for fellowship is that he knows the truth, and walks in harmony with what he knows. 

Now, we have withdrawn from Central because of the error in their midst which is well documented on bro. Genusa's own web site.  He identifies his ecclesia as a Central ecclesia.  How are we wrong, then, in withdrawing from bro. Genusa and his ecclesia?  If he identifies himself with error, why shouldn't we separate from him?  And why should we not consider one who identifies himself with error, as an errorist?

Now, he says that in spite of his ecclesia's official declarations, he doesn't fellowship the error in Central, nor does he fellowship with those who fellowship error.  I think this is good.  I have in the past, and still do commend him for his efforts. 

It would seem to me, then, that what he is recommending as a fellowship practice, is a fellowship within a fellowship.  Many ecclesias exist under one big umbrella called "Central."  Some he will fellowship with.  Some he will not. 

Now, so far as I understand, he is not willing to explain how this separation is maintained, and I am quite skeptical that such a separation can actually exist.  His answer to bro. BW in this regard, is essentially that it is none of our business how this is maintained.  I'm OK with that and I hope it all works out well for him.  But he can't realistically tell us that we are wrong not to fellowship him, while he maintains that who else he fellowships, is none of our business.

But lets suppose, for a minute, that he can attain this separation, while remaining in Central.  What then would we be doing, that he's not doing, which would call for our condemnation in the terms he uses?  We are in fact separated from error of Central.  He would be de facto separated from the error in Central.  What would be the difference in our position?

Is anyone else starting to get the feeling, that Divorce and Remarriage is playing a greater role in this, than previously recognized?  My impression (whether accurate or not, I can't say) is that most of the "fellowship within a fellowship" ecclesias of Central deny the Exceptive Clause.  I believe bro. Genusa's ecclesia does as well.  Yet bro. Genusa, does not deny the EC, or so it would seem from his former association with Viner Hall.  (The Bereans are separated from Viner Hall, due to their belief that one can sue at law for divorce, which the Bereans deny; but both groups believe and practice the Exceptive Clause.)  I'm starting to wonder if this whole fuss is about the conflict bro. Genusa personally has, in not fitting in very well with his fellowship within a fellowship.  His condemnation of Bereans on a different ground then places him in good stead with his associates who condemn us for our practice of the EC. 
JimPhillips

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No, because he will not fellowship Scripturally qualified or sound brethren from the Unamended community if they walk in his ecclesia because they have not accepted the BASF!



Its an excellent point, Antipas, and I think a fundamental reason why the brethren like bro. Genusa and G. Mansfield cannot set down their position/practice/belief to writing.   Anything they write down which would convict us, convicts themselves as well. 
 
For instance, they can't set down the principles of Vertical Fellowship to paper, because the logic takes you back to the Catholic Church.  Most (although I've met one Central sister here in Austin, who claimed she didn't go to the Catholic Church because they wouldn't have her) draw the line somewhere, way before they think they can attend Mass, though if fellowship is only between God and Christ and the individual, it shouldn't matter.
 
Parable of the Tares has the same problem.  If only the angels can separate the wheat from the tares, then "St." Augustine was correct, and they should be back in the Catholic Church with the tares. 
 
Once you admit a line has to be drawn in fellowship, you have to draw it with only those you agree with in your fellowship, or your logic will break down somewhere. 
 
It necessarily grows out of that, that who you are willing to fellowship with, is itself, a question of obedience, and therefore a test of fellowship.

fhigham

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Reply with quote  #99 

In the early years following the separation from the “Temperance Hall” (Central) group there were some “Bereans” who objected to being labeled “Bereans” as that was the name of the magazine and not the group. The term “Berean Fellowship” was likewise not accepted by some, including the editors, through 1934, as has been noted. After 1936, however, the use of the term “Berean Fellowship” appears throughout The Berean Magazine up to the present time. As has been noted before, the Temperance Hall group was not known as Central until the early 1930’s.

Bro. Fred J. Higham

JimPhillips

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As you point out, the name is irrelevant.  There were in those days, ecclesias who separated from all ecclesias which maintained a relationship with Temperance Hall.  Some wanted to simply maintain the name "Christadelphian" and allow the confusion already in existence over that name, to become worse. 

