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JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #76 

As we go along, the complaints seem to come into focus.  They really are irrelevant.  There is so little to complain about, that even bro. Genusa seems unwilling to make whatever point he feels is wrong.

Case # 13.

This case is another filler, where the last paragraph of an article, is placed in the magazine.  The subject of the last paragraph was that displayed in the title, "No Peace without Purity."  No criticism of the material is offered.  It is hard to see what any objection could be.

Case # 14

In this case, bro. Genusa complains that the word Ecclesia is capitalized.  He argues, without any effort at proving his point, that this "totally misrepresents the consequential meaning of the entire quote!"  All we can say is, "No, it doesn't."  The Ecclesia is not the place at all, for discussing the principles of the One Faith."  Now, no matter how an editor establishes his rules for capitalization, this is a true statement.

This is the true meaning behind the parable of the Good Shepherd, and the hireling, for those who can hear it.  The Ecclesia is the sheepfold.  The Good Shepherd is Christ, not some self appointed, self important  "ecclesial shepherd."  The sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow him.  The Good Shepherd, through his teaching, doesn't allow the wolf into the fold to challenge his voice.  And when the wolf comes near, the Good Shepherd bars the wolf from the sheepfold, and leads the sheep safely away.  And the willingly follow.

Now, there always grows up in the fold, sheep who want to hear the wolf.  There are always sheep who want to do the bidding of the wolf.  These cannot be tolerated, once they are exposed.  As bro. Roberts says, when a man requires to be argued with, his proper place is outside the Ecclesia, and if he will not go outside on his own, then it must be forced.  Because the ecclesia is not the place for argument.  It is for worshipping together in truth and in love.

The hireling gives place to the wolf, because he doesn't perceive himself as the sheep, but rather, above the sheep; and he doesn't love the sheep.  He is motivated by something else.  But his motivation is exposed, when it comes time to fight the wolf.  He walks with the wolf, complaining about him, as long as the wolf will bear him.  But when the wolf calls the fold to obedience, then, the hireling flees, as they do every Sunday Morning of their Bible Schools..

Case # 15

This is another complaint with no merit, over capitalization.  This time the term capitalized, is "Basis of Fellowship."  Bro. Genusa writes:  "Notice how "the basis of fellowship" is represented as an authoritative standard for fellowship: "our Basis of Fellowship". This is not what the pioneers taught or practiced." 

This is an odd statement.  The pioneers maintained a basis of fellowship.  As such, it was quite authoritative for their meetings, within reason.  At times, individuals claimed a right to teach antiscriptural principles, simply on the basis that this was not covered in the Basis of Fellowship.  When this happened, the matter was included, and ecclesias were asked where they stood.  Those ecclesias which affirmed the new basis, were continued in fellowship.  Those that refused moved on. 

The Berean basis is nearly identical to the one bro. Roberts maintained.  It was authoritative for their meetings, just as it is for ours. Their basis of fellowship played a dominant role in all the divisions, especially so when faithful ecclesias demanded that neighboring ecclesias declare their belief on a certain topic.    Again, its really hard to understand any complaint in this matter.

broBW

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Reply with quote  #77 
Quote:
One thing confuses me greatly is that there is no other brother I know of who has done so much to expose the errors in the Central group than bro Genusa.    They argue that they must stay, fight and strengthen the things which remain.  How are they progressing? - STEVEPHS


At the outset, bro Steve directed his contending against a multitude of errors within the Advocate community. He left that group. Then he took aim at various errors within his own group, the Central. With the former, he achieved very limited success if such is measured  by number of conversions to the Central. With the latter, we have no way of knowing whether or not his contending has truly made a difference. Perhaps there has been progress. Even if it has not been so, it is my belief that he will continue on without missing a beat because he feels duty bound to contend for what he believes is Biblical.  With both of these groups, the problem is bigger than he and I think he knows that.

Not too long ago he turned his attention to the small groups - largely the Bereans. By "small" I mean tiny. For example, the Bereans are dwarfed numerically even by the Advocate group which, itself,  is super-dwarfed in comparison to his Central community.

Typically, men do not contend just for the sake of contending. There is a reason. Steve is no exception. He contends against the Bereans fellowship because he believes there to be error therein. We disagree. Progress? There has been some albeit negligible, once again, if such is measured in numbers.

However, we would suggest there to be an additional reason for his singling out of the Bereans and for his heavy emphasis thereon. Much, perhaps most, of his contending for nigh unto 20 years had been directed toward the Advocate group only to see about a half-dozen or more of  their "pioneer oriented" members join the Bereans - the same type of Christadelphian that he has been attempting to reach.

And so, he has plunged into the depths of the Berean ocean searching for things fishy. Progress? Thus far he has only surfaced with
a few infantfish that he has attempted to grow into sharks. So long as he suspects that some in the Advocate group (or even the Central) are looking at the Bereans with a view of joining us (we shan't say yea or nay if this is so), he will continue this effort.

With all of the shark-infested waters of his Centralia that must be navigated each day, we wonder where he finds the time for chasing the little fish.


JimPhillips

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He contends against the Bereans fellowship because he believes there to be error therein.



