Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Historische Entwicklung der Brüderbewegung, historische Personen, Geschichte verwandter Strömungen

Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon Levi am Fr 12. Sep 2008, 20:09

Liebe Geschwister,
habt ihr Informationen, ob es jemals Tunbridge Wells-Brüderversammlungen in Deutschland gab oder vielleicht noch gibt?

Vielen Dank für eure Antwort

Beiträge: 33
Registriert: Di 19. Aug 2008, 12:41

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am So 26. Jul 2009, 20:44

Dear brother Levi,

Mein Deutsch ist beschränkt, deshalb schreibe/brauche Ich die englische Sprache.
There are no so-called TW-brethren anymore in Germany.
There were some in the past.
What you will perhaps know is that the TW-division was (simply spoken) mainly a division between the brethren of the Continent of Europe with the brethren in America.
Also played a role the (quite negative) caricature of them you will find in the books of the history of the Brethren from Napoleon Noel (History of the Brethren) and Willem Ouweneel (Het verhaal van de Broeders). Painting a caricature of them with whom you don't agree is after all quite standard with all of us.
So in those books you find the KLC/Reunited brethren perspective.
Some years after my conversion in 1976 I joined the KLC-brethren here in The Netherlands and had a happy time among those brethren and learned a lot about Gods precious Word.
Not to give here the whole story (would be too long) about what we (I married) went through, but we finally also learned to know the TW-perspective.
Honestly it's pretty hard to read in the mentioned book of WJO how he uses all his intellectual capacities to prove his/the KLC-standpoint.
The simple facts can also be seen from a total different perspective.
Not to try to convince you or any other, but when you would like more info, please let me know.

Your brother by grace,

Douwe Scheepsma Szn.
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am Mi 10. Feb 2010, 16:43

Wat nu te doen bij al de problemen te midden van de ‘AV’ en ‘blockfreie Brüder’?

Doordat ik Andreas Steinmeister een beetje heb leren kennen door zijn boek ‘…ihr aber alle seid Brüder’, heeft mij de Trennungsbrief over Gevelsberg-Vogelsang erg aangegrepen! Een aantal reacties heb ik geschreven op dit forum onder Lokale Trennungsbriefe (26): Gevelsberg-Vogelsang. Weil ein Teilnehmer (2Kor 2,11) dort hat geschrieben: „vielleicht sollte das Thema "Tunbridge Wells-Brüder" unter dem dafür eröffntene Thema "Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland" in der Rubrik "Geschichte" näher ausgeführt werden“ folgen hierunter meine Reaktionen nochmals. Es sollte gut sein dass wieder ´TW-brüder‘ kommen sollen… Warum? Darum ist folgendes geschrieben.

Re: Lokale Trennungsbriefe (26): Gevelsberg-Vogelsang
von D.ScheepsmaSzn am Sa 16. Jan 2010, 15:08


Leider ist mein Deutsch nicht sehr gut und schreibe ich dies in Englisch. My mother tongue is Dutch, or Frisian must I say.

The discussion above confirms the confusion there is among the so-called KLC/Reunited brethren (und ‘blockfreien’ Gemeinden) in Germany and also elsewhere. In general we can say that even as believers personally we easily slip away from the Good Shepherd, from a daily walk with Him and in Him. Left to ourselves we indeed only can wander away to the left or to the right, become loose or legal.

This same principle we see amid our assembly live. There are those who are very active and practical and others who like to stress our principles concerning the assembly. The first ones are in a danger to become loose and the others in a danger to become legal. In the mentioned discussion above we can discern these two groups of believers. You can’t say that only one of these two groups is the serious one.

What is the solution for this problem? Isn’t it that we are called personally to walk by the Spirit and also together (collectively) “using diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace”, Eph.4:3? He only can keep us in the right track personally and collectively. He only is the solution for this problem and therefore He came down on Pentecost. Not only to form the assembly, but also to keep that unity among the believers.

By grace and on their knees ‘our fathers’ learned from Scripture and by the guidance of the Spirit, not only how we can walk worthy of our Lord here below personally, but also how we can assemble and act together as believers in all simplicity. Because as believers we are one body we can gather together on that principle and also give by it the Lord the place of authority He has for us (personally and also) collectively.

Up till 1909 certain brethren, among whom were also the so-called ‘closed brethren’ (’geschlossenen Brüder’) in Germany, were confident that by grace they still could walk in the unity they learned from Scripture, might experience it among them by the “one Spirit”, Eph.4:4. Because we only can express (the) “one body” (Eph.4:4) by the working among us of the “one Spirit”.

Can it be that most of the ‘closed brethren’ on the Continent lost track with the Tunbridge Wells trouble in 1909? That is my/our opinion. Since that time the point of unity was in trouble on the Continent. With this I don’t want to say that the so-called Tunbridge Wells didn’t have certain troubles among them since that time!

But by grace there is a difference and I would humbly ask my readers: Could these 'TW-brethren' be right and could lay (t)here the solution for our confusion? Books about the history of the ‘closed brethren’ from a KLC/Reunited perspective there are and are read by many here. When you tell me now: “you claim something”, than I would ask you: Don’t these books claim something too? They are clear about their history, clear that these ‘Tunbridge Wells brethren’ lost track.

What we need is a balanced personal live and a balanced assembly live and we definitely need God’s Spirit for both! Without His controlling influence we for sure will wander away and as a result we see the discussion above. On one side serious(!) brethren who stress a “Spirit-filled” (I'm not thinking by using this expression about Ouweneel and his charismatic course) practice and on the other side serious(!) brethren who stress principles they derive from the Word of God.

In reality both are one-sided. Both quote ‘old brethren’, but these quotations are often one sided. Tell half of the truth of what these brethren wrote. For N.T. believers Scripture is not a legal book to cover every possible detail of (assembly) life, “but rather it is a book of principles that must be applied in various circumstances in communion with the Lord and with the guidance of His Spirit”.

When certain brethren in Germany would organize a kind of meeting (small is okay also) on a ‘neutral’ base about the so-called Tunbridge Wells brethren (‘100 years ‘TW-brethren’ ) standpoint, I would be glad to come and inform brethren and answer their questions. Let me make clear here that so-called TW-brethren don’t believe in amalgamations of groups of ‘brethren’. At most so to say a certain group of local brethren ‘could come over’ (when they are convinced and clear together about it and we together feel ‘we are of one mind’), but normally believers personally must be convinced and take such a step.

With the above I tried to state things in a simple (but none the less clear as far as I’m able) way. A lot more could be said of course. Not to convince, but to inform. What I hope is that there at least would be an opening now (because of all the troubles) to listen to 'our perspective' and look up together to our Lord. What are we without Him and are not we all brethren? …ihr alle aber seid Brüder!

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, The Netherlands, d.scheepsma@hetnet.nl

Re: Lokale Trennungsbriefe (26): Gevelsberg-Vogelsang
von D.ScheepsmaSzn am Di 19. Jan 2010, 21:56

Lieber 2Kor 2,11,

Ich sollte trachten dies mal im Deutsch was zu schreiben (wie voriges mal geschrieben: Leider ist mein Deutsch nicht sehr gut und schreibe ich dies in Englisch. My mother tongue is Dutch, or Frisian must I say).

Die ‘KLC/Reunited Brüder’ am Kontinent haben leider ein Zerrbild von die so-genannte TW-Brüder. Diese Brüder glauben mit die ‘alte Brüder’ das man immer anfangen müss ein Versammlungsbeschlüss anzuerkennen, anders bekommt man ein Chaos! Haben die ‘KLC/Reunited Brüder’ das nicht gelernnt die letzte 100 Jahr…? Bei die ‘TW-Brüder’ ist es möglich bevor und nach ein Versammlungsbeschlüss Fragen zu haben und zu stellen. Auch glauben wir das die Versammlung Autorität bekommen hat aber nicht Unfehlbarkeit! Ein Versammlung kan Fehler machen. Das kan deutlich werden und nach viel Gebet und Mühe kan es enden dass eine Versammlung aus Name von alle andere Versammlungen handelt und wir diese Versammlung nicht mehr anerkennen können.

Am Tisch des Herrn praktisieren wir unsere Gemeinshaft als Glieder Leib Christi unter einander und mit dem Herrn, aber es ist dem Tisch DES HERRN. Nicht unserem Tisch… Es hat zu tün mit Einheit und das ist ein besondere Wahrheit für Glaübigen! Es ist auch “ein Brot, ein Leib”, I Kor.10:17. Natürlich können wir sagen dass wir zusammen als unsere Verantwortlichkeit die Einheit darstellen wollen und auch sollen, aber etwas ‘claimen’, beanspruchen ist nicht gut. Das müssen wir dem Herrn überlassen, zur Seine beurteilung. Wir können sagen: “wir versammlen uns auf der Boden der Wahrheit”. Grosse Worte für diese letzte Tage. Was ist die Ausübung davon? Wir können objectiv über diesem Punt trachten zu diskutieren, aber besser ist es die andere Brüder, in diesem Fall ‘TW-brüder’, im Praxis persönlich kennen zu lernen.

