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

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broBW

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
... trying to organize us, would be the equivalent of trying to herd cats. -JP


This is precisely what some do not understand, bro Jim.  Until they get out from behind their computer screens and into some of our ecclesias, they never will.

Instead of faceless internet challenges and amateur wikipedia spin perhaps it's time for some personal contact. I know of at least two, possibly three, Berean brethren who have extended invitations.

No takers yet.





broBW

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Reply with quote  #47 
Redactions in Central Reprints

The opportunity to correct mistakes is always a good thing. If affordable, we hope this can be effected with respect to the Fellowship book.

Just now, I have been thinking about some of the longstanding mistakes and redactions in certain books published by The Central Fellowship. Perhaps when we finish with this Berean book business, we should direct our efforts in that direction?

Lord willing.

I do recall from the old Berean forum that brother Steve had a list of these, to which I added a few. (His list was longer than mine.) It could be that he has already made an attempt at dealing with his Central brethren - mostly the CMPA - on this very thing and that his efforts paid off.  If this is the case, then we need not concern ourselves. 

This we know: So severe were the CMPA redactions in both Elpis Israel and Eureka that Central bro Mansfield reprinted each from the originals. So, there's probably no need to examine these, though I believe the CMPA still publishes redacted versions of both works. However, at least the corrected editions are available.

One I still wonder about is The Law of Moses by brother Roberts, CMPA 1971 ed.
Some changed are explained in the preface. Others are not. Some deleted paragraphs are noted only by ellipses. At least one is not.

Another is Anastasis. Not sure who reprinted that one, but there's an edition out there with a major deletion.

If we're going to tackle this problem we might as well be thorough. We may or may not have much of an affect upon others who reprint the standard works or the Truth.

At least we can try.


broBW

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Reply with quote  #48 
6:30 am

In 1988 I reprinted an 1872 article by brother Roberts entitled:

"The Apocalypse and Fellowship."

Great article except for one thing. Our brother did not write this in 1872. He did in 1897, but not in 1872. He wrote an article about the Apocalypse in 1872 but it was not titled "The Apocalypse and Fellowship." Sure, the text was okay as reprinted. Well, sort of. There are a few minor changes here and there - depending upon what one happens to think is "minor." No telling what a discerning eye might see.

The article brother Roberts wrote in 1872 was entitled:

"Apocalypse and the Obedience of Faith." While the principle of fellowship is implied, the word itself appears nowhere in the text.

Question is: Where did I get it?

I remember exactly where it came from. It was a leaflet that I had obtained via one of the Central book supplies.

Where did they get it?

I don't know.

Perhaps from the so-called "Berean Fellowship Book"?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Textually, my reprint is not precisely the same as that one.

So, let me see if I have this straight:

Brother Roberts publishes an article in 1872 entitled "The Apocalypse and the Obedience of Faith."

Somewhere along the line the title changes. When it becomes a leaflet? When it is reprinted in the so-called "Berean Fellowship Book"? Maybe The Berean Christadelphian? They seem to be taking all of the heat these days for this sort of thing. (Just can't trust those Bereans.)

Okay. Where was I? The text is altered at some point too. Then I reprint it. Text not quite the same as the latter.  My reprint is distributed to around 900 households...

Since 1988, or even worse yet, since the printing and distribution of the leaflet,  I wonder how many have copied the incorrect version? I know of at least one website that used to carry one of these. (I won't say whose, that would be tacky.)

Are you keeping track of this?


9:35am

Wait! Stop the presses!

I found it!

That is, the leaflet.

It's a rather old looking thing - done on an Underwood or some such device and then reduced. No date.

Now I know where the Central book supply got it - wrong title and all:

West Midlands, UK
B73 5HG

Now, I wonder where they got it?

I'm glad other brethren have the time and patience for this. Frankly, not only has this little bit of detective work worn me out, but I am no closer to finding the point of error's origin now than I was three hours ago.

Something tells me, though, that the Bereans are not off the hook on this one yet. A good computer search engine will surely get to the bottom of it.



JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #49 

Case # 9 (Continued)

The following are the two articles set side by side, so the effect of the redactions and changes can be seen more clearly.  As you will quickly conclude, the redactions again are to remove the personal aspects of the article from the subject matter, and focus more specifically on the issue at hand. 

We are all different.  Some people think that reading the personal conflict involved in these articles is indispensable to understand the meaning of the article.  Some feel it is a distraction, it is "gossip," an embarrassment to the truth, and unfortunate that it even occurred in the original.  And there is every shadow of difference in between.  I think it is fair to say that in the Berean magazine while he edited it, bro. Growcott was far more sensitive to the sympathies of the latter class, than the former.  He did want to get the writings of the pioneer brethren front and center, but did not wish to in any way offend anyone.  To argue that there was any other motive to his editing, would be a fairy tale.

Union and Unity

"All speak the same thing...that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment" - 1 Cor. 1:10

By Bro. Robert Roberts, 1898

Unity is a beautiful and desirable thing, but it has conditions that cannot be forced, and it requires no pleas. Where it exists, it asserts itself like a law of nature. Union may require its pleas.

Union has advantages. There has been much talk of late years of "the re-union of Christendom." The scheme is favored by many who would sacrifice oneness of faith (or indeed faith of any kind) for the sake of seeing all sects fused into one church. It was supposed that the Pope himself was in favor of the scheme; so he was, provided all accepted the Roman Catholic faith, in which, so far as theory was concerned, he was more consistent than the rest.

Among ourselves, there was a similar movement 20 years ago. Records of it will be found on page 538 of the Christadelphian for 1877-under the heading "Proposal for Re-union." In that case, the cause of disunion was disunity of mind on the subject of the nature and sacrifice of Christ.

The remarks made then are applicable at the present time, when the particular disunion existing is due to disunity of mind on the more serious question of the character of the Holy Scriptures. We remarked then as follows:

"Union and peace are results springing from preceding conditions. Those from whom separation took place would rejoice to accept the restoration of fellowship if it were offered on the basis of truth accepted and error discarded; but they cannot accept it on the basis of a form of agreement which would cover up and compromise the real issue.

"To 'let bygones be bygones' is a reasonable proposal when the 'bygones' are of such a nature as to be sorrowed for and repudiated; but those to whom a return is proposed have no bygones to repent of so far as their course in this particular matter is concerned.

"They acted with a good conscience before God, with sorrow they were compelled to act, but seeing no alternative: and they are in the mind to act so again if necessity call for it-which God forbid. Their position now is the position they occupied then.

"If any desire to take part in this position as the result of a conviction that they have been seduced into a wrong position, those to whom they wish to return will gladly welcome their fellowship in it. But let there be no misunderstanding. THERE CAN BE NO UNION WITHOUT UNITY."

