Submission from the Brethren Christian
Fellowship (The Brethren)
1. WHO ARE
1.1 For the purpose of this submission,
we will not go into detail about the history of the brethren (sometimes
referred to as the Plymouth Brethren but are now more commonly
referred to as the Exclusive Brethren). It is perhaps sufficient
to say that the movement commenced in Dublin in about 1828 and
now comprises about 45,000 worldwide who are found in nineteen
countries including nine member states of the European Union.
Further information can be found at the only website endorsed
by the brethren:
2.1 It is true to say that widespread interest
among the brethren in government and International Affairs has
intensified in recent years. Nevertheless, over the last four
years in particular, many brethren have become known personally
to MP's, Government Ministers, Peers etc. The brethren are not
an extreme fundamentalist minority group as might be suggested
by some. They are a group of sincere Christians who pray for and
support what is right in government according to Holy Scripture.
Government is ordained of God, as set out in the following quotations
from the Bible:
"For there is no authority except from God;
and those that exist are set Up by God" see Romans Ch 13,
"...that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
thanksgivings be made for all men; for kings and all that are
in dignity" see 1 Timothy Ch 2, v 1.
2.2 The brethren believe there is abundant
testimony from both the Bible and history itself that the Western
World, namely Europe and its outgoings (essentially the Americas
and Australasia) has prospered as a direct result of embracing
Christianity. This came to pass through entry into Europe by the
Apostle Paul, his port of entry being Philippi where amongst other
things he gave the exhortation to "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house" see Acts
Ch 16, v 31.
3. PURPOSE OF
Our desire in making this submission is to insist
that the first and foremost consideration must be to recognise
the rights of our creator God and respect fundamental principles
long established and based on the Holy Scriptures. The outstanding
Divine Principle which would govern this issue is to be found
right at the beginning of the Bible; "And God created man
in his image, in the image of God created He him; male and female
created He them." See Genesis Ch 1, v 27
4. THE CURRENT
4.1 In the White Paper "Review of
the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act" at 2.85 the
Government propose that the creation of hybrid and chimera embryos
will not be allowed. We would urge the Government to maintain
4.2 We acknowledge the potential benefit
that may result from stem cell research and would support such
research where a right balance is observed between the needs of
science and the demands of conscience. To even consider the possibility
of creating human/animal embryos is repulsive and morally and
4.3 The following are extracts from a speech
given by President Bush on the 19 July 2006, regarding Stem Cell
Research Policy, which we wholeheartedly endorse and would like
to submit to the Committee for consideration:
"We will not sanction practises which violate
the dignity of human life"
"We will not cross a moral boundary"
"Each embryo is a unique human life with
inherent dignity and matchless value"
"If we are to find the right way to advance
medical research, we must be willing to reject the wrong ways"
"I believe America's scientists will make
the breakthrough if we respect with reverence the gift of life"
Our desire is to contribute constructively as
having some understanding of the enormity of these decisions that
the Government has to make.
We state our deep concerns regarding these matters
with a sense of our responsibility before God and would appeal
to the Government to have the courage and conviction to stand
by what is right and refuse to allow the creation of hybrid and