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Max S. Weremchuk

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Max S. Weremchuk – JND biographer

To: Max S. Weremchuk
67283 Obrigheim, Germany
Mon, 1 May 2000

Max S. Weremchuk Dear Max,
Thank you for visiting 'My Brethren' and your comments regarding my statement that pages 17-18 "surprised me as being speculative and in the form of a novel".

Being unaware of your religious status, I was "surprised" because I had assumed, from the forewords, that you were connected with those who trace their 'genealogy' back to Mr. Darby.

In my judgment your fear that the book might "appear sterile and clinical" was quite unnecessary.

To correct any misapprehensions by other guests I am appending your email, and this reply, to my comments on your book in Biography: J. N. Darby - Part 2.

I hope you will visit MB again, and I would be glad to learn any of your own history which you might be free to share.

Yours in the Lord, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 2 May 2000

Dear Gordon,
Thank you very much for your reply.

Quite sometime has passed since I first wrote the Darby biography and then reworked it for the English edition. Slight corrections may be required here and there.

It is interesting to see you are from Toronto. I was born and raised in Niagara-on-the-lake, but moved to Germany in 1979. I married here and my wife and I have five children.

Brethren connections? Yes, I was raised among the Kelly-Lowe-Continental Brethren and attended their meetings here in Germany till 1991 when I left due to differing opinions on teaching matters.

Your "My Brethren" site is excellent. My compliments! How strong is the interest in it?

Your brother in Christ, Max.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Wed, 03 May 2000

Dear Max,
I can appreciate how you put your "heart and soul" into J.N.D.'s biography, and the result is evident.

My only disappointment – and it is somewhat selfish – is that you were not able to extend your work to his whole life.

Thanks for sharing your background, and that we were almost neighbours.

If you are able and free, I would appreciate a copy of your paper "You Ran Well" and any others of your "papers dealing with problems within this K-L-C section of the Brethren" for my personal use.

I'm glad you like my brief biography of Mr. Coates, which has been of interest to several.

Thank you too for your kind remarks as to MB. As you will know, words of encouragement in a work that involves much labour – hewing of wood and drawing of water – are always welcome.

It is difficult to say how strong the interest in MB is on a purely numerical basis as the number of guests may seem small compared to some sites.

Also I have had the privilege of counselling a family who were in a group that was very demanding and damaging.

Please visit MB whenever you can, as I try to add new items monthly – for the present at least.

With love in our Lord Jesus to you and your family, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Thu, 4 May 2000

Dear Gordon,
Thank you for your mail.

Yes, many have complained about the biography not being that – namely a real biography.

Since the Darby biography is out of print now I considered doing a revised version for the year 2000 last year and was encouraged by others to do so.

My biography is incomplete – I well know its shortcomings – but I feel I have captured the main thrust, that which Darby wanted conveyed through his ministry.

I grew up under Jake Redekop's ministry.

I have asked a brother in England to send you copies of several of my papers.

Yours in Christ, Max.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Thu, 4 May 2000

Here I am again. In case the brother in England does not have these I've attached two papers which have the current Brethren problems you mentioned as a background as well as a few other items.

When you get the pamphlets from England the chronological order is:

  1. You Ran Well
  2. Off-Track
  3. Can We Recover.

Yours in Christ, Max.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Sun, 07 May 2000

Dear Max,

Thank you very much for the articles you sent and permission to "quote and distribute freely".

There would have to be something very serious and fundamental – in my judgment at least – in your papers to make me want to discontinue our contact,

My comments on the length of the biography was not a complaint.

Yes, much of the history of brethren –individually and collectively – is depressing.

Certainly a revised edition would entail much labour.

With love in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Mon, 29 May 2000

Dear Max,
I received four of your papers from Ralph Sambrook today – and thank you for them, and thank Ralph for his service.

Yours in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 21 Aug 2001

Hi again!
Do you have any idea where more information on F. W. Grant is to be had?

To Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 21 Aug 2001

Dear Max,
Glad to hear from you again after such a long time.

There are several references to FWG, and one photo, on MB but I think all or most are generally available, except perhaps for the comments in History: FER in America.

I've posted a 'Bulletin' on "Site News" and will pass on any replies to you. I too would be interested in any further information you may receive from other sources.

