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broBW

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Reply with quote  #16 
One of the best quotes from brother Thomas concerning fellowship is the following from The Christadelphian, July 1873. It is originally from a letter written in 1869, and first published in the magazine in 1870.

If I believe the Truth as it is in the Jesus Paul preached, and fellowship the doctrine of an immaculate Jesus Paul did not preach, in celebrating the death of the latter with those who repudiate the maculate body set forth by God for a propitiation, it is affirming one thing and practicing another. Those who hold Paul's doctrine ought not worship with a body that does not. That is holding with the hare, and running with the hounds a position of extraordinary difficulty. When the hounds come upon the hare, where will he be? No; if I agree with you in doctrine, I will forsake the assembling of myself with a body that opposes your doctrine, although it might require me to separate from the nearest and dearest. No good is effected by compromising the principles of the Truth; and to deny that Jesus came in sinful flesh is to destroy the sacrifice of Christ.

JimPhillips

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This is a collecetion I did once on this subject.  I'm sure it can be improved.  They are not in order.

 

 

Eureka I:  270   "The name Christians comprehended all the adherents of Balaam and Jezebel, whether Ebionites, Gnostics or by whatever name or denomination of heresy, they might be known. The 'real christians' had NO FELLOWSHIP WITH SUCH; though among them, as in Pergamos, the poison of the serpent might be detected. The ecclesia and the synagogue of the Satan were institutions as distinct as they are now; for in the nineteenth century a true believer of the gospel of the kingdom is against all who have not obeyed the same, yet a congregation of 'real christians' may have in it some who are not true, as at Pergamos; these WILL SOONER OR LATER SHOW THEMSELVES, for their sympathies are fleshly, and they become impatient of principles which they regard as harsh, uncharitable, and severe."

 

Eur. I:  242  But their “works,” which were righteous, being manifest in the presence of “the Satan” and of “the Diabolos,” would be sure to bring upon them frequent renewals of their malignant and dangerous attacks. The repudiation of “the Satan’s” claims to the christian name, secured to them the enmity of their “synagogue;” whose members are scandalized at an earnest, and uncompromising contention for the faith as originally delivered to the Saints by the apostles— Jude 3 . They call this “uncharitable,” and calculated to “do harm,” and to drive off respectable people from the truth; who, but for the ultraism of Antipas , which destroys the popularity and endangers the position, of all connected with him, would embrace the truth, swell the number of its adherents, and make it respected, if not esteemed, by the wealthy and honorable of the world. This has been “the Satan’s” desire from the beginning until now. They are not so much opposed to the truth as an abstraction; but the consequences of a bold, straightforward, and uncompromising statement and advocacy of it, they hate, and detest with unmitigated bitterness and disgust. This state of mind and policy with respect to the truth on the part of the Satan’s synagogue of “all christendom,” establishes and develops “enmity” between the Seed of the Woman, or true apocalyptic Jews, that is, Christians; and the Seed of the Serpent, or real apocalyptic liars, “who say they are Jews,” or Christians, “and are not, but do lie.” This enmity subsisting between true and spurious christians, caused the Satanists “to betray” the others, as Jesus foretold they would in  Matt. 24:10 . But, then, to whom should the Satan betray the saints of the ecclesias? This letter to the Smyrneans answers to “ ho diabolos ,” to the Diabolos , vulgarly styled, the Devil ; as it is written, “Behold, the Diabolos will cast of you into prison, that ye may be tempted.”

 

Eureka I pg. 427  THE APOSTOLIC STATE  The spiritual condition of the ecclesias in this state of things may be learned from the writings of the apostles and others as extant in the New Testament. Their faith in the “things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” was unmixed with Nikolaitanism , or “philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, and the elements of the world;” and it worked by love and purified the heart— Gal. 5:6 ;  Acts 15:9 . There was among christians, as the rule, a perfectly unselfish devotion to the interests of the truth, and to the well being of one another. Their works, labor, and patience, were without rebuke. They labored for the name, and did not faint, although the labor endangered their lives, liberty, and goods. The rule was “poor” in this world, rich in faith;” the reverse of this was the exception. When they received the word, they received it gladly and were immersed; and then “continued steadfastly in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers;” and while in their “first love,” “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; and great grace was upon them all.” In this primitive condition of affairs, the ecclesias were all the heritages, hoi kleroi , or clergy , of God, constituting “the flock;” while “the rulers” or “elders” were its feeders under the supremacy of the Chief Shepherd at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens. These ruling brethren took the oversight of the flock, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; and they demeaned themselves, not as lords and reverends, but as examples to the generality of their brethren in the faith.

 

Eur. I: 430  While, then, christendom was, as we have described it in the beginning, pure and uncorrupt in faith and practice, it had sadly degenerated at the time when the apostles had all finished their course, except John. The Apostolical State of the Body was not, therefore, all rose-colored, but was defaced by many unsightly blemishes. The seeds of death and corruption had been sown in it by the enemy; the germ of a Body of Death had been deposited in its womb; even of that Body Ecclesiastic styled popularly in our day “ the Church ,” and apocalyptically, “the Mother of Harlots and of all the Abominations of the Earth.”

 

Eur. I:  329  What precise number of years “the heritages of the Deity,” continued in this happy and uncorrupted condition, it is impossible to define. We know when the state began, but cannot tell the first year when the devil, or the flesh, began to pervert the truth. We may remark safely, that there is no well defined chronological line between the Apostolical State and the Ephesian State, by which it was succeeded. There was “One Body,” consisting of many ecclesias, pertaining to the Apostolical State; and before that body could be said to have passed into the Ephesian State, the Angel Presbyteries of the ecclesias or heritages generally must have responded to the apocalyptical description of the angel at Ephesus. This transition would therefore be gradual; for on the supposition, that “men speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them,” first arose in the Ephesian Angel, it would have taken several years to leaven all or a majority of the ecclesias extant with their tradition so as to give character to the Body. The entrance of the body into a new phase would be progressive; the process would be insidious; a change would come over it, and be discerned, not so much in the growing from month to month, as in the growth accomplished after a lapse of years.

 

Eur. I:  425  In the Ephesian state of christendom there was strength, labor, patience, no faint-heartedness, hatred of Nikolaitanism, and intolerance of evil-doers;

 

Eur. I:  434  To draw gentlemen and persons of liberal education to pay attention to christianity, appears to have been his [Justin, of the Smyrnean State] chief employment.” A right view of things would have convinced Justin of the futility of his expedients. It is “the poor in this world,” and the simple hearted, not “gentlemen” and “philosophers,” that God hath chosen to be heirs of his kingdom. In this policy Justin shows a departure from the true apostolic mind so prominent in Paul’s writings. Justin’s example was pernicious in giving sanction to the union of heathen philosophy with the teaching of Christ and his apostles. There is no agreement between them; and where the union is tolerated, it invariably results in the corruption or extinction from the mind, of the spirit and teaching of the word.

 

Eur. I:  232  Such a synagogue, then, came to be a fit and proper emblem of those “Christians,” falsely so-called, who in Smyrna “said they were Jews, but were not.” John, referring to these spurious Christians in divers places, says, in  1 Ep. 2:19 , “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us they would doubtless have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” This emigration from the apostolic fellowship became “the synagogue of the Satan,” and was afterwards distinguished by the assumed title of “the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.” The leaders of this schism transferred all the customs of the old Jewish Synagogue—System into their pseudo-Christian “church;” and as they were not slow in getting the majority—for “they were of the world, and therefore they spoke of the world, and the world heard them;” for it hears and loves its ownthey turned upon those who continued faithful to the apostolic teaching, and denounced and oppressed them as “heretics.” The leaders of this schism erected themselves into a distinct order from the laioi , or people, now styled “the laity” and “laymen” —men of the people. They usurped to themselves the title of ho kleros , “the clergy,” or the lot, portion, or heritage; on the assumption that, while the people belonged to their spiritual guides, said guides are the special lot, or inheritance, of God! Thus, “clergy” is defined “the body of men set apart by due ordination for the service of God;” and a “clergyman,” as “one in holy orders; not a laick.” But, though this distinction of clergy and laity is universal in “the synagogue of the Satan,” there is no such distinction in the Ecclesia, or Body of Christ.

 

Eur. I:  438-439  This man, Clemens, besides his employment in the office of catechist, was made a presbyter in the ecclesia at Alexandria. Little is known of his life, and the time of his death is uncertain; and certain it is, that little else than evil could accrue to the saints from the ministrations of such a perverted mind.

He undertook to delineate a perfect christian, which, being the creation of his pago-christian eclecticism was just such a christian as would please the carnal mind, full of stoical rhapsodies, and the crotchetty asceticism of the flesh. After he had created him, he called him Gnosticus ; but the Spirit in the writing to the presbytery at Pergamos, styled him Nikolaitos , or a vanquisher of the people, like his great prototype Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, and placed stumblingblocks in the people’s way, by which they were caused to fall. The Rev. Nikolaitos Gnosticus is the beau ideal of a modern “divine.”

 

Eur. I:  288  The Satan of Pergamos is still prosperous in the enjoyment of the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life; with a dominion coextensive with christendom. Their church is large, and embraces within its pale all sects, and parties, names and denominations, except Antipas; who is still, as in apostolic times, against all . Antipas, who holds fast the name and denies not the faith of Christ, has no fellowship for any of them; but protests against them all as the Satan.

 

Eur. I:  321  The works of the Angel were conspicuous for “love, and service, and faith, and endurance.” Such an eldership must have been in the general in a spiritually healthy and efficient state; and which argued also a wholesome condition of the Spirit’s servants, called in the letter “my servants;” or, in the nomenclature of the synagogue of the Satan, “the laity.” It is “the leaders of the people cause them to err;” but where the leaders are faithful, this cause of error is wanting. The leaders corrupt the people, and when the people are corrupted, the seducers are enthroned and flourish; and the people come at length to delight in the corruption that destroys them.

The ecclesia among the Thyatirans became an arena upon which the two classes of leaders displayed themselves. The one class were characterized by a more abundant love, service, faith, and endurance in the days of John, than in the days when they were originally constituted the Star in Thyatira; while the other class was characterized by the idolatrous, meritricious, and murderous wife of Ahab. “the woman Jezebel,” who slew the prophets of Yahweh . The former were the Antipas in Thyatira whose devotedness sustained the truth against the machinations of all its enemies, heretical or pagan. Their “love” was not like that of the Satan’s—a love of “divine things” as far as agreeable to our animal instincts, and compatible with our worldly prosperity and peace. The love of the Antipas was the fulfilling of the law; the doing whatsoever Jesus had commanded, by which they evinced that they were his real friends. Many of the Satan’s synagogue who rejoiced in Jezebel, possessed spiritual gifts, and could speak with tongues, and prophesy, and understand mysteries, and had the knowledge, and the faith to remove mountains, and bestowed their goods to feed the poor; and not only in some cases gave their bodies to be burned; but in crowds rushed to martyrdom, till the pagan authorities refused to kill them; and told them to become their own executioners. Still, as Paul intimates, they were nothing; for they were destitute of “love.”

 

Vol 1:328  The table spread by the clergy, and called by them “the sacrament,” is the modern table of the demons. It is the table of those who believe in deified immortal souls, who are the gods of the clerical system. It is Jezebel’s table, at which a saint cannot eat without having fellowship with the demons she funeralizes to glory, which is sin. Her churches are a synagogue of unbaptized “miserable sinners,” as they proclaim themselves to be in their prayers, and consequently, her table cannot be the Lord’s, for his teaching has no place for such there—the miserable patrons of demons belong to Jezebel, not to the spouse of Christ.

 

Eur. I:  443  The state of things deplored by Cyprian was that which resulted in the Sardian, characterized by the Spirit as a death-state. By the generation of professors contemporary with it, it was not so considered. Peace and prosperity reigned, as they regarded it; and they flattered themselves that they were in the enjoyment of great spiritual life— “thou hast a name that thou livest , and art dead.” The Deity did not see as they saw themselves. He pronounced them dead. That is, christianity was on the verge of extinction; or, as the Spirit explains in the next verse, “ready to die.” Very little of genuine apostolic christianity could be found among the christians in the last half of the third century. The Platonism of the Alexandrian school had corrupted every thing, and eaten out its vitals as a cancer; so that the christian mind was prepared for any absurdities and follies in the name of true religion, as in our day.

