My Disfellowshipping Letter

By Joseph Strong

A week or so ago, John asked me if I would be prepared to share with you my letter of disfellowship from the Spalding UK Christadelphian Ecclesia.

I have appended it here for your information and enlightenment.


 

Why I Left

I ceased to attend the meeting in August 2008, following an appalling display of unbrotherly conduct, by a brother, in my living room, in front of our recording brother. The behaviour was manifestly and grossly  against scripture, and this was pointed out to the recording brother.

His (and his wife's) stated opinion to me was, on this occasion and others that followed, that this was an important speaking brother and that any sanction was inappropriate because of that, and the fact that he always behaved that way, and that I should expect it, and accept it, and that this in no way should affect his position as a speaker because how he behaved in his private life had no affect at all on what he said as a speaker.

This was the same story as when a brother had been dismissed from his job because he set up an unauthorised "sweetener" for a client. What you do in the world, what you believe, and what you speak from the platform do not need to all be the same to be a Christadelphian.

 Only what you say is important.

The fruit looks nice on the outside

- but inside it's rotten
The reality is that at that point I had long since ceased to believe that Christadelphians had the "Truth". 

The "Bible Magazine" provided for my edification, had in fact woken me up to how crazy Christadelphian interpretation of scripture was, and the rise of the Internet made it only too easy for an educated person to quickly dispel the myths being peddled from the platform, and in such publications. The meeting had become a massive bore for me, pompous speakers that could not be challenged, putting out the same old stuff year after year and congratulating each other for doing so. 19th century thinking for a 21st century world, with an interest in prophecy that showed an epidemic of cognitive dissonance that has to be seen to be believed.

You can only fool yourself for so long.

The fact that I've been thrown out for my "confessions" here should serve as a warning that just as Christadelphians try to use the Internet to push beliefs, so others can use it to show how foolish those beliefs are.

The dis-fellowshipping letter is written "with the loving concern in Christ that we have for you". Over the last 5 years this "concern" has only taken the form of 2 letters telling me to return, and 1 visit in early 2009 by 2 brothers who wanted to borrow some networking equipment from me. Is this what Christadelphians mean by being "in Christ"?

they have asked me if I want to have a meeting with them. The  AB's have clearly not told them that I asked for  meeting with  them since December 2008. On each occasion it has been denied. One AB came round during my divorce on my request. My last attempt was three months ago. On this occasion, as on previous ones, the AB's used scripture to prevent a meeting. The correct scriptural criteria had not been applied to me; but they nevertheless threw me out without a hearing.

See: Matthew chapter 17:

15 "If your brother sins , go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen [to you], take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church....." (NASV)

To The Brethren And Sisters - I know you read this blog:

I no longer want to meet with you to discuss matters of fellowship. I'd love to have been able to meet with you to discuss other matters, but your AB's did not want it because of what I might have said.

You are very welcome to visit me, you will get a warm welcome. The log burner is like the fires of Gehenna, it burns 24 hours a day, never ceasing and runs entirely on waste timber, Cool ale is out in the garage. Give me some notice and I'll cook you a meal. If you can't afford the petrol, or the bus fare, book it down as Ecclesial expenses, the AB's will pay it. If you need the bus it's the 505.

You can talk about anything you like. I know a good deal of you don't believe anyway, but please don't come here with scary stories about how prophecy has been fulfilled and how the return is imminent, because if you do I will laugh at you, and point out why you are wrong. Don't waste your time with creation stories either, because I will laugh very loudly and not even bother to explain.



Finally don't bother telling me how morally better you are than me and the rest of the world, that would simply give me an excuse to point out yours and your God's moral failings, and that would be pointless. If you are thinking of deconverting we can talk about that, and I will not tell anybody. If you feel trapped or abused, let me know; don't put up with it like I did.

I will eat my hat if any of you show up.....


Editor's Note:
I am painfully aware of the "other trying events that have happened to you in the recent past" mentioned in Tim Halstead's letter to Joe. He does not want me to detail them, so I will not. But sufficient to say that they are extremely severe and they are not of Joe's making. As if losing his marriage was not enough, he is now struggling to cope with a range of issues that would certainly break a normal person.
This was definitely NOT the time to disfellowship him. It has achieved nothing other than to embitter him further against he religion and add to his already substantial problems, stress and upset.
But it does not surprise me at all. I was baptised in 1967 and I have seen a great many bad things happen in the religion. The disgraceful way that Joe has been treated in quite normal in that dysfunctional religion.
Christadelphians seek to emulate the character and morality of a ancient Near East tribal god who had women stoned and burned and men killed for picking up stick on Saturdays. They adore a fake Jewish messiah who told people to leave their wives and children to follow him. He promised to bring "a sword" and not peace. The result is a highly dysfunctional belief system devoid of compassion, wisdom and understanding.
People ask why we ex-Christadelphians do this work of outreach to Christadelphians.
Now you know. We are trying to stop this wrongdoing. We are trying to bring enlightened morality to a Christadelphian people who sit in moral darkness.

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