Man kan sagen das du und brüder PhN, mit auch natürlich andere Brüder, am linken Seite abwandern und die AV-Brüder am rechte Seite (sehe meine vorige Reaktion). Sind wir nicht gerufen “mitten auf den Steigen des Rechts” (Spr.8:20) zu wandeln? Und im N.T. das auch zusammen zu tun?
Ich kenne das was PhN hat geschrieben und lass uns nun beschränken zu folgendes was er geschrieben hat:
“Vielleicht bin ich sehr einfältig; aber wäre es nicht vernünftig, dass die lieben Gläubigen unter uns, die der festen Überzeugung sind, dass sie einen Versammlungsbeschluss anzuerkennen haben, eben weil es ein Versammlungsbeschluss ist (auch wenn sie dessen Fragwürdigkeit kennen), in Gespräche eintreten, um sich mit den TW-Geschwistern wieder zu vereinigen? Wir müssen in aller Aufrichtigkeit eingestehen, dass unsere TW-Geschwister bezüglich des Themas „Anerkennung von Versammlungsbeschlüssen“ die historischen Gründe auf ihrer Seite haben.
Anstatt Mitgeschwister anzuklagen, Prinzipien verlassen zu haben, den „einen Leib“ zu leugnen, „alte Pfade verlassen zu haben“, offen oder weltförmig geworden zu sein, oder ungehorsam zu sein, wäre es nicht vorzuziehen, einen offenen Dialog ohne Anklagen zuführen, und anzuerkennen, dass sich eure Vorfahren bei der Trennung von 1910 auf die falsche Seite gestellt haben, und dann Gespräche mit der Zielsetzung zu führen, die Wiedervereinigung mit der Gruppe der TW-Versammlungen zu erreichen? In jedem Fall müssen wir eingestehen, dass, wenn es um automatische Unterwerfung unter bzw. Anerkennung von Versammlungsbeschlüssen geht, die TW-Geschwister konsequent waren. Wir waren es nicht.“

Wie schon geschrieben in meine vorige Reaktion, glauben ‘TW-Brüder’ nicht in eine Fusion/Zusammenschmelzung von Gruppen ‘Brüder’. Am meistens so gesagt kan ein lokale Gruppe von ‘Brüder’ ‘herüberkommen’ (wenn Sie überzeugt sind und zusammen darüber Klarheit haben und wir zusammen fühlen das wir am selben Frequenz sind/sitzen), aber normalerweise müssen Glaübigen persönlich überzeugt sein und solch ein Schritt machen.

Wir sind überzeugt das im 1909/10 die ‘Brüder’am Kontinent Europas ein fehler gemacht haben. Alte und sehr kapabele Brüder wie W.J. Löwe und H. Rossier haben leider ein schlechte Rat gegeben… Die Autorität unserem Herrn war im Spiel! Einfach.
Viel kan noch geschrieben und gesagt werden, aber nun ende ich gerne mit die Worte unserem Herrn: “… ihr alle aber seid Brüder”.

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, The Netherlands, (d.s.scheepsma@hetnet.nl).

Re: Lokale Trennungsbriefe (26): Gevelsberg-Vogelsang
von D.ScheepsmaSzn am Do 21. Jan 2010, 21:16

Lieber 2Kor3:11,

Du hast regt das das Theme 'TW-Brüder' eigentlich nicht hier das Thema ist. Vielleicht müss ich es kopieren nach dass andere Thema. Warum habe ich dann hier eine Reaktion gegeben? Weil was ich hier las mich sehr hat angegriffen! Was ein Elend! Schreibt man nicht wenn man überzeugt ist wenn man die Lösung hat? Darum habe ich geschrieben. Auch um zu informieren, weil man die 'TW-Brüder' nicht wirklicht kennt, ein Zerrbild hat.

Du schreibst dass bei der TW-Trenning es handelte um "ein offensichtlich schriftwidriger Versammlungsbeschluss". Warum haben die LC-Versammlungen (K gehörte noch nicht dabei) die ausgeschlossene selbst dann auch wieder ausgeschlossen?

Die 'alte Brüder' hatten etwas entdeckt im Bibel, viel entdeckt müss ich schreiben (Gnade). Wir wollen, einfach wie die Rekabiter (Jer.35) damals, festhalten was wir gelernt haben von unsere Väter. Nichts selbst 'claimen' aber hören und handeln nach der Schrift. Auf ein lebendige Weise es festhalten, unter die Wirksamkeit des Heiligen Geistes.
Du hast ein gutes Begrif von viele Wahrheiten müss ich sagen und kanst es auch güt aufschreiben.

Lass ich auch noch sagen dass ich viele Jahre bei der KLC-Brüder war und dort viel gelernt habe von Gottes Wort. Auch habe ich die Konferenzen in Dillenburg und Huckeswagen besucht, dort auch alte Brüder Briem noch gehört (Christian sein Vater).

Durch Gnade und Christus verbunden,

Douwe Scheepsma, Urk, The Netherlands d.s.scheepsma@hetnet.nl

In de strijd/oorlog tussen ‘rechts en links’ zijn de stellingen in Duitsland dus ingenomen, de loopgaven uitgegraven. Echter… niemand zal die strijd, deze oorlog winnen… Geloven wij dan niet dat Gods Woord ons een, ja de weg wijst? Omdat deze strijd mij erg aangrijpt doe ik wederom een poging om te helpen. Ter afwisseling nu in het Nederlands (mocht iemand het willen vertalen – graag natuurlijk). Het is voor mij namelijk behoorlijk inspannend het in het Duits te doen.

Allereerst dienen we te verstaan dat de ‘Broederbeweging’ deel uitmaak van een groter geheel: Filadelfia, of te wel de Evangelische Beweging.
Rond 1700 ontstond deze beweging, een nieuwe beweging - na die van de Reformatie en Nadere Reformatie - van Gods Geest. Men ging weer eenvoudig als (ware) gelovigen samenkomen. Men ervoer het als een terugkeer uit Babel (= Kerk én wereld – in plaats dus van Kerk óf wereld). Mensen als Jean de Labadie in Nederland en bijvoorbeeld Graaf Zinzendorf in Duitsland leerden dit in die tijd vanuit hun Bijbel verstaan. Men zag dat, in Openbaringen 2 + 3, Sardis het protestantisme was en dat nu het tijdperk van Filadelfia was aangebroken. In Engeland brachten met name de gebroeders Wesley en de eveneens bekende George Whitefield een duidelijke boodschap. Naast dat men aandrong op de zekerheid des geloofs, zonderde ook John Wesley de bekeerde gelovigen af in ‘bands’ en ‘societies’. Zinzendorf probeerde al deze groepen bijeen te krijgen, hetgeen hem niet lukte. Ook Philip Jacob Spener en August Hermann Francke speelden een prominente rol (vergelijk de laatste met George Müller een eeuw later!).

Naast dat men tevens duidelijk oog kreeg voor zending zag men ook weer een toekomst weggelegd voor het Joodse volk in het Duizendjarig Vrederijk. De verwachting van de komst van de Heer Jezus werd tevens kenmerkend. Het was de tijd van de ‘Great Awakening’. Een bekende naam uit die tijd in Amerika was Jonathan Edwards, die ook genoemde beginselen huldigde. Resultaat was dat hij als predikant uiteindelijk werd afgezet door zijn gemeente en onder de indianen ging werken. Hij was een man met grote gaven. Het College of New Jersey (het later bekende Princeton) wilde hem toen tot rector benoemen, maar in die tijd stierf hij. Mijns inziens had hij daar concessies moeten doen en zou het kunnen zijn dat Zijn Heer hem daarom tot zich nam. Een gedachte welke bij schrijver dezes opkwam toen hij dit las, welke dan ook geheel voor zijn rekening is (”zou kunnen zijn”!).
Het voert te ver om hier dieper in te gaan op de kerkgeschiedenis van de 18e eeuw. Begin 19e eeuw, we houden het (helaas) weer kort, zijn we dan terechtgekomen in de ‘Second Great Awakening’ en verdiepen zich bovengenoemde kenmerkende zaken. De protestantse verbondsleer ontwikkelde zich tot het dispensationalisme onder de evangelischen en ook namen velen geheel afscheid van het klerikalisme (een aparte geordende, gewijde geestelijkheid die de lakens uitdeelt). Het was ook de tijd van de zendings- en de Bijbelgenootschappen. Eind 19e eeuw zakte deze beweging helaas in elkaar, verzande ze. Begin 20e eeuw zien we dan ook de Pinksterbeweging opkomen, de laatste grote beweging binnen de Kerk (Laodicea). Welke beweging een glorie zoekt welke niet meer realistisch is en veelal helaas de mens zelf centraal stelt, in plaats van de Heer Jezus Christus.

