"They received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Therefore many believed."--Acts 17:11

Berean Christadelphians

Index

For Further Information Contact:  Jim Phillips

 
Berean Christadelphians
Register Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 9      1   2   3   4   Next   »
JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #1 

It looks like bro. Genusa continues to be bothered by this booklet, as well he should. From his web site, it looks like the booklet is in for an intense word for word examination and critique. It begins this morning with a complaint that the title of "A True Christadelphian Ecclesia" has been changed to "The True Christadelphian Ecclesia." I think its safe to say, from this complaint, that this examination is going to be intense.

This can be nothing but good for the Truth. The articles included in the booklet are the heart and soul of the doctrine of fellowship, and any examination, and call to attention of these writings is of the most valuable nature.  Bro. Genusa is suggesting redoing the article to make it more textually accurate, and we fully support this idea.  The concepts in these articles need to be read, and discussed, and understood, and embraced by the entire Christadelphian world.  Perhaps the textual changes innocently made by bro. Growcott, and now to be shouted to the Christadelphian world, were the determinate hand of God, causing this exact examination of these articles at this exact time, as a final call to Christadelphians just prior to Christ's return.

Yes, I know the intent of bro. Genusa is to cause embarrassment to the Bereans and me specifically, by pointing out insignificant textual changes, but I don’t mind, nor think other Bereans should. I accept it with the same spirit of the apostle Paul who wrote:

Quote:
Php 1:15-18 "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. "

Bro. Genusa’s critique is already bearing valuable fruit as a testimony against Central Fellowship and his fellowship position. Bro. Genusa has branded the booklet as "error" in his time line of Christadelphian history. Yet on his blog this morning we find this curious testimony to the booklet.

Quote:
"...Are there substantial text differences? Yes. Are there substantial doctrinal differences. Not that I've seen but I would not expect to see that."–Stephen Genusa

So here is clear testimony by bro. Genusa himself, that the booklet correctly sets forth the doctrinal position of bre. Thomas and Roberts, that he expected those responsible for the booklet to have correctly set forth the doctrinal position of bre. Thomas and Roberts; and yet he has called the booklet "error." Perhaps, as bro. Genusa wrestles with this conflict, (how the booklet can at the same time correctly set for the doctrinal position of bre. Roberts and Thomas and be error) he himself will finally accept the Truth pertaining to the doctrine of fellowship as correctly set forth in that booklet, and join with us.

Jim
JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #2 
I thought I would post a little information about how the booklet named "The Doctrine of Fellowship" came into existence.  In the very early 1980s, Bro. Julio Scaramastro approached me with the idea of the two of us writing some booklet on fellowship.  I felt that such an effort would have very limited appeal to anyone. 

I suggested that instead, we assemble articles by bre. Thomas and Roberts into a booklet which set out their position on fellowship.  But neither of us had access to the original Christadelphian magazines.  I did have a good collection of Bereans, going back to around 1944, and then sparcely back to 1938. 

We decided that I would choose the articles, cut and paste them in a booklet, and produce it on a copier.  I was, by trade, a copy machine technician, so cutting out the articles and pasting them up, and copying them was an easy and cost effective way for us to get these articles out.

I went through my collection, cut out what I thought was relevant, and pasted them up.  I copied them (on a  Mita 131 copier, owned by bro. Mark McShane which I kept at my house) and mailed them to bro. Julio.  He named the booklet, bound it with a plastic ring binding, and distributed it.  Bro. Julio paid all expenses. 

At another point in time, after I had moved from California to Texas, bro. Julio moved to California and opened a print shop.  He reset the work, and published it again.  I do not know if there were any changes made in bro. Julio's reset.  I suppose bro. Genusa will let us know. 
JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #3 

Bro. Genusa’s Case #1

Bro. Genusa’s complaint is that the article "The Doctrine of Fellowship" by F.G. Janaway, appeared on bro. Julio Scaramastro’s (Maranatha Fellowship) and my web site under the by line of bro. Roberts.

The most significant point for this thread, is that the booklet, "The Doctrine of Fellowship" which I was involved with, does not have this mistake. The article called "The Doctrine of Fellowship" in the booklet "The Doctrine of Fellowship" that I did, has no author listed.

This mistake was made on bro. Julio’s Web Site. He and sis. Kim were kind enough to hand type all of these articles, and one of them must have added the by line. I copied the article either from his web site, or bro. Genusa’s web site when I set up my web site. When I later noticed that bro. Genusa had bro. Janaway as the author, I researched the matter and eventually changed my copy.

Bro. Genusa accuses us of "maintaining our mistakes for 80 years." He also says in a Sept 15th, 2007 edit that I "recently" updated my site and made this correction. These are both exaggerations. My files indicate that they were originally uploaded Sept. 21, 2003, and the correction was made at least by Nov. 2, 2005, probably before. The Nov. 2, 2005 is the last time any change to the file was made.

