Updated comment on The Exclusive Brethren web site in March 2008:-
The article LIVING OUR BELIEFS on which I commented in October 2007 has been amended quite considerably in some places and in others minor adjustments have been made to the wording. Further a list of persons who can be contacted regarding issues arising from the article has been added at the end. It would have been helpful if Mr. Hales had indicated that the article now on the site is an amended one.
Perhaps the most significant amendment is to the section on YOUTH.
“Young people are encouraged to develop relationships based on religion, education, music, exercise, sport, interstate and overseas friendships, and lively conversation and debate. Debate often focuses on humanity in general, world events, politics and the community”.
This now reads:
“Young people are encouraged to develop relationships based on religion, education, music, exercise, sport, interstate and overseas friendships, and lively conversation and discussion. Topics often include world economic developments and many facets of humanity and life in general”.
Note that the reference to politics is now omitted and that debate has been replaced by discussion. As to this last such passages as Isaiah 58:4, Romans 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 12:20 (A.V.) may have been in mind. I commented on the reference to politics in October 2007.
It may be well to note that the use by the Exclusives of the title Gospel Hall could be legally challenged. Legal advice reads as follows:-
“If a religious body has used the name of another religious body as to mislead the public, you have right to claim him to avoid religious conflicts”(Wording as per E-mail received).
So-called Open Brethren have used the title Gospel Hall since the 19th century * and its use by the Exclusive Brethren could mislead the public.
* See a History of the Brethren Movement by F. Roy Coad page 184.