Brethren Archive
Wednesday February 15, 2017

Interesting 1889 Newspaper Clipping about Excommunication of a Young Lady

Mr George Scott was listed as the corresponding brother for this assembly in Scotland in the 1882 address list in the History Section.

Peter Streitenberger said ...
So this young lady put the letter of her excommunication to the worldly newspaper - that speaks very loud in favor of the brethren regarding that there were serious problems within this lady. I don't think that there was an agreement to do so, private letters are not meant for all the public. What has the world to know that? It seems that she has connections to the world and serves them by providing a case (in her eyes) against the brethren.
Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 : 01:14
Tom said ...
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your comment; you may well be correct, but let me attempt to suggest a different interpretation.

Firstly, having known people who have been the victim of unjust and essentially 'evil' Brethren 'discipline', when this happens you can be in a state of shock and disbelief, as your mental & spiritual world is shattered, when what you had believed to be 'of God' is suddenly shown to be clearly not that. This can be very hard time, and difficult to take, and one of the reactions might be to believe it's right to "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Eph 5:11), and thinking it's right to expose them might justify to a person the thought of warning as many people by putting it in a newspaper like this.

Also 'secrecy' I think is inherently Anti-Christian; "For nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known" .. and when there is a desire to hide a matter from scrutiny, that to me often serves as a good indicator of the rightness or wrongness of it. Thus coming to the letter, it doesn't mention what the charges were against her, and surely it should do? Maybe this was because the Brethren knew that they weren't justifiable reasons in the public (or even Christian) conscience, so declined to state them? And if there was just reason for the excommunication, then putting it in the paper would reflect very badly on herself - after all the only biblical reasons for excommunication are gross moral evil. So the fact she was prepared to do this suggest maybe she felt public opinion would side with her against the Brethren.

All speculation but the somewhat pompous and arrogant way the letter is written, and the lack of any appeal in it to turn away from anything that might be real 'sin' suggests to me it was most likely the Brethren were at fault, and not the young lady!
Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 : 09:13
Don Shaver, Thunder Bay, Ontario said ...
Is the purpose of church discipline not restoration through repentance and genuine change? This letter to the "young girl" does not even hint at restoration to the body of believers.
Another possibility with the publishing of the expulsion letter, is that she did not divulge the letter herself. Perhaps it was her parents or other person who saw the vitriol in the note.
Discipline is necessary, but it is to be administered with love as are all things in the church. love for the Lord, His church and the offender.
Monday, Oct 30, 2017 : 17:12
Tom said ...
Agreed .. I get the impression though that they'd probably sussed that she had seen the light and "escaped their clutches" by this point. I could be wrong but it reads like later Taylor exclusion letters.
Friday, Nov 10, 2017 : 18:33
Harrison Musonda said ...
To Whom it May Concern

Re: Hugh Cunningham and Kamapanda Mission 1923-1940


Allow me to introduce myself; My name is Harrison Musonda and I am currently working on a research document for my dissertation on the works of Missionary Hugh Cunningham who opened Kamapanda Mission Station in 1923.

My request from you is to ask for any documentation that you may have in form of letters, reports, pictures or anything that will make my research complete on his works and from any other missionaries who may have served at Kamapanda Mission Station in the then Northern Rhodesia, currently Zambia.

Your kind help will be highly appreciated.

I remain in the Lord's service.

Harrison Musonda
5385 W. Rosebud Ct SE
Kentwood, MI 49512, USA
Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 : 18:04

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