Answer? Very. Fatally. Incurably. Categorically. Take your pick.
Why? Well here's the thing. I was talking to someone about how there are Peeb 'assemblies' dotted around the area in which I live which have been in place since the late 1800's. How did they occur in such small country towns? Well in the late 1800's a few (I'm presuming there was more than one) priest types - let's call them leading brothers - went from place to place - set up a tent and began preaching the gospel.
Farmers - their wives - and the local shop keepers would turn up - probably to see what all the fuss was about - entertainment being a bit light on in those days and behold - they were preaching the gospel. So they came again and sooner or later they became Brethren too. And now the people in those places are, four generations later, still Peebs.
Sadly a relative of mine was one of these original tent attendees - which had the effect late in his life, of wrecking his family. He even rang one of his original family members who did not attend the tent in those days and who remained 'without' and told them that the Brethren had finally gone crazy. He died 6 years after Taylor Junior had brought in his cruel and anti-Christian separation rule - something he never reconciled in his mind. But he didn't rock the boat.
So why are they nuts? Well Christianity as taught by Jesus himself was all embracing. How can you spread the said gospel if you don't preach to the people? You can't. Now the Peebs will tell you that they preach to the world - but that is the most futile exercise in communication that anyone has ever witnessed. A complete waste of time that should be stamped out, if only for its pointlessness. I'm referring to the practice of street preaching which is where three Peebs go to a street corner near you and mumble a dreadfully delivered grumble about people going to hell to 6 parked cars and a Labrador. I've said it before - they have never attracted one person from their street preaching rambles.
Funnily enough, the moment they went from being an 'open' church to a closed one in 1959, defined the moment they stopped being a very minor church and became a cult. Reverse Christianity. Nuts! But such was the wisdom of Taylor. It was also the moment they stopped worshipping God and started worshipping a man. When you start tugging your forelock to the likes of a James Taylor or a Bruce Hales or an L. Ron Hubbard - you are on a slippery slope into cult-dom. No question about it.
So simply preaching the gospel like Jesus did - or they themselves did in their evangelism tents - the 'spreading' of the gospel became a dead duck in the Brethren world 57 years ago. Now they're just a weirdo mob who skulk about under the cover of darkness behind padlocked gates. Fancy being so protective of your brand of religion that you literally lock the world out! Particularly when you then go on to tell people you are Christians. Pffft!
Of course those in the know - know that the Plymouth Brethren psuedo Christian Church is in fact only a cover for a bunch of men - mainly belonging to one family - making a shitload of money out of the rest of them. Pure and simple. Bottom line.
They don't 'save' souls anymore. You cannot even get in. Well they say you can - but the screening process would be far too cumbersome for most wanting to avail themselves of their brand of evangelism. And if you do persevere and successfully get screened enough to be allowed to listen to one of their gospels - you would today find that the message didn't mention someone called Jesus much anymore but some bloke called Our Beloved or Mister Hales from Sydney.
Now had these silly buggers simply gone on spreading the gospel - they might have had a church on every corner and even been what they term as mainstream. But they chose instead to shut the doors, lock the gates and become a cult instead. Which in the context of Christianity is so diabolically stupid as to be insane.
So if you wondered how the hell your family got involved with this bunch of home wreckers - then your great grandfather or grandfather probably turned up at a tent in the late 1800's - looking for some solace like mine. Today the poor bugger wouldn't even get a look in! Frankly I wish he'd gone to the pub instead.