Identification with the Berean magazine was easy, and was quickly adopted by friends and enemies alike.  This was simpler (and frankly more civil) than previous divisions where both sides claimed the name Christadelphians, to much confusion, and then each side gave the other unpopular names.  Names such as "No-willists" or "Unionists" or "Anglo-Israelites" were foisted upon the new fellowships, who called themselves Christadelphians.  Even some (not all) ecclesias separated in the Dowie and Turney divisions continued to call themselves Christadelphians after the divisions, (and obviously some called themselves by other names, such as "Baptized Believers" or "Nazarites."  The name "Baptized Believers" actually preceded the division.)  Some of these separated ecclesias sent correspondance to bro.Roberts as Christadelphian ecclesias, but this was refused.  But, what can you do about names? 

As bro. Thomas said to those who objected to the name Christadelphian, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  The name is irrelevant.  The principles upon which we meet are what is important, or "sweet."

The important point is that even those separating in 1923 who wanted to continue to be simply known as Christadelphians, would refuse to meet with Temperance Hall, or with any other ecclesia that would meet in fellowship with Temperance Hall.  The bickering was over a name, not over a principle.
JimPhillips

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Some exceprts relevant to the previous post.
 
Quote:

Dalkeith--Since the Renunciationist schism three years ago, Dalkeith has been in the wrong fellowship. Items of intelligence have been sent to the Christadelphian once or twice, but were not used till a right position should be taken. This has been to the grief of some, who now write as follow:

The brethren forming the Dalkeith ecclesia, have now learned experimentally the truth of our Lord’s saying, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ We have at last arrived at a unity of faith in regard to the nature of Christ, and wish it to be distinctly understood that we can no longer fellowship any one holding what is known as ‘Renunciationism. Chdn 1877:91


If there is no such thing as fellowships, how was Dalkieth in the wrong one, according to bro. Roberts?
Two more articles addressing splits, the second one noting that all the splits still call themselves Christadelphians, giving the impression that Christadelphianism is all split up.
G. A.—It is not true that “Christadelphianism” has split up several times in 30 years. It has, during all that time, been unchanged and undivided, and is at this moment what it was in the beginning. What has happened is this: Various persons have embraced it who were previously unconnected with it, and who, after a time, for lack of understanding or stability, have wanted to change its principles on some point or other. Those who had understanding would not consent to the proposed changes, and the innovators have had to depart. You may think this is the same thing, but it is by no means the same thing. “Christadelphianism” does not consist of the persons who may at one time accept its principles, and at another time seek to corrupt them. It is the system of apostolic-truth recovered from the traditions of Christendom by the instrumentality of Dr. Thomas, and embodied in all those who, having received it, remain faithful to it amid all the changes of human opinion and whim. There are such in the earth. Those who have left them, or from whom they have had to separate themselves, which is the same thing, are not “splits” in Christadelphianism, but the mere shedding of foreign elements that adhered for a time from other than spiritual affinities. They came and they went without effecting any change in the original institution. Discriminate between the plant and its accidental incrustations.  Chdn 1893:261-262
 
THE SO-CALLED SPLITS
Dr. Welch writes:—“Your remarks in the July number Christadelphian, in relation to so-called splits in Christadelphianism, strikes a responsive cord in the heart of every true and faithful Christadelphian. There is no split, for what it was in doctrine in the beginning it still is. The so-called splits are the parings off of its excrescences, the getting rid of elements that were no part of it. Christadelphianism can no more change and split itself up than the truth can, for it embodies the truth in its very being. There may be the casting off of withered branches, the paring away of unhealthy excrescences in purification of itself, but no split in the body. Departures from the truth by those who once were in fellowship with Christadelphianism, and their reorganisation under the same name has given the idea to the unenlightened of splits in Christadelphianism. We cannot prevent their taking the name, and must therefore bear the odium of their act, whilst at the same time preserving our purity in doctrine and practice by the only Scripture means at our command, that of disfellowship and discountenance. True, Christadelphianism is as true and pure in doctrine and practice at this day as in the day when the Lord, by the instrumentality of Dr. Thomas, recovered His truth from its burial in the mountain of tradition, and once more presented it to perishing man as a thing of beauty and saviour of salvation in Christ Jesus. From that day to this, not a single cloud of doubt or false teaching has cast a shadow upon it in true Christadel-phianism. No, bless the Lord, there are those who are, and who will still continue to be, faithful to His truth which He has brought to light again in these last days of the times of the Gentiles. Whatever of reproach is caused to rest upon the truth because of these so-called splits lies at the door of those who are unfaithful and disobedient of the light, not with those who seek to preserve the truth in its purity and unity.”  Chdn 1893:379   
JimPhillips

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Here is an interesting ecclesial issue from the days of bro. Roberts, which bears directly on the subject we are discussing--whether or not we are in fellowship with all ecclesias of our fellowship.

