The rejection of blasphemy


Scripture makes it quite clear that it is incumbent on anyone who professes Christ to separate themselves from evil (2 Tim. 2: 19-22).

There is little that is more undeniably iniquitous than blasphemy, yet blasphemy has been repeatedly allowed in the sect that is now known as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Ltd, without being dealt with.

Since the beginning of the recovery of the Truth, it has been clearly demonstrated that I cannot associate myself at all with blasphemy.

Ignorance as to my history does not excuse me, and God requires that I search out my spiritual genealogy with all that I associate myself. Read Where is the Lord in the Midst, a reading with James Taylor Snr in 1933 on tracing my genealogy.

Blasphemy accepted in the PBCC

In Barbados, December 1970, G.R. Maynard blasphemed the holy humanity of Christ. The rejection of this blasphemy was testified to – to Maynard himself and to A.C.S. Price (the editor). In 1971, further testimony to this evil was sent to L.A. Corbin, a responsible brother in Barbados where Maynard was local. Although withdrawn from, G.R. Maynard’s ministry of that period was still being supported in public testimony in 1979.

You can read more about Maynard’s blasphemy here.

J.H. Symington twice blasphemed the Holy Spirit, equating a Divine Person to alcoholic spirits. Firstly in Perth, Australia in 1975 and again in Neche ND in 1978. Symington himself was alerted to both of these blasphemies, as well as two local brothers with him – James de Seyn and Roland Huges. In 1980, witness to these blasphemies was sent out to over 600 persons around the world, alerting them to the evil.

You can read more about Symington’s blasphemy here.

Bruce Hales has also been repeatedly alerted to these blasphemies (among other evils).

You can read more about letters to Bruce Hales here.

What the leaders of the recovery have said about blasphemy

What greatness and fulness in the Name! – as in this instance in the Old Testament; we are to be imbued in our whole being with the idea of the Name – and that it all centres in God. Whatever is of value must emanate from Him. This brings out the gravity of the crime committed here – blaspheming the Name.

. . .

Here is the most serious offence – to blaspheme the Name. The Name, beloved friends. Does it appeal to your heart? The Name!

James Taylor Snr
(Council Bluffs, 19 Sept. 1936, NS Vol. 40)

But I shall never be brought to such wickedness as to treat acceptance of blasphemers as an ecclesiastical question. If people like to walk with them or help and support the bearing with them at the Lord’s table, they will not have me.

J.N. Darby
(On Ecclesiastical Independency,
Collected Writings, Vol. 14)

Just think of a system which makes blasphemous views of Christ, which may amount to a denial of Him, to be a matter of private conscience, having nothing to do with communion!

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If I find a person even in such a case denying the truth as to Christ, communion is impossible, because we have not a common Christ to have communion in. But here all faithfulness is thrown overboard.

. . .

We are to meet as Christians; but a man is not a Christian in profession who professes a false Christ. I cannot judge the state of a person’s heart while his profession is false. I may hope he is only misled, but cannot accept his profession.

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I add no human document to the divine; I make no term of communion besides Christ. God requires that those who have blasphemed Christ should not be admitted. I am told that it is a matter of conscience, &c., and people cannot read doctrines to know whether He is blasphemed or not. These blasphemers have been received deliberately and avowedly, upon the ground that no enquiry is to be made; and therefore the plea of additional bonds or terms of communion is all dust thrown in the eyes. Is it a new term of communion to affirm that faith, faith in a true Christ (not a false one), is required for communion, and that blasphemers of Christ are not to be received?

. . .

The truth of His person and glory is a test for those who are faithful to Him. I cannot talk of liberty of conscience to blaspheme Christ, or have communion with it.

J.N. Darby
(The Christ of God, the True Centre of Union,
Collected Writings, Vol. 15)

My answer is, you are in the worst kind of sin—worse than any act of sin when you do it deliberately, as you avow. Do you require scripture to shew the church should not receive blasphemers of Christ’s Person? Bethesda has done so deliberately and in principle. You think right to identify yourself with Bethesda; that is, you will sin, you claim the liberty to sin if you have not done it, and require the church to admit you with this claim (that is, to put her sanction upon your sin by receiving you knowingly into her communion). The church is guilty of it if she does, and ceases to be a church at all, for the church of God is not the deliberate sanction of sin. It is true that many had become so lax, that common action was in certain cases impracticable, and individual faithfulness was called for and the reproach that always accompanies it incurred.

If scripture be soberly required to prove that saints should not be indifferent to blasphemies in their public walk, “Cease to do evil,” would be enough; “From such turn away,” “Him that bringeth not this doctrine, receive not into your house.” Can I in spirit more effectually sustain and help such doctrines than by receiving into communion those who are in them and support them, and actively in spite of remonstrance on all sides? Bethesda has done this.

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Bethesda has received blasphemers and laid it down as a principle; and they are according to scripture partakers of their evil deeds, as are others who boast themselves clear. It is, I think, the grossest indifference to the honour of Christ I ever met with. That is no light word. It is the pith and gravamen of the whole matter. You would force me into acting on your principle and Bethesda’s. I see too clearly what the meaning and effect of my act would be to hesitate a moment, however I may grieve. I may walk alone, I am not the first. I began alone, but will not join in what I believe and see is slighting the Lord. It is the principle of indifference to the doctrine of Christ that such blasphemies are to be uninquired into, so that communion with them is legitimate; that is, that the church of God is not the pillar and ground of your truth. Once accept that (and accepting you is accepting it), and the whole standing of the church is gone.

Let the question be fairly put and inquired into: Has or has not Christ been blasphemed, and the blasphemy deliberately smothered up, and thus Christ slighted and dishonoured? If the answer be, Yes, do you mean to say that I ought to go on in communion with this?

J.N. Darby
(Indifference to Christ: or Bethesdaism,
Collected Writings, Vol. 20)

The assembly had taken the ground of indifference to blasphemy against Christ, and the persons constituting the assembly (save in the case of real ignorance as to the facts) were defiled with the defilement of the assembly. This is the doctrine of Scripture: “Ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter”; they were not incestuous, but, as long as incest was permitted, the assembly was guilty of it, and was not clear of it, neither were the individuals composing it.

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The question which I here state is all the more important, since, in these last days, the principle on which we have to meet, is, separation from evil. The second and third chapters of 2 Timothy are clear on this point.

J.N. Darby
(A letter on a pamphlet by Mr. F. Olivier, entitled,
“The Body of Christ, and a Misunderstanding on the Subject”,
Collected Writings, Vol. 33)

Miss D Coke,

Allow me to say one word in reply to your note, not to combat your isolation, which I leave, as it is at present, though I do not think it a definitely right one. I speak of a principle: the rejection of masses. Suppose a mass receive deliberately blasphemers; can I walk with that mass, and consequently myself with blasphemers in principle? If not, I reject the mass. But the question goes further. Supposing a (Christian coming from that mass, but walking deliberately with them on that principle: are they not exactly in the same position—guilty individually of that which makes the mass guilty? The piety of the individual only makes the matter worse, as he sanctions the evil by his piety. Having said this much to make the principle clear, I can only commend you unfeignedly to the guidance of God, who is full of grace.

Yours truly in the Lord.

J.N. Darby
(Nismes, 12 January 1872,
Letters, Vol. 2)

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