These remarks, just 20 years old, are strictly applicable to the present case. Agreement as to the wholly inspired infallible character of the Scriptures is the very first condition of association on the basis of belief of what they teach. This agreement was broken by the promulgation of a theory of the effect that the Scriptures were partly human and erring.

There were those who accepted this theory and those who could not, and there were those who were disposed to make it a matter of indifference. Cleavage was the inevitable result of such a situation.

The author or authors of the present "plea for unity" are not the only persons "saddened" by the "divisions and estrangements that have taken place," but union without unity is not the remedy for the sadness.

And UNION WITH UNITY WILL NEVER BE A GENERAL THING TILL THE LORD IS HERE. He said there would be division even in families about him. And it has been so; and it is not going to stop till he ends it.

The only practicable rule of operation at present is fellowship on the basis of oneness of mind. It is a rule fraught with embarrassment and pain, but it is not of human appointment and cannot be set aside where faithfulness to the Word of God is not extinct.

To confound this rule with the Corinthian schisms that gloried in particular men after the flesh, is a serious mistake.

* * *

There is suggested the appointment of "delegates" to meet and "finally settle the differences which exist." "Delegates" have no power to settle matters of faith, conviction, or duty. You may give them power to engage a hall or enter upon a printing contract, or any other secular matter in which you agree beforehand to be bound by their decision.

You cannot delegate the decision of spiritual issues. This is wholly a matter of individual responsibility in which no man can bind or absolve another. When you appoint "delegates" to settle questions of duty, you abdicate individual conscience and set up a spiritual tyranny akin to the councils which have already for ages desolated the world.

The only practicable method of work in an age when God has chosen to be silent is for each man to judge for himself and as many as are of one mind to work together.

The proposal to "appoint delegates with full powers to act," and that "their decision for unity shall be final," is the proposal of a man who may want peace (which is a good thing on the right foundation), but who does not understand what he is proposing.

If oneness of mind be not the condition-precedent of oneness of association, then let us return to the churches and chapels with all speed. Why stand apart from the orthodox communions, with their many advantageous connections and associations, for the sake of a spiritual fad, if the One Faith is not essential to the One Body?

It is a thing apostolically enjoined, a thing commended by the highest reason, to contend earnestly for the Faith in its integrity, and to stand aside from all who corrupt it. It is a thing, the absence of which in the first century, led to wholesale corruption, and would in our day have already destroyed the distinctive features of the Truth.

In the arduous battle for the Truth, it is a thing beset with many difficulties, and a true friend of the spiritual order would not increase those difficulties by protesting against it, but would rather abet and encourage every tendency in the direction of faithfulness in this gloomy and unfriendly age.

* * *

Then there is the proposition that "Christadelphianism is not a finality." If this were our opinion, we should be found altogether elsewhere. We would not sacrifice present respectability and present ease for the sake of a thing admitting of uncertainty and requiring further "enquiry."

In this point we totally differ from all our critics. WE ARE CERTAIN WE HAVE ATTAINED TO THE TRUTH, WE ARE POSITIVE, WE HAVE NO DOUBT. The Truth is not with us an object of search, or a subject of investigation, it is a possession and a finality, and this confidence is not a matter of assumption or an idiosyncrasy. It is founded on a lifetime's incessant daily reading of the Scriptures.

The critics condemn confidence as to the teaching of the Word. They either mean that we never can reach to the full assurance of faith or that their view of the case and not their neighbor's is the infallible one.

If the former be their meaning, they convict themselves of belonging to the class condemned in the Scriptures, who are "ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." If the latter, it is a choice of infallibilities, and we do not hesitate to reject theirs.

"Progress" is a pretty word, and "stemming the current of progress" a dreadful crime, of course; but there is progress two ways, and we cannot accept the guidance of the critics as to when the progress is backwards and when forwards. The backward progress of things in the first century was pushed forward with "good words and fair speeches, which deceived the hearts of the simple."

We are one with those who hold the Truth as a finality, who do not require to "lay again the foundations;" but who, strong in faith and filled with all wisdom, are engaged in the work, not of discussing the Truth, but advocating it for the development of a people who shall be found in all assurance of faith, looking and preparing for the second appearing of the Son of Man in power and great glory.

Paul commands the brethren to "all speak the same thing," and to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). How strangely, by the side of this, does the statement of this pamphlet read: That "certain differences of opinion are necessary to progress," and that these differences are to be "appreciated rather than otherwise." What can we do but hold by Paul and reject the pamphlet?

We can understand the sentiment of the pamphlet as applied to matters of science where knowledge comes from investigation, and investigation is stimulated by conflicting theory, but it is incomprehensible in reference to the faith of Christ except on the hypothesis already rebutted-that this is a matter of uncertainty.

The advocacy of "differences of opinion" as a matter of advantage among brethren will please well a certain class; but it will not find any favor among true saints who have come, and are helping others to-

"...come unto the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God...being henceforth no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

In fact this principle of unity, as opposed to "difference of opinion," distinguishes the true brethren of Christ from mere opinionists, who have a smattering of the Truth; but who, though "ever learning," are never able to come to a knowledge of it.

* * *

To the charge of holding "that the knowledge of Scripture, in the writings of Dr. Thomas, has reached a finality," WE PLEAD GUILTY.

If we were ignorant or unfamiliar with the Scriptures, or were like those who when they attempt to write or speak, have to look at them through the telescope of dictionaries, concordances, and such like, we should not have ground sufficient to entertain this conviction; but our acquaintance with them in daily intercourse for a lifetime enables us to be confident on the point.

Our reading has not been confined to the Scriptures, or to the writings of Dr. Thomas. We have read what others have to say in many realms of human thought. We have, therefore, all the materials to form a judgment; and our judgment is distinctly to the effect imputed-that, in the writings of Dr. Thomas, the Truth is developed as a finality, and that they are a depot of the Christian doctrine. In this sense we are "committed to Dr. Thomas."

Dr. Thomas has been laid aside in the grave for a season; and so long as God permits life and health, we shall defend the mighty results of his labors against all ridicule and opposition from friend or foe. Were he in the land of the living, some who are in hostility would be in a different attitude towards him. When he appears, they will be ashamed.

Meanwhile, God, who used him in the doing of His work, lives to note the gap made by his death, and the results which were not unforeseen to Him. In His sight, and with His help, we shall hold fast to the Truth brought to light by his means; and, please God, will rejoice with him at the near-impending realization of all the hopes of the saints, in the day when bitterness of present warfare will only add sweetness to the hour of triumph.

We shall try to endure the odium which calls this a dictatorial spirit. The clear perception, strong choice, and resolute defence of that which is true and good is not the offspring of dictation; nevertheless, if enemies or friends choose to consider it so, we must heed them not. It is this spirit that enables a man to say at last- "I have fought a good fight: I have KEPT THE FAITH!"

