How to recommend the Baptists to the Plymouth Brethren

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Matt Black, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I'd appreciate your help with this rather personal question:

    My parents-in-law are Exclusive Brethren - not the Taylorite/' Jimmy' faction, although they grew up in that and split from them in 1970, but whilst they are not quite cult-like as the Jimmies are, they are still very 'tight' eg: they won't have fellowship with any Christians who are not from their own connexion of Meetings. Their own connexion, however, at least in its local manifestation, has dwindled due to splits (a perennial problem of the Exclusives), deaths and people leaving to such a point that their Meeting is becoming non-viable, and they are beginning to seek the Lord about what to do and where to go next. F-i-L recently has begun to speak with approval about Baptists, but this is more based on personal anecdotal evidence eg: a Godly Baptist teacher at college whom he once knew, rather than any real knowledge of what Baptists stand for. I can anticipate a number of stumbling blocks for them with regard to the Baptists, however, and would be grateful for any help you can give, with Scriptural citations wherever possible, to address these:

    1. Autonomy/ independence of the local church. Both of them say this is without Scriptural warrant, Exclusives being connexional in their ecclesiology. They believe in the concept of a 'gathered people of God', as do the Baptists, but they also believe that such gatherings should be connected.

    2. Soul liberty: again, they do not believe that believers are free to draw their own conclusions from Scripture. They (unlike the Jimmies) do not have any kind of 'Magisterium' dictating how they should interpret Scripture, but they do believe that all Christians in a particular connexion/ Meeting should be of one mind. They often cite the Scripture, "How can people walk together unless they are agreed."

    3. Ordained ministers: Brethren have always been anti-clerical and my in-laws would have great difficulty with the idea of pastors and deacons. They would view NT references to the same as being part of 'that dispensation' ie: before the Bible was completed (much as they do the spiritual gifts), and 'not for today'.

    4. Style of worship: I accept that this varies greatly from Baptist church to Baptist church but the Meetings are very informal with unaccompanied singing with each Brother choosing a hymn or Scripture verse and perhaps expounding on the latter, all 'as the Spirit leads'. They have three Meetings on a Sunday: the Breaking of Bread, which is their communion service; the Reading, which is more of an expository preaching by one of the Brothers on a chosen passage of Scripture; and 'the Gospel', which is their evangelistic evening Meeting to which the public are in theory invited although rarely attend and at which the Gospel is preached. At none of their Meetings are women allowed to speak or pray.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    I have a Brethren family attending the Sunday school in my church, but they will not stay for worship. I've yet to approach them on the subject as I'm barely there myself at this point.

    The primary question they will have to answer is whether or not God and God's Word take higher precidence than their traditions and their doctrines derived from those traditions.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    & if the Brethren were exactly what God wanted, why is God not blessing them with growth? They might want to ask themselves why they are dwindling.
     
  4. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    The problem is that they would say that their 'traditions' are not that but purely derived from God's Word (as so may posters say here!).

    Another complication - #5: They believe in household ie: infant baptism. Their rationale for this is similar to that of the Presbyterians ie: incorporation into the covenant community. They don't believe it saves, though. Obviously, the Baptist insistence on believer's baptism would be an issue here.
     
    #4 Matt Black, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2012
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Face it Matt, what are their alternatives? They can remain in a dying sect or make a decision to leave & attempt to integrate into a church with a broader objective. Clearly, that is their call & it will require adjustment forth with.
     
  6. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    The trouble is that there is an alternative: they could return to the Jimmies or else join the Rentons (a Connexion that arose from 1970 initially comprising all those who rejected James Taylor Jnr after the Aberdeen incident but now best described as "Jimmies without Jim"), both of which moves would IMO be retrograde for them - but the temptation would be there. Both of these far tighter groups are doing pretty well in the numbers game.
     
  7. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    The numbers game is relative... Count all and you end up with a population somewhat less than the 10 largest SBC congregations (not counting the other 43,000 + and not even beginning to count the number of total Baptists of every persuasion).
     
  8. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    40000 in the 'Jims' worldwide would still feel rather better to them than the five adults (including them) in their present Meeting. Plus M-i-L's sister is still in the Jims.
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Guess you have answered your own question... :applause:
     
  10. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I fear I have :(. Really hope they don't go that way.
     
  11. billwald

    billwald
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    The PBs may not be growing but their influence is vastly larger than their size. before Darby almost all Baptists were reformed. Now days 90% of the material in a generic "Christian" bookstore is Darby's teaching. The Scofield Bible was sponsored by the PBs. Dallas Theo was unofficially founded as a PB school.

    If our government ever becomes violently anti-Christian it will be easier for the PBs to go underground than any other denomination.
     
  12. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Any theological tips for challenging the PBs' objections to the Baptists in my OP?
     
  13. glfredrick

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    Only tip is to get them to consider, point-by-point, their doctrines and in the Berean sense, see if they match up to the whole counsel of Scripture.

    While any one of their doctrines might be "proof-texted" I would suggest that several, and perhaps many, would not stand further scrutiny against a range of biblical input.

    At that point they have to decide whether to continue in their role as dictated by tradition or in the biblical role as dictated by revelation.
     
  14. billwald

    billwald
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    Are you proposing a Reformed or a Pelagian Baptist Church? Big Difference!

    Most PBs think the Church began with Paul and that Jesus lived in OT times and preached only for practicing OT Jews. For example, the sermon on the mount is strictly OT.
     
  15. DaChaser1

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    Hyper calvinist and Hyper dispensalists?

    Do they hold that all Gospels/Acts not applicable for us today, as Church started under paul?

    Elect are saved regardles if Gospel preached to them or not?
     
    #15 DaChaser1, Feb 9, 2012
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  16. convicted1

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    Brother Matt,

    Are they Calvinistic or not? This could be a reason why they haven't moved yet? If they Calvinistic, there might not be any churches close to them to fellowship with. Or if they are in the "FW" camp, are there any churches close to them to fellowship with? Either way, I will pray for you in-laws and their church.....
     
  17. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Thanks, that's appreciated.

    TBH, I don't think that Calvinism -v- Arminianism are such big issues this side of the Pond. The in-laws would say that the two run somehow (mysteriously?; they would say that we can't presume to know the mind of God on such things) in parallel. The mainstream, overwhelming majority of Baptist Churches in the UK are Baptist Union of Great Britain affiliated, and BUGB is historically a mix of General (FW) and Particular (Calvinist) Baptists; in practice soul liberty means that in any one congregation you will get a mix of Arminians, Calvinists and 'don't knows' who rub along pretty well in the main.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Are the Presbyterians prevalent in the UK anymore?
     
  19. DaChaser1

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    Are they int he USA now?

    Which is larger in US/GB...

    the liberal or the conservative branches of it?
     
  20. billwald

    billwald
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    >Do they hold that all Gospels/Acts not applicable for us today, as Church started under paul?

    The Hypers teach this.
     

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