What about the Brethren movement?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Jon 316, Jan 13, 2009.

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  1. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi folks, I'm new here. quick intro to lead into my question.

    I heard the gospel through the brethren. Although they taught etrenal security, I do not think they were 'reformed' in the fullest sense.

    After 'getting saved' I eventually left teh fellowship for several reasons. The key one being that they felt that they alone had the 'new testament pattern'. The particular branch of the brethren I was involved in was the churches of God also known as 'needed truth'. They broke away from the plymoth brethren over issues of church government. They felt that the local churches of God should be controlled by a centralized government.

    Any, my point is. They felt they were the church. My study of church history shows me that this was a 'reformed issue' i.e the desire for pure worship and ecclesiology hence all the church splits.

    Anyway, just wondering what folk think...
  2. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    The tradgedy of the Brethren movement is that their initial motivation was a desire to end sectarianism however this is precisiely the trait that they adopted.

    I have a deep affection for the Brethren movement and they have had very great men in their midst but their falling was a belief that they could somehow transcend the fall and create a perfect Church that everyone else would have a duty to follow.

    I am quite partial the Darby's idea of the total ruin of the church that broke the direct apostolic succession but they go too far in abrogating apostolic teaching as being the basis through which we interpret the Bible.
  3. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore


    I wonder, as a young person, at the time of my conversion, if they messed with my head a bit. At times I get very dismayed with todays expression of church. I'm sure something of brethrenism rises up within me.
  4. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    From what I've read about the Brethren Movement, it isn't good. They are the ones who brought into full force Dispensationalism.
  5. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    when you say full force dispensationalism. Do you mean the different 'eras' and 'covenants'? and if so, how is this incompatible with reformed theolgy?
  6. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    The movement began in the 1800's. Not sure it that answers your "eras" question. As far as it being incompatible with reformed theology I guess it would depend on whom you ask. Personally, I believe it attacks the heart of the Gospel. It is humanistic whereas reformed theology is Christ centered. Of course, there is a large range of dispensationalists. Some are extreme to the point of being heretics to those who have some dispensationalism in their beliefs who are good brothers and sisters in Christ. It's been awhile since I read the book, "Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth A Critique of Dispensationalism" but it's pretty good.
  7. Zeno333

    Zeno333 Puritan Board Freshman


    Standing by and observing the answers to that one :) :)
  8. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    thanks, I'll check out that book. do u know who the author is?
  9. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    John H. Gerstner and Sproul did the foreword
  10. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

  11. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    When different 'eras' and 'covenants' become different salvific methods and devices used by God, that is when you are in the dispensational mindset, and running strongly contrary to reformed thought.

    Here is how the Westminster Confession of Faith portrays covenant theology. Note that in it we do confess that the Lord has historically used different "dispensations" of one Covenant of Grace. Dispensationalists would strongly disagree with this formulation, positing that the church and Israel serve as different "peoples of God" and have different means of salvation, whereas we would argue that all are saved in one and only one way - Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.

  12. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

  13. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

  14. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    dont worry... you reccomended a good book :)
  15. PointyHaired Calvinist

    PointyHaired Calvinist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Wasn't one of the Brethren splits about Calvinistic soteriology - viz., Darby was a five-pointer and others weren't?

    Also, I assume you're talking about Plymouth Brethren rather than Bohemian Brethren, Moravian Brethren (i.e., Zinzendorf), and others?
  16. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    I do not recall any splits on Calvinism, splits were more often to do with second degree seperation (seperating from those who did not seperate from those in error).

    It is quite ironic that the historic split arose when the Brethren in Plymouth were expelled from the movement, it would be more accuarte to describe the movement as the "Non-Plymouth Brethren"
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