We recognize in sorrow and compassion, the painful position of all men who love the good things revealed in the Scriptures, and incline to pursue the course that is right, and yet find themselves in a strait between their desire to live peaceably with all men, and their resolution to walk in faithfulness to the Gospel to which they have been called.

We have from the beginning suffered from this agonizing embarrassment, and can sympathize with all who suffer in the same way. This sympathy takes off the edge of the resentment we should feel at the odiums cast upon us by many who love peace and misunderstand our attitude.

At the same time, it cannot relax enlightened determination to persevere in the policy of the past. Dr. Thomas recommended that policy and we have found it the only practicable one; to GIVE THE TRUTH THE BENEFIT OF ALL DOUBTS, and to accept such co-operations only as uncompromising loyalty to it might allow.

There are, of course, extremes in the application of this principle to which Dr. Thomas himself did not go, and to which we cannot lend ourselves-where unrevealed details admit of variety in opinion.

But as regards the great general truths involved in "the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ," there is no tenable ground between returning to the churches and unqualified assent to these elements of truth.

 

CROSS CURRENTS IN ECCLESIAL WATERS
I.—Plea for Unsound Union
Before I left Birmingham, I said to brother Walker, “When I am gone there will be proposals for re-union, I have no doubt, with those who went out from us on inspiration. It is a question on which there can be no compromise. You will know how to deal with it.” I had not been many weeks landed in Australia, when a pamphlet was sent out to me which someone had put into circulation, entitled “A plea for unity.” The subject calls for the following remarks:—
Unity is a beautiful and desirable thing, but it has conditions that cannot be forced, and it requires no pleas. Where it exists, it asserts itself like a law of nature. Union may require its pleas; it is union the well-meaning brother means. He has used the wrong word.
Disunion exists because of the want of unity (oneness of mind). The author of the pamphlet would have the disunity ignored, and the union brought about in spite of it.
Union has advantages. There has been much talk of late years of “the re-union of Christendom.” The scheme is favoured by many who would sacrifice oneness of faith (or indeed faith of any kind) for the sake of seeing all sects fused into one church. It was supposed that the Pope himself was in favour of the scheme; so he was, provided all accepted the Roman Catholic faith, in which, so far as theory was concerned, he was more consistent than the rest.
Among ourselves, there was a similar movement twenty years ago. Records of it will be found on page 538 of the Christadelphian for 1877—under the heading “Proposal for Re-union.” In that case, the cause of disunion was disunity of mind on the subject of the nature and sacrifice of Christ. The remarks made then are applicable at the present time, when the particular disunion existing is due to disunity of mind on the more serious question of the character of the Holy Scriptures. We remarked then as follows: “Union and peace are results springing from preceding conditions” . . Those from whom separation took place “would rejoice to accept the restoration of fellowship if it were offered on the basis of truth accepted and error discarded: but they cannot accept it on the basis of a form of agreement which would cover up and compromise the real issue. . . To ‘let bygones be bygones’ is a reasonable proposal when the ‘bygones’ are of such a nature as to be sorrowed for and repudiated: but those to whom a return is proposed have no bygones to repent of so far as their course in this particular matter is concerned. They acted with a good conscience before God, with sorrow they were compelled to act, but seeing no alternative: and they are in the mind to act so again if necessity call for it—which God forbid. Their position now is the position they occupied then. If the issuers of this pamphlet desire to take part in this position as the result of a conviction that they have been seduced into a wrong position, those to whom they wish to return will gladly welcome their fellowship in it. But let there be no misunderstanding. There can be no union without unity.”
These remarks, just twenty years old, are strictly applicable to the present case. Agreement as to the wholly inspired and infallible character of the Scriptures is the very first condition of association on the basis of belief of what they teach. This agreement was broken by the promulgation of a theory to the effect that the Scriptures were partly human and erring. There were those who accepted this theory and those who could not, and there were those who were disposed to make it a matter of indifference. Cleavage was the inevitable result of such a situation.
The author or authors of the present “plea for unity” are not the only persons “saddened” by the “divisions and estrangements that have taken place,” but union without unity is not the remedy for the sadness. And union with unity will never be a general thing till the Lord is here. He said there would be division even in families about him. And it has been so; and it is not going to stop till he end it.
The only practicable rule of operation at present is fellowship on the basis of oneness of mind. It is a rule fraught with embarrassment and pain, but it is not of human appointment and cannot be set aside where faithfulness to the word of God is not extinct. To confound this rule with the Corinthian schisms that gloried in particular men after the flesh, is a serious mistake. The “plea” shows some heat against those who are described as “every assumed leader amongst us.” I suppose I am intended as one of those, and as such, I am to be “repudiated once and for ever.” There is either misunderstanding or malice here. I am no “leader” except as a man’s individual actions may influence others. I have always repudiated the imputation of leadership. I but do my own part on the basis of individual right. I claim no authority. I dictate to no man. I only act out my individual convictions, and advocate my individual views. Which of the demurring brethren do not do the same thing? Why should they find fault with me for doing what they do? If others are influenced by what I do or say, is this wrong? Is it not what the critics are aiming to do? An enlightened man would refuse to be responsible for such an unreasonable criticism.
If the remark is inspired by the malice of envy or the pain of being opposed, it cannot be reasoned with, and must be left. It is not the first time in the history of the work of God that accusations of taking too much upon them have been brought against those whose only crime has been unsought for prominence and influence in the carrying out of a faithful course.
These and other hostile allusions are in contradiction to the recommendation of the pamphlet to abstain from “any allusions of ill-will to any living brother,” and from all references to the occurrences of the past. Also, there is a want of correspondence between the timid anonymousness of the pamphlet and the appeal to heroic courage of “the three Hebrew children” in carrying out the course recommended—viz., the appointment of “delegates” to meet and “finally settle the differences which exist.”
This proposal stamps the author as either a neophyte or else as a man lacking experience of the ways of men as they are in fact, and not as seen through the distorting medium of newspaper columns. “Delegates” have no power to settle matters of faith, conviction, or duty. You may give them power to engage a hall or enter upon a printing contract, or any other secular matter in which you covenant beforehand to be bound by their decision. You cannot delegate the decision of spiritual issues. This is wholly a matter of individual responsibility in which no man can bind or absolve another. When you appoint “delegates” to settle questions of duty, you abdicate individual conscience and set up a spiritual tyranny akin to the “councils” which have already for ages desolated the world. The only practicable method of work in an age when God has chosen to be silent is for each man to judge for himself and as many as are of one mind to work together. The proposal to “appoint delegates with full powers to act,” and that “their decision for unity shall be final,” is the proposal of a man who may want peace (which is a good thing on the right foundation), but who does not understand what he is proposing. Unity is oneness of mind. The idea of delegates deciding that other people shall be of one mind is on a par with the idea of an Act of Parliament to settle the weather. If he says, “Oh, no; we mean oneness of association, and not oneness of mind,” then he is inviting us to ignore oneness of mind as the Scriptural basis of oneness of association. to which there can be but one answer. If oneness of mind be not the condition-precedent of oneness of association, then let us return to the churches and chapels with all speed. Why stand apart from the orthodox communions, with their many advantageous connections and associations, for the sake of a spiritual fad, if the one faith is not essential to the one body?