Yours in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

Frrom Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 30 Apr 2002

Hi Gordon,
It has been sometime, but I thought I'd write and ask if you have any suggestions.

What is becoming clearer to me is that the roots or causes of the 'Brethren Movement' were not prophecy.

Here I see a problem. Other believers were ready to accept 'Brethren' views on prophecy – which are inherently sensational –

Contrary to a 'Brethren' axiom – which came about later – I do not believe that a right understanding of the Church's 'hope' in the "Brethren" view – i.e. the pre-trib rapture – is necessary to a right understanding of the Church.

Today you see Christians getting all excited about Israel and wanting to contribute to the building of the temple and so on

I was very happy to discover your Darby impressions of Wigram. This is very valuable.

Yours, Max.

To: Max Weremchuk
Mon, 06 May 2002

Dear Max,
Yes, it has been sometime since we last corresponded, and I'm very glad to hear from you again.

It is quite a task to take on writing a new biography of JND but it would seem to be warranted if you have sufficient fresh material and editorial commentary. It would doubtless be welcomed by many.

I hope you would be able to make use of the text of your original work from computer files or through scanning to reduce the sheer amount of labour required.

If you decide to expand your coverage, some remarks on his early service and conflicts in Switzerland would be welcome.

Regarding your remarks on prophecy and on "the right understanding of the church", you might be interested in some related items, to which I refer you to save repetition:

I quite agree "that the roots or causes of the 'Brethren Movement' were not prophecy", although the movement was certainly affected by the interest in prophecy which began at the Powerscourt meetings.

However I'm not sure that "the earliest of 'Brethren' were quite right on the Church before the prophetic aspect came in".

Some thoughts in connection with the early brethren and their understanding of the assembly, particularly as to worship, and the opening up of matters in subsequent ministry, can be found in:

Perhaps you can enlighten me but I'm not aware of any believers who have arrived at a right understanding of the assembly from an ignorance or refusal of the pre-tribulation rapture.

I agree with you on the inconsistency of many groups in adopting teaching from brethren on the rapture – as well as dispensationalism – but ignoring or refusing teaching on the assembly. This is deplorable.

The occupation of many with Israel at the present time, to which you refer, is an evidence of the earthliness that permeates the public church.

Thanks for writing and sharing your exercises. I'll be glad to hear of your progress in this new work and, if you desire, to keep MB's guests informed.

In our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Sun, 26 May 2002

Hi Gordon!
Yes, you are right in noting:

"Perhaps you can enlighten me but I'm not aware of any believers who have arrived at a right understanding of the assembly from an ignorance or refusal of the pre-tribulation rapture. At the same time there do not seem to be many who have done so – including so-called 'brethren' – even if they do hold the pre-tribulation rapture".   GAR

I also agree that the early Brethren didn't have everything 'right' as to the Assembly from the start.

I deny that you can only appreciate your true position in Christ and thus properly understand what the Church is if you hold to the pre-Trib Rapture and all it entails.

Yours in Him, Max.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 11 Mar 200r

Hi Gordon!
I thought I'd write and tell you how I am making progress in the revision of the Darby biography.

What is becoming ever clearer to me is that our picture of Darby is very incomplete.

I realize I am risking things somewhat, coming out with items from my research before the book's publication. Someone might 'jump the gun' on me through this.

There are actually 3 major items at the moment. I'll send them to you in parts or instalments as they would be too long all at once.

Every blessing, Max Weremchuk.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Dear Max,
Thanks for instalments 1 and 2 of your research papers. I gather that you are happy to have them posted on MB in view of possible comments for guests. If I am mistaken please let me know by return.

Affectionately in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Thu, 13 Mar 2003

Sure you can. I hope it can help to get more information.

The 3rd instalment is ready and waiting, but I want to get one clarification from a source before I send it.

Every blessing, Max.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Sat, 15 Mar 2003

Dear Max,
Received the 3rd instalment and all 3 are now posted as Biography: JND Research. See the 'Bulletins' and 'New Activity' on 'Site News'.

May the Lord bless you in this valuable work.

Affectionately in Him, Gordon.