 

Eur. II:  228  Such was the state into which the ecclesias had fallen in the second half of the third century, against which Novatian protested. Many, in all the Roman empire—Christadelphians, in contrast to “Christians,” a name disgraced then as now—united with him in bearing a noble testimony against the prevailing corruption in the camp; and by so doing acquired the name of Novatianists. They were also termed Puritans , or in Greek, Cathari a name bestowed on them by their adversaries, who reproached them for what they considered their excessive severity of discipline and exclusiveness.

The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, says that “Novatius separated from the Roman Church because Cornelius the bishop received into communion believers who had sacrificed during the persecution which the emperor Decius had raised against the ecclesia. Having seceded on this account, on being afterwards elevated to the episcopacy by such prelates as entertained similar sentiments, he wrote to all the ecclesias insisting that they should not admit to the sacred mysteries those who had sacrificed; but exhorting them to repentance, leave the pardoning of their offence to God, who has the power to forgive all sin. These letters made different impressions on the parties in the various provinces to whom they were addressed, according to their several dispositions and judgments.

 

Eur. II: 89-90  But apart from this Holy Apostolic Laodicean Catholic Apostasy, there was a community, comparatively small, that hated the deeds and doctrines of these Nikolaitanes and children of the woman Jezebel. It repudiated “the depths of the Satan as they taught;” and with “a little strength,” kept the word of the Spirit, and did not deny his name. This community of faithful ones was preserved from the hour of temptation which came upon the whole habitable to try them. These who stood aloof from the Apostasy, protested alike against “Catholics,” Jews and Pagans. They were zealous for “the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” and contended earnestly for it, both against their own “fellow-servants” and nominal “brethren,” who were fraternizing with the liberal non-professing world, and conspiring with them against the government; and against Pagan and Jewish clergies and their blasphemous and profane traditions with which they “destroyed the earth.” This Philadelphian community was in all things opposed to the Laodicean. Its members “walked after the Spirit,” or the truth; and through that spirit mortified the deeds of the body; while the Laodiceans, who had an overweening conceit of their own piety and spiritual intelligence, “walked after the flesh,” in the fashion universally illustrated in the practice of the pietists of all the “Names and Denominations of Christendom,” and of the “christian politicians,” “liberal christians,” and the political wire workers and pullers, of our day. The Philadelphian party had no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but reproved them. They had escaped from the corruptions of the world through lust, and devoted their energies to the making of their calling and election sure. They came out , therefore, from among the Laodiceans, that they might not be defiled by the uncleannesses of these unfaithful “fellow-servants and brethren,” and constituted what the Laodicean Catholics termed a Schism or Heresy.

 

 

broBW

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Reply with quote  #18 
The following is another excerpt from the writings of the Doctor on fellowship (The Ambassador 1866). This one has been misused by some in reading more into it than is really there. Here our brother is dealing with a specific issue that had surfaced in one particular ecclesia.concerning whether or not a sister should be disfellowshipped for marriage to what he calls a "misbeliever."  Never does he say that such a marriage is Scriptural. Instead  his counsel to the ecclesia concerns what should be done about it once the deed has been done: cut off the sister? or help both she and her spouse in the things of the truth.

Quote:
But it is not a good thing to have an ecclesia without tares, without a black sheep, or spotted heifer? Yea, verily, it is an excellent thing. But, then, it is a thing the Holy Spirit has never yet developed; and cannot now be developed by any human judiciary in the administration of human affairs. There are certain things that must be left to the Lord's own adjudication when he comes; as it is written, "He that judgeth is the Lord. Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of the Deity" -- (1 Cor. 4: 5. Apoc. 11:18) -- "every man," whose hidden things and heart-counsels when brought to light will be accounted worthy much of praise. Does not this teach us now more important it is that brethren be more diligent in examining themselves than in examining other brethren; and that the Lord expects them to leave something for him to do in the way of judging, condemning, excommunicating, cutting off, and casting out, in "the time of the dead that they should be judged?" "Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit, in malice be ye children, but in understanding be teleia perfect." -- (1 Cor.14:20.)  -Dr Thomas

broBW

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Here is another excerpt from the Doctor's letter of 1869. It also is one that some read into more than is there. A portion of this has already been sited earlier. We have highlighted that portion in yellow (3/29/09).

At the outset it is important to note the context. Here brother Thomas says: "It is not my province to issue bulls of excommunication."

What, exactly, is a "bull of excommunication."

"A bull of excommunication or papal bull, is an official notice from the church authorities or the pope which notifies the recipient of their excommunication from the church. It is given to people who the church see as a threat or a cause of disruption to the current system. These people lose their credibility where the local populace is strongly religious as a result of excommunication. The bull is delivered by a legate or messenger to the person in question notifying them of the churches decision and giving them an ultimatum in which to recant and apologise to the church authorities. The excommunication prevents the person from any religious sanctity, which means that when they die, they won't go to heaven." -WikiAnswers.com

Considering the Doctor's comment about "bulls of excommunication" against the backdrop of what a "bull" really is, it becomes clear as to what he means. He did not wish to set himself up as ruler or "pope" of Christadelphia. He was a brother whose status was neither no more nor no less than any other. No one who is motivated by the truth has the right to set himself up as a ruler and issue a bull of excommunication. However, there are Biblical principles of fellowship to be followed which the Doctor mentions toward the close of his argument.

"It is not my province to issue bulls of excommunication, but simply to shew what the truth teaches and commands. I have to do with principles, not men. All whom the apostles fellowshipped, believed it; and all in the apostolic ecclesias who believed it not—and there were such—had not fellowship with the apostles, but opposed their teachings; and when they found they could not have their own way, John says 'They went out from us, but they—the anti-Christ—were not of us; for if they had been of us (of our fellowship), they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.'—(1 John 2:19.) The apostles did not cast them out, but they went out of their own accord, not being able to endure sound doctrine.—(2 Tim. 4:3.) If anyone say that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh common to us all, the apostle John saith that that spirit or teacher is not of God; is the deceiver and the anti-Christ, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ; and is therefore not to be received into the house, neither to be bidden God-speed.—(1 John 4:3, 2; 2 Ep. 7, 9, 10.) I have nothing to add to or take from this. It is the sanctifying truth of the things concerning the 'name of Jesus Christ.'

       

"Then preach the word, &c., and exhort with all long-suffering and teaching. This is the purifying agency. Ignore brother this and brother that in said teaching; for personalities do not help the argument. Declare what you as a body believe to be the apostles’ doctrines. Invite fellowship upon that basis alone. If upon that declaration, any take the bread and wine, not being offered by you, they do so upon their own responsibility, not on yours. If they help themselves to the elements, they endorse your declaration of doctrine, and eat condemnation to themselves. For myself, I am not in fellowship with the dogma that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh, or that he died as a substitute to appease the fury and wrath of God. The love of God is manifest in all that He has done for man. 'When all wish to do what is right,' the right surely is within their grasp. I trust you will be able to see it from what is now before you. And may the truth preside over all your deliberations, for Christ Jesus is the truth, and dwells with those with whom the truth is. Where this is I desire to be.

       

"If I believe the truth as it is in the Jesus Paul preached, and fellowship the doctrine of an immaculate Jesus Paul did not preach, in celebrating the death of the latter with those who repudiate the maculate body set forth by God for a propitiation, is affirming one thing and practising another. Those who hold Paul’s doctrine, ought not to worship with a body that does not. This is holding with the hare and running with the hounds—a position of extraordinary difficulty. Does not such an one love the hounds better than the hare? When the hounds come upon the hare, where will he be? No; if I agree with you in doctrine, I will forsake the assembling of myself with a body that opposes your doctrine, although it might require me to separate from the nearest and dearest. No good is effected by compromising the principles of the truth; and to deny that Jesus came in sinful flesh, is to destroy the sacrifice of Christ."

broBW

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The following is another excerpt from the writings of the Doctor on fellowship. This one has also been misused by some in not looking carefully at the context. Often this excerpt is cited in a way that could imply that he practiced fellowship at the table after the same fashion. Indeed, we know of a case wherein it has been so misused to justify current loose fellowship practice. For example, here is how it appears in the book, John Thomas, His Friends and His Faith:

"Each one rises, walks to the table, and helps himself. By this custom, they relieve themselves of the responsibility of handing the elements to those who might be improper persons.With them, therefore, the breaking and eating is not a test of fellowship. They hand it to no one, and withhold it from none... their test of fellowship is not the eating of bread but 'walking in the light as the Deity is in the light,  and so having fellowship one with another' (1Jn 1:7) which is the only true ground of fellowship exhibited in the word."

Now let's look at the quote complete and in context:

"They have a custom in Norfolk and Richmond in the memorializing of the bringing into force the Abrahamic covenant by the death of its Mediatorial Testator, which is peculiar to themselves. The table, say they, is the Lord's, not theirs.  He brake the bread and GAVE it to the disciples, and said, Take eat. Christ not being here in person to break it.  'His body, the Ecclesia,' breaks it instead - takes and eats. 

"Each one rises, walks to the table, and helps himself.. By this custom, they relieve themselves of the responsibility of handing the elements to those who might be improper persons. Whoever rises and takes it does so on his own responsibility. If unworthy,  they eat and drink to their own condemnation, not to the condemnation of those who protest against the fitness of persons eating who are not in the faith; or who, being in, do not walk worthy  of God and the high vocation to which he has called them With them, therefore, the breaking and eating is not a test of fellowship. They hand it to no one, and withhold it from none. If traitors to the faith like Judas, or immersed sinners, eat it, so much the worse for them; their test of fellowship is not the eating of bread but 'walking in the light as the Deity is in the light, and so having fellowship one with another' (1Jn 1:7) which is the only true ground of fellowship exhibited in the word."
-The Ambassador (1866).

Note the context! If the practice was peculiar to them, then it could not have been peculiar to anyone else of whom the Doctor was aware including himself.


broBW

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Reply with quote  #21 
Another good excerpt from brother Thomas on fellowship:

The characteristic of a true Christadelphian is “the obedience of faith” and a “walk worthy of God”; in other words, he first understands the things of the Kingdom of God and Name of Jesus Christ; secondly, he believes what he understands, and loves what he believes above every other thing; thirdly, his “faith, working by love” causes him to be immersed into the Divine Name; fourthly, he walks in the Truth, and is careful to do nothing to its injury; and fifthly, he will not fellowship those who do not so believe and do. This is the Christadelphian theory and practice which separates us from Dowieites with you and Benjamites and "brethren in the West" over here. Personally, I might gain by a less ridged and exclusive order of things: but then the truth would suffer; therefore I repudiate it. This is the barrier between us and certain in the West who may have obeyed the gospel; they fellowship those who have not; and for us to fellowship them, would be to let in Storrites, Millerites, Adventists, Campbellites, and such like, who, coming in like a flood with their traditions and fanaticisms, would swamp the truth, and in a very short time destroy the labors and conflict of years. I have been endeavoring to get back to apostolic distinctiveness, and to carry back as many with me as possible, and I will not stand by inertly and see knaves, hypocrites, and brethren too "charitable" for the good fight of faith, making void this endeavor. I lift up my voice against it, and though it may be little heeded, there is a satisfaction in doing the best we can. - The Ambassador 1866.


JimPhillips

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Case # 1, Continued:
 
F: It is usually believed that in this act of fellowship we bid God speed to all with whom we partake of the sacrificial emblems.

T: True. WE DO SO BELIEVE. And when you give reason for believing otherwise, we will deal with such, and give you testimony to support our belief. We shall also have something to say of our belief that breaking of bread is simply an act of fellowship, and not its sum total. But go on.

F: It is usually believed that we involve ourselves in the responsibility of errors of belief that may be held by them, or unrighteous conduct that they may practice.

T: True also: provided 1) that the errors affect first principles; 2) that the unrighteous conduct has not been repented of; and 3) that we are aware of such errors of belief and conduct.

F: And we have refused to break bread with brethren whose faith we know to be identically our own, because they are not prepared to disconnect themselves from others who hold an error of belief upon some point or other.

T: If by "some point or other" you mean such errors as just referred to, we are justified in so refusing, and the grounds for such refusal will be manifest as we proceed with our arguments.

F: Our fear has been that the responsibility of error would be transmitted to us through the medium of someone who had himself become subject to that responsibility through the act of fellowship.

T: What do you mean by "responsibility transmitted"?

F: That evil, either of faith or practice, is conveyed from one to another by the act of breaking bread, much in the same way as uncleanness was conveyed from the leper through another who came into personal contact with him, to a third person, a fourth, and so on.