I know he says it.  He has even recently gone to referring to us as apostate.  But does he ever define what our apostasy is, and the Scriptures, or scriptural principle on which we are apostate?

Or, has he ever really defined how fellowship is to be practiced?  If you read his stuff, especially his stuff on fellowship being between God, Jesus and the individual:  you would naturally conclude he would have fellowship with anyone bearing the name Central that comes to his door.  Yet in real life, we know he is very far from that practice. 

I don't know if they still have it, but they had, for their ecclesia, a statement on the denial of the Exceptive Clause, which would make it uncomfortable for most Bereans to attend their meeting, anyway.  I mean, I can imagine going to that meeting and being every bit as popular as Paul in Antioch.

I note in this regard, that in bro. Genusa's redo of my booklet  he completely ignores bre. Thomas and Roberts quotes on Marriage and Divorce.  I shudder to think of the criticism I would have received at his hand, had I attempted such an omission!

 
STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #79 
A brother recently wrote to the editor of the Logos magazine as follows:

Dear Bro Mansfield,

In your editorial for Logos April 2009 you appear to use Paul's letter to Corinthians to justify continuing in fellowship with errant brethren and sisters.  Clearly Paul never intended his letters to be so used.  Quite the opposite - rather to repudiate false brethren and corrupt practice and have no fellowship with such.   1 Cor 5 beginning: "Purge out the old leaven (v7), "not company" (fellowship) (v11) "put away from among you (v13).  Verse 10 shows this goes much wider than the incestuous brother.   2 Cor 6:14 "what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion hath light with darkness?".

In 2 Cor 11 Paul fears that the Corinthian brethren and sisters will be corrupted from the simplicity in Christ, as Eve was seduced by the subtle sophistry of the serpent, and warns against other gospels. 

The issue of sisters speaking in the ecclesia of God, which you refer to as taking hold in Adelaide and other ecclesial assemblies; and equality claims, which is the spirit of the world, or its carnal philosophies taking hold of the ecclesia, is dealt with by Bro Roberts in the Commandments of Christ (which must be upheld).  Section XII, no 99:

Sisters to keep silence (2 Tim 2 v 11-12) and "to dress modestly and in sobriety" (1 Tim 2:9, 1 Pet 3:3-4).

In the previous section (XI) commandment no 91 gives us the command in the case of disobedient brethren (and sisters) "If any man obey not the apostolic commands, the brethren and sisters to have no company with him.  (2 Thes 3:14).

no 93 "To withdraw from everyone walking disorderly, or not in accordance with apostolic precept (2 Thes 3:6).

no 95 "To reject or receive not into fellowship those who consent not to the doctrine of the commandments of the Lord Jesus (1 John 8-10, 1 Tim 6:3-5, Titus 3:10).

In Nazareth Revisited (pg 138) Bro Roberts comments "The seed of the woman are defined as those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev 12:17).   As Jesus says "ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you."  (John 15:14).   Clearly this could be irksome in the implementation, and is meant to be.   Nevertheless there is no ambiguity.  All this prevarication comes from the flesh not from Yahweh.

A correspondent writes in regarding fellowship, but in typical fashion you pirouette around the clear teaching of Christ and the apostles, rather than clearly setting forth the apostolic teaching on fellowship and withdrawal for the benefit of your readers.   The correspondent is given no clear teaching but ambiguous sophistry to justify non-action and to basically uphold the reunion fellowship stand (as outlined in the Unity booklet which boils down to "keep together at all costs").  Well in this issue you cite sisters speaking and claiming equality with brethren, this is a clear unambiguous case of open rebellion against the apostles and their instructions for the conduct of ecclesias, and must be repudiated as heresy and apostasy and withdrawn from.

You refer to Endeavour.   This group has deliberately undermined the pioneers over many years, and set forth wrong doctrine; it is a scandal that they continue in fellowship by those who claim to be lovers of the truth.  I am afraid that this claim must be more than mere profession but shown by determinate action, otherwise the claim is hollow and baseless.  A love of the Truth, can no way fellowship apostasy, from which they withdrew when they came out of the world, and which is in clear violation of the commandments of Christ and the apostles.   The letters to the seven Anatolian ecclesias likewise were not intended to be used to justify fellowshipping apostasy.  They were all dire warnings against apostasy which was taking hold in the Niclaitaines, Balaamites, Jezebels and so forth.

Bro Mansfield's reply begins as follows:

Dear Brother,

As you would know, I accept the Scriptural testimony concerning fellowship, and have no contact or ecclesial fellowship with the apostasy.  I did not 'pirouette' around the clear teaching of Christ, but am not prepared to cast off the "lambs" and "sheep" who need the care of those who might be able to encourage them.  I do not appreciate comments such as "ambiguous sophistry" when I am sincerely and honestly answering a matter.   I doubt whether you could fellowship at any of the seven ecclesias in Asia even though faithful Antipas and others were there, nor with the ecclesia at Corinth, in view of the problems they faced at the time of Paul's writing.  Neither I nor the ecclesia I attend would in any way fellowship with the group mentioned in my editorial, so we cannot "separate from" those with whom we do not ever have in any way associated.