Dit is dus de ‘achtergrond’ van de ‘Broederbeweging’. Welke beweging dus haar eigenlijke kracht verloor eind 19e eeuw en dat zien we dan ook onder de ‘Broeders’. Begin 20e eeuw vinden we dan onder hen de zogenaamde Lowe/Continental groep, welke door genade bewaard was gebleven. Toen kwam voor hen in 1909 de ‘test van Tunbridge Wells’. Mat.18: 18-20 is wel de Magna Carta (Latijn voor grote oorkonde) van de Kerk genoemd. Het is de tweede keer dat we het woord “gemeente” in het N.T. vinden. De eerste keer is in Mat.16:18, waar we het universele aspect van de gemeente zien en in Mat.18 vinden we het plaatselijke aspect. Christus is daar het centrum. Het spreekt ook van Zijn autoriteit. De vijand zal dus zondermeer de waarheid van dit Bijbelgedeelte trachten te ondermijnen!

Het niet meer juist verstaan én gezamenlijk praktiseren ervan werd helaas het breekpunt. Helaas ook schuift men de zogenaamde TW-broeders in de schoenen dat bij hen altijd alle vergaderingbesluiten ‘rücksichtslos’ moeten worden erkent. Alsof zij niet bekent zijn met het gegeven dat een vergadering wel autoriteit heeft gekregen, maar niet onfeilbaar is! Toch zaten de groep broeders welke het TW-vergaderingbesluit niet wilden erkennen met de problemen: a) de persoon welke was uitgesloten werd bij hen toch ook weer uitgesloten… en b) waarom kwamen leidende broeders onder hen op 17 november 1921 met de aanbeveling om ook TW-broeders ‘gewoon’ toe te laten bij de broodbreking?

Philip Nunn schrijft niet voor niets: de TW-broeders zijn consequent geweest, wij niet. Hij zelf gelooft niet meer in het ‘oude standpunt’, maar begrijpt dat wel zo goed dat hij ook schrijft dat áls er zijn die daaraan vast willen houden zij zich in verbinding moeten stellen met de TW-broeders. De serieuze rechtse broeders in Duitsland (onder de zogenaamde Reunited Brethren, ‘AV’) willen en wensen vast te houden aan de ‘oude leer’, maar de serieuze ‘blockfreie brüder’ wijzen er terecht op dat het onder hen desondanks toch ‘niet werkt’. Hoe kan dat? Heel eenvoudig. Men heeft het oude standpunt met betrekking tot Mat.18:18-20 verlaten. In theorie wil men er nog aan vast blijven houden, maar als men eerlijk is, zaken eerlijk onderzoekt, moet de conclusie trekken welke Philip Nunn ook heeft getrokken.

In Het verhaal van de ‘Broeders’ (Uit het Woord der Waarheid, 1977/1978) gebruikt W.J. Ouweneel al zijn redeneertalent om maar trachten aan te tonen dat de ‘T.W.-broeders’ er tóch naast zitten en typeert hen onterecht als ‘versplinterd’. Dat heeft hij waarschijnlijk overgenomen uit Napoleon Noel zijn beschrijving van de geschiedenis van de ‘Broeder’, History of the Brethren (Chapter Two, herdruk van de eerste uitgave uit 1936). Die spreekt zelfs van ‘verpulverd’. In Concordia Theological Monthly 41 (1970) schreef Arthur Carl Piepcorn – het artikel is te vinden op deze website - een verhandeling over de geschiedenis van de (zgn.) Plymouth Brethren (zo wordt het geheel van de Broederbeweging wel vaak genoemd in de Engelssprekende landen) in met name Noord Amerika. Hij schreef dat de ‘TW-broeders’ er waarschijnlijk de grootste groep ‘Gesloten/Exclusive Broeders’ waren (in Noord Amerika dus) in die tijd. Phillip Nunn schrijft in zijn The Re-dividing of the Reunited Brethren - An attempt to diagnose – (2003), ook te vinden op deze website, dat een ex-TW-broeder schat dat het aantal van de ‘TW-broeders’ in 1990 gegroeid was tot een 10.000 in Noord-Amerika. Helaas voltrok zich in die tijd de grootste scheuring onder hen: ongeveer één derde verliet hen. Rond dezelfde tijd voltrok zich een grote scheuring onder de ‘KLC/Reunited-broeders’ (veroorzaakt door een aantal leidende Nederlandse broeders, o.a. W.J.O.). Dat soort parallellen zijn trouwens frappant in de kerkgeschiedenis! Bovenstaande betreft dus Noord-Amerika, waar zich wel hun grootste concentratie bevindt. Zijn zij dus versplinterd?

Het viel mij laatst op bij een tweetal kaarten uit genoemde boeken van Napoleon Noel over de geschiedenis van de Broeders (bestaat uit twee delen) dat:
- op de ene kaart (blz. 737) de bekende zes scheuringen worden vermeld, waardoor men zeg maar buiten "the primitive company" (zoals daar genoemd) kwam te staan.
- op de andere kaart (blz. 734) worden zeven groepen broeders weergegeven en is de zevende groep, de zgn. Reunited Brethren, "the primitive company"...!

Zowel Noel en Ouweneel belichten de problemen welke er zijn geweest onder de ‘TW-broeders’. Helaas is het zo dat in het persoonlijke leven van een gelovige de Heer nogal eens problemen toelaat, moet toelaten - voor onze opvoeding. Niet minder is dit het geval voor ons collectieve samenleven als gemeente… Om ‘onder de duim van de Heer te blijven’. Een plaats van zegen.
Dan is er nog het punt van de "amalgamations", de samensmelting van diverse broedergroepen. Napoleon Noel ging op 78-jarige leeftijd, in 1932, tot Zijn Heer. Hij had het samengaan met de Kelly-broeders in 1926 nog meegemaakt. Hij wilde wel graag dat het ook weer goed kwam met de ‘TW-broeders’, maar schrijft dan wel op blz. 699: "in a manner that is not open to other sections". Daar zag hij "false doctrines and independent principles" (zelfde pagina). Broeder W.F. Knapp uit Denver, Amerika heeft de rechten van het boek verkregen en het in 1936 uitgegeven (toen N. Noel dus al was heengegaan). Wél heeft hij er als redacteur nogal wat aan toegevoegd! Met het oog op het samengaan met andere groepen ging hij verder, veel verder, dan broeder Noel. Zo hebben ook Ouweneel en de ‘Reunited Broeders’ een bepaalde visie op een aantal scheuringen onder ‘de Broeders’ en de herenigingen ervan. De ‘TW-broeders’ doen aan dat laatste niet mee (kunnen dat niet vanuit hún overtuiging) en moeten daarom wel in een kwaad daglicht worden gezet.
Ten aanzien van het in dialoog gaan met andere groepen broeders en met betrekking tot het toelaten van of de hereniging met andere groepen broeders is hun mening dus dat dit niet Schriftuurlijk is. Zoiets dient in principe op persoonlijke basis te gebeuren. Er zijn natuurlijk nuances in dat verhaal. Zo was er ergens in een ‘gesloten land’ in Azië een gemeente/vergadering die ‘lucht’ kreeg van de ‘TW-broeders’ en zich wel bij hen wilde aansluiten, zogezegd. Bepaalde broeders hebben hen opgezocht en hebben met hen gesproken, met name met hun voorgangers, leidende broeders. Het werd duidelijk dat allen (alle broeders en zusters) dezelfde overtuiging hadden en zo werd deze vergadering, zonder dat met ieder persoonlijk werd gesproken, toegelaten. Normaliter kennen oudsten hun schapen goed en weten ze ‘wat voor vlees ze in de kuip hebben’. Recent is iets vergelijkbaars met een groep in Tasmanië gebeurd.