Twenty-one years ago, in the Christadelphian for 1877, I had to withstand an esteemed relative in words which I cannot do better that repeat, as entirely suitable to the present connection:—It is a thing apostolically enjoined, a thing commended by the highest reason (to contend earnestly for the faith in its integrity, and to stand aside from all who corrupt it). It is a thing, the absence of which in the first century, led to wholesale corruption, and would in our day have already destroyed the distinctive features of the truth. In the arduous battle for the truth, it is a thing beset with many difficulties, and a true friend of the spiritual order would not increase those difficulties by protesting against it, but would rather abet and encourage every tendency in the direction of faithfulness in this gloomy and unfriendly age. Then there is the proposition that “Christadelphianism is not a finality.” If this were our opinion, we should be found altogether elsewhere. We would not sacrifice present respectability and present ease for the sake of a thing admitting of uncertainty and requiring further “enquiry.” In this point we totally differ from all our critics. We are certain we have attained to the truth, we are positive, we have no doubt. The truth is not with us an object of search, or a subject of investigation, it is a possession and a finality, and this confidence is not a matter of assumption or an idiosyncrasy. It is founded on a lifetime’s incessant daily reading of the Scriptures. The critics may call this “infallibility,” but it is nothing more than reasonable confidence. A man does not require to be infallible in order to be certain that he sees the sun. Then the critics condemn confidence as to the teaching of the Word. They either mean that we never can reach to the full assurance of faith, or that their view of the case and not their neighbour’s is the infallible one. If the former be their meaning, they convict themselves of belonging to the class condemned in the Scriptures, who are “ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” If the latter, it is a choice of infallibilities, and we do not hesitate to reject theirs.
“Progress” is a pretty word, and “stemming the current of progress” a dreadful crime, of course; but there is progress two ways, and we cannot accept the guidance of the critics as to when the progress is backwards and when forwards. The backward progress of things in the first century was pushed forward with “good words and fair speeches, which deceived the hearts of the simple.” We are one with those who hold the truth as a finality, who do not require to “lay again the foundations”; but who, strong in faith and filled with all wisdom, are engaged in the work, not of discussing the truth, but advocating it for the development of a people who shall be found in all assurance of faith, looking and preparing for the second appearing of the Son of Man in power and great glory.
Paul commands the brethren to “all speak the same thing,” and to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). How strangely, by the side of this, does the statement of this pamphlet read: That “certain differences of opinion are necessary to progress,” and that these differences are to be “appreciated rather than otherwise.” What can we do but hold by Paul and reject the pamphlet. We can understand the sentiment of the pamphlet as applied to matters of science where knowledge comes from investigation, and investigation is stimulated by conflicting theory; but it is income prehensible in reference to the faith of Christ except on the hypothesis already rebutted—that this is a matter of uncertainty. The advocacy of “differences of opinion” as a matter of advantage among brethren will please well a certain class; but it will not find any favour among true saints who have come, and are helping others to “come unto the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God . . . being henceforth no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” In fact this principle of unity, as opposed to “differences of opinion,” distinguishes the true brethren of Christ from mere opinionists, who have a smattering of the truth; but who, though “ever learning,” are never able to come to a knowledge of it.
To the charge of holding “that the knowledge of Scripture, in the writings of Dr. Thomas, has reached a finality,” we plead guilty. If we were ignorant or unfamiliar with the Scriptures, or were like those who when they attempt to write or speak, have to look at them through the telescope of dictionaries, concordances, and such like, we should not have ground sufficient to entertain this conviction; but our acquaintance with them in daily intercourse for a lifetime enables us to be confident on the point. Our reading has not been confined to the Scriptures, or to the writings of Dr. Thomas. We have read what others have to say in many realms of human thought. We have, therefore, all the materials to form a judgment; and our judgment is distinctly to the effect imputed—that, in the writings of Dr. Thomas, the truth is developed as a finality, and that they are a depôt of the Christian doctrine. In this sense we are “committed to Dr. Thomas.” Dr. Thomas has been laid aside in the grave for a season; and so long as God permits life and health, we shall defend the mighty results of his labours against all ridicule and opposition from friend or foe. Were he in the land of the living, some who are in hostility would be in a different attitude towards him. When he reappears, they will be ashamed. Meanwhile, God, who used him in the doing of His work, lives to note the gap made by his death, and the results which were not unforeseen to Him. In His sight, and with His help, we shall hold fast to the truth brought to light by his means; and, please God, will rejoice with him at the near-impending realisation of all the hopes of the saints, in the day when the bitterness of present warfare will only add sweetness to the hour of triumph. We shall try and endure the odium which calls this a dictatorial spirit. The clear perception, strong choice, and resolute defence of that which is true and good is not the offspring of dictation; nevertheless, if enemies or friends choose to consider it so, we must heed them not. It is this spirit that enables a man to say at last, “I have fought a good fight: I have kept the faith.”
We recognise in sorrow and compassion, the painful position of all men who love the good things revealed in the Scriptures, and incline to pursue the course that is right, and yet find themselves in a strait between their desire to live peaceably with all men, and their resolution to walk in faithfulness to the Gospel to which they have been called. We have from the beginning suffered from this agonising embarrassment, and can sympathise with all who suffer in the same way. This sympathy takes off the edge of the resentment we should feel at the odiums cast upon us by many who love peace and misunderstand our attitude. At the same time, it cannot relax enlightened determination to persevere in the policy of the past. Dr. Thomas recommended that policy, and we have found it the only practicable one; to give the truth the benefit of all doubts, and to accept such co-operations only as uncompromising loyalty to it might allow. There are, of course, extremes in the application of this principle to which Dr. Thomas himself did not go, and to which we cannot lend ourselves—(where unrevealed details admit of variety in opinion). But as regards the great general truths involved in “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,” there is no tenable ground between returning to the churches, or restricting our ecclesial associations to those who yield an unqualified assent to these elements of truth. First among these elements of truth is the character of the Bible as the product of divine and unerring inspiration. No “pleas” for union can be listened to which in any degree leaves this an open question.
The Christadelphian : Volume 35 Bd. 35. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1898, S. 35:i-128

 

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #50 

Hello bro. Bob,

Thank you for your comments.  Yes, Apocalypse and Fellowship from 1872 was in my booklet, and is an excellent article on fellowship.  The title was edited to draw attention to the fact this this is an excellent article on fellowship, even though the word fellowship never occurs in the article.