Bro. Genusa makes the charge that the article was heavily edited by bro. Growcott, but makes no effort to substantiate his charge here, but rather in his Case #2, so I will leave discussion of that point till later.

But all of this is just minutia, designed to distract us from the key issue, which is the doctrine of fellowship. What were the circumstances which caused this article to be written? Why does bro. Genusa object to this article by bro. Janaway? Why does he want to try and separate the teachings of bro. Janaway from bro. Roberts. And why does he want us to believe that bro. Roberts would place articles in the Christadelphian, that he didn’t personally endorse? Bro. Roberts is very clear about how he edited his magazine in regards to error. It was not open to ideas he viewed as contrary to the truth.

Bro. Roberts explained how he viewed the responsibilities of an editor, so there is no need for speculation. In 1892, which just happens to be the same year bro. Janaway’s article is published, and in March, the same month bro. Janaway’s article is finished, we find this note in bro. Roberts’ magazine:

Quote:
PUBLISHING ERROR
The editor of The Truth(!) magazine solicits "literary contributions from those holding views of doctrine not generally endorsed by the brethren." What an extraordinary proposal on the part of a man professing to hold and to serve the Truth! A man is not fit to be an editor who either has no definite convictions of his own, or who is not prepared to stand by his convictions, and asks his contributors to say anything they like, on the plea that he is "no autocrat," and that he will "not feel bound to interfere with any observations."—March, 1892

Bro. Roberts had already printed a similar explanation of his editorial position, a few years earlier when the doctrine of fellowship was being thoroughly examined in relation to the "Partial Inspiration" division. At that time he wrote:

Quote:

Chdn. 1885 pg. 466 "... Twenty-one years ago, on the recommendation of Dr. Thomas, I commenced the publication of a periodical devoted to the interests of the truth, at a time when the truth had scarcely any friends. Amongst other features, I gave prominence to that of systematic ecclesial intelligence from a conviction that the regular publication of such intelligence would tend to keep alive and give Scriptural form to the activities developed by the truth, promulgated by lectures, and otherwise. The thing worked as I expected, and it worked without any detriment so long as the professed friends of the truth were at peace one with another. But by and bye, here and there, dissensions occurred-sometimes on personal issues-sometimes on doctrinal differences. Out of these dissensions, withdrawals, and divisions arose. Here is the difficulty which has clouded and embittered the editorial conduct of the Christadelphian for years. One side would send a report of their action, apparently official and unchallengeable. The report would appear, and then next month, the other side would protest against it, and demand that their version of the matter should be accepted and published as the right one. Sometimes this would happen even before publication-both sides simultaneously claiming publicity as the party in the right. It was inevitable in such cases that some degree of investigation should take place. Had I been indifferent to the peace of the ecclesias, or insensible to the question of right or wrong, I would simply have given place equally to both sides, and allowed the Christadelphian to become an arena of public wrangle. Had I been merely bent on creating a reading constituency, I would have done this. But I had very indifferent views, whatever incensed friends may think to the contrary. I have tried to find out the right, determining to identify myself with the right only, in which, surely, I was within the province of each man's individual prerogative. What earnest man would have acted in the same way? Having come to a conclusion as to where the right lay, I directed my principal aim to restoring peace-always. Failing this, I have closed the intelligence columns of the Christadelphian to those I considered in the wrong.

So bro. Roberts attitude about printing fellowship ideas he does not hold is clear. Obviously, he embraced bro. Janaway’s article.

Bro. Janaway’s article is a response to a theory and an article that was circulating throughout the brotherhood. The Christadelphian world had separated over the doctrine of "Partial Inspiration", and many were pressuring bro. Roberts to end the division between the two groups. This was no random article, submitted out of the blue by bro. Janaway. It was a timely article, intended to deal with a very serious problem at hand. The article it was attacking was an essay, and very similar to another article circulating the brotherhood for a little more than six months, called "The Open Door."  This theory set forth many of the precepts now defended by bro. Genusa.

1. It set forth bro. Genusa’s position that the 1852 and earlier writings of bro. Thomas somehow defined bro. Thomas’ views on fellowship.

2. It sets forth bro. Genusa’s position that fellowship is only between the Father and the son.

3. It set forth bro. Genusa’s view on the transmigration of error--that is, if I am in fellowship with the brethren, and in fellowship with God, but one of those brethren is in error, then God must be in fellowship with error. This is false reasoning, but it is bro. Genusa’s reasoning and it is the "Open Door" pamphlet’s reasoning.

4. It sets forth bro. Genusa’s position that withdrawal is actually "excommunication."

This article by bro. Janaway which bro. Roberts printed in his magazine opposed most of these ideas embraced by bro. Genusa. That is clear through bro. Genusa’s objections. But the principle question that should be addressed by bro. Genusa is this, and we look forward to him picking up this challenge, proving to us that his complaints are not merely diversionary, but substantive.

Is there anything pertaining to the doctrine of fellowship in bro. Janaway’s article which is ever directly challenged or denied by bro. Roberts?

