Appendix E – 10 points of Concern Regarding UA08/NASU

Dec. 7, 2010

Dear Representatives of the UA08 Amended Signatory Ecclesias,

Our ecclesias are deeply troubled by your continued support of the UA08 in its present form. To ensure there is clear understanding on your part as to the basis for our concerns, we have prepared the following summary. We continue to forbear, out of love, in hope and in prayer that your ecclesias will reconsider their course. It is not too late to pause your fellowship with the Unamended. Scripturally, our forbearance should not continue indefinitely.

The UA08 has proven to be a divisive reunion basis because it is a document that divides, not one that unites. We need to work together to restore the unity of our Amended ecclesias. And we need to work together to modify the UA08 so that it achieves the dual objectives of: i) preserving the unity of our Amended ecclesias by gaining the preponderant majority of their support, as well as ii) welcoming into our community those Unamended ecclesias who believe the same doctrine as we do and who are willing to uphold the same fellowship practice as our worldwide community. The UA08 in its present form will not achieve either objective. We continue to be ready and willing to work with you to achieve both objectives. But our ecclesias cannot support, nor silently condone a reunion basis that is not sound, based upon our responsibility to the greater community.

Your brethren by grace,

The Representatives for the Book Rd., Brantford, London, MacNab and Royal Oak ecclesias

Points of Concern regarding the adverse impact of the UA08 – Dec 7, 2010

An appeal to the Amended UA08 Signatory Ecclesias

1. Your implementation of the UA08 represents a change to your past fellowship practice.

A. You now welcome to break bread 9 Unamended ecclesias, who in turn continue to fellowship with the larger Unamended community – this represents a change to your past practice and is contrary to the practice of all other Amended ecclesias in Ontario and N. America

B. Under the UA08 fellowship practice, your ecclesias no longer require adherence to the following:

1) that fellowship should only be extended to an ecclesia who agrees that Clause 24 is a first principle

2) that fellowship should only be extended to an ecclesia who makes Clause 24 a test of fellowship

a) Under the UA08, fellowship is extended (by the Unamended signatory ecclesias) to members of other Unamended ecclesias who reject points 1) and 2)

3) that fellowship should only be extended to an ecclesia who declares itself to be part of the Central community and who uses either the BASF or equivalent statement to define its beliefs and to form the basis of its fellowship

4) that fellowship should only be extended to an ecclesia who restricts their fellowship (at the Memorial meeting) to members in good standing of Central ecclesias

5) that fellowship should only be extended to an ecclesia who is recognized and accepted as being in the Central community by neighbouring ecclesias

a) The criteria in points 3), 4) and 5) were identified by the Tidings Magazine committee in their Dec. 2008 summary of the fundamental fellowship principles of our Central community and which our Central ecclesias must faithfully uphold to preserve our united basis of fellowship

b) By contrast, under the UA08, fellowship is extended to members of Unamended ecclesias who meet none of these 3 criteria

C. Your new fellowship practice aligns closely with the one long in use by the Unamended community

2. The UA08, in its present form, is not a sound basis for reunion

A. The doctrinal basis is not sound because it accommodates the dual error, still believed by many in the Unamended community and tolerated by all, that: i) covenant relationship is the basis of resurrectional responsibility; and ii) man inherits a legal condemnation as a result of Adam’s sin

1) Final Clarification #2 adequately addressed the first issue, but its removal from the doctrinal portion of the UA08 has significantly degraded the agreement’s doctrinal clarity and soundness

B. The fellowship basis, which significantly alters the practice of our community, is not sound because:

1) it replaces the present, single, unified fellowship practice used by our Amended ecclesias with multiple fellowship practices that ecclesias are at liberty to choose from and which can vary from week to week; a foundation pillar of our Amended inter-ecclesial unity is all ecclesias using the same fellowship practice and fellowshipping with the same brethren at the Memorial Table

2) it condones the use of crossover fellowship between the two communities, a practice that is widely recognized to cause inter-ecclesial discord in the Amended community; which is why The Christadelphian magazine has consistently urged ecclesias and individuals to avoid its use

3) by condoning the “open fellowship practice” of the signatory Unamended ecclesias (i.e. they continue to break bread with the larger Unamended community), this makes the doctrinal basis of the UA08 a moot issue; the fellowship practice of a reunion document that does not require acceptance of the doctrinal basis for fellowship, renders the doctrinal basis inconsequential

C. The statement of faith requirement for fellowship is not sound because it fails to require acceptance of the teachings summarized in the BASF (or equivalent statement) as a prerequisite for fellowship

1) Under the UA08, visitors to the signatory Unamended ecclesias, from other Unamended ecclesias who reject the BASF (or equivalent statement), are welcomed to break bread

2) Acceptance of the teachings summarized in the BASF (or equivalent statement) is a foundation pillar of our Amended inter-ecclesial unity; this pillar is eliminated under the UA08

3. You can no longer teach our young people Clause 24 is a first principle and a test of fellowship

A. Your willingness to condone fellowship (under the UA08) with members of Unamended ecclesias who believe neither of these fundamental points eliminates your ability to teach them to our young people; you can now only teach that there are a variety of views on this issue (i.e. the Clause 24 view, the T. William’s view, the “Bible is not clear” view”) and all are accepted in fellowship

4. Our responsibility to the Central community to advise them of the unsound basis of the UA08

A. It is the responsibility of nearby ecclesias to notify the worldwide community when an ecclesia or group of ecclesias fail to uphold any of the first principles; this responsibility is noted in the 1957 UK Suffolk Street Reunion Agreement, NASU, and the Dec 2008 Tidings article on fellowship

