Brethren Archive

Is Not a True Judgment of the Independency at Ryde, and the Conduct of Kennington Essential to Discovering a Right Path as to Ramsgate? (Incomplete)

Tom said ...
Appears to be missing a couple of pages at the beginning.
Monday, Nov 28, 2022 : 02:07
Jonathan said ...

I am not wishing to kick off another long debate about the rights and wrongs of this branch's divisions from 1881 - 1908, but the 'hint-hint' about Park Street's decision and the parallel made with the Corinthians needing 'apostolic action' to sort themselves out (P26-27) shows (to me) what a mess the the group was getting itself into about ecclesiastical governance by this time. I say this as a mongrel 'descendant' of both sides of this particular division. IMO there was a serious drift afoot and the subsequent divisions at different times & places, thought ostensibly triggered by other matters, had a common thread of these groups looking to excise themselves away from that drift. Please don't feel the burden to convince me otherwise :-)

Monday, Nov 28, 2022 : 19:33
Nick Fleet said ...

Jonathan, I'm inclined to agree. But I think another major factor in this (and other divisions) is the false notion that if a company ceases to break bread for even one week, then the 'Lord's Table' there somehow lapses and the 'franchise' is lost. This idea encourages those who withdraw to break bread together the next Lord's Day thus leaving them open to accusations of 'setting up another, or independent, Table' or for taking hasty action. On the other hand, where a gathering can't access the usual room (because they've been locked out) they are then viewed as having allowed the 'Lord's Table' to lapse!  I'm pretty sure both arguments were brought to bear on the situation at Ramsgate. It does nothing to help the situation and only muddies the water even more. Thankfully, at least, this idea was repudiated by both sides when discussing the proposed resumption of fellowship between some 'Grant' and 'KLC' brethren in the USA in the 1900s. One other point, though. As both sides willingly submitted representations to Park Street for their consideration, might it not seem churlish to subsequently refuse their judgment when it went against them?

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022 : 23:26
Jonathan said ...
I do agree that things got to a fever pitch, with the possession of the Lord's Table somehow being linked to whoever had the key to the hall in their pocket. Thankfully, as you say, that nonsensical view dissipated over time. I'm not so well versed with the details of Ramsgate - as one chronicler said, a division 'difficult to explain in a few words' (!!) - to know twhether both sides cheerfully submitted their representations to Park Street with quite the expectation you describe, but taking it as read, which it may be, I would still say that two wrongs don't make a right - it's always better to row back from making a major error - ie handing to Park Street a power it should not have been given - than ploughing ahead with it.
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 : 02:18

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