Endeavour members are not in fellowship with us, nor we with them.  Fellowship is a real thing, not a theoretical paper issue.   As far as my ecclesia is concerned, we consider ourselves in fellowship with the Father and the Son and with all those who faithfully and honestly uphold the same teachings as we espouse, generally identified as the BASF.   We do not "disfellowship" those in whatever "branch of Christadelphian" they might profess, but who do not identify with the beliefs we hold.   Of course, Logos is a magazine and not a fellowship identity!

I do hope that you can understand our position on fellowship.  In other words, we do not cast off those with "the same mind" as we enjoy.  We are not the judge of other men's actions, but our own.  And we will only fellowship those who identify with our teachings, whatever they might claim as a "name which liver".   We fight against those of a different mind from ours in the same spirit of Brother Thomas.

Kind regards

Graham Mansfield
JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #80 
The Corinthian ecclesia and the Apocalypse letters have to be considered among the more bazaar reasoning advanced by bro. Mansfield and Co.

The commands in those instance is not to fellowship error.  The command was made necessary by the fact that error had crept into the ecclesia.  Rather than obey the command, they refuse the command, and use as their excuse, the circumstances which made the command necessary.  And they think this is spiritual.

He says his challenger could not have met at those ecclesias.  He says "Antipas" did.  But then he says he doesn't, either.  How is that not a beautiful pirouette?

I don't read the Logos.  Is the sisters speaking issue in Australia just comments in class, or is it like Britain, where sisters exhort and lecture from the platform in Endeavour meetings?. 
broBW

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Reply with quote  #81 
The reasoning of Mansfield, Genusa & Co. lead to one conclusion:

Some of these "Fellowships" as they are called, operate under an oxymoronic banner:

It says one thing, but in practice does something entirely different. 


Some ecclesias are in fellowship while other ecclesias in the same group are not. The former might fellowship an ecclesia that is not out of fellowship with the latter. Moreover, individual brethren and sisters who are of the former might fellowship individuals of the latter and vice versa at Bible Schools and elsewhere. In their home ecclesia, brethren will fellowship weekly a member(s) of their own ecclesia who breaks bread elsewhere with those whom they would not.  These are not isolated cases. Such is ongoing and common among those who claim to belong to one of these "Fellowships."

If this is not the case then someone please produce documents proving that so-called Endeavor meetings,
  Clean Flesh meetings, Shield Ecclesias,  Partial Atonement Ecclesias, the Heaster Group et al. are no longer in fellowship with the Central Ecclesias; that no mixed fellowship occurs at their Bible schools and gatherings; that members who fellowship errorists elsewhere cannot return to their home ecclesia and break bread, no questions asked.*

If this is not the case then someone please produce documents proving that the Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation and her sister ecclesias
and the ecclesias now breaking bread with CGAF are no longer in fellowship with the Advocate Ecclesias; that no mixed fellowship occurs at their Bible Schools and Gatherings. That members who fellowship errorists elsewhere cannot return to their home ecclesia and break bread, no questions asked.*

We do know that some individual meetings have made an attempt at this. But consensus among all ecclesias within the respective groups has been, and continues to be, elusive.

*Change in wording on 5/30/09 from " have been disfellowshipped" to "no longer in fellowship"

broBW

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Reply with quote  #82 

Selah סלה

When faced with any situation we need to remember that our brain is designed to provide an immediate emotional response - a first impression. Accordingly, we must be ever alert. It is one thing to have initial thoughts about a situation; to act upon these can be another thing altogether. Intelligent response requires management of emotion - to move in a way that leads to sound thinking. This is effected by placing a halt upon our emotion in order to pause and consider  - not that our initial response is necessarily bad, only that it requires another step. We may then ask: What will be the outcome of our acting upon this emotion? Is our action governed by feelings or by rationale? Is a benefit to be obtained if we take time to think it through?

 

broBW

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Reply with quote  #83 
RE: Post #83.

Hypocritical has been changed to oxymoronic. The former has far reaching implications of a personal nature that were not intended. The latter is a fitting characterization of the respective banners. My apology.

broBW

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Reply with quote  #84 
Quote:
I note in this regard, that in bro. Genusa's redo of my booklet  he completely ignores bre. Thomas and Roberts quotes on Marriage and Divorce.  I shudder to think of the criticism I would have received at his hand, had I attempted such an omission! - JP


Yes, inasmuch as at least three of these deal with fellowship (and a fourth well known text not in the original booklet that he could have added but apparently did not)  this is very telling indeed.

A case of selective quoting? or should we say, selective omission?

broBW

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Reply with quote  #85 
Of Editing and Mistakes

In the book,  Advocatism Exposed (also known as The Truth Affirmed) co-authored by brother Genusa, "an excerpt" appears from brother Thomas' article "The Apostles Justified by Faith before 'the Faith' came."

Let's compare apples to apples: original text to the excerpt.  If we compare brother Thomas' original text to brother Genusa's "excerpt,"we see that he leaves out one entire paragraph and part of another and with no ellipses whatsoever.