I think bro. Genusa's complaints really come down to this  He is imposing his perceptions of 2009 standards on the editorial practices of the past--and it is not unreasonable to argue that his perception of 2009 standards are not even valid.  By this I mean, when we read an article reprinted from the past, none of us would have been particularly  shocked to learn that the editor had edited the material--particularly with the use of emboldening, or underlining or all caps, etc., to emphasize his point.  We are not shocked to learn that parapgraphs which distract from that point are redacted.  Bro. Genusa is feigning horror at such an event.   

 
Editors edit!  Its what they do, and what we expect them to do.  We expect them to make their point as strongly as possible.  We expect the emphasis added to be no different, than if I received an article from someone with highlights on the page.  It is drawing my attention to a specific portion that the editor wants emphasized.  If they cross a line, changing or altering the intent of an article, then we expect their critics to make us aware of this.

What this exercise is exposing is that the critics of bro. Growcott and the booklet, "The Doctrine of Fellowship" are bringing complaints with no substance.  They are relying on implications concerning the appearance of evil, to make their point.  In this they are not being honest. 

You recently noted a remark on bro. Genusa's web site to the effect that he admits the alterations are insignificant.  This begs the question, why then bring them up?

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Editors edit!  Its what they do, and what we expect them to do. -JP


Thank you, bro Jim. A good point for consideration:

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come

John Thomas, Ed.

The Christadelphian
Published by the Editor Robert Roberts

The Berean Christadelphian
Edited and Published by G.A. Gibson

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come
Editor: Stephen Genusa (Vol. 18, 1995)

The following is condensed or edited:

Editor
Defined

Main Entry:
ed·i·tor
Pronunciation:
\ˈe-də-tər\
Function:
noun
Date:
1649
1 : someone who edits especially as an occupation

Edit
Defined

ed·it
 (dt)
tr.v. ed·it·ed, ed·it·ing, ed·its
1.
a. To prepare (written material) for publication or presentation, as by correcting, revising, or adapting.
b. To prepare an edition of for publication: edit a collection of short stories.
c. To modify or adapt so as to make suitable or acceptable: edited her remarks for presentation to a younger audience.
2. To supervise the publication of (a newspaper or magazine, for example).
3. To assemble the components of (a film or soundtrack, for example), as by cutting and splicing.
4. To eliminate; delete: edited the best scene out.

[Partly back-formation from editor and partly from French éditer, to publishditus : -, ex-, ex- + dare, to give; see d- in Indo-European roots).] (from Latin
Word History: The word edit is often cited as an example of back-formation. In other words, edit is not the source of editor, as dive is of diver, the expected derivational pattern; rather, the reverse is the case. Edit in the sense "to prepare for publication," first recorded in 1793, comes from editor, first recorded in 1712 in the sense "one who edits." There is more to the story, however. Edit also comes partly from the French word éditer, "to publish, edit," first recorded in 1784. In the case of edit, two processes, borrowing and back-formation, occurred either independently or together, perhaps one person originally taking edit from French, another from editor, and yet a third from both.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


edit
Verb
[editing, edited]
1. to prepare (text) for publication by checking and improving its accuracy or clarity
2. to be in charge of (a newspaper or magazine)
3. to prepare (a film, tape, etc.) by rearranging or selecting material
4. edit out to remove (a section) from a text, film, etc.

Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006

ThesaurusLegend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Verb1.edit - prepare for publication or presentation by correcting, revising, or adapting; "Edit a book on lexical semantics"; "she edited the letters of the politician so as to omit the most personal passages"







Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

edit
verb 1. revise, check, improve, correct, polish, adapt, rewrite, censor, condense, annotate, rephrase, redraft, copy-edit, emend, prepare for publication, redact
3. be in charge of, control, direct, be responsible for, be the editor of

Collins Essential Thesaurus 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2005, 2006

broBW

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Addendum

Brother G.V. Growcott

The Berean Christadelphian



Brother Gilbert Growcott took up editorial responsibility for The Berean Christadelphian after bro Gibson - though I cannot find where he ever took on the title. Notwithstanding, he was recognized as such by the brethren, in effect, undertaking the same responsibilities as bro Gibson. ( Jim and Fred, please correct me if needed on this.)
JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #53 
Bro. Growcott was the editor, but never took on the name.  The truth is that he was editor from at least 1947, though he always shunned the title. 

I spent a week in bro. Growcott's basement with him in 1978, and was able to read his correspondence from over the years.  You could see with every serious issue, bro. Gibson would receive correspondence, send it to bro. Growcott who would answer it, and then bro. Gibson would sign it and send it on.  

Hello Antipas,

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one in a haze when it comes to bro. Genusa's fellowship practice.

Jim
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Case # 10

This is actually no complaint at all, unless it is the basic complaint that bro. Genusa has been making, that an editor edits!  This is not a reprint of an article where the center section is omitted.  These are again, fillers, which are used in separate magazines.  One concept is used in one.  Another concept is used in another.  They are used to make a specific point.  Now the point which is not used in any filler, is that brethren can go to extremes in what they demand on each other.  As I explained in Case # 9, this concept fills many pages in "The Doctrine of Fellowship."  To suggest that this is not the case, or that the Berean brethren ignore this point, is simply untrue.  Further, we have not been told, at least by bro. Genusa, what it is we go too far with. 

To date, our biggest sin in the mind of bro. Genusa, appears to be that we identify ourselves as "Bereans."  His complaint is not dissimilar to those who opposed leaving the name "Christian" (which at the first had a meaning, but in bro. Thomas' day had come to stand for most everything imaginable by Satan and his cohorts,) and taking the name "Christadelphian."  To do so, these complained, was sectarian.  Yes, it was.  We have no problem with that, nor did bro. Thomas have a problem with being called "sectarian." 

Writing to such a critic, bro. Thomas wrote in 1869 the following paragraphs:

You style the brethren of Christ, “this new sect Christadelphian,” with which, say you, “I have no sympathy. I like Eureka very much, would you only keep away this crotchet sectarianism. This new creation of Christadelphianism has done great mischief amongst your friends, having become such a bone of contention among them.” Permit me to remark that the Brethren of Christ are not now a new sect. They were a new sect in the last days of Mosaic law, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes, being the old and “orthodox denominations.” Christ’s brethren, the then new sect of Christadelphians, were few, poor, despised, and “everywhere spoken against.” Their opponents charged them with doing great mischief among their friends and neighbours, to the extent of raising up foes against people in their own houses, and of turning the world upside down, and everywhere introducing bones of contention, and making them bonds and tests of fellowship! If Christ’s brethren, in those early times of their history, would only have kept away their crotchet sectarianism and have suppressed all concerning the name they preached about so persistently, contentiously, and annoyingly, the good old Scriptural names to whom Judas sold “the truth,” would have liberally received the new sect into the established orthodox fellowship. But Christ’s brethren would accept no compromise. They would accept nothing short of unconditional and absolute surrender. They would tolerate no rivals without, nor any heretics and schismatics within, without bearing testimony against them. This caused their opponents to object, and to say, that “they did nothing but quarrel and fight;” not perceiving that it is the opponents, and not the earnest advocates of truth, that make all the trouble and great mischief in the world. So long as the then new sect of the Jews was “sound in the faith,” its members were of one mind, one mouth, one heart, one spirit, one soul, and one judgment—(Acts 4:32; Rom. 15:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 1:27; 2:2). God has called them into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ—(1 Cor. 1:9): they knew therefore that they were the brethren of His Son; and consequently upon that point they spoke the same thing, and were perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. The contrary cannot for a moment be entertained. No one could be called or invited into fellowship, fraternity, or brotherhood with the Son of God, and when he had accepted the invitation in becoming the subject of the adoption, be ignorant that he was a brother of that Son. But when Pseudadelphians got into the new sect, their admirable unanimity was broken, and “quarrelling and fighting,” to the great delight of their adversaries, became the characteristic of the situation; so that “without were fightings, and within were fears.” The genuine believers of the distracted fellowship, however, though troubled and perplexed, were not distressed nor in despair. They knew that in an evil world, like this, the truth could neither be planted, nor maintained in its purity, without constant vigilance, and conflict with error. They knew that opposition was a means promotive of the truth: for “it is an established thing in reforms, that a split in a party, where it is not a permanent breach, but only a dissention on minor issues, is a good thing to happen to it. The interest of the public is enlisted in the quarrel, it becomes talked about and written about, both sides get badly abused, and the great end of notoriety is thereby achieved.”
But the brethren of Christ, though a sect among hostile sects, as they always have been, and will be until Christ comes and reduces all mankind into subjection to it, are not a new sect, or a new creation of to-day as you assert: no, they are the old “detestable” sect new-revived. Its mission is to turn this dark, infatuated and self-conceited, modern world upside down. The present situation is that of preparation for entrance upon this mission when Christ appears to place himself in command of the hosts of heaven. I very much question if he will acknowledge them as his brethren who deny that they are such. When the King shall say to those who have, now and in the past, “no sympathy with” the members of the old sect new revived, and declare they will not tolerate it, “I was a stranger in modern Athens, and ye took me not in; saying that I had come to ‘foster and build up Christadelphianism, with which you will have nothing to do,’”—will he not address certain upon his left-hand? And if so, may they not be expected to attempt self-justification by saying—“Lord, when saw we thee a stranger in modern Athens and did not minister unto thee?” But the King’s reply to all such pleas is—“Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me.” Now, if a rejoinder shall be permitted from the party of the left, may they not fairly be supposed to argue against the King, as they do against us, saying—“But, Lord, we deny that thou ever hadst any brethren in modern Athens, or elsewhere upon the earth: thou hadst none there but bond-servants, who hold a sectarian crotchet of confraternity with thee.” And should the King respond, would he not say—“They were ‘my brethren,’ whom ye styled my slaves!”
The Christadelphian : Volume 6 Bd. 6. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1869, S. 6:107-108

The Bereans truly are a sect among hostile sects.  It would be hard to find a better description for us. 

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 "What we find quite fascinating, as an outsider looking in, is that the understanding of fellowship which Bro. Genusa espouses (based on his own understanding of scripture and the pioneers) is an understanding which should have caused him to remain within the Unamended from whence he originally hails." - Antipas 4-25-09
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Removed by the poster on the request of local Central brethren

broBW

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Very enlightening.

Bereans are criticized for block (or bloc) disfellowship, yet Central ecclesias in certain quarters practice a form of bloc disfellowship of their own.

Some, perhaps many, Central meetings (including bro Genusa's) post their bases of fellowship either on the Internet or at the entry point of their ecclesial halls. These little items, that are varied - adding to or "clarifying" the BASF - are posted in order to bloc disfellowship ecclesias and brethren of their own group!

No?

Tell us then:  Are Partial Atonement Central ecclesias welcome at Tyler-Longview Central to fellowship at table? What about the unabashed Clean Flesh Central meetings? What about that Central ecclesia in Austin, TX?  You know, the non-traditional one. Are they welcome at the table?

All of this makes the Central argument against us seem so hypocritical.

But I suppose they would say: "Don't be naive, at least we are still in the same Fellowship as the meetings we do not break bread with. We haven't withdrawn from them like the Bereans did in 1923."

Oh, really?

Who is being naive here?


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Reply with quote  #58 
To my mind, as a former member of Central when this problem of multiple meetings in one city was only in the early stages of developing, it seemed a horrible thing, to me.   And I'd guess the problem is similar in the Unamended, from my very limited experience, with just one brother.  

I had an older, but good friend who was in the Unamended named bro. Earl Landrum.  He was a constant attender of Wednesday evening Bible class, and Sunday evening lectures and classes in Lampasas, TX. 

He came back from the Unamended Hye gathering early one year, attending our class while the Unamended Hye was going on, and I asked him why he wasn't at Hye.  He said they had some Central brother there speaking.  He therefore left.  I asked him who.  He said he thought his name was Faidel.  "Fidel Castro"...according to Earl.  Probably, Norm Faidel. 

My point to Earl was that he left.  He didn't drive out the errorist, or make any pretense that he could.  He abandoned the flock to the heretick.  Central behaves the same way.  They go to Bible Schools together, and then they leave prior to the breaking of bread on Sunday morning, because they won't break bread with those in their fellowship.  But the sound brethren leave.  Not the errorists.  They talk about the need to stay and fight, but when the fight comes, they run.

The errorists in Central believe Paul's teaching.  They know, probably instinctively, that a little leaven leavens the lump.  They may not ever convert you (and they may convert you as well) but they will get your kids, your friends, and all associated with the ecclesia.

The errorist knows if he is tolerated, he wins.  Not today or tomorrow, but ultimately.  The only thing the errorist doesn't seem to grasp, is that the next generation will move the bar on him, introducing errors he will ultimately lament. 


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Case # 11

This article was developed from an answer to a correspondent concerning the Apocalypse.  The letter to bro. Roberts was to the effect that Christadelphians should join with the writer in teaching the "Futurist" method of interpretation.  Bro. Roberts' answer was clearly, "No!"  There are four complaints made by bro. Genusa in this section.  They are

1.  That this answer to correspondence was turned into an independent article on fellowship.

2.  That the response was a personal response, and to treat it as a fellowship position is wrong.

3.  That the editors of the Berean omitted sentences which contradicted their authoritarian ways.

4.   That editors, edit.

I will answer the above complaints in order.

1.  Frankly, its really hard to see why this is a complaint.  This is a very clear answer to a correspondent, on a subject which is quite relevant to Christadelphians today.    This man had asked cooperation from the Christadelphians in spreading the "Futurist" method of interpreting Revelations.  It is hard to see how could this question be more relevant, and therefore quite easy to understand why an editor wants to call attention to this particular aspect of bro. Roberts' work..  The answer in the article is also quite clear.