Surely if the inclusion of this article is somehow wrong, and if the accidental addition of a by line is some intentional and devious action on my part, then bro. Genusa should be able to point to articles by bro. Roberts where he denounced the principles set forth by bro. Janaway which would have made such devious actions worth while, on my part. Yet we both know that he can’t.

Nor can he explain such clear and to the point statements by bro. Roberts which fully support bro. Janaway’s stand, such as this:

Quote:
Chdn 1885 pg 385-388

5. -That the first condition of association is the belief of the truth, apart from the perception and reception of which, there is no basis of fellowship.

6. -That the truth forming this basis is made up of a number of items or elements, that are each essential to its integrity as a whole.

7. -That it is a matter of duty to require the recognition of these at the hands of those claiming association with us in the truth.

8. -That we are not at liberty to receive any one who denies or refuses to believe any of them, because the receiving of such would open the way for the currency of their principles among us, with the tendency of leavening the whole community. The elements of the truth are so mutually related that the displacement of one undermines the foundation of the whole.

9. -A man himself believing the truth, but willing to wink at its denial among those in fellowship in any of its essential elements, becomes, by this willingness, an offender against the law of Christ, which requires the faithful maintenance of the whole. Faithful servants of Christ cannot unite with such, on the ground that though he hold the truth himself, such a man is responsible for the error of those whom he would admit, and therefore becomes the channel of a similar responsibility to those who may endorse him in fellowship:-"He that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

Jim

STEVEPHS

Registered:
Posts: 406
Reply with quote  #4 
Dear Bro Jim,

The book in question is what convinced the Hengoed Ecclesia to leave Central back in the early 80's (I was about 10 at the time so I am speaking of the older members).   My brother-in-law so happened to be reading the book during his honey-moon vacation and was shocked to discover the true meaning of fellowship that had been brushed under the carpet for so long by those he fellowshipped in Central.  To this end, we have always been immensely grateful to you for your labours in compiling it.

It struck me a while ago that Bro Genusa spends a considerable amount of time 'defending' his position of continued fellowship with the Central group.  I always wondered whether this was because his conscience bothered him?

For personal reasons, it would be wonderful to belong to them.  They have just built a fantastic two storey ecclesial hall in our town that we pass every Sunday and drive for a further hour to get to Hengoed.  But I was brought up believing that the truth is not ours to meddle with, and that it's purity has been entrusted to our care, and to that end, feel that the Berean stand in 1923 was absolutely correct and will stuck by them and amongst them, Yahweh willing, for as long as their position remains a solid one. 

Modern Christadelphians do not want to base their stand today on what happened in 1923 (we often hear "I wasn't even born then") but the present is based on history in every respect.   It would be like saying "I don't want to call myself a Christadelphian because I wasn't living in the days of Bro Thomas!

It would seem that one of the issues for people is the concept of leaving the "main body", but as bro Bob's article pointed out by Welch, the body is that which mirrors the doctrines of the apostles, revived in these last days by our pioneers which we esteem highly in love for their works sake, and to mirror those doctrines and commandments today should be our focus and goal.

As bro Roberts once pointed out, we don't stand aside to judge or condemn, merely to uphold the apostolic doctrine of fellowship and withdrawal.

Bro Steve
broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
"...pointed out by [bro] Welch, the body is that which mirrors the doctrines of the apostles, revived in these last days by our pioneers which we esteem highly in love for their works sake, and to mirror those doctrines and commandments today should be our focus and goal. - STEVEPHS


Amen, brother, and such labeling as "isolationists," "separatists," "hirelings," and "schismatics" cannot change it.
JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #6 
Those who say 1923 is not relevant, do not believe the Scriptures.  Paul says a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  To admit to problems in 1923, (as John Carter did in the 1940 Christadelphian) and do nothing to purge out the old leaven, puts them in the position that their lump is still leavened, or Paul is wrong. 

Jim
broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #7 
Not only is 1923 most relevant, so is where we are today inasmuch as fundamental errors in the Central group have become more numerous during the past 86 years. If withdrawal from Central (then called Temperance Hall) was justified in 1923 (which is was), then how much more so today is maintaining this withdrawal justified!

Bro Genusa is one of a few in the Central who do not promulgate the legion of false teachings found in that group. However, like most in the Central his view on the doctrine of fellowship is incorrect.

In my view, bro Steve, you would be of far greater service to your own ecclesias by directing the big guns more in that direction instead of wasting your time nitpicking at us.



JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:

In my view, bro Steve, you would be of far greater service to your own ecclesias by directing the big guns more in that direction instead of wasting your time nitpicking at us.



My take, bro. Bob, is a little different.  Bro. Steve, in his Christadelphian history time line  has listed the booklet as an error introduced in 1981.  At some point, I would expect him to be able to defend this, and clearly any effort he has made as a defense to this point has been muddled and confused.  He recent statements are no less confusing.