Note in the following that he does not say "excerpts" (plural) but "excerpt." By saying "excerpt" the implication is that it is continuous with no deletions. Below, we reproduce the portion of the "excerpt" in question.

Brother Genusa's deletions are highlighted in yellow.

First, bro Genusa's preface:

"If we are to understand how men are justified, we

must understand the difference between “justification

by faith and justification through The Faith.” The

following is an excerpt from Brother John Thomas,

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, 1861, page

108."

And now, the relevant part of brother Steve's "excerpt":

“The apostles believed all they were required to believe. They were not required to believe what was purposely hidden from them. They had honored God in accepting His counsel preached to them through John the baptizer. They had been baptized with ‘the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,’ predicated on faith in the promises covenanted to Israel’s fathers, and the approaching manifestation of the Christ. When he appeared they recognized him. He preached the same gospel as John, but amplified in detail. They believed it, and Jesus completed what John had begun in washing their feet, and without which they could have no part with him in the joy that was set before him—Jn. 13:8. They had washed in John’s baptism, therefore they needed not save to have their feet washed by Jesus, who thus ‘shod them with the preparation of the gospel’ and made them clean every whit—verse 10; Eph. 6:15. Things being thus ordered, it only remained ‘to redeem them from the curse of the law;’ to redeem them by the same act that should purchase Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and all the saints under the law, from its curse. This redemption was effected by Jesus submitting to be made a curse for them. This was accomplished, not by his wilful violation of the law, but by his enemies nailing him to a tree, or cross; and so forcibly bringing the curse of the Mosaic law upon him, which says, ‘Cursed be every one that hangeth on a tree.’Thus the nature crucified was cursed, eternally cursed; and therefore can never occupy the kingdom of God and the earth forever. The life of the nature that transgressed in the person of the first Adam, became a covering for sin in the sinless person of the second Adam. When glorifed the crucified nature was transformed into holy-spirit nature, styled by Paul, "spiritual body," or the body consubstantial with the Father. This is the nature Jesus now possess, and to which he attained at the price of "the crucifixion of the flesh" in every sense of the phrase.

"When the redemption price was thus paid the Law of Moses had no more dominion over the apostles. Its curses had become ineffectual in their case. Every whit clean by the arrangement indicated, they could stand up on Pentecost, and under inspiration of holy spirit, could reveal to the astonished Israelites the new doctrine of God's system of justification in the name of Jesus Christ, attested by the law that cursed him, and by the prophets. Being redeemed from the curse of the law they had received the adoption of sons; and because they were sons he had sent forth the spirit of his son into their hearts; and they could stand up and proclaim without sin "justification through the faith," independently of the sacrifices prescribed by the ritual of Moses. "The faith" had come, and they were no longer under the Mosaic schoolmaster.

“The reader, then, will bear in mind the distinction subsisting between ‘justification by faith,’ and ‘justification through the faith.’ The apostles and prophets were justified, or cleansed from all their sins ‘by faith;’ but since the day of Pentecost no Jew nor Gentile can obtain pardon or purification by the same formula as they. To believe the word of the kingdom, and that Jesus is Son of God, will, since that notable day, save no man apart from the revealed mystery; nor would the belief that the Christ should die and be raised again, apart from the recognition of Jesus as the Christ, and the word of the kingdom, save a believer. The area of ‘faith’ was enlarged by the apostolic proclamation into ‘the faith,’ so that after the day of Pentecost, the doctrine of the apostles presented people with more things to be believed for justification than were believed by Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, or themselves. Till the glorification of Jesus they were ‘fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken;’ for they did not understand that the Christ ought to have suffered the things Jesus suffered, and afterwards to enter upon his glory. Luke 24:25. But when Jesus was about to be taken up and received into glory, he opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning him; and said unto them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it behoved the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem’—verse 44.

 
We wonder why brother Steve omits this text from his excerpt:

Thus the nature crucified was cursed, eternally cursed; and therefore can never occupy the kingdom of God and the earth forever. The life of the nature that transgressed in the person of the first Adam, became a covering for sin in the sinless person of the second Adam. When glorifed the crucified nature was transformed into holy-spirit nature, styled by Paul, "spiritual body," or the body consubstantial with the Father. This is the nature Jesus now possess, and to which he attained at the price of "the crucifixion of the flesh" in every sense of the phrase.

"When the redemption price was thus paid the Law of Moses had no more dominion over the apostles. Its curses had become ineffectual in their case. Every whit clean by the arrangement indicated, they could stand up on Pentecost, and under inspiration of holy spirit, could reveal to the astonished Israelites the new doctrine of God's system of justification in the name of Jesus Christ, attested by the law that cursed him, and by the prophets. Being redeemed from the curse of the law they had received the adoption of sons; and because they were sons he had sent forth the spirit of his son into their hearts; and they could stand up and proclaim without sin "justification through the faith," independently of the sacrifices prescribed by the ritual of Moses. "The faith" had come, and they were no longer under the Mosaic schoolmaster.


