Question: Is it wise to submit to being called “Plymouth Brethren”?
E W Rogers, Oxford
Answer. I think that believers should, generally, respectfully express their objection to being denominated “Plymouth Brethren.” Of course, circumstances do arise when believers have to be classified by the authorities who are nonplussed where to place them unless some designation is given. It possibly was some such position that resulted in believers first being called Christians at Antioch.
There can be no doubt that the title “Plymouth Brethren” is itself a misnomer. Nor can there be any doubt that for part of the family to designate itself “Brethren” is sectarianism. To accept the title “Plymouth Brethren” without demur, then, is to give impetus to what is false; to explain our position is to spread the truth.
In these days it is a matter of no little importance that we should understand properly what our position is and ever to be ready to state and defend it.
One can, however, understand the authorities failing to appreciate the true position of the child of God, and insisting on classifying him under some name. Since others call us “Plymouth Brethren” (and abbreviations thereof) and since we should more strongly resent being placed in any other category, with the aforesaid explanation, I suppose we must submit. You will never be able to stop the worldling putting labels on the saints.