Psalm 15 v.5 beautifully explains that the "true citizen of Zion" never uses "Ecclesial Blackmail" to control his Brethren. The Psalmist was not concerned about money and interest, so much as he was concerned about higher principles. Under the Law, a Brother who had access to this world's goods, through the Grace of God, was required to assist his poor Brethren in their need. If the principle was able to be repaid, well and good. But to charge your brother interest, was considered equivalent to blackmail, because it meant demanding more from your brother than what the Lord required.

Some examples of Ecclesial Blackmail are:-

  1. "Emotional Blackmail" - If that Brother/Sister comes here to break bread, I will:- (a) take my family and leave, perhaps even transferring to another meeting; or (b) refuse to take the emblems myself whilst that person is present, (as if you can be defiled or contaminated in some way by their presence.)

  2. "Might and Power" - If you visit that meeting, we will dis-fellowship you, (an example of pure and simple brute force and intimidation.)

  3. "The Guilt Trip" - You are betraying your Ecclesia by meeting with ......... Ecclesia against your Ecclesia's recommendation. (This form of Blackmail has no real power, because Christ commands loyalty to Him. If Christ would go there, then so ought we. And if any Ecclesia's recommendations asks us to break any of Christ's commandments, then as conscientious objectors we must stand for Christ first and last.)

  4. "Public Humiliation" - Do as we tell you, or we will publicly denounce you both here and abroad. (A good dose of slander, innuendo etc, whether based on facts or not, will accomplish a great deal towards controlling any "recalcitrant".)

In reality, the Brotherhood has very slender scriptural warrant for "withdrawing fellowship" from any member of the "household". He who commits, and/or continues to commit without any attempt at repentance, acts of immorality etc., automatically places himself out of fellowship with the Father and His Son, until such time as he returns to walking in the light. The same goes for those who stray from the simplicity of the "Faith once delivered unto the Saints."

The duty of the "Household" is to heal, reclaim, restore - not amputate, cp 2 Tim 2:24-26. If any refuse to walk according to the revealed Light of God's Word, they "will ultimately take themselves out from the Brotherhood, because they are not of us," cp 1 John 2:19.


Written by Bro. C.C.York

This page was last updated November 2003