Bro. Forrester withdrew from the Gloucester ecclesia, accusing them of misconduct.  He wrote such to the editor saying he withdrew from Gloucester, but not from the Christadelphians.  Bro. Roberts responded to him that such action "isolated him from brethren everywhere." 

This is consistent with the Berean practice.  You can't be in fellowship with one ecclesia, and not others in the same fellowship.

Bro. Roberts then asks for a meeting between Gloucester and bro. Forrester, essentially to verify bro Forrester's grounds for withdrawal, but bro. Forrester refuses the meeting.  Bro. Roberts is left with no alternative but to refuse bro. Forrester's charges, and to explain that bro. Forrester is now out of fellowship with all ecclesias elsewhere, "for the brethren are all one." 

Bro. Forrester wanted to practice bro. Genusa/Mansfield's fellowship ideas, fellowshipping some Christadelphian ecclesias, not fellowshipping others, and bro. Roberts said "No!" 


Mr. Frank Forester Saith
“Mr. Frank Forrester, of Gloucester, complains of the paragraph on page 45, January number of Christadelphian, headed “Gloucester,” in which he is said to have been withdrawn from for disorderly walk, the same not being correct as to facts, and is a libel on his character. The facts of the case are as follows:—On January 1st, 1881, Mr. Forrester, with others (having charged the managing brethren at Gloucester with unscriptural conduct) withdrew from them and their sympathisers only, and communicated the fact, and copy of the withdrawal, to the Christadelphian, which paper declined to recognise the withdrawal, but stated that we had isolated ourselves from the brethren everywhere, thus judging before hearing. Mr. Forrester has never since been in fellowship with the managing brethren at Gloucester individually, because of their persistent unscriptural conduct; consequently, he was not in a position in which he could be withdrawn from by them at the time the report was sent from Gloucester; and having never been charged with disorderly walk by the brethren at Gloucester, or elsewhere, he is in fellowship with true brethren everywhere, not having withdrawn from the whole body, nor having isolated himself, as would be gleaned from report in the Christadelphian. His position, therefore, is that, not having been withdrawn from, he is in good standing, and within the ecclesia, and those withdrawn from are without; to place the matter in any other light, is untrue and unjust.”
THE EDITOR REJOINS
Mr. Forrester’s statement is only part of the truth. The omitted facts are as follows:—The managing brethren at Gloucester, after a certain time, declined to accept the services of a lecturer approved of by Mr. Forrester, on account of the reproach brought on the truth by said lecturer’s name. For this reason, Mr. Forrester and the others separated from the meeting, and sent to the Editor of the Christadelphian a report of their proceeding, as an act of withdrawal from the brethren. The Editor of the Christadelphian replied that before he could use their report, he must have the opportunity of judging whether it ought to be published, as it was open to doubt whether it was valid. This opportunity he asked in the shape of a personal interview with them and the parties affected. This they declined, consequently, there was no other course but to refuse to publish, and to accept their act as an act of self-isolation from the brethren in Gloucester and therefore from the brethren everywhere else, for the brethren are one. If this was “judging without hearing,” whose was the fault? It was in fact not judging, but accepting facts. It is Mr. Forrester who would judge in saying that the brethren in Gloucester from whom he separated, are “without.” They are not “without,” but in fellowship with the brethren everywhere as earnest, righteous, worthy men, submitting themselves to the will of God in their day and generation. Those who cannot claim such a position are those who disregard the commandments of Christ, and seek to avenge themselves by taking or threatening legal proceedings.
The Christadelphian : Volume 19 Bd. 19. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1882, S. 19:189-190
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Here is another problem handled exactly like the Bereans would, but which has no counterpart in Central.  Bro. Roberts lectures against the errors of British Israelism.  A bro. Robertson asks if some of his "opinions" can be accepted in fellowship.  Liverpool says no, and withdraws from bro. Robertson, and from some who support him.  The separated brethren form the Tranmere ecclesia, out of fellowship with Christadelphians.