T: Your understanding of the matter is not correct. As to responsibility being "transmitted" through mediums, we have never held any such idea. A man is only responsible for his own errors (and quite enough, too). We believe that if he knowingly fellowships false teachers, he is responsible for so doing. But that is a very different thing from having the particular evil of such teachers "transmitted" to him.

F: Now, if this principle be a true one, it...

T: But we have not contended it is; and therefore there is no need to speculate as to where it leads, or what the results may be of applying such a principle.

F: It has led to the severing of the Brotherhood.

T: As the principle has no existence with us, it cannot lead us to anything. What has led to the severance of the Brotherhood is the fact of certain ones bringing into its midst ideas contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10), thus causing division-which has been ended by the earnest contenders of the Faith withdrawing themselves (2 Thess. 3:6), marking those who have caused the division (Rom. 16:17).

F: It is continually troubling us with questions of an aggravating character that prevent us occupying our whole time in building ourselves up in the Faith.

T: Surely you fail to recognize what's included in that "building up". A scamping builder is not particular as to what material he uses. A wise builder uses only that which will meet with the architect's approval. So a faithful workman in assisting to build up the spiritual Temple (2 Cor. 6:16) will scrupulously avoid compromising the work by using what he believes the Divine Architect does not approve of. The work is not ours but His. It must be done according to His specifications: wind- and water-proof (Matt. 7:24-29). As to the disastrous effect a little bad material will have on even a large building, you will do well to read 1 Cor. 5:1-11, and such like testimony.

F: We spend too much time in considering whom we ought to admit to be in faithful service to Christ.

T: In view of your circumscribed ideas of "building up," doubtless you think so.

F: And leave too little time to do our own faithfully and well.

T: We have already seen that to be faithful needs our doing what you condemn.

F: The way out of this difficulty we believe to be through an acknowledgment that this doctrine of fellowship just mentioned (which is responsible for such a lamentable state of things) is a false doctrine.

T: In your desire to avoid unpleasantness, you would purchase peace at the expense of purity. Christ will not countenance this. He would prefer that sword separate father from son, than that such a price should be paid. Yea, he predicted that such would be the case (Matt. 10:34-35). When trouble arises through faithfulness to the doctrines of Christ, it would be an easy "way out of the difficulty" to conclude that those doctrines were false, and thus (but only for the present) avoid a "lamentable state of things." But "in all things consider the end." Wise men will do so, always bearing in mind that "through much tribulation we must enter the Kingdom."

17. W.—It is usually believed that in this act of fellowship we bid God-speed to all with whom we partake of the sacrificial emblems.

 

18. F.—True, we do so believe, and when you give reasons for believing otherwise, we will deal with such and give you testimony to support our belief. We shall also have something to say of our belief that breaking of bread is simply an act of fellowship, and not its sum total. But go on.

 

19. W.—It is usually believed that we involve ourselves in the responsibility of errors of belief that may be held by them or unrighteous conduct that they may practise.

 

20. F.—True also; provided (a) that the errors affect first principles; (b) that the unrighteous conduct had not been repented of, and (c) that we are cognisant of such errors of belief and conduct.

 

21. W.—And we have refused to break bread with brethren, whose faith we know to be identically our own, because they are not prepared to disconnect themselves from others who hold an error of belief upon some point or other.

 

22. F.—If by “some point or other,” you mean errors referred to in paragraph 20, we are justified in so refusing, and the grounds for such refusal will be manifest as we proceed with our arguments.

 

23. W.—Our fear has been that the responsibility of error would be transmitted to us through the medium of one, who had himself become subject to that responsibility through the act of fellowship.

24. F.—What do you mean by “responsibility transmitted?”

25. W.—To make myself clear by using a simile that has been quoted before to convey the same thought—that evil either of faith or practice is conveyed from one to another by the act of breaking bread, much in the same way as uncleanness was conveyed from the leper, through another who came into personal contact with him, to a third person, a fourth, and so on.

 

26. F.—Then your understanding of the matter is not correct. As to responsibility being transmitted through mediums, we have never held any such idea. A man is only responsible for his own errors (and quite enough too). We believe that if he knowingly fellowships false teachers, he is responsible for so doing, but that is a very different thing to having the particular evil of such teachers transmitted to him. By careful reading, you will observe that “knowing” was an important element in the law to which you refer. (Lev. 5:3.)

 

27. W.—Now if this principle be a true one, it———

 

28. F.—But we have not contended it is, and, therefore, there is no need to speculate as to where it leads, or what the results may be of the application of such principle.

 

29. W.—It has led to the severing of the brotherhood.

 

30. F.—As the principle has no existence with us, it cannot lead us to anything. What has led to the severance of the brotherhood is the fact of certain ones bringing into its midst ideas contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10) thus causing division, which has been ended by the earnest contenders of the Faith withdrawing themselves (2 Thess. 3:6), marking those who have been the cause of the division (Rom. 16:17).

 

31. W.—It is continually troubling us with questions of an aggravating character that prevents us occupying our whole time in building ourselves up in the Faith.

 

32. F.—Surely you fail to recognise what is included in that “building up.” A “scamping” builder is not particular as to what material he uses. A wise builder uses only that which will meet with the architect’s approval. And so a faithful workman in assisting to build up the Spiritual temple (2 Cor. 6:16) will scrupulously avoid compromising the work by using what he believes the Divine Architect does not approve of. The work is not ours but His and must be done according to His specifications. Wind and water-proof (Matt. 7:24–29). As to the disastrous effect a little bad material will have on even a large building, you will do well to read 1 Cor. 5:1–11, and such like testimony.

 

33. W.—We spend too much time in considering whom we ought to admit to be in faithful service to Christ.

 

34. F.—In view of your circumscribed ideas of “building up,” we cannot wonder that you think so.

 

35. W.—And leave too little time to do our own faithfully and well.

 

36. F.—We have already seen that to be faithful needs our doing what you condemn.

 

37. W.—The way out of this difficulty we believe to be through an acknowledgment that this doctrine of fellowship just mentioned (which is responsible for such a lamentable state of things) is a false doctrine.

 

38. F.—As we are in no difficulty, we have no occasion to seek for a way out. In your desire to avoid unpleasantness, you would purchase peace at the expense of purity. Christ will not countenance this. He would prefer that sword separate father from son than that such a price should be paid. Yea, he predicted that such should be the case (Matt. 10:34–35). When trouble arises, through faithfulness to the doctrines of Christ, it would be an easy “way out of the difficulty” to conclude that the doctrines were false, and thus (but only for the present) avoid a “lamentable state of things.” But, says the Bible, “In all things consider the end.” A wise man will do so, always bearing in mind “that through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom.”

This is a very important discussion as it relates to bro. Genusa's complaints, and it is why he needs to distract readers from this article.  The arguments of bro. Janaway, published by bro. Roberts, goes directly against the published arguments of bro. Genusa.  There are several points in this we wish to address.

1).  Bro. W. is arguing that the position of the Christadelphian Magazine is wrong.  This is very important to observe in that it shows bro. W.  knew what the established position, and he was quite clear that he was introducing a new doctrine. 

Lets look at what both bro. W and bro. F say that the established Christadelphian position was in 1892:.

17. W.—It is usually believed that in this act of fellowship we bid God-speed to all with whom we partake of the sacrificial emblems.
18. F.—True, we do so believe, and when you give reasons for believing otherwise, we will deal with such and give you testimony to support our belief. We shall also have something to say of our belief that breaking of bread is simply an act of fellowship, and not its sum total. But go on.
19. W.—It is usually believed that we involve ourselves in the responsibility of errors of belief that may be held by them or unrighteous conduct that they may practise.
20. F.—True also; provided (a) that the errors affect first principles; (b) that the unrighteous conduct had not been repented of, and (c) that we are cognisant of such errors of belief and conduct.
21. W.—And we have refused to break bread with brethren, whose faith we know to be identically our own, because they are not prepared to disconnect themselves from others who hold an error of belief upon some point or other.
22. F.—If by “some point or other,” you mean errors referred to in paragraph 20, we are justified in so refusing, and the grounds for such refusal will be manifest as we proceed with our arguments.

Here is the Berean teaching in a nutshell.  We have refused to break bread with men whose beliefs we know to be identical to our own because they are not prepared to disconnect themselves from others who either hold or tolerate an error of belief on some first principle point.  Both bro. W and bro. F say that this was the foundation fellowship principle in Christadelphia.  Bro. Genusa says it was not!   Bro. Genusa's history is revisionist, meaning that he rewrites Christadelphian history to suggest that the pioneer brethren never held the Berean position, the very doctrine which bro. W is attacking them for.  I have written extensively on that issue before.  As I will show, Bro. W's position, and bro. Genusa's position, are essentially the same positions.  But whereas bro. W knew he was combating the established position, bro. Genusa argues that his position is the pioneer Christadelphian position.  This is clear, unmistakable proof that his position is false, and his historical references are revisionist.  It is why he wants to discredit discussion about this article, and focus on redacts.

The intent of bro. Genusa is to claim that the redacting in this article alters the the true fellowship position of the pioneers.  The following show this is not the case.  The following is an example of bro. Roberts dealing with error, and is completely consistent with the above.  In 1886, as the result of the "partial inspiration" controversy, the following correspondence took place.  Bro. Birkenhead of the Cardiff ecclesia objected to a statement from the Newport ecclesia, that Cardiff fellowshipped the "partial inspiration" error.  By bro. Genusa's definition, truly they did not, and their protests should have been allowed to stand.  There was no one in Cardiff who believed it, nor were there any from neighboring ecclesias who believed it that were accepted in Cardiff.  But it was well known that there were members from Cardiff who attended ecclesias there in Wales, where "partial inspiration" was tolerated.  According to bro. Genusa, Cardiff's behavior should have been acceptable to the brotherhood, and it is Central's behavior today.  But instead of accepting the Cardiff stand, we find bro. Roberts siding with Newport, and defending the statement that Cardiff fellowshipped "partial inspiration."  How could this be, if the location of the error somehow excuses the error?

Quote:

Chdn. 1886, pg 329  Cardiff.—Bro. G. A. Birkenhead demurs to the statement appearing in the Newport intelligence last week to the effect that the Cardiff brethren "fellowship brethren who do not believe that the scriptures are wholly inspired." He says it is a grievous calumny. We cannot understand this unless it be that the demur applies to brethren actually in Cardiff, while the statement demurred to applies to brethren elsewhere and anywhere. In this case, the demur is misleading, because locality makes no difference to fellowship. There may not be any in Cardiff, but there may be a few elsewhere with whom they are in fellowship. It is all the same whether it is Cardiff, Birkenhead, Edinburgh, or London. If the Cardiff brethren are prepared to refuse fellowship to partial or erring inspiration, or to those anywhere who make themselves responsible for that evil doctrine by tolerating it in their fellowship, it is in their power to put an end to all misunderstanding by saying so in unequivocal terms. If this is not their mind, they should not speak of calumny in reference to those who only say the truth. If it is their mind, they should not appear to refuse to make it known by objecting to the statement of it as an "extreme resolution," and by holding fast to a form of words that would allow partial inspirationists to honestly unite in their position. We extremely regret the issue: but the issue exists, and it cannot be settled by reference to the worthiness of brethren on one side or other. We must shut our eyes to persons when the truth is in question. "Worthy men," so considered, are to be found among the sects. We cannot safely judge by such a rule, but we can judge if the truth is denied and tampered with.—Ed.

Note the difference of bro. Genusa and bro. Roberts.  Locality makes no difference, bro. Roberts says.  Bro. Genusa makes some distorted argument that bro. Roberts didn't try to control fellowship beyond how far bro. Roberts influence went, an even more distorted argument when we think about how to apply such a rule.  The rule is "Elsewhere and anywhere" says bro. Roberts.  If you know of it, you can't fellowship it.  He didn't consider distance an excuse in his day.  How much more, today?

JimPhillips

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Case 1 (Continued)

I am posting these sections so that the redacting and word changes can be clearly seen, rather than the hard to read screen shots on bro. Genusa's site.  I am doing this by hand, and so am apt to make mistakes, which will further rile bro. Genusa.  So if anyone notes a big mistake (I pretty much ignore the editing for emphasis) please make me aware of it, either here, or in an email. 

I have no special comments for this section.