From: Max S. Weremchuk
Mon, 17 Mar 2003

Hi Gordon,
From the start of my research on the Darby biography to its completion in the late 1980's I was not an 'academic' in any sense of the word.

The whole of this letter is in
Guests: My Answer 4: Biography: Early Brethren.

What do you think? Yours in Christ, Max.

To: Max S. Weremchuk
Tue, 18 Mar 2003

Dear Max, Thanks for sharing your 'thoughts'. I appreciate your confidence in doing so

The whole of this letter and some subsequent letters are in
Guests: My Answer 4: Biography: Early Brethren.

Thanks again for sharing. I trust that it will stimulate and encourage other guests of 'My Brethren'.

Affectionately in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

From: Jeff Kuns
To: Max S. Weremchuk
Fri, 4 Apr 2003

Dear Max,
Thanks for writing back. Of course, I'm happy to tell you about us.

  • We were raised in the Grace Brethren denomination

    After moving to Grass Valley we went to a number of different denominations and then the whole family finally settled on Calvary Chapel.

    • I was recovered to the Lord attending there, and shortly threw myself into the activities, attending bible college, studies, meetings including study of my own.

    • However, after coming to understand the letters to the seven churches, I came to understand that the saints were, generally, now in Laodicea.

    • I realized my brethren and I had leaned upon many props, not having held fast the Head. I did not at the time realize where this was going, but I knew the Spirit has let us know the spirit of the times.

    • And I was learning an important principle: before I have light on what a Scripture means, I must accept what a Scripture says.

    • I became aware of how, and how often, my thoughts went above what was written – hat I was contributing to the confusion and division of the day!

    I first wrote to Gordon coincident with these excercises about the state of the public testimony having very little grasp of the significance.

    • He was encouraging, always kind, but he never interfered.

    • I left Calvary Chapel in August 2001 ... leaving Protestantism behind. But I have never left the saints behind, heart-wise, I mean.

    • And though I will never be free to return there, we maintain happy contact with several despite our differences.

    Naturally, our families sharply disagreed with reasons, admittedly, poorly delivered. My father was/is, I think understandably, hurt in his feelings.

    • Early on, a brother, George, expressed interest but eventually returned to CC steering clear of me for a while.

    • Thankfully, I do not have knowledge of damaging anyone in moving too quickly or speaking hastily, and George and I are still very brotherly when we see one another, family links are strong and everyone seems to be able to discuss things graciously.

    Though I might have jumped at it, I feel we were helped in not having any established exclusive meetings in our area – of whatever variety –

  • Not to say that we think we know something, unprofitable as we feel, just that in hindsight, by God’s care we were preserved from going from Protestantism to Brethrenism – but, I hear, that is always a danger – and I notice the tendency of the flesh toward it.

    Well, that’s probably far too much! But kindly tell me more about you and yours, as I am interested about your history also, if I'm not prying!

    Please be assured of our prayers.

    Yours in our Lord Jesus, Jeff.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Mom, 7 Apr 2003

    Hi Jeff!
    Thanks for your email and the background information. It is always good to know more because it gives 'depth' to people and they become real. Among believers even more so.

    Your Calvary Chapel connections are interesting. Several years ago a Chapel started up here in the next town. They got a lot of trouble from the established Church, but we supported them even if disagreeing with their strong pro-Israel and dispensational slant.

    • The original Pastor returned to America and his translator, an Austrian, took over. I've preached a few times at the Chapel in the past.

    • We have contacts on a personal level as friends, but the Chapel as such is not a fellowship I could feel 'at home in'.

    • They emphasize the Bible strongly, which is good, but seem so superficial nevertheless. A sense of awe or reverence simply does not come across.

    Interesting thing is I wrote to Chuck Smith about the situation and my difficulty in full participation as a non-dispensationalist.

    • His son, Chuck Jr., replied and I was amazed to discover that he, the son, has switched over to the same Reformed – non-dispensationalist – standpoint I have! I wonder how this works itself out?

    Personal items about me you can find in the first part of 'Off-Track and Stuck' which Gordon has on his site, or available through it.

    • To round that off: I will be turning 45 in November. My wife (Ruth) and I have 5 children. Ari (20), the twins Ian and Roy (18), Asja (17) and Nils (15). They all love and follow the Lord.