Quote:
"...Are there substantial text differences? Yes. Are there substantial doctrinal differences. Not that I've seen but I would not expect to see that."–Stephen Genusa
How can he list the book as error, when he admits there are no doctrinal differences between the presentation, and the pioneers.  And how can he list us as errorists, since, from his own pen,  he didn't even expect to find any doctrinal differences.  If one didn't know better, they'd think bro. Steve is suggesting that the writings of bre. Thomas and Roberts itself, is the error.  This may, in fact, be where he is going.

But he needs to clarify his position.  What is the error in the booklet?  Why has he pinned this error to the booklet in question, and 1981.  Because it seems, even in the current exercise, he is taking this undefined error back prior to 1981.  I hope that clarification comes out of this most recent exercise. 

Jim

broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #9 
Thank you, bro Jim.

I do not believe that your comments and mine are mutually exclusive. It is possible, however,  that my words do not properly convey my thoughts. (Wouldn't be the first time.)

Already, we believe that he is making the position of our two pioneer brethren regarding fellowship of none effect by misinterpreting their writings upon the subject.  This is bad enough. Whether or not
he is headed toward  suggesting that the fellowship writings of bre. Thomas and Roberts are in error, would take a more keen eye than mine at this point. However, you've been at this a lot longer than most of us and may see something at this juncture that I do not.

"...Are there substantial text differences? Yes. Are there substantial doctrinal differences. Not that I've seen but I would not expect to see that."–Stephen Genusa
Quote:
How can he list the book as error, when he admits there are no doctrinal differences between the presentation, and the pioneers.  And how can he list us as errorists, since, from his own pen,  he didn't even expect to find any doctrinal differences.  -bro JP


Since brother Genusa appears to be following this message board, I ask him: What about this, Steve? How can you say that the book is error - that we are errorists - when you say that "there [are] no substantial doctrinal differences"?

And what if there are textual mistakes in the book? bro Jim has already explained how this happened. It seems innocent enough. I have been guilty of this. Perhaps you have as well? The following is from your website (First Principles, section). The article is brother Thomas'. The title, however, is not. I should know. I placed it there years ago in The Herald.

Quote:

Christ's Atoning Sacrifice: For Himself and For Us

Now a sinner having studied "the word of the kingdom," and come to the understanding of it, has a power within him, which did not exist there in his times of ignorance. Paul styles this power, "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus"; and he says that "it sets free from the law of sin and death." If then it sets free, it is "the law of liberty," as James expresses it. In another place, Paul styles this law, or power, "the gospel of Christ." His words are, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to every one believing."

This is, then, the saving power, and there is no other. If a sinner would be saved by God, and no one else can save him, he must be saved by the gospel, by the truth, by the law of liberty, which are the same, for his power is there. But this power can only save the believing. It has no power over the faithless.

But before dismissing the subject, the apostle tells us what gives the gospel of Christ its saving efficacy. He says, "it is the power of God for salvation to the believing, because God's state of being perfect on account of faith is revealed in it for faith: as it is written, The justified man shall live on account of faith. "Here, then, is a state of being revealed in the gospel in which the believers are perfect. It is God's state of in-being perfection, as opposed to all states beyond its limits. In the English version, the state is styled, "God's righteousness...... his righteousness," or "the righteousness of God." It is his system, styled by Paul, "the faith of God," according to which he constitutes a sinner of understanding heart and divine disposition, a righteous person, or saint.

In order to do this, he places his absolutely holy and just image, his Son Jesus Christ, at the door of the entrance into the state, or sheepfold; who proclaims, "I am the door of the sheep; if any man enter in by me, he shall be saved." But, he is not only the door of entrance, he is also in a certain sense, "a great and perfect tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man." "Destroy this temple," said the Spirit, "and I will in three days raise it up"; but says John, "He spake of the temple of his body."Here, then, is "a building of God," a tent, tabernacle, or temple, "a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens." There is but one entrance into that house, and that is by the door. The area within that building is holy ground; and the jasper wall is holy. It is the true holy place, or place of holiness, perfectness, or righteousness. It is God's place of righteousness, "a heavenly in Christ Jesus," into which they who have "purified their hearts by faith" are invited to enter.

But there is "no admittance here for the unwashed."Before this Holy Place is an altar to which faith approaches; and which was cleansed by atonement being made for it, before it was placed there. It is most holy; and whatsoever touches it becomes holy. Paul styles this altar, Jesus. It was cleansed, when the blood of its consecration was poured out from his side. All the worshippers who would enter the Holy Place must first come to this altar, that touching it they may be holy.But between the place of God's righteousness and this altar, is a Laver or bath of water, styled by Paul, the New-Birth Laver; and in another place, the Laver of the Water. The law of this arrangement is, that when they go into the holy place, they shall wash with water, that they die not. Neither the altar nor the holy place could be approached without washing under penalty of death. The gospel of the arrangement is not less rigid than the law. Who are they that shall enter in by the door, and be saved? Hear the voice of the Great Shepherd's words; "He having believed the gospel and been baptized, shall be saved." But may we not strike out the words "and be baptized," as an interpolation? If you do, you must also remove the New-Birth Laver away from between the Holy Place and the Altar; and if you do that, you approach them both under penalty of death, without the possibility of touching either. "He that believeth not shall be condemned." The unbelieving have nothing to do with the altar, laver, or holy place; for these are institutions only for the enlightened of the word.