  
F: Actions which have been done upon its basis are steps in the wrong direction which have brought us into a position that is altogether unjustifiable, and must be displeasing in God's sight. But it is not enough that we should say this. We must show that this doctrine of fellowship is unscriptural, and also what the Bible really does teach upon the subject.

T: That is true; to "say" is not enough.

F: The word "fellowship" occurs 17 times in the Bible, but not in one instance is it used as meaning the act of breaking bread.

T: That is denying what isn't affirmed. The converse is what we believe; that breaking of bread is fellowship, one of the highest forms of it, in fact. But this is a very different thing from what you are opposing. If you said an oak was a noble tree, and we began in opposition to show you that all noble trees were not oaks, you would conclude we were ignorant of the most elementary logic. Your denial is on a par with this illustration.

F: The original word translated "fellowship" is given in a lexicon as "companionship, agreement, or communion."

T: That's just how we understand it, provided the idea of "distribution" is combined therewith. The Greek word is so rendered in 2 Cor. 9:13. This goes to show the permeating character of fellowship.

F: We are told in Acts 2:41-42, "There were added unto the church about 3000 souls, and they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship, AND in breaking of bread, and in prayers." This of itself is sufficient to show that fellowship is not breaking of bread, for the two things are separately spoken of.

T: Quite so. The converse of your statement is what we impugn.

F: And are as distinct as the two others mentioned: the apostles' doctrine and prayers.

T: In a sense, yes. But from the Bible point of view, they cannot be separated. They stand or fall together. True fellowship, like true charity, comprises many items, but consists in no individual one.

F: In 1 Cor. 10, we are taught the true distinction between breaking of bread and fellowship, for the apostle plainly declares that the one is the representation or acknowledgment of the other.

T: Quite true! And you will do well to note and bear in mind the two admissions involved in your statement: 1) that we must not separate the breaking of bread from the fellowship which it "represents"; and 2) that when we break bread it is "an acknowledgment" that fellowship exists.

F: Verse 20 confirms this idea, for he wrote that "the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God, and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."

T: That completely overthrows your contention that we do not involve ourselves in the errors (of belief or practice) of those with whom we partake of the sacrificial emblems. Here Paul distinctly counsels them NOT to "fellowship devils" BY eating and drinking to them.

F: But they could not break bread and drink wine with devils.

T: Just so! And therefore the way in which these Corinthians could "fellowship devils" was by breaking bread and drinking wine with those who BELIEVED in the devils, and in that manner they would involve themselves in the errors of devil worshipers. Thus it is plain from Paul that to "fellowship" anything does not necessitate personal communion. A profession of agreement with their votaries is all-sufficient, and such profession you have already admitted is found in breaking bread with them. Moreover, Paul in this chapter (1 Cor. 10:18) plainly declares that those who eat DO thereby "fellowship." (The AV reads "partakes," but the original word is the same as is translated "fellowship" in verse 20.)

F: In 2 Cor. 8:4 we have the word "fellowship" used with apparently a still different meaning. Writing of the churches of Macedonia, Paul said, "To their power I bear record-yea, and beyond their power-they were willing of themselves, praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." Here a certain office or capacity appears to be spoken of. It is manifest that the ordinance of breaking of bread can have no reference to Paul's words here.

T: If you would but recognize that breaking of bread is but ONE of many forms of fellowship, these passages would all become plain to you. The word in the text you quote is, as we have already said, rendered in v. 13 of the next chapter, "distribution," which is another form of "fellowship" among the saints.

F: We have probably adduced sufficient passages to prove our point: that the word "fellowship," as used in the Scriptures, is not an equivalent of the act of breaking bread.

T: You have not adduced a single passage that proves we are wrong in maintaining that to "break bread and drink wine" in remembrance of Christ is a form of fellowship, by reason of being the "acknowledgment" of such.

F: We admit that the ordinance instituted by Christ is an acknowledgment, or an outward sign, of fellowship-but it is not the thing itself.

T: True, the ordinance of breaking bread is not the sum total of fellowship. But, nevertheless, it is "an act of fellowship," as you (no doubt unwittingly) have admitted. Paul's reasoning with regards to the body and its many members forcibly applies to your mode of argument (1 Cor. 12:14). Although the whole body be not simply the eye or the ear, yet both form portions of the body. So, the fellowship be not simply "breaking of bread" or "prayers," yet both form important elements of it.

F: Fellowship is a matter entirely beyond our control; and there is NO MEANING in our words when we say we will "fellowship" this brother, and we will not "fellowship" another.

T: If your statement is true, then we must deprive the early Christians of any merit in continuing "steadfastly in fellowship" (Acts 2:42), for according to you, to do otherwise was "beyond their control." Paul says, "To do good and communicate (original: fellowship) forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Your statement teaches that we need no reminding to fellowship, as to do otherwise is "beyond our control." And for the same reason, there can be no "sacrifice" in the matter, and therefore God is simply well pleased with our doing a thing we cannot help doing, as it is "beyond our control" to do otherwise.

F: Brethren who believe the same Gospel and are working in the service of Christ ARE in fellowship with each other.

T: True.

F: Their common faith and common labor constitute that fellowship, and it cannot exist without them.

T: True-always remembering that such common labor includes "assembling together" and "eating" of the sacrificial emblems when circumstances admit of it.

F: We cannot be in agreement with any upon the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ without being in fellowship with them.

T: It would be more scriptural if you used the expression "things" concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12), AND "continue in well-doing" (Rom. 11:7). But perhaps you mean this: if so, your statement is true.

F: Neither can we be in disagreement upon the essentials of that Gospel, and yet be in fellowship.

T: That follows as the logical sequence.

F: We cannot "fellowship" false doctrine without being in agreement with it, and therefore believing it.

T: That is NOT true. The Scriptures declare we can fellowship without believing it. One illustration will suffice. In the chapter referred to (1 Cor. 10:18) we have seen that Paul tells his brethren that those who eat of the sacrifices offered to idols are "partakers" (original: fellowshippers) of the alter, and therefore fellowship ALL represented thereby-which in this case were "demons" or idols. Now, you have admitted that they did not eat with the idols themselves, but with their worshipers. The Corinthian believers knew with Paul that an "idol is nothing in the world" (1 Cor. 8:4). Therefore it is clear from Paul's counsel to them that they could "fellowship" false doctrine without believing in it themselves.

 

39. W.—Actions which have been made upon its basis are steps in the wrong direction, that have brought us into a position that is altogether unjustifiable, and must be displeasing in the sight of God. But it is not enough that we should say this. We must show that this doctrine of fellowship is unscriptural, and also what the Bible really does teach upon the subject.
40. F.—Hear, hear.
41. W.—The word fellowship occurs 17 times in the Bible.
42. F.—Well.
43. W.—But not in one instance is it used as meaning the act of breaking of bread.
44. F.—That is denying what is not affirmed. The converse is what we believe, viz., that breaking of bread is fellowship, one of the highest forms of it in fact; but this is a very different thing from what you are opposing. If you affirmed that an oak was a noble tree, and we began to show you that all noble trees were not oaks, you would conclude that we were ignorant of the most elementary logic. Your denial is on a par with this illustration.
45. W. — The original word translated fellowship is given in a lexicon as “companionship, agreement, or communion.”
46. F.—That is just how we understand it, provided the idea of “distribution” is combined therewith; in fact, the Greek word had been so rendered in 2 Cor. 9:13. This goes to show the permeating character of fellowship.
47. W.—In Acts 2:41–42, we are told “there were added unto the Church about 3,000 souls, and they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, and in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This, of itself, is sufficient to show that fellowship is not breaking of bread, for the two things are separately spoken of.
48. F.—Quite so. The converse of your statement is what we impugn.
49. W.—And are as distinct as the two others mentioned—the apostles’ doctrine and prayers.
50. F.—In a sense, yes; but from the Bible point of view, they cannot be separated. They stand or fall together. True fellowship, like true charity, comprises many items, but consists in no individual one. (Cor. 1:13).
51. W.—In the tenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, we are taught the true distinction between the breaking of bread and fellowship, for the apostle plainly declares that the one is the representation or acknowledgment of the other.
52. F.—Quite true; and you will do well to note and bear in mind the two admissions involved in your statement; (a), that we must not separate the breaking of bread from the fellowship which “it represents;” and (b), that when we break bread it is “an acknowledgment” that fellowship exists.
53. W.—The 20th verse confirms this idea, for he wrote that “the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God, and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”
54. F.—That completely overthrows your contention that we do not involve ourselves in the errors (of belief or practice) of those with whom we partake of the sacrificial emblems. Here Paul distinctly counsels them not to fellowship devils by eating and drinking to them.
55. W.—But they could not break bread and drink wine with devils.
56. F.—Just so, and therefore the way in which these Corinthians could fellowship devils was by breaking bread and drinking wine with those who believed in the devils, and in that manner they would involve themselves in the errors of devil worshippers. Thus it is plain from Paul, that to fellowship anything does not necessitate personal communion. A profession of agreement with their votaries is all-sufficient, and such profession you have already admitted is found in the “breaking of bread” (see paragraph 51). Moreover, Paul in the chapter to which you refer — (1 Cor. 10:18.) — plainly declares that those who eat do thereby “fellowship.” (The text reads “partakes,” but the original is the same as translated, “fellowship,” in verse 20).
57. W.—In the second letter to the Corinthians, 8:4, we have the word fellowship used with apparently a still different meaning. Writing of the churches of Macedonia, Paul said—“To their power I bear record—yea, and beyond their power—they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” Here a certain office or capacity appears to be spoken of. . . . . It is manifest that the ordinance of breaking bread can have no reference to Paul’s words.
58. F.—If you would but recognise that breaking of bread is but one of many forms of fellowship, these passages would all become plain to you. The word in the text you quote is, as we have already said, rendered, in verse 13 of the next chapter, “distribution,” which is another form of fellowship among the saints.
59. W.—We have probably adduced sufficient passages to prove the present contention—that the word fellowship, as used in the Scriptures, is not an equivalent of the act of breaking bread.
60. F.—You have not adduced a single passage that proves we are wrong in maintaining that to “break bread, and drink wine,” in remembrance of Christ, is a form of fellowship, by reason of being the acknowledgment of such.
61. W.—We admit that the ordinance instituted by Christ is an acknowledgment, or an outward sign of fellowship, but it is not the thing itself.
62. F.—True, the ordinance of “breaking bread” is not the sum total of fellowship, but, nevertheless, it is “an act of fellowship,” as you (no doubt unwittingly) admit (see paragraphs 18 and 23). Paul’s reasoning with regard to the body, and its many members, forcibly applies to your mode of argument (1 Cor. 12:14). Although the whole body be not simply the eye, or the ear, yet both form portions of the body, and so, though fellowship be not simply “breaking of bread,” or “prayers,” yet both form important elements of it.
63. W.—It is a matter entirely beyond our control, and there is no meaning in our words when we will fellowship this brother, and we will not fellowship another.
64. F.—If your statement is true, then we must deprive the early Christians of any merit in continuing “steadfastly in fellowship” for, according to you, to do otherwise was “beyond their control.” Paul says (Heb. 13:16)—“To do good and communicate (original, “fellowship” as in Acts 2:42) forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Your statement teaches that we need no reminding to fellowship, as to do otherwise is “beyond our control;” and for the same reason there can be no sacrifice in the matter, and therefore God is simply well pleased with our doing a thing that we cannot help doing as it is “beyond our control” to do otherwise.
65. W.—Brethren who believe the same Gospel and are working in the service of Christ are in fellowship with each other.
66. F.—True.
67. W.—Their common faith and common labour constitute that fellowship and it cannot exist without them.
68. F.—True, always remembering that such common labour includes “Assembling together” and “eating” of the sacrificial emblems when the circumstances admit of it.
69. W.—We cannot be in agreement with any upon the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ without being in fellowship with them.
70. F.—It would be more scriptural if you used the expression “things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12), and “continue in well-doing” (Rom. 11:7). But perhaps you mean such—if so your statement is true
71. W.—Neither can we be in disagreement upon the essentials of that Gospel and yet be in fellowship.
72. F. — That follows as the logical sequence.
73. W.—We cannot fellowship false doctrine concerning the teaching of the Scriptures without being in agreement with it, and therefore believing it.
74. F.—That is not true; the Scriptures declare we can fellowship false doctrine without believing it. One illustration will suffice. In the chapter already referred to (1 Cor 1:10), we have seen that Paul tells his brethren that those who eat of the sacrifices offered to idols are “partakers” (original same as fellowship in verse 20) of the altar, and therefore fellowship all represented there by, which in this case were demons or idols (for all gods but the true one are idols) Now you have admitted that they did not eat with the idols (paragraph 55) but with their worshippers, and the Corinthian believers knew with Paul that an “idol is nothing in the world” (1 Cor., 8:4); therefore it is clear from Paul’s counsel to them that they could fellowship false doctrine without being believers in it themselves.