    • We really enjoy family life and it will be tough when they start leaving home one after an other.

    • My secular employment is in a machine building firm. I'm responsible for advertising, documentation and our website.

    How is Gordon's [SARS] quarantine doing?

    Every blessing. Yours in our Lord, Max.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Wed, 9 Apr 2003

    Dear brother,
    Hello again. Thank you so much for the personal details, I look forward to getting to know you better.

    The balance of this, and of some subsequent letters, is in
    Guests: My Stand 5: Dispensationalism,
    Reformed and Systematic Theology

    … Gordon and Betty are out of [SARS] ‘quarantine’ now. I’ll be flying to Toronto tomorrow morning and staying until the 16th – it is sure to be a nice visit, as it was last year.

    • I have been asked to serve in meetings this Saturday, so please pray as I've never done so except at home before.

    Greetings to your household!

    Yours in our Lord Jesus, Jeff.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Wed, 9 Apr 2003

    Hi Jeff!
    I am just replying quickly now because you say you will be in Toronto?! I will be arriving in Toronto on the 15th with the twins to visit my parents in Niagara-on-the-lake for 10 days. Does Gordon live in Toronto?

    Every blessing, Max.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Thu, 10 Apr 2003

    Hi Gordon!
    Yes, Jeff informed me of your address and I was planning to visit you if possible. As it is, I will be at — on April 17 at 10 a.m. I don't think it will take more than 1 or 2 hours there. I would be very happy if we could see each other.

    Yours in Christ, Max.

    P.S. My new leads in the Darby research area just aren't letting up. Whew! I'll be sending you some items for your site when I'm back from Canada. If we have a chance to meet we can talk about that too.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Thu, 10 Apr 2003

    The way things look I will be in Toronto with the twins on Thursday, April 17. I want to show them the city and I have to make a business visit. Maybe I will be able to visit Gordon then. I'd like to.

    Your brother in Christ, Max.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    To: Jeff Kuns
    Tue, 29 Apr 2003

    Yes, it was a very, very pleasant time with Gordon, Betty and Lucy and her children. We – the twins and I – enjoyed it very much and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to get to know Gordon personally. And who knows, maybe next year I'll get to see you!

    Your brother, Max.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Tue, 24 Jun 2003

    Hi Gordon,
    I am presently going through the Fry MS – the large volume collection – and writing out various sections in arranged thematic groups. This makes comparing accounts so much easier.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Wed, 9 Jul 2003

    The attached file [#7 - Dates, etc.] is a work in progress. I would be very thankful for any corrections, suggestions, or additions.

    Thanks! Max.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Wed, 9 Jul 2003

    Dear Max,
    Thanks. Looks interesting! Will get back to you. Gordon

    The balance of this letter is in Biography: G. V. Wigram as 'Research by Max S. Weremchuk'.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Mon, 18 Aug 2003

    Dear Max,
    Thanks for copy re 'Wolff' for JND Research. We are on restricted power use because of effects of power blackout, so I just acknowledge. In Him, Gordon.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Mon, 1 Dec 2003

    Dear Max,
    How good to hear from you again! I must admit to becoming slow in keeping up valuable contacts.

    Thanks for the further research info on the 'Vaughan Family' connection to JND.

    By the way, did anything ever develop on the d'Esterre connection?

    In our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Thus, 18 March 2004

    Dear Max,
    You may have seen the following – 'Darby of the Leap' – which I have posted on MB in 'Biography: JND'.

    • Some of the [notes] were already included and I have added a few more, plus a little editing. Any comments?

    In Him, Gordon.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Sat, 20 March 2004

    Hi Gordon!
    Yes, I've known of this paper on Leap Castle for sometime. It is part of Anna Stoney's unpublished memoirs.

    • (No, I do not have them, nor have I seen them. I just know somebody who has them.

    • This person has written, but not published, a biography of Darby and his family which makes everything else look like the scribbling of a 3 year old child and his work like Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" in comparison.

    • After seeing only a part of it I lost all heart in continuing with my own.

    • And, no, I am not free to give further information. This person must himself judge as to finally publishing or not. I have pleaded with him to do so.)