Nu is het onmiskenbaar dat Willem Ouweneel, ook nadat hij sinds ongeveer 1990 veel zaken anders begon te zien, en in recente jaren Philip Nunn, een grote invloed hebben gehad in Duitsland onder de ‘AV’-broeders. Zij hebben velen op sleeptouw genomen. Hun diagnose zou je juist kunnen noemen. Zo worstelt Willem in zijn meest recente boek over de ‘Vergadering van Gelovigen’ (Kok, 2002) oprecht met zijn verleden. Hij kan maar één conclusie trekken: het werkt niet… Het beginsel van eenheid en afzondering is eigenlijk niet te praktiseren. Maar is wat onmogelijk is bij mensen niet mogelijk bij God? Hier komt namelijk “de eenheid van de Geest” om de hoek kijken.
Maar W.J.O. schrijft in zijn boek juist met name over de invloed van leidende broeders onder de ‘Reunited Broeders’. Zij zijn van wezenlijk belang voor de eenheid onder hen. In wezen zijn zij het helaas dan ook die de leiding van de Heer en Zijn Geest hebben overgenomen in 1909. We zien dat door het advies van de begaafde broeders W.J. Lowe en H. Rossier tijdens de TW-crises (het niet accepteren van het vergaderingbesluit). Dit is een belangrijk punt (de rol van leidende broeders, ook in Duitsland onder de ‘AV’) wat men eerlijk onder ogen dient te zien.

De weg welke Ouweneel, Nunn en ook Andreas Steinmeister zijn gegaan blijken toch ‘niet de juiste behandeling voor de patiënt’. Andreas schrijft in zijn boek ‘…ihr alle aber seid Brüder’ over de TW-Trennung: “Die Folgen dieser Trennung bestehen bis heute und hätten nicht sein müssen (blz. 142).” Ook hij geeft een analyse, een diagnose van de ‘Broederbeweging’ en de ‘AV’, maar komt niet met een oplossing, hééft in wezen geen oplossing…
Triest dus, terwijl die oplossing er wel is. Mijns inziens.

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, The Netherlands, (d.s.scheepsma@hetnet.nl).


Vielleicht denken Leser: Spinnst du? Sind oben in der Tat weise Wörte geschrieben? Dann kann und darf ich vielleicht sagen: ich bin unweise geworden im Leser zu helfen… ‘Unsere Väter’ haben im Wort Gottes gefunden wie Sie miteinander Gestalt geben können an die Gemeinde Gottes im Welt, auf Erde, hinnieden. Ortlich wenigstens mit “zwei oder drei” und am Boden der Einheit des Leibes Christi. Wir stehen (als ‘TW-Gruppe’) miteinander auf die Schultern unsere Väter. Spüren Leser Wahrheit? Gott will sicherlich dann auch Kraft geben um zu handeln. Die letzte Nachrichten aus ‘unsere Mitte’ welche ich gestern abend empfangen und gelesen habe ist über zwei Gläubige aus Süd Korea die Canada besucht haben (ein Ehepar). Nach ausführliche Bibel Forschung und Seelens Forschung über die ‘Ground of Gathering’ sind Sie empfangen im (volle) Gemeinschaft am Tisch des Herrn auf 07/03/10.
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am Mi 24. Feb 2010, 13:38

Wie schon gesagt denke Ich dass in Deutschland unter der ‘AV’ und ‘Blockfreie Gemeinden’ die verschiedene Gedanken heute ausreichent auskristallisiert sind.

Beide Gruppen glauben “außerhalb aller Kirchenmauern und getrennt vom Bösen auf der Grundlage des Wortes Gottes zusammenkommen wollten”. Wie gelernt worden kann aus das N.T. und den Vätern der Brüderbewegung. In beide Gruppen findet man viele aufrechte Glaübige.

Vorhergehend habe Ich betrachtet ‘zu helfen’ – so sehe Ich es. Hier folgen noch zwei Dokumente die ‘Interessant’ sind bei diese entstehende Situation und Problematiek.
Am linken Seite seht mann nicht mehr was mann verstehen müss unter ‘kirchliche Irrtümer’. Auch hat Willem Ouweneel (mit Henk Medema) im Seine bekanntes heft über Sektiererei behauptet dass die ‘Brüder’ schon seit 1881 ‘der alte Weg’ verlassen haben. Viele sind dadurch beeinflusst und haben, denke Ich, ‘der alte Weg’ verlassen…!

Am rechten Seite rechnet man mit ‘kirchliche Irrtümer’ und sucht mann aufrecht nach eine Bilanz, aber seht man nicht dass man im Vergangenheit ‘der alte Weg’ schon verlassen hat… Man ist darüber in die Vergangenheit auch nicht deutlich informiert geworden! Schlecht informiert geworden… Darum folgende Dokumente.

The Assembly Having the Lord’s Authority
Some pages out of a book from Bruce Anstey, living in Richmond, Canada, which have to do with the so-called Tunbridge Wells division

Another erroneous idea that some have is that if the assembly makes a wrong decision (and it may be only so in their eyes), then it can be no longer regarded as an assembly owned by God; and, therefore, they should leave it. This may be an excuse for them to act in self-will, and perhaps go elsewhere. However, it is a mistake to think that an assembly loses its standing as an assembly Scripturally gathered to the Lord's Name if it should make a binding action in error. This idea betrays an ignorance of confounding authority with infallibility. The fact that an assembly has authority but not infallibility is to assume the possibility that it could make a mistake. In making a mistake, the assembly does not lose its status as being a Scripturally gathered assembly, any more than parents in a household cease to be parents because they make a mistake in disciplining their child. Corinth was still recognized by the apostle as the church at Corinth, and was addressed as such by the apostle, even though there were serious evils there. If such an assembly refused to correct the evils in its midst, after much patient remonstrance, it potentially could be cut off or disowned by a binding action of another assembly on behalf of all assemblies at large on the true ground of the church.

An example of this misunderstanding would be in what happened at Tunbridge Wells in 1908-9. Some who know of this incident believe that the actions the assembly took, first in silencing (1903), and then later putting away C. Strange (1908), were unrighteous. Believing that Tunbridge's dealings with C. Strange were unjust and unscriptural, they thought that Tunbridge Wells thereby lost its status as an assembly truly gathered to the Lord's Name. [note: W. R. Dronsfield mistakenly propounds this idea in his book, "The Brethren Since 1870," p. 33, saying, "If two or three are truly gathered unto the Lord's Name, any decision they come to must be right for heaven to acknowledge it as such. The converse of this, however, is also true, which is that if those gathered together come to an unjust and unrighteous decision, they cannot be gathered unto the Lord's Name."] This being the case, some felt its actions could not be recognized as bonafide actions bound in heaven. Consequently, they would not bow to the decision.

Now it is clear from the facts of the case that the Tunbridge assembly did act in somewhat of a confusing way. Also, subsequent interaction between various ones with them at Tunbridge Wells manifested somewhat of a harsh spirit that certainly could not be condoned. But the great question is, "Was it an assembly decision?" Both sides agree that it was; only that the Lowe party in London believed it to be an unrighteous assembly decision, and therefore, would not bow to it. However, because some of the London brethren (the Lowe party) thought that the action was unrighteous and unscriptural doesn't change or nullify the action. The other question is, "Did the assembly at Tunbridge Wells have authority to act in the Lord's Name or not?" If not, when did it lose its authority to act? We have seen in the preceding pages that an assembly doesn't lose its standing as being Scripturally gathered to the Lord's Name because we (individuals) think it has made an unrighteous action! Let us remember, the action was made in the Name of the Lord by an assembly gathered to His Name, and thus vested with authority to act in administrative matters. The assembly at Tunbridge Wells definitely had authority to act in the Lord's Name. Therefore, their action was bound in heaven and all should have bowed to it. This would have prevented the division.

Since the action at Tunbridge did not seem to the Lowe party (and those on the continent) to bear the stamp of grace, they didn't consider it to be a bonafide assembly decision. [note: "Report by Bros. Brockhaus, Dönges, et al." p. 25.]The great mistake here is thinking that one only submits to a decision of an assembly when it is a correct one, and has been carried out in a gracious way. The idea of submitting, even if we think the decision is wrong, was not even considered. This was surely a departure from the Scriptural truth that earlier brethren taught. It is making assembly decisions contingent on the moral condition of the assembly - that the assembly must be in a good state before its decisions can be binding, and therefore, submitted to. Again, it is confounding authority with infallibility. A good moral state, of course, is desirable, but that is not what gives the assembly its authority. As we have already stated, it is the Lord being in its midst that gives an assembly its authority to act. If the Lowe party thought that the assembly at Tunbridge was in error, they should have bowed to the decision "prima facia”, at least for the time being; then sought to raise the conscience of that assembly as to its wrong. This would have preserved order and unity.

