September 7th, 2015

Gospel Hall Brethren - My "Heritage"

Gospel Hall brethren claim to follow the pattern of New Testament church doctrine and practice found in the Acts of the Apostles and expounded by the Apostle Paul in his epistles, notably 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy. As such they recognise no central ecclesiastical authority, no formal creed, no prescribed liturgy, nor any ordained salaried ministry. Each assembly is an autonomous locally functioning body of baptised believers, recognising the final authority of the Bible and led by a plurality of elders. Though assemblies meeting in Gospel Halls do not usually print an official statement of faith, preferring to reference the Bible alone as their authority, the following basic doctrines would be held very widely among them:

The verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible (all 66 books, but not the Apocrypha)
The Trinity (one God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
The creation of the world and human beings by supernatural acts of God
The deity, eternal son-ship, virgin birth and impeccability of Christ.
The substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and ascension of Christ
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in conversion, sanctification and witness
The universal condemnation of all humanity as a result of the fall in Eden
The need for the new birth for sinners to be made right with God
Justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone
Baptism by immersion in water after personal salvation
Two aspects of "the Church" – firstly the "body of Christ" composed of all believers from Pentecost to the return of Christ, and secondly local assemblies composed of baptised believers who have been received into fellowship.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit — preaching and teaching gifts such as evangelist and Bible teacher are considered to be ongoing, but the sign gifts of speaking in tongues and divine healing are believed to have been given for the specific purpose of authenticating the apostles and "ceased" with their death, by the close of the First Century.
The premillennial, pretribulational return of Christ
Eternal bliss in heaven for the believer, and eternal damnation for the unbeliever
Weekly Meetings[edit]

Gospel Hall Brethren - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the tradition in which i would have been raised had my birth been "legitimate."  My mother would have been excommunited for being pregnant "out of wedlock." but gutsy girl that she was, she did not wait around for that!  My father's "sins" (rape, incest, and fornication) were not exposed, and he died about seventy years later, a respected Christian.

I was whisked away and entered  history as a still birth.  The mother who raised me was also an evangelical Christian. but far less extreme than the (Closed) Plymouth Brethern.  However, she was raised in one of the few areas in the US dominated by the Gospel Hall Brethern so her perception of "Christian" was heavily influenced by this group.  My sister's religious beliefs could be accurately described by the list above. I equated "Christian" with some form or other of "Baptist" or "Nondenomination" fundamentalism into my early teens.