 

JimPhillips

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Case 1 (Continued)

The Transfer of Evil through Fellowship

Starting way back in Q 25, bro. W has been accusing the Christadelphians of believing in the transfer of evil through fellowship.  That is, that sin is somehow transferred from one brother to another through fellowship.  Bre. Roberts and Janaway believed no such thing, nor do the Bereans.  Bro. W makes his accusation this way:

25. W.—To make myself clear by using a simile that has been quoted before to convey the same thought—that evil either of faith or practice is conveyed from one to another by the act of breaking bread, much in the same way as uncleanness was conveyed from the leper, through another who came into personal contact with him, to a third person, a fourth, and so on.

The subject is put to rest this way by bro. Janaway:

30. F.—As the principle has no existence with us, it cannot lead us to anything. What has led to the severance of the brotherhood is the fact of certain ones bringing into its midst ideas contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10) thus causing division, which has been ended by the earnest contenders of the Faith withdrawing themselves (2 Thess. 3:6), marking those who have been the cause of the division (Rom. 16:17).

As bro. W continues to explore this idea, he eventually comes to conclude the following:

   1.  Our fellowship is with the Father and his Son

    2.  Our fellowship cannot be with all members of our body because

    3.  If one of our members fellowship the evil of Belial,

    4.  Then the fellowship of Belial must necessarily lead through that fellowship to God and Christ,

    5.  placing God and Christ in fellowship with Belial

     6.  It is impossible that Christ could have fellowship with Belial

    7.  Ergo, we cannot be in fellowship with those brethren who have decided to fellowship the evil of Belial

It is important to note that this theory of the transfer of evil through fellowship, was originally a theory invented by those opposed to the pioneer stand on fellowship.  They invented this theory and branded the pioneer brethren with this belief, for the purpose of undermining the original Christadelphian position on fellowship.  The opponents of bro. Roberts invented it, falsely accused him of believing it, and then condemn it through a logic they establish.  But as bro. Janaway explained above, this is nothing we believe.  These logical arguments raised, are simply "red herrings."

Bro. Genusa takes umbrage at us comparing him and his teachings to men like "bro. W" or the author of the "Open Door" which was some six months previous to this, in 1891.  But as I have demonstrated before, he uses their identical arguments.  It is why bro. Genusa wants to discredit the article through his complaints about minutia, and have you disregard it.  Because if you study it, you will see that just as bro. W used the argument that the pioneer teachings transfer evil through fellowship from us to God, so also bro. Genusa accuses us of a belief which causes God and Christ to be in fellowship with Belial.  His acceptance of the foundation arguments of those opposed to the Pioneer's position, becomes one of the foundation reasons why bro. Genusa refuses to accept the Scriptural principle of fellowship. 

Compare the logic of bro. W, to the logic of bro. Genusa.  First, bro. W wrote;

101. W.—John wrote, “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Now, we read from the same writer that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us,” for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But, although we are all sinners, yet “we have fellowship with the Father and the Son.” Does our fellowship of them involve them in our wickedness?

103. W.—If responsibility for evil is incurred in the case of our brethren, it is also incurred in the cases of the Father and the Son, and that cannot be put negatively.

105. W.—If the Father and Son are not involved in our wrong doings by the fellowship that we are permitted to have with them—then our brethen are not made responsible for our sins by means of that same fellowship they have with us.

Bro. Genusa wrote:

11D) To claim that fellowship with errorists occurs when faithful brethren break bread thousands, hundreds, tens or fractions of a mile from errorists is to believe that Christ and Belial, despite the words of Scripture, can be joined when the worldwide perimeters are not kept "pure".--from "A Berean Answers My Twelve Questions"

In 2nd Corinthians 6:15 Paul argues that the joining of a believer with an unbeliever is like Christ being joined to Belial. Now if a community of believers (Christ as the type) fellowships error (Belial) then there is a concord or fellowship between Christ and Belial -- a thing that obviously cannot occur. Now, the only conclusion that one can make is that if this concord exists, it is not because the community of believers is representing Christ. --from "A Berean Answers My Twelve Questions"

The Bereans and other schismatic fellowships repeatedly assert that doctrinally sound and obedient brethren "fellowship errorists". How is it that Bereans say "otherwise sound" brethren "fellowship" errorists? It only in the fact that both the obedient and disobedients both claim to have the same "Fellowship card". Bereans accept this as FULL EVIDENCE that the sound and unsound persons are in full fellowship. It is interesting that persons who never believed that doctrine before they joined the Bereans treat it as an undeniable truth once they are Bereans. On the same logic John Thomas and Robert Roberts were, for a time (and it matters not to this argument whether the time were 1 day or 100 years), in fellowship with the Dowieites, partial-inspirationists, clean-fleshers, trinitarians et al. By their logic Paul was in fellowship with an incestuous Corinthian. By their logic, the brethren of which Christ said "thou hast not denied my faith" were in fellowship with Nicolaitanes &c. These are just a few examples. Therefore, by their logic, Christ was joined to Belial in all of it, a thing which Scripturally is not possible. The truth is, there is a fundamental flaw to the Berean view of fellowship. Well, to be accurate, there are a number of fundamental flaws including their assertion that the breaking of bread, regardless of where in the world you are, is equivalent to fellowship.--from "A Berean Answers My Twelve Questions"  [My underlining in all three of the above--JP]

This principle of the transference of evil through fellowship is not, and never has been a principle among true Christadelphians.  Bro. W accused the pioneer brethren of believing it.  Bro. Genusa accuses us of believing it.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  Fellowship is an individual's act of obedience.  It is an aspect of walking in the light.  Those not walking in light, who I unwittingly fellowship, are not obedient and therefore not in fellowship with God and Christ, even though in fellowship with me.  In such a case, I would be acting in harmony with divine principles, as far as I know.  That is all that is required of me.  There is no transference of their evil to me, or through me, nor am I considered disobedient when I am not aware of any problem justifying the severing of fellowship.  This idea of transference of evil through fellowship was a completely foreign idea among pioneer Christadelphians. 

Bro. Genusa also likes to bring up brethren who we know are in error, but whom we continue to fellowship.  This is the class of men who continue with us through the Matt. 18 process.  The commandment is to work diligently with such, personally, then with another brother, and such an one continues in fellowship till finally told to the ecclesia.  Then, for that period of time, you have Christ in fellowship with Belial, bro. Genusa reasons from his logic.  But his logic is flawed for the same reason as bro. W's.  There is no transference of evil through fellowship.  This is not any idea based in our beliefs.  We are commanded to work with such, and fellowship continues while the work is going on.  It would be disobedient not to.  This does not affect our fellowship with Christ, nor does it put Christ in fellowship with Belial; because evil is not transferred through fellowship. 

This doctrine is more dangerous than may appear on the surface.  It leads bro. Genusa to most of his false positions, such as he expresses in the third paragraph quoted from him, above..  It colors his understanding of the first century ecclesias, called "the Apostles' Fellowship".  It colors his understanding of the apostolic epistles.  It colors his perspective of the letters of the seven ecclesias.  It colors his perspective about the early days of the truth.  For instance, as he looks at the first Century ecclesias, he concludes that if the true believers are all in fellowship together, then Paul had to be in fellowship with the adulterer in Corinth, and he reasons this is impossible, because it would put Christ in fellowship with the adulterer.  But it is not impossible at all.  Paul was in fellowship, with the adulterer, while the process of withdrawal was being carried out.  The responsibility of being in fellowship with "that wicked person" is what incited his actions.  Paul was bringing the matter to a conclusion, one way or the other.  Either Corinth would withdraw from the brother, or Paul would remove their candlestick.  There were no other options for Paul, just as there are no other options for us.  But fellowship is an act, not a chemical reaction.  Paul, obediently fellowshipping the errant ecclesia while the process works through, does not put Christ in fellowship with error.  Christ can never be in fellowship with error.

Just think of the commands themselves, and this becomes clear.  "Withdraw yourself from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the traditions he received of us."  Does fellowship not have to exist, before you can withdraw?  And does the brother not have to walk disorderly, before you must withdraw?  So if evil was transferred through fellowship, would not the time period between when the brother began to walk disorderly, and the point where he is withdrawn from fellowship, cause Christ to be in fellowship Belial, every time a brother began to walk disorderly? 

Again, fellowship is an act of obedience.  Each one of us is individually responsible for our own obedience.  If we fellowship error, we are not guilty of that error, but we are guilty of offering fellowship where it has been forbidden.  We do not meet with men who are individually sound but who fellowship error because we feel some evil from the errorist they fellowship transfers through them to us.  Rather, we do not meet with such a man because of that man's own disobedience in extending fellowship when God has forbidden it. The command is to come out from among them and be separate.  If he refuses the divine command, though he himself be sound in the principles of the truth, he is still disobedient to Christ's command, and for that reason, we refuse to meet with him.

 

 

F: We cannot fellowship the evil deeds of another without being in agreement with them and doing the same things.

T: We have just shown we can. But further: John in his second epistle calls false teaching concerning Christ an "evil deed." And he says if we bid the man with this false doctrine God speed," we become partakers (original: fellowshippers) of his evil deeds. It is quite clear he is not referring to those who believed or were doing the same things, for he says it is the bidding him God speed that creates the participation. Now, what is meant by "God speed"? The original word occurs 74 times. It is only rendered "God speed" twice. The rest of the time it is rendered "hail, rejoice, rejoicing, greeting, joy, glad, and farewell." So the primary meaning is evidently "welcome." We are not to welcome a holder of false doctrine. Not to welcome him where? At our homes, or at the Table? Why, at the Table of the Lord-for surely you cannot contend that we ought to welcome a person there when we cannot welcome him at our house.

F: The idea of responsibility for the beliefs and doings of others being transferred to us by the breaking of bread is a false idea.

T: Your ideas on this "transference of responsibility" are entirely without foundation. We believe no such thing.

F: The principle taught throughout the Bible is that declared in Ezekiel: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him" (18:20).

T: Yes, and every true Christadelphian heartily endorses that testimony. In no way does it militate against their belief that God will not hold him guiltless who presumes to "hail" or bid "God speed" to those who fail to respect the holy, separate, peculiar position to which He calls them.

F: This was said by God in reply to a statement made by the Israelites to the effect that His way is not equal, because they believed that the evil doings of an individual would be visited upon another. Let us be careful how we make this same accusation against God.

T: The accusation is certainly not to be found in the Christadelphian doctrine of fellowship, one of the principles of which is that each member is responsible to God for the company HE keeps.

F: It is as true in the 19th century after Christ as it was five centuries before him that "the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked upon him."

T: Yes, quite as true. And that man who bids erroneous teachers and evildoers "God speed" or "joy" by partaking of the emblems with them will not suffer for the evil deeds of his companions, but for his own unfaithfulness in holding fellowship where God has forbidden it.

F: There are many other considerations that plainly show the fallacy of the idea that the breaking of bread is a medium for the transference of evil.

T: No doubt. But such a thing as "transference of evil" is not believed by the Christadelphians, hence there is no need to go into "other considerations." But while the breaking of bread cannot be the medium for the "transference of evil," it can be the means of making a man an evil-doer by partaking with evil-doers, as we have most clearly proved from the epistles of Paul and John.

F: We constantly see brethren and sisters do things of which we disapprove, and would not do ourselves. We constantly hear of some item of belief that we consider out of harmony with Scripture teaching. But do you think for a moment that we become responsible for those actions and beliefs because we partake of the emblems with those that practice them?

T: God has allowed liberty in many matters in which conscience must guide us. Hence, what is sin to one may not be to another. You yourself have introduced the word "essentials." By that, we presume you mean "first principles." Only errors which involve those "essentials" or "first principles" should bar our fellowship.

F: If we break bread with a brother whose idea upon some doctrinal subject is different from our own, does that act make us believe the same as he?

T: Of course not! The question is too ridiculous to seriously ask.

F: Then we have no agreement with such a belief, consequently we do not fellowship it.

T: You have made that statement before, and we have shown its unscripturalness.