While some did address the brethren at Tunbridge as to this, it was not in the spirit of inquiry, but to condemn. Among many in London there was no acquiescence in the fact that the local brethren usually know the person's ways best, and their judgment should be submitted to. Regardless of this, N. Noel in his "History of the Brethren" notes that the brethren in London and around the country judged that the decision was unscriptural, and therefore, unrighteous. So they disregarded it! They allowed C. Strange to continue breaking bread among them! This was an act of utter contempt toward the action made in the Tunbridge assembly where the Lord was in the midst. The Lowe party manifested a spirit that assumed that they were above the authority of the Lord as vested in the assembly in Tunbridge - a very serious thing indeed. It was an affront to the Lord. It was only after the London meetings (that followed Mr. Lowe) had broken "the unity of the Spirit" in receiving C. Strange who had been put out in Tunbridge, that the assembly in Tunbridge issued its statement (1909) to no longer continue in fellowship with those who would not recognize the action they had taken in the Name of the Lord. This was also an action of an assembly gathered to the Lord's Name and should have been bowed to by all other assemblies. [note: One more question begs our attention. Should C. Strange have been put out? Both sides agree that he was a "self-willed" man. We believe that the Lord has made His mind known in the matter. After the Lowe party defended C. Strange and continued in fellowship with him, within a year and a half they had the embarrassing experience of having to put him out of their divergent fellowship for his ways - the very same thing that Tunbridge had done! (We notice that neither N. Noel's history or W. R. Dronsfield's history - supporters of the Lowe party - record this fact in their accounts of that sad division!)].

In conclusion, we would say that what was at the bottom of the whole issue to do with the Tunbridge Wells decision was the gross misunderstanding that an assembly action should be bowed to only when it is correct. Again, it is a simple matter of confounding authority with infallibility. A large part of the brethren from Europe got off track by attempting to discern the right path by assessing the moral state of both sides. They thought that the Lowe party was more humble, and therefore in the right. Hence, they made moral state the criteria upon which to judge the action, rather than the Lord's authority in the midst of those He has gathered. Those that went with the Lowe party acted on this false assumption, and it took them into division.

Scripture teaches that the moral state may be low in those on divine ground, and they may act churlish in matters, but it doesn't change ground of gathering that they are on and the authority of the Lord in their midst. This is seen in the case with Rehoboam (1 Ki. 12). He acted in a very poor way towards those of the ten tribes, against the advice of the elders; and his actions precipitated division in the kingdom. While we do not justify his actions, it didn't change the fact that He and all Judah were still at the divine center for Israel (Jerusalem) where God's authority was vested. If moral state were the criteria for deciding where the Lord was in that matter, we would have to say that He was with Jeroboam and the ten tribes, and set up His divine center in a place among them. We have already noted that the Lord would not do that: He was not with the northern tribes of Israel thereafter (2 Chron. 25:7).

What happened at Tunbridge Wells brought to light that a departure from the truth of assembly principles had been growing among brethren for a number of years. It took this incident to manifest it. Mr. Sibthorpe spoke of it as a "system." After the action had been taken by Tunbridge Wells to excommunicate C. Strange (1908), and then their subsequent action to no longer continue in fellowship with those assemblies that challenged the authority of the Lord in receiving C. Strange (1909), many were under the idea that they needed to decide for themselves in the matter. [note: It is evident from the historical accounts of the various divisions that led up to the incident at Tunbridge Wells that this idea had become ensconced in the thinking of many. We quote from W. R. Dronsfield's "The Brethren Since 1870." "All the assemblies one by one decided whether they should support Bexhill or London... In a few months every believer in the assemblies was forced, whether he was simple or profound, well-taught or only a beginner, to decide..." p. 22-23.]. This too is a false principle. It was not necessary for all assemblies all over England and the continent of Europe to decide, for the decision was already made in Tunbridge Wells on behalf of the assemblies at large. What was needed was submission to the action made in the Name of the Lord. It honors God and shows that we recognize the Lord’s authority as vested in the (local) assembly. This would have prevented division.

An outline of the developments since the Tunbridge Wells division of 1910
[this is a summary of this brochure; the brochure itself was written probably between 1955-60]
Following the Tunbridge Wells division of 1910, by far the greater number of assemblies in the United States and Canada accepted the decision of the Tunbridge Wells assembly. In England about fifty meetings accepted the Tunbridge Wells decision; in France approximately a dozen,- in Japan all the assemblies accepted the decision.

Inasmuch as the German-Dutch-Swiss meetings had all taken the neutral ground referred to, they thus automatically cut themselves off from fellowship with all the meetings in the U. S., Canada and elsewhere, who had bowed to the decision of the Tunbridge Wells assembly setting aside Mr. Strange. To have continued in fellowship with the German-Dutch-Swiss meetings after their declared system of double fellowship would have been to accept the anomalous and impossible position of being in fellowship, both with the assembly that put Mr. Strange out, and those which openly received him. This is exactly why, beloved brethren, assemblies in the U. S. and Canada find themselves today separated from their brethren in Germany, Holland and Switzerland.

To admit that two circles of fellowship with such diametrically opposite conceptions of the practical "keeping of the unity of the Spirit" can both be equally owned of the Lord as on the same divine ground is to disown all that we have been taught "from the beginning."
"Remember your leaders who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their conversation, imitate their faith." Heb. 13:7.

Let us briefly review what some of our leaders of past generations have taught us as to this matter of owning an assembly decision.
Mr. F. G. Patterson, one of our most able teachers back in the "seventies" of the last century, wrote:
"What Scripture teaches is the competency and duty of each assembly to carry out its own discipline, under the Lord, who has promised His presence and guidance in the matter. 'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.' I am sure that when two or three, meeting in godliness and truth, come to a decision before the Lord in cases of discipline, that it is owned of the Lord, and the person who is the subject of it will never get comfort till he bows to it. Those who are together in the practice of this truth are 'endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' The Holy Ghost constitutes the unity of the body. They are seeking to walk in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost — a divine Person who will not bend His ways to us — we must bend our ways, in the truth, to Him . . . None can have the practice of this truth unless in the unity of the Spirit, and with those who have been there before them; it is impossible to have it avowedly apart from such. The common practice of the day is to accept divine principles and terms apart from their practice. Scripture is too strong for this."

Our esteemed brother, and servant of the Lord, Mr. A. H. Rule, wrote:
"Neither could we confess that we had sinned in resisting the partisan course and wrong teaching of leaders who have been instrumental in bringing in divisions. These are things we could not confess as sin. There may be very much in the way and spirit in which this resistance of evil has been carried forward, but this is a different matter. Human infirmity mixes itself up, more or less, with all that we do, and this must not be allowed to be thrown as dust in the eyes of saints in order to blind them to the real issue. An act of discipline carried out at Corinth, 'in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,' was valid in Ephesus and everywhere, for the simple reason that the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ at Corinth could not be set aside by the same authority at Ephesus or anywhere else. All this excludes independency, and shows that if there are a number of different companies of brethren in a place, meeting, walking and acting independently of each other, some, at least, of these, have departed in their position and walk from the simple truth that the assembly of God is one: they are not keeping the unity of the Spirit."

We now quote from a pamphlet by F. Prod'hom-Berthet, translated from the French (1907):
"Suppose that one of five thousand assemblies refuses to accept the solemn action of another, and persists in its refusal: this fact, surely, immediately constitutes the refractory gathering schismatic and sectarian. It forfeits its character as an assembly of God. It puts itself out of communion with the rest of the five thousand, breaking its links with them and cutting itself off from them. But if a person should come to understand the obligation he is under to purify himself from his avowed membership with the schismatic assembly, and should free himself personally from its guilt, he would then have a right to his place in any of the other assemblies, as a member of the body of Christ."

In a letter written by Capt. Alfred Trigg in 1910 he says:
"Those who seek truly to carry out the mind of the Lord, as revealed in the Word, will become fewer and fewer. Amidst the different companies now claiming to be 'gathered to the Lord's name,' there is a simple test. If there be not a practical recognition of the truth, 'there is one body,' such a company is not gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus, be the pretensions what they may; or having begun on true divine principles, if they cease to act in accordance with those principles, and give up what is involved therein, they can be no longer acknowledged as gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The refusal to bow to action by another assembly who have been previously gathered to the Lord's name, is practically giving up the truth, 'there is one body,' and, 'endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace'; and they then and there assume the ground of independency."

