UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> Can anyone tell me about Exclusive Brethren?


7/31/12 5:40 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29074
 
In particular Raven/Taylor/Hales. I've read wikipedia but not sure how accurate it is. Thanks
8/2/12 7:20 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29145
No one?
8/3/12 12:59 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
5 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 29219
 Never heard of them.  
8/3/12 2:29 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29184
Ok, thanks for at least answering Phone Post
8/3/12 10:13 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
effinggoof
71 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 11381
I was raised in what would be referred to as Open Brethern, which is theologically very similar to Exclusive Brethern.

Note...it's a really big deal amongst the Brethern to eschew labels and hirearchy, so the definitions of different branches of Brethern is not an exact science.

Anyways...never heard of the Raven/Taylor/Hales group until this thread...I looked them up on wikipedia, and they seem very different from even the tightest Brethern I had ever come across.

8/4/12 1:45 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29210
Could you tell me about the group you were raised in please? Are you still part of it? Phone Post
8/4/12 2:34 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
effinggoof
71 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 11384
I am no longer "in fellowship" for a variety of reasons.

OK, here goes.

Brethren groups generally self identify as "Assemblies", Chapels or Gospel Halls. Gospel Halls are often the more restrictive groups, but there is a great deal of overlap...I grew up iin a Chapel group, but my Grandfather's Gospel Hall group was open to us and seemed completely identical to me.

There is no authority higher than the local assembly, though there is a surprisingly consistent theology and a lot of cooperation on things like Bible Colleges and Youth Camps.

Brethern are saved by grace, and practice full baptisim of adults. The scripture is divinely inspired and literal to the point where some, but not all are young earth creationists.

Defining traits included...the primary meeting was the sunday morning "Breaking of Bread" which was a closed meeting, with only those "in fellowship" partaking in the bread and wine. This was also the only time you would see a collection plate passed, and it featured scripture reading and singing with no instruments.

There were other meetings that were open to all, had more upbeat music and traditional sermons...to be evangelical is a priority. Financial support was not mentioned or accepted at the open meetings.

Women wore head coverings, and were silent except for joining in with singing.

There was, and is no clergy...the assembly was governed by a group of elders, and no financial renumeration was offered to them. Preaching was done by lay preachers, who may or may not be elders, and were unpaid. The concept of "personal ministry" was very important, and everyone was expected to contribute voluntarily...from the elders who "ran" the assembly, to the folks who volunteered to clean.

Missionary work is a huge deal, and a great deal of financial support was sent to missionary activities in Africa. These missionaries, while financially supported do not have a clergy status.

My Open Breathern Assembly did not practice "seperation" with the extremity that you would see with some of the more closed groups...there was no seperate school or anything...however marriage to someone not in fellowship was not acceptable...other than that, we did not seperate...the assembly even had a hockey team in the local rec league and collaborated with Baptists and Anglicans to assist the local food bank. It was made clear to everyone that while we agreed that we were all trying to live in accordance with the scriptures, some people in other Christian groups were also Christians with a personal relationship with Christ.

Other Brethern groups are more insular.

Politics were frowned upon, but not forbidden. Military service was discouraged.

Brethern practice a very Conservative Christianity...premarital sex was forbidden, adultry and homosexuality unthinkable, drinking, smoking and gambling were not acceptable, and we were always worried about being "worldly".

As a group who were founded by John Nelson Darby, Brethern are dispensationalists, and IMHO have a unhealthy obsession with the end of times.

Does that help? Does it sufficiently distinguish Brethern from other generic Protestants?

If you have specific questions, I will do my best to answer them.




8/4/12 3:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29213
Thanks, that was very helpful. Sounds like they are passionate about their religion

Why is it unacceptable to marry outside the brethren? What would happen if you did?

Why did you leave, if you don't mind me asking? What sort of relationship do have with the other members of the group? I'm guessing some members of your family are still involved Phone Post
8/4/12 4:13 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
effinggoof
71 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 11386
Brethren are generally very comitted and very passionate. It's not a faith community that tolerates being half assed or as they would put it "lukewarm". That being said...I could certainly provide a laundry list of complaints about them.

Marriage outside of the Brethren is considered an "unequal yoke" as described in Corinthians. There would be some situational flexibility with other protestants, but in my old Assembly, a marriage between a brethren in fellowship and an atheist would not happen in the Chapel building, and would not be presided over by an elder.