That you have not attributed the article to the Doctor is a  red herring. Those of us who are familiar with his writing know that the text is his. If you are going to be a purist in all of this, bro Steve,  perhaps you should locate the article in The Herald and title it correctly and designate the text as an excerpt?  Perhaps you should go through all of the writings on your site and proof them against the originals?

Just to be sure.


 
broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #10 
Post scriptum

Bro Steve: Here are two more that you may wish to check against the originals. Both are from your website:

"Resurrectional Responsibility as Taught in the Old Testament." (In the Unamended section, index page). 

This is not the original title from The Christadelphian Bible Journal on the index page, but thanks for getting it right in the article.

"The Unsavory Origin of Futurism and Preterism." (In the "First Principles" section).

This is a reprint from The Herald.  (Text originally in Horae Apocalypticae.) I would appreciate you correcting my mistake.

Am I nitpicking here?

(Addendum 3/30/09)

Here are five more articles that you may wish to check against the originals.

All are from your website in the First Principles Section:

The Post-Millennial Rebellion

By Henry Sulley

Text from bro Sulley's book.

Title not his.

Post-Millenial Rebellion Explained

By Dr. John Thomas

Text from Eureka

Title not his.

Why the Apocalypse was Given

By Dr John Thomas

Text from Eureka

Title not his.

Jesus Christ: Son of Man, Son of God

Text by sis Lasius (unattributed)

Title not hers.

I think these are reprints from The Herald also. If so, I would appreciate you correcting my mistakes.

Come to think of it, in reprinting excerpts from the larger pioneer works as articles some of us have, over the years,  written our own titles. Do you think this is wrong?

Another question:

Do you think it's wrong to place paragraph breaks where the author did not intend?  If so, we both have correcting to do.

Here's one from your website:

Kingdom

By Dr John Thomas.

The original article in Dr. Thomas' Herald has 5 paragraphs.

Your reprint has 9.

It's the same article, you have just broken it into more paragraphs.

Another question: 

What about placing emphases where the author did not - either with color highlighting, bold type or italics?


JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Case # 1 (Continued)  "A heavily edited version of this article was republished in The Berean magazine in 1978 by bro. Gilbert Growcott and was later included in The Doctrine of Fellowship book."


Clearly the reprint was edited, particularly early in the magazine.  I will present the two articles side by side so the edits can be evaluated.  Please remember, as you evaluate this work, that bro. Genusa is asking you to form an opinion about the motive behind the edits.  His inferred motive, is to distort the subject.  I suggest the motive is to remove unnecessary personal references, relative only to that time period.  As you read this see if you agree with either, or have a different opinion altogether.

I've tried to highlight the redacted material in blue.  Words that have been changed are in green.  The text from two articles are in the column boxes, and my comments are broken out of the boxes.

"The Doctrine of Fellowship"

 

ECCLESIAL FELLOWSHIP
By Brother G. Jannaway, London.

 

"Receive him not into the house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker (fellowshipper) of his evil deeds" - 2 John 10-11
 
This dialog appeared in the Christadelphian of 1892. It's in answer to an unsound pamphlet, taken sentence by sentence. The pamphlet's statements are prefixed by "F:" for "False". The scriptural replies are prefixed by "T:" for "True." The pamphlet argues that breaking of bread is not "fellowship," that breaking bread with and/or fellowshipping errorists is not unscriptural, and that "fellowship" is actually something beyond our control (if we're in agreement, we're "in fellowship"; if we're not, we're not; we can't control it, and need not worry about it.) It is not consistent, admitting some things it elsewhere denies. Though it disagrees violently with it, it clearly recognizes and concedes what was the established Christadelphian position on fellowship up to that time, and herein it is a valuable testimony. It is quite clear, both from the admissions in the pamphlet, and the answers for the Truth, that the accepted Christadelphian belief then was, and regularly had been-

1. It is wrong to fellowship those who fellowship error.

2. Breaking of bread is inseparable from fellowship, and is the "highest act of fellowship possible" (Bro. Roberts), involving "God speed" to those participated with.

3. Breaking bread with known errorists involves us in responsibility for their errors.

This is what is being objected to. This is what is being defended as established Bible truth.

- Bro. G.V. Growcott

 

 
A DEFENSE OF THE HISTORIC CHRISTADELPHIAN POSITIONThe following argumentative conversation arose out of a private verbal discussion between W. and F. as to whether a particular doctrine had to be believed before immersion, and as a condition of fellowship. W. seemed distressed at the idea of separation on a single doctrine (while agreed on all others), and groundlessly charged the Christadelphians with teaching that all brethren out of fellowship with them were practically regarded as without hope; hence F. replied that W. should keep in mind the proposition stated below, and which proposition called forth the discussion that follows thereon. All the paragraphs headed “W” are the very words of the essay written by W., and which essay has been divided into sections so that the arguments contained therein might be the more thoroughly dealt with.