After three years, Tranmere appeals to Liverpool for fellowship, and the matter is submitted to a neighboring ecclesia, to see if reunion can occur.  The neighboring ecclesias examine the matter to determine who remains in fellowship and who doesn't.  The neighboring ecclesias determines there is now no cause for division.  Liverpool accepts the decision and is willing to resume fellowship, but the separated brethren elect to continue with their newly formed ecclesia, now in fellowship and cooperation with Liverpool.

Note the difference between the Pioneer/Berean position, and Central.  When Central ecclesias split, the ecclesias cease cooperation.  In the Pioneer/Berean position, cooperation is necessary as they are in fellowship.

The newly formed ecclesia then accepts into fellowship a person more extreme on British Israelitish ideas, than bro. Robertson, named bro. Burton.  Brethren from Tranmere (now Birkenhead) withdraw from Birkenhead, and apply to Liverpool for fellowship. 

Now, note this, because it shows what the true fellowship position is.  Liverpool refuses to accept the brethren separating from Birkenhead, till they apply to Birkenhead, to avoid the breach.  The Liverpool brethren understood that accepting these brethren who separated from Birkenhead, meant they, as well, had to separate from Birkenhead. 

Birkenhead refuses to respond, leaving Liverpool no choice but to withdraw from Birkenhead, and inform the brotherhood through the Christadelphian magazine. 

Bro. Roberts realizes that publishing the material will mean the Birkenhead ceases to be a recognized Christadelphian ecclesia.  Birkenhead recognizes it too, and submits to bro. Roberts examination.  Bro. Roberts then concludes the separating brethren are correct, and publishes that Birkenhead is out of fellowship.  Again, this is what the Bereans do.  It is not what Central does.