The member of the Assembly would still be welcomed, and there would be the hope that he or she could, by example help the unbeliever to see the light. Likewise, if one member of a couple is saved and admitted into fellowship, there would be the hope that the spouse would follow...but if that did not happen it would not be held against anyone.

Among more closed brethren, someone might be excluded from fellowship over that issue. There really are a variety of issues, interpretations and prejudices at play into this issue and quite honestly, there is quaite a bit of straight up asshole behaviour in this regard.

In my personal experience...as a teenager my family considered it OK for me to date a Baptist girl...were not OK with a Catholic girl.

Interestingly, despite the conservative viewpoint, my assembly was quite progressive in regards to race...and interracial couples were welcome...once Saved everyone was metaphorically washed as white as snow.

I left over a variety of reasons, many related to my father and grandfather being somewhat important, and my personal issues around living in what seemed to be some pretty large shadows.

I also left over my personal inability to abstain from premarital sex, and my inability to embrace nonviolence, as well as my issues with some of the uglier Jack Chick style dispensational theology.

Many of my peers growing up in the church made some bad choices...the enforced celibacy forced some into premature, unwise and sometimes abusive marriages that...in my opinion were far more damaging than the sin of premarital sex ever would have been. I know that from a Biblical POV I am wrong on this, but I watched some tragic things happen.

My family is still, by and large Open Brethren and my relationship with them is fine...the only thing being that I am not currently welcome to participate in fellowship at a Sunday morning "Breaking of Bread" service at any Assembly...which I totally accept.

Other than that...I get that I disappointed some of my family...but it's a pretty minor disappointment that they have to live with, and they seem to not care.

If you have more questions, I will try and answer...talking about this is oddly refreshing.





8/4/12 4:42 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
effinggoof
71 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 11387
Also, to expand on this...a really big deal among the Brethren is the whole issue of "be in the world, but not of the world".

The more Open Brethren, who are still by most peoples standards Fundamentalists, will be more open to being in the world,and engaging with the community in the way that Jesus did. That being said, they would avoid worldly things like dancing or going to movies.

The more Closed, Exclusive and I am guessing the Raven/Taylor/Hayes group will emphasise the idea of being seperate to the point where they would avoid all pop culture as being worldly, and all non assembly members as being people who need to be kept at a safe distance.
8/4/12 6:27 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29227
Thank you for answering. I don't think I have any other questions right now. I know an individual who has left and it has split his family apart and he is struggling to adjust to life outside his brethren group Phone Post
8/4/12 9:42 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ali
668 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 9008
That comment, Leigh, makees it seem like the Wikipedia article is probably pretty accurate.

I hadn't heard of this particular group before this thread either. I am interested in what makes a "cult" and the line drawing that such designations call for. It looks -- from Wikipedia, but then from your most recent comment -- like this group is pretty squarely over the line.
8/4/12 11:58 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29239
Well, he has told me they are VERY controlling, which is why he left. They have a leader who invariably abuses his position because the members follow his every command Phone Post
8/7/12 5:03 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
zealot66
12 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 12591
 The brethren originated in England and produced some influential people. Leigh, you should look up George Muller a german who ended up in England running orphanages.
8/8/12 1:44 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Leigh
715 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 29329
Ok cheers, I had a read on wikipedia Phone Post
8/8/12 12:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
zealot66
12 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 12595
 I say that because Muller was among the first Brethren and was present for the Split with Darby and others. Just a good read really on what I consider a Genuine Christian and bits about the Brethren. I know in America, those I have met are pretty closed off. Not my cup of tea.
8/9/12 9:44 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 4303
Well, one thing I like about what you've described is unpaid clergy, and lack of a collection plate at open meetings. One of the things that I didn't like about your average Protestant church was the constant requests for money. I've seen and heard of a number of abuses in this area and it stumps me why so many in the Protestant churches do not question whether this is appropriate or not.

Oddly enough, many of the things that we think are outdated and fundamentalist used to be the norm, such as prohibition against women preaching and teaching in the church, premarital sex, etc.
8/12/12 3:59 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
TheHawker
34 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/4/05
Posts: 34537
How do the Exclusive Brethren get along with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.