The two articles start out quite different.  Bro. Growcott spends quite a bit of time focusing our attention on the historic nature of the article, explaining that this article exhibits the historical teaching of Christadelphians, while the writer giving the introduction for bro. Janaway's article, (no doubt the editor) focuses on the charges made against the Christadelphians' current practice in 1892.  This no doubt the result of the different purposes of the article.  In 1892, is was a current, hot topic dividing the brotherhood.  In 1978, it was an historical  look back at how the brotherhood had dealt with certain arguments which are still current. 

Bro. Growcott chose to eliminate as much of the personal references as possible.  This was a part of his basic makeup.  He always believed the subject was more important than the individuals involved, and always counseled us not to focus on individuals, but on the teachings.  Consideration of the individuals, he felt, could bias a discussion.  Which of course it does.  He was always quite clear to me that what ever was written should survive the controversy.  This meant that it should not focus on items relative to a single individual, but must always be a consideration of the topic itself.  Its ironic that the entire purpose of bro. Genusa's exercise is to cause brethren to focus on the individuals, and obscure the issue.

Bro. Roberts considers this article as argumentative, which of course it was.  A consideration of the redacts will show that bro. Growcott was trying to remove some of the unnecessary and distracting personally argumentative statements to leave only the points focused on the Scriptures.

T: In many cases we have to refuse fellowship to those we hope to see accepted by-and-by through the mercy of God. But it would not be scriptural to allow this hope to be the ground of fellowship.

 

Proposition to be Remembered
That in many cases we have to refuse fellowship to those we hope to see accepted by and bye through the mercy of God, but that it would not be Scriptural to allow this hope to be the ground of fellowship; otherwise, fellowship would vary with the amount of hope a man possessed.”

The article is applied differently between the time bro. Roberts published it, and when bro. Growcott published it.  It was a current event: an explanation of what the ecclesias were currently doing in regards fellowship in the days of bro. Roberts; while it was simply historical in the days of bro. Growcott.  The article began with a proposition, but bro. GVG just dealt with the proposition as a statement of T. 

The end of the proposition is redacted in bro. GVG's copy.  Bro. Janaway's argument is that if we allow our opinion of who will be in the kingdom to influence who we fellowship, our emotions and sensitivities would blind us to our oblications.

F: I cannot agree. I only hope to see men in the Kingdom when I believe there is some possibility of them being there. When I could see NO reason for hoping, THERE I should refuse fellowship, but NOWHERE ELSE.

T: Your contention that in fellowshipping others we incur no responsibility for their actions or beliefs is quite opposed to Bible teaching, and some of your admissions will help make such manifest. We shall confine our remarks to points on which you are at issue with us, as there are many statements in your pamphlet which we do not question. Now for your first complaint.

1. W.—I cannot agree to remember this, as I have never learned it. The only book I rely upon for my ideas of fellowship is the Bible, and I find nothing in its pages requiring any such thing. . . . I only hope to see men in the Kingdom when I believe there is some possibility of them being there; and when I could see no reason for hoping, there I should refuse fellowship, but nowhere else. . . . . It is a principle that I have plainly taught in the meetings, and my teaching has never been challenged. I take the liberty of enclosing an address that I once delivered upon the subject.
2. F.—The real drift of a theory is seldom gathered from an address that is read. Perhaps this is the reason your teaching was not challenged, for your address contains ideas totally subversive of the unity of the faith which Christ’s brethren have to maintain. Your contention that in fellowshipping others we incur no responsibility for their actions or beliefs is quite opposed to Bible teaching, and some of your admissions will help to make such manifest.

Bro. Genusa makes a comment that the redact here obfuscates the true idea of bro. W. 

"I cannot agree to remember this, as I have never learned it" (original)

is changed to read

"I cannot agree" (Berean version)

Do the two sentences represent two totally different ideas? Of course they do.

Can anyone seriously agree with bro. Genusa here, that the edit changes the meaning of bro. W? 

Bro. W. goes into an explanation of his personal understandings and how he reached them; and then references a lecture he gave.  Since we do not have a copy, and was therefore of no value to consider it. This was redacted.  Bro. F's answers to this are also redacted.  While it is bro. Genusa's goal to discredit the doctrine of fellowship by questioning the motive of these redactings, this particular redact actually works in reverse.  The redacted portion is a very powerful argument in favor of true Christadelphians.  "Your address contains ideas totally subversive of the unity of faith which Christ's brethren have to maintain."  Now, when we remember that the concepts bro. Growcott is concerned with, were the same concepts as were circulating after the "Partial Inspiration" division in opposition to bro. Roberts, and here we have bro. Roberts calling them "subversive" to the truth, it is quite a testimony against the ideas held by many modern Central brethren.  . 