B. The serious shortcomings of the UA08 require such action on our part. We would expect other ecclesias, in a different area of the brotherhood, faced with a similar situation, to act in the same manner

5. The Midwest Amended ecclesias have recently rejected the UA08 fellowship practice

A. At the Nov. 13 Midwest Amended unity meeting, representatives from 9 of 10 ecclesias present voiced their rejection of the UA08 fellowship practice (none voted to support it)

B. This was subsequent to your ecclesias (in July) welcoming 5 Midwest Unamended ecclesias into fellowship under the UA08, when 2 weeks previously the Midwest Amended ecclesias had notified the same 5 Unamended ecclesias the UA08 fellowship basis would not be acceptable for reunion

1. Your actions of accepting the 5 Unamended ecclesias over the objections of the Midwest Amended ecclesias will inevitably sow further discord among Ontario Amended ecclesias and Midwest Amended ecclesias

2. It is unprecedented behavior for Amended ecclesias in one regional area (Ontario) to unilaterally implement reunion with Unamended ecclesias in a different regional area over the objections of the local (Midwest) Amended ecclesias; by sharp contrast, the NASU steering committee steadfastly acted in conformance with the principle of working with local ecclesias, in both communities, to avoid the inevitable and detrimental inter-ecclesial repercussions we are witnessing

6. The UA08 is not achieving unity; only discord among the Amended ecclesias

A. The inter-ecclesial unity among our Ontario Amended ecclesias has been shattered by the UA08

1) we are witnessing an unparalleled period of inner- and inter-ecclesial turmoil and division

B. While you are adding more Unamended ecclesias to your circle of fellowship, you are simultaneously losing fellowship with Amended ecclesias and causing discord among nearly all Amended ecclesias

1) Since our last meeting in June you have added 6 more Unamended ecclesias, primarily from the Midwest, causing great consternation among the Midwest Amended ecclesias

C. Successful past reunion efforts have preserved the unity among our Central ecclesias while adding additional ecclesias previously outside the community – reflecting unity and a sound reunion basis

1) Your approach, by contrast, sacrifices the unity of Amended ecclesias for the sake of your ecclesias gaining fellowship with additional Unamended ecclesias – this isn’t unity, it’s division

7. The new UA08 fellowship practice is a contrary initiative that ignores past and present counsel

A. It is contrary to the fellowship practice used by all other Amended ecclesias in N. America

B. It is contrary to the counsel of the following groups of brethren who carefully reviewed the principles of the Central community’s fellowship practice: i) the CMPA, including numerous historical magazine articles; ii) the Tidings committee; iii) the fellowship practice under the West Coast reunion agreement published by the PCCARC in 1995; iv) the fellowship practice under the UK Suffolk Street Agreement (the articles verifying this can be supplied as needed)

8. The clear lack of a preponderant majority for the UA08 initiative and the strife that has resulted

A. Bro. Carter wisely recognized that for a reunion to be successful, it would require the support of a preponderant majority of ecclesial members to minimize any subsequent adverse fallout

1) So committed was he to this principle that even though the initial (1955) Suffolk St. vote returned an 89% favorable response by Central ecclesias, the document was significantly modified to gain greater acceptance

2) In a second round of voting (1956), the final document obtained a 91% Central approval response

B. By contrast, the UA08 is supported by ecclesias representing less than 33% of Ontario’s membership

1) Of approximately 1000 Amended Ontario members, the 10 signatory ecclesias represent 317 members (based on figures from the 2010-11 Eastern directory)

2) The ecclesial turmoil we have experienced because of the implementation of a reunion basis with such a low level of support is why bro. Carter recognized the need for a preponderant majority

3) If the 500 Midwest Amended members (in 13 ecclesias) are included in the tally, the credibility of your effort to push for acceptance of the UA08 is further diminished. The ecclesial representatives from the 9 ecclesias voicing rejection of the UA08 fellowship practice at the Nov 12 meeting, represent 350 members (same directory) or 75% of the Midwest membership. This means, out of approximately 1500 Amended members in Ontario and the Midwest (ecclesias directly impacted by the UA08), ecclesial support for the UA08 is less than 25%

9. Your rejection of the recommendation that outside mediators be used to help achieve resolution

A. According to Matt 18, when 2 brethren (or 2 groups of brethren) disagree over a significant issue, Christ commands that outside brethren be brought into the discussion to foster reconciliation

B. Our community has witnessed the successful use of this principle on several past occasions

C. Your rejection (in July) of the recommendation to bring in brethren from the Christadelphian, Tidings, and Lampstand magazines, is contrary to the Lord’s counsel; it is noteworthy that since your rejection, the situation has further deteriorated

10. Your failure to resolve the concerns raised by the Toronto ecclesias in March, 2009

A. Instead of resolving the principle concern raised by the Toronto ecclesias surrounding the unsound fellowship practice of the UA08, you chose to dismiss it as inconsequential

Footnotes

1. The Toronto ecclesias voiced the identical concern raised the previous year by the Cambridge/KW brethren – that unless the fellowship practice of the reunion basis required the Unamended to restrict their fellowship to Central ecclesias (and those Unamended ecclesias participating in the reunion), the Amended community would inevitably divide

2. Subsequent events have vindicated the concerns of the Cambridge, KW and Toronto brethren

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