Now if you regard the whole matter as future to the Lord's coming, do you not loosen and undermine the terrible obligations arising from these sayings?

Certainly you place these obligations beyond the circle of a Saint's duties, and you leave him at liberty to imagine that he may safely take part with any system extant in his own day.

Such views are a serious impediment to the co-operation which you are disposed to ask on the part of the Christadelphians. They could not admit such an element of corruption amongst them. They could not identify themselves with so complete a neutralization of the last message of Jesus sent to His servants They could not make themselves responsible for such a departure from his testimony which he himself has fenced with special imprecations with such a state of mind with regard to the important directions he has given for the guidance of his servants in the Apocalypse, it is impossible they could enter upon that co-operation which has for its basis an intelligent apprehension of the mind of will of Christ.

Christadelphians, according to bro. Roberts, could not admit such an element of corruption amongst them.   Central does admit and teach this element of corruption.  Ergo, Central of today is not Christadelphia of bro. Roberts' day.

2.  When a TV interviewer says to a guest, "you can tell me, it will be our own little secret"--the whole audience laughs, and this is a common joke on talk shows.  Its laughable because while there are only the two of them speaking, the conversation is being witnessed by a studio audience and several millions of viewers.  It is hardly a personal conversation.  For bro. Genusa to argue that an answer by an editor, published in his magazine is in anyway "personal" is, well, laughable.

3.  This is the proverbial question, "when did you quit beating your wife."  It presumes a fact not proven.  How has bro. Genusa established the fact that the Berean editors are authoritarian, prior to including this assumption in his accusation?  He has not even tried, let alone accomplished this.  His attacks are nothing dissimilar from those critics of bro. Roberts who spoke to him about "popery" which he so accomplishedly explained. 

We have noticed, over the years, that bro. Genusa becomes quite agitated when we point out how his arguments on fellowship mirror the arguments of the enemies of bro. Roberts.  This is true of his complaints linking us to the doctrine of "transference of evil through fellowship" as did bro. Roberts enemies; his arguments that Bereans "excommunicate" as also bro. Roberts was so charged; and now with the accusation of "popery."  The real solution is not to become agitated, but to go away from such arguments.  

Bro. Growcott once, when bro. Gibson was editor, was called "pope" by bro. George Booker, who at the time was leading a division among the brethren.  He was trying to get the Bereans to embrace what was called "The Four Point Statement" on Marriage and Divorce, a statement which included the Dawn Ultimatum and more. I say "and more" for the Dawn Ultimatum acknowledged that if a man came to the knowledge of the Truth already divorced, he could remarry.  Under "The Four Point Statement" urged by bro. Booker, he could not.  Bro. Booker had sown much discord over this issue, and was on the brink of creating a huge division. 

Bro. Growcott then answered a letter by bro. John Randell, a strong supporter of bro. Booker's position.  Bro. Growcott laid out quite clearly the Scriptural position, and the position taken by bro. Roberts and Thomas on this question.  Many brethren read this letter, realized that to take the position urged by bro. Booker was to place restrictions on the brethren where Christ had placed none; and also came to the conclusion that such action would put them out of fellowship with bre. Thomas and Roberts.  With such information placed squarely in front of them, many changed their mind and would no longer follow the recommendations of bro. Booker.  Having lost most of his support, becoming frustrated, he referred to bro. Growcott as the "Pope."

But this is not "popery."  It is every man being convinced in his own mind, and walking according to his conviction.  Shortly after this event, bro. Booker changed his convictions altogether, and began walking with Central.  In fact, he never even joined the division he created, due to his change in convictions.  But at the time, some brethren went ahead and divided, and then reorganized themselves based on "The Four Point Statement." Still others continued with the Berean ecclesias.  Every man did what he personally viewed as correct, and organized themselves the best they could, with brethren of like mind.

As bro. Booker continued to change his view, he came to view every verse relevant to the doctrine of fellowship contrary to the way it had been explained by bre. Thomas and Roberts.  Bro. Genusa joins with bro. Booker in some of his new explanations, such as the Parable of the Hireling.  Bre. Thomas and Roberts knew no such explanation of the parable, as that forced on it by bre. Booker and Genusa.  The Berean brethren look at the parable, and decide that bre. Roberts and Thomas are correct, and the interpretation by bre. Booker and Genusa is flawed.  For our crime of not being able to conform to the teachings of bre. Booker and Genusa, we are said to be followers of authoritarian figures.  They presume that they have the right to read the matter and settle it for themselves, but we do not, or can not.  At its root, it is a very strange argument.

4.  Again, we make the point that editors edit.  This article is not reproduced as a cold and sterile history lesson, but as a warning to the brethren.  It is a plea to brethren, to observe the teachings in it, at a time when those teachings were coming under attack.  It therefore has attention drawn to various phrases through emphasis.  This is no different than if I took an article, highlighted the parts I thought you should read, and sent it to you. 

(To be Continued)

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Case # 11 (Continued)

We have again posted the two articles side by side, so the "alterations" can be observed.  We are convinced the honest critic cannot see anything significant in the changes, as bro. Genusa himself has acknowledged. 

The first omission deals with the liberty an individual in this world has.  Bro. Genusa says this conflicts with the authoritarian attitudes of the editors.  Does bro. Genusa think the Berean editors are so authoritarian, they believe they can control what the world thinks?  Or that they would even want to?  (In this age?)

The second omission goes directly to the point of the article, but is obviously removed for its more speculative nature.  The man believed the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, but changed Revelations.  Was he justified in being immersed?  Bro. Roberts said it "may" be the case.  I don't think its too hard to see why this speculation on the part of bro. Roberts was excluded from this article.  But the point remains that whether or not he was so justified, it is impossible that true Christadelphians could "enter upon that co-operation which has for its basis an intelligent apprehension of the mind and will of Christ."

The Apocalypse And Fellowship

"If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life."

A CORRECT interpretation of the Apocalypse is of more importance than may at first sight appear.

1. It was given "that his servants MIGHT KNOW" (1:1) the things it treats of, and if a wrong view of it prevails, the object of its communication is to that extent frustrated.

2. The Spirit pronounces a blessing on those who understand it (1:3), from which it follows that a wrong apprehension of its import deprives the wrong apprehender of the blessing.

3. Jesus pronounces a curse on those who take away from its words (22:19) and NO ONE TAKES AWAY MORE EFFECTUALLY THAN THE MAN WHO MISREPRESENTS ITS MEANING.

That misrepresentation of its meaning which asserts its inapplicability to the present constitution of things in the world, and teaches that it has no fulfillment till the saints are removed at the coming of Christ, is especially mischievous in its effects, for it interferes with a scriptural attitude in relation to things and systems which are therein condemned, and participation in which is declared to implicate the participators in the doom awaiting those things and systems.