Our next citation is from a pamphlet reprinted by Mr. Geo. Phare in 1907:
"There can be only ONE expression of the union of the body. If there were two (or more) allowed, such division could not possibly be the confession of the body, for there is but ONE body. Therefore, if those who would be faithful to the ONE HEAD leave the divisions, sects, etc., to confess the ONE BODY, they must necessarily confess it together, for two different expressions could not be the expression of the body. Everything else is schism. (1 Cor. 3:4; 10:17.) How can the Holy Ghost guide to the putting out of a person in one assembly, and to the acceptance of him in another? He would be denying His own decision." (Matt. 18:15-20).

Our last citation on this point is from our beloved J. N. Darby:
"For my own part the longer I go on, the more importance I attach to the judgment of the assembly. I know it is alleged that the Church is now so in ruins that scriptural order according to the unity of the body cannot be maintained. Then let the objectors avow as honest men, that they seek unscriptural order, or rather disorder. But in truth it is impossible to meet at all in that case to break bread, except in defiance of God's Word, for Scripture says, 'We are all one body; for we are all partakers of that one loaf.' We profess to be one body whenever we break bread; Scripture knows nothing else. And they will find Scripture too strong and perfect a bond for man's reasoning to break it."

The German-Dutch-Swiss neutrality stand on the Tunbridge Wells division was crystallized in a formal manifesto issued from Basle, Nov. 17, 1921, and signed by representative brothers from all three countries. We quote:
"With regard to brothers from meetings from which we are separated, but which have at present no evil doctrines, nor formerly at the time of the separation held any, the brothers are of the opinion that assemblies should have the liberty to receive from them such as are known to two or three brothers as God-fearing, and worthy of confidence."
The German-Dutch-Swiss meetings, having surrendered assembly principles in their acceptance of the "double fellowship" practice, found themselves an easy prey to the next step: that of amalgamation with the Open Brethren. Had not the German-Dutch-Swiss meetings erred in their stand on the Tunbridge Wells fellowship matter, they would not have been led so docilely by Herr Dr. Becker into the Open Brethren fellowship. In the Dr. Becker declaration of Aug. 20th, 1937, they affirmed that there was no scriptural reason to hinder them from the amalgamation of their assemblies with those of the Bethesda (Open) brethren.
That a few saw the snare and refused to follow Dr. Becker is surely to their credit. Next was the full plunge into the "Bund." Such as accepted this last were now back where they were before the day of recovered truth — back "in the camp." How sad!

The Swiss meetings, now confronted with the embarrassing situation of their German brethren having gone into the Bund, were forced to take a stand on the question of receiving to the breaking of bread those who had gone into the Bund. This was taken up at the Zurich conference on March 5th, 1938, and the decision was to "reject the 'Bund' as an organization but not the brethren who, under full precautions, are still admitted in our midst when not taking part at Dr. Becker's proceedings." Such confusion, contradiction, and evasion of divine principles in the house of God are sad to contemplate. But when once we surrender the fundamental principle of the practical keeping of the unity of the Spirit, the gate lies open to one expediency after another.

That there has been since the war a partial recovery of assembly truth in Germany is a matter of thankfulness to all spiritually-minded brethren. No doubt many among such feel today that they have fully recovered all the lost ground, and that they are back in full fellowship with what Scripture calls "the unity of the Spirit."
If so, when did they own and judge their departure from this principle in 1910-1912? Many will point to the "Reunion" movement sponsored mainly by the English brethren. But let us briefly examine this movement as to its approach to this question of the unity of the Spirit.

This "reunion" movement had its beginning in 1926 when the "Kelly" party and the "Lowe" brethren (these latter the ones who rejected the Tunbridge Wells decision of 1909), who had been separated since 1881, effected what they like, to call a "reunion." But there was one vital point they dared not raise: "which, if either, of these two parties had, during the forty-five years of their separation, been owned of God as on divine ground; or to put it in other words, in the unity of the Spirit?" No, this issue was deliberately avoided. Hear their own statement on the "reunion proceedings":
"We have been together, not seeking to apportion the blame for that division; not to make terms or to find some formula that would unite us."

As the result of these negotiations the two companies in England, known as the "Kelly" brethren and the "Lowe" brethren fused, or amalgamated in 1926.
Later this new "fusion" company approached those in England who, up to this time, had remained loyal to the old principles of maintaining the unity of the Spirit, and who had, up till 1939, stoutly maintained that there was a remnant still on divine ground, gathered to the Lord's name and owned as such by Him. But listening to the specious pleas of able men from the Kelly-Lowe fellowship, the majority (about three-fourths) of the Tunbridge Wells meetings in England surrendered all they had contended for on this point of the unity of the Spirit, and fused or amalgamated with the Kelly-Lowe brethren. A feeble remnant of a dozen meetings in England were kept through this testing, and sought to go on in the old paths as they had been taught of the Lord.

All the so-called "Einsamen" meetings in Germany-Holland- Switzerland are today in full fellowship with the "fusion" or "amalgamation" company in England. If this fusion company are gathered on divine ground, in the unity of the Spirit, then so are the "Einsamen" brethren in Germany. On the other hand, if these English brethren forfeited this place in their rebellion against the Tunbridge Wells decision in 1909, and never returned to own their departure, then those in Germany- Holland-Switzerland are in fellowship with schism in the Church.

The fusion entered into by the Kelly-Lowe brethren in 1926 set the pattern for further attempts at mergers. The success of the K/L company in 1940 in persuading a goodly percent of the so-called "J. W." assemblies in England to abandon their ground, and enter the K/L fusion, encouraged them to look further afield. Accordingly, the next to be approached were the Grant-Stuart brethren, to whom the K/L/C brethren wrote in May, 1937:
"The Lord has given us grace to confess to Him and to you as sin, the unrighteous putting away of our brother, Mr. F. W. Grant."
Thus by a stroke of the pen there was set aside a solemn assembly judgment that had stood for over fifty years.
(Note: Of this same assembly judgment, the well-known and gifted leading brother, Dr. Emil Donges of Darmstadt, Germany, had written as late as May 28, 1909,
"To us in Germany came the report of the division (Grant), and we must take a stand to or in the same. According to Matt. 18:18 we dare not remain neutral.
"The teachings of Grant are speculative and. his service itself most dry, and we believe that his settings forth concerning sealing and eternal life of the believers in the Old Testament, and concerning 'Romans 7' are erroneous. But this in itself would not have given a sufficient ground of division. Even so wrong as these teachings are, there could be differed opinions, even though they were bad teachings and heretical (2 John 10). But the stand and Grant's action was positively heretical and self-willed (Rom. 16:17). He was earnestly and heartily begged not to publish his teachings which were against the teachings of the brethren, or rather more, the Holy Scriptures, but he said among other things as he showed the manuscript, 'I will publish this if the whole assembly goes to pieces.' That shows what kind of a spirit of self-esteem characterized him. So we believe that the Lord led the assembly in Montreal, and we in Germany with one accord have separated from Grant's party.")

Through the years following various conferences of representative brothers took place at which the possibilities of a final fusion, of the K/L/C brethren with the Grant-Stuart brethren were .discussed. Such round tables took place at New York City in 1946; Chicago, March, 1946; Passaic, N. J., May, 1946; Philadelphia, May 25th, 1946; Patterson, N. J., 1952; Rosell, N. J:, April, 1953; New York City, July, 1953; Chicago, September, 1953.
These conferences resulted in a gradual reapproachment on the part of the K/L/C and the Grant-Stuart brethren, which had its climax in a letter sent out from the K./L/C meeting at Wausau, Wis., on Aug. 23, 1953, receiving the Grant- Stuart meetings. Thus was consummated the fusion of the two fellowships throughout the world.
It is astonishing that the K/L/C brethren could thus amalgamate with a fellowship embracing dozens of meetings, when they had repeatedly gone on record as insisting that recovery must be individual. We quote from a confidential letter sent out by the German K/L/C brethren from Dillenburg, Germany, under date of Sept. 13, 1945, and signed by eight representative brothers.
"Therefore the brethren are of the unanimous conviction that a union with any local congregation as a body [underline ours] cannot be taken into consideration. Otherwise there would be an imminent risk of taking over a good many things unjudged, unclean, or unholy. The brethren hope therefore that each one will find his way back personally."
The K/L/C company in America translated the above confidential letter and sent it out as under date of Dec. 20, 1945, and obtainable from Mr. G. A. Weise, Corunna, Mich.
Many meetings in fellowship with K/L/C have been deeply disturbed by this latest fusion with the Grant-Stuart brethren. As a result several meetings in England and in the United States have withdrawn from the K/L/C fellowship, and have been received as individuals to break bread with those still seeking to go on in the old paths. Others are under exercise both in America, and in Europe.
(Note: We would here insert a paragraph from the Denton, Texas, letter of protest of June 23, 1954, addressed "To the saints with whom we have been in fellowship:
"6. We would also point out to you that we feel that, in a practical way, the Headship of Christ has been displaced in the fact that practically the whole of these reunion matters have been handled by a very few leading brothers who virtually superintended everything that touched it. This position of ruler ship assumed by these brothers prohibited the Spirit of Christ to lead through whom He would so that the mind of Christ might be conveyed to His people. When some who were not of this leading group sought to exercise the saints to consider these matters for themselves, they were considered 'trouble-makers' and as acting independently. This leadership undertook in April of 1953 the decision to consummate the reunion with 'reception' as its terms, in a private meeting which was not made known to brethren generally. The matter was all settled and even the assembly chosen to do the receiving before this private meeting was known to other brethren. There was never a general brothers' meeting after this to enable brethren from all over the United States to confer about the matter. It was on the instructions of this private meeting of these leading brethren that Wausau acted. No one outside this private meeting of April, 1953, had any voice as to what assembly should be responsible to consummate the reunion. The leaders alone made the all-important decisions which led meetings all over the world into fellowship with Grant-Stuart. Is not such conduct going beyond the scriptural principle of leadership and becoming in reality clericalism?
On behalf of the assembly
D. G. Jennings
E. S. Tonn
P. L. Johnson
et al.")