F: If evil be thus transferred, then upon the same principle, the good would be also.

T: Certainly. But as evil is not transferred, on the same principle, good is not. It would be better if you kept to the words "partake" or "fellowship" instead of coining the word "transfer" for us.

F: Why should we become partakers of a brother's sin by breaking bread with him, and not be partakers in another brother's well-doing by the same means?

T: Just as we "partake" of sin in bidding "God speed" to evil-doers, so we "partake" of good in doing likewise with "well-doers" (Mal. 3:16).

F: If every time we break bread in the same company with a righteous brother and a wicked brother, we have fellowship with their righteousness and their iniquity respectively, then both righteousness and wickedness would be imputed to us as a consequence?

T: With regard to the typical uncleanness under the Law of Moses, created by contact with unclean persons (to which you have referred), it distinctly states- "When he knoweth of it, THEN he shall be guilty" (Lev. 5:3). In like manner, under Christ's law, iniquity is not imputed where we unwittingly "sacrifice" or "break bread" with a "wicked brother." WE only (knowingly) fellowship righteous brethren, and therefore only righteousness is "imputed" (your word) to us.

F: John wrote: "Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3). Now we read in the same chapter (v. 8) that "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us," for "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3.23). But, although we are all sinners, yet "we have fellowship with the Father and the Son." Does our fellowship of them involve them in our wickedness?

T: If we are "walking in the Light" [required for fellowship: v. 7], then the "sin" which we have is not imputed to us, but we are covered by the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:6-8; Rev. 7:14). Clothed with this garment, we have the fellowship of the Father and the Son. Without this garment, they will not permit us to have their fellowship. While we have fellowship with them, we are "clean every whit" (John 13:10), and thus there is no wickedness for them to be "involved" in.

F: If responsibility for evil is incurred in the case of our brethren, it is also incurred in the cases of the Father and the Son.

T: Are you not reducing God and Christ to your own level? Have you never read that the One forgives through the mediumship of the other? Have you omitted to read the next verse to the one you quote: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:9). Bearing this in mind, can you not see that we have fellowship with the Father and Son not as sinners but as children "cleansed from ALL unrighteousness" (same verse), and that therefore there is no sin for the Father and Son to be "involved" in. WITHOUT THIS FORGIVENESS, THERE IS NO FELLOWSHIP. That man is not forgiven who unrepentantly continues in sin, and whose fellowship therefore we cannot knowingly entertain without separating ourselves from the fellowship of the Father and Son.

F: If the Father and Son are not involved in our wrong-doings by the fellowship we are permitted to have with them, then our brethren are not made responsible for our sins by means of that same fellowship they have with us.

T: Firstly, we have shown that there is no wrong-doing for the Father and Son to be involved in. Secondly, we do not believe or teach responsibility for other men's sins; but that it is for our OWN sins in knowingly partaking with unrepentant wrong doers that we are held responsible.

F: These few points, if carefully reflected upon (especially bearing in mind that not a tittle of Scripture evidence arrays itself against them) are sufficient to destroy the idea hitherto held by most of us. (Let us note well this testimony that "most" had till then held the views he is repudiating.)

T: It ill becomes you to talk about "Scripture evidence." From beginning to end, you quote but seven texts in a long, written address in which you profess to have demonstrated the unscriptural nature of what we contend is a Bulwark of the Unity of the Household of Christ. Your quotations are: Lev. 6:2; Psa. 94:20; Acts 2:41; 1 Cor. 10:15-20; 2 Cor. 8:4; Eze. 18:4; 1 John 1. We have shown that these do not help you but us. And we have amply supported them with other quotations. Your assertion about "not a tittle of evidence" against you is on a par with your statement about the "subject being imperfectly understood."

F: The idea has gained a place in our minds by being handed from one to another and accepted without examination. Thus it has operated for a considerable time without anyone feeling called upon to give a reason for it.

T: If the "our minds" consists of your own, we do not object to your assertion, but if you mean the brethren generally, we impugn it. And we have already given our reason for so doing.

 

75. W.—We cannot fellowship the evil deeds of another without being in agreement with them and doing the same things.
76. F.—The remarks made in paragraph 74 will apply to this—but further; John in his 2nd epistle calls false teaching concerning Christ an “evil deed,” and he says if we bid the man with this false doctrine “God speed,” we become partakers of his evil deeds. It is quite clear he is not referring to those who believed or were doing the same things, for he says it is the bidding him God speed that creates the participation. Now what is meant by “God speed?” Reference to its use in the New Testament soon enlightens us. The word (original) is found 74 times, and while only rendered “God speed” twice, is translated—hail, rejoice, rejoicing, greeting, joy, glad and farewell 72 times—so that evidently the primary meaning is “welcome.” Not to welcome a holder of false doctrine. Not to welcome him where? At our homes or at the table? Why at the table of the Lord, for surely you cannot contend that we ought to welcome a person there when we cannot welcome him at our house.
77. W.—The idea of responsibility for the beliefs and doings of others being transferred to us by the breaking of bread is a false idea.
78. F.—Your ideas on this “transference of responsibility” are entirely without foundation, and we would recommend you to study paragraphs 23 to 26.
79. W.—The principle taught throughout the Bible is that declared in Ezekiel’s prophecy, “The soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
80. F.—Yes, and every true Christadelphian heartily endorses that testimony. In no way does it militate against their belief that God will not hold him guiltless who presumes to “hail” or bid “God speed” to those who fail to respect the “holy,” “separate,” or peculiar position to which He calls them.
81. W.—This was said by God in reply to a statement made by the Israelites to the effect that His way is not equal because they believed that the evil doings of an individual should be visited upon another.
82. F.—What then?
83. W.—Let us be careful how we make this same accusation against God.
84. F.—Nay; rather let us refrain from making it at all. The accusation is certainly not to be found in the Christadelphian doctrine of fellowship, one of the principles of which is that each member is responsible to God for the company he keeps.
85. W.—It is as true in the 19th century after Christ’s death as it was five centuries before he was born that “the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
86. F.—Yes, quite as true. And that man who bids erroneous teachers and evildoers “God speed” or “joy” by partaking of the emblems with them will not suffer for the “evil deeds” of his companions, but for his own unfaithfulness in holding fellowship where God has forbidden it.
87. W.—There are many other considerations that plainly shew the fallacy of the idea that the breaking of bread is a medium for the transference of evil.
88. F.—No doubt—but such a thing as “transference of evil” is not believed by the Christadelphians, hence there is no need to go into “other considerations.” But while the “breaking of bread” cannot be the medium for the “transference of evil,” it can be the means of making a man an “evildoer” by partaking with evil doers, as we have most clearly proved from the epistles of Paul and John.
89. W.—We constantly see brethren and sisters do things of which we disapprove and would not practise ourselves. We constantly hear of some item of belief that we consider out of harmony with Scripture teaching—but do you think for a moment that we become responsible for those actions and beliefs because we partake of the emblems with those that practise them?
90. F.—Firstly, we again have to deny that any such responsibility is created (see paragraph 26). Secondly, God has allowed liberty in many matters in which conscience must guide us—hence, what is sin to one may not be to another. You yourself have introduced the word “essentials” (paragraph 71), and by that we presume you mean “first principles.” Only errors which multiply those “essentials” or “first principles” should bar our fellowship.
91. W.—If we break bread with a brother whose idea upon some doctrinal subject is different from our own, does that act make us believe the same as he?
92. F.—Of course not. The question is too ridiculous to think you seriously ask it.
93. W.—Then we have no agreement with such belief, and consequently do not fellowship it.
94. F.—You have made that last statement before (paragraph 73), and we have shown the unscriptural character of it (paragraphs 74, 76).
95. W.—If evil be thus transferred, then upon the same principle, the good would also.
96. F.—Certainly; but as “evil” is not transferred, on the same principle “the good” is not. It would be better if you kept to the word “partake” or “fellowship” instead of coining the word “transfer” for us.
97. W.—Why should we become partakers of a brother’s sin by breaking bread with him, and not be partakers in another brother’s well-doing by the same means?
98. F.—Just as we “partake” of sin in bidding “God speed” to evil-doers, so we “partake” of good in doing likewise with “well-doers” (Mal. 3:16).
99. W.—If every time we break bread in the same company with a righteous and a wicked brother, we have fellowship with their righteousness and iniquity respectively, then both righteousness and wickedness would be imputed to us as a consequence?
100. F.—With regard to the typical uncleanliness under the law of Moses, created by contact with unclean persons (to which you have referred), it distinctly states, “When he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty” (Lev. 5:3). In like manner, under Christ’s law, iniquity is not imputed where we unwittingly “sacrifice” or “break bread” with a “wicked brother.” We only, knowingly, fellowship righteous brethren, and therefore only righteousness is imputed to us.
101. W.—John wrote, “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Now, we read from the same writer that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us,” for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But, although we are all sinners, yet “we have fellowship with the Father and the Son.” Does our fellowship of them involve them in our wickedness?
102. F.—If we are “walking in the light” then the “sin” which we have is not imputed to us, but the righteousness of Christ; and clothed with this garment, we have the fellowship of the Father and Son. Without this garment, they will not permit us to have their fellowship. While we have fellowship with them we “are clean every whit,” and thus there is no wickedness for them to be “involved” in.
103. W.—If responsibility for evil is incurred in the case of our brethren, it is also incurred in the cases of the Father and the Son, and that cannot be put negatively.
104. F.—Are you not reducing God and Christ to your own level? Have you never read that the One forgives through the mediumship of the other? Have you omitted to read the next verse to the one you quote from 1 John 1.?—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Bearing this in mind, can you not see that we have fellowship with the Father and Son not as sinners but as children “cleansed from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), and that therefore, there is no sin for the Father and Son to be involved in, Without this forgiveness, there is no fellowship, and that man is not forgiven who unrepentantly continues in sin and whose fellowship therefore we cannot knowingly entertain without separating ourselves from the fellowship of Father and Son.
105. W.—If the Father and Son are not involved in our wrong doings by the fellowship that we are permitted to have with them—then our brethen are not made responsible for our sins by means of that same fellowship they have with us.
106. F.—Firstly, by our previous arguments, you will see there is no longer wrong doing for them to be involved in; and, secondly, responsibility for other men’s sins we do not believe or teach, but that it is for our own sins in knowingly partaking with unrepentent wrong doers that we are held responsible.
107. W.—These few points, if carefully reflected upon, especially bearing in mind the fact that not a tittle of Scripture evidence arrays itself against them, are sufficient to destroy the idea hitherto held by most of us.
108. F.—It ill becomes you to talk about “Scripture evidence,” for, from beginning to end, you quote but seven texts, and those, be it noted, in a long written address in which you profess to have demonstrated the unscriptural nature of what we contend is a Bulwark of the Unity of the household of Christ. Your quotations are: Lev. 6:2, Ps. 94:20, Acts 2:41, 1 Cor. 10:15, 2 Cor. 8:4, Ezek. 18:4, 2 John. We have shown that these do not help you, but us, and we have amply supported them with other quotations. Your assertion about “not a title of evidence” is on a par with your statement about the “subject being imperfectly understood” (see paragraphs 5–10).
109. W.—The idea has gained a place in our minds by being handed from one to another and accepted without examination; and thus it has operated for a considerable time without any feeling called upon to give a reason for it.\

110. F.—If the “our minds” consists of your own, we do not object to your assertion, but if you mean the brethren generally, we impugn it, and have already given our reason for so doing.

 

broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #25 

My Reply to brother Steve Genusa

Brother Steve, you write:

Bro. X: Since bro. Bob Widding of the Bereans banned me from the Berean forum, and blocked my IP address, I have made a policy of not reading Berean forums. I have only been back once since then, and that was to read comments regarding an article produced by an Unamended brother. I would welcome some interaction with the Bereans but not when the ground rules are that Bereans can say anything they like, but when someone challenges Berean claims, those postings get deleted and their IP addresses blocked. These were the practices of a forum advertised as a place to "debate the issues"! I didn't realize it meant, "debate the [non-Berean] issues".

My Response:

I have made an unwarranted assumption that you follow the present Berean Forum, for which I apologize. With respect to the IP ban,  many months later I apologized to you in writing for this and informed you that the block had been lifted about a week or so after instituting it.