Perhaps it was unintentional and he should be given the benefit of the doubt. Similar mistakes have been made by us all.


broBW

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Reply with quote  #86 

On his website, brother Genusa writes:

Note to Berean critics. Brother Bob Widding of the Bereans says that my examination of the Bereans has revealed only "a few infantfish that" I have "attempted to grow into sharks". He has also accused various brethren in Central of hypocrisy. It appears that Bereans don't like having their basis of fellowship, historical claims and old publications examined. I notice that instead of addressing all the latest issues raised on this web site, accusations of hypocrisy are made. Does accusing others of hypocrisy answer the arguments, doctrinal and historical, against Berean claims?

"Dislike" is bro Steve's description, not mine. He may examine anything he wishes to. Whether or not I think it is wise or relevant is another thing altogether.

I stated that the "banner" was hypocritical with no intention of accusing the brethren of this. Notwithstanding, realizing the implication, the word was changed a few days ago.

With respect to answering arguments, I thought bro Jim had addressed these. Perhaps I was mistaken and will have another look, Lord willing.

  1. I would ask Berean critics to note: you claim to be in fellowship with all in your Ecclesial Union. That doctrine is not only NOT our claim, but we do not, and never will, claim this unscriptural idea. When you accuse us of being "hypocritical" for "not withdrawing" from errorists such as the Endeavor Group, the "hypocrisy" is only because you are imposing your ideas of fellowship on us, and then criticizing us for not upholding your false ideas. Since we openly reject your unscriptural and anti-Christadelphian ideas about fellowship, we are under no obligations to uphold your ideas. We are not obligated to withdraw from THOSE WE HAVE NEVER HAD or CLAIMED FELLOWSHIP WITH.
From whence cometh this appellation, "Ecclesial Union"? Interesting title. We're just trying to follow apostolic example of being "of one accord." That's no  false idea; neither are Paul and John's exhortations concerning the basis for fellowship and the abstention therefrom among all brethren.

As to  hypocrisy, see the above.

I am not imposing upon or obligating anyone to do anything. 

As to his claim in the last sentence, once again, the banner under which his Central meetings operate suggests a united fellowship which it is not.
His ecclesial website carries the banner, "Central Fellowship." How many Central meetings is his ecclesia in this "Fellowship" with?
  1. You charge us with "hypocrisy", but the burden of proof for hypocrisy is upon you: You call for us to "produce documents proving that" we have "disfellowshipped" various errorists. By parity of argument, we could demand documentation your ecclesias have disfellowshipped Rome. You say you were never in fellowship with Rome? Then what you grant for yourselves, you should grant to others. Oddly, when you were in the Unamended community, you rejected the doctrine that you were in fellowship with every single person in the Unamended community, but now that you have a supposedly superior Fellowship card, you now accuse others of what you did not apply to your own case. By the way, let's remember your stint in Central as well. You didn't believe you were in fellowship with the Endeavor group did you? Where are the documents, from that time, where you disfellowshipped all these errorists?
Bro Steve is bordering on a predilection for irrelevancy. He is better than this. Where I am now is, in effect, a confession for, and abjuration of, certain past positions while in the UA and Central. Surely he can afford me the same courtesy that he afforded himself when he left the UA and then, Viner Hall was it?

I  believe bro Jim has in effect, already addressed the balance of bro Steve's statements either in the past or currently. (Note: bro Jim characterizes Steve's arguments as focusing on the minutea; I, as infantfish.) However, perhaps bro Jim has not yet read or responded to this one:


    1. The truth is, the Unamended community practices fellowship closer to the pioneer brethren than Bereans do... because the Unamended community... (readers may go to his site to read the balance)

    I know of a few UA who might take exception to this. Moreover,  I know of nothing in the history of Unamendia that even remotely resembles brother Roberts' fellowship belief statements and actions - especially in both the Dowieite and Renunciation fellowship withdrawals, the Partial Inspiration fellowship withdrawal and the Responsibility fellowship division - that is with the possible exception of the  withdrawal from "Zilmer ecclesias" some 70 years ago. Certainly nothing within my memory of over 30 years, and most certainly -and with great relevance today.
-broBW

Final edits completed at 10:30 am 5/29
Paragraph 3, "word" changed to "description" 5 am 5/30.





JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #87 

Quote:

You call for us to "produce documents proving that" we have "disfellowshipped" various errorists.--bro. Genusa



I would settle for a simple explanation of how the "fellowship within a fellowship" works, at some point.  Is a brother from an apostate Central ecclesia, who is individually "sound," accepted at Memorials, or are "sound" brethren from certain ecclesias non grata? 

I've concluded long ago that we will never be told how the "fellowship within a fellowship" works.  If they told us, they know it would be too easy for us to show evidence that this is not what the pioneers practiced.  Therefore, they are reduced to saying things like we are not smart enough to understand it, and attacking us with minutia. 

In reading bro. Genusa's recent discussion with bro. Dennis Davis, I was amused by bro. Genusa telling bro. Davis:   "You have, indeed, 'cracked the code'.   What does that mean?  Why is there a code that needs to be cracked?  Why can't the practice simply be explained?