Dear brother Frederick Lavington of England, who contended so ably against the principle of amalgamation, wrote not long before his death:
"The lapse of years does not make a wrong thing right, and if the assembly actions in painful years that are gone were of God, can we now say that the judgments then given were of men? 'Who hath despised the day of small things?' Zech. 4:10, was the challenge of the Spirit of God to the remnant of Judah in a day of testing, having many features similar to those found among the gathered saints today. It is a testing thing to see large numbers of saints associated together and to hear of blessing connected with other companies: but God is sovereign in grace, and in a scene of ruin, such as the Church presents at the present time, that God may bless either an individual or a company is not, of itself, evidence they are on divine ground. What was a denial of the truth, whether as to the Person of Christ, or as to discipline of the assembly, eighty or ten years ago remains the same today, and the binding of the act in heaven does not cease for the reason that those guilty of the wrong, or those who have identified themselves with them, are sorry for the results. The root must be judged — both the state that was brought to light by the strife and division, as well as the departure from the plain teaching of the Scriptures — before fellowship can be restored.
" 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.' Zech 4:6. This is our resource today. If the might of a purely human arrangement, or the power of organization or numbers be offered us, in connection with any compromise of the truth, we may be sure it is not of the Spirit and will come to nought. The evil or self-will that is unjudged will recur, and if there be not a divine remedy, the last state will be worse than the first. Let us then with purpose of heart continue in the things which we have learned and been assured of, and be not weary in well-doing. Much self- judgment and confession become us for the way we have failed to maintain in power the truth of separation from evil to God, which has been committed to us. The remedy is, riot in seeking an easier path, but in keeping that good thing committed to us (2 Tim. 1:14). May the Lord Himself keep the feet of His saints in these last days, directing our hearts into the love of God and the patient waiting for Christ. 'Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.' Rev. 3:11."

Well, dear brethren, in view of the principles so clearly- set before us by the several brethren quoted above, and of the scriptural principles involved, what shall be our attitude toward the resultant Kelly-Lowe-Continental-Grant-Stuart fellowship? If this resultant "fusion" fellowship is the mind of God, then it is clear as can be that brethren have been wrong, solemnly, sadly wrong, in contending for a true ground of gathering, from the days of the Kelly defection in 1881, right on down to the present. In other words, for sixty years brethren of weight and godliness were contending for a mere figment. Much of the ministry as to the principles and ground of gathering that we have received was beside the mark; it was based upon the false premise that God was maintaining in the midst of all the failure and break up among brethren a true ground of separation. These men of God taught us that there still remained a special place where saints could count upon the sanction of the Lord in a way not vouchsafed to schismatic companies.

It was to Philadelphia the Lord addressed those encouraging words: "Thou hast kept My word, and not denied My name." May the Lord give us to seek only His approval in this matter of assembly fellowship. That to do so will mean trial and testing, fewness and weakness, goes without saying.
"I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord." Zeph. 3:12.
At the present time there are a goodly number of meetings located here and there in America [Canada, North America and South America, DS], the Orient and in Europe [today also in Africa en Tasmania, DS], which are seeking to go on in the unity of the Spirit according to "the old paths" (Jer. 6:16). They are in much weakness; many meetings are small; some even reduced to the divine minimum of the "two or three." Their consolation is the promise of His presence in the midst of the two or three gathered to His name.
Some who read these pages might be led to ask, What is the divine pattern for a return to the true ground of gathering? We believe, dear brethren, that 2 Chron. 15 contains the divine instruction that exactly meets the case. Under Jeroboam the ten tribes had rejected God's divine center, Jerusalem, and God's king, Rehoboam. Failure at Jerusalem was partly to blame for the cleavage, but after all, back of the whole sad affair, was the inspired utterance of the prophet to Rehoboam: "Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren; return every man to his house; for this thing is done of Me." 2 Chron. 11:4.
When Asa came to the throne in Jerusalem, his zeal for the truth of God was published throughout all Israel. The result was, not the restoration of the ten tribes to Judah and Jerusalem, but the recovery out of them of those Israelites who were personally exercised about a return to the divine center. So we read that Asa "gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem."
2 Chron. 15:9, 10.

May the Lord work effectually in all our hearts to the practical carrying out of His solemn injunction to us in Ephesians 4:2-4:
"With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love,- endeavoring to keep the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT in the bond of peace. There is ONE body, and ONE Spirit."

[After this was written followed among the KLC-brethren in 1974, after a long time of difficult interaction, the fusion with the so-called Booth-Glanton brethren, DS]

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, The Netherlands, d.s.scheepsma@hetnet.nl
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon schneid9 am So 10. Okt 2010, 22:12

D.ScheepsmaSzn hat geschrieben:There are no so-called TW-brethren anymore in Germany. There were some in the past.

In einem Brief von 1953 habe ich folgende Kontaktadressen von damaligen TW-Brüdern in Deutschland und Holland gefunden:

Hans Ufers
Blötter Weg 22
Mülheim (Ruhr)

Oscar Roller
Wielandstraße 7
Frankfurt am Main

Otto Zimmer
Weinbergstraße 4

Heinrich Niederbäumer
Ennigloh bei Bünde (Westfalen)

Dirk Christiaanse
Rengelinkstraat 5
Almelo (Holland)

Der letztgenannte Bruder ist offensichtlich auch der Autor des (in ziemlich fehlerhaftem Deutsch abgefassten) Briefes. Höchstwahrscheinlich handelt es sich um jenen "D.J.C.", über den Ouweneel 1978 in seiner Geschichte der Brüder schrieb:

Willem J. Ouweneel hat geschrieben:Im Jahre 1952 wurde ein niederländischer Bruder (D.J.C.), der zu der sogenannten Kelly-Lowe-Gemeinschaft gehörte, in Oran (Algerien) ausgeschlossen. Daraufhin schloß er sich der Hauptgruppierung der T.W.-Versammlungen an und versammelte sich mit einigen auf dieser Grundlage an zwei Orten in Holland. 1956 entstand eine „Trennung“ zwischen diesen beiden äußerst kleinen Versammlungen, worauf D.J.C. mit seiner Familie erneut außerhalb zu stehen kam. Danach suchte er Anschluß bei den Renton-Versammlungen, deren Auffassungen über Ehescheidung und Wiederverheiratung er übernommen hatte. Unter ihnen wählte er die Seite der Pro-Bastia-Gruppe, deren nächstgelegene Versammlung die im flämischen Rekkem war. Als er dort 1963 Gemeinschaft suchte, zeigte man sich (verständlicherweise) sehr vorsichtig und zurückhaltend; Rekkem zog es zu Recht vor, im Einvernehmen mit anderen Versammlungen (Vergeze; Paris) zu handeln. Schließlich urteilte D.J.C. 1966, daß dieses Verfahren eine Leugnung der Autorität der örtlichen Versammlung in Rekkem sei und daß diese Versammlungen durch diese „falsche Lehre“ deutlich den Boden der Wahrheit verlassen hätten und daß Satan unter ihnen am Werk sei! Er zog sein Gesuch zurück und fand inzwischen bei einigen Personen in Deal (Kent, England), die sich wegen der Renton-Frage von der örtlichen T.W.-Versammlung getrennt hatten, Unterstützung für seine Haltung. Daraufhin fragte D.J.C. 1967 schriftlich, ob er bei den T.W.-Renton-Versammlungen in Binghamton (New York) und Philadelphia (Penns.) teilnehmen könne, wo er anschließend drei Sonntage Brot brach. Als die Brüder in Deal hierüber an Binghamton schrieben, bekamen sie zu hören, daß dieses Brotbrechen keine „Gemeinschaft“ (!) ausdrücke - dazu müßte noch verschiedenen lehrmäßigen Erfordernissen entsprochen werden.