    Sadly, Miss Stoney's work is riddled with errors.

    • E.g., the Vaughans connected with JND were not from Golden Grove, Hereford. Golden Grove was not in Hereford, but in Camarthenshire and the Vaughans from there had always been Roman Catholics. The Vaughans connected with JND were Unitarian.

    • Judging from what I have read of Anne Darby's letter I don't think that the description that she was "of the old Puritan type" is accurate. Later in life she wrote to her son JND saying she had good arguments in favour of the Anglican Church against his objections to it.

    • Anna Stoney was too young to have known Anne Darby personally and probably much of her mistakes can be understood and excused as due to youthful memories blurred through the passage of time.

    All the best, Max.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Mon, 22 March 2004

    Dear Max,
    Thanks for your prompt reply. Your comments on 'Darby of the Leap' are now in the preface to that article, which is being retained because of its 'human interest'.

    • If my calculations are correct, Miss Stoney was about 82 at the time of writing – a very great age in those days – and so your remark as to "youthful memories blurred through the passage of time" is just.

    • Miss Stoney's "unpublished memoirs" would be of great interest to many and I certainly hope that your contact will share them with others.

    Of course, I cannot judge – as you can – of your contact's unpublished "biography of Darby and his family"

      • but, being quite familiar with yours – perhaps you will excuse me saying – it seems that you may be placing too little value on your work and too much value on that of your contact.

    • In any case, a published work – the first edition of which which has proved invaluable to many –

      • has far more value than an unpublished work which may remain so – for unknown reasons – despite your pleading.

    • I'm deeply saddened that you say "I lost all heart in continuing with my own" and I do hope that you will reconsider and proceed with the work so well begun.

    • How much would have been lost if Luke – I speak from a human viewpoint – had been deterred from writing his gospel because "many" had undertaken to write an account. Like 1: 1-3.

    • May the Lord encourage you to finish what you have started "knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord", 1 Corinthians 15: 58.

    Affectionately in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

    From: Max S. Weremchuk
    Sun, 6 Jun 2004

    Hi Gordon and Jeff! Hope you both are doing well.

    I've been silent for awhile because of other things I've been working on. In January a book of mine, 'Weil ihr aber Söhne seid' – 'Because You Are Sons' – came out.

    After that I was involved in writing new chapters for the 2nd edition – which has more than doubled the contents. This is now completed.

    • In this second edition I go more into Darby and the Brethren origins – particularly in the new Foreword and first 2 chapters.

    • I could make use of what I had learned from my studies in the orgins of Zionism. Actually these studies have provided me with the answers I was looking for as to the 'why' in Darby's case.

    • It is now so obvious and logical. Darby's develpment is hardly unique, but rather the result of a process set in motion long ago.

    At present I have no plans to translate this work, or at least the respective parts, but it would be a valuable addition, I feel, to the other articles on your website because it contains some material I have not published there and also sums up several things in a helpful way. Gives a better perspective. <

    Every blessing, Max.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    Tue, 29 Jun 2004

    Dear Max,
    Sorry for the delay in acknowledging, but glad to hear you are again working on the JND biography.

    Of course we are always interested in your research, but are most doubtful of any connection of JND with what we understand of 'Zionism'.

    • In my reading I have always been impressed with JND, and others, basing their beliefs squarely on Scripture rather than being influenced by the popular, or unpopular, views of their contemporaries – as we also seek to do.

    • That being the case we are hesitant to post anything that would support so-called 'Christian Zionism' with which we do not sympathize.

    • But I may have misunderstood your last research notes.

    Affectionately in our Lord Jesus, Gordon.

    To: Max S. Weremchuk
    From: Jeff Kuns
    Wed, 14 Sep 2004

    Dear Max,
    Sorry it's taken so long to write. It is late in coming for a host of reasons, some related to your letter, most not.

    • But I felt it was important to respond as I know how it feels for people to not reply and I don't like it myself.

    See My Stand 5: Dispensationalism Again for Jeff's response to 'A Farewell to Dispensationalism – Completely', a paper recently received from MB's frequent contributor Max Weremchuk. Max's paper is not reproduced there.

    Your guest entries and messages will show that
    the continuation of My Brethren is important to you.

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