LIVERPOOL
The immersions during the past month have been—December 30th, Robert Hepworth (19), painter, formerly Primitive Methodist; and on January 7th, Emma Edwards, and J. Birkmyre Robertson (18), Wesleyan Methodist, brother in the flesh to Brother James U. Robertson; and we have received back to fellowship Brother Peter Whitfield, from whom we had to withdraw in November, 1881.
It is our painful duty to report that we have been compelled to declare to the ecclesia in Birkenhead that we cannot, as it is now constituted, recognize it as in our fellowship. The roots of the matter extend back a few years. Some four years and-a-half ago, when Brother Roberts, of Birmingham, was lecturing in different parts of the country against the fables of Mr. Hine, Brother R. D. Robertson raised the question in our ecclesia, to which he demanded an answer, whether any brother could hold, as a matter of open and pronounced opinion, a different interpretation of the prophecies concerning the House of Israel from that entertained by the brotherhood throughout the world. The answer that we gave to that demand was in effect that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, and that we must all speak the same things and be of the same mind and judgment. This caused the separation from us of himself and some others who went out, they affirmed from sympathy with Brother R. D. Robertson but not with his doctrine. They formed a meeting and remained separate and distinct from us for some three years when they sought our fellowship again and submitted their case to Brethren Charles Smith, of Edinburgh, and Henry Sulley, of Nottingham, who were mutually chosen by us to make the necessary examination. This proved satisfactory, and on the 13th of June, 1881, they were able to report to us that they were of “opinion that no cause now exists why the two meetings should not be united,” and they recommended that the union should at once take place. The brethren of the Tranmere ecclesia, however, did not care to become one with us, and so there have been, since then, two meetings in this place; the Tranmere ecclesia meeting on the Cheshire side of the river Mersey, and the Liverpool ecclesia which now meets in the Temperance Hall, Hardman Street, Liverpool.
Shortly after their re-admission to our fellowship they organized a series of lectures, and we gave them assistance in this matter in common with brethren from other parts of the country. They obtained good audiences, and, as a result, added very considerably to their numbers. Among those whom they baptized was a Mr. Burton. This gentleman had previously attended a number of our lectures in Liverpool, and at their close had warmly contended with some of our brethren for the truth of Mr. Hine’s Anglo-Israel “Identifications,” quoting largely from the Bible for proof. He was, in fact, the most ardent advocate of these “senseless conceits” that we had ever personally encountered, both in public and in private interviews. Furthermore, he had applied for admission among us, and was twice examined with a view to immersion, once privately and once before a week night meeting of our ecclesia, and in neither case was the examination proceeded with, because of his incoherent and illogical applications of prophecies, concerning the children of Israel to the English nation. This was some five or six months ago. After this he applied to the Tranmere ecclesia for immersion and was not at first received; but being present on the occasion of his wife’s baptism, which took place privately, at the house of Brother R. D. Robertson, he was there re-examined and immersed. This was on Thursday evening, August 24th, and on the following Sunday morning, August 27th, he was received into their fellowship, at which time their brethren generally became aware of what had taken place, and they made numerous enquiries whether Mr. Burton had changed his mind. The answers they received were unsatisfactory. They then sought Mr. Burton himself and were convinced that no change whatever had taken place in his belief, and that he still held that “when Israel are wanted they will be found in the English and Welsh.” The result of the agitation ensuing was a special meeting of the Tranmere ecclesia on the 3rd September to settle Mr. Burton’s case, at which Mr. Burton declared his belief that Queen Victoria was a lineal descendant of King David. Brother R. D. Robertson suggested to Mr. Burton that there was a difference between matters of faith and of opinion; upon which Mr. Burton said it was his opinion. Some seven of the brethren who were present at the meeting and who witnessed this severe strain on the truth, and some three who, although not present, were well acquainted with Mr. Burton’s real mind (in all ten, namely, Ezra Roberts, Emily Roberts, A. R. McKay, Richard Gee, Ellen Gee, D. W. Gee, D. Munnerley, A. J. Gee, Elizabeth Munnerley, and Alfred Stephenson), decided that they could not countenance such insincerity, and consequently they forsook their communion and made application to us for fellowship. We pointed out to them that before we could consider their application, they must first notify the brethren from whom they had decided to separate, of the proposed step, so that they might have an opportunity of preventing the threatened breach. This they did, but no notice was taken of their letter. So after waiting a week, they sent another note, formally advising them of their withdrawal, and, nothing being heard to reply to it, we decided to receive the applicants into our fellowship, after examination. This was done in due course, when weapprised the Tranmere ecclesia by letter of our action, and stated that our knowledge of Mr. Burton’s belief was sufficient to enable us to endorse what the brethren who had left them had done, and at the same time it led us to declare that they had by his admission become corrupt in the things of the truth, and we desired them to shew cause why we should, under the circumstances, continue to regard them as in our fellowship; the date of our letter was October 14. Ten days afterwards the majority of our brethren were surprised to receive, by post, a printed copy of our letter, and a long reply to the same by the Tranmere ecclesia. Their reply was disappointing. We wrote them, acknowledging its receipt, and desired some information on several points which we could not understand, if Mr. Burton had given up the beliefs which conflict with the Gospel of the Kingdom when they baptized him. The answer was entirely unsatisfactory. We were compelled to conclude that their letters completely confirmed the evidence which the brethren who came out from them furnished, that Mr. Burton still believed that Englishmen were the lost ten tribes of Israel, upon which we had rejected his application for our fellowship, and that the Tranmere ecclesia, who had received him, in defending their action, had virtually endorsed his views. Our charge therefore against them stood confirmed, and we consequently were compelled to stand apart from them, and to declare that we could have no fellowship.
Since then, on the 29th November last, a special meeting of both ecclesias was held, in the presence of Brother Roberts, of Birmingham, who had received a protest from the Tranmere brethren against the publication of the report of our withdrawal in The Christadelphian, and who requested such a meeting that he might be enabled to decide whether the intelligence ought to be published or not. The result of that meeting was to publicly manifest the grounds of our action in separating ourselves from the Tranmere ecclesia, for both Mr. Burton himself, in answer to questions addressed to him, admitted that he still held the opinion that the English and Welsh “might be” the lost ten tribes; and Brother R. D. Robertson declared that he baptised Mr. Burton with the distinct understanding that he held that opinion, and that he would baptise any one holding the same. On Brother Roberts expressing himself satisfied that the Liverpool ecclesia had sufficient ground for their action, Brother Parker, of the Tranmere ecclesia, requested delay for re-consideration. It was then resolved, on motion properly made and seconded, that the action of the Liverpool ecclesia be suspended for one month, to allow the Birkenhead and Tranmere ecclesia to consider whether they could endorse the position assumed on their behalf, by Brother R. D. Robertson. The month expired on the 29th December, without satisfactory result. We conclude, therefore, for the present, that we have no other course open to us but to publish the matter. The following have joined us, since the 29th November, from the Tranmere ecclesia, viz., Annie Allen, F. A. Robertson, and R. S. Baldock, while we have had to withdraw ourselves from Brother R. G. Rees, who declared he could endorse Mr. Burton’s opinions.—Henry Collens.
In connection with the foregoing, Brother Parker, secretary to the Birkenhead ecclesia, transmits a resolution of which the following is the kernel:—“That this ecclesia cannot see it to be their duty to separate from Brother Burton on account of his holding the opinion that an Englishman might be an Israelite, admitting at the same time that an Englishman might not be an Israelite.” Brother Parker hopes and prays the matter may not be published, as he considers the point unimportant. It looks unimportant; especially put in the form of a “might be.” The way to estimate its mportance is to judge it, not as a might be, but as a thing affirmatively maintained. Is it compatible with the truth to affirm that this British nation is the lost ten tribes? Because if it is not, then a “might be” is out of the question. If a might be is admissible here, why not in other elements of the truth? Why not receive people holding that the Church of Rome might be the Church of Christ or might not be; that sprinkiing might be apostolic baptism, or might not be; that immortal-soulism might be true; that the land of promise might be heaven; that the kingdom might be beyond the realms of time and space, and so on with every item of truth. No earnest man could reconcile himself to such ambiguities on the verities of the holy oracles of God. A “might be” is equivalent to uncertainty, and uncertainty is incompatible with faith; and the faith certainly embraces the identity of the house of Israel, for the hope of the gospel is the hope of Israel. It is far from immaterial what view we take of the community in which we dwell. One of the most important bearings of the gospel in its individual application relates to the attitudes we observe to said community. We are to be strangers and sojourners. An Israelitish “might be” concerning the Anglo-Saxons must logically unhinge this position. If a might be is to be countenanced, then an “is” cannot be objected to, and in that case. the opinion considered so innocuous must lead to brethren taking part in British political and ecclesiastical movements. It must lead to identification and friendship with the world around us—(a friendship which we cultivate at the expense of the friendship of God), for if powerful Britannia is Ephraim, it must be Ephraim blessed, as the Anglo-Israelites contend, and what more natural in that case than for saints (the true sons of Israel) to join in the patriotism that glories in the lying strains of “Rule Britannia.” It will be impossible on a full view of the bearings of the case, for earnest brethren to dissent from the action of the Liverpool brethren.—Editor.
The Christadelphian : Volume 20 Bd. 20. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1883, S. 20:91-93
broBW