I'm willing to be enlightened, but at this point, I believe "cracking the code" means looking at the naked King, and shouting out what beautiful clothes he's wearing.  (Hope y'all read nursery rhymes, or that will appear really strange.)

(By "sound," I mean they understand the first principles personally, but are willing to fellowship with those who don't.  Its not really what I would call sound, but will suffice for this discussion.)


JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #88 

Case # 16

In this article, bro. Growcott was trying to emphasize the point of what the Pioneer brethren believed in regards the parable of the Tares.  This is made necessary by the move in Central to use the parable as an explanation of fellowship.  They have even included this in their hymns. The following is the second and third verses of Hymn 424.

We ourselves are God’s own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Son of Man shall come,
And shall take his harvest home;
-From his field shall purge away
All that doth offend, that day;
Give his angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store
In his garner evermore.
 

During the "Partial Inspiration" division, bro. Roberts responded to a critic who was complaining about the division which had taken place.  I will produce the original complaint and the Berean article side by side so that comparisons can easily be made.  I do realize this is an unnecessary step, as bro. Genusa has already agreed that none of the edits which he complains of, altered the intent of the articles.  But I have done this throughout, so that every man may be convinced in his own mind.

 

Fellowship and "Tares"

There either is or is not such a thing as scriptural fellowship in our age. If there is not, we may as well abandon all attempts to apply scriptural principles in our relations with men, and be content to drift on the unsettled waters of mere race-religionism: a Catholic among Catholics, a Protestant among Protestants, a Mohammedan among Mahommedians, etc.

 

There is no middle ground between the Christadelphian position and the absolute indifferentism of national ecclesiasticism. The Christadelphian position is:

  1. the recognition of apostolic Truth as the material of individual conviction; and
  2. an acceptance of the duty coming along with it of limiting fellowship to those who accord a similar recognition.

     

If this is a right position (and it has been proved in the article on Fellowship to which you object), then it is no faithful man's part to unite himself to those who may "differ from himself in his reading or interpretation of the Scriptures." He is under apostolic obligation to withdraw, where the Truth--as he conceives it--is not received.

 

You call this "setting up as judge and jury." This is a mis-description. The man in such a case judges and jurifies himself merely. He decides that his surroundings in a given case impose upon him a certain line of duty. In this, he is a "divinely appointed arbiter" insofar as God requires him to discern and perform his duty.

 

You look at the act as it bears on those from whom he withdraws. It is this that confuses your view. You speak of "excluding" from fellowship. This is not the question. It is "withdrawal". There is a great difference. No enlightened man will claim jurisdiction over another. His jurisdiction is limited to himself. And here, surely, it is absolute. If the conditions of scriptural association do not exist, he is bound to perceive the fact and ACT upon it, or else accept the character of neutral--of which the divine law provides no recognition.

 

It is not a case of "pulling up the tares," but of acting a part apostolically enjoined. The tares are still left, if tares they are. It belongs to God to pull them up.

 

Nevertheless, it belongs to men who may wish to be garnered with the wheat to meanwhile act a faithful part by the Truth which God commits to every man who receives it; and--when necessary--to "withdraw from every brother who walks" inconsistently with apostolic principles.

 

You suggest that this was the prerogative of apostolic authority only. Look into it, and you will see it is apostolic advice and command to believers. We do not require apostolic authority to obey apostolic counsels. Apostolic counsels are as valid in the 19th century as in the first. Otherwise it would come to this: that the apostolic work was confined to the lives of the apostles, and that there can be no compliance with apostolic principles (and therefore no salvation) in the 19th century!

 

It doubtless would "require the gift of the Spirit," as you say, "to act with the authority of Christ" with regard to others. But a man does not require the gift of the Spirit to decide his own attitude toward men and things. What may be the right attitude, he has to find out. When found, he is bound to take it--or incur condemnation on the day of account. He requires no inspiration to see when the doctrines or the commandments of Christ are set aside. And when he sees this, Christ has commanded him what to do as regards continuing or not continuing his participation with the unfaithfulness.

 

He leaves God to deal with the unfaithful. But while he does this, he is not absolved from the duty of exercising his own discernments, and "coming out from among them." We have truly no right to excommunicate. But we have a right to take ourselves away, if circumstances call for it.

 

--Feb., 1886

 