The Ecclesiastical systems and practices of Europe are exhibited under symbols perfectly intelligible to the students of God's Word. A Beast and its Image, a Ten-horned Monster, and a Woman are introduced as representatives of the constitution of things in Papal Europe. And a peculiarity of the Saints therein described is

THAT THEY

"Worship not the Beast, neither his Image, nor receive his mark upon Their foreheads, nor in their hands. (20:4)

THAT THEY

"Obtain the victory over the Beast and over his Image, and over the number of his name. (15:2)

THAT UNLIKE those dwelling on the Earth "whose names are not written in the Book of Life" and who worship the Beast who makes war upon the saints) they (the Saints) "keep the sayings of the Prophecy of this Book"

WHICH DECLARES

"If any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (14:9-10).

Now if you regard the whole matter as future to the Lord's coming, do you not loosen and undermine the terrible obligations arising from these sayings?

Certainly you place these obligations beyond the circle of a Saint's duties, and you leave him at liberty to imagine that he may safely take part with any system extant in his own day.

Such views are a serious impediment to the co-operation which you are disposed to ask on the part of the Christadelphians. They could not admit such an element of corruption amongst them. They could not identify themselves with so complete a neutralization of the last message of Jesus sent to His servants They could not make themselves responsible for such a departure from his testimony which he himself has fenced with special imprecations with such a state of mind with regard to the important directions he has given for the guidance of his servants in the Apocalypse, it is impossible they could enter upon that co-operation which has for its basis an intelligent apprehension of the mind of will of Christ.

The idea that the Revelation is future in its fulfillment would be dispelled by the effectual realization of 1 or 2 points which we mention by way of conclusion.

The angel interpreting to John the meaning of the 7 heads of the scarlet colored Beast, says, "There are 7 kings; 5 are fallen, 1 is and the other is not yet come" (17:10).

Here is proof that in the day when these words were addressed to John nearly 1800 years ago -- part of the symbolism had been realized in History. In connection with its developments (11:18) the time of the dead comes that they should be judged, which is inconsistent with the theory that those developments do not take place till after the resurrection of the Saints.

A similar argument arises in the fact that the Beast makes war upon the Saints and overcomes them (13:7) Surely this is not after the Saints are raised from the dead." So also with the fact that Saints, under the 6th seal are seen in a state of death, and allowed to rest (6:9) And that the Scarlet woman is drunk with the blood of the Saints (Surely she is not to kill them after they are made immortal). "In her was found the blood of prophets and saints" (18:24).

The Apostles were slain by her (Rome under the pagan constitution (18:20) Surely the Apostles are not to be killed a second time.

In addition to these and many other points that might be mentioned, the general character of the book as to things said about to "shortly come to pass," and as to "keeping the things written in the book," conclusively show the fallacy of a theory which futurizes everything except the messages to the ecclesias, and places it to a thing of no practical consequence whatever.

(By Robert Roberts, August 1872)

Berean Home Page

 

THE APOCALYPSE AND THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH

W. D.—A correct interpretation of the Apocalypse is of more importance than may at first sight appear. 1. It was given “that his servants might know” (Chap. 1:1.) the things it treats of; and if a wrong view of it prevails, the object of its communication is to that extent frustrated. 2. The Spirit pronounces a blessing on those who understand it, (chap. 1:3.) from which it follows that a wrong apprehension of its import deprives the wrong apprehender of the blessing. 3. Jesus pronounces a curse on those who take away from its words (Chap. 22:19.); and no one takes away from its words more effectually than the man who misrepresents its meaning. That misrepresentation of its meaning which asserts its inapplicability to the present constitution of things in the world, and teaches that it has no fulfilment till the saints are removed at the coming of Christ, is especially mischievous in its effects; for it interferes with a scriptural attitude in relation to things and systems which are therein condemned, and participation in which is declared to implicate the participators in the doom awaiting them. The ecclesiastical systems and practices of Europe are exhibited under symbols perfectly intelligible to the student of God’s word. A beast and its image, a ten-horned monster and a woman are introduced as representatives of the constitution of things in Papal Europe, and a peculiarity of the saints therein described is that they “worship not the beast neither his image, nor receive his mark upon their foreheads nor in their hands (20:4.), that they “obtain the victory over the beast and over his image and over the number of his name” (15:2); that unlike those dwelling on earth “whose names are not written in the book of life,” and who worship the beast who makes war upon the saints, they “keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book,” which declare, “If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” Now, if you regard the whole matter as future to the Lord’s coming, do you not loosen and undermine the terrible obligations arising from these sayings? Certainly; you place these obligations beyond the circle of a saint’s duties, and leave him at liberty to imagine that he may safely take part with any system extant in his own day. Of course, you are at liberty, in this day of liberty, to think and act as you will: but such views are a serious impediment to the co-operation which you are disposed to ask on the part of the Christadelphians. They could not admit such an element of corruption among them. They could not identify themselves with so complete a neutralization of the last message of Jesus sent to his servants. They could not make themselves responsible for such a departure from his testimony which he himself has fenced with special imprecations. Your belief in the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, “the same as the Christadelphians,” may justify you in being immersed; but with such a state of mind with regard to the important directions he has given for the guidance of his servants in the Apocalypse, it is impossible they could enter upon that co-operation which has for its basis an intelligent apprehension of the mind and will of Christ.

The idea that “Revelations” is future in its fulfilment, would be dispelled by the effectual realization of one or two points which we mention by way of conclusion. The angel interpreting to John the meaning of the seven heads of the scarlet-coloured beast, says 17:10: There are seven kings: five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come.” Here is a proof that in the day when these words were addressed to John—nearly 1800 years ago—part of the symbolism had been realised in history. In connection with its developments (chap. 11:18) “the time of the dead comes that they should be judged,” which is inconsistent with the theory that those developments do not take place till after the resurrection of the saints. A similar argument arises in the fact that the beast makes war upon the saints and overcomes them.—(13:7.) Surely this is not after the saints are raised from the dead! So also with the fact that saints, under the sixth seal, are seen in a state of death, and allowed to rest (6:9); that the scarlet woman is drunk with the blood of saints. (Surely she is not to kill them after they are made immortal.) “In her was found the blood of prophets and saints.”—(18:24.) The apostles were slain by her (Rome under the pagan constitution.)—(18:20.) Surely the apostles are not to be killed a second time. In addition to these and many other points that might be mentioned, the general character of the book as to things said about to “shortly come to pass,” and as to keeping the things written in the book, conclusively shows the fallacy of a theory which futurizes everything except the messages to the churches, and reduces it to a thing of practical consequence whatever.
 
The Christadelphian : Volume 9 Bd. 9. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1872, S. 9:380-381

 

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