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"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." 

Romans 15:4-7  NKJV

   IHS-WA.net       Controversy and Confusion surrounding the Brethren

 

 

Media rule #1:          

Never let the TRUTH           

get in the way of a good headline!          

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, they may state somewhere in the small print that they are referring to the EXCLUSIVE Brethren church, and might even point out that they are not the same as the OPEN or Christian Brethren church, but most people don't bother to read the fine print or will not comprehend the difference.  Ouch!  That hurts!

 

 

Well YOU have found your way to this page, so at least you will be able to appreciate there are some MAJOR differences between the Exclusive Brethren and the non-exclusive Open or Christian Brethren. You will also see that there are a number of similarities due to a common heritage, and that even the Exclusives are perhaps not as bad as the media make them out to be. No surprise there!

 

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will give an excerpt from articles already on the internet that cover the subject far better than I could and link to those articles for you to build up a picture of the true nature of the Christian Brethren, which is our main subject here, so that the confusion will end and you may be able to share the truth of the matter with friends and strangers alike.

 

 

The Open or Christian Brethren churches have an amazing history and have been punching well above their weight in the area of mission service throughout the world, and are renown for the quality of Bible teachers and lay leadership and volunteer involvement in church life and para-church organisations. So grab a cuppa, relax and have a poke around these reference sites to find out just who the Christian Brethren really are.

 

(Emphasis in excerpts added by Ed.. PLEASE NOTE: An article's reference here does not in any way indicate an endorsement of their views or support for the accuracy of its content, but is simply given for your research on the subject.)

 

See also Beliefs & Practice of the Christian Brethren and Brethren History

 

 


 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia  -  Open Brethren

Excerpt:

The Open Brethren, sometimes called Christian Brethren or "Plymouth Brethren", are a group of Protestant Evangelical Christian churches that arose in the late 1820s as part of the Assembly Movement. They originated in England and Ireland and now have many assemblies worldwide.

The Open Brethren form independent, autonomous assemblies and the name, "Open," is given to them to distinguish them from "Exclusive Brethren," with whom they share historical roots. The division of the Plymouth Brethren into the Open Brethren and Exclusive Brethren took place in 1848 and has been well documented. The Open Brethren are committed to missionary work and hold that the Holy Bible is the first authority in matters of faith and practice. Each assembly (or congregation) is independent of the others in doctrinal matters, yet there is a high degree of communication and cooperation between those who share similar doctrine and practice. Open Brethren assemblies vary from tight gatherings which only extend fellowship to those who have first left the denominations to very loose gatherings which receive any stranger without question into fellowship. The buildings associated with the open brethren are usually called, "Gospel Chapel," "Gospel Hall," "Bible Chapel," "Christian Assembly," or other similar terms... 

 

Read the full article here...
 

 


 

Cult Awareness & Information Centre

 

Concerning Cults:  Exclusive Brethren — Taylorites  by Eryl Davies

 

Excerpt:

...Open Brethren commended
I now need to emphasise that I am in no way referring to the Open Brethren in what I write in the rest of this article. They are themselves facing some contemporary issues such as the appointment of a salaried ‘worker’ or even a pastor...  Varying attitudes are adopted towards these issues and one welcomes a new openness on the part of many of these assemblies towards other Christians and to co-operation in genuine evangelical activities.

What is also pleasing about Open Brethren is their commitment to missionary work. It is estimated, for example, that one per cent of the total number of members in Brethren assemblies are serving on the mission field. By modern standards, this is in excess of almost every Christian denomination. Operation World reports that Brethren fellowships in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand together have 1223 missionaries. But, in addition, there are many national workers as well as workers from other countries involved in world mission. The position is that several thousand members are currently working in mission. These facts are encouraging and I repeat that I am in no way criticising the ‘Open Brethren’ in this article...

 

Read the full article here...
 

 


 

Australia's religious communities : a multimedia exploration - The Open Brethren in Australia

 

Excerpt:

...Anti-denominationalism
The movement has preferred not to see itself as a denomination alongside other denominations. Many activities organised by Brethren are seen as being for all Christians and are not necessarily labelled as 'Brethren' activities. Today literature such as Emmaus Roadworks (the Brethren Bible School Newsletter), Spearhead (Gospel Literature Outreach) and Serving Together (the publication of Christian Missions in Many Lands, the world-wide name of the English speaking overseas mission work) tend to avoid using the word "Brethren" and prefer to talk about Christian assemblies. In many instances, congregations have also avoided Brethren references, instead referring to 'Christian Centres', 'Gospel Halls/Churches/Chapels' or 'Communities' to express the sense of fellowship. However, despite the movements anti-denominationalism, the more conservative do not advocate activities specifically organised as inter-denominational and involving people from various denominations. Brethren have been heavily involved in conservative evangelical non-denominational bodies such as some Bible colleges and Scripture Union, they have not generally participated in the organised ecumenical movement as expressed through the Councils of Churches.


...Authors  -  Philip J. Hughes and Sharon Bond

...Acknowledgements  -  Ian McDowell has kindly helped with the preparation of the Brethren Profile by providing written materials, books and photographs and in reviewing the manuscript. The authors are greatly indebted to Ian McDowell's previous written work on the Brethren and his helpful comments on the materials the authors prepared.

 

This excerpt was taken from the article 'Australian History - The Open Brethren in Australia' which has dropped off the net.

But it may be in the publication 'Australia's religious communities : a multimedia exploration - The Open Brethren in Australia' from the Australian Library system.

 

 


 

 

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See also Beliefs & Practice of the Christian Brethren and Brethren History

 

 

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