Comments on Percy Lyon and Alfred Gardiner, London

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Re: Comments on Percy Lyon and Alfred Gardiner, London

Post by Humbled » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:10 pm

<t>I can understand your visit to the zoo was memorable. When I read your comment regarding the facial similarity between one of the monkeys and an accountant brother I wondered if this was a thinly disguised attempt to introduce the subject of evolution. Accountants have the reputation of being very boring people ,an activity if it be can be called an activity , of which you disapprove so I have concluded it is more likely that you have have unjudged prejudice against accountants or monkeys or even both.<br/>
Whilst on the subject of zoology I remember a gentleman of standing in an Edinburgh area assembly who was in the dairy business. He also was blessed I believe with quantities of facial hair and owned a parrot. I was told that this parrot whilst normally well behaved had the annoying habit of unexpectedly bursting into what in that age was considered to be bad language and which would be disapproved of by Christian people .I would have loved to have witnessed the reaction of genteel sisters from Morningside enjoying Earl Grey tea in this mans parlour being suddenly shocked by the Parrot breaking forth into language more associated with the Merchant Navy <br/>
During the late 1940’s I also was taken to the same Zoo by my mum whilst my father attended meetings in Edinburgh The memorable thing for me that day was not what was in the zoo but rather when we returned to the meeting place. I had my first and only sighting of James Taylor Snr. I would not realise that this fellow would have a considerable uninvited influence over my life for many years. I Also overheard however that there was concern that he enjoyed strong drink in the form of whisky an activity frowned upon by many Christian people in Scotland at that time.<br/>

I’m sounding my age now as in Scotland I know like elsewhere strong drink and language became commonplace.

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Re: Comments on Percy Lyon and Alfred Gardiner, London

Post by Moonraker » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:55 pm

These memories of AJG and PL have been very interesting and thrown light on some questions that have troubled me. I always wondered why brethren gave in so readily to JT Jr's unscriptural "not eating" doctrine. If London had endorsed it in a special meeting, then of course all others had to fall in line.
Although both PL and AJG were men of great personal integrity and Christian qualities, they failed in 1960 by their endorsement of this doctrine. If brothers of their standing had given a lead, I am sure a lot more would have followed in rejecting JT Jr's teaching. There would still have been a severe and harmful division but many might have been spared the trauma of the 1960s and the debacle of 1970. Leaders have a heavy burden of responsibility: in 1960 they failed us. That doesn't excuse any of us who were old enough to form a judgement but we were influenced by those we saw as our spiritual leaders.
My father used to say that in JT Senior's day, Mr. Lyon would change his ministry to conform to JT's latest. Brethren would say "PL's done another somersault!". Much myth surrounded PL; it was said he was related to the Bowes-Lyons, and hence to royalty. Was there any truth in that?

The Questioner
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Re: Comments on Percy Lyon and Alfred Gardiner, London

Post by The Questioner » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:45 am

Whilst recognising the difference in decency between PL/AJG and the thuggishness of Taylor, Symington and Hales etc, this simple fact remains: both Gardiner and Lyon endorsed and promoted the extreme separation developed by Taulor, albeit in a gentler way.

I think the story about PL and the Bowes-Lyon family is probably another EB myth to make them sound more important than they were. It is, of course, true that in the 19thC a number of EB were from aristocratic families, including Darby himself.

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Re: Comments on Percy Lyon and Alfred Gardiner, London

Post by charles » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:26 pm

I agree with The Questioner that that story about PL being related to the Bowes-Lyon family is another EB myth. It was around in the 1950s but was never ever confirmed as having any truth in it.

Regarding J T Jnr in 1959/1960 JT Jnr didn't have it all his own way to start with. After he had clashed with Gerald Cowell at the London meetings there was a lot of disquiet as many brethren thought he was rude. I remember the meal times at the Caxton Hall where we sat at tables with other brethren and comments were made that JTJnr had been unreasonable. Then in the London care meeting August 1959 JTJnr was present and gifts were suggested for the three main performers at the meetings, Mr Cowell, Mr Young (Australia) and JTJnr. £60 was the amount for each of them, but someone complained that JTJnr shouldn't have any gift at all because of his behaviour at the meetings. Someone else countered this by saying that Mr Cowell should be given only £40, not £60. Then JTJnr himself said that he would rather not be given any money at all, but in the end each of the three had their £60.

Charlie Hammond from London was a vocal supporter of JTJnr and there were three day meetings at Manchester in May 1960 but for some reason JTJnr was not the official leader at the meetings but Charlie Hammond would be in the chair with JTJnr being present. The notes of the meetings were published with the title 'The Throne of God' with C Hammond's name on the front. At these meetings the question of 'not eating' with those not in the brethren was aired and people said what they thought about it and tried to shoot all the arguments down. Jim Taylor seemed to have an answer for every opponent - 'why would we be minded to go' to eat with someone not in fellowship. So he won the argument. For many years I had a copy of the Manchester meetings but I don't have it now so am saying this from memory which might be inaccurate after all this time.

In September 1960 I had a holiday on the Isle of Wight and it was to be the last time I saw many of the brethren there. Two meetings walked out about that time, Ventnor and Ryde, saying that they disagreed with this new ministry coming out of London. How sensible and right they were. AJG and PL went along with it and because they didn't oppose it, many other brethren just did nothing. In the EBs it was often not easy 'to take responsibility for one's own actions'. We did things because we were conforming and the majority of others were doing it. For myself the wake up call didn't come until the summer of 1965, and then it took 10 years before we escaped.

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