Man höre nun, wie D.J.C. selbst diesen Bericht abschließt: „Hierauf erklärten Deal und Oudewater [Wohnort von D.J.C.], wo inzwischen auf göttlichem Boden Brot gebrochen wurde [!], daß wir mit ihren Irrtümern keine Gemeinschaft hätten. Binghamton war auf dem Boden der Wahrheit, als der Tisch des Herrn in anerkannter Gemeinschaft mit denen in Oudewater aufgerichtet wurde. Durch die spätere unschriftgemäße Leugnung wich Binghamton leider von der Wahrheit ab. Es gibt einen Leib, einen Geist, einen Tisch des Herrn auf der Erde, und wo dieser ist, zeigt die Geschichte der Brüder [!!].“ {Fußnote: D.J. Christiaanse, Beknopte geschiedenis van de „Broeders“ (Oudewater, o.J.), Schluß.} Der Hinweis ist deutlich: Der Tisch des Herrn ist augenblicklich ausschließlich bei den T.W.-Renton-pro-Bastia-anti-Rekkem-anti-Binghamton-Brüdern zu finden. Diese umfassen einige Personen in Oudewater (Niederlande), einige in Deal (England) und vielleicht einige in Philadelphia (USA). Alle anderen sogenannten „Brüder“ gehören zu Laodizäa, das der Herr aus Seinem Mund ausspeien wird ... Diese tragische Sinnestäuschung bedarf keines weiteren Kommentars.
Michael Schneider
Beiträge: 312
Registriert: Do 3. Jul 2008, 16:10
Wohnort: Gießen

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am Sa 11. Dez 2010, 21:14

It is interesting to read about the "Kontaktadressen", which brother Michael Schneider found in a certain letter. He has done a lot of interesting work that way on this website (not that nice, I think, he stresses the "ziemlich fehlerhaftem Deutsch" of Christiaanse. My German on the Forum isn't that well either...).
I have heard about two of the German brethren mentioned on that list and also heard they left because of the practise of household baptism. They couldn't accept this practise (which is practised 'among us' as is believers baptism). I'm also opposed to household baptism, but when others are convinced that it's what the Bible teaches, than I have to respect that.
Dirk Christiaanse is indeed J.C. Christiaanse and he has given the TW-brethren - at least in Holland and I suppose also in Germany - a very bad name, although he was only a short time among us! Willem Ouweneel uses all his talents to discredit the T.W.-brethren in his books 'Het verhaal van de Broeders', 1978. Unfortunately, but we hope that now, after 100 years, there would be brethren on the continent here who would dive again into the matter and form a judgement in the light of Scripture.
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon schneid9 am Mo 13. Dez 2010, 19:32

D.ScheepsmaSzn hat geschrieben:(not that nice, I think, he stresses the "ziemlich fehlerhaftem Deutsch" of Christiaanse. My German on the Forum isn't that well either...)

Das war nicht herabsetzend gemeint, sondern sollte nur ein Indiz dafür sein, dass der Brief von einem Nichtmuttersprachler - und damit vielleicht von D.J. Christiaanse - stammt!
Michael Schneider
Beiträge: 312
Registriert: Do 3. Jul 2008, 16:10
Wohnort: Gießen

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am Sa 3. Nov 2012, 15:27

Lieber Levi,

In 2009 habe Ich schon eine Antwort gegeben auf deine Frage, aber es hat sich inzwischen geändert.
Es gab ein Brueder in Liebenscheid bei die 'Alte Versammlung' der 'im Werk der Herrn' war, Erwin Schneider.
Er bekam Probleme mit Auffassungen im Mitte die 'Alte Versammlung' und schon seit vielen Jahre her hat die Versammlung in Liebenscheid sich abgesondert.
Etwa zwei Jahre her ist dieser Brueder heimgegangen. Seiner Sohn Jürgen hat denn eine Korrespondenz seinen Vaters gefunden, denn er hat mit einem Freund und Brueder der 'Tunbridge Wells Brüder' in Kanada.
Die Information gab Ihm ein ganz anderes Licht auf die 'TW-Brüder', wie dass viele Negatives was er bis dann gelesen und gehört hat beim 'Alte versammlung/KLC-Brüder'. Er hat die Tochter von dem Brueder in Kanada angerüfen (dieser Brueder war auch schon heimgegangen) und hatte verschiedene Gespräche mit mehreren Brüder aus Ihrer Mitte. Auch hat er Konferenzen in Kanada und Amerika besucht und im Frühling dieses Jahr hat er sich bei diese Brüder (mit seiner Familie und der Versammlung) 'angeschlossen'. Für mehr information: Jürgen Schneider, Gartenstrasse 12, 56479 Liebenscheid.

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, die Niederlande
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon Levi am Sa 1. Dez 2012, 14:44

D.ScheepsmaSzn hat geschrieben:Lieber Levi,

In 2009 habe Ich schon eine Antwort gegeben auf deine Frage, aber es hat sich inzwischen geändert.
Es gab ein Brueder in Liebenscheid bei die 'Alte Versammlung' der 'im Werk der Herrn' war, Erwin Schneider.
Er bekam Probleme mit Auffassungen im Mitte die 'Alte Versammlung' und schon seit vielen Jahre her hat die Versammlung in Liebenscheid sich abgesondert.
Etwa zwei Jahre her ist dieser Brueder heimgegangen. Seiner Sohn Jürgen hat denn eine Korrespondenz seinen Vaters gefunden, denn er hat mit einem Freund und Brueder der 'Tunbridge Wells Brüder' in Kanada.
Die Information gab Ihm ein ganz anderes Licht auf die 'TW-Brüder', wie dass viele Negatives was er bis dann gelesen und gehört hat beim 'Alte versammlung/KLC-Brüder'. Er hat die Tochter von dem Brueder in Kanada angerüfen (dieser Brueder war auch schon heimgegangen) und hatte verschiedene Gespräche mit mehreren Brüder aus Ihrer Mitte. Auch hat er Konferenzen in Kanada und Amerika besucht und im Frühling dieses Jahr hat er sich bei diese Brüder (mit seiner Familie und der Versammlung) 'angeschlossen'. Für mehr information: Jürgen Schneider, Gartenstrasse 12, 56479 Liebenscheid.

Douwe Scheepsma Szn, Urk, die Niederlande

Vielen Dank für die Info. Nun gibt es also wieder in Europa wieder TW-Brüder. Gibt es noch andere Den-Helder-Brüder, die jetzt zu den TW-Brüdern übergehen?
Weißt du oder jemand anders welchen Zweig der TW-Brüdern die Liebenscheider zuzuordnen sind?
Beiträge: 33
Registriert: Di 19. Aug 2008, 12:41

Re: Tunbridge Wells-Brüder in Deutschland

Beitragvon D.ScheepsmaSzn am Sa 13. Apr 2013, 15:41

Lieber Levi,

Leider (oder glucklich) finde ich heute (13/04/2013) deine Fragen von 01/12/2012...
Ich hatte kein Bericht davon bekommen (was normalerweise gescheht wenn ich recht habe).
In meiner voriges Bericht gibt es leider auch ein par Fehler: Die brueder und Freund von Erwin Schneider kam aus USA (nicht Kanada) und er lebt noch, schon alt.
Es gibt jedoch auch in andere Länder von Europa (wenige) 'TW-Brüder': Spaniën, Portugal, Italie, Belgium, Roemenië, Frankreich, England, Die Niederlanden und Interesse aus Dänemark.
Die Brüder in Liebenscheid waren vor ein Zeit zusammen mit die Brüder von Den Helder, aber gehörten die letzte Zeit zu ein andere Grüppe zogesagt.
Jürgen Schneider und die anderen in Liebenscheid haben von aus eine persönliche Überzeugung sich bei den 'TW-Brüder' gefügt. Seine Überzeugung ist das was die KLC und die andere Gruppen 'machen' nicht recht ist. Die Geschichte spricht ein sehr deutliche Sprache (TW in 1909 usw).
Es gibt kein andere Den-Helder Brüder die sind übergegangen.
Die Liebenscheider gehören die Hauptströmung die 'TW-Brüder'. Sorry for my 'broken German'.
Beiträge: 18
Registriert: Sa 25. Jul 2009, 09:50


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