J. C. H.—We accept your friendly critique on the conduct of the Christadelphian in the spirit that prompts it. We cannot, however, accept all your positions. There either is or is not such a thing as Scriptural fellowship in our age. If there is not, we may as well abandon all attempts to apply Scriptural principles in our relations with men, and be content to drift on the unsettled waters of mere race-religionism—a Catholic among Catholics, a Protestant among Protestants, a Mahommedan among Mahommedans, a Hindu among Hindoos, &c. Presumably, you would not advocate this but would recognise that there must be at least an attempt to discern what the principles of revealed truth are, and to obtain a recognition of these as a basis of religious association. When you have conceded this, you will find yourself on the highroad to the Christadelphian position. There is no middle ground between that position and the absolute indifferentism of national ecclesiasticism. For what is the position? First, the recognition of apostolic truth as the material of individual conviction; and secondly, an acceptance of the duty coming along with it of limiting fellowship to those who accord a similar recognition. If this is a right position (and it has been proved in the article on fellowship to which you object), then it is no faithful man’s part to unite himself to those who may “differ from himself in his reading or interpretation of the Scriptures.” He is under apostolic obligation to withdraw where the truth, as he conceives it, is not received. You call this “setting up as judge and jury in the matter and acting as though we were the divinely accredited arbiters in the question as to the true meaning of some or all of the works of God.” This is a mis-description. The man in such a case judges and jurifies himself merely. He decides that his surroundings in a given case impose upon him a certain line of duty. In this he is a divinely appointed arbiter in so far as God requires him to discern and perform his duty. You look at the act as it bears on those from whom he withdraws. It is this that confuses your view. You speak of “excluding” from fellowship. This is not the question: it is “withdrawal.” There is a great difference. No enlightened man will claim jurisdiction over another. His jurisdiction is limited to himself: and here, surely, it is absolute. If the conditions of Scriptural association do not exist, he is bound to perceive the fact and act upon it, or else accept the character of neutral, of which the divine law provides no recognition. It is not a case of pulling up the tares, but of acting a part apostolically enjoined. The tares are still left, if tares they are. It belongs to God to pull them up. Nevertheless it belongs to men who may wish to be garnered with the wheat to meanwhile act a faithful part by the truth which God commits to every man who receives it, and when necessary to “withdraw from every brother who walks” inconsistently with apostolic principles. You suggest that this was the prerogative of apostolic authority only. Look into it and you will see it is apostolic advice and command to believers. We do not require apostolic authority to obey apostolic counsels. Apostolic counsels are as valid in the 19th century as in the first century; otherwise it would come to this, that the apostolic work was confined to the lives of the apostles, and that there can be no compliance with apostolic principles, (and therefore no salvation) in the nineteenth century! It doubtless would “require the gift of the Spirit,” as you say “to act with the authority of Christ” with regard to others, but a man does not require the gift of the Spirit to decide his own attitude towards men and things. What may be the right attitude, he has to find out; when found, he is bound to take it, or incur condemnation on the day of account. He requires no inspiration to see when the doctrines or the commandments of Christ are set aside: and when he sees this, Christ has commanded him what to do as regards continuing or not continuing his participation with the unfaithfulness. He leaves God to deal with the unfaithful; but while he does this, he is not absolved from the duty of exercising his own discernments, and “coming out from among them.” We have truly no right to excommunicate: but we have a right to take ourselves away if circumstances call for it.
The Christadelphian : Volume 23 Bd. 23. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1886, S. 23:69-70

 

 

Bro. Genusa claims that the expression "high road to the Christadelphian position" was omitted, because "Bereans only recognize a single basis of religion" and therefore a high road to the Christadelphian position would be inconsistent.  To this we ask, how did he ever get the idea that we deny that there are other religious associations?  Does not the article in fact define this?  How could bro. Growcott quote a Catholic among Catholics, without recognizing another religious association?  They have a road.  It is not the "high road" of Scriptural fellowship.

Like most of the editing we have seen, the editing in this article has been done to remove personal references from the discussion.  These brethren all await our Lord, and are not relevant to the discussion.  But the points they discussed are the same points we are discussing today.  That is the reason for the edits.

But more importantly as regard the principle edit of which bro. Genusa compains, note the point bro. Roberts makes.  The Christadelphians have a fellowship position.  Can this be said about Central?  No, Central has many fellowship positions, none of which practiced by bro. Roberts.  But what was the Christadelphian position in bro. Roberts day?  That the wheat and the tares should grow together till Christ's return?  No.  The Christadelphian position required denying that the parable of the Tares had anything to do with fellowship.

Here are some very brief excerpts from the Christadelphian Magazine concerning fellowship, and the parable of the Wheat and the Tares.  We ask our Central brethren, is this your position today?

Quote:

It is Christ’s especial function to do this, and to separate the chaff from among the wheat, but it is not true that we are to shut our eyes to delinquency, and extend our fellowship without discrimination  -- RR -- Chdn 1867, 267

Quote:

As therefore, the tares are gathered and burned with fire, so it shall be in the end of this aion—εν τη συντελεια του αιωνος τουτου. In this parable he did not teach the end of the kingdom, nor of the world, in the sense of Gentilism; but of the aion.-- JT  -- Chdn 1872, 468

The parable of the tares is illustrative of “the end of the world, ” which was the field in which the Son of Man sowed good seed. In what world, or country, did the Son of Man sow? He answers the question when he says, “I am not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel;” he sowed then in the land of Israel, which was, therefore, the Field and not the universal globe. --JT --Chdn 1873:195

Quote:

It is not a question of pulling up the tares, which no man can do. It is a question of not being partakers of other men’s sins, and of washing our hands of all complicity in the practical treachery to the truth which would preach it as an uncertain thing, and defile it by admixture with the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees --RR -- Chdn 1874:409

Quote:

The parable of the tares is wrongly applied if made to nullify the apostolic commandment to “withdraw from” everyone consenting not to the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus. Our interpretations and applications must leave a place for every precept. This is, in fact, where the difference lies between “rightly dividing,” and “wresting” the Scriptures. --RR --Chdn 1885:572