Brother Steve, you write:

As to the titles from my first principles web site which have been raised, most of those came from bro. Bob Widding, or from material he provided, for many of the articles on that web site came from material my sister-wife and I typed and produced for him, when he was editor of The Herald. He provided the extracts with titles, usually via the postal service, but sometimes by telling me what extract and what title to use via a phone call. OCR software was not particularly good at that time so my sister-wife and I did the work the old fashioned way: we took turns typing the material. When an article was completely typed one person would read from the original... every word, italicization, comma, exclamation point, and period was verbally called out while the person at the keyboard made any corrections. We attempted to reproduce the articles to be exactly as our "original". This laborious process was done because we respect the pioneer works and thought they should speak rather than the typists.

My Response:

First of all let me say again how much I appreciated the  help that both you and bro Daniel were so kind to offer. The Herald would have gone under had you both - and your sister-wife - not worked so hard to keep it afloat.

I do not deny what you have said above. As indicated on the Berean  Forum,  I take full responsibility for this. Quite simply, brother Steve, in connection with the current exchange about how brother Jim Phillips put the fellowship book together,  I am attempting to demonstrate how easy it is for anyone to make an innocent mistake -  even including extraneous material - when reprinting second or third hand material. Portions of your website prove this.

Brother Steve, you write:

We were not editors, we were typists and page layout assistance. It wasn't perfect, but we did the best we could and spent many hours in that service.

My response:

With the October 1992 issue, editorial control was turned over to you  primarily and brother Daniel secondarily. This was due to a personal crisis in my life at the time that largely precluded my editorial participation. My address no longer appears on the masthead from that point. "All Herald inquiries" are sent to you. It remained that way for about 12 issues until the magazine ceased publication with the first quarter issue of 1995 which specifically lists  you as editor, and Daniel as co-editor.

Brother Steve, you write:

I probably still have photocopies of some of those extracts with bro. Widding's handwriting at the top. I came across one just a few months back. I am glad to know our service is now appreciated, and that we are responsible for his editorial decisions. I did not object, and have not objected to printing excerpts, or even title changes, if the title does not misrepresent the material. One of the points I made about these Berean title changes was that they tended towards justifying non-fellowship rather than fellowship which is rather ironic since the book is called The Doctrine of Fellowship, and not The Doctrine of Withdrawal.

I can assure you that in the work we did for bro. Widding we never left out a word we didn't like (Case 2), or engaged in widespread changes to capitalization (Cases 4, 7, 11, 14 etc) or deleted sentences or phrases we didn't like out of the materialCase 2) or two quotes together with an 11 year difference (Case 3) or completely rewrote articles to our personal taste (Case 1) and then presented it as if it were a "DEFENSE" of some "HISTORIC" "DOCTRINE" and, worse, as if it was the original dialog from 1892 though in reality it had just been completely rewritten. Nor did we unilaterally rewrite a basis of fellowship document and then repeatedly present it as if it were the original unedited 1960 document! We did not misrepresent how bro. Thomas and bro. Roberts used the word 'body' and 'community' and we did not represent brother Roberts' withdrawal from a 'corrupt' 'community' as anything other than the dissolution of a single ecclesia; nor did we ever represent that action as a precedent for the 1923 action. In short, we didn't have an agenda outside of advocating that brethren read the pioneers and we did not need to reshape the pioneer writings for that. Some brethren who wish to justify their fellowship position have, as a demonstrable fact, committed all these errors. (Cases 11 & 12). We certainly never pasted sentences from two different brethren together as if they were one quote (

My response:

I have addressed The Herald issue, brother Steve. The latter is being addressed by brother Jim Phillips. Perhaps someone will send his reply to you. My reply, I am sending to you via email.

               

broBW

Registered:
Posts: 936
Reply with quote  #26 
Reply from bro Steve Genusa

As stated, I was to forward my last post to bro Steve. This I did with the following preface:


Good morning, bro Steve:

Here is my reply. Unfortunately, on Aristotle, all is straight text with no emphases whatsoever, except caps which I do not typically use. So you may wish to go to the site for where I've placed italics or bold. But below is the substance.

Yours faithfully,

Bob



bro Steve says that I am free to do anything with his reply that I judge is right, and so, here it is in its entirety:


Good morning bro. Widding,

Thank you for forwarding this.

My purpose for raising the issue of the block was only to explain when and why I decided to stop reading any Berean forum. I assure you it was not to attack you or extract anything else from you. I should have noted your apology (I just added it) but it did not occur to me because, again, my purpose was only to explain what some brethren were assuming. I have had emails from brethren wondering and assuming that I was reading (I was not). Nor did those emails change my mind because the ground rules of conversations with the Bereans have been unfair 1) on forum 2) on Jim Phillips web site (I have subsequently run into others who also believe Jim has personally misrepresented them) and 3) in the BEN magazine. I did not expect equal time. I did expect to be honestly represented and I did not receive that and I believe, in your heart, you know that.

Regarding "we were not editors" comment: I was obviously talking about the time when I received the material from you. It made my head spin to have you list (in a brother's forward to me) article titles which were of your providing! I was stunned. Besides, bro. Bob, I have been careful to state that I recognize some title changes are "understandable" (that was the word I used). Nor did I make an issue of line breaks. My point was the PATTERN of what the Berean changes represent.

Regarding "innocent mistakes": here is my statement on the Berean Alterations web page: "I want to make it clear that I accept that mistakes are going to be made. I can see in the initial misattributions the frail hand of humanity. On the other hand the heavily edited and redacted but unnoted materials are not a mistake but intentional acts. The publication of all these articles were represented as one thing when in fact they were something else." Those are accurate statements. Add to that that the Bereans have yet to publish a single correction that I am aware of. If you know otherwise -please- tell me and I post that information.

Thank you for telling me about bro. Jim's response. As you might guess, I won't go looking for it. I do not question your sincerity or bro. Jim's. On the other hand, I cannot help but apply some lessons both Scripture and life have taught me. Some things will have to wait the Lord's judgment.

At this point I do not plan to post any of this to my web site but you are free to do anything with it you judge is right. In fact, consider nothing I have ever written to you of a confidential nature. I have nothing to hide, and if I did, it will be revealed anyway in a soon coming day. The only stipulation I would make is to judge righteously. If you do that, you will have served yourself, and me, perfectly.

I only hope for the best for you, and all brethren who labor to uphold the truth in this day of darkness,

stephen



Lord willing, for the moment,  I will hold my comments on the above. (This does not mean that others cannot comment if they wish to do so.)
JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #27 

Case # 1 (Continued)

This point is only very briefly made by bro. Janaway to bro. W, but it also fits bro. Genusa's argument perfectly, and is another aspect of his teaching he would like no one to observe.  That is, he has no scriptural support for his position.  He can't find the verse which explains that we are not to be concerned with what goes on in another ecclesia.  Bro. Janaway makes his point this way.

107. W.—These few points, if carefully reflected upon, especially bearing in mind the fact that not a tittle of Scripture evidence arrays itself against them, are sufficient to destroy the idea hitherto held by most of us.
108. F.—It ill becomes you to talk about “Scripture evidence,” for, from beginning to end, you quote but seven texts, and those, be it noted, in a long written address in which you profess to have demonstrated the unscriptural nature of what we contend is a Bulwark of the Unity of the household of Christ. Your quotations are: Lev. 6:2, Ps. 94:20, Acts 2:41, 1 Cor. 10:15, 2 Cor. 8:4, Ezek. 18:4, 2 John. We have shown that these do not help you, but us, and we have amply supported them with other quotations. Your assertion about “not a title of evidence” is on a par with your statement about the “subject being imperfectly understood” (see paragraphs 5–10).

Bro. Genusa has been quite verbose in explaining what fellowship isn't, and why he believes the Bereans are wrong.  He is nearly silent on telling us what he believes fellowship is, and how it is to be practiced.  He is, like bro. W above, almost completely silent when bringing forward verses which support his ideas.

When bro. Julio and I were discussing the need for such a booklet like "The Doctrine of Fellowship," one of the things motivating us at the time was bro. George Booker's booklet, called "Biblical Fellowship."  In that booklet, bro. Booker took every Scriptural verse which was used to defend the pioneer's practice of the doctrine of fellowship, and changed the way that pioneers explained every verse.  He had to do that, because the fellowship practice recommended in that booklet, was opposite what Christadelphians had always believed.  Therefore, he had to present an opposite explanation.

Part of our goal was to demonstrate to the brotherhood how the early Christadelphians understood these various verses then being wrested by bro. Booker.  Our booklet "The Doctrine of Fellowship" did this.  It is impossible to read our collection without observing that every verse pertaining to this subject is used in counter distinction to the way bro. Booker uses the verse in his booklet.  But this creates the problem for bro. Genusa.  It leaves him with no verses, and no explanations.  And this is apparent in his attacks. 

At one point in the past, bro. Genusa challenged us to debate the subject of fellowship over the internet.  I accepted, but because my work schedule was going to extend this exercise over several months, which bro. Genusa for unknown reasons did not want; he rescinded the challenge.  But he went ahead and posted the questions he had developed to ask of me.  I answered the first set of question, and he responded, then I answered the second set of questions, and he ignored my responses.  I determined if he was not interested enough in my answers to respond, I was not interested enough to continue to answer his questions, so I left the exercise there.  But I was frankly shocked at the nature of the questions.  Through two full sessions, (which is all I have read to this day) he did not advance a single Scripture for support, or challenge me on my understanding of the Scriptures even once.  Not once.  There is probably no more telling testimony to his dearth of Scriptural support for his position, than this.

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #28 

Quote:

Nor did those emails change my mind because the ground rules of conversations with the Bereans have been unfair 1) on forum 2) on Jim Phillips web site (I have subsequently run into others who also believe Jim has personally misrepresented them)



It is interesting (and telling) that people have pointed out to him how I have misrepresented him, but not to me.    That is, of course, unless thy are afraid that by discussing the matter with me, they will be led to conclude that I haven't misrepresented him...

Jim

 
JimPhillips

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Case # 1 (Continued)
 
F: This doctrine has been responsible for most of the awful divisions that have taken place among the Brotherhood.

T: But that is no reason, to a student of the Word, for rejecting the doctrine. The beloved apostle alone informs us of three divisions on account of Christ in the short space of one year (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19). Christ himself tells us that obedience to him would result in division (Luke 12:51). Peter and Paul both speak of Christ as "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" (1 Peter 2:8; Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 1:23). And on one occasion Christ said even "all" his disciples would be "offended" because of him (Matt. 26:31). But shall we reject him, because he was the reason for all these divisions? Nay, is it not rather to be expected that as Christ was himself the "source" of so many divisions, so his doctrine would also be, if faithfully contended for?

F: If we are in agreement on the subject matter of "The One Faith," and mutually strive to walk in harmony with Christ's commands, our fellowship remains-even though we may not "break bread together" till Christ comes.

T: That is true-provided it is not our fault that we do not break bread with others: such as inability to get to the meetings, etc. But if we refuse to break bread when opportunity occurs, then we are wilfully disobedient, and cannot expect the fellowship of God and of His faithful children.

F: Do not let me be misunderstood. We ought not to acknowledge fellowship where there is no agreement upon fundamental elements of the Gospel of Christ. That is the basis of our fellowship-of our communion.

T: And a scriptural basis it is, too. But in the statements you have made, you decline to confine your acknowledgment of this fellowship to those who are in agreement on this question. You are willing to extend fellowship to those who do not see the need for such agreement on those fundamental elements, and who thereby destroy unity of mind on this highly important doctrine of fellowship.

F: If there be agreement among ourselves and others upon the ground of our Faith, and companionship in our efforts to conform to the spirit of God's commands, then we ought to be glad and willing to acknowledge the fellowship.

T: Yes, "if"! But there is no such agreement, if you acknowledge fellowship with those who-while believing with you on the "essentials"-are nevertheless willing to fellowship with others who do not see the need for having the same mind.

F: Do not let us think that perfection of agreement is requisite upon all sorts of recondite matters in connection with the Truth, in order to establish the fellowship of the Gospel.

T: You must know we have never so believed, and therefore such a remark is not creditable to you.

F: Those things that God has plainly declared to be necessary before a man can be truly baptized into Christ, are the only essentials of fellowship, and there can be no fellowship without them.

T: True. And that must be the gauge or test to be applied, not only to those with whom we personally acknowledge fellowship, but also to those who are acknowledged by them, and so on.

F: Where they are believed and observed, fellowship is established, whether we recognize it or not.

T: "Believed AND observed"! True.

