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Qualifications & The Christian Brethren

One of the contributions of the so-called Open Christian (or Plymouth) Brethren is its doctrine of local church leadership. In sometimes modified forms, many conservative denominations and independent churches have adopted the doctrine. Muller and Craik were leaders involved in the formulation of the new movement during the first half of the nineteenth century.

". . . in 1838, and apparently disturbed by the trend elsewhere to renounce all formal government within the churches, Muller and Craik had withdrawn into retreat from Bristol for two weeks to give themselves to prayer and meditation concerning matters of church structure. They had returned with carefully matured convictions on eldership and discipline. They considered that it was the mind of God that there should be recognized elders within the church. These elders were the appointment of the Holy Spirit, their call being a personal call of the Spirit, but confirmed by possession of appropriate qualifications and by God's blessing upon their work. . . . (Roy Coad, A History of the Brethren Movement, pages 155-156).

Copyright 2010 - Ken Bowles