The section in green above, occurs in line 4 below.  Again, we see that bro. Growcott has tried to eliminate as much as possible the combative nature of this discussion, and so much of the tit for tat is redacted.

F: I believe fellowship is a subject that has really received very little consideration, and consequently is but imperfectly understood.

T: Speaking of the ecclesias with which we have been connected for 17 years, we can truly say that "fellowship" has repeatedly been most thoroughly discussed-as much if not more so-than any other doctrine.

F: Among the voluminous literature dealing with almost every phase of the Truth, the doctrine of fellowship has been given little or no place.

T: That is not true. The doctrine of fellowship has been given a large place in the Christadelphian, especially when false brethren have introduced heresy.

 

3. W.—Search the Scriptures and measure all I have said by the rule you will find there, and if you find any discrepancy, discard it and shew me where I am wrong.
4. F.—Just so; that is our intention, but we would ask you to confine yourself to points on which you are at issue with us, as there are many statements in your essay which we do not question, and therefore to repeat them will only unnecessarily occupy time. Now for your first complaint.
5. W.—I believe fellowship is a subject that has really received very little consideration, and, consequently, is but imperfectly understood.
6. F.—By whom, yourself or others?
7. W.—I have thought carefully and long upon what I am about to lay before you.
8. F.—So you mean it is your brethren who are ignorant on the matter! What leads you to that conclusion?
9. W.—Is is a significant fact, that among the voluminous literature that has sprung into existence dealing with almost every phrase of the Truth, the doctrine of fellowship has been given little or no place.
10. F.—But that is no evidence that the subject has not been carefully thought out by the brethren. Speaking of the ecclesias in London with which we have been connected for nearly 17 years, we can truly say that “fellowship” has repeatedly been most critically discussed, as much if not more so, than any other doctrine. But further, your assertion respecting our literature is not true. The doctrine alluded to has been given a large place, by bro. Roberts, in the pages of the “Christadelphian,” especially so when false brethren have introduced heresy into our midst. So that what you ought to have said was—“Not having heard or read much on the subject, I have concluded that little or nothing has been said or written thereon, and that all others are no better informed than myself.” But this way of expressing the fact you will not endorse; for you profess even greater progress than others. This self-confidence is distastefully manifest throughout your address (to wit, your first paragraph—pronoun, first person singular, 13 times)

Bro. Genusa seems to think bro. Growcott's changing of "critically" to "thoroughly" is significant.  I fail to see the issue.  "Critically" is more powerful, and probably more accurate for what was happening in the ecclesias.  Where true fellowship is practiced, it is constantly being examined to make sure all things are done correctly.  Care is taken, and critics are loud and powerful, if any imbalance is exhibited.  But "critically" as used here, is also not as well understood by the general population, so bro. GVG used a word that conveyed a clearer, if less powerful, meaning.

Again, the redacting is solely to try and clean up the discussion cleaned up for future generations, with the personal references removed.  Bro. F points out that the brother arrogantly uses "I" thirteen times in the first paragraph, yet in bro. Growcott's sanitized version, it is only five time, and by doing so, much of the arrogance so prevalent in bro. W's writing is toned down. 

F: I have come to the conclusion that our understanding of the doctrine of fellowship is radically unsound. First of all, and in order that its bearings may be fully appreciated, it will be better to give some sort of a definition of fellowship as it is generally understood by us. It is usually believed to consist of the act of breaking bread and drinking wine in memory of the death of our Lord, and in recognition of our adoption into the family of God.

T: Nonsense! That "fellowship consists of this act" is not usually believed by us. In fact, you are the only person we ever heard had such an idea and a moment's reflection will make manifest your error. For if fellowship "consists of this act," then fellowship only exists between those who have actually met together, and thus we should have no fellowship with our brethren abroad.

You must know we do not so believe or teach! We also have fellowship with God and with Christ without the act of breaking bread (see 1 John 1-3).

 
11. W.—It is now nearly two years since I came to the conclusion that our understanding of the doctrine of fellowship was radically unsound, and since that time, I have been looking for some brother to come forward and instruct us more perfectly upon this subject.
12. F.—Two years looking for instruction! Surely that cannot strike you as a commendable attitude for a servant of Deity. You must have been doing something in the meantime.
13. W.—Meanwhile, the cogitations of my own mind, assisted by the experiences through which our Church has passed, and also by the exchange of thought with other brethren, have compelled me to a conclusion with which I am pleased to know many agree.
14. F.—No wonder at your unscriptural conclusions. Your guide has been your “own mind,” assisted by certain “experiences,” and “the thoughts” of others with a similar mind. It looks almost as though you had forgotten that Book wherein alone is to be found infallible guidance which should be used as a “lamp” for our feet and a “guide” for our path, and which Book warns us that “it is not in man to direct his steps.” But there, let us proceed with the subject of fellowship. Go on.
15. W.—First of all, and in order that its bearings may be fully appreciated, it will be better to give some sort of a definition of fellowship as it is generally understood by us. It is usually believed to consist of the act of breaking bread and drinking wine in memory of the death of our Lord, and in recognition of our adoption into the family of God.
16. F.—Nonsense. That “fellowship consists of this act” is not usually believed by us. In fact, you are the only person we ever heard had such an idea, and a moment’s reflection will make manifest your error; for if fellowship “consists of this act,” then fellowship only exists between those who have actually met together, and thus we should have no fellowship with our brethren abroad. You must know we do not so believe or teach. We also have fellowship with God and with Christ without the act of breaking of bread (see I. John 1–3). We would recommend you to again read paragraph 10, and reflect on the moral.