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Reply with quote  #104 
The Genusa-Mansfield Fellowship Model

I'm not sure who made the point, but it really gets to the heart of the issue.
 
If brother Roberts had employed the Genusa-Mansfield approach to fellowship, the Christadelphian community, as originally constituted, would not have survived the 19th century. Indeed, it could be argued that using their model, the truth only scarcely survives today in the Central.

There could be no better case history than this.

What if brethren Thomas or Roberts had not taken the initiative to withdraw from:

1. The Wilsonites
2. The Dowieites
3.
The Renunciationists
4.
The Partial Inspirationists
5. The Anti-Responsibility Group

 
How could the Truth
have possibly survived its first 40 years with all of this error intermingled with the Christadelphian Community? Fact is that in the Central it does not - or only barely does so in isolated pockets.

The truth does survive in the Berean Christadelphian Community and some in the Central don't like it. So here we are,  faced with contrived charges, enlargement of minutiae, and Wikipedia spin.




JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #105 

SLEAFORD.—We have great pleasure in forwarding our intelligence, to notify that unity between the two meetings at Sleaford has been effected; and the subjoined is the basis of that union, which has been accepted by all of the One Faith at Sleaford. The basis of fellowship being “the truth,” as defined in the “Statement of Faith” and “Doctrine to be rejected,” published at 139, Moor Street, Birmingham; with a like declaration upon the Scriptures, as contained therein, being the foundation of our belief; also that no brother or sister shall break bread with any community with which the ecclesia is not in fellowship and union upon the above basis.—J. Kirk. Chdn 1897:516

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