F: It behooves us to act toward each other as we would have Yahweh act toward us.

T: Yes, provided no command of God is thereby violated-for in some cases faithfulness prohibits us so acting.

F: God admits men into His fellowship who are not perfect.

T: That is not true. Only those clothed in His Son's righteousness (and therefore perfect in him) are so admitted.

F: Not one of us dare say that many brethren who are denied the privilege of sitting with us at the Lord's table are not the adopted children of God, even as we.

T: And neither do we so say. But there are faithful and unfaithful children. Connivance at, or condonation of, unfaithfulness is not permissible.

F: Not one of us dare assert that they are less worthy of the divine approval, or that they are not admitted into the fellowship of the Father and Son.

T: And we have no desire to make such assertions. We leave Christ to do the asserting. We simply say we believe you are dishonoring God and His Son by partaking with those who do not maintain the Unity of the Faith. We decline to participate in unfaithfulness by receiving your fellowship.

F: I say again that there is only one way in which we can fellowship iniquitous conduct, and that is by practicing the same things, or conniving at their practice.

T: You have simply given us such "say," while we have clearly proved from the Bible that this "say" is unscriptural.

F: Let us require no more on the part of others before we will recognize the fellowship that actually DOES exist between us-whether we consent or not. Let us require no more of them than we are ready to render ourselves.

T: If that means anything at all, it means that you believe we are those "who say, and do not" (Matt. 23:3). In making such grave charges (by implication), it would be well if you kept your remark to a pronoun of the first person singular.

F: On the other hand, let us continue to refuse to break bread with all who hold not the Truth as it is in Jesus.

T: Good! But then you decline to insist on like conditions throughout the brotherhood generally with whom you are in fellowship. You maintain that you are in no way involved in the errors of those whom you may so recognize in fellowship. The logical result can be but one: you will be compelled to throw in your lot with a community that permits fellowship with those who do not admit the absolute essentiality of those doctrines you believe to be fundamental. Your alleged "unity of faith" will go to the winds and be destroyed by unsound principles.

F: Let us cease to think so much of responsibility for the actions of others that cannot belong to us.

T: It would be more scriptural to cease to talk in that way, and begin to remember that "He that biddeth him God speed is partaker (fellowshipper) of his evil deeds" (2 John 11). To remember also that Christ threatened the early churches for KEEPING IN the church evil thinkers and evil doers (Rev. 2:14-15, 20)-while not charging them personally with believing or doing the same things.

F: Let us spend less time in the unnecessary carefulness to keep ourselves immaculate from the blemishes of others by reason of touching but the border of their garments.

T: A smart sentence: but sad to hear from one who has known the Truth. In reply, we will simply give you a few texts to think over, and which some day you may see inculcate the carefulness you now condemn-

"Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine ye have learned, and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17).

"Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Purge out the old leaven...put away...that wicked person" (1 Cor 5:6-13).

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Cor. 15:33).

"Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers...Come out from among them and be ye separate...and I will receive you" (2 Cor. 6:14-17).

"Be not ye therefore partakers with them...Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:7-11).

"We command you in the Name of our Lord Jesus: withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition he received of us...If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him" (2 Thess. 3:6-14).

"Be not partakers (fellowshippers) of other men's sins" (1 Tim. 5:22).

"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers (fellowshippers) of her sins" (Rev. 18:4).

F: Let us take greater care to keep our OWN garments unspotted from the world.

T: To do this effectually, we must attend the counsel in the texts just quoted.

F: Christ came into direct contact with worldly filth enough, but it did not adhere to his own robe of righteousness.

T: Aye! But though "in the world," he was not "of the world" (John 17:11-16). He had "no fellowship with the works of darkness, but rather reproved them" (Eph. 5:11). We are counseled to "follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

 

111. W.—This doctrine has been responsible for most of the awful divisions that have taken place among the brotherhood.
 

112. F.—But that is no reason, to a student of the Word, for rejecting the doctrine. The beloved Apostle alone informs us of three divisions on account of Christ in the short space of one year (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19). Christ Himself tells us that obedience to Him would result in division (Luke 12:51). Peter and Paul both speak of Christ as “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence” (1 Pet. 2:8, Rom. 9:33, 1 Cor. 1:23); and upon one occasion, Christ said even “all” His disciples would be “offended” because of Him (Matt. 26:31). But shall we reject Him because He was the reason for all these divisions? Nay, is it not rather to be expected that as Christ was Himself the “fruitful source” of so many divisions, so His doctrines would also, if faithfully contended for?

 

113. W.—If we are in agreement upon the subject matter of “The One Faith” and mutually strive to walk in harmony with Christ’s commands—our fellowship remains even though we may not “break bread together” till Christ comes.
 

114. F.—That is true, provided it is not our fault that we do not break bread with others, such as inability to get to the meetings, etc., but if we refuse to break bread when opportunity occurs, then we are wilfully disobedient and cannot expect the fellowship of God and his faithful children.

 

115. W.—Do not let me be misunderstood . . . We ought not to acknowledge fellowship where there is no agreement upon fundamental elements of the Gospel of Christ. That is the basis of our fellowship—of our communion.

 

116. F.—And a Scriptural basis it is, too, but in the statements you have made, you decline to confine your acknowledgment of this fellowship to those who are in agreement on this question, being willing to extend it to those who do not see the need for such agreement on those fundamental elements, and who thereby destroy unity of mind among the ecclesias on this highly important doctrine of fellowship.

 

117. W.—If there be agreement among ourselves and others upon the ground of our faith and companionship in our efforts to conform to the spirit of God’s commands, then we ought to be glad and willing to acknowledge the fellowship.

 

118. F.—Yes, if! but there is no such agreement if you acknowledge fellowship with those who, while believing with you on the “essentials,” are nevertheless willing to acknowledge fellowship with others who do not see the need for having the same mind on those doctrines.

 

119. W.—Don’t let us think that perfection of agreement is requisite upon all sorts of recondite matters in connection with the truth in order to the establishment of the fellowship of the Gospel.

 

120. F.—You must know we have never so believed, and therefore such a remark is not creditable to you.

 

121. W.—Those things that God has plainly declared are necessary before a man can be truly baptised into Christ are the only essentials of fellowship, and there can be no fellowship without them.

 

122. F.—True, and that must be the gauge or test to be applied not only to those with whom we personally acknowledge fellowship, but also to those who are acknowledged by them, and so on.

 

123. W.—Where they are believed and observed, fellowship is established, whether we recognise it or not.

 

124. F.—Believed and observed! True.

 

125. W.—It behoves us to act towards each other as we would have Jehovah act towards us.

 

126. F.—Yes, provided no command of God is thereby violated, for in some cases faithfulness prohibits us so acting.

 

127. W.—He admits men into His fellowship who are not perfect.

 

128. F.—That is not true. Only those clothed in His Son’s righteousness (and therefore perfect in him) are so admitted.

 

129. W.—Not one of us dare say that many brethren who are denied the privilege of sitting with us at the Lord’s table are not the adopted children of God even as we.

 

130. F.—And neither do we so say, but there are faithful and unfaithful children, and connivance at, or condonation of, unfaithfulness is not permissible.

 

131. W.—Not one of us dare assert that they are less worthy of the divine approval, or that they are not admitted into the fellowship of the Father and Son.

 

152. F.—And we have no desire to make such assertions. We leave Christ to do the asserting. We simply say we believe you are dishonouring God and His Son by partaking with those who do not maintain the Unity of the Faith or do not recognise the essentiality of entire separation from the isms of the world, and we decline to participate in unfaithfulness by receiving your fellowship.

 

133. W.—I say again that there is only one way in which we can fellowship iniquitous conduct, and that is by practising the same things or conniving at their practise.

 

134. F.—Yes, but you have simply given us such “say,” while we have clearly proved from the Bible that this “say” is unscriptural.

 

135. W.—Let us require no more on the part of others before we will recognise the fellowship that actually does exist between us, whether we consent or not; let us require no more of them than we are ready to render ourselves.

 

136. F.—If that means anything at all, it means that you believe we are those “who say and do not” (Matt. 23:3), in fact, “whited sepulchres, hypocrites” (Matt. 23:27). In making such grave charges (by implication or innuendo), it would be as well if you kept yourself to a pronoun of the first person singular instead of plural, as you have proved yourself incompetent to speak for the brethren generally.

 

137. W.—On the one hand let us continue to refuse to break bread with all who hold not the truth as it is in Jesus.

 

138. F.—Good. But then you decline to insist on like conditions throughout the brotherhood generally with whom you are in fellowship, maintaining that you are in no way involved in the errors of those whom you may so recognise in fellowship. The logical result can be but one—and that is, you will be compelled to throw in your lot with a community that permits acknowledgment of fellowship with those who do not admit the absolute essentiality of those doctrines you now believe to be fundamental, and your alleged unity of faith will go to the winds and be destroyed by unsound principles.

 

139. W.—Let us cease to think so much of the responsibility for the actions of others that cannot belong to us.

 

140. F.—It will be more scriptural to cease to talk in that way and begin to remember “He that biddeth him God-speed is a partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 11). To remember also that Christ threatened the early Churches for keeping in the Church evil thinkers and evil doers (Rev. 2:14, 15), while not charging them with personally believing or doing the same things.

 

141. W.—Let us spend less time in the unnecessary carefulness to keep ourselves immaculate from the blemishes of others by reason of touching but the border of their garments.

 

142. F.—A smart sentence: but it is sad to hear it from one who has known the truth. In reply we will simply give you a few texts to think over and which some day you may see inculcate the carefulness you now condemn: Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:6; 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14, 17; Eph. 5:7, 11; 2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 5:22; Rev. 18:4.

 

143. W.—Let us take greater care to keep our own garments unspotted from the world.

 

144. F.—To do this effectually, we must attend to the counsel given in the texts just quoted.

 

145. W.—Christ came into direct contact with worldly filth enough, but it did not adhere to his own robe of righteousness.

 

146. F.—Aye! but although “in the world,” he was not “of the world.” He had “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproved them” (Phil. 5:11). We are counselled to “follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).

 

147. W.—In conclusion . . . If you conclude that the principle I advocate is true, and is taught in the Scriptures, then accept it as you would all divine truth, and let us together act in accordance with the truth we have found, and rejoice to be delivered from the most fruitful sources of disagreement, difficulty and disunion we have ever experienced.

 

148. F.—But we do not so “conclude,” for the simple reason that the Scriptures do not so teach—therefore we cannot act in accordance, nor rejoice in deliverance from a difficult situation which is of our Heavenly Father’s good providence.

 

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #30 

This concludes our discussion of Case 1, as it applies to the booklet, "The Doctrine of Fellowship."  To recount:

    1.  Bro. Genusa accuses me of adding a by-line for bro. Roberts to this article. 

My Comment:  This is false.  The work I did had no by-line on the article.

    2.  Bro. Genusa accuses bro. Growcott of heavy redacting and editing, accusing him of intentionally distorting the material.

                    My Comment:  This is false.  That this is not the case is clear from bro. Genusa's inability to bring forward a single instance where the redacting or editing changed the intent of the author.  The redacting was generally to remove the personal aspects of the article.  In some minor cases it is for brevity.  The editing is for form, and in some cases for emphasis.  We must remember that the intent of quoting this article was to emphasize what the former Christadelphian position was. 

    My Conclusions:  Bro. Genusa's accusations of redacting and editing are intended as a distraction from the article itself.  It is to get brethren not to read the article, because the article attacks both the modern Central and Unamended practices of fellowship.  Bro. Janaway was instrumental in the establishing of the Berean Fellowship.  That his article on fellowship, clearly laying out the foundation of the Berean position, was published by bro. Roberts is a most inconvenient fact for brethren like bro. Genusa.  We note that in a recent effort by bro. Genusa to set forward the Christadelphian Doctrine of Fellowship, this article is placed dead last in his collection.

The article attacks several principles fundamental to bro. Genusa's explanation of fellowship.

    1.  It exhibits what the true fellowship practice of the pioneer Christadelphians was, showing bro. Genusa's history to be revisionist.

    2.  It denies and condemns the principle of the transference of evil through fellowship--which is one of bro. Genusa's foundations for his argument that the practice of the Bereans logically causes Christ to be in fellowship with Belial.

    3.  It exposes the complete lack of scriptural support for those who, like bro. Genusa, challenge the Berean fellowship position.  It notes that not a single verse is brought forward to justify the continued association with error.

--Jim
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