Quote:

If the conditions of Scriptural association do not exist, he is bound to perceive the fact and act upon it, or else accept the character of neutral, of which the divine law provides no recognition. It is not a case of pulling up the tares, but of acting a part apostolically enjoined. The tares are still left, if tares they are. It belongs to God to pull them up. -- RR -- Chdn 1886:69

 

Quote:

The parable of the wheat and the tares is sometimes quoted as a reason for not disfellowshipping false doctrine. If this application of it had been intended by Christ, there would have been no injunction in the New Testament to “beware of evil workers” (Phil. 3:2), &c., and no condemnation of those who harboured false teachers in their midst. --JJA -- Chdn 1886:318

Brother F. A. Gerdes, of Mason, Tex., U.S.A., writes also concerning the parable of the wheat and the tares. He says: It has no reference to fellowship and withdrawal whatever. If it had, then such a thing as withdrawal would be positively forbidden by Christ in this place, while in another place he, with equal emphasis, enjoins it (Matt. 18:17).  Chdn 1886:318  

W. M.—You err in thinking brother Andrew expressed a different view from brother Gerdes on the parable of the wheat and tares. Read again, and you will see they both show reason for holding that the parable has no reference to ecclesial life. We agree with both. --RR -- Chdn 1886:572

Quote:

They “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” therefore if a man calls another a liar, and still fellowships him, he is no Christadelphian. The tares and the wheat cannot grow together in Christ. They can, and do, in the world.  J Y Edwards -- Chdn 1887:169

Quote:

The Parable of the Tares.—The parable of the tares deals with a larger matter. It deals with “the kingdom of heaven” in a history extending to the rectification of all things. The kingdom of heaven is a phrase interchangeable with the kingdom of God as we saw a chapter or two back. We must have in view the truth concerning the kingdom of God before we can understand parables that illustrate it.--RR --Chdn 1887:393

The parable of the tares represents that phase of it that embraced the personal work of Christ. This appears from Christ’s explanation. Chdn 1887:393

 

“First” as the parable required, at the end of the Jewish world, the tare-class were gathered into Jerusalem, as into a furnace of fire, where there was wailing and gnashing of teeth, where they were destroyed with every circumstance of suffering and horror, as a study of the details of Josephus’ account of the devastation of Judea and the destruction of Jerusalem, nearly forty years after Christ’s ascent to “all power in heaven and earth,” will abundantly shew to the reader. Thus were retributively “gathered out of his kingdom all things that offended” during his personal ministry, and “them who did iniquity.” The kingdom of the Holy Land is his kingdom which enables us to understand the interpretation. --RR--Chdn 1887:394

Quote:

He quotes from the parable of the tares: “Let both grow together until the harvest”—both the tares and the wheat. We cannot understand such a quotation unless our friend means to argue that we are not to obey the commandments which direct us—1, to treat a lawless brother after proper warning “as a heathen man” --RR--Chdn 1891:346

 
It must be evident that there is something wrong in a construction of the parable of the tares that would have the effect of nullifying these reasonable commandments (reasonable because unanimous submission to the faith and practice of the gospel is the very basis of association in Christ). The parable and the commandments are not in collision at all. They refer to two different things. -- RR Chdn 1891:346-347
 
What the parable refers to is the seed-sowing operations of the Son of Man in the house of Israel, as shown in Nazareth Revisited, page 138. In this operation it was needful that the tares should not be uprooted till the wheat was grown, otherwise the ripening development of the wheat would have been prevented. -- RR --Chdn 1891:347

Is it not then, crystal clear as to what the Christadelphian position was?

fhigham

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     It is interesting to see the the Protestant Church origin of this hymn that Bro. Jim quoted from the Central hymnal.

     I found it in more than 2 sources on line and is in agreement with the apostate view of the parable of the tares.

 

The liturgy and hymns of the American province of the Unitas Fratum

The Moravian Church  1900

Moravian Publication Office

Hymn 797           Tune 205

 

We ourselves are God's own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Son of Man shall come,
And shall take his harvest home;
-From his field shall purge away
All that doth offend, that day;
Give his angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store
In his garner evermore.

 

Also in the "Book of Praise" Hymn CCLIXIV

By Henry Alford - 1845

 

This also fits with the statement by Bro. Mansfield on how he also views fellowship.

 

"...I do hope that you can understand our position on fellowship.  In other words, we do not cast off those with "the same mind" as we enjoy.  We are not the judge of other men's actions, but our own.  And we will only fellowship those who identify with our teachings, whatever they might claim as a "name which liver".   We fight against those of a different mind from ours in the same spirit of Brother Thomas.

Kind regards

Graham Mansfield"

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #90 

Quote:

In other words, we do not cast off those with "the same mind" as we enjoy.



Nor we.  Its only those who believe they are at liberty to fellowship error, that we withdraw from.  Those who believe they can refuse apostolic precept, are those bro. Mansfield will fellowship, but we will not.  I can understand what he does.  I can't understand why he does it.

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