The Brethren and Technology


#1

Anyone know anything about a sect called “The Brethren” who follow John Darby’s teachings and don’t use technology like computers? Do they belong to a particular branch of that belief system?


#2

Well, this website should debunk that myth. John Darby started a commune known as the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1800s. Since they have a well organized website, I can assume that they have no prohibitions against the use of computers. Other than that, it is just another bunch of disenfranchised anti-religionists who claim they possess they pure message of the gospel, them and the 10,000 other sects that claim the same exact thing.

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#3

website has links to Dave Hunt, Jack chick and tim LaHaye, do you need any more info?


#4

I’ve never heard that the Brethren don’t use computers, but their “closed” wing is split into a bunch of different groups, and it’s always possible that some don’t believe in modern technology. However, the ones I’ve met had no problem with it. Nor were they in any sense a “commune.”

The “Plymouth” Brethren (who need to be distinguished from a number of other groups in the U.S. who go by the name “Brethren”) split pretty early into two main groups: “Open” and “Closed.” The “Open” Brethren are a lot like other free-church evangelical/fundamentalist “Bible churches.” Their congregations tend to be basically autonomous. I believe Dave Hunt belongs to them. The “Closed” Brethren (which is the side Darby himself headed) have a more interesting ecclesiology. They claim (as do the Open Brethren, and umpteen other 19th-century groups) that they have abandoned all “sectarian” distinctives and gather for the “Breaking of Bread” (which they practice every Sunday) purely on the basis of faith in Christ. Other Christians can be true believers of course, but they belong to “sects” who put human teachings above the Word of God. The Closed Brethren push this much farther than the Open. They teach that all the local assemblies who gather on correct “grounds” (i.e., on the Word of God and not on some “human teaching”) constitute the Body of Christ–they reject the congregationalism of the Open Brethren and other groups like the Baptists. That means that these assemblies must have no open sin and no false teaching among them. If one assembly tolerates immorality or heresy, then all the assemblies in communion with it are polluted. That means that the Closed Brethren are probably the most fractious of all Protestants–which is really saying something. They split and split and split, trying to preserve a pure Church. But however obnoxious this may seem, I at least can’t help but admiring them. They’re carrying their principles through, and they see the flaws in the standard Protestant account of the Church.

In Christ,

Edwin


#5

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Well, this website should debunk that myth. John Darby started a commune known as the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1800s. Since they have a well organized website, I can assume that they have no prohibitions against the use of computers.
[/quote]

Scott,

While, afaik, none of the major bodies among which the Brethren are divided have any doctrinal prohibitions against computer use or technology, you reached that conclusion on the basis of the site to which you linked, assuming it to be an official site. Name notwithstanding, it is not, which you could have determined by reading some of it.

[quote=puzzleannie]website has links to Dave Hunt, Jack chick and tim LaHaye, do you need any more info?
[/quote]

Annie, same comment applies. The linked site is not an official site of the Plymouth Brethren, Open or Closed. It is the personal site of one individual.

Jumping to conclusions serves no one well.

Edwin,

Good, but somewhat numbing recitation of some of the multiple splits at Plymouth Brethren History FAQ

Many years,

Neil


#6

The group I know of are in a family business. They hired a non-member who uses technology for their business, but they claim it is evil and don’t use it themselves. (Although they allow the employee to do it to further their business!). The employee does not work at their facility so I guess they feel it’s not there so their hands are clean. They will, however, not let the employee start a website for the business because that goes too far against their double standard.

They do not celebrate holidays and will not let the employee send Holiday generic cards to clients. The employee cannot eat lunch with them (“the meal”) when the person is at their facility being a non-member.


#7

[quote=snowgarden]The group I know of are in a family business. They hired a non-member who uses technology for their business, but they claim it is evil and don’t use it themselves. (Although they allow the employee to do it to further their business!). The employee does not work at their facility so I guess they feel it’s not there so their hands are clean. They will, however, not let the employee start a website for the business because that goes too far against their double standard.

They do not celebrate holidays and will not let the employee send Holiday generic cards to clients. The employee cannot eat lunch with them (“the meal”) when the person is at their facility being a non-member.
[/quote]

So it is evil and sinful for them to us it, but it is NOT evil and sinful to hire and pay someone else to do something that they consider evil and sinful? I think that premeditated murder is evil and sinful, but it is not alright for me to hire a thug to murder someone. It makes me complicit in the sin.


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