This takes us past the screen shots of bro. Gensua.  Now why does he stop here?  Is it not because the article is now leaving the personal references, and getting into the meat of the issue itself.  And now the screen shots would show that there is no serious redaction from this point.

By this time, it should be very easy to see the pattern in the redacting.  Bro. Growcott has made a strong effort of removing the emotion and personal references of the time from the article, so that the issue itself could stand or fall.  Some of the redacted material emphasized the Berean position on fellowship.  In the over all scheme of things, it made bre. Janaway and Roberts position more powerful.  But in the opinion of bro. Growcott, it added nothing that the factual material in the article did not display just as clearly.

I would say this.  Bro. Genusa is judging the matter incorrectly.  We are examining these things on the internet, where our readers are far more used to combative material of this nature.  (And even then, I'd be surprised if this discussion is not making some uncomfortable.)  The redacted material may even seem rather bland to some of us.  Internet readers tend to want the information unedited and unsanitized so they can make their own decisions, and are far more used to the give and take of these discussions.  This would not be true of a publication like the Berean Magazine.  If bro. Growcott had published the article as it originally appeared, the criticism by his readers would have been intense.  The choice for him was either to clean up the article to remove the personally combative material, or not to print it at all.  I think he made the sound choice.

JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi bro. BW

Quote:
"Whether or not he is headed toward suggesting that the fellowship writings of bre. Thomas and Roberts are in error, would take a more keen eye than mine at this point. However, you've been at this a lot longer than most of us and may see something at this juncture that I do not."

Well just think about bro. Genusa’s conclusions.

1). The booklet is in error.

2). The booklet does not misrepresent the doctrinal positions of bre. Thomas and Roberts.

How do we put these two conclusions together, without saying that bre. Thomas and Roberts are in error? Further, when did you ever expect to see those who study the teachings of the pioneers referred to in a derogatory fashion on bro. Genusa’s web site:

Quote:
"Finally, I might recommend certain "pioneer only" advocates refer back to a pioneer publication..."

The divine teaching is that if you refuse to separate yourself from error, it will corrupt you. Bro. Genusa is trying to prove the Scriptures false. He is trying to prove that he can remain in Central and not be corrupted by the error he acknowledges is there. That is a very dangerous position.

JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #13 

I note bro. Genusa’s blog comment of 3/28/09. He is chaffing under some criticism of his motive, and wants to leave all such consideration to the Bema. He should have known in advance that this was not possible. He is choosing to attack our motive as fraudulent. He is accusing us of altering the pioneer works in an effort to justify our position on the doctrine of fellowship. Since he has elected to attack our motive, the divine principle pertaining to judgment comes into play.

Quote:
Mat 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Just as bro. Genusa appears not to believe the apostle Paul’s teaching as regards leavening, he appears not to believe Jesus’ teaching on judgment.

This exercise is all about motive. Bro. Genusa of all people, should not question that. Bro. Genusa has consistently introduced motive into the discussion pertaining to fellowship. His article about "Self" is nothing but an attack by him on the motives of those whose fellowship position he disagrees with. To think you can challenge the motives of others without your own motive being challenged; to not allow the motives of others to wait for the Bema, but demand that for yourself, is at best naive.

No, when we reach the end of this exercise, both of our motives will have been thoroughly examined. While I’m always surprised at how things actually end up, our expectation going into this exercise should only lie in two areas. Either I will be judged as a fraud, having produced a booklet to intentionally distort the writings of the pioneer brethren, making them say things they did not say; or bro. Genusa will be judged as a fraud, using minutia to distract brethren from the true teachings of the pioneers. I see little room for a middle ground, at this point.

broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
"Finally, I might recommend certain "pioneer only" advocates refer back to a pioneer publication..." -SG


It does sound rather disparaging
.

Quote:
Well just think about bro. Genusa’s conclusions.
1). The booklet is in error.
2). The booklet does not misrepresent the doctrinal positions of bre. Thomas and Roberts.- JP


I see your point. That's quite a corner he's painted himself into.



STEVEPHS

Registered:
Posts: 406
Reply with quote  #15 
Bro Jim/Bro Bob,

During our reading of Eureka in Bible class over the years, bro Thomas' teaching on fellowship, directly or indirectly, has been brought to our attention.    I don't have a definitive list of those references.  I was wondering if either of you would, and if so, if you would be able to post them here?

Bro Steve
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation: