“Two by Twos” by someone who grew up and out of the movement.

“Two by Twos”= “the friends”= “The Truth”= “The Way”= “The Gospel”= “The Meetings”= “Cooneyites”= “Christian Conventions”

Dialogue Ireland has been approached by a person who grew up in the “Two by Twos” and has requested our assistance to alert the public to the controlling nature of the group and issues of abuse and the violation of Human Rights. Naturally we want to protect their confidentiality and so we invite you to post your experiences in our comment section again without fear of your anonymity being compromised.

We also offer the members of this group who do access the internet the full right of reply either in regard to correcting any factual error or permission to post a refutation without censorship.
I was born into “the meetings”, a home churching group which was founded by William Irvine in 1897 in Tipperary.  We referred to ourselves as “the friends” and to our group as “The Truth”, “The Way”, “The Gospel” and “The Meetings”. Outsiders name us “Cooneyites” although that is a tiny faction that broke away from our group. DI Moderation: Update and amending of the text: I am afraid this tiny faction did not break away from the group but Cooney was excommunicated in 1928 and a substantial number remained loyal to Cooney resulting in a breakaway faction. This group has now dwindled to a tiny faction. Irvine Grey.

Other names for the group include “Christian Conventions” and “Two by Twos”. The group has no official name and no official church buildings. They have meetings within members’ homes instead. Members refer to each other as “the friends” and to their preachers as “workers”. The workers travel about in celibate pairs based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 10:8-10. The friends insist that they are “in” the world but not “off” the world.

I understand that to outsiders members seem like quaint, peaceable group of Protestants who dress a little “old-fashioned” and whom do not own TVs. To an extent that is true, but there is a darker side to the group. Members are deliberately kept in the dark regarding the beginnings of the group and child sex abuse incidents amongst their preachers. Members may not challenge the workers- if they do they face excommunication. The workers slander other preachers and churches as “greedy” and “false”. Members are afraid to leave the group as they are trained to believe that if they leave they will go to hell. If a member does leave, that person becomes subject to gossip and slander. To leave the meetings is very difficult because members don’t mix with outsiders. Often all of their family, relations and most of their friends are in the meetings so to leave the meetings means breaking close bonds with their community. Members who date an “outsider” get threatened with excommunication.

I was taught from an early age that we were the only true church founded by Jesus. All the other churches were false churches whose preachers were “false hirelings”, who were only interested in the money and considered only worthy of the workers’ scorn. Our ministers, however, cared for us. They didn’t have a salary unlike those false hirelings or expect the payment of tithes. They even stayed with us in our homes and this too was another example of their genuine interest in us. Not only that but our ministers (or “workers” as we called them) were personally chosen by God! Everything they preached came direct from the Lord!  I was often reminded that while my Catholic neighbours were decent people, they did not know the true gospel and therefore were to be pitied.

Even though “outsiders” are considered “lost”, the friends are commanded to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group. The outsider must approach a member about their faith or attend a gospel meeting (a “mission”). When an outsider asks a member about their faith members are expected to introduce them to the workers because the gospel must be heard from the workers themselves. If after meeting the workers an outsider continues to take interest in the meetings, the workers give that person one-to-one bible studies. Interested outsiders are only gradually taught the group doctrines and only after a period of time are invited to private church events.  The outsider will then be invited to attend a convention during which he/she will be shown about only by the workers and introduced to a few of the more “hearty” friends.  Although most of the workers deny the trinity (many say that Jesus was merely a man who became without sin through obedience to the law and lived as an example how to live, with the workers following on this example for the rest to copy), they will never admit that to an outsider. If an outsider stops attending gospel meetings, he/she is considered to be “unwilling” to “accept the Truth”.

The workers travel about a designated region in pairs. An older brother worker is paired up with a younger brother, an older sister worker is paired up with a younger sister worker.  They cannot marry, do not work and instead rely on money donations from the friends. They also expect the friends to host them, do their laundry, cook meals for them for times that suit them and let them use their cars. People often give them spare house keys to come and go as they wish.  To have the workers staying is perceived to be a great honour. When they are staying they often spend long periods in their bedrooms, during which the family members are expected to be quiet in their own home for the workers. People keep notes from worker sermons and value them as equal to the bible. Photos of the workers are kept in photo albums, in bedrooms, in bibles and publicly displayed alongside photos of family members. The workers always sit separately from everyone else during convention meals and meetings, as though they are too holy to sit beside the friends. At conventions they are always served first and fed better than everyone else. Little children are expected to give the workers hugs, even the workers they are unfamiliar with. Basically, people revere the workers to the point of worship.

As the workers are believed to be “the Word made flesh” it is not permitted to question a worker. The workers say that members should be like little children in all things- and that includes not asking questions (those who do ask questions or bring up an issue, have a “poor spirit” and are made to feel that the real issue is with them, not the group). The workers decide who can join the group and who cannot, they can excommunicate someone to hell. They say they have sacrificed their career and possessions along the chance of marriage and family for the sake of the friends, with the implication that the friends therefore “owe” their salvation to the workers.

The workers are very controlling of the friends. For an example: they do not want the friends to let their children play with outsiders, as outsiders will have a poor influence on the children. One of the ways workers control people is through surprise visits, meaning they can catch people out if they are doing something forbidden. Some workers just walk around the back of the house and walk right in the back door.

In the meetings there is an us versus “the World” attitude; the World being anything forbidden by the workers: visiting the cinema, having a TV, women wearing trousers, attending another church, owning Christian literature other than the KJV bible, attending the theatre, dating an outsider, partaking in school plays, taking part in sporting events, having Christmas trees, letting children mix with outsider children. Possessing a radio is frowned upon. Having a traditional wedding dress was forbidden until the late 1980’s with women being expected to wear a regular Sunday outfit on their wedding. For a long time wedding rings were once not permitted and any girl or woman who “professed” (ie. joined the group) had to wear black stockings and their hair up in a bun. In some areas, higher level education and Internet use used to be discouraged. Some secretly have TVs in their attics. Most teenagers now watch TV online – while feeling superior to outsiders with their “sinful” TVs.

Females are not allowed wear trousers, make-up, jewellery or cut their hair short, although this is now slowly changing. Dress is a salvation to those within the meetings; the woman who takes to wearing trousers is judged to be “rebellious”, considered destined for hell and subject to gossip and worker visits. The workers often give accounts of those who let their daughters wear trousers and later regretted it when their daughter left “the Truth” and became involved in “a life of sin” all because of the trousers. The idea is that all teenage girls and women should dress like the sisters workers.

The workers often warn against leaving the group. The stories the workers give about those who left the meetings were apparently “true” incidents of people who left the group “for the love of the world” or out of “bitterness”. These rebellious people always died tragically, regretting their mistake but realising it was “too late” for them to return to the fold, and to God. Having family members leave the group is considered a great shame. If someone leaves the group, people will suddenly stop speaking of that person in public. Family members are urged to put pressure on that person to return to the meetings. If a spouse leaves the group, the partner remaining in the group is glorified for suffering so and is encouraged by the workers to withdraw affection until their partner returns to the meetings. Children with a parent who is not professing are considered to be from a “divided home” and there is a stigma attached to coming from a divided home.

Even for those in the meetings, there is no guarantee of salvation. For salvation one must hear the gospel from the workers, join the group and obey the workers. As a result there is an atmosphere of fear of failing.  Once a child born into the meetings reaches his/her teens, he/she is expected to join the group. Relations, family members and peers put pressure on teenagers to profess because it is believed that if he/she does not join the group, he/she will die and go to hell. I had no desire to profess but for a long time feared I would go to hell if I died before professing. In my teens, I became so convinced that God would kill me in the night and send me to hell that I would try not to sleep during the night and get night time panic attacks.

As many teenagers are pushed into the group against their wishes in the early teens, most teenagers in the group live a double life; wearing makeup and trousers to university and then long skirts and no makeup when in the presence of the workers, nightclubbing on Saturday nights and then turning up for the Sunday morning meeting  few hours later. Others turn to drugs and alcohol once they go to university and are able to escape the direct influence of the workers.

There are cases of workers and elders abusing children in a sexual manner. Although Noel Tanner is the only an Irish worker to be convicted for abusing young boys, there are others. A Cork worker was removed from “the work” in 2006 for taking advantage of a teenage boy in France but was never reported to the police. There are rumours of other Irish workers being involved in child sex abuse. To date fifteen workers and professing friends have been convicted for child sex abuse. http://www.wingsfortruth.info/convicted.htm

I was taught that that the meetings was the only true church, that it was founded personally by Jesus “on the shores of Galilee”.  To find out years later online that the meetings was actually started by a man just over a century ago was a shock. It really hurt to discover that I had been lied to by my older family members and by the workers.

I want those still inside the group to know that they can leave the group and not go to hell. I want them to know clothing is not a salvation issue. I want them to know that other churches are not evil. I want the friends to be free. There will be some who will read this and label me as “bitter” or dismiss me as having “nerve problems” but all I feel is sorrow for those still in bondage. In leaving the meetings, I did not “lose out”- I gained so much.

If you have any information on the meetings that you wish to pass on please contact us in the strictest of confidence @ info@dialogueireland.org

Someone who is studying this group in great detail is:  http://irvinegrey.com/

491 Responses

  1. Thanks, I’ve emailed you and I’ll let you know how this goes. Previously my attempts to communicate with an elder and a worker have resulted only in anger (in the case of the elder) and dismissal of the issue (in the case of the worker). Neither of them appear able to understand that an elderly lady with Alzheimer’s is in need of a little latitude and reassurance.

    Like

  2. John wrote,

    Hello dialogueireland, I would very much like to be in touch with the overseer in England, Ben Crompton, and would be very grateful to you. The only thing is, since he’s close to the elder I’m having problems with,

    I had a lengthy discussion with Craig Fulton one of the leaders here today and he is certainly very open to discussing any issues with you. May I suggest you write to me and I will copy him in my reply by email. He also expressed an interest to discuss the issue of child protection. I agreed to furnish him with information on this.
    He currently is in Co Fermanagh, but is willing to meet up with me when he comes south next month. I also may attend a convention to get a sense of the lived faith of the members today.

    and since another man who has had much more terrible problems than my own has told me that meeting with the Irish overseers was a complete waste of time, I don’t hold out high hopes.

    Again I am not sure what this relates to but you might include that in your email to me which I will then raise with Craig Fulton when I meet him.

    Like

  3. Hello dialogueireland, I would very much like to be in touch with the overseer in England, Ben Crompton, and would be very grateful to you. The only thing is, since he’s close to the elder I’m having problems with, and since another man who has had much more terrible problems than my own has told me that meeting with the Irish overseers was a complete waste of time, I don’t hold out high hopes.

    I doubt whether Mr. Crompton cares if my relative has been dissuaded from seeing other relatives, or is being scared by the very people she trusts, even though she has Alzheimer’s. I think Mr. Crompton will likely see this as small potatoes in comparison to what he will see as an issue regarding her immortal soul. I’ve also got short shrift from others in the Two by Twos on these matters.

    But I could be completely wrong about Mr. Crompton, of course. He knows her, and few words from him to the effect that it is OK to visit any of her relatives would make a world of difference to the last years of her life.

    If Mr. Crompton would go so far as to say to my relative that it’s OK for her to have a TV tuned to news, a children’s channel or a nature channel (which I could pay for and arrange for her) that too would (in the view of her psychiatric nurse and social worker) likely help to slow her mental decline.

    I very much doubt that Mr. Crompton would go that far (especially since she has meetings in her home), but of course it’s possible that I have underestimated his compassion, since I don’t know him personally (although my relatives have met him and he spoke at the funerals of other of my relatives).

    If my aunt was reassured that visiting her relatives is not wrong spiritually in her condition especially (Alzheimer’s), that would be a huge step forwards and would make a real difference to her.

    Like

  4. The overseers in the UK and Ireland do not appear to care about this issue, and I expect it’s the same in many other areas. Since “workers” stay in people’s homes, are usually untrained in these matters, and since I can personally attest that a culture of secrecy and of never questioning workers prevails in the UK, and since workers stay in one home after another, clearly a recipe for disaster is firmly in place with regard to child abuse.

    John Purcell as you know I have met with the leaders here in the Republic. Would you like me to facilitate a visit with them here in Dublin for you to raise your concerns or for them to put you in direct contact with the leader in England?
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/di-director-meets-with-two-workers-of-the-home-fellowship-of-christians/
    It is just short of two years since I met them.

    Like

  5. Speaking as someone who has been trying to research this sect for only less than three months now and who grew up with the sect, I’ve found that sexual abuse of children appears to have been extremely common in the past, and little seems to have changed.

    Wings for Truth (created by Cherie Kropp and her husband and others, with “minduser” here among those on the board as Cherie confirms) has had limited but very, very important success so far, I hear.

    In the UK and Ireland, I’m not aware of any real change in regard to child abuse within the sect. Ex-members frequently come out with stories of sexual misconduct by workers or having been molested themselves.

    I spoke recently to one of the few people (I’ll call him X; he has publicly identified himself but is under terrible pressure in his life) who managed to get a worker actually convicted; the worker was convicted for only two years and X knows many others who were molested by this worker but were afraid to come forwards or just wanted to try to forget about it.

    The overseers in the UK and Ireland do not appear to care about this issue, and I expect it’s the same in many other areas. Since “workers” stay in people’s homes, are usually untrained in these matters, and since I can personally attest that a culture of secrecy and of never questioning workers prevails in the UK, and since workers stay in one home after another, clearly a recipe for disaster is firmly in place with regard to child abuse.

    All signs appear to point towards it being rife, due to a minority of workers abusing one child after another.

    Present members have a habit of being blissfully unaware of the situation, with many not knowing about the sect’s large secret bank accounts (because many or most are still secret), the sect’s history, and the hierarchical nature of the organisation. Very few know that the last high council meeting took place in Geneva in February, for instance, or that there even is a high council. Call it something else if you wish, but that fact is that overseers meet together annually (seemingly always in expensive tax havens for some reason) and discuss things like whether women need to have their hair in buns or not.

    I am personally witnessing how the sect is attempting to cut off an ill elderly relative of mine from relatives that she loves. They’ve had one success there already and I appear to be next in the firing line. Members of the sect are usually oblivious to wrongdoing in the sect and will hear no criticism.

    Ex-members are actually generally extremely restrained in what they say, because they too usually have friends and relatives in the Two by Twos. They generally do not want to be identified, and speak to others about wrongdoing in the sect either not at all, or only confidentially to people they trust.

    It is only a matter of time before this sect either collapses or hits the headlines in a major manner. By refusing to take a name, they have avoided a great deal of scrutiny. That’s why it’s so important that we have a name to pin on them; the Two by Twos. This is only just beginning to allow external official authorities to identify, investigate and deal with the sect systematically.

    Present members tend to think of all the genuinely nice (but all too often falsely nice and easily manipulated) people they’ve met in the sect and refuse to believe that the sect could be wrecking people’s lives on the scale that it actually is. They tend to believe it is the one true way to salvation, and everything else is secondary to that.

    Like

  6. I wasn’t at all implying minduser is not on the level, so don’t take it personally minduser. It’s just that I like to establish facts, so I’m looking for supporting evidence (but obviously you’re not under any kind of obligation and don’t owe it to me to supply it) that child safety measures of some sort has been implemented somewhere for workers. I would just find that interesting and I think Wings for Truth are doing a great job. It doesn’t seem to me that any such measures are in place in the UK or Ireland whatsoever.

    As always, we’re left not knowing what’s actually happening. This is my big problem with the sect in general; I have on my hands an elder who looks like he’s up to financial shenanigans, and the finances of the sect are so opaque that I’m going to ridiculous lengths to determine the truth of the matter, instead of being able to just go to the public accounts of a charity and see how it works. Or instead of being able to actually get straight answers from people in the sect. No-one in there seems to want to ask or answer questions. They are the most evasive bunch of people I’ve ever met in my life. And I’m talking about the people in the UK above all, mind you, but Ireland sounds just as bad from what I’ve heard.

    Regarding my own identity, as I mentioned previously, I’m this guy: http://www.caveofprogramming.com. So you can read all about me there. You can also find there links to older sites I created where I talked a lot about what I was up to at the time. There’s more information about me there than most people would want. I’ve also written a Kindle book that contains a lot of biographical information in relation to how I came to set up caveofprogramming.

    I’ve never previously felt the need to talk about the faith my grandparents got into, circa 1920. When I left home to go to university at 18, I wanted simply to get far away from it and start a new life. Then I come back due to concerns about the health of members of my family, and I discover a shocking situation involving a relative and an elder in this faith.

    But really, I might as well be a random person on the Internet. My identity is not so important, I don’t think. What is important, is that very many people are having problems with an organisation, the Two by Twos, because of its secrecy, lack of transparency, and lack of safeguards. I would like the faith to undergo dramatic reform. It is not only me that has felt it impossible to get to the bottom of anything with people in this faith. There are lots of us who have endured a lot of unpleasantness purely because a group of people who say they are Christians refuse to have any kind of transparency, creating easy work for paedophiles and fraudsters of all kinds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes Bruce Murdoch I think I remember from earlier. I was on my phone so had a problem accessing your details. Thanks

    Like

  8. Strange, because when I click on the “mindmuser” link on my post here, it takes me right to my WordPress blog posts which in turn I can find the name of mindmuser and at least one Facebook account (my business one) which in turn you could find my personal Facebook account. If you read my blog posts and my Facebook posts, it won’t take long before you get a picture of my musing mind! I have no concerns about being identified whatsoever….I don’t know why I should have any concerns about identity as there is no significant downside risk. I suppose I don’t want to make a big thing out of my name as surely someone will next accuse me of self-promotion…..you can’t win sometimes!

    Anyway, if the link is active only to me, here is my blog URL: https://mindmuser.wordpress.com/

    As far as my role in Wings For Truth, I have stated that I am an active member of the board of the site and have been for quite a few years now. There are just over a dozen board members, about half actively involved in the 2×2’s and half ex members. Of that number, about 6 are very active within that group, and coincidentally 3 inside the fellowship and 3 ex members. I am honoured to be associated with everyone on that site. The site is neither pro nor anti- 2×2. It is pro-children’s safety, no more, no less. It does not represent the fellowship. Its purposes are stated on the site.

    The CSA guidelines that you can find on the site were originally not sponsored by Wings for Truth but heavily supported by WINGS during its developmental process. I was the co-ordinator of those guidelines and most of the input came from 2×2 members and workers, including more than one professional in the field.

    I hope that helps a bit.

    Like

  9. Mindmuser I just tried to find anything about you and was only referred back to this blog. We protect anonymity but you are not a victim so is there any reason why for the purposes of this discussion you can’t representing an organisation declare your role and name. John could you address the issue of your identity brought up by Mindmuser?

    Like

  10. I’m not anonymous, I don’t know where you guys get that from. A few simple clicks on WordPress and you can find out more about me than you probably care to know.

    On the other hand, “John Purcell” could be a pseudonym as far as I can tell. I have many UK connections, both inside the fellowship and ex members but you seem to have no connections with the ones I have checked with. No matter, I don’t require identification to have a discussion. If you can’t accept my assertions, that is fine too….but I don’t see value in providing you with much more information at this time as you seem to have your mind made up that my information is not particularly valuable to you.

    Like

  11. No, it’s fair enough if minduser wants to be anonymous, I’m only saying that there’s no way for me to verify minduser’s assertions. Minduser tells me he or she is associated with Wings for Truth https://wingsfortruth.info/ and he may be, but how would I know if he is or isn’t?

    People often have legitimate reasons for not identifying themselves, but then whatever they say cannot even be associated with an identifiable person.

    If minduser says that “workers” in some places are given training on dealing in a correct manner with child abuse, how do I know that’s the case? This is the first I’ve heard of it, and any training is clearly not currently effective in the UK, if it occurs at all. It’s not only the workers that need training, but sermons such as Graham Thompson’s need to become the norm: https://wingsfortruth.info/responding-to-csa/sermon-by-graham-thompson/

    Instead, after attempts to push Graham Thompson out, he left of his own accord, feeling that the Two by Twos are fundamentally problematic.

    It wasn’t an easy decision for me to post under my real name. People in this faith have already convinced a relative of mine (who an elder and his friends are manipulating) to not see another of my relatives, who she loved visiting. In time, they will likely try to stop this relative from seeing me too. Recently, a member of this faith removed all visible copies of my phone number from her house. If they do succeed, we will miss each other; she is suffering a deteriorating mental condition and what I want is for pressure and manipulation to be removed from her.

    But by posting publicly like this, the sect is able to identify me and may redouble their efforts. On the other hand, I now know things about them that they wouldn’t want made public, and I’m careful to hold some things back as leverage, in case I need them.

    I want them to know that it’s going to be easier for them in the long run if they cease to manipulate my relatives. Otherwise, leaders in the sect are going to find me a driving force behind substantiating and revealing all the things they don’t want people to know about them. And the thing is, I’m an extremely persistent person with a very large number of contacts. The picture and level of substantiation I’ve built up a year or two years from now will make what I already know (which is quite a lot) look like nothing.

    If, for example, Craig Fulton or Ben Crompton would like to explain to me why this elder has dug his fingers into my family’s finances for the past forty plus years, and yet we know nothing about his finances, I’d be delighted to hear it. So far all I’ve heard is evasiveness, diversionary tactics, and anger. I suspect what I’ve seen so far is possibly the tip of an iceberg, in the words of the police.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. John are you saying that in order to be able to be sure mind muse r is not just a cover you need him to publically identify himself? I can see from your IP where you are both based.

    Like

  13. The situation with regard to my elderly relative and this elder is under investigation by relevant authorities (an investigation which I initiated, after uncovering his actions), That’s about all I can say about that at the moment, since it’s ongoing. When I first became suspicious, I went straight to the police.
    What I can say is that I have fairly good evidence that this elder handles money on behalf of the UK overseer, and that evidence I’ve also passed on to the authorities. For legal reasons I cannot tell you which authorities, except to say that the process is being handled by them, and not by me.
    If you’re a member of Wings for Truth (I have no way of knowing if you are, since you’re anonymous), I’d hope you could provide me with some sort of details and corroborating evidence that guidelines of some sort have been implemented somewhere. Public documentation of this would provide a model for European overseers to follow.
    Unless of course, anything that has been implemented is ineffective and misguided.
    You (and anyone else who has any information) is welcome to contact me via my website, caveofprogramming.com. Please put FRIENDS AND WORKERS in the subject line.
    If you’re a member of Wings for Truth, you’d be able to email me from an address associated with them.
    However, as I say, my view is that the worst problems likely occur not in Australia or the USA, but in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The overseers here appear to be frightened that things will go like they’ve gone in other countries, and they maintain a tight grip.
    Currently Wings for Truth give no indication on their website that any guidelines of any sort have been implemented, as far as I can see. What they do have, is a list of heart-rending stories of people who were abused, when children, by people in the sect: http://wingsbts.proboards.com/board/11
    Most people, from what I’ve been told, are not willing to report their stories. They are just glad to have escaped the sect. Or else they are still in it, and are afraid to say anything. The fact that Wings for Truth allows people to report their stories anonymously, and that only a few of these have ever come to public attention, speaks volumes.
    What is needed is not dubious in-house training of workers, but oversight by external authorities, who are trained in this area. You cannot send pairs of “celibate” workers into the houses of people who have children, and have those children calling them “uncle” to boot, and have an atmosphere where workers cannot be subject to detailed questioning by ordinary sect members. That’s a recipe for disaster that guarantees that child abuse will occur.
    Look at what happened with Noel Tanner in Ireland: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/preacher-in-religious-sect-assaulted-boy-433352.html — one of the few workers to have actually been convicted. One of Tanner’s victims has spoken about the reality of what Tanner got up to, and it’s even a lot more unpleasant than how this newspaper article makes it sound.
    People in the UK and Ireland may often regard having workers stay with them as an honour (since they’re constantly told that the workers sacrifice everything for them), but many people simply feel obliged to have the workers stay. Otherwise that shows a “bad spirit” in the eyes of the sect.
    The fact that Percy Watkins drowned himself in a bath not long ago, and no-one knows the full facts of why that happened, shows you how these issues are dealt with (if they’re dealt with at all, because usually they’re not) in the UK.
    Ben Crompton proceeded to make a statement which simultaneously blackened Percy’s name, while also making it clear that Ben Crompton automatically regarded any allegations as untrue.
    If this is how the sect in the UK and Ireland deals with matters as serious as child abuse, how do they deal with matters such as people being pressured or manipulated into giving large sums of money to the sect? It’s clear to me from personal experience that they don’t care. Look at what allegedly happened with the Irish leadership and this Romanian farmer who was apparently swindled out of his farm.
    The attitude of the sect in the UK and Ireland appears to be that the ends justifies the means. They are the only true Christians, we’re on Earth for a few score years and in Hell or Heaven for eternity. Therefore if someone suffers on this Earth in order to help “spread the gospel”, that’s a trivial thing to them. They are anxious to avoid “damage to the Kingdom”.

    Like

  14. John, I’m an active board member of Wings for Truth and can confirm the progress being made on the CSA issue. When we produced a suggested set of guidelines, there were none out there at the time but there have been several since and more being developed right now.

    I’m keenly aware of the Watkins situation and quite a bit of the background leading up to his suicide including details of the allegation. The piece of the puzzle I am missing is the nature of the conversation between Mr.Watkins and Mr.Crompton after the matter was brought forward to the European overseers and just prior to his passing.

    Regarding your relatives’ situation, the appearance of someone getting set up to perpetrate a possible future fraud isn’t going to get you much traction with the authorities, or anyone really. At this stage, you run the risk of appearing that you want to control the finances for your own agenda. Regardless, evidence that someone might perpetrate a crime is not actionable. I don’t know about the UK, but many jurisdictions in the First World countries are getting serious about elder abuse law and enforcement. Maybe there is something in there that is actionable.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I can’t really say much about what’s happening with my relative, but it is in official hands. It will be quite a while before there’s any official resolution to the matter. My great fear is that a fraud was being planned but the perpetrator will face no justice because he was biding his time and merely preparing a fraud. On the other hand, it’s of course possible that he only made bizarre but innocent mistakes. It’s just that it doesn’t really appear that way to me, and I’ve now heard many similar stories.

    Like

  16. Mr Purcell; the matter of your initial concern, the fraud committed against your unwell elderly relative. You could perhaps update us on the police investigation of this? When will the court case be happening. Any idea of the time frame? Before conventions? or after?
    That was good advice Dialogue Ireland gave that you have the involvement of the law. They won’t allow any fraud of your unwell elderly relative to go unpunished. You are somewhat a toothless tiger with your posts here. ‘The Bobbys’ are the ones with teeth and a bite.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You’re right minduser, as I said later, I did confuse the two Grahams there.

    It’s very good to hear (although this is the first time I’ve heard it and have heard it nowhere else and have found no corroborating evidence for it) that guidelines are being put in place in other countries.

    On the contrary, Wings for Truth are advocating such guidelines, which do not appear to exist in their part of the USA.

    I don’t believe there is any such policy in the UK or Ireland. On the contrary, I’ve repeatedly heard stories of people being sexually molested by workers when children, and such people now raising what happened to them with present workers or “friends” would be deeply unwelcome in general, as far as I can see on the basis of my personal experience and experiences recounted to me.

    I cannot even talk to an elder about why he had arranged my elderly and unwell relative’s finances in a manner suggestive of intent to defraud without him exploding at me. He has repeatedly lied, I have got short shrift when I attempted to talk to workers on related issues.

    If even one senior worker would perhaps take the time to answer the many detailed questions I have and put my mind at rest, that would be quite wonderful.

    What I have told you, and am able to tell you here, is a small snippet of some very unpleasant dealings that I’ve ended up having to be involved in with this sect. They are managing to mess up my life without me even being in the sect.

    My relatives in the Two by Twos were always under the impression that there was no hierarchy. When I discovered that there in fact was such a hierarchy not many years ago, they considered this at first to be a “load of rubbish”. My uncle was a worker for many years and flatly denied the existence of any hierarchy. So Graham Thompson’s words on this (which I’ve heard of only from you), may for all I know, have seemed out of place in Australia. They would not seem out of place in the least in the UK. Many people in the UK (and I should think, Ireland) would be deeply shocked if they knew about the history, hierarchy and finances of this sect.

    I have seen this shock, and witnessed the reactions of people when they’re told about this sort of thing. I was personally told repeatedly thirty years ago that the sect has no Earthly founder and no hierarchy, and nothing I’ve encountered has made me feel that much has really changed since in the UK.

    Whatever happened with Percy Watkins (who drowned himself in the bath of a friend of one of my relatives — a very nice and kind woman), was deeply wrong. Mr. Crompton’s words on the matter appear to indicate that he regarded any allegations as untrue, and Percy clearly did not feel supported; he committed an act (suicide) which is regarded by many in the UK as a one-way ticket to Hell.

    No allegations were made to the police about Percy, and if Percy had done something wrong, this should have been handled by the judicial system. Instead, after talking to Ben Crompton and Peter Liddle, he chose to drown himself in a bath.

    Mr. Crompton said he had done this to avoid “damage to the Kingdom”. But no single occurrence in the UK has been more damaging to Mr. Crompton’s kingdom than Percy’s suicide.

    Like

  18. John, a few things on the “Graham” issue. When you were referring to Graham Snow, I think you were meaning Graham Thompson. It was Graham Snow sent Down Under to talk to Graham Thompson. While Graham Snow did come from Europe, he is a fellow New Zealander so he isn’t exactly a foreigner. It only makes sense that Snow was dealing with it since the atmosphere between Graham Thompson and the NZ overseer (Alan Richardson) was poisoned enough that it would have been unlikely to have made any progress.

    To enlighten you a bit further, the CSA issue is not the one that GT was championing for the years he fell out with his fellow workers. CSA was an issue he took up near the end of his tenure. His primary complaint had to do with church polity……which is an interesting one and would make most observers outside the church group wonder about. GT argued that there should be no polity whatsoever and railed at the organization (as minimal and informal as it is) with regularity. That was what put him at odds with pretty much all of his colleagues. The CSA issue came much later.

    And on CSA, I can report to you that today, most workers (in North America and Down Under anyway) have had training on CSA, have written guidelines on what to do, and are also trained to know that there should be zero tolerance for it and to report cases to the authorities. In New Zealand specifically, Mr. Richardson had a set of guidelines written up by experts in the field. Just offhand, I don’t recall if it happened before or after Mr.Thompson’s famous sermon on it, but there has been a seachange of understanding of CSA undergoing for quite a few years now. I can tell you that the European overseers take CSA very seriously. The recent tragic suicide of a senior worker in England was very much connected to the CSA issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Minduser, sorry, I meant to say Graham Thompson there — Graham Snow is of course the current overseer of Germany, who was sent to deal with Graham Thompson after Thompson bravely spoke about the importance of cooperating with authorities and exposing wrongdoing.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Believe me, I’m doing what I can, minduser. Whenever I’ve got hold of anything that is of interest to any official authority, I’ve reported it.

    There’s a lot of other material on them that either has been reported to the relevant authorities by others, or else cannot be substantiated to the point where any authority is interested.

    This latter material falls into a grey area, because although it often suggests that problems in the sect are far worse than meets the eye, often it can’t be substantiated, or hasn’t yet been substantiated. Therefore harder evidence on these other matters is what I’m personally looking for, to the point where authorities will engage further with it.

    It’s important to me not to simply slander people, and I’m someone who on the one hand is now in a perpetual state of shock, but also I’m very aware that the majority of people in the Two by Twos are entirely innocent of legal wrongdoing. The worst you can say about most of them is that some of them have a habit of telling others they will face the “gnashing of teeth” etc, but that’s neither here nor there unless you’re having to deal with it personally.

    Regarding Graham Snow, if I was his boss, I would not be firing him for pointing out to me that I was overseeing a system which lends itself to encouraging child abuse. What I’d do is immediately reform the system I was presiding over. I would not encourage pairs of “celibate” preachers to go and stay in the houses of people who have children and who they often barely know.

    Notice the worker who was sent to deal with Snow was not even an Australian worker, but was sent from Europe.

    If you have other material on Graham Snow that suggests he had done anything other than point out very real problems in the sect, I would encourage you to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. The Graham Thompson story is actually an example of the high degree of tolerance of criticism, not the other way around. I can say that the GT sermons you point out were not out of the blue and an attempt at removing came solely from that. His criticisms had a history of years and frankly, if you were his boss and received the direct personal attacks he repeatedly expressed to his overseer, you would have fired him years before his ministry terminated.

    That is not to say GT was all wrong or even a lot wrong. It is to say there is always another side to the story and more to it than what you will get from opponents of the group. Your research sounds like Mr.Grey’s: almost entirely from opponents of the group even though he had offers of input from those currently involved.

    Like

  22. John, I would suggest releasing the information as soon as it is possible. Your threat to do so unless they back off the alleged abuse isn’t going to work. I’ve been involved with this group for over 60 years and while I have witnessed abuse of various kinds, it is isolated situations. Where certain behaviours are considered systemically abusive, you can be sure that those inside do not interpret their actions that way.

    If the abuse of your relative is real, then you do need to act as soon as possible. I can tell you that I for one, would support any attempt to stop abuse of any substantiated abuse.

    As the moderator here indirectly suggests, what about engaging the authorities in this? It sounds like you are intimating theft or embezzlement here.

    Confronting the abusive elder is another approach. Yet another approach is to pick up the phone and speak to the overseer of England or Ireland and discuss the matter with him…..see if you can get some action there.

    Like

  23. Dialogueireland — in reply to your question, I’ve been in contact with the police and other government bodies, but I’m also trying to investigate myself as much as possible. Obviously it’s not always possible to say anything about ongoing or initiated investigations — whether by myself or by official organisations.

    For a while I’ve been in a position of only having people report things to me who wished to remain firmly anonymous (since they have vulnerable relatives in the sect and often have a lot of pressure on them themselves), and I pass on any information I can to relevant bodies. But more recently I’ve started to find people who are willing to come forwards.

    In addition to this, I intend to post whatever information can be posted legally and without breaching confidentiality in due course, because I’m now aware of much further information that can’t always be substantiated, but that is very credible, especially since I’m hearing the same kinds of stories over and over again from completely different people. I’ll seek legal advice over what can and can’t be made public.

    On the one hand, I’ve no wish to libel anyone, and there are very many extremely decent people in the Two by Twos. On the other hand, it’s staggering how many people have been abused in one way or another by people associated with this relatively small sect.

    Members of the sect in the UK and the Republic of Ireland have a very strong habit of “looking the other way” or ineffectively attempting to deal internally with matters that ought to be referred to the police.

    When the “worker” (preacher) Graham Thompson gave a sermon on this very topic in Australia, advocating full cooperation with official bodies and saying that the Two by Twos are only equipped to deal with spiritual matters, not legal or mental health issues, worker Graham Snow was sent halfway across the world to attempt to expel him.

    See
    http://www.2x2ministry.org/letters/Graham_Thompson_letter.php
    and
    https://wingsfortruth.info/responding-to-csa/sermon-by-graham-thompson/

    Unfortunately the idea of not questioning the “workers” is deeply inculcated into members of the sect in this part of the world (in my personal experience and in the experiences recounted to me), and this has allowed some very unsavoury characters to get away with far too much, right up to the present day.

    Present members tend to see all criticism as a simple attack, rather than something to search their consciences over, or something that might highlight areas in which reform is required.

    Like

  24. John thanks for your update. Are you trying to investigate this yourself? Are you asking the police to assist?

    Like

  25. Regarding the dangerousness of the Two by Twos and my personal connection with them, in response to earlier replies.

    An elder in the Two by Twos is currently under investigation by the UK’s Office of the Public Guardian for the bizarre way he has arranged the finances of an elderly and vulnerable relative of mine.

    A number of my relatives are in the sect.

    In the UK, while some changes have occurred over the past thirty years, the overseers in the UK and Ireland still exert very tight control.

    I know from personal experience that people in this sect, the ones in the know (not the rank and file membership) are prepared to lie through their teeth, repeatedly. The evidence I’ve collected that financial abuse and child abuse is widespread in the sect is now considerable.

    At the moment, I’m somewhat constrained in what I can say by the ongoing investigation, and I don’t yet have all the pieces of what is a very large and nasty puzzle, but they’re coming together fast.

    Since this elder and others in the sect are presently heavily manipulating my relative, and since I have now heard similar stories (recounted to me personally) over and over and over again, the time is coming when it will be possible for me to electronically release everything I now know, except in cases where sources wish to remain anonymous.

    In the space of a little over two months I’ve gone from regarding them as just another dour protestant sect that I wouldn’t particularly recommend to people but have nothing particularly against, to regarding them as dangerous, nasty, and focused firmly on money rather than Jesus or anything spiritual (I’m talking about the hierarchy here, not the rank-and-file members).

    By profession I’m a web marketer (I very successfully market my own computer tutorial videos and worked for a web publishing company for seven years) and I know how to reach very large audiences, and the collection of substantiated facts I now have on the Two by Twos is shocking and will in time be released unless the sect backs off. In fact, I don’t want to sound paranoid (I don’t think the sect is directly physically violent), but I’ve arranged for information to be automatically released if anything should happen to me.

    Are the Two by Twos unique? No. Do I have a personal interest in them? Yes. They have dug their stick fingers into my family’s finances for many decades, and this latest development takes the biscuit.

    I will expose the truth about them, and my understanding of what they’re up to is progressing in leaps and bounds, especially since I have the financial wherewithal to hire relevant experts and investigators. Whatever other faiths are up to — I’m not the self-appointed guardian of faiths. But when they tangle with my relatives, that makes it personal.

    Like

  26. John Purcell I note you let the cat out of the bag with this comment.

    I’ve just skimmed through this discussion … I see that Irvine Grey has taken some flak for concluding that the Two by Twos are a dangerous cult.

    You then proceed to say the following.

    Mr. Grey’s excellent book lays out the criteria he uses for using the word “cult”, and he arrives at this conclusion from a theological perspective.

    He in fact not only uses the theological criteria, but also others you mention. You go onto ignore his theological views as you in fact have no views you claim.

    “As someone who has no particular beliefs

    Then you tell us you are related to foundation members and conclude,

    whose maternal grandparents (like Mr. Grey’s) were also in the Two by Twos, joining the movement not very long (in the UK) after its inception, I regard the Two by Twos as a denomination (in spite of the lack of acknowledged name) with cult-like characteristics.

    “I agree that they are dangerous.”

    So you seem to have an interest in them but are obviously not involved. But like Irvine you believe they are dangerous.
    Let us dig deeper.

    The cult-like characteristics include:

    – The unusually high degree of conformity required and enforced via psychological pressure (step out of line and you will be asked to stop attending meetings, or shamed by being told not to speak in meetings, and a pair of workers may well have a private word with you — or workers may even speak out against your particular actions in meetings).

    John where is your evidence for these charges? However, they are not unique to the 2×2 are they?

    – You are expected to give a reason if you do not attend a meeting.

    Is that unique to this group?

    – You are expected to host workers in your home, unless you have a good reason for not doing.

    Here we have a clear difference with mainstream Evangelical beliefs. Obviously we believe that the 2×2’s have a pre resurrection view of the NT. We generally would argue that Matthew 28 defines the post Pentecost mission and its Apostolic nature is clearly defined in the NT. However, this unorthodox view is not dangerous but different. Where it becomes dangerous is by definition having anyone of a different sex living in close proximity to the residents you have the danger of adultery and paedophilia. There can be an abuse of of this relationship from the primitive practice of living the simple life to here living the life of Reilly with high cost cars and internet use. Also linking ministry to celibacy is always a recipe for disaster as we see in Catholicism. So there are definite risks and feeling pressure to do this not a good place to be in.

    I will now move to your last paragraphs.

    The Two by Twos appear to be heading towards collapse in the UK, with the demographic of remaining members becoming increasingly elderly. I think this is the most likely reason for Ben Crompton closing three convention grounds and opening one new one, which is a profit-making business when it’s not being used for convention.

    From what I’ve heard, attendance even at the remaining UK conventions has dropped considerably over the past thirty years, and continues to fall.

    Having raised a number of issues it is clear you in reality recognise that the group is unable to address the modern world and that its youth are deserting and only an elderly rump is left. Like the Amish or other groups which retain strong boundaries unless they are able to renew themselves and become theologically trained in the basics of Hebrew and Greek and receive an education there will be this drift. Ido understand this is going on but not that much.

    – Members and most workers are kept in ignorance of the denomination’s history, hierarchy, and financial accounting system (which is intensely secretive, but appears to involve money being kept for overseers by selected elders in unknown private accounts and trusts).

    Yes a group which has no sense of its history and has no historical record will find that it is in trouble. Trying to deny the fact that they were founded by a specific time and place and deal with the different tendencies so well reported by Irving will in the end backfire. Just like some early Baptists claim they went back to Noah!!!! Generally there is a great deal more transparency going on in regard to the finances due to charitable regulation so if there abuse of funds it is going to come out. But again this is not unique to the 2×2’s.

    Therefore, there is no body that can be reformed, with guidelines and safeguards put in place.

    When this denomination tells people they have no Earthly founder other than Jesus (as I was repeatedly told), this is a simple lie. Members might regard it as true, but when an outsider walks into a gospel meeting and hears this, they are being lied to. From an outside neutral perspective, they have a founder and have been going now for 120 years, during which time they have undergone radical change from the form they took at their inception.

    You are absolutely right. If they do not have a real identity but just claim to go back to Jesus that will wear a bit thin, and it leaves those in leadership with the powers of say the Communist Party. Those conventions should see the bringing of theocratic/democratic structures brought into place with elections, but if you have a link straight to heaven how can you?

    Any organisation has its share of bad apples, but in other organisations, it’s possible to root them out and put in place safeguards. In the Two by Twos, workers and overseers have repeatedly faced criminal charges but no safeguards have been, or really can be as things stand, put in place.

    Since I know from personal experience that any criticism of the denomination or sect tends to be seen as a simple attack on the sincere beliefs of good people, if not on Jesus himself, I am quite sure that the actual criminal convictions of workers and overseers represent the tip of an iceberg, and are only usually possible at all, for the most part, in areas of the world where the denomination has become somewhat more liberal in its outlook and where an efficient legal system is in place.

    Again you have heard, but have you cases from a court or is this just hearsay? Regardless when one of their workers is found out to have been involved with abuse that will filter down and lead to less acceptance of the group.

    It is fine to say “we believe we go back to the shores of Galilee”. It is not fine to fail to mention contrary evidence to sect members, and to fail to give them any easy means by which to search for such information — by refusing to acknowledge any name.

    There was a church in Dublin which refused to have a name and it was known as 12 C. Needless there is thing called a No name name. As humans we like God name things as we see God doing in creation.

    Like

  27. John, it sounds like you could use an update on two by twoism. It sounds like you are describing history of decades ago. You lost me on the high degree of conformity right off the bat. While your assertions may well have been true in some places with some workers at some time in the past, your statement is rubbish today. I could go through the rest of your assertion with an update, whether it be on the subject of group expectations or how the group handles CSA.

    Two by twoism today is about as dangerous as a well fed kitten in a cage. As far as Mr. Grey’s conclusion that they are dangerous because of their non-trinitarian stance, well, if that is dangerous then so be it I guess.

    Like

  28. I’ve just skimmed through this discussion … I see that Irvine Grey has taken some flak for concluding that the Two by Twos are a dangerous cult.

    Mr. Grey’s excellent book lays out the criteria he uses for using the word “cult”, and he arrives at this conclusion from a theological perspective.

    As someone who has no particular beliefs and whose maternal grandparents (like Mr. Grey’s) were also in the Two by Twos, joining the movement not very long (in the UK) after its inception, I regard the Two by Twos as a denomination (in spite of the lack of acknowledged name) with cult-like characteristics. I agree that they are dangerous.

    The cult-like characteristics include:

    – The unusually high degree of conformity required and enforced via psychological pressure (step out of line and you will be asked to stop attending meetings, or shamed by being told not to speak in meetings, and a pair of workers may well have a private word with you — or workers may even speak out against your particular actions in meetings).

    – You are expected to give a reason if you do not attend a meeting.

    – You are expected to host workers in your home, unless you have a good reason for not doing.

    – Members and most workers are kept in ignorance of the denomination’s history, hierarchy, and financial accounting system (which is intensely secretive, but appears to involve money being kept for overseers by selected elders in unknown private accounts and trusts).

    The lack of any formal organisation, and tendency to deny the existence of any organisation, means that there is no body to be held accountable if terrible things happen that have been brought about by their particular practises.

    If children are abused by workers, who the sect have encouraged members to welcome into their homes and the children encouraged to call “uncle”, there is no body that can be held accountable.

    Therefore, there is no body that can be reformed, with guidelines and safeguards put in place.

    When this denomination tells people they have no Earthly founder other than Jesus (as I was repeatedly told), this is a simple lie. Members might regard it as true, but when an outsider walks into a gospel meeting and hears this, they are being lied to. From an outside neutral perspective, they have a founder and have been going now for 120 years, during which time they have undergone radical change from the form they took at their inception.

    Any organisation has its share of bad apples, but in other organisations, it’s possible to root them out and put in place safeguards. In the Two by Twos, workers and overseers have repeatedly faced criminal charges but no safeguards have been, or really can be as things stand, put in place.

    Since I know from personal experience that any criticism of the denomination or sect tends to be seen as a simple attack on the sincere beliefs of good people, if not on Jesus himself, I am quite sure that the actual criminal convictions of workers and overseers represent the tip of an iceberg, and are only usually possible at all, for the most part, in areas of the world where the denomination has become somewhat more liberal in its outlook and where an efficient legal system is in place.

    It is fine to say “we believe we go back to the shores of Galilee”. It is not fine to fail to mention contrary evidence to sect members, and to fail to give them any easy means by which to search for such information — by refusing to acknowledge any name.

    The lack of public accounts also makes fraud easy, and misappropriation of funds, in the UK, appears to be not only easy but actually legal under UK law.

    A limited company has a legal duty to file public accounts and to make its hierarchy clear to all members, and to acknowledge an official name. This is in order to safeguard and protect employees. The Two by Twos have no safeguards and have made it impossible to implement them.

    The Two by Twos appear to be heading towards collapse in the UK, with the demographic of remaining members becoming increasingly elderly. I think this is the most likely reason for Ben Crompton closing three convention grounds and opening one new one, which is a profit-making business when it’s not being used for convention.

    From what I’ve heard, attendance even at the remaining UK conventions has dropped considerably over the past thirty years, and continues to fall.

    Like

  29. An important evening with the group. Hearing peoples stories and trying to find ways to alert the public. Thanks Bruce.

    Like

  30. It looks like you have your hands full over there at the House of Prayer. The old standbys for defrauding people out of their money: fear and faith…..and that group seems to have it down to a science. Hope you can do some good for those victims.

    Like

  31. No I see it on my phone but then it gets caught if anyone uses more than two links. No holding a seminar for the victims of this group over the weekend.
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/category/christian/house-of-prayer/

    Like

  32. Thanks Mike. Just figured you were on holiday in Dublin kicking back and sipping a Jameson’s or Guinness! :)

    Like

  33. Bruce because you used two links I only found your comment on hold today. It is now up.

    Like

  34. 1. From “Two by Two”:

    “Quite simply, the doctrine of the church is the homeless ministry and church in the home.”

    From http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_2x2.htm

    “The group does appear secretive about their historical background, and does have unique beliefs about salvation. But, on other matters, they are very similar to other fundamentalist Christians in their beliefs.”

    The above demonstrates the difference between an agenda-driven narrative and an objectively researched narrative.

    2. More agenda-driven statements vs objective researched statements:

    From “Two by Two”:

    “Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion one can reach is that the 2×2 movement is a cult, and a particularly dangerous one.”

    From http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_2x2.htm:

    “The Counter-Cult movement (CCM) coalesced in the 1960’s, largely in opposition to the many new, small Christian religious groups which were then proliferating. They used the horrible experiences of members of a very few destructive cults in order to generate public fear and loathing for a wide range of new, benign religious groups, primarily those who:

    —-placed high demands on their membership, and/or
    —-held beliefs which differed from traditional, conservative Christian theology.
    The 2X2s appear to have been largely ignored by most of the counter-cult movement. The group is not mentioned in any of the popular anti-cult books written by conservative Christians.”

    3. From “Two by Two”:

    “This research has shown that the movement rejects……the deity of Christ…..”

    From the official publication of the Old and New Hymnbooks of the Friends and Workers:

    “…the Name of Christ divine..”
    “The Saviour left his glorious throne”
    “Glorious Lord and coming King”
    “To sit at the feet of my Master divine”
    “At whose throne the angels bow”
    “His life divine will fill your soul”
    “Dear Saviour lead me, by thy hand divine”

    There are literally hundreds (yes hundreds) of published references in which the friends and workers affirm the deity of Christ. How can anyone miss that unless they are agenda-driven and choose to ignore the published facts?

    4. From “Two by Two”:

    “Stone writes, ‘the workers ask professing people NOT to bring unprofessing people to fellowship meetings…….the friends may reveal doctrine and attitudes that the workers want hidden’.”

    The truth:

    Unprofessing people attend fellowship meetings all the time. Fellowship meetings are intimate gatherings where everyone participates, including shy people who are not generally comfortable with public speaking. Unprofessing people are not barred from fellowship meeting but random people from off the street or anti-2×2 attendees will definitely create uncomfortableness with participants so they are not likely going to be invited……the public gospel meetings are the venue for the random public, invited friends, and anti-2×2 researchers.

    It would require a paranoid mind to think that because it is not a wide open public gathering that it is because there is something to hide. There is nothing of any importance to hide, there are no dark secrets to be discovered in a fellowship meeting. It’s just ordinary people expressing their faith in Christ.

    Like

  35. “The Trinity is not overtly stated in the Bible and ‘Trinity’ is a secondary word…….dating back to the late 2nd century”.

    “Two by Two” Irvine Grey

    Like

  36. Irvine perhaps you could copy and paste that section of your book for people to read.

    Like

  37. Thanks Irvine we are finally moving forward,
    So back now to my request of many weeks ago….
    (Please copy and paste here from pg 130-134) YOUR understanding of trinity and then we can discuss here the one remaining plank for your statement that the movement is a cult (theologically)of a particularly dangerous kind.

    Like

  38. In response to your question as to my view on the doctrine of the Trinity, this is stated on pages 130 – 134 in my book, Two by Two the Shape of a Shapeless Movement. These pages also show the response of some of the 2×2 workers to the doctrine of the Trinity.

    I now await the list of experts that you claim have concluded that the movement is not a cult

    Like

  39. The traditional public silence hasn’t done the workers or the friends much good. It has left a vacuum for people with bad experiences to create the “cult” myth. Of course there are cultish characteristics present, as there are to varying degrees in every social grouping. However, the use of a hostile term like that which is easily arguably inaccurate has become an acceptable mantra for those in opposition whose intention is to demonize.

    The workers and friends tend to see only the downside of speaking with you Mike. It probably hasn’t even occurred to your Irish workers that speaking to an outside objective party with no axe to grind is a wonderful opportunity to get their story out.

    As far as Elizabeth’s book goes, I haven’t read it but I understand it simply describes her experience from her personal perspectives and doesn’t seem particularly agenda-driven, unlike Mr. Grey’s book. I have spoken to Elizabeth about the title and expressed that I thought it was a serious error if she intended to share her experience with people still in meetings (which she said she did have hopes for). The cult word will stop almost all of them before they even open the cover. As you suggest, it closes people down. For those ex members looking to validate their own experiences, it will garner interest although it becomes just another in a list of other books and publications which articulate negativity or opposition.

    As a book of personal experience and journey, I certainly support Elizabeth in that and am genuinely glad she found something that suits her better. Not being an exclusivist myself, I am always happy to see people journey to a better place in life.

    Like

  40. Bruce you have as usual got it in one. I have just got an email which moves to produce the confidence you suggest. What this new book really suggests is that it has a totally theological perspective. So instead of having a normal debate about your beliefs, you call them a cult to close down discussion. It is a do you beat your wife type of discussion. I hope Elizabeth will give us an insight into her thinking.

    Like

  41. Thanks Mike for keeping us posted.

    Their publicity-shy stance is largely based
    on a general fear that your intention is to do them harm. Their long practice of introversion has left them ill equipped and inexperienced with public involvement. It would be easy to interpret that as that they are trying to hide something when they really have little of serious importance to hide. It’s mostly a shyness due to lack of self-confidence……a condition that is almost the complete opposite to the early movement in Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Like

  42. You can leap to any conclusion your imagination can devise Irvine!

    Like

  43. Irvine I am surprised that you have surfaced here again!

    But have you forgotten the unanswered question?

    You stated your three planks for stating the group was a cult in a (theological sense only) We have proved two of your claims are baseless on this forum.

    We are awaiting for you to get back to us with YOUR personal definition of trinity. You have avoided that to date.

    You would do well to focus on the topic and issue rather than your unpleasant present approach of focus on personality.

    Like

  44. Does this mean that in future we can accept your comments as the official voice of the 2×2 movement?

    Like

  45. You use tell us that ‘it has been clearly stated by experts in cultism that is not a cult.’ This indicates a number greater than one so perhaps you could please list these experts for us. It would be interesting to examine their credentials.

    Like

  46. Bruce I have enjoyed our interaction. As it happens I have just received a response which suggests there might be movement. I will keep you posted.

    Like

  47. Elizabeth life is busy I don’t get time to read all I need to read never mind a book by a person who is foolish enough to provocatively give the title of her book ‘cult to Christ’ (a lutheran Christ?) when it is has been clearly and openly stated by experts in cultism that it is not a cult!

    Like

  48. Well DI, if they won’t talk to you in Ireland, you can always talk to me! :)

    Like

  49. Elizabeth due to time constraints have not put up info on your book. I do not think you need to worry about claims that reviewers are set up. I fully accept the authenticity of your story however, disagree with your definition of a cult. I can confirm that not only have the 2×2’s not responded to my request to meet their new leader in Ireland and visit one of their conventions but show no interest in dialogue. They seem happy to hide behind my rejection of the cult definition of Irvine and yourself but that seems as far as it goes.

    Like

  50. Hi Questioning, I personally do not know the majority of reviewers, and therefore cannot confirm their past association. Some indicate by their comments that they were once in the group; some explicitly say they have not been, and some it is hard to tell. I invite you to read the book for yourself before passing judgement.

    Like

  51. Questioning you have now repated yourself twice on this. This being IG. Could you now address the issue of Dialogue Ireland and the folks in Ireland? IG does not know who you are but I do. last year you went a bit silent.

    Like

  52. This is the response I got:

    ” Bruce, I’m having a hard time understanding the difference between your 1-3 and Jesus being viewed as God. Your description (to me) sounds like various ways of saying the same thing, Jesus is God.”
    16 July at 23:50 · Like · 2

    That respondent is quite perceptive.

    In South East Asia they have a saying they like to repeat in English: “Same same…but different”. That is the “cult” that Mr.Grey has perceived…..it’s the same as his own…..

    Like

  53. This is a post I wrote this week on a discussion site regarding the 2×2 view of Jesus theology:

    “Jesus does not say “I am God” nor does he say “I am God the Son”, so you won’t hear 2×2’s using that terminology. Those theological nuances were developed post-Jesus.

    While 2×2’s do not directly affirm the trinity theory, they do accept the following:

    1. That Jesus is the Son of God, the express image of God.
    2. That the fullness of the Godhead dwelt fully within Jesus.
    3. That Jesus is One with God.
    4. That Jesus today sits at the right hand of God, acting as intercessor for human beings.

    Anyone who is an objective observer would recognize that the differences between 2x2ism and trinitarians is splitting hairs. It is only the hair splitter theologians who see a difference worthy of condemning 2x2s as a particularly dangerous cult. The truth is, they aren’t much different in theology and are probably more true to the bible on the issue which in itself presents conflicting visions.”

    Like

  54. Some interesting posts.
    Irvine in his effort to evade giving HIS understanding of trinity departs on an unacceptable ‘side show’ and is rebuked for that by DI Moderator for that.

    brucemurdoch posts twice of irvine’s bias and lack any real understanding of the group despite having spent probably hundreds of hours on his project.

    After a good number of days it appears that Irvine has not intention to present HIS personal understanding of trinity for examination and scrutiny.

    Amazing really.He has the audacity to declare the group ‘a cult and a particularly dangerous one’ using HIS trinity as a major plank. Yet he now has come ‘rather coy and reticent’ or rather refuses to present it for examination.

    It is quite simple really he measures the group that takes the scripture as it’s sole authority by man made ‘measuring sticks’. Some theologian’s formula, creeds of men and finally a trinity which he refuses to state/declare.

    He then condemns himself with his use of the ‘cult’ word (of a dangerous kind!!!). Mischief is the word that comes to mind. Mischief by a ‘religious minded Baptist who has no time, respect or understanding of a group seeking to go back to the simple truth of the New Testament and to follow that without the trappings of religious formality, creeds, formulae etc that have accumulated in the centuries since.

    Like

  55. To understand 2x2ism, you must understand the meaning of “Primitive Christianity” as mentioned by the 2×2 historian Dr. Jaenen.

    2x2ism is a Restoration Movement of Primitive Christianity which attempts to “go back to Jesus” by adhering to the bible only and restoring what they see and understand of Jesus and the First Century Church. That means extra-biblical and post-biblical theories are largely not accepted. Not necessarily rejected, but because they are later developments which are not biblically explicit, you won’t find 2x2ism accepting and teaching them.

    “Classical evangelicalism” is not the road that 2x2ism has gone whatsoever. It has simply gone back to the bible only and adhere to what explicitly taught or exampled there, primarily the New Testament. You may argue that their understand is too primitive, or even wrong, but that is the essence of 2x2ism. They see other churches as going off in various tangents, which is what led them to their exclusivity.

    I’m certainly fine with Irvine as an individual, but I have plenty of criticisms about the content of the thesis. It has not captured the essence of 2x2ism whatsoever and regardless of Irvine’s protestations (and perhaps genuine belief), the book pretty obviously demonstrates a foregone conclusion. I have a number of reasons for that view, but the strongest one is in what is not said in the book rather that what is said. I would have been convinced of fairness and objectivity had the writer demonstrated a battle in his own mind about whether or not they are a “particularly dangerous cult”……but silence there. If nothing else, there should have been a full chapter or more with the arguments from other perspectives, and then fully disclosed. However, the book simply leads the readers to the slamdunk conclusion right from the start. I know of one such 2×2 who wanted to present Irvine with the view from the opposite side of the cult argument but according to him, was not heard. Instead, the preponderance of evidence came from disaffected members….many who have been out of the meetings for 1,2,3 and more decades.

    Like

  56. Irvine, the opposite of “benign and passive” is “aggressive and dangerous”, which is not what I would describe 2x2s or the 1st century church.

    If you look at the life of Jesus, pay particular note to his reaction to his accusers until his death. Also note Stephen and Paul when put before councils and accusers.

    Jesus is the greatest pacifist of all. You need to understand that this aspect of the character of Jesus is something that runs deep in the 2×2 character. History shows that 2×2’s, for the most part, were conscientious objectors in wars, often to their peril and scorn. To this day you will have difficulty finding an aggressive dangerous teaching anywhere in the doctrine. Sure, you might find the occasional outspoken person like myself, but I am in a small minority.

    If you have a difficult time figuring out why 2×2’s aren’t fighting back to defend themselves from attacks and namecalling, then you don’t understand significant 2×2 characteristics and beliefs. They look to Jesus to get their clues as to how to deal with a world of accusers and tend to stay silent even in the face of false accusations. That’s why “particularly dangerous” is actually a rather disingenous label whether on either a theological or sociological level.

    Like

  57. Irving you are now abusing this site. I have just told you in a private message people have the right to anonymity. Please address the issue not the person.

    Like

  58. Bruce at least has the courage of his convictions and openly states his case. He and I have corresponded on a number of occasions in the past and obviously he and I disagree on a number of areas.

    When you decide to step out from behind your mask of anonymity and demonstrate the courage of your convictions I will continue to dialogue with you but not until then.

    Like

  59. brucemurdoch appreciate your voice of reality and accuracy along with that of the moderator of the forum against this author who took licence to irresponsibly use the ‘cult’ word, along with the ‘sting in the the tail’ “of a particularly dangerous kind.

    At least he admits that ‘try as he could’ he was unable to label the group as a cult in anymore than the academic theological sense.

    He has presented his three planks for doing that. For those who look to scripture alone and not to the creeds and formulae of men the first two are debunked already.

    IF he steps up and give HIS personal understanding of trinity and which was his 3rd plank, we’ll see how much reality and validity that ‘plank’ has.

    Like

  60. Irvine you are being slippery and probably dishonest also in your last post and that is not a personal attack. It is an unemotional and factually correct statement and based on post. My comment on the divinity of Christ was in response to your first comment that our group and the deity of Christ.
    You make a broad and incorrect generalisation about the ‘2x2s (as you choose to refer to them) not answering questions. I have factually addressed each question you have answered.

    Your inability and reluctance you have to ‘step up’ and state YOUR understanding of trinity for a number of days now is embarrassing omission to a man who says the 2x2s will not answer questions!

    Step up man and state YOUR understanding of the trinity which is a major plank in your ‘dangerous kind of cult’ statement.

    If you can’t and won’t do this, then it will speak a message to readers here of your foolish inflammatory use of the the word cult/dangerous.

    My purpose is to expose your mal-use of the term for those who look to scripture and a living relationship with God as the measuring stick.

    With your man defined and produced formulae and your dependance on post Biblical creeds of man you can perhaps satisfy academic theological scholars.
    But what for those who depend on scripture alone and a living relationship by faith with God?

    Be a man, step and state YOUR trinity understanding, let us examine it in the light of scripture. Let’s see what validity for deriding a group with difference of practice from your baptist own as a cult of a particularly dangerous kind..

    Like

  61. Questioning you are correct to ask Irvine about the subject below:

    As for the historical creeds such as the Apostles Creed these are nothing more or nothing less than a concise statement of orthodox Christian doctrines. Of course they are not inspired as is Scripture but you do use Hymns Old and New where many of the hymns are written by those that the 2×2 movement considers to be hirelings.

    So Irvine you are suggesting that you would like to know what Questioning thinks about these.
    I won’t answer for him, but he has affirmed the biblical texts earlier. He might answer the one about John Ch 1 etc. But we usually apply that to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Having read you follow up comments I do believe that you held the view which was the conclusion of your thesis before you reached it.
    You may remember this time last year I had hoped to meet Tommie Gamble but he ran for cover.
    This is what a Worker who wrote to me said, “Tommie is ‘about done’. He doesn’t have responsibility there now, a younger man does.” I suggested that the younger man invite me for discussions and that with some friends we might attend one of the Conventions this summer. I would be glad to put last year behind us and have a fresh start. I am awaiting a reply.

    Like

  62. This is a typical two by two response where it is well-nigh impossible to get an answer to the question asked. There are many views as to what the divinity of Jesus means. That is not what I asked. Can you or can you not say, I believe/do not believe that Jesus was God come in the flesh? The meaning of Scripture is clear – [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2 ESV)

    Once I have an answer to that we can continue with the Trinity because this is a foundational part of it.

    Like

  63. Benign and passive are not adjectives I read in Scripture that could be applied to the New Testament Church.

    When you refer to extra-biblical standards I must point out that I used the four classical characteristics of evangelicalism as the yardstick for my research – The Bible, The Cross, Conversion and Activism (outreach). In your opinion which of these are extra- biblical?

    Evangelicalism encapsulates the Gospel of Christ crucified and risen for sinners, which is recorded for us in the infallible Scriptures and preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, and believed in a very personal way that issues in a life of conscious devotion to Christ as the eternal Son of God, with disciplines of Bible reading and prayer and the pursuit of holiness and a concern for unbelievers to hear the Gospel and be saved from everlasting torment.

    Like

  64. “Theologically primitive” (ie bible only) would be the best way to describe 2×2 theology. “Particularly dangerous (theological) cult” is far from accurate when compared to the bible but may be accurate when measured by extra-biblical standards as Mr.Gray does in his book. Yes, it may well be dangerous to extra-biblical concepts except that 2x2ism is rather benign and passive regarding the outreach of their bible-only ideas.

    Like

  65. Irvine,
    a) You know the commonly understood connotations that go with the use of the word ‘cult’. Then you compound that with your foolish and incorrect statement ‘a particularly dangerous one’. Glad you have clearly and unambiguously stated here that is ONLY in your ‘ivory tower’ theological world of formulas and non Biblical creeds that you have arrived at your dubious conclusion.

    b) Why are you setting preconditions on stating YOUR understanding of trinity? I believe John 1. I believe every Bible statement of the divinity of Christ. Are you unable to state YOUR personal understanding of Trinity without that precondition being met?

    c)Your incorrect and exclusive minded statement regarding Coleman is another confirmation that you are more disaffected and anti the group than most ex members who never go to the lengths you have gone to.

    d)Two of the bulwarks of substantiation of the ‘cult’ label you have issued have proved to me without substance. Once you get back with YOUR understanding of trinity we will examine the third bulwark.

    Like

  66. Let me be clear I embarked upon my research into the history, sociology and theology of the two by two movements with a completely open mind and impartiality. I had no preconceived ideas as to their nuances and beliefs that led to my eventual conclusion. Having grown up amongst many of them, I viewed them as a primitive Christian group who held that there is no salvation outside the movement as an exclusiveness that fascinated me.

    I was over three years into my research when I posted a question on the TMB ‘IS THE TWO BY TWO MOVEMENT A CULT.’ I then posted:

    ‘When I explain to those outside the 2×2 movement that I am researching the history, sociology and theology of this movement the question is usually asked, ‘Are they a cult’. Since this is a question I will address in my research I would appreciate the views of those who may support and those who reject the idea that the 2×2 movement is a cult. Well-reasoned and rational comments are what I am after.

    To help focus your mind I am quoting the following as generally accepted definitions of a cult from writers on the subject:

    ‘By the term cult I mean nothing derogatory to any group so classified. A cult, as I define it. Is any religious group which differs significantly in some one or more respects as to belief or practice from those religious groups which are regarded as normative expressions of religion in our total culture. I may also add to this that a cult might also be defined as a group of people gathered about a specific person or person’s misinterpretation of the Bible.’

    ‘The term is more generally used by evangelicals of groups whose teachings are so heretical as to remain outside historic Christianity’.

    Apart from asking for clarification from time to time should that be necessary I shall make no other comments.’

    To DI I say that my conclusion was a theological one and I have never said otherwise. No, my conclusion was not a something that I reached until near the end of my research in February 2012.

    As to my engagement on the online threads, my thesis was completed in April and the book was not published until over one year later. Because my research was complete I could then comment.

    As for Elizabeth Coleman and your suggestion that she simply moved from one Christian viewpoint to another I would submit that she moved from a cult to Christ where she found forgiveness through repentance that led to freedom and joy instead of a rule-bound system.

    To Questioning I say that there is little point embarking upon a discussion on the intricacies of the Trinity unless you first affirm if without equivocation you believe as we know from John 1:1-18 and other places that Jesus Christ was God come in the flesh?

    Like

  67. dialogueireland, I think you have a good handle on the Grey book. I had also perceived that the thesis started out with a foregone conclusion of theological cultism and then the research sought out evidence to back it up, omitting or misinterpreting a great deal of key information that would lead an objective researcher to a different report, a different baseline and a different conclusion.

    2x2ism is hardly a dangerous cult, whether theologically or sociologically. Benign or quaint would be better descriptors. Likely the worst that can be said about it is that they are largely exclusive and conservative, either of which may negatively affect some born and raised members in a strict family and who later discover that style does not suit them.

    I haven’t read Ms. Coleman’s book either, but my understanding from other readers is much the same as yours. It is a book of her experience as she moved from one Christian viewpoint to another. Her experience and current religious views are as valid as anyone’s, including Mr. Grey’s fundamentalist evangelical views.

    Like

  68. dialogueireland:
    Appreciate your post that sets out clearly the position of Irvine.
    I trust and hope Irvine will acknowledge the clear unambiguous statement you have made.

    “Irvine it is clear you must admit that is your definition is a purely theological one.”

    Your second statement
    “However, I would suggest that it was a conclusion you held before you wrote your thesis”

    This is exactly the same view I have based on Irvine’s participation and posts on a on-line forum about the group a year or more before he published his book.

    If Irvine wii concede and admit that then it will be a helpful for continuing discussion here.

    For us to examine his allegation of a cult; and a particularly dangerous one (which you acknowledge is only in your academic theological sphere) I asked this question of you:

    “Irvine my observation is that there is a spectrum of understanding of trinity. If you care to give an outline of YOUR understanding of it. I would like to examine it.”

    You’ll need to respond and state that.

    I am unconcerned and offer no apology that I/we place no particular value or importance on historical doctrinal creeds written by men. Why would we turn from the living waters of God’s inspired Word to cisterns, broken cisterns of man’s mind and creeds of doctrine that has lead to formal and lifeless religion?

    As you honestly respond and provide the information I require we’ll see how much we are a dangerous cult.

    It is only by your baptist and traditional religious mindset?

    What about when we measure it with the ‘gold standard’ the infallible Word of God; the Bible.

    Like

  69. Irvine it is clear you must admit that is your definition is a purely theological one.
    However, I would suggest that it was a conclusion you held before you wrote your thesis.
    What you should be saying is that the 2×2 are unorthodox according your doctrinal standard and are at worst heretics. Just like any groups there is evidence that in some cases there are cases which you and others have documented where cultist activity has taken place. I have no reason to believe it can’t happen in any church. Elizabeth’s book strikes me as taking a similar position to you and no one can deny her experience. http://www.culttochristbook.com/ However, I believe she has moved from one understanding of Christianity to another? I have not read the book so unless there were cultist dimensions I would hold to the view I do. I will publish the details for people to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Your response seems to leave you out of line with most 2×2 thinking. Only a few minutes ago on another thread and ex 2×2, now an atheist wrote:

    ‘So for all the ex-2×2 Christians, I’m interested in how your understanding of Jesus changed after leaving meeting. What were you taught about Jesus as a 2×2 that you now believe to be false? Do you now view Jesus as God himself (like most mainstream Christians), and what is the importance of this changed perspective on Jesus?

    I guess another way of asking this is that the Friends generally reject the Trinity, while most other Christians accept it. For you as a former 2×2 ( who presumably believes in the Trinity), is the distinction between viewing Jesus as God the Son vs the son of God an important one to make?’

    From what you say, does that mean that without equivocation you believe as we know from John 1:1-18 and other places that Jesus Christ was God come in the flesh?

    As for the historical creeds such as the Apostles Creed these are nothing more or nothing less than a concise statement of orthodox Christian doctrines. Of course they are not inspired as is Scripture but you do use Hymns Old and New where many of the hymns are written by those that the 2×2 movement considers to be hirelings.

    Like

  71. Irvine my observation is that there is a spectrum of understanding of trinity. If you care to give an outline of YOUR understanding of it. I would like to examine it.

    Also as a member I most certainly believe in the divinity of Christ. In decades of involvement in the movement I have never heard anyone proclaim otherwise. While on earth he was fully human and fully divine.

    My faith, hope and assurance is the Bible; the Word of God. Why your mention of historical creeds?

    Like

  72. For the purposes of clarity let me quote my concluding paragraph: ‘One simple and important definition of a cult of Christianity is, ‘therefore for orthodox Christianity, cults of Christianity are groups that while claiming to be Christian deny central doctrinal tenets such as the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ. They deviate from the doctrinal norms set forth in the Bible and historical creeds of Christendom.’

    This research has shown that the movement rejects central doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ and could not affirm the historical creeds. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion one can reach is that the 2×2 movement is a cult and a particularly dangerous one.’

    I asked before and will ask again, on what theological basis can you contradict the evidence that led to this conclusion?

    Like

  73. Irvine, what you refer to my personal attack is a factual response to the personal crusade you launched on this group and that concluded with your publication containing the phrase something to the effect that they “were a cult and a particularly dangerous kind”.

    Yes from your baptist roots it is understandable that you would designate it a were a cult and a particularly dangerous kind. I know a number who left baptist churches to find life and Christ in the group you refer to.

    Your cult designation is based on an ‘ivory tower’ theological definition of a cult. You yourself concede it has no basis in the commonly understood sociological basis.

    It is no surprise at that you used it; from well over a year before your publication was released it was obvious from your contribution on a forum; your starting of threads there suggesting or asking if that group is a cult what your mischievous intents were!

    Perhaps you might like to invite the Moderator of this forum to restate or re print his comments on the conclusion you can to?

    Like

  74. For those unfamiliar with my work, Two by Two the Shape of a Shapeless Movement, Footprints Bookshop in Dublin has a ample supply.

    http://www.biblio.com/book/two-two-shape-shapeless-movement-study/d/814433167

    Like

  75. Questioning I am sure after that personal attack on me you feel much better having got that cleared off your chest! Given the evidence that my research amassed my conclusion was the only reasonable conclusion that could be reached.

    If you feel you can contradict the evidence that led to my conclusion then please let me have it. Or maybe you feel safer throwing unsubstantiated darts from behind a cloak of anonymity .

    Like

  76. You are quite correct but with due respect you seem to be more disaffected than many of the ex members?

    The vast majority of ex members are decent people with integrity. They would not stoop to the level of incorrectly slandering a group as a cult; a particularly dangerous one as you foolishly did in your publication. That is perhaps one of a number of main things along with your startling failure to mention or use anything from a very major early source of the history of the group. Much useful criticism has been written of your book. You will have read it. You would do well to publish an updated revision including the valuable help extended to you by members and ex members alike

    Like

  77. I was one who read the book with a critical eye and gave it a five star rating and I am not one of the disaffected ex members

    Like

  78. Have all the consistent 5 star reviews been given by disaffected ex members of the group you write of? Or is there others reviews also?

    Like

  79. There is a new book now available about this group, which has consistently received 5 star reviews since its release only two months ago. See http://www.culttochristbook.com

    Like

  80. Sadly this account resonates with so many other similar accounts that I received during the course of my research. The brainwashing and abuse that is suffered by those who want to leave the movement is quite incredible.

    Like

  81. Marnie thank you for your testimony. Do tell us how you have got on and how you came to terms with your background?

    Like

  82. It’s a very strange religion. I grew up in it in Australia. We were made to attend meetings four times a week and from a young age had to take our bible and hymn book and appear interested and look at who ever was speaking. It was awful for us young kids and we dreaded going. If we got bored and did anything to create the smallest distraction, we were either slapped or taken outside and repeatedly slapped and told we were wicked. We felt there was no escape and that if we didn’t do what we were told we were going to hell. I was scared at some of the meetings if the elderly workers were there as they watched us kuds like hawks and we always feared we’d be punished. My mother made most of my clothes and I was ashamed to wear them. If I dared complain I would get a hiding and be told I had to bear reproach. My mother mapped out my life from a young age (I didn’t have a father) and tried to force me into learning music so I could play the piano for hymns at the church. I had no musical ability at all, but was forced to sit at the piano for hours being shouted at and slapped when I got notes wrong. It was drummed into us that jesus decided when he was 12, so we had to do that or not be saved. If we dared ask for anything worldly we were told that if other people in The Truth saw us, then they would never let their children marry us. Any friends I had at school were rudely made feel unwelcome if they tried to visit. We hardly had any outings beyond the meetings and at the meetings some people were not as popular as others. There did seem to be a class thing going on there. When I got an after school job I bought some plain fabric clothes and wore a skirt to the meeting that had a small slit in the front. After the meeting my mum was taken aside by the elder and told it was indecent and not allowed in his home. I never went back after that. I knew there was no point as I had disgraced myself and would be the talk of the church. But I didn’t care as I hated it so much by then. But comments were continually made to me that my young cousins would copy me and I would oneday stand before God and have a lot to answer for. They said if I ever had children then they would go straight to hell with me. I would see members at the shops and they pretended not to see me. Many in The Truth were hypocrites who never fully practised what they preached. They would spend hours running other members down as they had nothing better to do. A lot of them found ways to watch TV; at “lost” friends and relatives homes. The workers were basically lazy sods that spoke at a couple of meetings a week and spend the rest of their time freeloading off the congregation. Some workers stayed around for years while others seemed to come for a year or two then move on elsewhere. I found my early life a very sad and controlled experience. The kids born into that church are propelled into their thinking and way of life. I do believe the workers know they are feared and that it’s gods will to stop members straying. But there are those few members who have left and have returned (of sorts) as its largely all they ever knew and they are still full of guilt for leaving. But they are only partially accepted back and usually not allowed to participate in meetings. I feel for all the very brainwashed young kiddies in it and can only hope that one day they realise they are entitled to make their own decisions in life. Sadly some won’t as they will lose so much.

    Like

  83. I savor, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God
    Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    Like

  84. You people are so blind and naive…Ever feel like you have no peace? like you’re missing something? well think about it

    Like

  85. Izzi, boring never but tedious! The book was the end of the project for me.

    Like

  86. Hello, friends, workers and everybody else!

    The original article is absolutely correct. My chief emotion as I skim through the useless argument that follows is a deep gratitude that I left the meetings when I did, that I am no longer burdened by these ridiculous beliefs, that Sundays are for enjoying the beauty of everything around me and that I no longer give a rat’s behind what any worker or other religious person thinks about me.

    Irvine – are you still doing this? Give it up. It is all so BORING! Go sail around the world! Go hike through the mountains!

    Eish!! (South African expression of ‘this is unbelievably silly’)

    peace to all of you
    Izzi

    Like

  87. There are but two types of people in the world. Believers and Non Believers. A Believer is one that believes in the virgin birth of Jesus, his resurrection from the dead, the trinity and that the Bible is the total gospel. Take away any of these beliefs, mentioned before, and you are in the majority of non-believers. Followers of Satan and doomed to an eternal life in hell. Best wishes. God loves you and wants you to repent.

    Like

  88. Moderator Note:

    We had intended this thread to be about the personal account of a former 2×2, and to facilitate discussion around that – including aspects of cultism.

    With the publication of Irvine Grey’s book, ‘The Shape of a Shapeless Movement‘, many of the comments in this thread turned to discussing the pros and cons of said book.

    In order to keep this thread focused on the personal account we have moved comments pertaining to Irvine’s book to this thread:
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/irvine-grey-putting-shape-on-a-shapeless-movement-the-two-by-twos-a-book-tour/

    We hope to join those discussing Irvine’s book in that thread.

    Thank you.

    Like

  89. My children and I were given a talk because I allowed my daughter to wear lipstick, My xhusband was addicted to Porn and lead a seperate life. He was overlooked because it was obviously my lack of keeping him satisfied that led him to the error of his ways. I now realize how lucky I am to be free of this bondage, I always feared that I would have no chance of heaven now I realize that through the blood of Jesus Christ and his forgiveness I am free and that there is nothing I have done nor could have done to make me worthy of this gift. Thank you Jesus for your Love and sacrifice for us poor unworthy sinners!!

    Like

  90. So there is no question, I am involved with the man I mentioned. I was not raised in this cult.

    Like

  91. What I want to know is, what if a member of this “church” commits adultery? The man in question is married and has two children. Both he and his wife were raised in this “religion”. If he is found out, what will happen to him?

    Like

  92. After a long wait my thesis that has studied the history, sociology and theology of the two by two movement has been published as a book ‘Two by Two the Shape of a Shapeless Movement.’

    The book provides a critical analysis of this movement that generally operates within a veil of secrecy. More details are available from my website: http://www.irvinegrey.com..

    Like

  93. Dear Sir,
    I write to you hear from Saudi Arabia after moving to work here 12 yrs ago. I joined the Missions when I was thirty having been brought up in a working class protestant home. I cam completely concur with all the mind washing & bullying that went on in the faith. What brought me to my senses after ten years in the group was comments made to me when my unprofessing father dies. It was stated to me by the workers Elizabeth from Ayr in Scotland that it was sad that he would never taste the joys of heaven.

    Like

  94. Here is an interesting recording of a young man being excommunicated: http://members3.boardhost.com/Professing/msg/1357064666.html. Posted today in TMB.
    .

    Like

  95. Observer I take it that you are making reference to my posting of December 1st. If this is so can you please tell me what part of it you disagree with? I think if you read through my postings on this site you will find that there has been no change of tune.

    I am bemused by your accusation of being sneaky. I will tell you what I think is sneaky – someone who lacks the courage of their convictions and hides behind a pseudonym!

    Like

  96. Is it that black and white?

    Like

  97. Mr Grey – how your tune has changed now that your research is complete. Very sneaky off you, all your “unbiased” research was a cover to get on “the inside”. If only it was a suprise :-)

    Like

  98. Jesus is more than the way. He is also the truth and the life. Because of his death and resurrection He is our substitute in that he bore our sins and it is through Him alone that we are forgiven and become the righteousness of God

    Like

  99. Yes, JESUS is the WAY and HE is perfect. Only God knows who is in the way with Jesus and who isn’t.

    Like

  100. Those that are free from sacrifice and faith are free from righteousness. In my humble opinion, you cannot speak slanderously of these people when the people of the way only wish to serve god and live life eternal with their father. Just think about it; the way is perfect, people are not.

    Like

  101. cults are easy to get into and hard to get out of, the “truth” is hard to get into and easy to go out of.

    Like

  102. Closed belief systems are antithetical to advanced and informed thinking. All religions thrive on the indoctrination of children and the weakness of humans. I was reared in ‘the meetings’ and did not free myself of the influence until my 30’s. There is no need for anyone to cling to primitive religious nonsense. The explanations for existance provided by religions pose more questions than answers, hence the oft repeated cry ‘you must have faith’. The need to ‘belong’ to a cultural group is sustained by uniting in a belief even if the belief is easily demolished. All religions are based on myths and people living in the 21st century have no excuse to uphold these as truth.
    To cultivate social cohesion and eliminate divisive, even dangerous behaviours, the concept of faith would best be dismissed. Faith is a conduit for delusionary thought processes.

    Like

  103. Ya, ya – I have seen that same response from you to every person who has some experience within your church – do you not have anything new to say on an objective individual basis or is you vocabulary THAT limited.

    Like

  104. Anonymous
    Your views, perception and experience of the group is not as mine has been.Trust and hope you are proving the fullness of Christ in a group that meets your expectations and needs
    best wishes and greetings
    a worker

    Like

  105. a worker

    Talk about biased and subjective – most people see nothing wrong in a minister having a savings, after all the workman is worthy of his hire. Workers and their followers are the only people that I know of who see a savings in a minister’s hands as an “aspersion on his integrity.” Yet workers use the same justification from Scripture for workers salaries – in the form of free board and room and funds from their followers – as long as no one knows that they are getting such a salary and have historically – while making all bob-2×2 ministers out to be satan’s ministers on the basis of them accepting a salary (that is often so puny as to be a joke). Therefore, the person casting aspersions on the worker in the pretrial for perhaps funding his defense from his savings is YOU.

    Like

  106. Irvine,
    You seem to be confirming the concern I have of your personal bias and lack of objectivity?Adding to the earlier character assassination you continue by now cast this latest aspersion on his integrity!….that he may have accumulated personal savings to pay for his lawyer’s costs or would approach the state for help! At present I find it difficult not to believe you are not intent on ‘playing games’ on a public blog? Or otherwise you as yet know very little about the integrity of members and the principles and modus operandi of the group you are claiming to research? If you are sincerely wish to know more of the ministry and how it works and is funded. If you will retract on this blog aspersions you cast on the character of Mr Frandle when presented with facts that refute them. You can contact me again privately and I will dialogue directly, honestly and fully with you as I have in the past.
    regards and kind wishes
    a worker

    Like

  107. “You claim to be a researcher of the 2×2 group and then ask how a homeless preacher funds his defence?!!!!!!!!”

    It seems that you, “a worker” would recommend that a researcher use presumptions rather than facts. So, using your recommended presumptive method as a reader here, since you claim to be a worker, yet fail to show any evidence that you know anything about workers, I presume that you are in fact not a worker.

    And presumptively, the worker in the pretrial, who has claimed endlessly to be a “minister” within the “New Testament Ministry” to all his followers for ages, is silently allowing that claim to be questioned by his own legal representative, when he could easily restate the same claim to Ministry that he has made with all of his followers and put the legal questioning of it to rest in very short order. So, I presume that he is willing to be declassified as a “minister” in order to remove himself from responsibility in failing to report child sexual abuse under his see.

    Like

  108. Worker I find this statement rather strange: ‘I wonder if your dissertation will contain any acknowledgement of the many members of this group who are true Christians proving joy, peace, satisfaction. salvation and the hope of life eternal?. When you say ‘many members’ are you saying that you think that all of the members are not true Christians?

    I am not playing a game of any kind when I ask how this defence is being funded? It is a perfectly reasonable question and there is one of three answers: 1. He has accumulated some savings along the road and is funding his own defence; 2 The defence is being funded by the friends or 3 Because he is a homeless preacher without funds he gets state aid?

    I take it that you meant ‘inanutshell’ and ‘nutcase’ was Freudian-slip!

    I find TS’s comment on the TMB rather interesting and I am sure one you will have an opinion on: ‘Based on the fact that I was in the work 12 years and also know Jerome, have heard him in convention, have been under his plans at special meetings and KNOW that he is a clergy, a minister. He IS an overseer with authority over other workers.

    I KNOW what Jerome does better than Mr Lessing and have the same understanding of Jerome’s duties as Ms Koning.

    Face it, Greg. Jerome screwed up simply by doing the done thing in the work and it didn’t work this time. He is trying to get off the hook and is not averse to getting off on a technicality or a lie’.

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=19067&page=15.

    Like

  109. Irvine Grey
    The transcripts refer to a pre trial motion determining if Mr Frandle is ‘clergy’ and therefore a mandated reporter as defined under Michigan Statue 722.622
    Mr Frandle made no statement denying he is a Minister.of the Gospel

    Regarding your second asking of the funding of …you astound me!

    I have already written….

    Your comment

    “You may also like to comment on how a homeless worker funds his defence?”
    What are you getting at? What are the sentiments you have that give expression to this statement?
    You most certainly know how the defence will be funded! Why are you asking a question that you know the answer to? Is it some ‘game’ you are playing?
    Or am I jumping to incorrect conclusions?

    You claim to be a researcher of the 2×2 group and then ask how a homeless preacher funds his defence?!!!!!!!!
    .
    A person who is not a member of this fellowship and knows details of Mr Frandle and this case feels he is an honest and honorable man and did what he understood to be the correct thing at the time.

    But you, despite having never met the man; proceed to assassinate his character speaking of his deception and need of feeling shame?!…..and you wonder why ‘nutcase’ and I question your objectivity and lack of bias?!!!

    I wonder if your dissertation will contain any acknowledgement of the many members of this group who are true Christians proving joy, peace, satisfaction. salvation and the hope of life eternal?

    Like

  110. Worker – Maybe I am reading you wrong when I ask this question. If the court ruled that Frandle was not a minister under Michigan law then workers would cease all activities in that state and no longer see themselves as ministers?
    I am afraid I do not know the answer to the question I have asked twice so I will try again. You may also like to comment on how a homeless worker funds his defence?

    Like

  111. Nope – it obviously is no use commenting on anything unless one agrees with your views.

    Like

  112. Anonymous

    Care to comment on my statement?

    “You have info from ‘card carrying 2x2s’ Have you spoken or had information from those who are not of our fellowship but feel that the man whose character you assassinate is an honourable honest man who did what he understood to be the right thing at the time?”

    Like

  113. Irvine,

    Rather obviously regardless of your answers, “a worker” just expands the same question without answering your questions. So if I were in your shoes, I would be smiling at his constant accusation that YOU are biased and not “objective” because obviously the only way you will get unbiased and objective in his eyes is if you took adopt his views; WHATEVER they are. Now you know how to get unbiased and objective and have your research even looked at by workers and you have your marching papers from “a worker” who of course is an expert at research.

    Like

  114. Irvine,
    Have you fully ready the transcripts and applicable statutes? Do you understand what was contended by a ‘stand in’ attorney who has now been dismissed?

    You have info from ‘card carrying 2x2s’ Have you spoken or had information from those who are not of our fellowship but feel that the man whose character you assassinate is an honourable honest man who did what he understood to be the right thing at the time?

    Are you aware of Michigan law? Are you aware of what mandated clergy is under that statute?

    Your comment

    “You may also like to comment on how a homeless worker funds his defence?”

    What are you getting at? What are the sentiments you have that give expression to this statement?

    You most certainly know how the defence will be funded! Why are you asking a question that you know the answer to? Is it some ‘game’ you are playing?
    Or am I jumping to incorrect conclusions?

    Your answers to what I ask will either give me some confidence in your objectivity and lack of bias or confirm the present evaporation of the confidence that I previously felt.

    regards and thanks

    Like

  115. Worker, yes I have read the transcripts and the essence of the defence is that Jerome Frandle denies he is a minister – is that right or wrong?

    You may also like to comment on how a homeless worker funds his defence?

    Where is the lack of objectivity in these questions. Speaking to those on the ground who know Jerome, they are of the opinion that he has dug himself into a hole! Maybe they too lack objectivity! These are card carrying 2x2s.

    Like

  116. Irvine
    Have you read the transcripts through fully and understood just exactly what took place and what was contended?
    If you haven’t then I can understand how you have made this unfounded and incorrect attack on the character of Mr Frandle.
    If you and STILL stand by what you have written then there is yet further evaporation of the hope I initially had of your objectivity and lack of bias.

    Like

  117. inanutshell and worker: I am surprised by your attack on my integrity as a researcher. Throughout my research I have constantly been told, as anonymous states, that the workers are the only true ministry established by Jesus Christ and they are present day apostles.

    Therefore it is reasonable to be puzzled by an overseer who decides to use for his defence that he is not a minister. Frandle’s defence tactics certainly differs from those of the apostles Peter and Paul when they had to defend themselves. Would it be a lack of objectivity to wonder how a homeless preacher funds such a defence?

    Like

  118. Oh – Mr Gray was never a member of the sect to get taught endlessly that workers are and have always been (in their own estimation) the only true ministers on earth, along with their fiction that their sect was established by Jesus Christ Himself.

    So, with the Workers teaching members of their sect that they are the only true preachers on earth, how is it that suddenly under court scrutiny an overseer could even accept a court assessment that he is not even a minister?

    Like

  119. inanutshell
    I saw what Irvine Grey posted yesterday and the same thoughts came to my mind…. I also am left wondering if it is possible for him to present anything objective and unbiased in his dissertation?

    An unbiased and objective paper would be of value to many. The way Mr Grey has written over the last while is causing the hope I had of him being the writer of such a dissertation to steadily evaporate.

    I’m astounded at how Mr Grey saw the link, perhaps only quickly looked over the content and then proceeds to make an incorrect and unfounded attack on the personal character and integrity of Mr Frandle!

    Like

  120. Mr.Grey your shameless aggressive hostility continues. I wonder if it is even possible that you can write an unbiased, professional dissertation on the 2×2’s for your uni studies.

    It was completely fair for Mr.Frandle to seek a Court decision on his status as clergy. He is not ordained by a church group, he does not perform marriages, he is not trained by a seminary, and he is not registered by the State as a professional clergyman. He sought clarification through a pre-trial Motion and got it.

    Like

  121. For an example of deception read the transcripts of the pre-trial hearing of Jerome Frandle, an overseer in Michigan charged with failing to report Child Sex Abuse. Here an overseer is using as his defence that he is not an ordained minister. A witness for the prosecution gives a good account and if Frandle has any self respect he should be ashamed of himself. http://www.2x2ministry.org/Jerome_Frandle/jerome_frandle_criminal_pretrial.php.

    Like

  122. I tried to place the link in the above post, but the link failed to post, so I wiil try again:

    http://www.votisalive.com/content/gordon-winkler-gospel-according

    Like

  123. The Gospel according to worker, Gordon Winkler, 1990

    Scriptures quoted within the entire sermon:

    a) Three sentences of Scripture without reference starts the sermon’s first paragraph.

    b) Some six paragraphs later the Book name “Acts” is mentioned but none of it is quoted.
    c) Nine paragraphs later the book name “John” is mentioned but none of it quoted.
    d) Seven paragraphs later “Psalm 31 in about verse 5” is mentioned but none of it quoted.
    e) Four paragraphs later “Solomon’s writings” are mentioned but none of them quoted.

    The entire sermon is comprised of 29 paragraphs including its closing paragraph. And after four Scriptures are just named and one Scripture is quoted without its name in the whole sermon, here is the first sentence of the closing paragraph,

    “I hope that our convention, gathering together and listening to the Word of God…”

    So, just what appears to be classified by the 2×2 Worker as “the word of God?” Obviously, the answer is the worker’s whole sermon and not much Scripture.

    Like

  124. “Well, this man died in the year 217 and then there came a man into authority whose name was Calistas. This man was determined that he was going to make some changes. He made the statement: What the church needed was a beautification project. He said it had to beautified in order to be more attractive to the heathen. Otherwise it would never grow. One of the things that he did was take to himself the title Pope which means father in the Latin. Then he bought a little tavern and he turned this into a basilica which is just a little church where all the people would sit facing him. And then he gave them a ceremony. Then he made a change that altered the thing inasmuch as he threw out now the matter of them all giving their testimonies.

    I should interject here just what our LITTLE TESTIMONIES amount to. It’s sharing just a little bit of THE BREAD OF LIFE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US. Now you may just have a few crumbs to share but that’s the bread of life. And we’re sharing the very bread of life one with another and this has life giving power.”
    (History of the Church by worker, Leo Stancliff)

    So, here you go – four LITTLE bits of the 2×2 bread of life according to worker’s instructions – “I’m thankful to be here. And I’m thankful to be here. And I’m thankful to be here. And I’m grateful to be here too.” Eat up and enjoy.

    Like

  125. I love 2×2 math when someone raises it as a topic of time calculations.

    We often heard messages from workers at conventions that stressed prayer and reading the Bible, if not three times per day, then at least on rising in the morning and before going to sleep at night.

    And for those who took the workers’ messages as words from God Himself (as we were taught that all workers’ words from the preaching platform were), say a person rose in the morning and prayed for just two minutes. Then say one took up the Bible and read one chapter before heading to wash up, dress and go for breakfast. Say a half hour in those morning duties before heading off to school or work.

    All together one would need about an hour to rush through it all if the prayer and Bible reading was done carefully. And if the Bible reading was done carefully, one might gain insights from the Holy Spirit that could consume say two minutes to express in brief. Multiply that by six days (moring and evening) before Sunday morning meeting, and one could need 6 x 2 =12 x 2 = 24 minutes to hurriedly express the week’s collective Bible insights from the Holy Spirit during the Sunday morning meeting.

    And if that were done, no doubt there would indeed be spiritual food shared in the Sunday meeting.

    But when then re-instructed off the preaching platform by a worker that his/her testimony should be something short like “I am thankful to be here,” sure enough, the meeting even with as many as 20 people set to speak would not exceed and hour by any amount of concern, even with four to five very slowly sung hymns, prayer, communion and testimonies all included – provided that prayers also said just short things like, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to be here.”

    But where would there be any spiritual food for anyone in a meeting where 20 people bowed and said even variations of, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to be here,” then stood saying even variations of “I am thankful to be here?”

    Like

  126. Same anonymous

    If your questions were necessary for you to ask, “inanutshell,” any possible answers I might provide could not satisfy your evident need.

    Like

  127. Your language is very aggressive, indicating a strong bias in your analysis. Words like “condescending”, “meaningless” and “workers dictating” indicate that your “research” will suffer greatly, and so will the truth.

    So Irvine Grey. Let me ask you the same question. Do you agree that there should be no time limits on participatory fellowship meetings? Your response appears that way. Should a 4 hour meeting then be considered conducive to the Holy Spirit?

    If you were a worker and meetings were lasting 4 hours, how would you deal with it? Or would you do nothing and call it the Holy Spirit leading?

    I hope these don’t seem like condescending questions, they aren’t intended to be so. They certainly are not meaningless. If you were actually involved in the proceedings of a participatory fellowship you would discover that these are very practical matters you would be faced with. Grown up adults need to deal with this sort of thing right up front. I can understand “anonymous” being negatively affected by this, as this is his/her father whom he/she clearly admires, and rightly so.

    Here is the reality: most friends know that approximately 1 hour is plenty of time for small children and old folks to sit and listen and they want to consider everyone. As a result, the friends know approximately how much time they should take in order to be considerate of their fellow believers. That’s being Spirit-led.

    Like

  128. I think your questions are rather condescending and meaningless. I would hardly think that that the New Testament church fellowships were confined to one hour on the button. Surely if one is speaking under the leading of the Holy Spirit a variation of time and content must be expected. Why quench the Spirit with a time constraint?

    The sad thing is that in the course of my research I have heard many accounts of workers dictating how long and even what one should say in testimonies. In the process they remain oblivious to the feelings of those with whom they dictate to. Where is the evidence of grace in such behaviour?

    Like

  129. Anonymous, your dad sounds like a good man and a man serious about his faith.

    I would like to ask you this though: do you feel that 6-10 minute/person testimonies are appropriate for the 2×2 format? How about 3-4minute/person prayers? The arithmetic is pretty simple. For 20 attendees, that would probably result in a meeting up to 4 hours long.

    I will assume that you agree somewhat with the 1 hour format. If you do, then what exactly traumatized you so much about the workers asking him to keep his testimonies down to a short duration so that the meeting could end in about an hour? Was it the way they said it? Did the word “hogging” offend you? How was the sharpness of their “reprimand” manifested? Did they raise their voices and yell at him? Did they use foul language? Did they criticize what he said or just the length? Did they directly demean him or attack his character?

    How do you suggest this should have been handled? Should they have said nothing? Or should they have said the basically the same thing but in a nicer manner?

    Like

  130. Same anonymous

    I will place one more post on here and may let that do.

    My impression of what Dialogue Ireland is looking for is information that will help define the 2×2 church as a cultic organization or information that will refute that definition. And it seems to me that Dialogue Ireland has a motive to try to separate out within Ireland all cultic influences on Irish society so as to be able to cause changes that will set the captives of cultic influences free in Ireland. And let me applaud such efforts because if Dialogue Ireland is the least successful in that motive, the rest of the planet might model off what it accomplishes.

    But I say the above with some reservations that are nothing new to Christianity. If Jesus was as He claimed to be, God and the only route to His Father for any of us, then all non-Biblical efforts of men which disregard those claims, according to the Bible, are a waste of time – take a quick look at Ecclesiastes right off. For a glimpse I quote Eccesiastes 1:1 – 9.

    1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
    2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
    3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
    4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
    5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
    6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
    7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
    8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    Now let me quote from the book of Daniel, chapter 12.

    4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

    In Scripture, the word “knowledge” normally refers to human knowledge of God, not inventions like the printing press, automobiles or computers. But in this context, since “the time of the end” and “shall run to and fro” are present, this could refer to human knowledge such as those inventions, which indeed have increased along with much running to and fro. And we have been in “the time of the end” according to the Bible ever since Jesus rose from the grave; after which the book of Revelation was written by John, perhaps opening the words and the book that Daniel sealed up until the time of the end. But if “knowledge” still refers to human knowledge of God even in this context, then a human focus upon the ability of man to solve his own problems such as cultic groups without God’s help fit right in with Ecclesiastes in terms of futility. And Christians have long believed that the only hope of decency within human society is application of Bible knowledge within that society. And unfortunately, our present human societies all over this planet are rather quickly abandoning the Bible, God and any knowledge of God.

    The above is, of course, just my opinion, and I certainly do not want to discourage Dialogue Ireland in its great and very good motives. All I am trying to do is place before it the possibility that unless Dialogue Ireland returns to its Christian roots, it may find all of its present efforts to improve human society by gaining an understanding of cultic groups to be futile (even perhaps counter-productive) in the end. So, my motive for saying all this in this post is a Christian attempt to bring Christian reasoning into play with the goal of helping Dialogue Ireland to succeed in its goal through God’s assistance – like I said, nothing new coming from a Christian.

    Like

  131. Same anonymous

    I remember my dad’s testimony in a Sunday morning meeting from a time when I would have been before I had professed – perhaps I was eight or nine at that time. And that testimony completely changed my method in my own Bible studies.

    My mother was raised by parents who had no church affiliation that I ever heard of. But her grandfather, whom she adored, was a Methodist minister. So undoubtedly she heard the Biblical gospel from him along with the Biblical identity of Jesus Christ. She was the first to profess and did so just before she married my dad. I never heard anything about whether my dad had any Bible knowledge in his childhood, but with my mother’s strong connection to her grandfather, perhaps if he had no Bible in his youth, she might have been his first introduction to the Bible. But all these possibilities aside, I will briefly describe that testimony my dad gave in that Sunday meeting.

    For several weeks prior to it, I saw my dad praying studying his Bible sometimes quite late into the night in our living room. The context was just after convention in which several messages had been preached about us not spending enough time reading our Bibles. And I know that slammed home in my dad’s mind because he said so. He also quit several projects he had been working on to earn extra money. He had always been a very good provider for his family.

    His testimony in meeting took off from 1 Corinthians 13:12

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    And in his study he looked up all cross references given in margins, took into account any alternate translations given in the margins, and thus traveled to many related Scriptures throughout the Bible. But to give this testimony in Sunday Meeting was the first time my dad’s testimony had taken more than a minute. He probably used up about 6 to perhaps 10 minutes to jam all his discoveries into that short time frame. And several people kindly complimented him for his testimony after the meeting, which visibly embarrassed him, and I could feel his embarrassment all the way home as he tried to counter his impression that some might think he was being a “know it all.” But the effect his testimony had on me was that I too began to look up references and look at every alternate translation in margins – my own private Bible study method took on a whole new depth that never stopped to this day. So now my dad had become my most loving, dearest and greatest model for Bible study method and through that method we both learned a lot more about God than we ever did listening to workers collectively. I left the workers’ church as soon as I left my parent’s home because I had learned too much to stay, and could not forget the next part in this testimony.

    Now comes the sad part. Soon after that meeting a worker showed up unannounced at our house. And us children were, as usual sent off to play so that my parents could talk privately with that worker (who was one of my dad’s favorite workers by the way). And only after pubic discussions and inside information surfaced all over the Internet and in books did I know that our family was not the only 2×2 family using that common 2×2 cliché, “children should be seen and not heard.” But I was a rebellious child who was adored workers who so infrequently visited our home that I could never have but a ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’ type conversation with any worker. So on this occasion I found a spot close enough out of site where I could at least listen in on that worker’s conversation. My young ears were stunned to hear that worker sharply reprimanding my dad for “hogging” the Sunday morning meeting and instructing him to restrict his testimony to his “thankfulness for the truth” “just like all the others” so that all “had time to speak in a meeting that should never exceed one hour.” And after that, my dad’s testimony in all meetings took no more than 20 seconds to say things like, “I am unworthy to be here” and sit down. But I am pleased to also say that my dad continued his Bible study method for as long as I lived in his house. He just never again shared what he learned from using that Bible study method in any 2×2 meetings.

    So, particularly for the encouragement of “a saddened ex,” I have no doubt that I will see my mother and my father alive again where nothing bad can happen to us any longer. Just because our parents and loved ones got taken for a rough ride in a faulty church does not mean they were not saved through their own private Bible studies.

    Like

  132. And I don’t see any answer to your question from any of the “amonymouses” on this whole page.

    Like

  133. I answered your question just above with no word “no” in it that I can see by rereading my answer to your question.

    Like

  134. The question was
    [quote] Are ‘a saddened ex’, ‘anonymous’ and ‘a bible student’ able to acknowledge and accept the experience of others who have proved finding Christ, salvation, joy and satisfaction in their lives in their experience with the group and ministry? [/quote]

    The answer for ‘anonymous’/’a bible student’ is a clear ‘NO’.

    Is any meaningful dialogue possible with such a person?

    Like

  135. a saddened ex,

    Please pardon me for answering “a worker’s” question that contains reference to your expression of concern toward workers.

    Like

  136. Please notice that the text of Scripture does not say, “by their experiences ye shall know them.” Nor does it say, “by their perception and experience of the group ye shall know them.” But it does seem to say, by their words, “what appears to be a patronizing post” ye shall know them.

    Like

  137. a worker,

    Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Like

  138. Same anonymous

    I have never been more confident in my Savior Irvine. It is so clear in even the King James we always used – He took our sins and paid for them on our behalf and cloths us in His own perfect righteousness. It is hard for me now to understand why anyone would turn down such a love-offering, and that kind of love comes flooding in every time I think of what He did for me – puny little me! Oh how I wish all the friends knew Jesus this way.

    Like

  139. Same Anonymous. I guess you mean it doesn’t matter whether you are in or out of the meetings and you are quite right it doesn’t. What does matter is if you are in Christ. Many know who Jesus is and know the gospel at an intellectual level but that is not enough.

    Once we know the peace of God Romans 5:1 then there is no condemnation Romans 8:1.

    Like

  140. @’a saddened ex’ according to his perception and experience of the group makes what appears to be a patronizing post? in which he states his ‘heart goes out’ to workers preaching what he refers to as a false gospel.

    This question comes to mind….Are ‘a saddened ex’, ‘anonymous’ and ‘a bible student’ able to acknowledge and accept the experience of others who have proved finding Christ, salvation, joy and satisfaction in their lives in experience with the group and ministry?

    Like

  141. Same Anonymous,

    And I am not telling here whether I am in or out because it does not matter. I know who Jesus is now, and I know that the gospel is Jesus alone, not Jesus plus workers and their prescribed meetings.

    Like

  142. I have a similar hope for my parents and it seems a good hope for us right now because if it is not so, when we find out, we will have no tears and we will know why they are not then with us. Some people pass this off as a crutch, but no one this side knows but a bare glimpse of the mercy and love God has for us enough for His only Son to take our place so we could be clothed in His righteousness by just trusting what He said about that.

    And I think many 2x2s might have been like me when reading the Bible in spite of the mere example the workers tagged onto who Jesus is. When I read of Jesus, after His resurrection entering a locked room and offering Thomas His wounds when He was not there to hear Thomas’ words of doubt, I knew that Jesus was far more that a mere example for preachers. I had never before even heard the word Trinity, but I don’t think I needed to in order to understand that Jesus is the Messiah. And when I got old enough to use dictionaries I learned that Christ means the anointed one, which is the promised Messiah.

    And I think if I could understand that much by reading the Bible, so could many of the others, including workers. But I also knew and know that even if some workers did understand enough, they had to tow the line or they could be dumped penniless on the street by those above them in authority. It is those at the very top end who answer to no one, seemingly not even God, that I feel the greatest sadness for because they have bound all under them to their false gospel of Jesus plus.

    Like

  143. There were some comments above about what a person was thinking about all the different generations of her antecedents were led by the workers to a lost eternity or a hell….I’ve had some of the same fears but in the OT there are some instances where God made it plain and clear that IF those who are leaders/shepherds of a group and IF they lead them in the wrong direction, that God will require the answer from those leaders NOT the ones being led wrong!

    That is a small comfort to me in thinking about previous generations of my family as well….though I know the most of those people knew Jesus was the way to salvation but they got the workers mixed into that and thus were believing a gospel of Jesus Christ PLUS!

    As to the 2×2’s not believing in the Trinity I have to say that there’s been some evidence that in the beginning the Trinity was believed by more then one of the beginning workers. Where the 2×2’s went wrong was when they embraced very firmly the “living witness”. This put the workers between the member and Jesus Christ and God…otherwords the members are taught to look to the workers for their sustenance and leading. That is preaching a false gospel….for the gospel is of Jesus Christ and ONLY Jesus Christ. The Trinity has become a negative thing for the 2×2 membership for some who have believed it and tried to speak or preach it were quickly corrected and/or excommunicated.

    I fear that there will be a considerable number of the workers down through the years who will be required to answer for more then one person whom they’ve led wrong or taught a gospel plus to. My heart goes out to them.

    Like

  144. Reference:
    Wyatt Hatt , on February 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm said:
    ……
    “The final comment is that the ‘counter cult movement’, and some ex’s have bought into their ethos and literature, reports everything through the optics of ‘orthodoxy’. I think someone on this board posted something to the effect that its not about orthodoxy versus heterodoxy, but much of the criticism (including the wikipedia article) is filtered through those optics. Here’s an example, the group is marginalized by being called anti-Trinitarian, when it is actually Trinity-agnostic, as arguably the early church was. You were free to draw your own conclusions about Christological questions, and so it is within this fellowship.”

    Wyatt Hatt,

    First of all, you can “arguably” suggest that the early church was “Trinity-agnostic” if you like, but in fact the word “Trinity” was coined in the second, third or fourth cenury, but what that word codified is found written in the Old and New Testaments. So objectively, it could not codify things that were in any way “agnostic” in the early church.

    I am doing this response so late here because it needed a lot of research. And doing searches on Google find things in accord with the words given, as you know. So what does one enter in a search to find out whether workers teach the trinity, leave that freely open to individual choice (as you say they do) or teach against the trinity? It took some doing, but in keeping with your idea of objective reporting, I found eight continuous hours of transcribed voice of workers’ consecutive messages so accurately done as to include letter-representations of the workers throat-clearing. And that should fulfill your criteria of objective research and reporting – letting them speak for themselves all the way. And in the context of the linked quotation below, at the end of the previous session, the worker was questioned and answered as follows:

    “A lady confronted these preachers regarding the identity of Jesus Christ after this first “Lecture” was finished:

    ¥ (worker name) – “We don’t believe that Jesus is God.”
    ¥ The Lady – “‘I and the Father are one.'” “manifested – it does say he was God manifested in the flesh.”
    ¥ (worker name) – “Ya, and we believe that he still is today – in us too. …..”

    And in the very beginning of the next session, that topic is raised outside of the advertised topic, no doubt in response to that confrontation after the previous session:

    “Well, last week we talked about who Jesus is and the relationship of Jesus to his father. And we talked about Jesus as – as salvation. We talked about Jesus as a rock – a rock to build on; a rock to stand on; a rock to feed on. We talked about Jesus as master and lord. We talked about Jesus as the just one and our advocate. We talked about the close relationship between Jesus and his father. And . . . . we – we made it clear that Jesus – while Jesus was on the earth, his father was in heaven. And we’re reminded of those verses in John chapter eight where Jesus said, “The testimony” – he says, “It’s written in your law that the testimony of two men are true.” (sic) He said, “I am one that bears witness of myself, and my father bears witness of me.” (sic) There were two.

    Sometimes we get confused about, well, was Jesus God? – is God Jesus? – did God die on the cross? Um, the scripture makes it plain that – it just says that Jesus was the son of God. And the Apostles, in the preaching of The Gospel – they never attempted to prove that Jesus was God. They just wanted people to believe that he was the son of God – believe that, and to receive the salvation that was waiting for them.”
    Lynden Bible Lectures
    http://www.votisalive.com/content/what-jesus-did-and-what-he-doing-now-terry-wells

    Now let me ask you an objective question, from this documentation, does it appear to you that workers teach the trinity or let the members freely decide about it for themselves (if they ever even hear the word)? Or am I going to need to provide a hundred such documents to establish objectively that they do not?

    And let me tell you here, I found hundreds of workers complete messages on that same site – some in computer text and others in scanned images — spanning decades of time right into 2012. Anyone can go see exactly what workers have taught there given in their own words. How objective is that?

    Like

  145. ‘A worker’ said:

    “best of British luck in your efforts to found a church based on Jesus alone. You’ll success where ecumenical efforts have failed over the last 150 years!”

    ‘a worker’ has pretty much admitted to believing that his group is the sole “church based on Jesus alone”. Christianity was founded by Jesus and *all* Christian churches are based alone on Jesus.

    Two by Twos say their group is the only group to obey all of Jesus’s teachings but they do not anoint the ill (Mark 6:13,James 5:14), give each other the holy kiss (1 Thessalonians 5:26, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Corinthians 16:20), provide for the elderly widows (1 Timothy 5:16), they do not select their ministers by lot (Acts 1:25-26), they do not wash each other’s feet during communion (John 13:14) and so on..

    Like

  146. @A current member of this faith
    Hello ACMOTF! It has been nice getting to know you a little through this thread!

    Hey I’ve been a ‘busy little beaver’ the last while and haven’t got to replying to your unanswered question

    AND
    Where is the scriptural evidence for churches to be founded on doctrinal unity rather than unity in Jesus alone?
    What are your thoughts and answers?

    2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    What is the doctrine of Christ?

    Rome has a Christ who has a mother called Mary the Mother of God.
    Some Pentecostals I’ve met have a Christ in whose name they pray and you get healing for all your coughs and colds in seven days or less. Some even do more wonderful and miraculous thingsva and healings (just as Hindu Holymen and Muslim Saints on the Indian subcontinent do).
    Then you have your stiff upper lipped English and their Christ is found in reverent liturgy.

    Listen, buddy go back up the blog and look at the post where I posted of getting the Rev Ian Paisley, an esteemed Cardinal from your lovely British Isles, an exuberant, happy and clappy Pentecostal, a serious minded Englishman (with a stiff upper lip) who enjoys a reverent liturgical high Church of England service, then get that Baptist chappy who posts here as ‘an ex member’.

    So get these guys all together and found a church based on Jesus alone and let me know how you get on!

    a worker, this is apples and oranges stuff. You are clearly missing the point with ACMOTF. He sees a distinction between Jesus and doctrine. You rightly point to 2John which shows that we do not need to choose between the Jesus of experience and the Jesus of doctrine. We must hold them together. This has nothing to do with ecumenics at all. A total red herring. Likely ACMOTF is going to the C of E because he wants a break from the heavy style of doctrinal religion he was involved with. His continuous attempts to bring humour to bear are signs he wants Christianity lite currently. Every now and again he strikes with a barbed tongue to unsettle you. Relax and let him lash out. Be the suffering servant and take a hit. But keep the Rev Ian Paisley, an esteemed Cardinal from your lovely British Isles, an exuberant, happy and clappy Pentecostal, a serious minded Englishman (with a stiff upper lip) who enjoys a reverent liturgical high Church of England service, then get that Baptist chappy who posts here as ‘an ex member’ off the menu as it has nothing to do with the case.

    I think you’ll find you’ll need to do a fair bit of ‘ear bending’ to deal with the squabbles? But I might be wrong?

    To be quite frank with you. I’ve found and seen that fellowship amongst those who lack unity in doctrinal matters is of a fairly superficial nature and it’s not long before they start bending each others ears on doctrinal and practice matters that are dear to their individual hearts! They actually get a bit grumpy with each other and the whole thing ‘goes to custard’.

    So there is my two cents worth on it all!

    cheers and best of British luck in your efforts to found a church based on Jesus alone. You’ll success where ecumenical efforts have failed over the last 150 years!

    Like

  147. Oh well. It looks like things have finally come to a close. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

    Like

  148. Dear “a worker”,

    I have noticed a rather sarcastic, mocking in your last few posts. Could you not be a little more Christian towards others?

    Like

  149. “an ex member” – I can see your point and am also aware of the depression problem among workers.

    Like

  150. I’m with you in that “a current member of this faith” where you wrote ” an ex member” is your problem not mine. We reluctantly apologise for any inconvenience caused and trust you enjoyed the hymns posted.”

    Seems as if you are being helped out the door with a worker saying “perhaps the 2 of us could enjoy some fellowship – based of course on Christ and not on doctrinal unity. Workers don’t like being challenged you know. He’s not taking you seriously ACMOTF, just his avoidance technique of mocking.

    Keep your chin up, there is life (abundant life that Jesus promises) outside of meetings. Depression is not only found in meetings amongst members, but is also ripe amongst the workers. Time out from the work for depression amongst workers is not uncommon in this part of the world. Now a key factor in depression is hopelessness. Does that speak of a people without hope. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy , peace, etc, I don’t see hopelessness amongst the fruit of the spirit. I am not condemning you ACMOTF, just that depression starts from the top down.
    I wonder why I even write on this thread, with the sarcasm of a worker putting down those who he feels challenged by. It is getting lonely here, maybe I will retire from here soon.

    Like

  151. What do you mean advice and “control”? I hope you’re not trying to say I’m being controlling here. If you aren’t this Gen MacArthur chap then stop mentioning his name. I am at the bottom of a hill after crawling out the bottom of a pit caused by serious depression, caused by the missions. You said –

    “You are; as you say both ‘at the bottom of a big hill’ and perhaps the two of you could enjoy some fellowship? based of course on Christ and not on doctrinal unity?”

    That was patronizing and I get the impression you are casting an aspersion on my faith. The attitude you have towards those who question the professing modus operandi is rank.

    Like

  152. @A current member of this faith
    Hello ACMOTF
    So the dear old queen can loosen her stiff upper lip a little eh? Well bless her heart for that! Wonder what the Irish republican who read here will think of that?!! Now listen I have a full schedule today (but it won’t include any ‘ear bending’) so I don’t have time to reply but don’t worry like the Americans’ beloved Gen MacArthur “I will return”
    I think ‘an ex member’ will be much helped and comforted by your kindly interest, care and suggestion.and if he has any sense at all, he’ll agree to your advice and control and ‘distance himself from the entire operation?’ . You are; as you say both ‘at the bottom of a big hill’ and perhaps the two of you could enjoy some fellowship? based of course on Christ and not on doctrinal unity?
    cheers
    Macarthur aka ‘a worker’

    Like

  153. I would just like to congratulate Her Majesty on 60 Glorious Years and publicly thank her for all she’s done and the five star example she sets all of us.

    Happy Diamond Jubilee Ma’am. God save you.

    Like

  154. “an ex member” – I don’t know where you are from but the professing scene sounds horrendous. I sympathise. I suggest you accept that they are all nuts, get the hell out of their way if you haven’t already done so and focus on your personal relationship with God. It isn’t worth letting the conduct of others in “The Truth” get in the way of your own salvation. The anxiety and depression that I’ve suffered over the last 10-15 years was caused by the missions and meetings. Fortunately I’ve managed to separate it all from God and the Bible (just in time before I gave up on ever gaining salvation) and am now at the bottom of a big hill with regards to building a proper, healthy relationship with God. There are some nice friends and workers around and certain meetings are actually edifying, but unfortunately professing politics dictate that unless you are able to insulate yourself from the negativity and pigeon hole the positive aspects of “The Truth”, one is better off keeping one’s distance from the entire operation.

    Like

  155. “a worker” – My Great Aunt’s Brother-In-Law is dead but the worker that bent his ear is still very much alive and at least 7 years off his 80th. As I said, I’m not looking to berate these workers – I just want your insight into their reasoning/way of thinking. I am not bitter. I mentioned some time ago that hymn 215 is my favourite and it talks about taking bitterness out of our hearts.

    I find your sarcasm both entertaining and unusual.

    My stiff upper lip extends to refraining from public emotion. We didn’t win the war by sobbing our hearts out every five minutes. I would like to meet up with Irvine Grey at some point because he is reasonable and interesting. I am looking forward to going through his finished research.

    I won’t be able to see Rev Mary this weekend because I’m currently staying in another part of the country. Wasn’t it nice that she had such a pleasant holiday?

    So – what are your thoughts on the reasoning behind the actions of the workers I’ve been discussing?

    I repeat – I have no interest in taking any worker to task about anything. Their actions in this life are their problems in the next. What I want to know is why they carry on as they do, out of sheer interest, and whether or not they really are that close to God and in tune with the Bible.

    Also – Where is the scriptural evidence for churches to be founded on doctrinal unity rather than unity in Jesus alone?

    “an ex member” is your problem not mine. We reluctantly apologise for any inconvenience caused and trust you enjoyed the hymns posted.

    Like

  156. @ a current member of this faith,
    hello ACMOTF! this is ‘a worker’ aka Gen MacArthur here again!

    Oh dear I thought I’d got all your grizzles and complaints sorted out?

    But I’d forgotten the one about your great Aunt’s brother in law! Well I wonder if it’s best just ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ on that one? It sounds awfully complicated and probably great aunt and the brother in law, the chick he was dating and the offending workers are all dead and peacefully sleeping in their graves by now?

    So rather than digging all that up again what about dedicating a song to them and let the poor souls ‘rest in peace’? what do you think of that proposal? Or perhaps you could mention them to Rev Mary down at the local church and she could pray for them all and also make mention of them in her column on her website if she has any room left after she has told about her holidays in the French alps and her baking or whatever it was a week or two back?

    Now one other thing, ACMOTF, I’m just ever so slighty annoyed with you! You’ve gone and got ‘an exmember’ all stirred up again! He’s posting all kinds of stuff about pot(bad?)lucks and workers wanting to install (cruise?)control units on friends so that they can remotely control them, which of course is as he says “unreasonable/unscriptural demands, weak and pathetic’. Maybe you can dedicate a song to ‘an ex member’. You seem to have stirred up some unpleasant memories of his and he has been quite grumpy and maybe a little upset by the look of his last posts! Seems he wants to control the workers and has a bad spirit because he hasn’t been able to?

    So you aren’t a stuffy Englishman eh? well that is good! however if your upper lip is a bit stiff, you could go over to Irvine in Ireland and have a week with the Irish, they have a good sense of humour and they may help loosen your stiff upper lip a little?
    cheers
    ‘a worker

    p.s.
    btw…Are you going along to hear Rev Mary give her sermon at the Windsor church today?

    Like

  157. Maybe the workers were afraid of people getting together to commit such acts. Couples should be home fornicating with each other not other partners. That reminds me, when I left a particular area and moved away I was told about all the fornicating going on in the area I had left. I didn’t know when I was there as I was not in the ‘in crowd’. That was true, professing couples were fornicating apparently and I was told who the couples were.

    To me it is all about control. When you are professing the workers think it gives them a right to control your life. They control how you dress, who goes to meeting, who you can or cannot mix with, what you can say and not say to them. There are those who report to the workers.Taking the worker to task as a worker suggests above is not in the rule book. A person does not take a worker to task for fear of being put out of meetings. The workers hold the keys to heaven, at least they control who can and cannot go to meetings. They only want those who are submissive and under their control. Any questioning, means you have a bad spirit as we have seen in a worker’s responses above.

    Like

  158. I said the following earlier on –

    “If any worker bans one of the friends from fellowship, the friend in question should ignore the worker and carry on regardless – unless they have done something more serious like commit fornication, adultery or murder”.

    I’ve just realised that no matter what anybody has done, if they are repentant they shouldn’t be excluded from fellowship.

    Like

  159. Like

  160. “an ex member” – The friends, worldwide, that bow down to the workers’ more unreasonable/unscriptural demands are weak and pathetic. If the friends disagree with a worker’s words, actions or demands they should ignore it and do their own thing. Instead they give in to it and then moan and get bitter behind the workers’ backs. If any worker bans one of the friends from fellowship, the friend in question should ignore the worker and carry on regardless – unless they have done something more serious like commit fornication, adultery or murder.

    Like

  161. “a worker” – Thanks for your latest email. Are you saying that you are Gen MacArthur?

    The worker that went on at my Grandparents was not English at all. He is West Indian and very clueless. My Father used to take the Sunday night meeting before he ditched “The Truth” in 2006 and he told this particular worker, shortly before he left the meetings, that he felt a hypocrite taking the meeting and didn’t feel he could do it anymore. This worker told him to just keep on doing it. Very unusual “advice”. I really can’t be bothered to say anything to this worker because it won’t solve anything.

    I also said:

    “My Grandparents stopped going to the Sunday morning meeting a few years ago because they had a problem with a member of the congregation. One day, after about a year of absence, they returned and took part as normal. When the local workers found out about this they banned them from coming to any more fellowship meetings until they “re-professed” at a tent mission, which happened to be a 50 mile drive from their home. That is quite a big ask for an elderly couple in their late 70s and where is the scriptural justification?”

    AND

    “Another thing that happened involved my Great Aunt’s brother-in-law. His wife died (he was in his late 70s at this time and had also been professing for decades with a meeting in his home) and he was dating a non professing lady who lived 25 miles from his home. One of the local workers turned up at his house one day and issued him with the following ultimatum: “Either you marry your lady friend or give her up. If you don’t do either then you can’t remain in fellowship”. As you can guess he took offence and died outside of the meetings. However, he remained faithful to God until his death and his funeral was really uplifting and comforting (it wasn’t taken by the workers). What really annoyed me is that after we left the hall to go to the cemetery I commented on what a nice funeral it was to one of the senior brother workers (a few workers did attend) and he flatly told me “Well, he’s lost out”. As you know, the worker was telling me that my Great Aunt’s brother-in-law had gone to hell”.

    AND

    Where is the scriptural evidence for churches to be founded on doctrinal unity rather than unity in Jesus alone?

    What are your thoughts and answers?

    I must say that the English are not stuffy – we just have a stiff upper lip, although much to my dismay this is dying out along with HM The Queen’s generation. I’m English and I can trace my ancestors back centuries in England and I love being born English – it is the first prize in the lottery of life. I have to admit however that the English workers are not relaxed whatsoever. Meetings and missions in this country are sombre at best.

    _______________________________________________________

    “an ex member” – They do have pot lucks now and again in England but I avoid them as they feel contrived and forced somehow. People end up idly singing hymns for the sake of it and I just don’t feel completely relaxed.

    Like

  162. When people here would have a get together and the workers found out, they would arrive unannounced (bearing in mind these were in private homes and they would come unannounced, like a worker above is against), make them all give their testimony and send them home telling them they should be home preparing for meeting tomorrow. This happened on several occasions that I knew of.

    First mistake, getting together, second mistake, having it on a Saturday evening. People soon got the message not to get together in groups. I liked reading in other places that they have pot lucks in some countries.

    Like

  163. @ a current member of this faith,

    hello ACMOTF! this is ‘a worker’ aka Gen MacArthur here!
    true to his word he is returning to post about your granny and your grandpop!

    maybe that earns me another song dedication?!!

    you wrote

    When my own Grandfather died, my Grandmother was very cut up about it and in the year after his death she had several get togethers in her home with the friends from her Sunday morning meeting. One of the senior brother workers came up to her one day and told her “No more parties please”. He also told her off for crying in the meetings after my Grandad had died and said she was “drawing attention to herself and detracting from the spirit of the meetings”.

    That was nice and also understandable that granny got some friends around. The senior brother worker was a bit of a ‘killjoy’ wasn’t he! Sounds like some old stuffy Englishman to me? Also doesn’t sound very understanding! I don’t think you should dedicate any song to him!

    I think you need to take him to task? Tell him to let your poor old Granny enjoy herself and get a bit of comfort from her friends. Tell him it sounds a bit over the top to call that ‘partying’ Tell him that ‘a worker’ aka Gen MacArthur feels he was a bit hard and unfeeling and lacking in understanding towards your poor old Granny who was missing Granddad.

    Hope this helps and also hope I aren’t the cause WW III breaking out because the worker gets a bit upset with the words you have for him?Maybe you’ll need to dedicate him some war song if this happens
    ‘best of British luck’ to you hope you don’t get killed or tortured or anything like that for doing as I suggest!
    cheers
    ‘a worker’

    Like

  164. Have Thine Own Way sung by Mike Curb Congregation from the album, 50 Classic Hymns. “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” is a Christian hymn with lyrics by Adelaide A. Pollard and music by George C. Stebbins. It was first published in 1907, in the “Northfield Hymnal with Alexander’s Supplement”. In 1902, Adelaide A. Pollard, a Bible teacher and hymn writer, was hoping to go to Africa as a missionary but found herself unable to raise the needed funds to make the journey. Greatly discouraged, she attended a prayer service one evening and as she sat there, she overheard an elderly woman say “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.” The elderly woman inspired Pollard and she contemplated the story of the potter from Jeremiah 18:3 and, upon her return home that evening, wrote all four stanzas before retiring for the night.

    Like

  165. Here’s the latest message from Old Windsor Church – notice how everybody is welcome there (sorry Irvine Grey about the persistent lack of any reference to the Gospels):

    ________________________________

    I recently spent a week in the mountains of the French Alps. The days were cloudy and overcast when we left the hotel but as we travelled up the mountain we came through the clouds and mist into glorious sunshine – deep blue skies and sparkling snow. It is awesome looking out across the mountains, at the shapes of the peaks, the valleys and folds of each mountain and to see the grandeur of creation. I felt small and overawed by it all but the words of Psalm 8 came to mind.

    “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what are mere mortals that you are mindful of them. You made them a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned them with glory and honour’.
    Psalm 8:3-5

    On a couple of days the air itself sparkled. It wasn’t snowing – but all around the air sparkled and glistened – it was as though the air was full of glitter. I asked some friends if they could explain what caused this – and I loved their answer:

    “When you dust and the sun shines through the window, you can see all the dust motes dancing in the light. When the air sparkles on the mountain top this is because God has done the housework and has dusted the earth”.

    It was not quite the technical explanation that I expected! But it reminded me that God’s promise is that he will walk with us at all times whether we are feeling on top of the world and having a mountain top time or down in the overcast valley and cannot see clearly because of the mist.

    Sunday 18th March will give us an opportunity to be gathering together as a parish for Mothering Sunday service. The service is at 10.30am at the Parish church and there will be flowers for the Mums among us and a celebration of the love and care we share as the family of God in this parish. All are welcome – please invite family, friends and neighbours to join in this celebration.

    with love and prayers

    Reverend Mary

    Like

  166. “a worker” – It is evident that you have an appetite for music so I’ve found you a wee offering from my Step Grandmother’s neighbour:

    Like

  167. “a worker” – I presume this Gen MacArthur character was/is a senior worker and one of those eminent “pioneer” types that many of the friends fawn over?

    I’ll wait for your comments over the next few days then. Don’t over do it at the weekend will you? My paternal Great Aunt warns against over exerting oneself and she’s no fool.

    Like

  168. @DI Moderator, I’ve answered your email and will be happy to talk to you early next week.

    @ ‘a current member of the this faith’
    I somehow like you!, you make me smile!, you are a character! How about another song to dedicate to me?! :-) Yes I’ll get back to look at that post about your grandparents and respond to that, promise, k?! I simply have too much on today and over the weekend to be bothered or enthused about doing it now.. ‘Hold your seat and wait for it’ As Gen MacArthur said when he left the Philippine Islands in the face of the Japanese forces….I WILL RETURN!

    @irvine
    I write here of my personal experience and convictions. Yes maybe there are workers in our group (especially older workers and those with less educations) who don’t value the work of scholars, monks, scribes etc over the last more than 3 millennia for whom we are to thank for their part in the chain that has lead us to have the Bible as we know it now, but I DO and I know many colleagues who also do!

    Like

  169. “dialogueireland” – The grammar in your latest post is awful. It barely makes sense.

    Thanks have tried to amend it but have had a bit too much on too many fronts!!

    Like

  170. Could clarify your point for me please?
    I did,
    “I think that as result of having had private communications with you that the next stage is for us to have a Skype conversation and then to publish our agreed text as a new post.”
    Could you as agreed come back to me with a proposed time to talk?
    “then to publish our agreed text as a new post.”

    Like

  171. Current member you have made a few interesting comments especially in relation to Ireland that I am sure would be helpful in my research!

    Like

  172. Irvine Grey – “a worker” will deny that he personally condemns those mentioned in your latest post. He still hasn’t answered my two direct questions. No doubt he will now I’m moaning about it. Lets hope the answers are direct and don’t beat around the proverbial bush. I cannot bear it when anybody fails to be direct and/or to the point, especially when I’m asking the questions.

    Like

  173. @worker.In fairness amongst the 2×2 movement there is a strong antithesis to theological education.These folk that you appreciate for their efforts in translation and without whom we would not have the Bible in so many languages could not have achieved this without significant scholarship and years of study. Yet these folk are condemned as hirelings by overseers and workers.

    Is there anyone within the ranks of the 2×2 movement who is competent in the bibical languages of Hebrew and Greek?

    Like

  174. “a worker” –

    1) What have you got to say about my earlier posts that relate to the run-ins my Grandparents and Great Aunt’s Brother-In-Law had with a couple of the workers?

    2) Where is the scriptural evidence for churches to be founded on doctrinal unity rather than unity in Jesus alone?

    Like

  175. dialogueireland, on March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am said:
    a Worker thanks for your reply, it is through this process that we will gain understanding. It is clear that we are failing to communicate. You seem to be missing the point that you are dependent on the scholarship of Christians from other denominations and from the scientific study of the scriptures and the original languages of the bible. Also the work being done by bible translators. You act as if you getting the message direct from the NT, when you are either using the AV or NIV version produced by scholars. My allusion to the JW’s was that your position in regard to the academic pursuit of religion is not healthy and is analogous to theirs. Though I am no doubt sure you reject some of their views. I think from having had private communications with you that the next stage is for us to have a Skype conversation and then to publish our agreed text as a new post.

    DI Mod, Sorry I am unable to understanding why you are saying that “I am missing the point that we are dependent on the scholarship of others?” I acknowledge that!
    I mentioned in a post that I publically express in our meetings the appreciation I have for the efforts and work of the British missionary who over 200 years ago had a major part along with native non Christian scholars in the translation of the Bible into the language of the people we work amongst in that non English speaking country.
    I have appreciation for the scribes and others from OT days, then monks, scholars and others and the efforts they have made, sometimes at cost of their lives so that we have the complete Bible translated into nearly 400 languages and parts of it translated into over 2400 languages.
    Could clarify your point for me please?

    Like

  176. @ an ex member
    You have put much time and effort into your many posts, Given what your experience and perception of our group and fellowship is you have made the right decision to become an ex member. With the disagreement and dissatisfaction you had with our group, its practices and teaching ;your decision has also been beneficial for us who prove otherwise with the fellowship. We are proving Christ and satisfying fellowship, trust you also are now. proving the same.
    best wishes

    Like

  177. ‘A worker’ keeps trying to undermine ‘an ex-member’ as having an insincere attitude. This is how the workers regard those of us who ask questions, and what they say about us.

    Like

  178. I will give another view with regard to a workers statement, which he wrote “However, keep in mind that the meetings are in folks’ homes, so they don’t allow people to walk in on a home meeting. (Would you for a Bible study, consistory meeting in your home?) Gospel meetings are open to all, and they are held in public buildings.”

    I was not asking if I could just walk into a home meeting. I was asking if I would be allowed to attend and take part without having to profess again in a Gospel meeting. No mention or intention of just walking in on a home meeting. As you said I would need to contact a worker in my area, which of course I would need to do in order to know where the meeting was and which I agreed to. As I said I would respect what is required.

    As you stated and I understand that a person may go as a visitor to a Sunday morning meeting if they are staying with family, or already engaged in meetings and with the workers. This is what I understand from your post and I know this has taken place but as we know, they CANNOT take part, which was the other part of my question. They can sit as an observer, if they are allowed to attend, but are not allowed to participate or take the emblems until they have openly professed in a Gospel meeting as being of one mind and spirit with you. Like ‘moderator above said, agree with your version of the Gospel which I understand means your interpretation of the New Testament Gospel. The one mind or spirit you are looking for as you have stated is an agreement in doctrine or your version of the New Testament which is agreeing that your ministry is the one and true ministry though which salvation only can be gained. It is this revelation that you require people to receive.

    Earlier you stated that you accept other Christians outside of your fellowship, but after a couple of weeks going round and round trying to find reasons why you cannot accept other Christians or people into fellowship with you, you have finally concluded that you cannot . I am understanding that people who have left your group for however short or long a period of time are considered to have ‘left God’. If they wish to return it is necessary for them to attend Gospel meetings and profess again, so that they get ‘the revelation’ again. It would have been easier for you to have answered the question directly the first time. It is only my insistence on a direct answer that you has got you to the stage of admitting you do not then you try and make out I have the problem because of my instance of a proper answer. It is these vague answers that have lead people into your fellowship and who have left when they find out more about the group. Answering questions is not one of the strengths of the workers who accuse the person as doubting or lacking in faith for not simply accepting what they say. They are told to just keep coming to meetings. If a person does not profess they are said to never have got it meaning they never got the revelation.

    Like

  179. a Worker thanks for your reply, it is through this process that we will gain understanding. It is clear that we are failing to communicate. You seem to be missing the point that you are dependent on the scholarship of Christians from other denominations and from the scientific study of the scriptures and the original languages of the bible. Also the work being done by bible translators. You act as if you getting the message direct from the NT, when you are either using the AV or NIV version produced by scholars. My allusion to the JW’s was that your position in regard to the academic pursuit of religion is not healthy and is analogous to theirs. Though I am no doubt sure you reject some of their views. I think from having had private communications with you that the next stage is for us to have a Skype conversation and then to publish our agreed text as a new post.

    Like

  180. A worker wrote, “However, keep in mind that the meetings are in folks’ homes, so they don’t allow people to walk in on a home meeting. (Would you for a Bible study, consistory meeting in your home?) Gospel meetings are open to all, and they are held in public buildings.”
    Yes, we would and this week this very thing occurred. I myself have done it. Our church has Bible study groups in private homes and any one is free to go. This week a new couple came that we had not seen before. It is open house. In fact I remember hearing when I was in meetings of open homes. When ever I have been to a home group I just go. I do not have to be invited. That is how it is done in churches that I have attended.
    “The new believers mentioned in Acts were meeting together being of one heart and one soul and of their ‘singleness of heart’”
    And that oneness was their belief in Jesus.
    “NO, this is NOT our system.…. the first meeting you refer is certainly publically advertised and an invitation to all in the community, Christian and non Christian are all invited to attend”
    It has been discussed on another board that the workers rarely advertise or door knock these days.
    I would say that only once in my life I have seen an advertisement. This rarely occurs these days.
    There was nothing in my question to a worker but a genuine desire to find out if you accept people into your Sunday morning meetings without them having to profess again.
    My conclusion is that the answer is no with doctrine being the deciding factor which tells me that nothing has changed in this regard over the years.
    I also get from it that you view those who have once left and wish to return with suspicion. Your stance is the same. You would rather have someone fresh from the outside that do not know about what you preach than someone who has prior knowledge. The workers have always been critical of people who ask questions putting them down and making out that they are the problem for asking the questions such as you are trying to do to me. I am well aware of your tactics but was hoping they had changed as you were saying you were different but nothing has changed in this regard.

    Like

  181. DI Moderator, thanks for your post! on February 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I’ll attempt to answer the questions you ask!

    Generally in all Christian Churches there is no obstacle to attending a service. All are welcome.
    However, when it comes to membership you would have to assent to the creed or constitution of that particular church.
    However, as I read the comments no one here is talking about membership just can anyone come into your service. End of story!

    .

    With our group all are welcome to attend the public services, which we refer to as Gospel Meetings. For example last week I met a couple and went to their home for coffee, we had a long and enjoyable visit together, they have attended and been members of a number of different churches, presently they are members of a Presbyterian church. Then this past Sunday a couple they told me they were coming to our Sunday gospel meeting! They didn’t ask us, if they could! They said they were!! I didn’t mind that at all! Their spirit and attitude is quite different to that which I seem to discern of ‘an ex member’ who posts on this blog? After the service they thanked us and said “Thanks for having us as part of your fellowship”. I also hold Bible Discussions in the homes of members of our group and they invite their neighbours and those living in the immediate vicinity. We read a chapter of the Bible, mostly from the NT and then open discussion is held, at the end we have coffee together.

    Regarding attendance at Sunday Fellowship meetings held in private homes…Wyatt has told of his experience while he was a member…

    “I have on occasion asked friends or relatives to attend Sunday meetings with us without them being vetted by workers or friends. I was encouraged to do so by both workers and friends. However, keep in mind that the meetings are in folks’ homes, so they don’t allow people to walk in on a home meeting. (Would you for a Bible study, consistory meeting in your home?) Gospel meetings are open to all, and they are held in public buildings. “

    Irvine has stated that attendance of a service at his church and church membership are separate matters. For me (just for me)if someone can attend a church service for ‘fellowship’ but can’t be a member of the church because of doctrinal differences then the ‘fellowship’ is a fairly ‘fragile’ fellowship that lacks any depth of real meaning or richness. The new believers mentioned in Acts were meeting together being of one heart and one soul and of their ‘singleness of heart’.

    So you are admitting here that you only open your doors to those who have the right attitude and where you,”perceive a genuine interest and appreciation for what they were learning or understanding.” Only then would you, “extend an invitation.” This is making even visiting your churches conditional.

    .

    All are open to attend the public services we hold in public venues. As the Wyatt has expressed of his time in our group visitors DO attend the meetings we hold in private homes.

    Regarding the poster ‘an ex member and the request he/she makes to attend a fellowship meeting of our group held in the home of one of our group? I personally would unlikely to inviting him/her. Why? because from the manner of their posts on this blog I am unable to discern any sincerity in their desire or purpose in asking to attend a meeting of our group in a private home. He/she however would be very welcome to attend the public services we have in public venues.

    That begs the question as to how you then interact with the public. I would assume that in your non foreign missionary contexts that would define the audience as those already within your orbit.

    .
    I’m not clear on the meaning of this statement?

    This simply is simply an issue of whether the world= those who are not yet believers or believers from different churches who wish to visit your church are free to do so. Your answer seems to be no!

    .
    Believers from different churches can attend the public services of our group which are held in public venues. Generally attendance at the other services we have in private homes of our members is primarily for members.

    First you go to a meeting which unlikely to be publically advertised, then if you show signs of being interested you then go into the second stage of being allowed into your closed meetings. Can you agree this is your system?

    .
    NO, this is NOT our system.…. the first meeting you refer is certainly publically advertised and an invitation to all in the community, Christian and non Christian are all invited to attend.

    . If you are working let us say with the Dinka people in Africa. How are you going to translate your version of the gospel so they can understand

    .
    The above quote is part of a statement you make, sorry I don’t understand! What do you mean by ‘your version of the gospel’?
    We use the New Testament, in the native tongue/language of the people we are working amongst.

    Like

  182. “a worker” – I’m sure you’ll be pleased to see I’m back from a charming little excursion to Berkshire’s Royal Borough. I have for you, two questions and a brief statement:

    1) What have you got to say about my earlier posts that relate to the run-ins my Grandparents and Great Aunt’s Brother-In-Law had with a couple of the workers?

    2) Where is the scriptural evidence for churches to be founded on doctrinal unity rather than unity in Jesus alone?

    Your responses to the questions you’ve been asked in my absence have reminded me of when politicians get quizzed by Jeremy Paxman!

    Like

  183. Agreement with Trinity Doctrine poll on TMB; Question, “Do you agree the Trinity Doctrine as presented by the Nicene Creed?”

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=13781&page=1

    Like

  184. Do you have any problems with the creed, a worker? no it is not a trick question.

    Like

  185. Nicene Creed

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.
    NWe believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.[2]

    Like

  186. You mean some traditional churches recite the Nicene Creed. I have been in many Baptsits churches and have not heard it recited. The only place I ever heard it was in school – a state school too.

    I would have no problem reciting it except for the part about the Catholic Church which I think means Christian Church anyway.

    The 2x2s do not know what they believe so it would be good for them to at least know the basics of Christianty apart from meeting in the home and the workers ministry.

    Like

  187. Ex member. Many churches recite the Apostles or Nicene Creed every Sunday. Sure, you can be the “sore thumb” and not recite it. I’ve also heard preaching along the line that if you don’t get the Trinity, you don’t get it. But it all depends on the church, I agree. Yes, the friends are ‘exclusive’; but Christianity is itself also a very exclusive religion in many cases. (The only way out is to become a ‘universallst’.)

    Like

  188. I wanted to know what the process was for attending a Sunday morning meeting these days. Anything wrong in that or are you suspicious of everyones motives for asking questions, a worker?

    Like

  189. a worker, I do not know what the moderator was referring to. I did nothing wrong. He highlighted what I wrote which he had crossed put but left it there in the next post.

    He crossed out ‘in my area’ as I said I will get in contact with you to find someone xxxxxx…. the ‘you’ and ‘in my area’ was crossed out by mod. And I mentioned the xxx Identifies the person making the comment. Moderator …. If you think there is something wrong with that please tell me.

    I wrote: You suggested I get in contact with a worker xxx xx xxxx. Ok – I will contact xxx shortly. Would a xxxx on the xxxx be enough.

    Like

  190. Wyatt wrote: “Yes – but OTOH, you would have to swear to believe (generally, through recitation) in Trinitarianism according to a creed. Whereas with the friends, you don’t have to do any such thing. Incidentally, you can attend gospel meetings no matter what you believe.”

    Not so, Wyatt. I have never heard of anyone having to swear to believe in any creed. You just go to church and no one asks what you believe. In meetings however, you have to swear to believe in the workers ministry and meeting in the home, if swearing is the word you want to use. I have never heard or done any recitation and I have been to a number of mainstream churches. Maybe the Catholic or Anglican have such a thing, I don’t know but there are thousands of churches you don’t. The most I have ever recited is the Lord’s prayer. Is not singing hymns the same as reciting?

    Like

  191. DI Moderator,
    I appreciate your helpful and questioning post yesterday, I plan to respond to that, other demands on my time mean that is unlikely to be today.

    One other point to quickly clarify; The ‘lack of enthusiasm’ I have in contemplating the request of the poster ‘an ex member’ to attend a felllowship meeting in the home of one of our group is to a large extent because of ‘the picture’ I get of this person by the manner of their posting on this blog.I notice you have needed to moderate his postings a number of times and you have also issued even issued him a warning. The poster is an ex member, I correctly or perhaps incorrectly am understanding the purpose for which he asks to attend a fellowship meeting in the private home of one of our members to be ‘to make or prove a point’ rather than because of any desire for fellowship?

    Such a person is of course very welcome to attend public services our group holds and to which ALL are invited. Those in agreement, disagreement, rejection or acceptance of the practices and teaching of our group, an invitation is extended to all. In my next post I will refer to general principles that I work by rather than those I use in specific and isolated instances such as the present one I refer to.

    Like

  192. ‘A worker’ said:

    If someone wished to attend a fellowship meeting and I could perceive a genuine interest and appreciation for what they were learning or understanding of us, then I would extend an invitation.

    Yet ‘a worker’ earlier in this discussion responsed to the author of the article’s comment:

    Interested outsiders are only gradually taught the group doctrines and only after a period of time are invited to private church events. The outsider will then be invited to attend a convention during which he/she will be shown about only by the workers and introduced to a few of the more “hearty” friends.

    with:

    I wonder how many Irish members of our group which agree with the accuracy of this statement?

    Quite a contradiction!

    Like

  193. If someone asked me if they could attend my church I would not ask them if they believed in baptism by full immersion, or other doctrinal issue and say yes, you can attend or no you cannot, based on whether their doctrine was the same as mine or not, nor would I say you can only take communion with us if you have the same doctrine.

    Yes – but OTOH, you would have to swear to believe (generally, through recitation) in Trinitarianism according to a creed. Whereas with the friends, you don’t have to do any such thing. Incidentally, you can attend gospel meetings no matter what you believe.

    Like

  194. Irvine –
    My point is that the open-ness of a particular religious group should not be measured by how many other denominations they are open to, but by how far their sense of welcome extends into their “other”. On this basis, the friends fellowship is more welcoming than many other denominations, and less welcoming than some. Anyone can go to a “gospel meeting” the same as they can to your Baptist church. Having been to both, I was much more welcome at the “gospel meeting” than at the Baptist church in which I was married. The home meeting is a little tighter to break in to than the gospel meeting. All I can tell from your line of argumentation is: their doctrine is not my doctrine, and mine is better, thus theirs is inferior. “They” however think theirs is better, and for better or worse, “they” are guarded about Christians-in-name-only polluting their brand. That’s just how it is. Incidentally, this is not meant as a defence of their approach; just telling you how it is.

    Like

  195. If someone asked me if they could attend my church I would not ask them if they believed in baptism by full immersion, or other doctrinal issue and say yes, you can attend or no you cannot, based on whether their doctrine was the same as mine or not, nor would I say you can only take communion with us if you have the same doctrine.

    Depending on the situation, I might tell them what our church believes and leave it up to them to make their own decision if they want to get more involved or not.

    On Sundays our pastor, elder or whoever is leading communion, sometimes says that this is not a table just for our church. All those who love the Lord are welcome to share communion with us.

    It is not our role to play judge and jury over anyone, it is between that person and God.

    Like

  196. I wrote above: Is it a membership based on doctrine or membership based on Jesus? I should have written, is it a fellowship based on doctrine or fellowship based on Jesus?

    Like

  197. Doctrine should not be a foundation. There should only be one foundation and that is Christ, our one foundation. Is it a membership based on doctrine or membership based on Jesus? You will not allow a person or myself to attend a Sunday morning meeting based on a difference in doctrine and not based on their relationship with Jesus.

    The foundation doctrine of your church which is different from other churches is the insistance of meeting in the home and the homeless minstry which gets back to what other workers preach and which was stated above by another worker. Doctrine appears to be far more important to you than a relationship with Jesus as people are not accepted into your fellowship based on their relationship with the Lord but based on a different doctrine. Is your preaching based on attendance according to doctrine any different from the other workers. In the end it comes down to one and the same.

    Like

  198. a worker wrote. “…. would not be able to have deep meaningful fellowship in a meeting where there was doctrinal differences.

    For example one attendee holding to the need of baptism by immersion the other rejecting that. That is just one point of hundreds of doctrinal points that divide Christians into thousands of denominations

    For this reason there is not an open door policy for our fellowship meetings. We find doctrinal unity to be a foundation……”

    You see we don’t!! Doctrine is man made based on man’s interpretation of the Bible. Christians find unity in Jesus.

    Although I believe in baptism by immersion I am perfectly happy to fellowship with those who do not. The same as I am happy to fellowship with someone who does not believe in the Trinity, although I do. God’s spirit is not based on doctrine, it is based on a living relations with him. There maybe doctrinal beliefs that cause us to ‘join’ a certain church but it would not hinder fellowshipping with them. It is our belief in Jesus that binds us not form. Workers will not fellowship with other Christians based on form. Form is
    the foundation of the fellowship which appears. Christians who do not agree with your form/doctrine are not accepted regardless of their love for the Lord. To Christians Jesus only is their message,the rest is man made.

    Do we have to agree on everything to fellowship together? Absolutely not Christians agree that Jesus came to earth, to die for our sins. It is that which unites. Not whether Joe believes in baptism, meets in the home or a church building, or not.

    Like

  199. Anyhow over here in Northern Ireland it is time for bed and my prayer for each and everyone is Numbers 6:24-26.

    Like

  200. Wyatt – try as I may I can not decipher this statement: ‘The worker points above about a Catholic in a Baptist church, et cetera, are quite valid. IOW, their is a wariness about whether you are saved or not, a true believer or not, simply based on your attendance at a mainstream church’.

    In fact there is nothing valid about the statement about a Catholic participating in a Baptist church service – but like everyone else they are welcome to attend and we do have a number who attend our local assembly. How shall they hear otherwise?

    I am sure the New Testament did not expand with such rapidity by have little gatherings that were exclusive and restrictive!

    Like

  201. My experience. Can anyone attend your Church…
    First, the church is exclusive in the sense that you cannot be saved through any other ministry. Outside of that they are generally very open about matters of attendance and fellowship. That is, I have on occasion asked friends or relatives to attend Sunday meetings with us without them being vetted by workers or friends. I was encouraged to do so by both workers and friends. However, keep in mind that the meetings are in folks’ homes, so they don’t allow people to walk in on a home meeting. (Would you for a Bible study, consistory meeting in your home?) Gospel meetings are open to all, and they are held in public buildings.
    Communion is essentially closed. If someone came to a meeting and wished to partake of bread and wine, they likely would not prevent them though. However, the spouse of an existing member I know, who was active in another church, was told he could not partake of the communion.
    Basically, the church is exclusive in matters of doctrine, but friendly and open in general.
    The worker points above about a Catholic in a Baptist church, et cetera, are quite valid. IOW, their is a wariness about whether you are saved or not, a true believer or not, simply based on your attendance at a mainstream church.

    Like

  202. DI Moderator

    I hope my response will not be misunderstood as a personal attack, it is NOT that…

    No I do not regard it as a personal attack. I think in your last response to Irvine we are getting closer to understanding.
    Generally in all Christian Churches there is no obstacle to attending a service. All are welcome. However, when it comes to membership you would have to assent to the creed or constitution of that particular church. In the Catholic, Orthodox or mainline Protestant groups various expressions of infant baptism give you membership by definition. It is only dissenter groups or believer’s Churches which practice believer’s baptism that have some test for membership. However, as I read the comments no one here is talking about membership just can anyone come into your service. End of story!

    I can’t speak for all workers but I personally would not wish for a person with the attitude and lack of agreement or appreciation for what our group lives and teaches (such as ‘an ex member’) to attend a fellowship meeting in the home of a member of our group.

    If someone wished to attend a fellowship meeting and I could perceive a genuine interest and appreciation for what they were learning or understanding of us, then I would extend an invitation.

    So you are admitting here that you only open your doors to those who have the right attitude and where you,”perceive a genuine interest and appreciation for what they were learning or understanding.” Only then would you, “extend an invitation.” This is making even visiting your churches conditional.

    Our fellowship meetings are primarily for those who accept and appreciate the teaching that is taught in our outreach/gospel meetings.

    That begs the question as to how you then interact with the public. I would assume that in your non foreign missionary contexts that would define the audience as those already within your orbit.

    Our fellowship meetings are not ecumenical services.

    No one I am reading is suggesting they are. In fact other than an ex member do not seem to me to have close ecumenical relationships beyond their own group. This a complete red herring of your own creation. No one is asking you to mix up people from divergent or totally contradictory positions and force them into a meeting they have no wish to be a part of. This simply is simply an issue of whether the world= those who are not yet believers or believers from different churches who wish to visit your church are free to do so. Your answer seems to be no!

    Is that exclusive?

    In my humble opinion I would say yes it is!

    Would members of the Baptist church accept a Catholic priest conducting Mass in their service?

    The simple answer is no. Nor would we expect you to have an Anglican priest conduct your service or a Catholic priest for that matter. However, we would expect you allow a Catholic or a Baptist or a non believer to enter your public space! You have a two stage ecclesiology. First you go to a meeting which unlikely to be publically advertised, then if you show signs of being interested you then go into the second stage of being allowed into your closed meetings. Can you agree this is your system?

    If they are conservative group would they appreciate and accept exuberant Pentecostals dancing and clapping in the aisles and speaking in tongues? No

    No they would not and this false dichotomy is only in your head no one else is suggesting it!

    A person with the attitude of ‘an ex member’ would probably enjoy and appreciate a fellowship meeting as much as the Rev Ian Paisley would enjoy Mass.

    ‘an ex member’ has clearly stated that they are happy to participate with Christians from different denominations in ecumenical events. That is trans denominational sharing. They remain a Baptist, but they are free to visit these other churches. Ian Paisley hates the mass with a passion and opposed the Pope’s visit to the UK. ‘an ex member’ does not need to agree with transubstantiation to share fellowship with a Catholic.

    So what ‘point’ are they trying to make in their repeated posts here?

    For the obvious reason that you are not getting it. What are you not getting you are are running an exclusive Church which only allows people who you filter before they are allowed to have full fellowship with you.
    Also you are failing to understand Irvine who is asking you a simple question. If you are working let us say with the Dinka people in Africa. How are you going to translate your version of the gospel so they can understand. Generally by using the work of biblical scholarship of those Christians who have studied the original languages of Greek and Hebrew and then organisations like the Wycliffe Bible Translators or the Dominicans who have an institute in Jerusalem.
    Let me give an example. I assume you have had a visit from the JW’s? You may have received a copy of the Watch Tower? They have very strong anti Trinitarian perspective. How do they prepare these magazines that they give out to millions? I have visited their HQ in Patterson NY where they train their leaders. I asked them how they prepare these materials. They informed me in 2006 that they have no theologians or biblical scholars at all. Yet they prepare their material using encyclopaedias. They are telling their members that Jesus is living in a gaseous form in Heaven. He will not be returning, but the Archangel Michael? They have no academic competence and they have millions of people who are told that a blood transfusion is the equivalent of drinking blood and idolatry. This has resulted in the death of thousands of children. How can your movement have a chance of renewing itself if it has no theologians. This was the case in a nut shell was making. No not confusing the gospel with academic competence. Research, biblical studies and proper grounding are essential for renewed movement. Are all apostles? Are all Evangelists No. Are all academics no, but should some be-Yes. I can guarantee that you are currently reading a book by a Christian from another denomination? I will be getting back to you privately on this as this not the forum to discuss this, but wanted to give my impressions having listened into this debate for 2 weeks!

    Like

  203. @irvine
    The purpose of our fellowship meetings is to have deep, satisfying and meaningful fellowship.

    I would not be able to have deep meaningful fellowship in a meeting where there was doctrinal differences.

    For example one attendee holding to the need of baptism by immersion the other rejecting that. That is just one point of hundreds of doctrinal points that divide Christians into thousands of denominations

    For this reason there is not an open door policy for our fellowship meetings. We find doctrinal unity to be a foundation to the meaningful deep and satisfying fellowship we enjoy in our fellowship meetings.

    Like

  204. Never Returning – the choice of Orange Hall eliminates 47% of the population!

    Worker – back to definitions – you were not asked if you would accept all and sundry into membership you were asked whether or not the Sunday morning fellowship was open to all.

    I will comment on Baptist churches and indeed all other evangelical churches in Ireland – it is an open door policy in that all are welcome to attend the service. When it comes to membership of course this is a different matter and each church has its statement of faith to which one must affirm.

    We need to distingush between church membership and an open door policy. Both are understandably different.

    Like

  205. Also I feel that the below quote from ‘a worker’ that he/she is trying to discredit the idea of an inclusive church as a foolish idea. It may come as a shock to a worker but one’s opinion does not equals fact. I have seen many different denominations worship together in harmony. ‘A worker’ has fallen into the trap of assuming that other Christian groups could not join the meetings people in worship because they would not be of the same spirit– and thus reveals his/her exclusive attitude towards worship with Christians. ‘A worker’ ALL Christians have the same spirit and are of one mind.

    “Envisage if in a home in Ireland you took the initiative to invite the Rev Ian Paisley along with some Orangemen supporters, one of the Cardinals from Dublin and some of his loyal church members (bringing their rosary beads with them), then several Quakers (who may find themselves waiting for quite a while to feel the ‘moving of the Spirit?’) , a few exuberant Pentecostals who specialise in speaking in tongues, dancing in the aisles and having people falling on the floor as they are healed, several high Church of England members who enjoy a quiet reverent liturgical service, then to ensure balance and diversity some members from Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Brethren, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregation….with the arrangement being that they meet each Sunday morning for regular wholesome ecumenical ‘fellowship’.
    How do you think it would go?”

    Like

  206. ‘A worker’ was asked about the issue attitude amongst “the friends”. ‘A worker’s’ response was this:

    “‘Exclusivity’ and ‘Christian Fellowship’ is an issue with some who have posted. I understand (meaningful) fellowship to be something enjoyed by those of a same or similar mind? Perhaps others understand it as something else?
    Envisage if in a home in Ireland you took the initiative to invite the Rev Ian Paisley along with some Orangemen supporters, one of the Cardinals from Dublin and some of his loyal church members (bringing their rosary beads with them), then several Quakers (who may find themselves waiting for quite a while to feel the ‘moving of the Spirit?’) , a few exuberant Pentecostals who specialise in speaking in tongues, dancing in the aisles and having people falling on the floor as they are healed, several high Church of England members who enjoy a quiet reverent liturgical service, then to ensure balance and diversity some members from Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Brethren, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregation….with the arrangement being that they meet each Sunday morning for regular wholesome ecumenical ‘fellowship’.
    How do you think it would go?”

    I have found this kind of avoidance answer by taking people on a “detour” to be a typical response from the workers when they are faced with a difficult question.

    ‘A worker’ spoke of inviting Orangemen and Catholics to the meetings- and is possibly unaware that the workers in Northern Ireland will happily have missions in Orange Halls? This is hardly maintaining the “non-conformity with the world” that the workers preach about. I am sure this habit would be offensive to the (few) Catholic converts.

    Like

  207. Also, mod. I have no idea of what you mean by I am trying to out a worker. Do you mean put him down or give his name/location? I never gave his location I said I will get in contact meaning to find a worker in my area which he suggests I do.

    No where in this post did I give any indication of names.

    There was no hostility in my post. Please point it out.

    Like

  208. I have no idea what you are talking about mod.

    a worker advised me to get in contact with a worker in my area, so that is exactly what I said, I would get into contact with a worker in my area. What is wrong with saying I will contact you shortly – via the xxx.

    You had not problem with me writing xxx. I gave no names.
    We had this discussion with Matt10. You do not need to give a name to breach confidentiality. I did not realise that naming that forum would lead to a further erosion of anonymity. Hence it has been erased as well. Please continue to focus on the issues with this person not the person.

    Like

  209. @Irvine

    A. Your flavour of ‘exclusivity’ seems to be fairly accommodating?

    Can I clarify?

    Your believe “church fellowships should be an open house”?

    I’m wondering what you fully mean by this statement? Is your church such? or to what extent is it an open house?

    a)Are Christians who do not accept or agree with the doctrine of the Baptist denomination accepted and accommodated in the local church you attend regularly?

    b) Would those who do not agree with the doctrine of the Baptist church be be accepted as members your Church?

    It is not the purpose of our fellowship meetings to offer or to have ecumenical fellowship with Christians across the spectrum of Christianity.

    B. I wonder if perhaps our definition of fellowship and expectations from fellowship are different?

    For me personally; I find and have deep meaningful satisfying fellowship when I gather with those are like minded or similar minded. In the early chapters of the Book of Acts it mentions those who believed meeting together being of one heart and one soul and of their ‘singleness of heart’.

    The fellowship meetings of our group are primarily for those who have attended outreach/gospel meetings and experienced the Spirit of God working in them in that. Something similar to that of Lydia whom we read of in the Book of Acts. She listened to the Apostle Paul and God opened her heart that she attended unto the things that Paul spoke. After this experience she was able to have fellowship with Paul and others there.

    Perhaps to clarify another point…, if it is not already understand. I do not judge people to be Christian or non Christian saved or non saved by membership of our group.

    As the scripture says….2Ti 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

    I have assurance in my personal relationship with God and salvation. find myself unable and refrain from making declarations regarding the personal relationship and salvation of others, especially of those who are not part of our fellowship!

    Like

  210. How off the topic can you get, a worker.
    For a start you were the one who brought up the word exclusive, and the word often. I picked them out in response to you using them.
    “Our fellowship meetings are primarily for those who accept and appreciate the teaching that is taught in our outreach/gospel meetings.”
    There is one Gospel so how is your Gospel different from that which is in the Bible which other churches preach?
    “Our fellowship meetings are not ecumenical services.”
    I never asked to attend an ecumenical service. How can one person joining in a Sunday morning meeting make it an ecumenical service.
    “Would members of the Baptist church accept a Catholic priest conducting Mass in their service?”
    Nor am I asking to conduct a service, nor am I priest or preacher.
    “If they are conservative group would they appreciate and accept exuberant Pentecostals dancing and clapping in the aisles and speaking in tongues?”
    I said I will respect any church I attend.
    “A person with the attitude of ‘an ex member’ would probably enjoy and appreciate a fellowship meeting as much as the Rev Ian Paisley would enjoy Mass. So what ‘point’ are they trying to make in their repeated posts here?”
    Repeated? How many times have you repeated Ian Paisley’s name?
    I was not making any point. I was simply asking to attend a Sunday morning meeting. Just a simple yes or no, would have been sufficient instead, you spent days going round in circles. You got me meeting with Paisley, dancing in a church, speaking in church. Everything but the humble little seeking soul I am 

    You suggested I get in contact with a worker xxx xx xxxx. Ok – I will contact xxx shortly. Would a xxxx on the xxxx be enough.

    an ex member you are again trying to out a worker. Please respect our anonymity principle. What you do on other forums is your business. Please do not take out your personal hostilities on our site. You had shown that he was confusing access to his church by all with his deflection into irrelevant issues to do with mixing with people who do not share similar faith positions. In other words I believe a worker has now conceded that unless you are filtered YOU can’t come to their meeting.

    Like

  211. @ the worker – the moderator makes a valid point – ‘You are confusing ecumenical relationships with the question been asked of you. Can anyone attend your Church’

    I think you would be better coming out and saying ‘fellowship meetings and special meetings are member only events’.

    I think a little more definition is needed. Yes I would call myself exclusive in that I believe in one God, our Creator and I believe there is only one way to God and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ John 14:6. Because I believe John 3:16 I believe church fellowships should be an open house and when they are not they can be classed as restrictive.

    Your coment viz-a-viz a priest saying mass in a Baptist or any reformed church borders on the ridiculous. Most evangelical Christians will generally welcome other evangelical Christians into their pulpits and this is true ecumenism.

    Like

  212. DI Moderator

    I hope my response will not be misunderstood as a personal attack, it is NOT that…

    I can’t speak for all workers but I personally would not wish for a person with the attitude and lack of agreement or appreciation for what our group lives and teaches (such as ‘an ex member’) to attend a fellowship meeting in the home of a member of our group.

    If someone wished to attend a fellowship meeting and I could perceive a genuine interest and appreciation for what they were learning or understanding of us, then I would extend an invitation.

    Our fellowship meetings are primarily for those who accept and appreciate the teaching that is taught in our outreach/gospel meetings.

    Our fellowship meetings are not ecumenical services.

    Is that exclusive?

    Would members of the Baptist church accept a Catholic priest conducting Mass in their service?

    If they are conservative group would they appreciate and accept exuberant Pentecostals dancing and clapping in the aisles and speaking in tongues?

    No

    A person with the attitude of ‘an ex member’ would probably enjoy and appreciate a fellowship meeting as much as the Rev Ian Paisley would enjoy Mass. So what ‘point’ are they trying to make in their repeated posts here?

    Like

  213. from the post above of “an ex member”

    It seems he
    a) Seems to have a deep interest in our fellowship and what is preached and how often etc etc? Wants to know more about our ministry etc etc

    b) Disputes and discounts much of what I post here ….

    so no use ‘banging my head against a brick wall’ in doing that!

    Is there workers in the province/state he lives in? If so perhaps he’d like to attend several months of their gospel meetings regularly? He might even get invited to attend a fellowship meeting if he begins to feel differently about our group?!!!! Meaningful fellowship is something enjoyed by like or similar minded people. At present it appears to me that he is about as like minded with our group as the Rev Ian Paisley is with Rome?!!!!

    Our spiritual life is a personal matter. He may feel even more ‘sick’ about our group that he presently does (if that is possible?!)after attending the months of attending meetings regularly? But at least he wouldn’t need to come to this blog asking what is preached and how often.

    Like

  214. You are confusing ecumenical relationships with the question been asked of you. Can anyone attend your Church?
    By coincidence I have met Paisley on a number of occasions. I also brought him a message from the Cardinal of Armagh in 1978.
    The scenario you are envisaging is not possible and no one is asking you about it. The Anglican Church in Ireland is the Church of Ireland.
    We have no cardinal in Dublin etc. etc.

    Like

  215. I confirm I have never been a member of the fellowship. My maternal grandparents were and as a teenager I attended Sunday morning fellowship meetings and Gortaloughan and Carnteel conventions with my grandmother. My first recollection of contact with the fellowship was in 1956 when my dad gave a field for the erection of a portable hall for a mission by Hugh Breen and Nat Stevenson.

    In those days the workers stayed in a curtained off area at the back of the hall and spent their daytime going from house to house and inviting folk to the mission.

    Like

  216. a worker wrote: “I never preach of the church gathering in the home as ‘doctrine’. I don’t need to.
    I don’t feel the need to mention often of the clear record and teaching the NT contains of the Apostolic Ministry. I do preach Christ,, I do preach of his atoning sacrifice, I do preach that salvation is the gift of God.”

    So do the churches I have attended but you say they are of a different spirit? So what would I be hearing in a Gospel meeting that was any different from the Baptist church?

    ok – reading your statement again, you said you do preach about the apostolic ministry but you don’t preach it ‘often’. How often is often. It is the atoning sacrifice and the apostolic ministry which you preach. To me it is the atoning blood and that alone that saves and there is nothing we can do to add to it. All else is our works. I see little of the apostolic ministry at work amongst the workers. The apostles healed the sick for example, the workers do not. Jesus also had a different method after he left them, Luke 22 tells them to take these things. There were married apostles, there are no married workers. There were no women apostles, there are more woman workers than men in your church etc etc. Where are the evangelists, pastors etc that are mentioned in the apostolic church. And yes, were is the speaking in tongues that was evident in the apostolic church?

    Leo Stancliff spoke what people have heard from many workers over the years. The church in the home and the ministry are the cornerstone of your church. If we don’t believe in your ministry then according to you we have a different spirit. Is Jesus spirit not enough? I agree we do not have the same mind in this regard as I believe that Jesus and him alone should be our message, not ourselves least any man should boast.

    I would think a Christian who understood the Bible such as Irvine Grey would be far better to do research on the 2x2s than a person with no Christian beliefs. I don’t think Irvine was ever a member.

    Like

  217. I’ve suddenly got a 10 minute extension to my departure.

    This is for you “a worker” –

    Like

  218. Ha ha ha “a worker”. I’ll see what I can find for you on YouTube. I’m going away for a couple of days now so don’t expect anything too soon. I hope you’ll be able to stand the wait.

    Like

  219. @ A current member of this faith

    I’ve just thought of a question for “a worker”

    So you’ve just thought of a question for ‘a worker’! You are ‘quite the character!’

    Well you have me beaten on this one!!!! :-(

    I don’t know quite what to think about you….

    never mind thinking smaller details like your apostate movement membership status or your sweet? innocence in seeking ‘truth about the truth’ status!

    maybe you might like to reinvent truth? dats da name of Mr Daniel’s book! and dat might give you inspiration?! :-) might keep ‘keep you off my case’ if you busy yourself with reinventing truth! If you get short of ideas purchase Mr Daniel’s book on amazon and ‘go for it’!

    Will you now dedicate me a song for me for making this suggestion to you?! :-)

    Like

  220. I’ve just thought of a question for “a worker” – Do you think I am a member of this “2×2 apostate/counter advocacy movement” or innocently seeking the truth about “The Truth”?

    Like

  221. And just think – In France the 2X2s are referred to as Les Anonymes. Ha ha ha.

    Like

  222. Of course it would be convenient for you to be able to call on the Moderator every time someone challenges you;

    That is unlikely to happen. But, as you were not challenging them but their anonymity then the moderators had to step in. A Worker was one hundred percent correct to ignore your post and, frankly, would be correct to ignore this one too (albeit for different reasons). Until you ask a question that doesn’t revolve around anonymity then no answer should be forthcoming.

    In terms of popular opinion, since you brought it up, I will add this. At the top right there is an email address which people can (and do) use to contact the administrator (which is me basically). Usually I only receive emails either a) asking for someone to be banned, b) requests to remove/edit the comment due to an author error or c) request for assistance due to some technical challenge, etc.

    So far, regarding this thread, I have received 19 emails – 4 of which thanked me for reaffirming anonymity (none were from ‘a worker’). Who would have thought it?

    And since you apparently need this spelled out for you, let me make as clear as I can: Every person who posts here will have their anonymity respected by Dialogue Ireland moderators – and that may include rebuking commenters who challenge the anonymity of others.

    Like

  223. Matt10 has got his head screwed on alright. Is “a worker” going to comment on the other workers’ attitudes towards my “errant” relations?

    Like

  224. @ A Worker,
    ‘No I didn’t miss your post and no I haven’t responded to it either. I surprised you are expecting any reply? I feel no need of a reply. Did you read posts from the Moderator regarding your post? They cover the matter in such an (sic) full and adequate manner that I dismissed the matter from mind after reading them.’

    A Worker –

    Of course I was expecting a reply. It is the nature of your reply which didn’t surprise me. My experience of 2×2 workers is that they have a tendency to avoid answering difficult questions through the use of a variety of clever methods which fool some of the people some of the time but certainly not all the people all the time. For the benefit of the former, I should perhaps point out that in my experience such methods include questioning the validity of the question, questioning the credibility of the person asking the question, answering a different question, using a diversionary tactic and engaging in scripture quoting, riddle talking, general spoofing and, when all else fails, downright lying. Ahem.

    And yes, of course I read the posts from the Moderators. I always pay close attention to what the Moderators say. However in this particular instance, judging by the responses from others, I think it is safe to conclude that the Moderators got it wrong. You will have noted that I suggested to them that if it was their view that my original question was not legitimate (on this blog), that they say so in a clear and unambiguous statement. No such statement was ever made. One is therefore left to conclude that my question was indeed legitimate. Of course I will leave it to others to draw their own conclusions why you should refuse to answer a legitimate question perhaps even taking into account the views expressed in the previous paragraph.

    By the way, I also think that you need to be aware that if you come here publicly identifying yourself as a worker it is perfectly acceptable for you to be challenged as a worker; of course you may not wish to be seen as a representative of the workers but you will be, whether you wish to or not. It is no different than if you came here identifying yourself as a member of a government or of some another authority. Remember you do not need to identify yourself as a worker; this is something that you choose to do for reasons known only to you – perhaps you also do on other forums too? And be careful not to misinterpret a challenge for a personal attack. I note that you used the term ‘personal attack’ in the same paragraph as you referred to the term ‘inappropriate posts’ and ‘Matt10 (that’s me!); I made no personal attack on you. And if you think that developing a mutual appreciation society with the Moderator is going to persuade the Moderator to intervene to prevent exposure of what is understood widely as typical worker beliefs or behaviour, then perhaps you should think somewhat more deeply. Of course it would be convenient for you to be able to call on the Moderator every time someone challenges you; just remember that this is not a convention tent where workers can indulge themselves in presenting a fanciful view of the 2×2 church or the 2×2 work without fear of being asked difficult questions. Regards Matt10

    Like

  225. @irvine

    ok if that is what you mean “by riding on the back”

    then

    To my knowledge our group has not yet worked amongst people where the they do not have a Bible translated into their language.

    I know of one late colleague who wrote what I understand was the first ‘to English’ dictionary of the language of the people where he worked and I understand it was appreciated and used by many.

    Returning to the concern I have expressed.

    Are you able to state that you will be rising above the Baptist and ‘main stream’ thinking that has influenced and moulded your thinking and values to objectively prepared a thesis on our group ‘a NRM’?!

    I have written to you giving my understanding of what the Bible teaches of an Apostolic Ministry, I am not aware of such being acceptable and practiced in the Baptist denomination of which you are a member.

    When you get time to thoughtfully respond to that private communication I may be able to better understand if I understand you to be capable of preparing a scholarly impartial thesis that the likes of an athiest academic like madhair would be capable of.

    Like

  226. @
    A current member of this faith
    We are all individuals
    For me
    a) The title “Reinventing the Truth”
    b) Of the author… “Mr Daniel’s family were faithful and generous participants and elders in the group”
    c)The acknowledgment of his ‘adversarial proclivities ‘ in the foreword

    Reveal a common behaviour pattern and background of the counter advocacy/apostate movement.

    They have an audience and market! There are those who ‘love it and lap it up’, it gives them justification.

    For me; it caused me to examine myself and my relationship with God and to have reassurance that what I have proved on God personally and in deep satisfying fellowship with others cannot be shaken by the writing of such as Mr Daniel.

    Like

  227. I will clear up the Daniel confusion – Kevin was never part of the fellowship. Yes his family was.

    In the course my research I have read every possible book on the fellowship, Davdi Stone. Lloyd Fortt, Doug and Helen Parker, Kevin Daniel, Joan Daniel, Lynn Cooper, Daurelle Champman and Cornelius Jaenen’s big book! Where necessary and if possible I have engaged these writers in corresponence when I needed clarification.

    I have had personal correspondence with many friends and workers including you and for that I am grateful. I have met with workers and friends, attended conventions and missions all in an effort to present a balanced, fair an objecttive thesis.

    I fully understand your missionary endeavours and my question was in no way minimising this. Thanks for confirming your respect for the man who did the translation work. In our personal correspondence we have talked of your work in that particular country which as you know is also close to my heart

    I come back to my question which in no way shows any partiality. ‘What do the 2x2s do in their missionary outreach or do they just ride on the back of those churches who have done the work of translation?” Please read this in context. I am asking about translation work and if you think about the opening words of my initial text that is clear. In other words do the 2x2s ever go into a situation where there is no Scripture in that language and you then go about translating one or do you depend on others do do this?There is nothing ambivalent or unacademic about this question.

    Like

  228. Does the declaration that “Kevin Daniel exhibits some adversarial proclivities” mean that his book is null and void?

    Like

  229. @Irvine
    a) Regarding Mr Daniel and his publication

    To quote from the foreword on Mr Daniel’s publication…
    “Mr Daniel’s family were faithful and generous participants and elders in the group” and “it must be said that Mr Daniel exhibits some adversarial proclivities

    b) Your question
    “What do the 2x2s do in their missionary outreach or do they just ride on the back of those churches who have done the work of translation?”

    What connotation are you intending with the statement ‘ride on the back’? With respect; it seems reveals negative connotation?…. from someone claiming to be a benign impartial academic?

    I have been involved in missionary work in a third world country. Perhaps I can put you in contact with some of the people who have received salvation and new life from God through the ministry efforts of our team? (some have reasonable English communication skills).They may have valid and helpful information for your research? Regarding your ‘riding on the back’ statement, they could comment meaningfully on that.They may also give you a different perspective to that which you presently hold of the fellowship? Their experience is different from that of Mr Daniel who has close family ties with our group and exhibits adversarial proclivities.

    I have spoken appreciatively publicly of the British missionary who left the British Isles over 200 years ago and had a major part in translating the Bible which God has used in giving salvation and new life to those I refer to above. Would this support your ‘riding on the back’ statement?

    c)To move to the next point

    Perhaps you will address the concern I expressed?

    I hope you will be able to express something that will enable me to have confidence that you are truly a benign impartial academic researcher? I am beginning to wonder! Posts you have made do exhibit tendencies of a Baptist movement apologist…or at least you are very defensive of the denomination!

    I would greatly appreciate a scholarly academic thesis prepared by truly disinterested impartial academic. I could have confidence in an atheist academic such as madhair preparing such.

    I am now beginning to wonder if the ‘baptist blood’ and leanings you have will prevent you from presenting a impartial scholarly paper?

    I have no personal issue with you! I’ll be glad if you are able to allay the concerns I am feeling!

    Like

  230. @ a worker: I am afraid casting aspersions on me is not going to deflect from my genuine question. What do the 2x2s do in their missionary outreach or do they just ride on the back of those churches who have done the work of translation? A reasonable question and worthy of a reasonable answer instead of a personal attack?

    As for Kevin Daniel I did not get the quote from his work and a point of interest. I understand that Kevin was never part of the fellowship so therefore is hardly an apostate!

    Like

  231. @irvine
    I have no interest or desire to do so, but I have NO doubt that I could trawl and come up with statements by Baptist preachers that are out of line with the teaching of our Lord Jesus and for which there is no challenge or castigation. I have never spent time researching, publishing papers or making statements about errant Baptist groups or members, but believe me the potential would be there!Rather I am moved to spend my life and time on something positive, seeking to live and uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Leo Stancliff? I’ve heard the name, is he still alive? Is he some world wide ‘doctrine spokesman’ of our fellowship? Is this statement he made upheld and regarded as some ‘revelation’ amongst us? Or is it a statement that men such as Kevin Daniel; a prominent figure in the apostate/counter advocacy movement of our group (and now you also) have ‘latched on to’? I’ve clearly stated my personal conviction and lack of agreement with the convoluted statement that is attributed to him.

    Then your next paragraph about our group riding on the back of churches? With respect it begs this question?

    Are you part of the 2×2 apostate/counter advocacy movement?… and a Baptist movement apologist or a benign impartial academic researcher? I am beginning to wonder!

    Like

  232. @ a Worker. You do not have to trawl far to find in the past Baptist preachers and others who have made statements that are not Scriptural but believe you me in such cases they are challenged and openly castigated. You down play Leo Stancliff who is a senior worker who does a fair bit of apologist work for the 2x2s. See Kevin Daniel’s book, Reinventing the Truth. You meekly say that you do not agree with his statement while an outright condemnation would have been more appropriate – that is if you really believe in penal substution.

    Just this morning I was reading about all of the translation work being done by many missionary organisations to provide people in distant lands with the Bible in their own language. What do the 2x2s do in their missionary outreach or do they just ride on the back of those churches who have done the work of translation?

    Like

  233. This video always makes me think of my good old Grandmother I’ve been talking about in my latest posts (she’s actually my Step Grandmother) who always prefers the company of young people and lived in New York for several years.

    Like

  234. Another thing that happened involved my Great Aunt’s brother-in-law. His wife died (he was in his late 70s at this time and had also been professing for decades with a meeting in his home) and he was dating a non professing lady who lived 25 miles from his home. One of the local workers turned up at his house one day and issued him with the following ultimatum: “Either you marry your lady friend or give her up. If you don’t do either then you can’t remain in fellowship”. As you can guess he took offence and died outside of the meetings. However, he remained faithful to God until his death and his funeral was really uplifting and comforting (it wasn’t taken by the workers). What really annoyed me is that after we left the hall to go to the cemetery I commented on what a nice funeral it was to one of the senior brother workers (a few workers did attend) and he flatly told me “Well, he’s lost out”. As you know, the worker was telling me that my Great Aunt’s brother-in-law had gone to hell. Outrageous judgmental behaviour.

    When my own Grandfather died, my Grandmother was very cut up about it and in the year after his death she had several get togethers in her home with the friends from her Sunday morning meeting. One of the senior brother workers came up to her one day and told her “No more parties please”. He also told her off for crying in the meetings after my Grandad had died and said she was “drawing attention to herself and detracting from the spirit of the meetings”.

    Isn’t it all so meek, humble and Christ like?

    Like

  235. By the way, my Grandparents had been professing for several decades when the above happened.

    Like

  236. “a worker” – The following statement by “an ex member” @ 4:01am is of great interest to me having grown up in the meetings:

    __________

    I am at a loss to why someone who has been brought up in meetings and attended meetings most of their life, went to another church for a few years would have to go to Gospel meetings inorder to have participation in Sunday morning meeting.
    __________

    With respect, what is the reasoning behind this attitude? My Grandparents stopped going to the Sunday morning meeting a few years ago because they had a problem with a member of the congregation. One day, after about a year of absence, they returned and took part as normal. When the local workers found out about this they banned them from coming to any more fellowship meetings until they “re-professed” at a tent mission, which happened to be a 50 mile drive from their home. That is quite a big ask for an elderly couple in their late 70s and where is the scriptural justification? Please reply to this “a worker”. I need some answers.

    Like

  237. I have never witnessed lasting, deep or meaningful fellowship between people of diverse practice or doctrine( such as those I mention in previous posts). I believe meaningful fellowship is only possible between people of the same or similar mind. If other posters do not agree then we’ll need to respectfully agree to disagree! I will not be posting further on the matter. It concerns me little that anonymous posters on a blog decry me as exclusive! (according to their definition of the term) …as one of our hymns aptly puts it “What men may say about me, that will not count at all”, My life and convictions are before God.

    Like

  238. For the 2×2 the Gospel is Gospel plus homeless ministry plus church in the home.

    Yes there is some I’ve heard who seem to focus on the homeless ministry plus church in the home. It also may be according to your experience and those you have spoken to? It certainly isn’t according to me! and also isn’t for many of my colleagues internationally. How wide is your research? The colleagues of mine who are effective and helpful don’t preach the ‘plus’ gospel you refer to.

    Leo Stanclff, a senior worker expresses this thought when he said in 1981:”My hope of salvation is the blood of Christ. But I would like to explain to you what it means. The blood of Christ is the ministry and the church in the home. Without the New Testament ministry you don’t have the blood of Christ which includes the church in the home. The forgiveness of sins is a fringe benefit.”
    If that is not heretical then tell me what is? There is no record of fellow workers rebuking this outburst.

    I don’t like the sound of what a man called Leo Stancliff is quoted as saying 31 years ago. It sounds convoluted and I don’t agree with it.

    I believe in the blood of Christ.
    I do believe in an Apostolic ministry; (there is a clear record of it in the New Testament).
    I also read of the church in the home in the Bible that worked 1900 years ago and it works well now. I never preach of the church gathering in the home as ‘doctrine’. I don’t need to.
    I don’t feel the need to mention often of the clear record and teaching the NT contains of the Apostolic Ministry. I do preach Christ,, I do preach of his atoning sacrifice, I do preach that salvation is the gift of God.

    Now if I was interested enough that I should trawl through historical records and find some unusual or even heretical statement/s made by some Baptist preacher decades ago and attribute them as ‘the doctrine’ of the Baptists? Then go on to say there is no record of any fellow Baptist preacher rebuking his outburst would this stand up? Would it stand any moderating or scrutiny by an academic?

    Like

  239. @ a worker For the 2×2 the Gospel is Gospel plus homeless ministry plus church in the home. It is not the Gospel of ‘nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling’. Leo Stanclff, a senior worker expresses this thought when he said in 1981:”My hope of salvation is the blood of Christ. But I would like to explain to you what it means. The blood of Christ is the ministry and the church in the home. Without the New Testament ministry you don’t have the blood of Christ which includes the church in the home. The forgiveness of sins is a fringe benefit.”

    If that is not heretical then tell me what is? There is no record of fellow workers rebuking this outburst. Your idea of ‘an ecumenical get together’ is to take the focus off the issue in question.

    This is the exclusivity of the 2×2 movement where you simply do not believe that born again believers exist outside the fellowship. .

    Like

  240. You are unbelieveable, worker! Showing your true colours. I do not live in Ireland, nor any where near Ireland, yet you want me to meet with Rev. Ian Paisley, his cardinal offsider from Dublin and others. It is the same as me asking you to have dinner with the Pope.

    I told you I have been in combined services with Catholics, Anglicans, Baptist, Pentecostals and we enjoy each others fellowship. What more can I say except thanks for answering my question and showing that you do not allow others to fellowship with you and make any excuse for why you cannot allow Christians to meet with you.

    We are not talking about individuals such as Paisley but meeting with different churches.

    Like

  241. This last poster isn’t considering my suggestion for convening the ‘wholesome ecumenical fellowship meetings’!

    For me, perhaps for others also? that ‘tells a story’ in itself? !…

    So unless a report appears of the ‘ecumenical fellowship meetings’ where the Rev Ian Paisley, his Cardinal ‘offsider’ from Dublin and others of the group attend…then this will likely be my last post on this blog.

    Hey, thanks to Moderator for his excellent work and to others also who have participated!
    cheers
    a worker

    Like

  242. I am at a loss to why someone who has been brought up in meetings and attended meetings most of their life, went to another church for a few years would have to go to Gospel meetings in order to have participation in Sunday morning meeting.

    I have been together with people from all different churches so am reporting back that it was a great experience. Their was no division as we all serve the same Lord and Saviour. That is what binds us, not church affiliation. We have people in our home group that do not attend our church. We have meetings of interest that those of other churches attend and we attend theirs. Last week there was a woman speaker speaking at another church and about 10 from our church went.

    If some evangelist came to town people from all different churches would came regardless of denomination, just like they did last year and small groups meet following that.

    What is your hang up with exclusiveness? You have mentioned it in several posts. If you don’t like it and find it offensive then change it, if you are happy with it then don’t be offended by it.
    I wish this site had a spell check……

    Like

  243. You would be welcome to attend any monthly minsters gathering in order to support one another. How about attending one, I am sure you will be welcome, and you report back to us and see if you don’t feel welcome and sense the one spirit of those who meet together for encouragement, prayer and support puerly based on their love for God and humankind. They are not threatened by each other, they are only interested in seeing God at work in the community and people’s lives changed and saved.

    There would be Christian events in your country which you could attend. Start going to a church and see if you are kept out or welcomed in. I have heard of workers attending churches to have a look. Are you interested in such an assignment? From your list above, i would suggest a good lively Baptist church for a start. Maybe later you could progress to a tongue speaking Pentecostal church :)

    Like

  244. @ an ex member, @Irvine Grey and @A current member of this faith

    have expressed their view. I appreciate that.

    Perhaps they could convene and arrange for a group such as I mention to meet for weekly ‘wholesome ecumenical fellowship’?…. and then honestly report back after a month ?, no (they possibly would not need such a lengthy period to enable a conclusive report to be made?)

    Anyway such a report would enable viewers to understand why in many cases I encourage people to firstly attend gospel services our group holds before giving consideration to regular attendance or participation in a fellowship meeting of our group. We find it facilitates meaningful fellowship.

    It concerns me little that some wish to label me ‘exclusive’ for working in this manner. In my experience it has been such people that have little tolerance or appreciation of the fellowship we enjoy anyway!

    Like

  245. This is absolutely correct.

    Like

  246. It doesn’t matter what church you belong to so long as for Calvary you stand. If your soul has been washed in the fountain, then brother (or sister!) give me your hand

    Like

  247. I see no problem in those in the above churches meeting together. Churches have many combined meetings with no problems. Pastors from the different churches in the community meet together for prayer and support for one another. We had an evangelist come to town recently and people from any and every denomination were there. I love meeting with Christians regardless of denomination. We have a combined church picnic this week for those from the differenent churches.

    The other is I am not asking for lots of people to attend meeting, I am asking for one, me. One ‘outsider’ amongst 10 or so peopel in you meeting. You should be welcoming those from different denominations in. Other churches don’t have problems so why should you?

    Like

  248. Groan.

    Like

  249. ‘Exclusivity’ and ‘Christian Fellowship’ is an issue with some who have posted. I understand (meaningful) fellowship to be something enjoyed by those of a same or similar mind? Perhaps others understand it as something else?
    Envisage if in a home in Ireland you took the initiative to invite the Rev Ian Paisley along with some Orangemen supporters, one of the Cardinals from Dublin and some of his loyal church members (bringing their rosary beads with them), then several Quakers (who may find themselves waiting for quite a while to feel the ‘moving of the Spirit?’) , a few exuberant Pentecostals who specialise in speaking in tongues, dancing in the aisles and having people falling on the floor as they are healed, several high Church of England members who enjoy a quiet reverent liturgical service, then to ensure balance and diversity some members from Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Brethren, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregation….with the arrangement being that they meet each Sunday morning for regular wholesome ecumenical ‘fellowship’.
    How do you think it would go? I accept that some who post here find us ‘exclusive’. Perhaps these posters despite their intolerance of our ‘exclusivity’ are flexible accommodating people who would enjoy gathering together for wholesome ecumenical fellowship in a forum such as I mention above? Have I have made some use of hyperbole in making this post? Perhaps? But I think it will explain e why we encourage people to firstly attend gospel services our group holds before giving consideration to regular attendance or participation in a fellowship meeting of our group. We find it facilitates meaningful fellowship

    Like

  250. A reply to all participants. Surely we can be generous in our judgements and gracious in our responses. In any dialogue or even debate we can diagree without being disagreeable.

    If we profess faith in Christ surely we can show some of the Christain graces that accompany salvation!

    Grace and Peace

    Irvine

    Like

  251. @DI Moderator
    @Madhair
    I don’t know the anonymous poster James or anything about him/her, so I am not personally concerned with what he would write about me on this blog. But I do wonder If they detract from the this blog and the relevance of it to the original post?
    Some of his/her posts which make reference to me:

    This appears arrogant and supercilious. Of course you are in a career!

    Your reply speaks volumes. Perhaps it is this feeling of superiority that makes the typical worker behave as he/she does?
    Clearly you are to be commended for demonstrating some ability for individual spiritual thought and for “thinking outside the box”. However when presented with direct questions and encouraged to develop the “non party line” opinion, you clearly have developed the common worker skill of not answering the question.
    It is sad to witness evidence of openmindness being consciously or perhaps subconsciously, stifled by tradition and “the comfort zone effect” of familiarity. This draws into question the depth of the conviction of your thoughts.

    However, now I am getting confused because you are actually contradicting yourself in your own posts
    I believe that may be due to the sometimes glaring inconsistency between your personal opinion, and that of “general worker thinking”?

    So now we know some specific groups of people that A worker would exclude! A lot of my friends will own a set of rosary beads. Fairly judgemental.
    Your “reversion to type” knows no bounds. Now, the majority of your fellow workers will be proud of you, and will be happy “that you really have a sound grasp of it”. Really “in it”.

    I don’t have wide experience in blogs or online forums so am unfamiliar with common accepted moderation practise of such. I am interested in participating in this blog but not interested in responding to what perhaps maybe described as off subject? and personal attacks? of this of this poster. I have confidence and respect for you, I feel your moderation is excellent and appreciate how you deal with the inappropriate posts of ex friend, Matt 10 etc, gave them warning etc and welcome your comments on matter I mention in this post. Thanks!

    DI Moderation: I can’t really add to what Irvine has written. Generally it is better to avoid such comments. My reading is that they are trying to entrap you to contradict you. They seem to have preconceived views and when you do not conform to them they try to goad you into a reaction. My advice is silence is golden.
    The one question that would be helpful to answer seems to be. 1. Generally churches of any denomination have an open door policy. What I hear you being asked is this:
    Your meetings for worship seem to be only open to attendance after some hoops have been gone through? I can understand restricting communion to members or to those of like mind, but public worship by its nature has to be public!!!! Also comments can on these forums can be robust, just go with the flow and the videos represent meaning for the person who puts them up. People saying you are contradicting yourself is not a personal attack, merely asking you to elaborate further. They are entitled to their opinion as you are. stand firm and either ignore comments that are meant to get you to react or answer them clinically.

    A reply to all participants. Surely we can be generous in our judgements and gracious in our responses. In any dialogue or even debate we can diagree without being disagreeable.

    If we profess faith in Christ surely we can show some of the Christain graces that accompany salvation!

    Grace and Peace

    Irvine

    Like

  252. “James” and “an ex member” – Your latest posts raise very interesting and valid points. I’ll look forward to a reply from “a worker”. What fun.

    Like

  253. I would endeavor to respect any church I would attend. And I know I would be welcome into any of the churches you mentioned above. I would not have a problem fellowshipping with any of them, except I don’t know enough about the Quakers.

    Why would I have a different mind if my mind is on Jesus, than you or any of the above. There is one spirit, one church, one body, so what spirit do you have if it is not the same as other believers?

    You are the one who brought up the word ‘exclusive’. Why are you so sensitive about that word? What does it matter what people say if you believe you speak truth. Many people go to a church to check it out and they are welcome to. We do not care about what people’s motives might be, if they have one, we care that they get saved, or grow in God.

    I guess you have answered my question that I would not be allowed to go to a Sunday morning meeting without attending Gospel meetings. An outsider is not accepted and it is not about whether you are a Christian or not, it is about thinking about things the same as you – which is what you call one mind. It appears that Jesus is not the thing that binds you. Again, it is agreeing with you – one mind as you call it.

    Like

  254. So now we know some specific groups of people that A worker would exclude! A lot of my friends will own a set of rosary beads. Fairly judgemental.

    Your “reversion to type” knows no bounds. Now, the majority of your fellow workers will be proud of you, and will be happy “that you really have a sound grasp of it”. Really “in it”.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Like

  255. “a worker” – Ha, ha, ha. Very good!

    Like

  256. There is no mandate in the New Testament to exclude outsiders from any form of church fellowship.

    Unlike other churches who would welcome someone with open arms as I am sure Jesus would. If I believed in Jesus and loved the Lord like I said, then surely we are of the same mind and spirit. Surely the one mind is that of Christ. Unless you think that the spirit in your group is different from that of other churches then you are separating yourself from the body of Christ and saying the spirit in your church is different from others and therefore do not accept others as they are of a ‘different spirit.’ Your answer is all about being one mind and spirit with your group, not one mind and spirit with the Lord. Interesting that I can fellowship with many other churches but you react with suspicion if someone wants to fellowship with you. You are being exclusive – your post shows that.

    I understand fellowship to be something enjoyed by those of a same or similar mind? Perhaps the above two posters understand fellowship differently?
    Perhaps they would like to invite the Rev Ian Paisley and some of his key supporters, one of the Cardinals from Dublin and some of his loyal church members (bringing their rosary beads with them), then several Quakers (who may find themselves waiting for quite a while to feel the ‘moving of the Spirit?’) , a few exuberant Pentecostals who specialise in speaking in tongues, dancing in the aisles and having people falling on the floor as they are healed, several high Church of Anglican members who enjoy a quiet reverent liturgical service, then to ensure balance and diversity some members from their Baptist congregations.
    They could convene a venue and time with the arrangement being that they meet regular wholesome ecumenical ‘fellowship’.
    After their first ‘fellowship’ meeting the above two posters perhaps would understand the reason why we encourage people to firstly attend gospel services our group holds before giving consideration to regular attendance or participation in a fellowship meeting of our group

    Like

  257. “a worker” – You have to admit that your answers over the course of this discussion have been slightly inconsistent and therefore a touch confusing to your average logical thinker.

    Seeing as you enjoy “smiling and chuckling”, here’s something less serious for you to smile and chuckle over:

    Like

  258. A worker, I am glad to cause you some amusement this morning, (or whatever time of day it is with you!), but actually it is no laughing matter.

    I can only form my opinion of you. based entirely on what you say in your posts. I have no other information, so need to be careful to consider these facts only, and assume nothing. I must take it as given, that you always mean what you say.

    However, now I am getting confused because you are actually contradicting yourself in your own posts. I refer as an example to your response above to “ex member”. Your latter response clearly displays “the company workers line” of exclusivity. Previously you have responded in other posts displaying your lack of exclusivity.

    You are inconsistent in your responses. I believe that may be due to the sometimes glaring inconsistency between your personal opinion, and that of “general worker thinking”? This was the central point of my original post to you on Feb 17 11:57. I did not get a straight answer then, so I do not expect one now.

    Like

  259. @james

    A worker said…
    “I am not in a career, I left that when I responded to a calling from God to become a fisher (and shepherd) of men.”
    This appears arrogant and supercilious. Of course you are in a career! Noun…”an occupation”. “a course through life”. “working permanently in a specified profession”. It may be an unusual career, but you do even have prospects for promotion, and paid travel. You may also believe your career is a vocation and that is fine.

    Ok I’m not going to ‘split hairs’ if you wish to define the life I live as a career. Your mention of ‘promotion’ and ‘paid travel’? If that was what I am interested in I made the wrong decision to leave the professional career I was in.

    Your reply speaks volumes. Perhaps it is this feeling of superiority that makes the typical worker behave as he/she does?
    Clearly you are to be commended for demonstrating some ability for individual spiritual thought and for “thinking outside the box”. However when presented with direct questions and encouraged to develop the “non party line” opinion, you clearly have developed the common worker skill of not answering the question.
    It is sad to witness evidence of openmindness being consciously or perhaps subconsciously, stifled by tradition and “the comfort zone effect” of familiarity. This draws into question the depth of the conviction of your thoughts.

    The in depth character analysis you present of me based on a post?/ a few posts? has me smiling and chuckling.

    Like

  260. @ex member

    I suggested in my last post…

    “Why do you wish to attend a Sunday morning/fellowship meeting?
    Is it just to ‘test us’? to see if we will accommodate people like yourself who have left the fellowship? Then should we express reluctance or reservation to do so. You will use it to give you opportunity to say how exclusive and judging we are?”

    My perception has proved to be correct

    With your thinking and reasoning in your @5.35 post you feel you have presented your case enabling you to triumphantly end your post declaring ‘a worker’ guilty of the sin of exclusivity!

    Like

  261. There is no mandate in the New Testament to exclude outsiders from any form of church fellowship. Since testimony time should be one where the outsider would witness the joy of salvation in the lives of believers surely this would be helpful.

    it has been told to me that the reason is, that outsiders would quench the Spirit but I do not think the Holy Spirit is so limited. Of course we must wonder if the formality of the Sunday morning fellowship has any resemblance to the joy and passion of those first century believers who met to worship and break bread?

    Like

  262. It appears that you take offense at someone wanting to attend Sunday morning meetings. Unlike other churches who would welcome someone with open arms as I am sure Jesus would. If I believed in Jesus and loved the Lord like I said, then surely we are of the same mind and spirit. Surely the one mind is that of Christ. Unless you think that the spirit in your group is different from that of other churches then you are separating yourself from the body of Christ and saying the spirit in your church is different from others and therefore do not accept others as they are of a ‘different spirit.’ Your answer is all about being one mind and spirit with your group, not one mind and spirit with the Lord. Interesting that I can fellowship with many other churches but you react with suspicion if someone wants to fellowship with you. You are being exclusive – your post shows that.

    Like

  263. @ex member
    Fellowship is enjoyed by those of the same mind. From reading your posts it appears you are an ex member? and that you are not of the same mind as those that attend our group’s fellowship meetings nor do you express any desire to be of one mind and spirit with those of our group?

    Why do you wish to attend a Sunday morning/fellowship meeting?

    Is it just to ‘test us’? to see if we will accommodate people like yourself who have left the fellowship? Then should we express reluctance or reservation to do so. You will use it to give you opportunity to say how exclusive and judging we are?

    My apologies if I am incorrectly jumping to wrong conclusions. I may well be doing so, you are an anonymous poster on a internet blog .

    Like

  264. Witter, witter, witter.

    Like

  265. Not necessary to Google and hardly comparable.

    Like

  266. Such an authoritative assessment surely ought to bear the name of the owner of the superior mind.

    Google ‘The Federalist Papers’

    Like

  267. Frankly Moderator, I’m not that interested in pursuing mediation with the original poster. I generally find when one chooses to lie a retraction is not forthcoming and if it is, the attempt to justify themselves is wearisome. I take exception to the fact that she craves a privacy she will not afford to others and conveniently forgets the charity shown to her by not just my father but others.

    If she finds the meetings and all that goes with them displeasing, by all means walk away but stop the mud-slinging and self-pity. Every religion, every denomination has its faults and problems and the meetings are no different.

    If she thinks her opinions have merit whyever post anonymously? Such an authoritative assessment surely ought to bear the name of the owner of the superior mind.

    Like

  268. “James @ 2:24pm” – You will be lucky to get a lucid reply to that one!

    Like

  269. A worker said…

    “I am not in a career, I left that when I responded to a calling from God to become a fisher (and shepherd) of men.”

    This appears arrogant and supercilious. Of course you are in a career! Noun…”an occupation”. “a course through life”. “working permanently in a specified profession”. It may be an unusual career, but you do even have prospects for promotion, and paid travel. You may also believe your career is a vocation and that is fine.

    Your reply speaks volumes. Perhaps it is this feeling of superiority that makes the typical worker behave as he/she does?

    Clearly you are to be commended for demonstrating some ability for individual spiritual thought and for “thinking outside the box”. However when presented with direct questions and encouraged to develop the “non party line” opinion, you clearly have developed the common worker skill of not answering the question.

    It is sad to witness evidence of openmindness being consciously or perhaps subconsciously, stifled by tradition and “the comfort zone effect” of familiarity. This draws into question the depth of the conviction of your thoughts.

    Like

  270. Also, I’ve heard that Jesus is the only Way; rather than the workers or their system. The workers are apparently not the dispensers of the Holy Spirit either and they actually proselytize rather than evangelize. Also, If you believe what the Bible says, God will judge all mankind by His scriptural Laws – not by the unwritten rules of workers. Salvation is by faith in Christ alone. What then is the point of the workers? Am I supposed to believe what I hear from the platform or what I read in the Bible?

    Like

  271. Apparently, the overseers’ absolute requirement for an unmarried ministry is both unscriptural and dangerous.

    Like

  272. @matt10
    No I didn’t miss your post and no I haven’t responded to it either. I surprised you are expecting any reply? I feel no need of a reply.

    Did you read posts from the Moderator regarding your post? They cover the matter in such an full and adequate manner that I dismissed the matter from mind after reading them.

    Like

  273. A worker – I also wrote a post to you on the 18th February asking you a question. I note that you didn’t respond to it either. You can’t possibly have missed it given the amount of attention it receieved form the moderator. Assuming you’re not going to answer the question I posed in that post (I know workers often refuse to answer direct questions), may I ask why you are refusing to answer the question? Matt10

    Like

  274. I’ve just found out the real reason why West Hanney Convention is coming to an end. Unfortunately there is no way I can go into any detail because it would be unfair on those involved and I’d incur the wrath of the mad cap moderator.

    However I can say in all honesty that the decision to shut West Hanney after June 2012 comes right from the top and is so petty it would make any normal person laugh. West Hanney has had a lot of money invested in it’s facilities over the last 10 years and it is in an ideal central location. The new one in Gloucestershire is a total waste of money and is absolutely not in a central location. Staffs Convention is also rumoured to shut before too long as a whole load of stuff has been moved off the grounds. It is believed that once the new Convention grounds in Gloucestershire are ready it could become an American size solitary British Convention or one of two at the most.

    Like

  275. Thank you Irvine.I guessed the same as you. At our church anyone is welcome, they do not have to go through the hirearchy to get there. I have never heard of anyone who has come from another church being allowed to continue as a Christian in meetings though. Their previous conversion and baptism meant nothing to the workers. I guess that ‘a worker’ on here, would also require that I get baptised again. When the rubber hits the road they are all the same or they could not continue the ‘work’ they do. Anyone who says they are different could not continue to line themselves up with what they felt to not be true – if they did not believe it.

    Like

  276. Ex member – even I as a humble researcher can answer that! There is simply no way that you can particpate in the Sunday felllowship meetings unless you profess through a worker.

    Like

  277. So Moderator, this person can claim privacy that she will not afford to others? I haven’t even mentioned her name! As for Matt 18, I have spoken to the person regarding her breach of trust and was rewarded by lies. I can’t take it to the church as I am no longer part of it. I can of course name and shame her on the Message board that most of the friends use though I guess at this stage, many know who she is anyway.

    You seem unaware that there are more ways to undermine anonymity than naming names. You have done the first element in Matt 18, but have not gone with another person to the person. Because you can’t fulfil certain aspects of Matt 18, does not mean you have a right as a Christian to jump to ‘name and shame her on the Message board.’ We are not concerned what you do on other boards, here we wish to protect freedom of all our commentators by providing a totally confidential environment. I note you did not reply to my private email to you offering DI services in regard to mediation in regard to your conflict with this person.

    Like

  278. “A worker” seems to have “reverted to type”.

    However, I would like to thank him/her for replying. I understand it must be diffilcult in his/her position to make a meaningful response to some of my questions and that of “an ex member”.

    Like

  279. A curious comment from the original poster desiring privacy!

    DI Moderation: We would ask you to respect the confidentiality of our participants. We do not allow personal attacks on anyone here. We will be removing your comments and we will contact you directly to inform you of this. If you are aware of this person I would recommend using Matt 18:15-18 to address this. DI is willing to facilitate such a process if you are not able to resolve it personally. We have removed the offending section.

    Of course, our poster neglects to mention the kindness and hospitality shown to her/him by many of the friends over the years merely on account of her association with the meetings. The hospitality was not offered on account of her charm or wit but simply as charity. The original poster now has been banned from the home where she maliciously abused the hospitality.

    Like

  280. @an ex member
    No I did not miss this post. My apologies, I am unable to make a meaningful response on a public forum to an anonymous poster about a hypothetical situation.

    If you in fact sincerely wish to attend a Sunday morning meeting of our group then I suggest you contact workers who work in the district or town you live in and discuss the matter with them.

    Like

  281. I wrote this above on 1Feb 18th. a d have not got a response. Maybe you missed it?

    To A worker

    I have attended a Baptist Church for a number of years and love and serve the Lord. Am I free to attend your Sunday morning meetings and take part in testimony time and the bread and wine in your meeting. Am i able to be part of yoyr church, do I have to same privileges as a professing people or do I have to profess in one of your meetings and get baptised again in your church before I can take part in Sunday morning meetings?

    Like

  282. @James
    I have stated “That which I write here I speak without reservation with anyone.” How do I state it any clearer than that? Your experience and perspective of our group is quite different to mine.

    I am not in a career, I left that when I responded to a calling from God to become a fisher (and shepherd) of men.

    I do not agree with everything all of my fellow workers feel, think and say about all things. As appropriate I will discuss that with them. I have many colleagues and ‘friends’ who are in essence of the mind that I am.

    You are happy because you left our group. I would not be if I did.

    Like

  283. A worker, on February 18, 2012 at 9:37 am said:

    Could I please ask “a worker” if he actually believes that his responses are representative of the workers? A yes or no would be good.

    My responses are factual and true expressions of my personal experience, convictions and beliefs. I make no claim of being a representative of all workers.

    What he is saying, I believe to be spiritual and factual but is often “poles apart” from worker opinion. Surely he can recognise these glaring inconsistencies compared with what is widely preached? (i.e. you can only get to heaven by going to meetings).
    Of course perhaps “a worker” is just free thinking and being true to himself rather than “toeing the company line”? If so, its sad that this is the only place where he feels comfortable to tell the truth.
    I look forward to his reaction with interest.

    I seek to live true to myself, God and others. Your suggestion that this forum is the only place where I feel comfortable to tell the truth is NOT TRUE OR CORRECT. That which I write here I speak without reservation with anyone.

    ….Thank you for your response, A worker.

    I have no doubt that your responses are sincere true expressions from you as an individual. It is also clear that you are not representing “the workers” because your opinions are “poles apart” and you would probably be sacked by now if you were doing it openly!

    As you have not responded to this point in my post to refute it, I believe you must be aware of this glaring inconsistency. Do you find this diffilcult? Every time you stand on the convention platform you are actually condoning all “the stuff” (polite description!) spoken by the other workers that you don’t agree with.

    Might I suggest that if you wish to be involved the the sort of career that you have chosen, that you now find yourself in the wrong church?

    With our “upbringing” leaving is diffilcult to contemplate, as so much of our “social structure” is integral to the meetings. I know, but I did it, and I am very happy now I did.

    I look forward to your response.

    Like

  284. Seems like every one has gone for a long sleep. I thought I had been locked out of the thread but seeing your post told me all is okay.

    Like

  285. Must be a lot of strict sabbatarians on this site! Very silent yesterday but I guess you will all be back to day. I did miss you.

    Like

  286. No it isn’t. Gartocharn is nice. The atmosphere is more welcoming than the English Conventions.

    Like

  287. Is that gartoharn? Do you often go there…it is nice.

    Like

  288. Here you go:

    Like

  289. I will probably make do with “Songs Of Praise” on Sundays for the time being because I want to be off the anti depressants by December. I will however be nipping off to a Scottish Convention in May.

    Like

  290. Ha I see! I love the hymn count your blessings you posted..though I can’t say I dislike “Gods salvation is the Christ within…walking in his footsteps to eternal rest!”
    Gospel hymns are often a little “downbeat” as you say – did you ever come across “I stand on the brink of an unknown land”? I guess they do make one think about one’s eternal destiny, though, which is always good. Are you going to meeting tomorrow or have you really stopped as of now?

    Like

  291. Not2fast – It is possible for a lower class social climber to get their family up to the general upper middle class level but somewhat harder to make it into Upper Class. As you suggested it is mainly hereditary as this level but Kate Middleton pulled it off by marrying Prince William. However, If William and Kate had both wanted to profess and go in the work, she would still be middle class.

    Like

  292. Something unrelated here – I discovered this inspiring couple after they performed on Sir Cliff Richard’s November 2011 Soulicious Tour:

    http://www.mccoodavis.com/index.php

    Like

  293. Thanks! Learn something new every day! Then if you are born in working class, for example, can you make your way up to middle class or do you stay in whatever class you’re born into? I guess gentry goes by blood-lines!?

    Like

  294. Sorry – That explanation of England’s Class System was obviously me, I forgot to put my details in the text box again. I’m getting as scatty as my Glaswegian next door neighbour. She locked herself out twice this week.

    Like

  295. Not2fast – We have the following:

    Immigrants

    Lower Class – Dustbin men, Ex Eastenders, anybody that says “Yeah, iss alright innit” instead of “Yes, it’s alright isn’t it”

    Working Class – Craftsmen and tradesman

    Middle Class (Lower and Upper depending on wealth) – Bankers, Teachers, Policemen etc

    Upper Class – The Landed Gentry

    The Royal Family

    Like

  296. Hello again, “never returning to the meetings”.

    I’m not angry, sorry if it came across that way. Emphatic, yes; angry, no!

    And no I am certainly not from a “high up” family! Ordinary joe soaps is all we are :)

    Current member, you mentioned a ‘class system’ in England – this is interesting to me, we don’t have such in Ireland I think. Is it rigid, or how does it manifest itself?

    Like

  297. In the last post we heard about being “higher up in the meetings”. On the same sort of theme, the workers always spend more time with the wealthier friends and I find it highly amusing. I’m quite familiar with some of the “better off” friends and they are not the most meek, humble, or easy to get on with characters. There’s many a time that arrogance has been known to rear it’s ugly head amongst the “aristocracy of the truth”. However I imagine as a worker that the attraction of a bigger house to stay in and larger handouts wins the day over the actual personality of one’s hosts.

    NEWSFLASH – Nobody need presume I’ve got a grudge against the wealthy. I love England’s class system, I’m content with my middle class position and I look up to the Royal Family. I just feel that having such a structure within a church that claims to be so divine is hypocrisy on steroids.

    Like

  298. Not2fast, you seem so angry. I very much feel that you come from a family high up in the meetings; one that would hear things from the workers that others would not.The truth is there are many in Ireland who only got to discover the honest truth only from the Internet and/ through hushed whispers from a friend. When the workers and older members were so happy to teach lies about the founder of the group and the history of the group it 1) hurts and 2) causes a huge lack in trust because people then wonder to themselves ‘what else have I been lied to about?’.

    Like

  299. And does the mad hair moderator currently profess?

    Like

  300. Can I just ask – Is “themadhair” THE or one of THE moderators?

    The latter. When I post I do so solely under this nickname.

    As for being an expert, well if you were to moderate a forum or blog for a while you would start to notice certain patterns too. Drawing fire (apparently I’m ‘insensitive’ now) is part and parcel of the job, which is fine it helps discourage the subtle challenges to anonymity.

    Like

  301. themadhair

    Trust me, I care not one wit whether the moderators here take me seriously or not. If you ask me, that is a rather peculiar comment to make; being taken seriously by a blog moderator is not something which I aspire to. For the record, I DO wonder why workers feel the need to post anonymously. And so do a lot of other people. If you are saying that, as the moderator, it is not legitimate to ask such a question on this blog, then it would be better for everyone that you come out and state it clearly rather than continuing the ultimately futile act of repackaging whatever point it is that you are trying to make. As for me, I am content to leave it to others to make their own judgment; it is worth noting that not a single other person has come out in support of your position. Furthermore, I think that dragging the comment made by ‘A Current Member of this Faith’ into it was as insensitive as it was unnecessary. There was nothing whatsoever in his/her post of a nature that required the attention of the moderator – which raises the question of whether you are engaging on this issue less as a moderator and more as a contributor to a debate. If it is the latter then I suggest that you take care not to seek to apportion weight to your arguments based solely on the wearing of your moderator’s hat. Regards Matt10

    Like

  302. Can I just ask – Is “themadhair” THE or one of THE moderators?

    Like

  303. I hope Kathy Lewis won’t mind but I’m re-posting what she said a few days ago because I think it is the most accurate and to-the-point offering this discussion has seen:
    _________________________

    Dear Dialogue Ireland, Thank you for your excellent website and this factual testimonial from a person raised in the church which claims to have no name. The reason the leaders claim to have no name is because they are liars who want to remain anonymous and undetected. They refuse to admit their false, unscriptural doctrines even among themselves. They refuse to repent of their sexual crimes and sins against many of their members. They refuse to admit that they actually have plenty of money which they selfishly keep to themselves. The leaders of this group have caused untold mental anguish, psychological damage and sent thousands of people to hell with their false gospel and false god. This group does NOT fit the Biblical definition of a church at all. It is a pseudo religion based the on Masonic traditions incorporated into it by William Irvine, its founder, who was a Mason for over 50 years.

    I receive letters all the time from people who are suicidal, depressed, confused, and some who have come to hate God because of the abuse they suffered within this secretive organization. The amount of people in the group with obsessive compulsive disorders is a problem for them and it is testimony to the damage done by the spirit of the group. The beliefs and invasive persuasion of the leaders are damaging to the ability of their followers to make good decisions or to think logically.

    Those remaining members who live in denial of reality or who have managed to insulate themselves from the damage done to them or the damage they have done to others are living a fantasy.

    Kathleen Lewis
    Author of the book, The Church Without a Name

    Like

  304. I agree with the follwing statement from “an ex member” –

    “We always heard that it takes an honest person to accept the workers ministry. I say it takes an honest person to leave when they find out about the deception. The true church would not lie or hide it’s beginnings.”

    Furthermore, the workers really should be made accountable for their finances and the overseers should pay tax, simply because it is honest. Apparently they are sitting on millions in various secretive bank accounts. A lot of the friends don’t know this and really believe the workers and overseers struggle for money.

    Like

  305. I like inanutshell’s post. Like some above it is honest but I disagree a little with point 11 and the last point. I think that workers should have to declare if they recieve more than say $50 in their hand.

    History: The history denials are still happening as well as a twisting of it. The denials are still happening to the older people who could not cope with finding out the truth as their faith is in ‘this started from Jesus.’ Generations of people professed on this belief and it being the true church started by Jesus. To learn other wise is to say that the workers lied ot them.
    If people appear to know the truth about the beginnings then the workers appear to be more open in talking about it. They also twist and turn to avoid answering directly. Many in meetings and workers are saying that (as I wrote above) they never said that and that people heard wrong and claim they said ‘this way’ was started by Jesus which I said above. You still see people on the TMB claim that it does goes back to Jesus and others twist and say we heard it wrong. Those who do realise that this way does not go back to Jesus as they had grown up believing and leave are made out that they are the bad ones who had their faith in the church rather than Jesus. Who wants to go to a church that calls itself the truth and what right do they have to call themselves the truth when it did not tell the truth.

    We always heard that it takes an honest person to accept the workers ministry. I say it takes an honest person to leave when they find out about the deception. The true church would not lie or hide it’s beginnings. The workers still preach this way is from the beginning in order to reframe what they preached to tickle the ears of the people and make them think that that is what they always meant. The deception and putting down those who do not wish to be a part of this church because of past deception by many is ripe. The person who leaves is made to look bad and not willing.

    Secondly, I am shocked how Matt10 was attacked by the moderator for something which he asked in a well meaning way. It does nothing to faciliate dialogue if you attack someone and turn the words around on them for the innocent question posted by Matt. It is time the workers were held accountable for their words. A lot have lost trust in the workers and it would be good if a worker was willing to say who he was. Most know anyway. If you want dialogue mod. then don’t take sides and ‘down’ someone for posting in the manner Matt did. There is an expectation and mistrust of workers who have decieved in the past and had all the power so I see nothing wrong in people wanting them to be accountable for their words. What you said to Matt, mod could be said in a nicer way.

    Like

  306. “Themadhair” – I didn’t realise you were such an expert!

    “inanutshell” – I really enjoyed your impartial account of “The Truth” in the 21st Century.

    Like

  307. Finally, I am well aware of what a moderator’s responsibilities are.

    Doubtful. It if you were you would realise why your approach to this topic will never fly here.

    You may (mistakenly) believe that the moderators will take you seriously when you state “nowhere did I refer to A Worker as being afraid”. But this won’t be the case when you have made comments like “However I do wonder (in all sincerity) why workers feel the need to post anonymously on-line – what is it that they are afraid of?

    On the one hand you are claiming not to be making certain insinuations while blatantly making just those insinuations. It’s all nonsense of course, but I do like to explicitly state so for the benefit of those you targeted with such insinuations.

    I’m afraid I have to admit that “Matt10″ does seem to have a point and I’m picking up honest, well meaning vibes from him.

    I’m not. Same dance just a different thread. The general formula goes like this:

    1) Try to undermine someone’s anonymity, all the while sprinkling comments like “I’m not criticising” or “I’m just curious” or “I just want to understand”. The very first sentence of Matt10’s first post contained a classic set up “…may I say first of all that it is good that you can post here (albeit behind a cloak of anonymity)”. They then proceed to talk about “brave men” who “bravely” spurned anonymity. Then the coup-de-grace of “So I ask the question again; what is it that prevents you from speaking here under your own name? Is it fear? If so, fear of what? Your superiors? Demotion? Ex-communication? Is it embarrassment? Is it shame? Is it because the views you express here are different to those which you hold publicly amongst your worker colleagues?” Then, to add the final icing, they claim not to be criticising and that they simply wish to understand.

    2) Bawww at the moderators when the attack on anonymity is called out. Common themes include accusing the mods of a tirade or attributing things that were not said or that the mods are failing to mod properly or whatever.

    Same dance, just a different thread and a different topic.

    Like

  308. As a current member of this church trying to wade through these comments, it seems to me that a lot of people are discussing two different perspectives of the same thing. Some posts seem to present decades-old aspects of the church while being argued against by current aspects. Also, there may be some geographical differences too.

    I will offer my own Report Card of the church on some of the aspects being raised here:

    Report Card

    1.Workers control of children. This is definitely a then vs now argument here. Decades ago, workers might interfere with parenting. A worker does so today only at his/her peril. For the most part, they will actually avoid getting involved even at the parents’ request.

    2.Workers tell people to hide beliefs. This could be geographical or historical. I don’t know of this practice anywhere today. Workers do advise Friends to simply invite people to the Gospel meetings to hear the beliefs but there is no actual advisement to hide beliefs, generally speaking.

    3.TV. Workers were once quite pro-actively against it. Today, and for the last decade or so, the policy is basically “hands-off”. No Friend will be negatively impacted for having a TV although it may put them further down the list for consideration for hosting a meeting in their home.

    4.Trinity. Workers are generally either non-Trinitarian or anti-Trinitarian. There are a few who are pro-Trinitarian but keep those views quiet because of the prevailing views. Regardless, it’s not a major platform of faith which is what really distinguishes the workers from mainstream clergy.

    5.Marriage. While most workers will claim non-marriage is a “choice”, it is sort of true. Also true though is that no married person will be accepted into the work. So it is one of those choices for which there is no choice.

    6.CSA. The workers and the fellowship are definitely anti-CSA. That said, the procedures put into place are currently greatly lacking all over the world, and non-existent in some places. Children are at undue risk right now. Workers everywhere need to institute proper CSA Guidelines and training for all workers, and this issue should be raised to a much greater awareness level among all Friends. A good site which is mainly run by Friends is http://www.wingsfortruth.info/breakingthesilence.htm A set of CSA Guidelines produced by Friends and Workers is available through that site. It is currently not in use anywhere in the world at this time.

    7.Biblical knowledge. Workers generally score poorly for biblical knowledge. The apprenticeship system of training has merits, but it also reinforces error and pockets of biblical ignorance and blind spots. The apprenticeship system should be augmented with some serious academic training. Today, there are online courses which all workers should engage and complete to give them more knowledge and more confidence in their faith.

    8.Preaching quality. Again, there is no formal training here, just learning by experience and the rare comment from a fellow worker. Some formal training would be helpful as the quality of delivery varies widely but is, on average, low quality.

    9.Gifts. There are many gifted people among the Friends and Workers. Many of these gifts are being wasted through lack of use. All workers are expected to be all things to all people, and the Friends are rarely encouraged to use their gifts for good in the church or in the surrounding society. Gifts should be put to good use.

    10.Exclusivity. The Workers are generally exclusive: ie that their ministry is the only valid one to bring Christ to the world. A result of that is that it is believed that one has to be a participating member of the meetings as part of being saved…..all others are “outside the will of God”. This aspect of the fellowship is softening and we see far less condemnation of other believers than ever. This is rarely heard directly from workers anymore. Still, when someone leaves, there is usually a sharp division in the family, often hurtful. This has improved over the last decade or so though.

    11.Financial. This continues to operate without transparency. For the most part, transparency isn’t needed. Friends give local workers room and board and a bit of cash to keep going so there is little transparency needed there. However, large sums of donations are given to the overseers through cash donations or estates. There is no transparent accounting for any of this.

    12.Community involvement. There was once advice to avoid community involvement on most levels. Today that is not true and Friends are better integrated in the community. Still, there is no active encouragement for Friends to be involved in charitable community efforts so there is room to improve there.

    13.Church governance. The church is solely governed by the Workers. The laity has no formal part of it and no authority whatsoever. Appointed elders are home meeting hosts who operate more like a biblical deacon, helping folks get to meeting, setting up chairs, announcing hymns, and other notices such as funerals, passing out various lists,etc. The nominal elders are not considered to have any church authority and defer decisions (of even minor issues such as meeting allocation) to the workers. This hierarchical system is really overdue for an overhaul.

    14.History. History denials was once rampant. Some of it was deceptive, some of it was simple ignorance, some of it was lack of interest in learning it. Denials of the Irish beginnings are rare today. Some workers are quite forthright on the beginnings. There is still a long way to go to correct this though as many workers still divert and evade the issue. All workers should familiarize themselves with the beginnings. An excellent source is http://www.tellingthetruth.info/home/index.php

    I will have left out many issues, but those are some of the highlights, and as impartial as I can make it. I hope it is helpful.

    Like

  309. I’m afraid I have to admit that “Matt10” does seem to have a point and I’m picking up honest, well meaning vibes from him. I apologise to anybody that may be offended by my stance on this matter.

    Like

  310. Themadhair

    Let’s be clear. I did not attack the man’s anonymity subtly or otherwise. You may wish to interpret it that way in support of Mike but you are incorrect. However I am glad that you agree with me that I did NOT ask the worker to reveal his identity as Mike erroneously claimed. As regards your own claim that I “simply make reference to their being afraid and to lacking credibility” note that nowhere did I refer to A Worker as being afraid or to lacking credibility. Those are your words. It is a hell of a leap to interpret me questioning whether fear is the reason that A Worker remains anonymous to claiming that I have referred to him as being afraid. You really must try to attribute points made more accurately.

    As regards the point about credibility it is without question that one who identifies themselves openly and verifiably as (for example) a lawyer or a medical consultant or a sociologist will have more credibility attributed to their professional opinions than someone who doesn’t. Your point about accuracy is naïve. Accuracy is not always obvious. You wouldn’t take your medical advice from me. The point is that people often have to determine what is accurate and what is not; in coming to a decision on whether something is accurate or not it is widely accepted that one factor in making such a determination is often the credibility of the person making the comments. You will be aware that in a court of law the credibility of a witness is not judged solely on what it is they are saying. It goes far beyond that. Traits such as trustworthiness and reliability are used to determine a person’s credibility. That is why witnesses have to be identified in court. I trust that if you are ever in a position to require medical advice on-line that you take seriously the issue of credibility of those providing advice rather than relying purely on determining the accuracy of the advice on your own.

    Moving on to what appears to be my conflicting references to my understanding his reasons for anonymity. I accept your point. What I should have said in the second instance is that I understand the reasons (plural) why people remain anonymous; I have my own reasons. However I still wish to know A Worker’s particular reasons (as a worker) for remaining anonymous as set out in my original post. Mike’s point about me being bugged is simply ridiculous.

    Finally, I am well aware of what a moderator’s responsibilities are. I am also well aware of what they are not. My post was not a threat to anyone’s anonymity or the facilitation of anyone’s anonymity in the future despite how you or Mike might wish to dress it up. Perhaps in your enthusiasm to be seen to be taking your role very seriously you have lost sight of what the post was about. Let’s be clear; A Worker has been invited to outline his reasons for remaining anonymous. This is something that is both relevant and of interest. Furthermore I specifically stated that I wrote the post NOT as a criticism. You trying to attribute to my post subtleties that do not exist, is not what being a moderator is about. Regards Matt10

    Like

  311. I’ve had some hard times over the last 10 years and would like to dedicate this to myself:

    Like

  312. An interesting point from “an ex member” at 10:17am today.

    Like

  313. @ Matt10

    I did NOT ask A Worker to reveal his identify.

    Of course not. You simply make reference to their being afraid and to lacking credibility, while foisting the fallacy that “it is the credibility of the man that gives credibility to the words of the man”.

    I have always assumed that the credibility of a person’s words stand and fall by the accuracy of those words. Far too often in society we allow the personality, and associated prejudices we may have towards that personality, of the messenger to interfere with our ability to hear their words. Anonymity is the great equaliser in dialogue, and it can help foster an honest exchange in a manner other methods and means simply cannot.

    When Mike pegs you as subtly attacking this person’s anonymity I think he has a point. For me, strong evidence for this comes when you compare the total inconsistency of these two concepts you expressed in your last post (emphasis added):

    If you care to read my post again (perhaps more carefully this time) you will note that I specifically made the point that my post was not about criticism of A Worker’s position nor was it a request (for him to forgo his anonymity) – it was about gaining an understanding of his reasons for doing so.

    It certainly does not bug me that he is remaining anonymous. That is yet another conclusion that you have excitedly jumped to. As I pointed out previously I understand his reasons for doing so and indeed made the point in my post that it was a good thing that he was engaging on the thread.

    So on the one hand you claim to want to gain an understanding for this person’s reasons for posting anonymously, but on the other you claim to understand their reasons for posting anonymously.

    People have the right to ask questions; the purpose of the moderator is not to stifle debate nor is it to launch a tirade against people who ask questions.

    Had Mike not posted I certainly would have. One of the key responsibilities of any moderator on this blog is to protect the people who post regardless of their viewpoint. This is something both Mike and I take very seriously. VERY seriously. A key strategy to achieving this goal is to help facilitate anonymity of any posters who want to avail of it. That will include, as it has on many occasions in the past, challenging comments like the ones you have posted.

    Like

  314. To A worker

    I have attended a Baptist Church for a number of years and love and serve the Lord. Am I free to attend your Sunday morning meetings and take part in testimony time and the bread and wine in your meeting. Do I have to same privileges as a professing people or do I have to profess in one of your meetings and get baptised again in your church before I can take part in Sunday morning meetings?

    Like

  315. Could I please ask “a worker” if he actually believes that his responses are representative of the workers? A yes or no would be good.

    My responses are factual and true expressions of my personal experience, convictions and beliefs. I make no claim of being a representative of all workers.

    What he is saying, I believe to be spiritual and factual but is often “poles apart” from worker opinion. Surely he can recognise these glaring inconsistencies compared with what is widely preached? (i.e. you can only get to heaven by going to meetings).
    Of course perhaps “a worker” is just free thinking and being true to himself rather than “toeing the company line”? If so, its sad that this is the only place where he feels comfortable to tell the truth.
    I look forward to his reaction with interest.

    I seek to live true to myself, God and others. Your suggestion that this forum is the only place where I feel comfortable to tell the truth is NOT TRUE OR CORRECT. That which I write here I speak without reservation with anyone.

    Like

  316. DI Moderation. Your response is so far off the mark here that I find it bordering on offensive. Some points for you to ponder – I suggest that you read them carefully before responding further.

    1. I did NOT ask A Worker to reveal his identify. I understand very well why this blog exists and why anonymity is important. If you care to read my post again (perhaps more carefully this time) you will
    note that I specifically made the point that my post was not about criticism of A Worker’s position nor was it a request (for him to forgo his anonymity) – it was about gaining an understanding of his reasons for doing so. Perhaps it would be helpful (not least for your own credibility as a moderator) if you could indicate where exactly in my post that I asked A Worker to reveal his identity.

    2. My problem is certainly not that I have reached conclusions about A Worker. I haven’t reached any conclusions about A Worker. Again if you read carefully you will note that the purpose of my post was in fact to gain the information necessary (i.e. his rationale for remaining anonymous) to reach a conclusion. That is something entirely different.

    3. I certainly do not want to argue that A Worker is by definition not telling the truth. [I would argue that it is in fact more likely that one who is posting anonymously is telling the truth.] Again it might be helpful if you could point out what it is in my post that leads you to such a conclusion.

    4. It certainly does not bug me that he is remaining anonymous. That is yet another conclusion that you have excitedly jumped to. As I pointed out previously I understand his reasons for doing so and indeed made the point in my post that it was a good thing that he was engaging on the thread.

    5. I understand that you have a job to do as a moderator. However it might be prudent to consider more carefully how best to respond in the future. People have the right to ask questions; the purpose of the moderator is not to stifle debate nor is it to launch a tirade against people who ask questions. It might be helpful to remember that not everyone who posts here in a questioning manner fits the standard issue profile that you seem to assume applies to me i.e. that everyone thinks workers are by definition not telling the truth. Some of us are a little more sophisticated in our thinking. That might be something for you to aspire to.

    Regards Matt10

    Like

  317. Fantastic post, “Matt10”.

    Like

  318. Worker – may I say first of all that it is good that you can post here (albeit behind a cloak of anonymity) and that people have an opportunity to engage with you. It is my experience that workers are reluctant to engage openly and honestly with members on some issues – the history being one of them. (I recognize that this is not everyone’s experience.) However I do wonder (in all sincerity) why workers feel the need to post anonymously on-line – what is it that they are afraid of? I have a certain admiration for Edward Cooney who bravely preached on the street corners that which he believed despite much scorn and ridicule from all quarters. History is full of such brave men, some of whom were prepared to be put to death for the public expression of their beliefs. I know that the workers preach a lot about their willingness to follow Jesus and being willing for the rejection of men; I also recall much reference to the workers being the ‘true servants of God’ and non-professing clergy being referred to as ‘false preachers’ because of their unwillingness to follow the ‘lowly way of Jesus’. We all know that Jesus himself was not afraid to face ridicule and rejection, even until death. So I ask the question again; what is it that prevents you from speaking here under your own name? Is it fear? If so, fear of what? Your superiors? Demotion? Ex-communication? Is it embarrassment? Is it shame? Is it because the views you express here are different to those which you hold publicly amongst your worker colleagues? I write this, not as a criticism or even as a request but merely with a view to understanding. I know that when people write in a professional capacity they normally write under their own name; if one writes anonymously in a professional capacity, their words would lack professional credibility. It is the credibility of the man that gives credibility to the words of the man. You have the opportunity here to reach out to people who would never appear at a mission; what is it that allows your name to appear publicly on a mission advertising card but which prevents you from writing under your own name here? Matt10

    DI Moderation: The very reason this blog exists is to give people a public space to write in a confidential manner. Please do not ask people to reveal their identity. I have repeated what you wrote to A worker and ask you to reveal yourself? Why are you asking that person to do what you do not do yourself? Before you think of doing it though forget it, we want you to remain anonymous. Your problem is that because you have reached conclusions about A worker which questions your assumptions you want to argue he is by definition not telling the truth. It bugs you that he is remaining anonymous. He could be using a particular strategy as an ex member suggests. Wait till he produces his article which we publish and review it and see if it is consistent!

    Matt10 may I say first of all that it is good that you can post here (albeit behind a cloak of anonymity) and that people have an opportunity to engage with you. However I do wonder (in all sincerity) why Matt10 feel the need to post anonymously on-line – what is it that you are afraid of? So I ask the question again; what is it that prevents you from speaking here under your own name? Is it fear? If so, fear of what? Your superiors? Demotion? Ex-communication? Is it embarrassment? Is it shame? Is it because the views you express here are different to those which you hold publicly amongst your Matt10 colleagues? You have the opportunity here to reach out to people who would never appear at a mission; what is it that allows your name to appear publicly on a mission advertising card but which prevents you from writing under your own name here?

    Like

  319. I also await with interest a response from “A worker” to this evening’s post from “James”.

    Like

  320. Another thing I should mention is that a large number of the hymns in the professing hymn book are extremely depressing and down beat. There is one non professing hymn – “Lord Of All Being” which is really uplifting but the tune has been stolen and added to hymn number 279 in the professing hymn book “Increase Our Faith” – 279 is one depressing hymn which is unworthy of the tune.

    Other grim hymns include 71, 151, 155 and 209.

    I like hymns such as Abide with Me, Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art and A Tender Heart (215 – a rare gem in Hymns Old And New). Any hymn that goes on about death, hell, doubt, fear and discouragement is usually written by a worker.

    The words of hymn number 35 in the professing book have been applied to the tune of the following late Victorian hymn:

    “Count Your Blessings”

    When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

    Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.

    When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

    So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

    NOTE TO ALL PROFESSING PEOPLE AND WORKERS – Isn’t this hymn so much more helpful, practical, cheerful and encouraging than it’s dreary impostor “God Has Always Laboured Human Lives To Win”?

    There are many more examples that I can’t be bothered to list.

    Like

  321. Could I please ask “a worker” if he actually believes that his responses are representative of the workers? A yes or no would be good.

    What he is saying, I believe to be spiritual and factual but is often “poles apart” from worker opinion. Surely he can recognise these glaring inconsistencies compared with what is widely preached? (i.e. you can only get to heaven by going to meetings).

    Of course perhaps “a worker” is just free thinking and being true to himself rather than “toeing the company line”? If so, its sad that this is the only place where he feels comfortable to tell the truth.

    I look forward to his reaction with interest.

    Like

  322. I am very, very sorry – that last post was from me. I hadn’t filled in the text boxes.

    Like

  323. Once again, “an ex member” is telling it how it is. The workers do indeed still re-baptise people that profess from other churches. And of course that does indeed prove they see “The Truth” as the perfect church. They are struck dumb with delusion.

    Like

  324. In the last week I have just unearthed in the course of my research the fact that a large number who joined the movement in the early days, at least up to 1905 had previously been saved and this did not present a problem then. The other thing that surprises me is the large number of the early workers who were married!

    Like

  325. I said, Irvine, I am not talking about the Irish scene. I am talking about the South Pacific. (Is that ok mod?)

    I think it is clear who is telling it how it is. Who is being honest and who is twisting and saying what they want people to hear and think about this church. We know what we heard preached and what is preached.

    The workers clearly preach in other parts of the world that this is the true church and that other churches (I know nothing of Ireland) but that the workers that came ot other parts of the world came from Ireland and bought the message with them. The workers claim that this way is the same the world over.

    We know that a person has to profess adn get baptised again if they have come from another church. Their previous conversion is not accepted. That this church is deemed to be the one true church.

    Personal attack on a person. We will give you a yellow card, and remove this section. This person has clearly stated their position. Please do not make unfounded claims.

    I am sickened to see xxxxxxxxxx trying the same tactics as has been common among workers over the years. Telling people what they want to hear in order to lure them into believing this church is not like that and lure people back. A person would not be a worker in this church if they did not believe it was the true church. Or if they had a conscience they would have to leave as they could not sit under other workers who preached it was or supported a church that believed this. They would soon be out the door if they didn’t leave anyway.

    Like

  326. Not2fast, I am not disputing your experience of discussing the beginning of the group with some. I am saying that the workers preach that their church goes back to Jesus and unlike other churches have no earthly founder. If you have heard differently then are you attending this church? Again I agree with the opening article that ‘members’ are deliberately kept in the dark regarding their history. The workers are beginning to be more honest since books and the internet has exposed that it was started by a man or men, 110 years ago but still unsuspecting new comers are led to believe otherwise and many people in the fellowship still believe that it was started by Jesus. Our parents and grandparents joined being told it was started by Jesus. I am not disputing that you have not sat down with a worker and discussed the history. It is all on the internet so they have no choice but to own up on a one on one. They are losing too many people as a result of the truth coming out. Many people feel betrayed and wake up to the fact that they and their ancestors were lied to. But the workers are not correcting this lie openly and preaching otherwise. What they are doing to a lot of people who ask about the beginnings is to say they never said that but that they said this way – the way they do things was not started by man, but by Jesus. You can even see how people in meetings are twisting this on another message board.

    If you are not hearing that this church was started by Jesus and goes back to the shores of Galilee and unlike other churches was never started by a man, then you are not hearing it. Seems like most other people heard it.

    Like

  327. Irvine Grey 17th @ 7.50 wrote:

    I would add that Worker assures me that it is not like this everywhere but I think what you say is very true of the Irish scene. Purely my observations!

    I have no idea about the Irish scene.

    DI Moderation: We have asked an ex member to desist from naming people whose anonymity is protected by our site.
    This includes the non disclosure of their possible location. In other words it is just another form of naming. We have deleted that section of the comment. We would suggest you concentrate on the arguments put forward not the location or the name of the person.

    Like

  328. “A Worker” – thanks for your post.

    Like

  329. For a start – Yes I believe Jesus is the way.

    I do also! I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I do not believe our group is the way, the truth or the life. I believe we are a group of Christians who believe upon Jesus. Many of our members(but certainly not all) sincerely believe upon Jesus and his promises and seek to live according to his teaching.

    I’ve been brought up to believe that professing and going to meetings is the only way to get a place in Heaven and it has dawned on me over the last 7 days that this is not the case. – All that anxiety and stress for nothing.

    I am sorry that you have had this anxiety and stress. I also was brought up going to meetings. I have understood for long time that we are a small group of Christians and the first members of our group in not finding Christ in their personal lives in membership of various churches in the last years of the 19th century left and we trace the history of our group from that time. So since my late childhood I have realised that it would be incorrect and foolish to limit our omnipotent God to only and working in ‘those going to meetings’

    If I’m still winding you up please feel free to post another statement but please try and calm down. I’m sure nobody on this blog would want you to suffer a coronary.

    I will have more respect for views you express if you refrain from statements of this nature.

    Like

  330. Not2fast – Here’s something to cheer you up!

    Like

  331. For a start – Yes I believe Jesus is the way.

    I’ve been brought up to believe that professing and going to meetings is the only way to get a place in Heaven and it has dawned on me over the last 7 days that this is not the case. – All that anxiety and stress for nothing.

    Secondly I can tell that you are passionate about professing and that is absolutely fine.

    I wish I did know best about everything but unfortunately I don’t. Nice of you to suggest that I do though – thanks.

    Nobody else has raised concerns about dialogue Ireland except you. It is quite obvious you are capable of getting quite irritable so maybe you are just in a bad mood with the moderator becuase he won’t back you up over anybody else.

    I had some good fellowship with another professing person my age yesterday and they still attend meetings, don’t wear trousers or jewellery and refrain from dying their hair. So – 10 out of 10 so far. However they agree with me that sometimes, one will attend a meeting and get nothing from it whatsoever. Other times one certainly will.

    If I’m still winding you up please feel free to post another statement but please try and calm down. I’m sure nobody on this blog would want you to suffer a coronary.

    Like

  332. Not2fast – I can’t follow what you are saying about Dialogue Ireland

    I AM GOING TO WRITE IN CAPS LOCK TO SAVE TIME INSERTING NAMES. WHAT CAN’T YOU FOLLOW? IF YOU GIVE EXAMPLES I WILL CLARIFY FURTHER, ALTHOUGH I DON’T FEEL ANYTHING I HAVE WRITTEN REQUIRES MUCH INTELLIGENCE TO UNDERSTAND!

    and because you won’t go into any detail about your testimony (fair enough, some are more private than others), I can’t pick up any proper vibes and therefore can’t really get any further with you.

    OK…
    I’m glad that you accept this, accept that and accept the other.

    GOOD. ME TOO.

    It’s also nice for you to have had an easy time of it in “The Truth”.

    YES, IT IS.

    I’m afraid that people do witter on in the meetings.
    OK THEN, YOU KNOW BEST.

    It is wrong to suggest that 100% of what is heard in the meetings is edifying.
    YES IT IS. WHO MADE THAT SUGGESTION, AND WHERE CAN I READ IT?

    When I take part in a meeting I feel unable to speak from my heart because it won’t fit in with the rigid format and what is expected

    THAT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU FIND THIS DIFFICULT BUT GOD GIVES GRACE AND WILL GIVE MORE AS WE ASK MORE.
    ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT OTHERS EXPECT OF YOU?
    . I refuse to use professing cliches,
    THAT’S GOOD, I AM NOT A FAN OF THEM EITHER!
    I don’t like sounding self righteous
    OK THEN…
    and abhor getting emotional in public.
    OK, NOT SURE OF THE RELEVANCE OF THIS.

    Also my entire family is in my local meeting and that makes it very difficult.
    I DON’T FOLLOW THIS, BUT AGAIN, GOD WILL GIVE THE NEEDED GRACE AND STRENGTH.

    Furthermore, I like to give the scriptures a practical application to my daily life and relationship with God
    THAT’S GOOD.
    and the friends’ testimonies are all centred around the “Way” itself. I am sure you will wholeheartedly disagree but what’s new?

    OF COURSE NOT, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HEAR IN YOUR MEETING. YOU ARE AWARE, HOWEVER, THAT JESUS IS THE WAY?

    As Kathy Lewis stated in her book, the friends tend to read their Bibles simply to get something to say in the meeting but in reality they are not the most scripturally clued up individuals. I do not wish to become like that.
    WHY WOULD YOU BECOME LIKE THAT IF YOU ARE APPLYING THE BIBLE TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? OF COURSE NONE OF THE FRIENDS READ THEIR BIBLE AT ANY TIME OTHER THAN ON A SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING, IT IS LUDICROUS TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE. SHEESH!
    I’m sure that you are an exception to the rule.

    IF YOU SAY SO, THAT MUST BE CORRECT.

    What do you mean childish insults? I don’t follow.

    MAYBE IT WAS SOMEBODY ELSE USING YOUR ALIAS WHO POSTED THAT I DEPRESS YOU.

    PLEASE REPLY TO MY POST LINE BY LINE, PERHAPS IT WOULD HELP YOU UNDERSTAND IT A LITTLE BETTER IF YOU READ IT IN SMALL SECTIONS.

    Like

  333. Not2fast – I can’t follow what you are saying about Dialogue Ireland and because you won’t go into any detail about your testimony (fair enough, some are more private than others), I can’t pick up any proper vibes and therefore can’t really get any further with you.

    I’m glad that you accept this, accept that and accept the other.

    It’s also nice for you to have had an easy time of it in “The Truth”.

    I’m afraid that people do witter on in the meetings. It is wrong to suggest that 100% of what is heard in the meetings is edifying. When I take part in a meeting I feel unable to speak from my heart because it won’t fit in with the rigid format and what is expected. I refuse to use professing cliches, I don’t like sounding self righteous and abhor getting emotional in public. Also my entire family is in my local meeting and that makes it very difficult. Furthermore, I like to give the scriptures a practical application to my daily life and relationship with God and the friends’ testimonies are all centred around the “Way” itself. I am sure you will wholeheartedly disagree but what’s new?

    As Kathy Lewis stated in her book, the friends tend to read their Bibles simply to get something to say in the meeting but in reality they are not the most scripturally clued up individuals. I do not wish to become like that. I’m sure that you are an exception to the rule.

    What do you mean childish insults? I don’t follow.

    Like

  334. Current member – your childish insults have no place here.

    Can you discuss, like an adult, the points I h e made without resorting to silly one-liners when I say something you don’t like or disagree with?

    I haven’t discounted your experience here and I’d appreciate your respect in doing likewise.

    Like

  335. A current member of this faith:

    “Not2fast” – I feel that you are wriggling out of my yesterday’s 3:05pm post by saying “I was referring to the moderator putting words into MY mouth, not into the author’s”.

    Not2fast:

    No, I disagree. You began to rant because you thought that I said Dialogue Ireland was in some way duping the author into posting. This is entirely different to what I ACTUALLY said, which was that the moderator, in saying to me “in summary, you are…” and proceeding to claim that I said things that I never came near saying, was putting words into MY mouth. Can you not acknowledge that these are two completely different scenarios?

    A current member of this faith:
    The moderator on this site has been fair and honest throughout the dialogue and I just can’t see what your problem is with him. I know he’s not taking sides with you but neither is he taking sides with anybody else. He’s been saying it is important to back everything up with evidence which is only fair.

    Not2fast:
    My problem is not with the moderator personally (other than him putting words into my mouth), but with the association itself. You will see that I mentioned a few times about being disappointed in DIALOGUE IRELAND, the association. I have already stated why, but I can do so again.

    If you read the mission statement of Dialogue Ireland, it gives off the impression that the association is there to act as an intermediary between two groups of people. The word ‘dialogue’ itself, is defined (as I mentioned before) to include working to overcome a problem.

    You understand that there are many forums, such as TMB, which allow posters to post whatever they like. These often descend into off-topic arguments. My impression of Dialogue Ireland was that it was an association which would actually work with the people to try to alleviate problems – almost like a marriage counsellor, if you will. A marriage counsellor, I understand, does not just sit between husband and wife and ‘allow’ them to speak to each other. They work with them, encouraging dialogue rather than just any form of communication – and they act impartially, supporting both parties. This is what I envisaged the association Dialogue Ireland to be. I relayed these thoughts already to the moderator and he did not respond to them particularly.

    I hope that this in some way can help you to understand why I was disappointed to learn that, actually, dialogue Ireland is no different to any of the other forums. Does this clear things up for you at all?

    A current member of this faith:
    Thanks for posting your testimony. It is quite clear that you’ve had a whale of a time and not hit any problems at all. You mentioned how your experience of “The Truth” is poles apart to the author’s.

    Not2fast:
    Yes, I have for the vast majority of time in my life, had “a whale of a time” in this fellowship. This does not mean that I have never disagreed with other friends or the workers. When there has been difference of opinion I have been glad for the ease of communication there has been. I have never felt uncomfortable approaching a friend or worker with a question or a problem.

    A current member of this faith:
    I sense in you an element of disbelief and amazement that anybody could possibly have had a bad time in “The Truth”.

    Not2fast:
    Not at all. I understand, as I have said already that everybody’s experiences are different. I know a number of people who have left this fellowship because they were not happy in it. I accept that this is their experience.

    A current member of this faith:
    Could I ask that you tell me how your faith and beliefs have actually affected your life and what God has actually done for you personally?

    Not2fast:
    I am not comfortable with discussing personal aspects of my life on an open forum. I hope you can appreciate that. Also, I would like to point out that what God has done for me personally is largely unrelated to this fellowship. My faith is in God, and not in a system of worship.

    I hope you can respond to this post based on what I did answer, and not what I chose not to post online, by the way!

    A current member of this faith:
    Theory and faith are all well and good but Irvine Grey reminded me the other day that faith without works is dead.

    Not2fast:
    That is correct and biblical. One can never be reminded too often of biblical truths!

    A current member of this faith:
    Works do not include wittering on in the meeting.

    Not2fast:

    I find this slightly disturbing. When I speak in a meeting, I relay the thoughts that God has given me and the work that He has done in my life. Those who I fellowship with do likewise. I wouldn’t like to refer to somebody’s testimony as “wittering on”.

    Do you witter on in meeting or do you speak from your heart?

    Like

  336. If I ever bump in to Not2fast in the flesh, this will be me within the hour:

    Like

  337. Irvine Grey – I can understand why you feel Rev Mary is a bit lightweight. I just found it a refreshing change from the downbeat messages I’m used to hearing in Missions. What I liked is that she’s combining the natural AND spiritual side of things. You can’t separate our natural and spiritual lives but in “The Truth” that happens a lot and I find it depressing and out of touch with reality.

    A worker – Thanks for your answer to my question. You do sound more enlightened and open than a lot of workers I’ve come across. Your reasonable outlook is NOT universal to all workers. I wouldn’t feel comfortable, at all, approaching any worker face to face with any of the concerns I’ve aired on this dialogue. Especially not the ones that are currently in my area. Kathy Lewis (author of book about the meetings) put me on to this site and I’ve found it really helpful.

    Not2fast – You depress me. Sorry. I don’t mean to be horrible – it’s just how I feel in my heart.

    An ex member – I can’t find any real fault with what you are saying in your 5:34am and 5:53am posts today. Very honest, accurate and interesting. Could you just clarify where “A worker” said that “the blood and death of Christ is secondary to the meeting in the home and the homeless ministry” – Cheers

    Like

  338. Ex member said:
    Not2fast says the beginnings of the group are discussed openly. This is untrue. I agree with the opening article that “Members are deliberately kept in the dark regarding the beginnings of the group”. The workers preach that this is the true church from the beginning, started by Jesus on the Shores of Galilee, and unlike other churches we have no earthly founder…

    Not2fast: I see. I answered that point referring to my personal experience. Do you think you know who I am and that you have better knowledge f what I have experienced in my lifetime?

    People on here NEED to realize that others have different experiences to them. I said that, in my experience, the beginnings of the fellowship are discussed openly and this is TRUE. I do not appreciate being called a liar. I have discussed this with different workers and friends a number of times, and there has never been any attempt made to hide from me what the true beginnings were.

    But I suppose I must have imagined those conversations, ex member?

    Like

  339. The message from Rev Mary is a rather ‘harmless’ few words but there is no challenge of the Gospel or any Bible teaching. I fail understand how anyone can sit under such a ministry! She is ceretainly no Paul Washer or John Piper!

    Like

  340. I would add that Worker assures me that it is not like this eveywhere but I think what you say is very true of the Irish scene. Purely my observations!

    Like

  341. A balanced a realistic assessment.

    Like

  342. The 2×2 members in general do not know their Bible apart from the verses that back up their church teachings. Many when they leave and if they go to another church say how hungry they are for good Bible teaching which was lacking in the 2x2s and is found in other churches.

    The workers are also lacking in Bible knowledge, teaching and interpretation. Sermons frequently just focus around their ministry or they ramble jumping from here and there with no real meaning. The members of this church are Biblically ignorant compared to other Christians. Of course, there would be some Christians who do not know their Bible, but they know the basic tenants of the Gospel. 2×2 version of the gospel is meeting in the home and a homeless ministry. To a Christian out side, the Gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The core belief being Jesus dying on the Cross for their sins. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. As a worker said the blood and death of Christ is secondary to the meeting in the home and the homeless ministry.

    The general teaching in this church has been that Jesus came to be an example preacher. Mainstream churches central focus is on Jesus, those in this group central focus is the workers. This is also the central focus of their Gospel. The sacrifice of the workers and their ministry is likened to that of Jesus. Their ministry is the only true ministry although it only started 110 years ago. To a true Christian only Jesus sacrifice amounts to anything. No worker has died on the Cross for the sins of the world.

    Like

  343. I stand by my statement: We were clearly taught by workers who preached it that we were not to talk to people about what we believe but that we were to only invite people to come to Gospel meetings to hear the workers.

    Outsiders commonly comment that they had neighbours or worked with a person that they thought were Cooneyites and how they kept quietly to themselves and never shared their faith. All they could find out were that they had home meetings and knew they attended a convention once a year. That is about all people get out of most people in this church. And yes, at conventions we were often told when someone asks you a question just invite them to meetings. Salvation is only through the workers and the verses are quoted accordingly at conventions by workers when preaching. Do not cast your pearls before swines was also a common verse quoted. The workers own reluctance to answer questions is experienced by people who contact me today with the workers responding, Just keep coming to meetings.

    It is often not until a person leaves the church that they acknowledge or realise that these things exisit.When you are outside and look back you can see things that you did not see when you were in it.

    Like

  344. I missed putting highlight on this in the above

    ‘A worker’ says that he chose not to get married……… So to say they choose not to get married is not correct

    Like

  345. not2fast

    worker: thank you for your comments, unfortunately I do not have the same opinion of the DI mod as you do for the reasons I stated above.

    I accept that you don’t have the same opinion of DI Mod, that is ok! Hey I appreciate your testimony! Would be nice to meet you sometime! I think we’d enjoy fellowship!
    I’m ok with all DI Mod says and does! I know God is working in and through our fellowship and that what I will post is true and factual in my own experience, so it will stand moderating and examination by DI Mod. I have already had my writings rejected as untrue by some posters on this forum. I am not concerned by that, I stand by what I write.

    ex member wrote

    the workers do say what people want to hear just to get them to come back.

    I am a worker I DO NOT say what people want to hear just to get them to come back.

    I am suspecting that is what ‘a worker’ above is doing as any worker would know that most of the things in the article are true and that ‘a worker’ is just saying what he wants us to hear.

    I could accept if you had written that according to your experience most of the things in the article are true. I cannot accept your statement “most of the things in the article are true” Rather they are many things in the article which are false and incorrect according to my experience. I will be doing a post about that in the next days as I get time.

    One example is: The author of the article wrote: Even though “outsiders” are considered “lost”, the friends are commanded to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group.
    A worker responded: How bizarre! I’ve never known of such and would seriously doubt if it is correct for Ireland either?
    I find it bizarre that a worker would call the statement in the article bizarre. We were clearly taught by workers who preached it that we were not to talk to people about what we believe but that we were to only invite people to come to Gospel meetings to hear the workers

    I have never done nor ever heard of workers commanding friends to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group. What more can I say?

    ‘A worker’ says that he chose not to get married……… So to say they choose not to get married is not correct
    I find it difficult to have dialogue with people who will not accept and believe that what I write is true and factual in my personal experience. Yes I have struggled at times to keep true to the personal choice I made to remain unmarried, I am a man with the normal and acceptable desire to get married and have a family. But I have NO regrets that God has kept me and enable me to live as I have, seeking to use all of my life is bringing the message of salvation in the Gospel to people and to shepherding amongst those who have believed the Gospel.

    All people outside of their group are lost and those who leave are considered lost, unwilling, bitter and going to hell. I don’t know where a worker has been all these years,

    I do not appreciate ex member attributing such to me, it is incorrect and false of thoughts of all people outside the group.

    I would hope that a worker speaks the truth or I would have to conclude one of 2 things. Either he is saying what he wants us to hear as is a common practice (and members of this group are allowed to tell a lie for the sake of the Gospel and the beginning of this group has been lied about unto this day

    You hope that I speak the truth? I am not making such statements about you, I accept you are writing what is true according to your experience. Why are you casting doubt as to what I write is true according to my experience?

    , or secondly I would doubt he is very knowledgeable about what goes on in the group. I believe it is the first as he would be put out of ‘the work’ if he believed and does what he says he does. Workers have been put out for not conforming.

    I have been a worker for a number of decades, so possibly have some knowledge of what goes on in the group? I speak freely and openly according to my convictions and as I write on this forum. Please refrain from making incorrect and unsubstantiated statements about me.

    A current member of the faith wrote

    “A Worker” – I presume then from your clarification that you do not believe it necessary to be “professing” to get into Heaven? I need an honest yes or no answer to this one.

    NO is my answer but please continue to read what I write as it is not possible to adequately and correctly answer your question with a simple YES/NO answer.
    a)I believe ‘getting to heaven’/our eternal destiny is NOT determined by ‘professing’. There will be people in heaven who have not ‘professed’. There will be ‘professing’ people who will not be in heaven.
    b) 2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    In the ‘final analysis my ‘pronouncement’ of someone going or not going to heaven is of NO consequence. God knows who is his. Thus I don’t judge people in OR out of heaven. But I DO make judgements…on myself. I know what God has revealed to ME as being necessary for ME. I share such without reservation with others.

    Like

  346. Here is a message from the Rev’d Mary at Old Windsor Church near Datchet, Berks.

    “I love watching cookery programmes and pouring over the latest cookery magazines. I enjoy trying new recipes and getting ideas to update favourite family meals. One major change over recent years is that we are now encouraged to look at and choose food that is in season and relish the ever changing seasonal choice on offer in our supermarkets and through farmers’ markets. I believe it is good to choose food in season but it can be challenging to adjust and change the family meals to use the freshest and best ingredients on offer.

    The church ebbs and flows as it moves through the different celebrations and seasons of the year and this is reflected in the different hymns, music and prayers that we use. The changing seasons offer us different aspects of our faith to reflect upon.

    February 22nd is Ash Wednesday and in the service people can receive the sign of the cross in ash on their foreheads. It marks the beginning of the six weeks of Lent as the church prepares for the celebration of Easter. Lent is sometimes viewed as a time of ‘give something up’ but it is an important time of preparation for Easter. The ‘giving up ‘ offers time to focus on what is important and to declutter. The benefit of decluttering is not just doing without wine or chocolates or whatever your choice, but creating space in our lives for rest and time to reflect. Too often our lives are full and I certainly end up rushing from one thing to another. Taking time out is an important aspect of the Christian year and our Christian lives. It gives us space to think about what is important and maybe to reassess whether we give it sufficient time and priority in our planning.

    The gospels are full of accounts of Jesus taking time out from the demands made upon his ministry. He took time to be with his friends, talk with them, share meals and especially took time apart from the bustle and noise of life to be still and to pray. “

    Like

  347. “Dave Mendenhall” – I agree with you.
    “an ex member” – Your posts are some of the most lucid tributes to honesty this discussion has seen so far. Thanks.

    Like

  348. “A Worker” – I presume then from your clarification that you do not believe it necessary to be “professing” to get into Heaven? I need an honest yes or no answer to this one. In the meantime I will await your testimony with interest. Please focus on how God has directly delt with you rather than a load of theory and what you believe. I like to see the practical application of belief and cold hard evidence of God’s work in a testimony.

    “Not2fast” – I feel that you are wriggling out of my yesterday’s 3:05pm post by saying “I was referring to the moderator putting words into MY mouth, not into the author’s”. The moderator on this site has been fair and honest throughout the dialogue and I just can’t see what your problem is with him. I know he’s not taking sides with you but neither is he taking sides with anybody else. He’s been saying it is important to back everything up with evidence which is only fair. Thanks for posting your testimony. It is quite clear that you’ve had a whale of a time and not hit any problems at all. You mentioned how your experience of “The Truth” is poles apart to the author’s. I sense in you an element of disbelief and amazement that anybody could possibly have had a bad time in “The Truth”. Could I ask that you tell me how your faith and beliefs have actually affected your life and what God has actually done for you personally? Theory and faith are all well and good but Irvine Grey reminded me the other day that faith without works is dead. Works do not include wittering on in the meeting.

    Like

  349. Not2fast says the beginnings of the group are discussed openly. This is untrue. I agree with the opening article that “Members are deliberately kept in the dark regarding the beginnings of the group”. The workers preach that this is the true church from the beginning, started by Jesus on the Shores of Galilee, and unlike other churches we have no earthly founder. We were not started by a man like other churches. One of the reasons we had no name, because we were the first and that they had been meeting in homes right throughout the centuries just like we do today. We can see how poster ‘anonymous’ above, confirms that this is what he/she believes. Many people are shocked when they learn the truth and many are leaving when finding out the truth. The workers and professing people are now saying that ‘we heard it all wrong” and that the workers never said that, and twist it to say that ‘this way’ – the way they do things is from the Bible. Many still do not believe it was started by a man because believing it was started by Jesus makes it the true church.

    I would hope that a worker speaks the truth or I would have to conclude one of 2 things. Either he is saying what he wants us to hear as is a common practice (and members of this group are allowed to tell a lie for the sake of the Gospel and the beginning of this group has been lied about unto this day), or secondly I would doubt he is very knowledgeable about what goes on in the group. I believe it is the first as he would be put out of ‘the work’ if he believed and does what he says he does. Workers have been put out for not conforming.

    Like

  350. Like Dave above, I would also have to say that for the very most part the article is true. Like what occurred with Dave, the workers do say what people want to hear just to get them to come back. I am suspecting that is what ‘a worker’ above is doing as any worker would know that most of the things in the article are true and that ‘a worker’ is just saying what he wants us to hear.

    One example is: The author of the article wrote: Even though “outsiders” are considered “lost”, the friends are commanded to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group.

    A worker responded: How bizarre! I’ve never known of such and would seriously doubt if it is correct for Ireland either?

    I find it bizarre that a worker would call the statement in the article bizarre. We were clearly taught by workers who preached it that we were not to talk to people about what we believe but that we were to only invite people to come to Gospel meetings to hear the workers. We were told not to cast our pearls before swines. It was clearly preached that a person can only be saved through hearing the Gospel through a worker. The verse was often quoted “how can they hear unless they be sent…”. If a person asked the workers questions then the workers would also tell them to just keep coming to meetings.

    Like the article says, if one of their members ask a worker a question they are seen as doubting, lacking in faith and as them being ‘the problem’ if they asked questions. People have been excommunicated for asking questions as can be seen in books and the another message board.

    ‘A worker’ says that he chose not to get married. The workers are not allowed to get married and remain a worker. In the early days of the movement they accepted married workers, but then the rules changed and they will not accept married people into the work nor do they allow workers to get married. They must leave the work if they do. So to say they choose not to get married is not correct. What is correct is that they have to choose marriage or the work. This is unscriptural as ‘a worker’ stated, some of the apostles were married.

    All people outside of their group are lost and those who leave are considered lost, unwilling, bitter and going to hell. I don’t know where a worker has been all these years, but maybe he does not belong to this group as this is one of the main tenets of this church. They are the one true church, all other churches are false, and ministers hirelings who are only just after your money. The leave this church and go to another is to go to hell. Salvation is only found through hearing the workers. If a person is already a Christian and want to be part of this group they have to profess and get baptized again in this group as their previous conversion and baptism is not accepted.

    The reason that things such as the history is being discussed and sexual abuse being taken more seriously is because people are speaking out via the internet and the workers have no choice but to sit up and examine their behaviours.

    Like

  351. That is a real pain when that happens. Happened to me last week. It is very difficult to get it together again. One suggestion write your comment on a word document before posting it. You are also free to send us a full article to be posted, not just as a comment!

    Like

  352. “Thank you for your own testimony. It is a helpful clarification of your earlier comments
    DI Moderation. If you would like to write a fuller piece do send us a word document and we will publish after editing.”

    Like

  353. I wrote a lenghty reply but lost it all.

    Like

  354. I grew up in the ” Truth ” or The 2×2 church.While I found some exceptions to what is stated in this article, i would have to say that for the very most part it is all true. I did have a worker make a concession to me that it was judgemental and wrong to label every other church as false, but that was just to get me to come back.
    I could relate many experiences of this 2×2 sect by am short on time right now.

    Like

  355. @current member, in response to your 3.05pm post: if you care to calm down a little to re-read my post, you will see that I was referring to the moderator putting words into MY mouth, not into the author’s.

    @worker: thank you for your comments, unfortunately I do not have the same opinion of the DI mod as you do for the reasons I stated above.

    I will just say, without giving any particular details, that I am a professing person and have been for a number of years. I am not perfect, never expect to be and I am thankful for the blood of Jesus Christ that can present me faultless before God. I understand that it is necessary to believe fully and completely in Jesus Christ and his teachings, to repent from all iniquity, to be born again of the Spirit of God, and to humble oneself as a little child to enter the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ blood. I am satisfied that those with whom I have fellowship regularly are sincere and honest people who, through God’s grace, are living Jesus’ teachings. I love and appreciate every one of them. I also love and appreciate God’s servants, who have been called to preach the gospel just like we read in the scripture. Again, I know that they are not perfect and that there are a very few amongst them who have betrayed the trust that has been given them. I do not esteem the workers any higher than I do the friends, or those who I know and love who do not fellowship with us. My experiences of the fellowship are poles apart to those of the author. Finally, I believe that it is important to have convictions about what I believe and why: through searching the scriptures, through prayer
    and through the teachings of the Holy Spirit. I am satisfied in Jesus, in my relationship with God, and with the manner in which I have fellowship with others. I am happy and content, and have a constant peace and joy that abides whatever the outside circumstances.

    I hope that those who read this can accept that this is my experience.

    Like

  356. I am happy to write my testimony for ‘A current member of the fellowship’

    A question for DI Moderation,
    Is this forum the correct place for that to be posted? or is it ‘clogging up’ this forum with matters unrelated to the original post?

    Responding and posting on this forum takes time!, I’m happy to give it! But I also have other pressing demands on my time and I’ll have to do it as I get the time over the next few days.

    Like

  357. Hello ‘a current member of the faith.’
    Yes the way I worded my post could understood the way you have understood it.I wrote…
    “Their experience in the fellowship is very different to ours! We have found Christ and life and reality, these two people haven’t. They are making the correct decision for them,”

    I will clarify that
    Their experience in the fellowship is very different to ours! We have found Christ and life and reality IN THE FELLOWSHIP, these two people haven’t FOUND CHRIST LIFE AND REALITY IN THE FELLOWSHIP. They are making the correct decision for them,”

    I hope this adds clarity.
    My sincere wishes as you to in your personal experience of having now found Christ, life and reality (but not in the fellowship?)

    Like

  358. Another thing, I would absolutely LOVE to hear the honest testimonies of “Not2fast” and “A worker”. I agree that it would be nice to hear something positive about “The Truth” for a change. I’m trying to think of the positive side of being brought up in this way and it’s got to be conventions as a kid. I loved running around the grounds and building dens in the shrubbery with the other children. Conventions also provided the opportunity to socialise with other professing children that understood the way I had to live. The workers always seemed more interesting at convention as well. However things dramatically changed when I hit my teens and the pressure to “profess” began to build up. I also found teenagers in “The Truth” a bit weird and hard to click with.

    But please “A worker” – I want an answer to my question in my previous post.

    Like

  359. Hello again “A Worker”. Are you saying that I haven’t found Christ and Life or Reality?

    Like

  360. hello not2fast

    I am the poster ‘worker’ (and yes I am a truly a worker!). Hey I have had communication with DI Moderation and I like the man! He is a good and impartial man!

    Look I can understand your frustration and the way you have responded to posts by the author who made the post at the beginning of this forum/thread and also the way you will feel about ‘a current member of this faith’! Their experience in the fellowship is very different to ours! We have found Christ and life and reality, these two people haven’t. They are making the correct decision for them,
    ‘a current member of the faith’ posted a link to an anglican church in England that they are considering joining. I give him/her my best wishes and hope they will find joy and satisfaction as a member of that church that they did not find as a member of our fellowship.

    Hey keep watching this forum, I will be making some posts when I get the time in the next day. I’ll be addressing some of the comments these two posters have made.
    Perhaps after that you will be able to make a post telling of your experience as a member of the group? I know it is different to that of the original author and also that of ‘a present member of this faith’. These two posters like to present their experience as if it perhaps it is and will be like for everyone who is a member of our fellowship, in one post some warned about becoming a member of our group! Well the most effective way we can respond to that is to post according to our experience!..and your experience, my experience and that of many of our brothers and sisters is one of joy, satisfaction, salvation and the hope of eternal life. No one can deny us posting factually of our own experience!

    Like

  361. DI Moderation:
    Yesterday you came onto this site and named a person without evidence in breach of our policy.

    Not2fast:
    I have looked at this site and cannot find your policy anywhere. Perhaps it could be placed somewhere in clear view of all who post, such as above the comment box. I apologise for breaching this policy. You will notice that when I was made aware of it, I did not breach it again.

    You will have noticed having read earlier comments that you were not the first to name people on this thread, (though we were not sure you were the first person to name who they thought was the author of the anonymous post but this time using a different IP address so gave you the benefit of the doubt.) We had someone else outing A worker so had to raise that with them. We do not have a policy statement, but if someone posts anonymously for whatever reason on both sides of an issue we respect their anonymity. You have complied with that.

    DI Moderation:
    You exercised this option and produced what can only be called a denial, not an evidence based response.

    Not2fast:
    Please tell me what evidence the author produced to you to back up her statements. As far as I am aware, the author used her own personal experience and no more.

    Yes her experience is the evidence we sought before posting. That is evidence.

    This does not appear to have caused you concern; however, when I replied using the same basis for my replies, it was deemed “just a denial”.

    In some of your replies you made reference to your experience in most you just wrote false!!! and gave no evidence. Irvine raised this with you and you within a few hours left the stage.This is how he replied to you:Not2fast – I am sorry if you think my comment regarding the valid point was finding fault with your reply. I am glad you responded but some of your answers lacked evidence. For example: ‘In our fellowship meeitngs one of the friends challenged a worker because he was wrong and he is still in fellowship with us’. You know just like Paul withstood Peter face to face but the mission did not come to a standstill!

    In my research I have met countless folk who disagreed with a worker or overseer and they are now on the outside track.

    I would appreciate your providing an example of the type of evidence one could use when discussing personal experience.

    Irvine gave you the example but you were not listening!

    Not2fast:
    You are failing to notice the difference between “communication” and “true, honest dialogue”.

    Dialogue is defined as “A discussion between two or more people or groups, esp. directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem.”

    The facilitation of dialogue goes far beyond italicizing a few words here and there. I understand that Dialogue Ireland is an association which “works for contact and dialogue among people with different beliefs and philosophies”.
    My impression, on reading your mission statement, was one of a group which would act as an unbiased intermediary between two schools of thought, and allow only discussion of issues mentioned in the author’s post.

    That is exactly what we are doing. We facilitated your response and would have allowed you to write a post outlining your position as we have done with “A worker. They will be posting their own reply, without censorship. You could also have that facility, but not if you leave the stage.

    I realize now that I was mistaken and this is why I have decided not to engage in any further discussion here.

    You had already taken that decision we offered you the opportunity to come back in. You have declined that. We wish you well and good bye!

    I may correspond with Irvine Grey, but if so I will do so by email.

    You obviously have that right, but he suggested what evidence involved earlier.

    Not2fast:
    Again, I will reiterate my disappointment in Dialogue Ireland. An association such as yours should be above putting words into people’s mouths as you have done above. A little professionalism would be of great benefit to your organization.

    You wrote about those who disagreed with you, “I will not be responding to any more comments on this. I thought that perhaps we could make this thread one of discussion, and DIALOGUE – as is the name of this website – rather than a place of snide comments and disparaging remarks.” If you enter a forum please do not blame us for not being able to deal with those who disagree with you. We do not control their comments any more than a librarian agrees with the books on the shelf. We will allow the others to comment on whether we have addressed your concerns and whether we are fair to all on this thread!

    I look forward to your civilized response and hope that you will consider some of the points which I have made. Thank you.

    Best wishes to you whether you are a member of the Two by twos or not. You are free to make your points here.

    Like

  362. I meant to say in my last post “You are in a serious state of denial”, rather than “self” denial. I’m so used to being told about self denial by the workers it slips off the tongue.

    Like

  363. Excuse me, Not2fast – It is the personification of grandiose arrogance and completely unjust to accuse Dialogue Ireland of “putting words into people’s mouths”. You are saying that anybody who has raised concerns about “The Truth” on this website has been duped into it by Dialogue Ireland. You are in a serious state of self denial and it is this mentality I would expect from a dictator.

    Like

  364. Sorry, I forgot to refresh the screen before I sent my last post.

    Like

  365. By the way, Not2fast, if that was you that wrote today’s 9:40am “Anonymous” post, what have you got to say in your defence about the moderator’s comments?

    Like

  366. DI Moderation:
    Yesterday you came onto this site and named a person without evidence in breach of our policy.

    Not2fast:
    I have looked at this site and cannot find your policy anywhere. Perhaps it could be placed somewhere in clear view of all who post, such as above the comment box. I apologise for breaching this policy. You will notice that when I was made aware of it, I did not breach it again.

    DI Moderation:
    We corrected this and gave you the opportunity to continue.

    Not2fast:
    Thank you.

    DI Moderation:
    You exercised this option and produced what can only be called a denial, not an evidence based response.

    Not2fast:
    Please tell me what evidence the author produced to you to back up her statements. As far as I am aware, the author used her own personal experience and no more. This does not appear to have caused you concern; however, when I replied using the same basis for my replies, it was deemed “just a denial”.

    I would appreciate your providing an example of the type of evidence one could use when discussing personal experience.

    DI Moderation:
    Again you did not know how to highlight your comments. We facilitated your communication

    Not2fast:
    I am sorry that I am not very technologically minded. I appreciated your attempt to clarify my answer, although it appears to have gone a little pear-shaped halfway through when everything was italicized.

    DI Moderation:
    and this morning this your response to us:

    “It is disappointing that dialogue Ireland, despite its name and mission statement, is unable to provide a service of facilitating true, honest dialogue with a view to a better future.”

    Odd in light of the above?

    Not2fast:
    You are failing to notice the difference between “communication” and “true, honest dialogue”.

    Dialogue is defined as “A discussion between two or more people or groups, esp. directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem.”

    The facilitation of dialogue goes far beyond italicizing a few words here and there. I understand that Dialogue Ireland is an association which “works for contact and dialogue among people with different beliefs and philosophies”.

    My impression, on reading your mission statement, was one of a group which would act as an unbiased intermediary between two schools of thought, and allow only discussion of issues mentioned in the author’s post. I realize now that I was mistaken and this is why I have decided not to engage in any further discussion here. I may correspond with Irvine Grey, but if so I will do so by email.

    DIModeration:
    In summary what you are saying is when you do not like the response you throw your toys out of the pram. Argument weak, shout loud, or no argument, walk off the stage. Irvine responded to you in a genuine and polite way and you just walked away…………………………………..?

    Not2fast:
    Again, I will reiterate my disappointment in Dialogue Ireland. An association such as yours should be above putting words into people’s mouths as you have done above. A little professionalism would be of great benefit to your organization.

    I look forward to your civilized response and hope that you will consider some of the points which I have made. Thank you.

    Like

  367. Not2fast – Now you come to mention it, I can indeed see the difference in writing styles. I apologise for the misunderstanding in my February 16th 12:03pm post. I hope the “Anonymous” contributor does actually read what I said.

    Like

  368. @a current member of this faith – the first “anonymous” (one ‘n’, by the way!) was me as I forgot to write in my name.

    I don’t know who the second one was, but it was not me. Note the different writing styles.

    As a matter of fact, I was somewhat shocked at “anonymous'” choice to use obscenities in their answer. Not exactly conversation that is becoming to the Gospel.

    Your response was all to the other “anonymous” and not to me.

    Fare thee well in your journey of life!

    Like

  369. I know this is getting off the subject of the dialogue but I really feel the need in my heart to mention poor Whitney Houston who sadly died recently. My heart really goes out to her and her family and friends. I would just like to post a video in tribute and respect to her.

    Like

  370. I’ve just remembered something I’ve heard a senior worker or two mention from the platform at convention in the past. They said that when they were originally “called into the work” they didn’t want to go and at first they didn’t have “that love of souls” and how “the love of souls” came later on in “their ministry”. Looking back I find this rather strange. Don’t you need to have a love of souls in the first place to spark any sort of desire to preach the Gospel? Maybe I’m missing something here but I’m really scratching my head over it. If somebody is naturally unsuited to living the life of a preacher, why would God make their life hell by forcing it upon them? What I think is that these workers I’ve mentioned grew up in “The Truth” and were emotionally guilt tripped into it. Having grown up in this way, many is the time I’ve confused feelings of acute anxiety in missions/conventions with God speaking to me. There is a major difference and I find it all quite disturbing.

    Like

  371. I don’t believe it. I’ve even spelt debate incorrectly. I am well aware there is no such thing as a reasoned bedate! Sorry again.

    Like

  372. Oh dear – I meant to say “you haven’t even bothered to GIVE God a capital G. I get very cross with myself when I miss out words in sentences like that. I do apologise.

    Like

  373. Why has “Not2fast suddenly changed their name to “Annonymous”? Furthermore “Annonymous” – you haven’t even bothered to God a capital G in your latest post which is both worrying and suggestive of your depth of respect and spiritual understanding. You are way more bitter than anybody else on this blog. You sound very much like my professing maternal Grandfather who is incapable of having a reasoned bedate about anything Biblical without losing his temper and showing himself up. His own professing sister who is 86 moans to me about how unreasonable he is. There is a striking parallel here.

    Like

  374. i totally disagree with all the negative comments … if people have problem with this way..just piss off and leave.. it did start from jesus and if you really believe… all that matters is that you have peace in your hearts !!! maybe there was periods during the years of no friends !! …. of course nobody is perfect we cannot trust any man at all whether they are preachers or not.. the only person you can trust is god ! people in this way are just trying to live the way jesus taught us !! nobody is perfect.. yes of course there are lots of problems also…. but all i am interested in ..is do i have peace in my heart.,,., i just do my own thing i dont listen to rules and regulations and most countries esp europe are very modern….. i dont mind the preachers using my home or facilties…they are giving up their freedom to help others… so all those with really negative comments… you are just jealous because god never spoke to you…….lots of problems are getting sorted right now.,… this way is all over the world so how can william irvine start it all over the world….none of my friends would ever criticise another church or religion.. we just try ourselves to live according to the bible…most of my friends are other religions… oen of my best friends is muslim from morocco so dont know where all that rubbish is coming from not being able to mix with other people….all that matters is that we get to know god on earth – if not he wont bother with us at the end .. so just go and get a life all those who are moaning and making nasty comments……..

    Like

  375. @a current member of this faith: perhaps you should read your own comments before accusing me of “getting worked up about the truth”.

    I will not be responding to any more comments on this. I thought that perhaps we could make this thread one of discussion, and DIALOGUE – as is the name of this website – rather than a place of snide comments and disparaging remarks.

    It is disappointing that dialogue Ireland, despite its name and mission statement, is unable to provide a service of facilitating true, honest dialogue with a view to a better future.
    As long as people who see and who have experienced these huge problems refuse to discuss them sensibly, there can be little done to work to eliminate these problems.

    DI Moderation:
    Yesterday you came onto this site and named a person without evidence in breach of our policy. We corrected this and gave you the opportunity to continue.
    You exercised this option and produced what can only be called a denial, not an evidence based response. Again you did not know how to highlight your comments. We facilitated your communication and this morning this your response to us:

    It is disappointing that dialogue Ireland, despite its name and mission statement, is unable to provide a service of facilitating true, honest dialogue with a view to a better future.

    Odd in light of the above?

    I will not be responding to any more comments on this. I thought that perhaps we could make this thread one of discussion, and DIALOGUE – as is the name of this website – rather than a place of snide comments and disparaging remarks.

    In summary what you are saying is when you do not like the response you throw your toys out of the pram. Argument weak, shout loud, or no argument, walk off the stage. Irvine responded to you in a genuine and polite way and you just walked away…………………………………..?

    Like

  376. Not2fast – I am sorry if you think my comment regarding the valid point was finding fault with your reply. I am glad you responded but some of your answers lacked evidence. For example: ‘In our fellowship meeitngs one of the friends challenged a worker because he was wrong and he is still in fellowship with us’. You know just like Paul withstood Peter face to face but the mission did not come to a standstill!

    In my research I have met countless folk who disagreed with a worker or overseer and they are now on the outside track.

    Like

  377. I think it’s time for another video. I dedicate this to Not2fast:

    Like

  378. Fret not thy soul, Not2fast. Thy comments truly hath a place upon this blog. If you feel “The Truth” is worth getting worked up about then may God grant you your self righteous portion.

    Like

  379. @a current member of this faith – you say that the author is relating her experience and give her the benefit of the doubt that it is true – however, when I state my personal experiences of the same issues, you refuse to accept my experience. My purpose of posting here is to show a different perspective. If I agreed 100% with everything in the OP, there would be little point to my Posting here.

    Yes, I am still merrily professing as you put it. Does that render my comments invalid and worthless?

    @never returning – this is a long, long post to reply to and due to time constraints I was unable to go into detail on all of the points. I see you have conveniently disregarded the points which I did respond to in detail.

    With regard to my one word “false” answers, these are generally when the author is projecting and assuming – it would not be evidential for me to give my own projection. For example, she said something to the effect that ‘outsiders’ who stop attending gospel meetings are thought to be unwilling to accept the truth. This is a projection. Therefore I simply answered ‘false’, for me to answer any further would be pointless as I would be offering my own opinion on what other people think.

    In other cases,Such as when the author stated “they [the workers] can excommunicate someone to hell”, this is clearly unfounded nonsense. What more could one say than that it is false, when it does not even vaguely resemble the truth?

    I hope this clears up the reasons for my short answers a little.

    @irvine grey, you have requested that I respond in detail to the author’s post. Perhaps you could do me the courtesy of responding, rather than finding fault with the manner in which I answered!

    I will resume my work on responding point by point if and when I receive any responses which do not discount my experience because I am professing, and which do not pick holes in my response rather than answering the points I did address in detail. Thank you.

    Like

  380. @a current member of this faith – you say that the author is relating her experience and give her the benefit of the doubt that it is true – however, when I state my personal experiences of the same issues, you refuse to accept my experience. My purpose of posting here is to show a different perspective. If I agreed 100% with everything in the OP, there would be little point to my Posting here.

    Yes, I am still merrily professing as you put it. Does that render my comments invalid and worthless?

    @never returning – this is a long, long post to reply to and due to time constraints I was unable to go into detail on all of the points. I see you have conveniently disregarded the points which I did respond to in detail.

    With regard to my one word “false” answers, these are generally when the author is projecting and assuming – it would not be evidential for me to give my own projection. For example, she said something to the effect that ‘outsiders’ who stop attending gospel meetings are thought to be unwilling to accept the truth. This is a projection. Therefore I simply answered ‘false’, for me to answer any further would be pointless as I would be offering my own opinion on what other people think.

    In other cases,Such as when the author stated “they [the workers] can excommunicate someone to hell”, this is clearly unfounded nonsense. What more could one say than that it is false, when it does not even vaguely resemble the truth?

    I hope this clears up the reasons for my short answers a little.

    @irvine grey, you have requested that I respond in detail to the author’s post. Perhaps you could do me the courtesy of responding, rather than finding fault with the manner in which I answered!

    Like

  381. Irvine Grey – I would rather follow Jesus than the rules!

    Like

  382. A current member of the faith – it is important to recognise that a life transformed by grace will always show forth the fruits of righteousness. Phil 1:9-11.

    The big question is ‘are you a follower of Jesus or a follower of the rules’?

    Like

  383. Never returning to the meetings – you have made a valid point!

    Like

  384. I must mention that in one of my later posts I expressed a dislike of the concept of conditional salvation. Somebody has just reminded me that Faith without works is dead and I believe that. However it is the workers’ concept of conditional salvation that I don’t like.

    Like

  385. I don’t accept most of what “Not2fast” has said I’m afraid. I can really identify with “author of article”. “Not2fast” accused “author of article” of harbouring feelings of hatred and vitriol. Rubbish. “author of article” is simply telling the truth and how it has impacted upon his life. I presume “Not2fast” is still merrily professing?

    Like

  386. Not2fast, denial is not the same as not giving evidence. Many of your responses consist of one word (“true”, “false”). Can you please elaborate further than that and give reasons.

    Thank you.

    Like

  387. Sorry, my points are not emboldened as they should have been. You will have to work out what is my commentary but it should be easy to follow.

    Like

  388. As requested. I will work on responding to the other points.

    Other names for the group include “Christian Conventions” and “Two by Twos”. The group has no official name and no official church buildings. They have meetings within members’ homes instead. Members refer to each other as “the friends” and to their preachers as “workers”. The workers travel about in celibate pairs 

    This is true.

    based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 10:8-10. 

    This is opinion rather than fact.

    The friends insist that they are “in” the world but not “off” the world.

    You’ll find that this is biblical, to be in the world but not of it.  However, I have yet to hear anybody “insisting” that this is their portion.

    I understand that to outsiders members seem like quaint, peaceable group of Protestants who dress a little “old-fashioned” and whom do not own TVs. 

    Ok.

    To an extent that is true, but there is a darker side to the group. Members are deliberately kept in the dark regarding the beginnings of the group and child sex abuse incidents amongst their preachers. 

    This is untrue in my experience. The beginnings of the group are discussed openly and there has been nothing deliberately concealed in the few CSA incidents of which I am aware.

    Members may not challenge the workers- if they do they face excommunication. 

    This is patently untrue! Have you challenged them? Have you been excommunicated?

    The workers slander other preachers and churches as “greedy” and “false”. 

    I have never heard this preached.

    Members are afraid to leave the group as they are trained to believe that if they leave they will go to hell. 

    Again, untrue. In my experience, members are not “trained” about anything.

    If a member does leave, that person becomes subject to gossip and slander.

    This may be your experience, but those who I know and am still close to who have left the group have not experienced this.

     To leave the meetings is very difficult because members don’t mix with outsiders. 

    This is not my experience.

    Often all of their family, relations and most of their friends are in the meetings so to leave the meetings means breaking close bonds with their community. 

    This is true to an extent – it brings a certain amount of separation due to less time spent together at meetings and such like, but bonds are not broken unless the person who leaves chooses to do so.

    Members who date an “outsider” get threatened with excommunication.

    Completely false.

    I was taught from an early age that we were the only true church founded by Jesus. All the other churches were false churches whose preachers were “false hirelings”, who were only interested in the money and considered only worthy of the workers’ scorn. Our ministers, however, cared for us. They didn’t have a salary unlike those false hirelings or expect the payment of tithes. They even stayed with us in our homes and this too was another example of their genuine interest in us. Not only that but our ministers (or “workers” as we called them) were personally chosen by God! Everything they preached came direct from the Lord!  I was often reminded that while my Catholic neighbours were decent people, they did not know the true gospel and therefore were to be pitied.

    This is all your alleged personal experience.  I can say that it is not mine.

    Even though “outsiders” are considered “lost”, the friends are commanded to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group. 

    This is, again, totally untrue.  Workers, as a rule, do not “command” anything.  It is certainly not a practice not to tell “outsiders” as you term them, about the group.  Rather, the friends are encouraged to be open about their faith.

    The outsider must approach a member about their faith or attend a gospel meeting (a “mission”). 

    See previous point.

    When an outsider asks a member about their faith members are expected to introduce them to the workers because the gospel must be heard from the workers themselves.

    This is not my experience.

     If after meeting the workers an outsider continues to take interest in the meetings, the workers give that person one-to-one bible studies. Interested outsiders are only gradually taught the group doctrines and only after a period of time are invited to private church events.  The outsider will then be invited to attend a convention during which he/she will be shown about only by the workers and introduced to a few of the more “hearty” friends.  

    This is not common practice in Ireland. Interested persons are invited to attend the gospel meetings, which are held for that very purpose.

    Although most of the workers deny the trinity (many say that Jesus was merely a man who became without sin through obedience to the law and lived as an example how to live, with the workers following on this example for the rest to copy), they will never admit that to an outsider.

    Once again, a false statement.

    If an outsider stops attending gospel meetings, he/she is considered to be “unwilling” to “accept the Truth”.

    And again.

    The workers travel about a designated region in pairs. An older brother worker is paired up with a younger brother, an older sister worker is paired up with a younger sister worker.  

    This is true.

    They cannot marry, do not work and instead rely on money donations from the friends. 

    They do not marry and do not have a conventional job.  They are in full time ministerial/pastoral/evangelical work.

    They also expect the friends to host them, do their laundry, cook meals for them for times that suit them and let them use their cars. 

    Those friends who invite the workers to stay, do have them to stay.  They do not “expect” to be catered for in the way you have said.  Some friends do their laundry and give a car.

    People often give them spare house keys to come and go as they wish.  

    This is true.

    To have the workers staying is perceived to be a great honour. 

    Whose perception is that?

    When they are staying they often spend long periods in their bedrooms, 

    True

    during which the family members are expected to be quiet in their own home for the workers. 

    False

    People keep notes from worker sermons 

    True

    and value them as equal to the bible. 

    False/

    Photos of the workers are kept in photo albums, in bedrooms, in bibles and publicly displayed alongside photos of family members.

    Sometimes true

     The workers always sit separately from everyone else during convention meals and meetings, 

    Usually true

    as though they are too holy to sit beside the friends. 

    False 

    At conventions they are always served first 

    Often this is the case

    and fed better than everyone else. 

    There is sometimes a different menu choice because of visiting workers who could be eating stew for 2 months.

    Little children are expected to give the workers hugs, even the workers they are unfamiliar with. 

    This is not true.

    Basically, people revere the workers to the point of worship.

    False again

    As the workers are believed to be “the Word made flesh” it is not permitted to question a worker. 

    False on both points.

    The workers say that members should be like little children in all things

    Yes, this is what Jesus taught also.

    – and that includes not asking questions 

    This is ridiculous.  Have you ever heard anyone ask more questions than a little child asks?

    (those who do ask questions or bring up an issue, have a “poor spirit” and are made to feel that the real issue is with them, not the group). 

    False

    The workers decide who can join the group and who cannot, they can excommunicate someone to hell. 

    False

    They say they have sacrificed their career and possessions along the chance of marriage and family 

    They don’t tend to say it, but they have.

    for the sake of the friends, 

    This is false.  For the sake of spreading the gospel, yes.

    with the implication that the friends therefore “owe” their salvation to the workers.

    Untrue

    Like

  389. Not2fast – I read your post and felt that you are making denials of a general nature. Why not be specific and take the author’s positng point by point and tell where and how it is wrong.

    Your statement – you know how much of what you have said is true and how much is twisted truth or a blatant lie.- you have three categories – true, twisted truth and blatant lie. Please identify these for us, not is general term, but specifically with evidence to the contrary.

    We are really waiting to hear the other side of the story instead of sweeping allegations.

    Like

  390. Moderation: We are not sure if you are the same author that outed the assumed author recently. The IP is not clear. We will on this occasion remove the name, but in future delete the whole comment. As Irvine Grey has got you to respond to the author we will leave your nameless comment. We will also assist you in your highlighting exercise.

    xxxxx, have you really lied to yourself so much that you’ve got to the point of believing what you are saying here?

    I’m sorry for you, if your childhood wasn’t a happy one, but why keep all this hatred and vitriol inside of you and ruin your adulthood too?

    And, we always have a choice. Had you not had a choice about whether or not you professed, you would have professed.

    There is a difference between workers “staying in homes” and them expecting to be waited on hand and foot.

    I shan’t waste any more time replying to your comments – you know how much of what you have said is true and how much is twisted truth or a blatant lie.

    I hope and pray that you’ll find the grace and strength to tell the honest truth. May others be saved from being deceived by you.

    Like

  391. I found growing up in the meetings very hard for many reasons. One of those reasons was the expectation for me to join the meetings.

    Because I was born into the group the decision was already made for me. When those born and reared in the group make their “choice”, it isn’t an actual choice. They are expected to join once they hit their mid-teens and have been taught from childhood by everyone around that leaving/not making their “choice” to join the group will guarantee a tragic death and eternal hell- therefore the teenage born into the meetings is presented with one choice, one option and that is to join the meetings (ie. making their “choice”). This idea that there is only one choice means making one’s “choice” is not a choice at all, because a choice is a decision chosen from two or more options– options which are not given to Two by Two teens. I have seen teens in tears due to the pressure from their parents, grandparents and peers to “make their choice”. It’s considered “their” choice but it’s a choice made by others for them and foisted upon them.

    I wanted freedom of choice to make my own decision on what church I wanted to join, I could the workers version of the gospel was not in line with the gospel in the bible, I felt spiritually empty after meetings, I hated the constant gossiping about others, I hated the lack of privacy, I hated the attitude of superiority in some of the Northerners towards the Southerners, I was aware of the hyprocrisy and double standards amongst “the friends”, I did not appreciate the workers interfering in my life, I loathed the artifical image of everybody being “friends”, I found meetings boring and full of moral nothings but would then feel guilt for feeling so, it hurt to be lied to about the founder and origins of the group by those around me.

    I did not agree with the meetings and resented being forced to conform to the workers’ rules when I had no intention of ever joining the meetings.

    I should have been able to leave the meetings freely but the truth is that on leaving all the old biddys start into the gossiping and the slander. I’ve had professing folks tell me that I’m off to hell. I’ve had people from my meeting avoid me in public. I was even tricked into going to a union meeting by some “friends”.

    “A worker” says that only a few “oddball” workers expect to live with people, to use spare cars, to be fed at times that suit the workers and to get their laundry done from them. That’s a lie! All workers expect this special treatment. “A worker” even contradicts him/her self by admitting that some of the “friends” do give staying workers house keys. Why would workers receive house keys if they are not staying in peoples’ homes?

    “A worker” also said

    I do know that children ‘pick up the vibes’ of what their parents feel about workers and when they perceive that their Dad and Mom love and appreciate the workers that is flows over into the children also.

    It’s true that children pick up vibes from their parents but those vibes are not always positive vibes. When children understand that their parents revere the workers to the point that they will receive slaps for making noise while workers are present, they quickly learn to be quiet. Why should children be quiet in their own home for the sake of strangers?

    Like

  392. I feel I should add that there are quite a few genuinely honest and caring workers who would never dream of “getting the top job” of overseer. It is the overseers that are the driving force behind it all and it is the overseers I’m fed up with.

    Like

  393. I’ve just spotted the latest post from “A Worker”. I’m surprised that they think I’m making the right decision to leave. That must mean they don’t think I’ll be going to hell. I am therefore surprised that they are in “The Truth”, because surely you would only want to be in “The Truth” if you wholeheartedly believed it was the only way to Heaven? What other motive could any normal human being possibly have to be in it? Or maybe this worker does think I’ll be going to hell but is too polite to say so. With respect, “A worker” would be better off getting a part time job and preaching the Gospel you find in the Bible. You don’t need to go around hauling people into fellowship meetings. Surely the idea is convert people to Christianity and educate them about the Bible. I am violently allergic to this earthly concept of conditional salvation. I sincerely hope that “A Worker” does not believe in it. If salvation is conditional it makes a mockery of being saved by grace alone. This is the main niggle I have with “The Truth”. All churches and faiths have their issues and I accept that. But the workers do generally believe that this “Way” is perfect and they’re not afraid to tell people just that. Of course it isn’t perfect. God’s way is perfect. It is too easy for the workers to confuse the two. Also if they believed that salvation is unconditional it would destroy their power over people’s minds and it is only mind control that keeps it all together (I could be wrong here but I doubt it). Wouldn’t it be lovely if the more enlightened friends could cut their ties with the workers and have little Christian fellowship meetings of their own and weekly Bible studies that really are Bible studies. They could consign all the formality to the bin and live their lives in the safety and security of God’s wonderful gift of salvation, available to all those who believe in him. Amen

    Like

  394. This song by Sir Cliff Richard (Knight of the Realm for a good reason) was my testimony when I was at rock bottom a few years ago. I believe God sends us these experiences for a valid reason. They are for BOTH our earthly and eternal benefit and I am truly grateful. The 2X2 idea that God is not particularly intrerested in our earthly needs is the personification of blinkered delusion. And no matter what anybody says, that is the feeling this way generates. I know. I grew up in it.

    Like

  395. “A current member of this faith” has written of his/her experience as a member of our fellowship and his/her perceptions of our fellowship.

    In the next few days as time permits with the present demands on my time I will respond with comments according to my experience and perception of our fellowship.

    I will be responding factually and will not be making any personal attack on “A current member of this faith”. (whom incidentally is completely unknown to me, I live in another part of the world to the Old Windsor Church which they are contemplating joining.)

    My personal view is that if someone’s experience and perception of our group is as “A current member of this faith” has been then he/she is making the correct individual decision to leave.

    Once I get to post a response to “A current member of our faith’s” post perhaps he/she will continue dialogue which perhaps will helpful for me in coming to understand others experience in our group.

    Like

  396. I see you have blocked out the name I put in my last post but you also blocked out Ireland. My post should start with ‘Ireland is very different in many respects’!
    Sorry thought the person’s surname was Ireland!

    Like

  397. Also I simply cannot believe that I haven’t been verbally abused on this blog. That has come as a pleasant surprise and a welcome relief.

    Like

  398. With regard to the worker on this blog, if he is more relaxed and slightly different in his take on the Bible than these so called “oddball Workers” why is he still prepared to be identified along side them? If I had it in my heart to preach the Gospel I would feel uncomfortable doing it in tandem with a group that had incosistencies in its doctrine. It’s all a bit puzzling to me. I would quite like to know if this worker was born and raised in the meetings. From what I’ve gathered through growing up in this way, 99% of the workers were also born and raised as 2X2s. I am convinced that if I’d been brought up in a normal environment I would have run a mile at the prospect of belonging to such a peculiar religion. The more I read about “The Truth” online, the more awkward I feel about my association with it. As a child and up until recently I always felt embarrassed to declare my faith to others. However, now that I’ve read Kathy’s book (which as you know I’m highly impressed with), heard the real Gospel from Daniel Durston and seen through all the strange, non scriptural little ways of 2X2 constitution I suddenly feel proud of what I believe and proud to associate myself with Jesus. No matter how lenient certain workers say they are, if you belong to this faith you have less freedom of personal expression than your average Christian and that’s that.

    This is a message to all outsiders. If you want to feel guilty, depressed and afraid then come to a Mission. You may even get to sing an uplifting hymn like “Your life is but a flickering flame that fades to shine no more”. You will hear the bad news that you are unsaved and your entire family and 99.9% of the world is also going to hell. What you will hear won’t make an awful lot of sense but hey ho. Repent ye, the workers are at hand. Give up your television, get rid of your jewellery and stop dying your hair. If you don’t you’ll be going to hell. You will be told that the world erroneously believes that Jesus died for their sins and that they are automatically saved. Oh no. Not so fast. You’ve got to attend scores of meetings and mingle with a load of irritating eccentrics to get into heaven.

    Like

  399. I do not know xxxx xxxxxxx. He is not the xxxxxx I mentioned in the post above. The xxxx mentioned in the post above posts on the other message board, I do not think xxxx xxxxx does.

    Like

  400. XXXXXIreland (corrected) is very different in many respects – as an outsider and in the course of my research I have met those who left the movement because they have married a non 2×2, some as many as 40 years ago, and they are still shunned and feel rejection and often spoken of in a derisory manner. The last point I make is because I have heard the comments directly.

    Like

  401. Wyatt is very critical of those who attempt to share their experiences of life in this church. It appears from Wyatt’s judgemental criticism of those who write about the group that he was not born into it when he says it’s a different thing for those who were children in the group. Wyatt did not experience the rejection that many do experience when they leave the group. Those who leave get called bitter, unwilling, and for many family relationships are severed by those in the group and as Wyatt says they are eternally damned for leaving. People who have become Christians are more likely to see things from a theological perspective and see the errors of doctrine in this church than those who become atheists and subsequently more likely to speak out against error. Most who leave such as those in the article above do not believe their new church is the only one, most instead as the above posters become mainstream Christians. Wyatt judges those who share their experiences calling the ‘anal’ Christians. What a judgemental superior attitude which says something about Wyatt’s own character. He did not experience what some on here have. It appears that he does not know much about the inner workings and destruction of the group. It would be good to know if he was born and brought up in the group as those who have do have different experiences and are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation members of the group.

    Those who join the group as opposed to born and raised in the group are not seen the same as those born into it and are not seen as a threat or betraying the folk in this church for leaving as it is more likely to be said by those in the group who profess as outsiders that they ‘never had it in the first place’. They are not seen as a threat for leaving the same as someone who was born into it.

    Wyatt says there is a genuine care for each other in the group then states that there is eternal damnation for some who leave. Is that genuine care? It speaks of conditional care, if you stay we care if you leave you are eternally damned. Wyatt’s post is full of contradictions like this. He says they have to hate the group in order to avoid being convicted. This is false. These people have been convicted that is why they left the group. It takes an honest person to leave as it is so much easier to stay. These people have gone on to a deeper relationship with God. They have a passion for God and truth. Jesus hated false teaching. I admire those who have brought the truth to us in exposing the deception of this group. This group puts down other churches calling those who preach the Gospel outside of them ‘hirelings’ yet persecute any who speak against them.

    MODERATION: “an ex member” naming people here without any evidence is abusing that person and using your anonymity in an abusive manner.
    Please address the post and not make personal attacks or name people. We will edit your personal naming of a person this time, but in future will delete your total comment. If a person makes a comment or post you can of course respond, but not make assertions without evidence. We will protect your and anyone else’s anonymity. We will be writing to you privately to provide material for a post.

    xxxx,

    the worker who it obviously is, on here is one thing in writing and another in reality as those inside the church will tell you what he really preaches. You just need to follow his bitterness against those who have left the group in posts on the other message board.

    Like

  402. As a ‘worker’/Minister of this group I appreciate the opportunity that Dialogue offers for posts to be made…thanks!

    Dialogue Ireland has been in touch with the “A worker” and has agreed to allow the author to publish these comments as a full post in response to the original post:
    “Two by Twos” by someone who grew up and out of the movement. We will leave this here as a comment as well, but have requested the author to not just quote
    Wyatt Hatt but to address the serious responses that Wyatt Hatt has merely brushed aside. In other words without a serious response to these issues from A worker his piece is severely compromised and we could not post it. DI Moderation.

    I will make some comments of some of the statements in the Opening Post of this article.

    Members are deliberately kept in the dark regarding the beginnings of the group and child sex abuse incidents amongst their preachers.

    Yes this has happened in the past and likely will also presently happen especially with older workers. In my personal ministry I am happy and open to discuss the beginning of our group with anyone. Yes in there have been instances where child sex abuse incidents have not been dealt with correctly. In the country where I work they are dealt with correctly and with a transparency that will stand any examination.

    Members may not challenge the workers- if they do they face excommunication.

    I will listen to ANY member who would approach me with a matter concerning them. I have NEVER thought of nor considered excommunication of any member in the decades I have been in this ministry.

    The workers slander other preachers and churches as “greedy” and “false”.

    Yes this has happened, I don’t find any use for such. I seek to uphold Christ, that is all that is needed in preaching the gospel.
    Is slander of this manner something exclusive to workers? Protestant preacher against the Catholic Church. RCs against Protestants, One denominaation of Protestantism against another?

    Members are afraid to leave the group as they are trained to believe that if they leave they will go to hell.

    Trained to believe….? I teach and encourage people in their faith and relationship with God. If someone is not finding that as a member of our fellowship, like the writer of this article and a number who are ex members of our group and have posted comments then my personal feelings are that is beneficial for them and beneficial for or group that they look for a group where they can and do find that.

    If a member does leave, that person becomes subject to gossip and slander.

    Perhaps sometimes? We are a group of imperfect people. Other times it is in sadness that members will discuss with others the issues that lead to the person leaving.

    To leave the meetings is very difficult because members don’t mix with outsiders. Often all of their family, relations and most of their friends are in the meetings so to leave the meetings means breaking close bonds with their community.

    This is the experience of the writer and of some. There are plenty of others whose experience of leaving our group, read the post of Wyatt Hatt for a case in instance.

    Members who date an “outsider” get threatened with excommunication.

    Has happened in Ireland? I’d be interested in ‘the other side of the story’! I can’t say, it surely doesn’t happen where I live and work!
    Does this ever happen or did it ever happen with a Protestant girl dating a Catholic boy or vice versa in Ireland?

    Even though “outsiders” are considered “lost”, the friends are commanded to never tell outsiders about “the Gospel” and to never approach an outsider about the group.

    How bizarre! I’ve never known of such and would seriously doubt if it is correct for Ireland either?

    The outsider must approach a member about their faith or attend a gospel meeting (a “mission”). When an outsider asks a member about their faith members are expected to introduce them to the workers because the gospel must be heard from the workers themselves. If after meeting the workers an outsider continues to take interest in the meetings, the workers give that person one-to-one bible studies.

    I don’t work in this manner and Irish members of our group can comment if this is the way it is done in Ireland.

    Interested outsiders are only gradually taught the group doctrines and only after a period of time are invited to private church events. The outsider will then be invited to attend a convention during which he/she will be shown about only by the workers and introduced to a few of the more “hearty” friends.

    I wonder how many Irish members of our group which agree with the accuracy of this statement?

    Although most of the workers deny the trinity (many say that Jesus was merely a man who became without sin through obedience to the law and lived as an example how to live, with the workers following on this example for the rest to copy), they will never admit that to an outsider. If an outsider stops attending gospel meetings, he/she is considered to be “unwilling” to “accept the Truth”.

    My personal conviction is the trinity doctrine and creed has some correct parts to it, but is at best an incomplete attempt by man to explain the nature of and the relationship between the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.

    The workers travel about a designated region in pairs. An older brother worker is paired up with a younger brother, an older sister worker is paired up with a younger sister worker. They cannot marry, do not work and instead rely on money donations from the friends.

    I have chosen not to marry. Marriage is good and a godly institution. By choosing not to marry I have proved it has left me free to devote myself more fully in seeking to serve and live for members of our group in pastoral work and for humanity in our evangelical work. I understand and acknowledge that some of the Apostles were married men.

    They also expect the friends to host them, do their laundry, cook meals for them for times that suit them and let them use their cars.

    Maybe a few ‘oddball’ workers are like this. It is a joke to suggest this is the norm.

    People often give them spare house keys to come and go as they wish.

    Yes they do, it reflects the measure of trust that many members of our group have of the ministry.

    To have the workers staying is perceived to be a great honour.

    Yes many perceive it this way and I also perceive it as a great honour that our people feel moved to open their hearts and their homes to us in the manner they do.

    When they are staying they often spend long periods in their bedrooms, during which the family members are expected to be quiet in their own home for the workers.

    Yes we spend time praying and reading the Bible preparing for meetings etc. Family members as a courtesy often try to be quieter when they know we are doing this. But I don’t ‘sweat that one too much’. If we are in a family home and children and the healthy noise that children make I don’t sweat that too much!

    People keep notes from worker sermons and value them as equal to the bible.

    I discourage our people from too much reading and feeding from notes. I encourage them to read and feed from the Bible.

    Photos of the workers are kept in photo albums, in bedrooms, in bibles and publicly displayed alongside photos of family members.

    Yes this does happen, there is a deep and wonderful and mutually joyful relationship between workers and our people.

    The workers always sit separately from everyone else during convention meals and meetings, as though they are too holy to sit beside the friends. At conventions they are always served first and fed better than everyone else.

    Again I can’t speak for Ireland where I live and work, A very few workers always sit separately. I am not fan of sitting separately, I enjoy fellowship and company of sitting and eating with whoever I sit next to wherever I get a place to sit and eat. Here they have trouble getting the table filled, too many other workers who have the preference I do!

    Little children are expected to give the workers hugs, even the workers they are unfamiliar with.

    Expected to? I don’t know about that? I do know that children ‘pick up the vibes’ of what their parents feel about workers and when they perceive that their Dad and Mom love and appreciate the workers that is flows over into the children also.

    Basically, people revere the workers to the point of worship.

    I strongly discourage anything along this line.

    As the workers are believed to be “the Word made flesh” it is not permitted to question a worker.

    How bizarre! I have heard of Jesus being spoken of as “the Word made flesh” but never a worker.

    The workers say that members should be like little children in all things- and that includes not asking questions (those who do ask questions or bring up an issue, have a “poor spirit” and are made to feel that the real issue is with them, not the group). The workers decide who can join the group and who cannot, they can excommunicate someone to hell. They say they have sacrificed their career and possessions along the chance of marriage and family for the sake of the friends, with the implication that the friends therefore “owe” their salvation to the workers.

    I believe and teach that salvation is the gift of God.

    The workers are very controlling of the friends. For an example: they do not want the friends to let their children play with outsiders, as outsiders will have a poor influence on the children. One of the ways workers control people is through surprise visits, meaning they can catch people out if they are doing something forbidden. Some workers just walk around the back of the house and walk right in the back door.

    There may be some ‘oddball’ workers like this! To suggest it is the norm is patently incorrect.

    As many teenagers are pushed into the group against their wishes in the early teens, most teenagers in the group live a double life; wearing makeup and trousers to university and then long skirts and no makeup when in the presence of the workers, nightclubbing on Saturday nights and then turning up for the Sunday morning meeting few hours later. Others turn to drugs and alcohol once they go to university and are able to escape the direct influence of the workers.

    There will be a few like this. What about the majority who are well adjusted happy young people.

    There are cases of workers and elders abusing children in a sexual manner. Although Noel Tanner is the only an Irish worker to be convicted for abusing young boys, there are others. A Cork worker was removed from “the work” in 2006 for taking advantage of a teenage boy in France but was never reported to the police. There are rumours of other Irish workers being involved in child sex abuse. To date fifteen workers and professing friends have been convicted for child sex abuse.http://www.wingsfortruth.info/convicted.htm

    Yes it is a matter of great sadness that there has been instances of child sexual abuse by members of our ministry and congregation also. This is inexcusable and wrong. I am glad of the enlightened, honest and transparent manner in which any instances of abuse are handled in the country in which I am living and working. I hope it is now also being handled this way in Ireland now.

    I understand that it is difficult for me to be impartial and objective, however every statement I made above is factual and verifiable. I am satisfied in Christ and as a member of the ministry of this group. Perhaps the post of Wyatt Hatt another ex member of our group provides a necessary balancing perspective to that of the writer of the opening post?

    Wyatt Hatt, on February 11, 2012 at 4:26 am said:
    My wife and I were in the group for 30 years and enjoyed 29 of them. Here’s what I liked, sincere personal spirituality, emphasis on sacred Scripture, praying every morning and night, everyone has a say from 8 to 80, participatory Sunday meetings, annual church conventions, genuine care for each other, personal self discipline and self improvement, no television or corrosive worldly nonsense. Community and spirituality are done very well within the group. In the end things went wrong because the group is unaccepting of other Christians, and our own spiritual growth took us in another direction. The people remain very kind and we have maintained our close friendships with those in the group. With regard to the negative criticism, it’s rather a different thing for those who were children in the group, and for whom leaving means eternal damnation. The critical literature and the criticism of the group mostly comes from what I would call “anal” Christians. You know, the kinds who define orthodoxy and demonize any alternative expressions or heterodox forms of Christianity. Generally, those who leave the group to become atheist or agnostic do not write the hate literature against the group; it’s those who tap into the “counter cult” ethos, and they all talk the same lingo. The “essay” above is common to this. But for some to break from the group, psychologically they have to “hate” the group. It is the only way to avoid being convicted in themselves. For many people the hate/anger is only a stage and they come to see the deleterious effects of the group on their own psyche in a more abstract way. The fact is, most in the group believe theirs is the only true Christian group, all others are lost. If it just happens that this is not the group for you, and you were born into it, there is no simple exit strategy. Your family will think you are “lost”. So .. a great group for many, not so great for some.

    Like

  403. Perhaps Wyatt Hatt, also an ex member of our group may which to comment on recent posts of ‘A current member of this faith’?
    As a worker any comments I would make would possibly understood to be defensive and partial.
    With Wyatt having been a member of the group for several decades and in a different country to Irvine Gray his comments could add balance, depth and a wider perspective than that to which Irvine has when he comments from his solely Irish viewpoint?

    Like

  404. If I do end up going to a new church it will be this one:

    http://www.oldwindsorchurch.org.uk/

    Like

  405. A current member of this faith. This is sensitive stuff and if you would like to contact me directly I can tell you more. irvinegrey@yahoo.co.uk

    Like

  406. Thanks a lot Irvine Grey. You sound quite interesting yourself. I would be interested to get in touch and find out what you’ve discovered. I’ve just found out that the title deeds of the new English convention grounds – in The Forest of Dean (Shap House, Shaphouse Road, Yorkley, Lydney GL15 4TY) are registered with a strange Northern Irish company called Langholme Operations Ltd. Their website is: http://www.armstrongmedical.net/
    Have you got any idea who these people are? This company paid £907,000 for the property in September 2011 and I know that it was originally on the market for £1,250,000. That is quite a drop in price. I know that the people who actually moved into the property relocated from another part of England and got £365,000 for their own home. That would explain the difference in price but not why their name is absent from the title deeds. I have heard all sorts of things about why the convention was closed at West Hanney but actually know nothing. It is precisely this brazen covering up that makes me so wild and somewhat suspicious. It is totally unchristian and dishonest to keep the friends in the dark about everything. The overseer should have written to each church explaining what was going on. I would be very, very grateful Irvine Grey, if you could do some digging. Many thanks for finally commenting on my posts.

    Like

  407. ‘A current member of this faith’. I have been reading your posts with interest and can clearly understand what you write. It has been made absolutely clear to me that there is no salvation unless one hears the Gospel from a messenger (worker).

    In my meetings, discussions and correspondence with overseers, workers and friends I get mixed views on this subject and not all take the narrow view that we get in Ireland.

    Like

  408. I’ve been adding to this blog under the title “A current member of this faith” – I was until a few days ago. I will be attending one more British convention for the sake of it and then it will probably be ta ta. I don’t feel confident or ready to attend any other church so I’ll have to rely on prayer, reading the Bible and fellowship with the ordinary Christians I’m friendly with. Satan has subtley manifested himself in my soul in the form of William Irvine’s doctrine and I’m going to need God’s help in cleansing me from it all. The second verse of hymn 158 comes to mind – “Just as I am poor wretched blind; sight, riches HEALING OF THE MIND – Yea all I need, in thee to find, O Lamb of God I come, I come” – This is just what the doctor ordered!

    Like

  409. The one hymn that I’ve always loved in the professing hymn book is 215 – Give me a tender heart. It is the prayer of my soul.

    Like

  410. This happy soundtrack from my favourite pianist truly expresses the joy in my heart that I’ve found in God.

    Like

  411. This obsession the workers have with spiritual bread and putting bread on the table of fellowship is irritating to say the least. All these professing cliches really get up my nose. Any normal God fearing individual gets help from prayer, reading the Bible and doing what it says. Not listening to a load of trite imaginings from the platform.The whole system of giving our testimony in the meetings is ridiculous. The self beration, the false emotion, sucking up to whatever worker happens to be present. it is downright empty and painfully vain. If the worker here can give me evidence in the scripture of needing to give our “testimony” (whatever that is), in the meetings I’ll be surprised and rather disappointed. Does the worker on this blog actually enjoy and feel comfortable with being hero worshipped and sucked up to by the friends when Jesus is the only one deserving of that kind of attention? Do they feel absolutely comfortable with freeloading off of people when the Bible forbids it? Do they think it’s right to be asked to hand all their money over to the overseer at workers meetings every year when the Bible doesn’t advocate it? There is no scriptural requirement for any of this nonsense and I would like to know why they blindly comply with it and then bleat that they are content and fulfilled. If you fully embrass the core doctrine of this way to your life it is physically impossible to be happy, content or fulfilled – unless you get thrills out of spiritual S&M. I’m afraid that to me it does indeed seem a frenzied craze to sow one’s life as seed in an earthly way that is founded upon misinterpretation of the scripture by a late Victorian false prophet. The workers preach that the will of God goes against our human nature. Rubbish. It is the false Gospel preached in error that does that. I’m willing for God’s will in my life and so far the only thing that has gone against my human nature is “The Truth” itself. This way very nearly turned me against God (note – the devil wants this to happen) but luckily for my salvation I started doing my research and came across Kathy’s wonderful book. I then felt a huge weight lifted from my heart and Daniel Durston’s presentation of the gospel helped convert me to Christianity. I now feel joy, happiness and contentment that the workers promised me for years but never delivered. That is my testimony and I pray it helps others.

    Like

  412. Some comments of East’s posts

    Jesus was prayed to and worshiped. He is God the Son.

    This poster would seem to be a Trinitarian? It appears he uses his particular understanding of divinity to make the following statement.
    “ I also wish you would seriously look at what the fellowship believes and what the bible says. There are serious inconsistencies between the two. Jesus was prayed to and worshiped. He is God the Son. “

    In doing this is he not stating his personal views on a subject that theologians have debated and have not been able to come to agreement and unanimity about over the greater part of the last two millennia?

    The bible never states we must worship in homes.

    This is correct and I have also never stated or taught that we must worship in homes. Yes I have stated that the Bible makes mention of the NT church practice of gathering in the homes of its members. We are proving it still work well in the 21st century.
    Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

    1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

    Salvation is by grace though faith and not by how true we are or how much we work at being good.

    This is what I believe and teach.

    Jesus came to die for our sins, not to set up a homeless two by two ministry.

    Yes correct he came to die for a sins, that is primary.
    While on earth he also chose some of his disciples to become his first apostles. He then gathered these same men and gave them the commission we read of in Mat 28 and told them he would be with them until the end of the world.

    The bible allows preachers to get married and it allows preachers to be paid.

    Yes some of the apostles were married. I have made a personal choice not to marry. Marriage is good and God’s order. By choosing not to marry I have found it has left me freer without family responsibilities to devote my life and time to the calling of God to the ministry.
    I don’t know what you mean or refer to about allows preachers to be paid? Perhaps you have biblical references?

    God does not care of a woman wears only dresses and skits. There is no difference between wearing something nice in your hair or on your blouse or wearing it around your neck or from your ears.

    You seem to have an objection or find and issue with the modest manner in which many women of our fellowship dress?

    When you question someone’s relationship with Jesus based only on where they attend fellowship, you are questioning the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I wonder at you making such a statement? You seem to use your particular trinitarian view of divinity to suggest the fellowship has a serious inconsistency with the Bible. Are you questioning the work of the Holy Spirit in revealing to members of the fellowship Jesus Christ?

    Jesus was directly asked where to worship and he never once said only in homes.

    You are quite correct. I have never once said otherwise

    Buildings on convention grounds are no different then a church in your town or city. They both are used for meetings and services, the only difference is how often people gather at their location. Would all these convention grounds be owned by professing people if not for convention itself? What’s the difference between owning a hall for gospel meetings and renting one out? Does God really care about the difference between the two?

    You have expressed your views about our practice of annual 3 or 4 day convention. I am proving that I am getting spiritual bread and help

    Like

  413. Also I watched Songs Of Praise yesterday and it struck me how much happier everybody looked than the friends and workers ever do in the meetings. I felt really uplifted by it. In contrast I come out of missions making a mental note to double the dose of anti depressants I’ve been on since November 2005. There has got to be something in it. God would never ever enforce on us some way that made us miserable. This way has left me confused, wounded and very miserable. I am an honest English 26 year old with no agenda. People that love this way must enjoy the outward side of it and that feeling of superiority over all others outside of the way that it generates. It makes me quite nauseous actually. Somebody mentioned on this page that part of Kathy’s book was inflammatory and went down hill from chapter 3. What is this chap wittering on about? I’ve read the whole book and it is completely honestly written and backed up with scripture. You’ve got to be prepared to listen to the truth otherwise you will come a cropper. A line in one of our hymns says “bitter the cries of deluded men”. I seriously wonder how many professing people this will apply to on the Lord’s return.

    Like

  414. Another thing. Her Majesty the Queen is the only person on this earth I’m prepared to look up to as a Christian example of how to live. We are taught in this faith to keep our eyes focused on Jesus but in reality our eyes end up getting focused on the workers through no fault of our own. It is simply the nature of the whole thing. They might as well preach in the missions “Repent ye, the workers are at hand”. The Queen has done so well and is a deeply religious woman. She has adhered to the scriptures better than anybody I’ve met. I find it really upsetting that anybody can seriously believe she’s going to hell. That is what the workers and half the friends are basically saying.

    Like

  415. I notice nobody has bothered to comment on my two posts. That in itself is interesting because what I’ve said is pretty strong for a professing person.

    Like

  416. East a well presented and balanced post. Thanks. You could always give me some help with my research!

    Like

  417. Wyatt Hatt wrote above with regard to The Church Without A Name by Kathy Lewis that “There is another book with exactly the same title, by Lynn Cooper…..”

    This is an incorrect statement by Wyatt. The book I wrote is titled The Church With No Name. The title is not exactly the same.

    Like

  418. To the anon. worker,

    You and your colleagues say that you are all “poor” and “homeless”. I would like to know how a “poor”, “homeless” person can afford to be online considering how the majority of homeless people I have met can barely afford a sandwich, never mind pay for Internet in an Internet cafe. Since you and your colleagues claim to have no salary, no spare belongings and no home, how come many of the younger workers have laptops, blogs, facebook accounts and bank accounts?

    Like

  419. …you would see the “sweeping generalizations” are actually accurate, just like the uninvolved wike editors did.

    I don’t see where the Wikipedia editors did that in your link. What I do see is a typical struggle around an article due to a paucity of sources that meet Wikipedia standards. This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence on Wikipedia and articles can get published that even the authors know isn’t accurate because of sourcing issues. I’m not joking about that last point either – much of the earlier incarnations of the project chanology article were known to be inaccurate by the editors but, due to not having reliable secondary sources that had accurate information, the article had to stand (Cirt was involved in some of those debates iirc).

    Basically, Wikipedia strives for verifiability not truth. It is a pretty good system, and if you do due diligence on the cited sources Wikipedia is a fabulous source of info. But what I said above still stands – your link in no way supports the sweeping generalisations and the editors never even broached that topic.

    Like

  420. To the professing people reading this page – Most likely you’re a very nice, thoughtful, caring, and giving person. I wish you nothing but happiness and love. But at the same time, I also wish you would seriously look at what the fellowship believes and what the bible says. There are serious inconsistencies between the two. Jesus was prayed to and worshiped. He is God the Son. The bible never states we must worship in homes. Salvation is by grace though faith and not by how true we are or how much we work at being good. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Jesus came to die for our sins, not to set up a homeless two by two ministry. The bible allows preachers to get married and it allows preachers to be paid. God does not care of a woman wears only dresses and skits. There is no difference between wearing something nice in your hair or on your blouse or wearing it around your neck or from your ears. When you question someone’s relationship with Jesus based only on where they attend fellowship, you are questioning the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was directly asked where to worship and he never once said only in homes. Buildings on convention grounds are no different then a church in your town or city. They both are used for meetings and services, the only difference is how often people gather at their location. Would all these convention grounds be owned by professing people if not for convention itself? What’s the difference between owning a hall for gospel meetings and renting one out? Does God really care about the difference between the two? Here are 4 verses about Jesus being God the Son Isaiah 9:6 John 1:1 John 20:28 Hebrews 1:8

    Like

  421. themadhair if you would research what’s been written about the friends and workers fellowship you would see the “sweeping generalizations” are actually accurate, just like the uninvolved wike editors did. For instance here’s the “good article reassessment discussion ;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Good_article_reassessment/Christian_Conventions/1

    I admire you for registering at TMB, and wanting to learn more. But I wouldn’t fault you if you decide to not take the time it would take to learn enough about the fellowship and it’s counter advocacy to form an accurate and objective conclusion.

    Like

  422. themadhair – apology accepted! My research is near an end and I have had an opportunity over the past three years to listen to the views of a vast cross section of the movement and that includes overseers, workers, friends and exes and have been treated graciously by each one.

    Like

  423. (themadhair, Upon consideration I think you must be confusing my posts with others when I read things like “You have made various comments, and in sweeping generalisations when doing so …”

    Some examples of those sweeping generalisations:

    ” Generally, those who leave the group to become atheist or agnostic do not write the hate literature against the group; it’s those who tap into the “counter cult” ethos, and they all talk the same lingo.”

    ” Doesn’t it strike you that the better conditions are in the group, the greater the rejection that will be experienced by those who are pushed out or who leave?”

    ” All that aside, the information provided by ex’s, like Kathleen Lewis’s piece of crap, contain wilful amounts of distortion of the facts.”

    ” The final comment is that the ‘counter cult movement’, and some ex’s have bought into their ethos and literature, reports everything through the optics of ‘orthodoxy’.”

    Like

  424. (themadhair, Upon consideration I think you must be confusing my posts with others when I read things like “You have made various comments, and in sweeping generalisations when doing so …” I’ve only made a couple of comments on this subject. And it would take an inordinate amount of time to correct your characterizations, before we could move on. Sorry about that.

    Like

  425. themadhair, I have no desire or interest in rebutting your wilful distortions of my points. Time is too short for that. You win. Goodbye.

    Like

  426. I have reviewed some of the threads on the ‘Truth Meetings Board’ forum that Jesse linked to earlier, and it has led me to realise that I was unfair to Irvine Grey in one of my earlier posts.

    Jesse posted material regarding ‘apostates’ that I took exception to, and within this context I took the word ‘cult’ to refer to harms. I was unaware that Irvine and Jesse had exchanged views on this previously, and I was too hasty with my comment about theologians knowing little about this issue.

    What I failed to recognise is that Irvine is concerned with the 2×2 group from a mostly theological perspective, and that his use of the word ‘cult’ is solely within a theological context. Sorry about that.

    Like

  427. @Irvine, Non-trinitarian church fathers clearly had “place” within the early church.

    Like

  428. I’m interested in dialogue but not at a theoretically abstract level. So I will skip Kent’s paper.

    I find this a little odd.

    If you are going to offer comments of a generalised nature that are inaccurate then you should expect others to challenge said comments, and where possible present supporting materials in aid of the challenge. You have made various comments, and in sweeping generalisations when doing so, concerning ex-members that I feel are highly inaccurate and in need of being challenged – this was the reason I cited the Kent paper as it touches directly on this issue. For you to decree that you will skip this source while simply continuing with misleading comments about this topic, much of which is directly addressed in Kent’s paper, strikes me as odd.

    All that aside, the information provided by ex’s….contain wilful amounts of distortion of the facts.

    This is a staggeringly myopic generalisation, and one which you are simply stating without sufficient supporting argumentation (and one which the Kent paper directly speaks to if you read it). Do you realise that your basic argumentation structure is little more than basic ad hominem? That you are simply discounting material you disagree with via your use of the label ‘ex’?

    The final comment is that the ‘counter cult movement’….

    This seems to be your general approach to this thread – to attack ex-member credibility (with a complete lack of argumentation to support that attack) and generally attribute any negative stories from said ex-members to some sort of counter cult movement conspiracy that you seem to believe exists. To make these references once or twice isn’t unusual, but to continue doing so repeatedly in a manner that means you are not addressing the actual content you are purporting to challenge starts to get a bit strange.

    Let me try to put this another way. Do you see why your approach neither addresses the content on display nor is inspiring of dialogue?

    …I would characterize most of the literature on the Internet as “modern anti-Scientology thinking” …

    What…??

    Maybe I’m a radical on this, but surely any document one comes across should be examined critically..? Regardless of its source? Again maybe I’m a radical here, but isn’t what makes a given claim true/false or a document truthful/false whether that claim or document accurately describes reality…? And that the only way you can determine truthfulness of a claim/document is to examine the actual claim/document? Rather than ascribing it to a source and pigeon-holing it without actually analysing it…?

    Like

  429. Should read, ‘I have read some quotes by workers’.

    Like

  430. Wyatt wrote, “Here’s an example, the group is marginalized by being called anti-Trinitarian, when it is actually Trinity-agnostic, as arguably the early church was. You were free to draw your own conclusions about Christological questions, and so it is within this fellowship”.

    I have read some quote by workers that certainly point to an anti-trinitarian stance. You suggestion that the early church was Trinity-agnostic is without foundation and a close study (but to name two) of John’s Gospel and 1 Corinthians point to the Trinity. If by the early church you mean post New Testament, then we have Tertullian and many others who were Trinitarians!

    Finally, regardless of the political or social correctness of a movement that claims to be Christian, if they fail to embrace the truths of Scripture, because there is no other benchmark, then they preach another gospel. Galatians 2:6-10.

    Like

  431. In summary, I would characterize most of the literature on the Internet as “modern anti-Scientology thinking” meets old-line, exclusive Protestant denomination. (There are broad sociological similarities between this group and others of which we are familiar: Old Order Mennonites, Exclusive Brethren and Apostolic Church of the Nazarene. Others that we don’t know of personally, but seem similar, include Haldeman Mennonites and Brunstad Church. For those who study these groups, that is the vein in which this group resides.)

    Like

  432. Regarding the Church without a Name book, the first 2 chapters are reasonably accurate although highly coloured in tone. Then in the third chapter, we see statements like this one, “They [the workers] claim to be the only ones who are unified in their understanding of scripture. In actuality, they don’t understand the Bible, they don’t teach the Bible, they aren’t united in beliefs, they don’t obey the Bible, and aren’t honest with the Bible.” Rather inflammatory, I would say, and the book proceeds rapidly down hill from there. (There is another book with exactly the same title, by Lynn Cooper, and although also quite polemical, is better in tone. I mention it to avoid confusion.)

    Like

  433. Apologize for the typos in the above, but there is no ‘edit’. Let me know if something does not make sense.

    Like

  434. themadhair, I’m interested in dialogue but not at a theoretically abstract level. So I will skip Kent’s paper. Let’s begin with a common point of agreement: within the context of the group there is a lack of information. For example, within this group CSA is mainly a taboo subject. This is not because of active or overt suppression, but because a collective ostrich mentality on the part of many members. There are both insiders and outsiders ‘in the know’, through the Internet, and especially through the ‘Wings for Truth’ web site, which again, includes both insiders and outsiders on its board.
    All that aside, the information provided by ex’s, like Kathleen Lewis’s piece of crap, contain wilful amounts of distortion of the facts. They don’t provide an accurate picture. One of the main problems with these reporters, by and large, is that they have no academic training on reportage; no ability to sift factual objective information from their very negative feelings about things. Those ex’s who have had a little more training, some of them, have done a commendable job. The ‘Telling the Truth’ web site has provided primary sources for everything on their site. The wikipedia articles also are not bad in that respect.
    The final comment is that the ‘counter cult movement’, and some ex’s have bought into their ethos and literature, reports everything through the optics of ‘orthodoxy’. I think someone on this board posted something to the effect that its not about orthodoxy versus heterodoxy, but much of the criticism (including the wikipedia article) is filtered through those optics. Here’s an example, the group is marginalized by being called anti-Trinitarian, when it is actually Trinity-agnostic, as arguably the early church was. You were free to draw your own conclusions about Christological questions, and so it is within this fellowship.

    Like

  435. There is no reason that a lack of open discussion within the group would thus make those exiting “a valuable source of information”.

    If there is a lack of open discussion within the group, and consequently no information reaching those outside the group, then those exiting are a valuable source of information simply because they are the only source of information for those outside.

    I think the best example of the value of exiting members is in the documentation they can provide. Thanks to members who left a group I now have thousands of pages of internal documents that I would otherwise have no access to.

    In terms of the factors involved, I think Kent’s paper from last year is a great exploration of the topic:
    http://griess.st1.at/gsk/fecris/warsaw/Kent%20EN.pdf

    Like

  436. THIS IS THE BEST PICTURE I CAN FIND OF GRACE WITH HER MUM

    http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Grace+Jones/Jean+Gachassin/Grace+Jones+French+Open+Paris/dygDuMPpGaX

    Like

  437. Me again. I’ve just refreshed my memory about Grace Jones’s Corporate Cannibal song/video and the last time I watched it I hadn’t read Kathy’s book. Now I have, this song could easily be about “The Truth” as a whole or a system (NOT any particular worker or “friend”). Please watch it ALL THE WAY THROUGH and post your honest opinions. Ignore all the pre conceived ideas you will have. Grace Jones was brought up in a strict religious environment in Jamaica, and is a kind down to earth lady with a radical dress sense and priceless sense of humour. She still loves God and her Mum is lovely.

    Like

  438. “Part of the reason why those leaving a group are considered a valuable source of information is because, frankly, groups don’t really have a good track record of openly discussing problems within the group.”

    This is simply illogical. There is no reason that a lack of open discussion within the group would thus make those exiting “a valuable source of information”. They are independent variables. In the present case, I have found some reliable and balanced reporters both inside and outside the group, and some unreliable and unbalanced reporters, again, both inside and outside.

    Like

  439. Important Note

    This blog uses Akismet, which is an anti-spam tool. It is very good and it means that you, the readers and comments, can enjoy a spam-free commenting section. Last year Akismet removed 39,140 spam comments, so I hope you can appreciate how valuable this tool is for us.

    Unfortunately, this means that when genuine comments post a comment containing two or more weblinks those comments get added to a moderation queue. As this requires one of the Dialogue Ireland administrators to approve the comment this will cause a delay in the comment appearing on the blog.

    To avoid this delay we recommend that comments try to keep their comments restricted to using one weblink only. If you really must use more than one weblink then please remember that your comment will be picked up by our spam-filter and placed in a moderation queue for approval. Please have patience with us if there is a delay in such comments being approved.

    Thank you.

    Like

  440. Can someone please tell me how to make something appear in quotes like have been done in the replies so far and then I will post my comments

    You have to use the blockquote tag.

    Example, if you type this:
    <blockquote>Text</blockquote>
    You will get this:

    Text

    Why is it that the general tenor and health of the group is judged by those who have left? Doesn’t it strike you that the better conditions are in the group, the greater the rejection that will be experienced by those who are pushed out or who leave?

    That is one factor, but the other more important one is the correlation between how controlling a group is and their commentary. I also think there is a similarity between this situation and the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    What Dunning-Kruger discovered was that the more ignorant of a given subject a person was the more likely they were to over-estimate their ability, while the more expert in the given subject they were the more likely they were to under-estimate their ability. When it comes to groups and the leaving thereof, we are familiar with the idea that the more benign a group the more likely a person leaving that group will be towards over-criticising. But the more abusive a given group then the more likely a person is to understate their experiences.

    Part of the reason why those leaving a group are considered a valuable source of information is because, frankly, groups don’t really have a good track record of openly discussing problems within the group. This should be evident in the most extreme cases where, in hindsight, serious problems existed but were unlikely to be divulged from the membership (for a variety of reasons, eg: if the person held the group was the only way to salvation).

    I think a very important point needs to be raised here about how problems arise within groups. A group doesn’t start out with issues, rather they develop over time. This can involve something simple like holding the idea that the group has the ‘truth’, and over time that idea leading the group to becoming more and more isolating from the moderating influence of outside dialogue. It must be emphasised that the reverse of this can (and does) happen with problems being remedied by groups internally through firstly recognising the issue. There are various factors that can help problems to fester (eg: isolationism, intolerance towards outsiders, information control, inability to consider criticism, etc.) and, by contrast, there are factors that help mitigate such problems (dialogue, transparency, consideration of criticism, member freedom, etc.).

    Basically what I’m trying to get at here is that this issue is actually quite complex.
    Your account of your experience is valuable and it adds to the debate, while the two-sentences I quote above are far too sophistic to do so given the nuances involved.

    Like

  441. Hi Worker. If you mouse over the the three little icons below the comment box it says “Log in to use details from one of these accounts.”

    I think that quote box option might be part of the “details” available if you log in to comment.

    Like

  442. I was born and raised in this group and so were my parents, Grandparents and Great Grandparents (they joined the group in their 30s). I was brought up to believe that this church dated back to the 1st Century AD and have only just found out from Kathy Lewis’s book that the whole thing was founded on the whims of a simple minded, brutish, late victorian with a dislike of everybody. The fact I had to find this out for myself after my 26 years on this Earth does speak to me of a cover up. Everything in Kathy’s book seems quite well balanced and scripturally correct to me and I’m still “professing” (this term makes me cringe along with all the other putrid terminology we have been brought up to use).
    I sincerely want to know the truth of God and I find the meetings and workers don’t make sense and Kathy does. I’ve read her book and it has really helped me to come to terms with the severe depression I’ve suffered from all the negative doom mongering I’ve been bathed in at hundreds of grotty missions through my growing up years. I really love the Christian God and I strongly feel that there is something not quite right about what the workers are preaching. I have got an elderly relation in the work and I would never willingly think of them as a fraudulent preacher even if I was bitter. But this is people’s salvation that is being played with here. I watched a really uplifting video on You Tube the other night of Daniel Durston (my Dad knew him) and his take on the Gospel. I felt so happy and that I had found the real Jesus. Then all the awful gulit, fear, doubt and general hopelessness I’ve picked up at years of missions flooded back in and spoilt it immediately. After this happy experience and taster of Jesus I watched another video from one of the friends and felt so freaked out that I had to call my good non professing friend immediately and actually told him I was afraid the meetings were an unassuming front for the devil’s work. I am not easily freaked out but this felt Satanic and creepy at the very least, in a way that even Grace Jones’s Corporate Cannibal video cannot match.
    Watch these 3 videos and then the fourth one and tell me your own honest and unbiased opinion from the depths of your heart. I’m not biased or dishonest. I LIKE TO BE TOLD THE TRUTH AND WILL NOT BE LEAD BY THE BLIND. IF I AM WRONG AND DOING GOD A MISERVICE THEN I APOLOGISE TO HIM BUT NOT TO YOU LOT. DO YOU HEAR FRIENDS AND WORKERS AND OUTSIDERS AND EVEN THE BLOODY ATHEISTS? GOOD. NOW THEN…

    1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEYLPcLd5Qk
    2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ3Kh6Pulgk
    3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LckYKHQYkSc
    4 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYx3wiXsMPg
    Moderator note: When posting YouTube video links please try to trim off the excess parts of the weblink. This makes it much easier for people who have to copy & paste those weblinks in order to view them.

    In closing I think each head worker should tell everybody to read Kathy’s book and then the truth, whatever it is, will prevail. We don’t want Satan to win.

    Like

  443. I meant, Regarding quoting of text.

    Like

  444. Regarding quoting if text. The following will help in many situations, not just here. Select the text you wish to quote, with your mouse. Then press ctrl-c (which means press c or C while holding down the Ctrl key). At this point, nothing happens. Now click in where you wish to place the quote. Press ctrl-v. All that text should magically appear. Add the quotations marks, and touch up the quote and you are done.

    Like

  445. Appreciate this post by Wyatt Hatt, it certainly shows a different perspective of the group by an ex member than that of the opening poster and that of members of the counter advocacy movement that have posted since.
    Once a staff member of Dialogue shows me how to make a post in the manner I ask above I will be glad to give factual details of my experience which is different to that of the opening poster.

    I appreciate the opportunity Dialogue gives to offer the members of this group who do access the internet the full right of reply.

    Like

  446. Why is it that the general tenor and health of the group is judged by those who have left? Doesn’t it strike you that the better conditions are in the group, the greater the rejection that will be experienced by those who are pushed out or who leave?

    Like

  447. My wife and I were in the group for 30 years and enjoyed 29 of them. Here’s what I liked, sincere personal spirituality, emphasis on sacred Scripture, praying every morning and night, everyone has a say from 8 to 80, participatory Sunday meetings, annual church conventions, genuine care for each other, personal self discipline and self improvement, no television or corrosive worldly nonsense. Community and spirituality are done very well within the group. In the end things went wrong because the group is unaccepting of other Christians, and our own spiritual growth took us in another direction. The people remain very kind and we have maintained our close friendships with those in the group. With regard to the negative criticism, it’s rather a different thing for those who were children in the group, and for whom leaving means eternal damnation. The critical literature and the criticism of the group mostly comes from what I would call “anal” Christians. You know, the kinds who define orthodoxy and demonize any alternative expressions or heterodox forms of Christianity. Generally, those who leave the group to become atheist or agnostic do not write the hate literature against the group; it’s those who tap into the “counter cult” ethos, and they all talk the same lingo. The “essay” above is common to this. But for some to break from the group, psychologically they have to “hate” the group. It is the only way to avoid being convicted in themselves. For many people the hate/anger is only a stage and they come to see the deleterious effects of the group on their own psyche in a more abstract way. The fact is, most in the group believe theirs is the only true Christian group, all others are lost. If it just happens that this is not the group for you, and you were born into it, there is no simple exit strategy. Your family will think you are “lost”. So .. a great group for many, not so great for some.

    Like

  448. As a ‘worker’ or member of the ministry of this group I wish to post comments on a number of the statements of the original poster.

    Can someone please tell me how to make something appear in quotes like have been done in the replies so far and then I will post my comments

    Like

  449. Here is an email that I received in the last few days from an unsolicited contact who had visited my website. It is one of the more moderate emails so perhaps Anon would like to address the statements:

    ‘I left the church because for a multitude of reasons, which seem to be growing and complex. I’ll try to explain simply.

    – It was exclusive, an us vs the world mentality supported by fear and doctrine of ‘unworthiness’

    – It is works based. I believe that God and Love are one, and the friends do not apply any real love towards anyone outside the group. They’ll bend over backwards for the workers and other friends, but not anyone in the world (exceptional circumstances aside)

    – Extrabiblical traditions that must not be broken. These include engagement rings, long hair, strictly homebased churches, no consumption of alcohol (although addictions to sugar, coffee, work, hobbies was ok)

    – Salvation based on church attendance. If you didn’t go to meeting without valid reasons, you were seen as struggling.

    – I just saw a world out there that needed help, and didn’t feel supported by the friends and workers to go help it.

    – Lack of transparency with funds, workers meetings etc.

    – Lastly, a concern regarding rumours of sexual abuse that get swept under the rug and forgotten about.’

    Like

  450. It looks like Anon is throwing names about at random and arguing with people to avoid addressing the issues mentioned in the post. Would Anon care to address the child abuse issues mentioned?

    Like

  451. Many have tried to start other forums, many have come and gone and about the only one that it still around is the one I linked.

    The main reason for establishing the forum was to have a place for removing off-topic comments from the blog. We do not like to delete comments unless there is a very good reason for it. Unfortunately, due to the volume of comments some of our blog threads get, it doesn’t take much for a thread to get dragged off topic. By the having the forum we can simply relocate any off-topic comments without having to delete them, allowing that discussion a place to progress (which, admittedly, hasn’t successfully happened yet).

    Like

  452. Those last two comments were me.

    Like

  453. Should read; That is a smaller number of people than at one of our conventions here in the US!

    Like

  454. “We are referring to our site, not the one you keep name dropping:
    http://dialogueireland.org/forum/index.php

    I looked at your forum, I doubt very much that many, if any, will be signing up to post there. Many have tried to start other forums, many have come and gone and about the only one that it still around is the one I linked. Even the one I listed has about 80 members sign on a given day, and 720 viewers. That is a smaller number of people at one of our conventions here in the US! Most friends and workers cannot be bothered to respond to the author of this article, because they generally happy and satisfied. That’s the vast majority that authors like Kathleen Lewis et al and the author of this article don’t speak for. Yet they act as if they alone have all the absolute and universal facts and truth about the fellowship and have an exclusive right to speak for everyone in it. Then when someone like me posts anything that points out the possibility that their view is an extreme one I get this;

    “Unlike you however, I am not blind to its faults and in my own way try to encourage necessary change, especially in regard to CSA.”

    Maybe my posts come across as the extreme opposite of the opinions of Kathleen Lewis et al – if that really is the case that means there is by default a whole lot of middle ground that is unrepresented by Lewis, the author of this article, et al.

    The factual and objective middle ground is this; people like Lewis, the author of this article, et al hold an extremely subjective and one sided view that does not represent the vast majority of those in this fellowship.

    It is what it is.

    Like

  455. Dear Dialogue Ireland, Thank you for your excellent website and this factual testimonial from a person raised in the church which claims to have no name. The reason the leaders claim to have no name is because they are liars who want to remain anonymous and undetected. They refuse to admit their false, unscriptural doctrines even among themselves. They refuse to repent of their sexual crimes and sins against many of their members. They refuse to admit that they actually have plenty of money which they selfishly keep to themselves. The leaders of this group have caused untold mental anguish, psychological damage and sent thousands of people to hell with their false gospel and false god. This group does NOT fit the Biblical definition of a church at all. It is a pseudo religion based the on Masonic traditions incorporated into it by William Irvine, its founder, who was a Mason for over 50 years.

    I receive letters all the time from people who are suicidal, depressed, confused, and some who have come to hate God because of the abuse they suffered within this secretive organization. The amount of people in the group with obsessive compulsive disorders is a problem for them and it is testimony to the damage done by the spirit of the group. The beliefs and invasive persuasion of the leaders are damaging to the ability of their followers to make good decisions or to think logically.

    Those remaining members who live in denial of reality or who have managed to insulate themselves from the damage done to them or the damage they have done to others are living a fantasy.

    Kathleen Lewis
    Author of the book, The Church Without a Name

    Like

  456. I am genuinely sorry if you interpret my post as rude or sarcastic. it is certainly not intentional. All that I asked you do is give a refutation of the claims made in the post and instead you resort to a personal and unwarranted attack on me personally.

    Maybe you take the view that by making personal attacks it will divert attention away from the subject. Or perhaps you simply do not have a defence so you attack!

    Like

  457. Irvine, I certainly hope that you employ a different technique whilst attempting to obtain interviews with members of the group for your thesis. The use of rudeness, sarcasm and derision never got anybody anywhere.

    I also hope, for your sake, that your spelling and grammar will be somewhat more orthodox in your scholarly writings.

    I may consider your request for information if and when you ask politely and respectfully. It is disconcerting that it is necessary to speak to a doctorate student like a five year old. Perhaps you should work on acquiring some common manners before furthering your studies any more. The ability to communicate respectfully may be more beneficial to you than a number of letters after your name.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Like

  458. Anonymous Go on and help us all and refute the claims made and that will provide the unintiated with clarity. ‘without any evidence’ and ‘unbacked-up claims’ is not a refutatiion.

    I will use a fairly inoxious claim from the statement ‘Some secretly have TVs in their attics. Most teenagers now watch TV online – while feeling superior to outsiders with their “sinful” TVs.’. Surley you can take this and say this is wrong because……. Or you could say if this does go on they are not abiding in the spirit of the meetings. Go on help us out and explain more other than making vague comments.

    I look forward to your rigorous and spirited defence

    Like

  459. Deleted as per the earlier warning

    Like

  460. “Please address the post not make accusations or generalised attacks. ”

    What about the accusations and generalised attacks in the original article? That’s just fine?

    Here’s the TMB discussion on it;

    “2×2 on Dialogue Ireland”

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=18841

    Like

  461. “Dialogue Ireland has been approached by a person who grew up in the “Two by Twos” and has requested our assistance to alert the public to the controlling nature of the group and issues of abuse and the violation of Human Rights.”

    Irvine Grey started a thread on that forum that gets to the heart of the above, themadhair you might be interested in reading it;

    “IS THE 2X2 MOVEMENT A CULT?”

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=18360

    Like

  462. DI moderator, there already is a forum;

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general

    Members have engaged about highly subjective articles like this one many times on that forum.

    We are referring to our site, not the one you keep name dropping:
    http://dialogueireland.org/forum/index.php

    Like

  463. “Unlike you however, I am not blind to its faults and in my own way try to encourage necessary change, especially in regard to CSA.”

    Emerald, check your PMs on TMB…

    Like

  464. I rarely respond to folk who post anonymously since I believe they usually lack the courage of their convictions. However, you comment is of interest to me as a researcher since I must be objective when it comes to selecting material that I can use.

    I realise that this posting on the 2×2 movement makes some very strong allegations and if it contains lies it would be more helpful if you could identify the inaccuracies so that we can decipher right from wrong.

    In the process of my research I have met, spoke and corresponded with many deeply sincere fok in the movement. On the other side there have been those that have related accounts to me that are not dissimilar to some of the statements in the posting.

    I realise that every story has two sides but no objective research can countenance an embellishment of the truth simply to discredit the other side.

    You could always communicate with me directly through my website.
    DI Moderation: Regardless of which side of the argument is presented we encourage people who are the victims or members of a group to use our forum to engage. The essential nature of this comment section is to allow people to leave comments in a totally confidential and anonymous manner. This has nothing to do with courage or lack of courage, but allows a safe place to engage in this subject.

    Like

  465. xxx xxxxxxx is known to many, and those who know her would agree that she is not a source to be turned to for factual information.

    xxxx, it’s time to move on, allow others to live in the manner in which they wish to live, and quit telling lies.

    Anonymous naming people here without any evidence is abusing that person and using your anonymity in an abusive manner.
    Please address the post not make accusations or generalised attacks. We will edit your personal naming of a person this time, but in future will delete your total comment. If a person makes a comment or post you can of course respond, but not make assertions without evidence

    Like

  466. Perhaps Jesse, but you’ve used my Tongue-in-cheek comment before as a support to your own particular bias.

    There are parts of Ireland where the early workers are still spoken of because of their rantings against the clergy. The first workers came to these parts in 1910 and the stories have been passed down so that when there was a mission in the area a few years ago, no outsiders would attend. The Impartial Reporter has never been circulated in these parts so the editorial cannot be responsible.

    As a member of the church, I agree with much of what the original statement says, the only difference is that like you, I’m prepared to remain within the church. Unlike you however, I am not blind to its faults and in my own way try to encourage necessary change, especially in regard to CSA.

    Like

  467. Let us not get sidetracked into the partiality or otherwise of Trimble or word definitions. I would find it interesting to see more interaction with the post itself which should be the subject after all!
    DI Moderation: We would suggest that Jesse take these words to heart. This post is not to be used to side track us into the issue of apostates and rarefied attempts to change the subject. We have a forum where you can register and have any discussion you wish. If we notice a tendency to divert from the post we will remove that material to the forum.

    http://dialogueireland.org/forum/index.php

    Like

  468. Sorry Emerald.

    There’s other information on that thead that reveals partiality and journalistic bias on William C. Trimble’s part.

    Like

  469. Jesse, my comment regarding the partiality of The Impartial Reporter has been taken out of context. The impartiality referred to concerns the fact that the paper recognises its readership is largely contained within the Protestant community and DOES NOT refer to any journalistic bias.

    Like

  470. “From the six copies of your post that made it into the moderation queue.”

    I don’t know what happened but I did not click “post” more than once for any of the posts I made here. I was actually surprised how well this comment section works.

    Like

  471. where did you get the idea I did?

    From the six copies of your post that made it into the moderation queue.

    Some consider the idea “collective guilt” a logical farce because ultimately groups are made up of individual people – therefore individual people harm other individual people.

    Not a very convincing argument given that, in the absence of the group structure, those harms do not occur. I’ll illustrate this with reference to the Scientology organisation which is the one I am most familiar with. Ex-members, whether they are in the US, Germany, Australia, etc. tell the same stories of disconnection, the same stories of being brought to financial ruin, the same stories of being coached and drilled to handle critics, etc. independently of where they are from. The thing linking them is obvious – the group structure itself. Trying to argue this should be considered in terms of individuals doesn’t explain this, and would seem to me to have fallen at its very first hurdle.

    Religious Freedom Watch site

    You may want to reconsider using this as a source given that it is little more than a Scientology funded attack site. But I’ll do you the courtesy of tacking the Lonnie D. Kliever article you linked to.

    In the past, apostates were roundly condemned for abandoning their faith.

    Apostasy is a public renunciation and condemnation of one’s former religious beliefs and practices.

    This is major error in methodology, but unfortunately seems quite typical in this sociological analyses. The implicit assumption is that rejection of the group involves a rejection of a faith. Not only is this empirically incorrect (for example see “Disaffiliation Among Scientologists; A Sociological Study of Post Apostasy Behaviour and Attitudes” which discovered that a majority of ex-members still practiced the faith) but it completely misses the point. If a group is abusive and a person leaves then religion, or lack thereof, has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    I have been using the following analogy to illustrate the problem here. Imagine a chemist writes about bubonic plague. They do diligent research, write up detailed spectrographical analysis on the molecular structure, explain in depth the various different chemical propensities of the compounds, etc. etc. Academic and scholarly, but it is a complete and utter waste of time if the research doesn’t look at the impact of the plague on human life. This is the same ‘missing the point’ that sociological analyses like the above are guilty of. I would even go so far as to describe talking about these issues in terms of faith to be a profound misunderstanding of the underlying dynamics involved here.

    The Church of Scientology’s special interest in the question of the reliability of apostates is based on the fact that it has been the target of apostate-based media “exposés” and civil litigation.

    This puzzles me. In terms of Scientology, and with reference to my experiences in Ireland, the ‘apostates’ could present evidence for their claims. For example I have a stack of receipts from ex-members evidencing their claims regarding financial pressure. I also have stacks of internal Scientology documents and policy letters which spell out how members are to be milked for money. The reason I mention this here is because, when contrasted the bland dismissal like the above, there is a pretty obvious disconnect to be seen.

    Certainly all new religions hold beliefs and practices that are at variance with mainstream religions.

    This continuous reference to contrasting belief structures is really missing the point. To see the problem with this you need only look at what has occurred in Ireland with regard to the Catholic church. When priests and bishops acted against their own personal moral judgements by not reporting cases of sexual abuse, out of undue deference to a hierarchical structure, I would argue that the word ‘cultist’ applies. Here is a clear cut example in a mainstream religious group where undue influence of the group lead to the proliferation of harms to members of that group. The dynamics of the situation are not complex and are independent of any religious aspect.

    This type of realisation is not only absent from the analysis, but that what analysis is offered would actually bar such a realisation. It highlights a pretty shocking hole in the methodology being used.

    Contrary to public opinion, the overwhelming majority of defections from new religious movements are a matter of voluntary apostasy.

    This is quite a misleading statement on a number of grounds.

    Firstly, it is regurgitating the flawed faith-based analysis I challenged previously.

    Secondly, it is committing the same flawed aggregating methodology I discussed in a previous post. If you have 100 groups and 99 of them are benign (the vast majority of groups are benign), and you do a study on all 100 groups does it make sense to claim, in response to an ‘apostate’ of the non-benign group, that “ the overwhelming majority of defections from new religious movements are a matter of voluntary apostasy”? It is technically true statement but, as I said, it is very misleading since it carries with the implication that the 100th group is also benign. It is sort of like taking the average height of adults and concluding that dwarfism doesn’t exist.

    Their dynamics of separation from a once-loved religious group is analogous to an embittered marital separation and divorce. Both marriage and religion require a significant degree of commitment. The greater the involvement, the more traumatic the break-up. The longer the commitment, the more urgent the need to blame the other for the failed relationship.

    By this ‘reasoning’ is it fair to conclude that domestic abuse doesn’t exist since, whenever someone speaks about their experience in an abusive relationship, those people are clearly apostates?

    They often receive the self-justification they are seeking from anti-cult organizations or fundamentalist religious groups, both of whom provide them with the brainwashing explanations to rationalize their sudden adherence and equally sudden abandonment of a new religious movement.

    In most cases, these apostates were either forcibly separated from their religious community through the intervention of family members and anti-cult groups, or soon came under the influence of anti-cult groups and literature after their own voluntary defection from a new religious group.

    This is empirically false when it comes to the Scientology organisation. The data I refer to is from the CoS exit survey, whose results you can access here:
    https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/cofs-exit-survey-is-now-live.51158/page-4#post-1061598

    The vast majority answer “no counselling ever”, and yet the vast majority are also highly negative of the Scientology organisation. That the organisation is actually abusive explains this data, but the model proposed in the sociological analysis does not. It is also worth pointing out that, while not the majority, the number of ex-members who still practice some form of Scientology (whether through FreeZone or on their own) makes sense if the organisation is abuse, but not under the model being proposed in the analysis. The reasons for leaving question also garnered results which utterly fly-in-the-face of this model.

    This where this sociological analysis really falls down – it never once deals with specifics. Presenting a general theoretical framework is certainly fine in an academic context, but this analysis tries to go much further than that, trying to draw definite conclusions concerning reliability by painting an entire spectrum of people with more mischaracterisations and sophistic reasoning than I can shake a stick at.

    Frankly, that this type of shallow analysis is so common in this type of writing actually bugs me. The notion that a group like Scientology is consider ‘bad’ solely due to the accounts of misinformed ‘apostates’ is extremely naïve, and yet this is what this type of writing relies upon. There is other supporting evidence such as the internal documents themselves, the results of investigations, the video and audio recordings from undercover journalists, etc. that all play a role in evidencing the ‘apostate’ testimony in case like the Scientology organisation.

    Like

  472. Irvine to be accurate *I* did not say the article was nasty – the wiki editor said that. Click the link and see.

    Not all agree the Impartial Reporter is impartial;

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=general&thread=17376&page=1#392945

    Like

  473. Jessie I do not want this to become the Jessie and Irvine exchange but I must defend the Impartial Reporter – i will declare my interest – it is the local paper that I grew up with and yes it is generally impartial.

    As to the reporting of those early convention sermons that you interpret as nasty. Neither of were there but at least I was born in 1946 and with grandparents who professed in 1935 so threfore I did have an opportunity to meet some of those who attended the first conventions. I even met Edward Cooney. Some of the outbursts in these sermons was nothing less than scurrilous in the statements made about local clergy and churches. I think your description of Trimble as counter advocacy is over the top.

    An example of the preaching is ‘John Wesley is in hell, William Booth is in hell, Spurgeon is in hell, etc.’ Another one ‘the clergy came from the Roman Catholics and the Roman Catholics came from the devil’. Hardly edifying outbursts. But worse still when I put the first statement to a senior Irish worker and asked if he concurred with the statement he demurred to answer!

    As to Heresies Exposed of course it covers many movements and I too would like to know the idenity of WMR. As to Wiki I do not trust them as a reliable source or a disinterested party – anyone can contribute. Certainly we could never use them as a source in a thesis.

    Like

  474. I didn’t click “post” any more than once for any of my posts, where did you get the idea I did?

    RE your first comment; a discussion about collective guilt, collective responsibility, collective apology can become a very long one. Some consider the idea “collective guilt” a logical farce because ultimately groups are made up of individual people – therefore individual people harm other individual people.

    Like

  475. @ Jesse

    If you include two or more weblinks your comment will get caught by the spam filter and be delayed from appearing. Please try to restrict you comments to only one weblink.

    Also – when your comment gets caught in this way please don;t repost it another five times ok?

    Like

  476. Jesse your posting ‘The Validity of the Formula’ in opposing the use of the term cult ignores that the scholars you quote are sociologists and not theologians.

    Theologians know even less about this than sociologists.

    The key point here is that the issue, in terms of being a problem, is not beliefs – it is when a group develops a level of undue influence that causes a person harm (whether financial, societal, mental or otherwise). Bringing theology into this doesn’t address this dynamic.

    Like

  477. Hi Irvine.

    I have a copy of “Heresies Exposed”, it exposes a lot more than the early Friends and Workers fellowship as heresy – only five pages are on the “Cooneyites”. Roman Catholicsm is included as heresy, and a cult since the book professes to be “An examination of the prevailing cult of today”.

    What I’d like to know is who wrote the section on the Coonities – who is W.M.R. ?

    Even then the fellowship had a counter – advocacy led by William Trimble of Impartial Reporter fame. Even uninvolved wiki editors noted the nasty flavor of the Impartial Reporter;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Astynax/Archive_1#No_longer_so_sure_about_that_graphic

    Lots of interesting discussion from “uninvolved” editors (not connected in any way with the fellowship) on the wiki talk pages. Their opinions are probably the most objective. They flat out reject sources like RIS.

    Jesse

    Like

  478. @ Jesse

    I have serious issues with the research of Bromley, Shupe, Wilson, Melton and Introvigne which I will try to describe briefly here.

    In essence the sociological model that they use just doesn’t seem to reflect or acknowledge the actual harms that some groups cause, and this is largely because of the aggregating methodology their research employs. The underlying flaw, and this is what I mean when I say ‘aggregating methodology’, is that the general conclusions you draw about group A, B, C, D and E may not be applicable to group F – but these researchers don’t seem to realise this.

    The vast majority of groups in the world are benign. So when these folks analyse a stack of such benign groups (calling it research into ‘New Religious Movements’) and then try to apply their conclusions to a group that may not be so benign problems occur. This is why you had situations like Gordon Melton claiming that Aum Shinrikyo couldn’t have done the Tokyo gas attack, or why you had Massimo Introvigne claiming that the victims of the Legionnaires of Christ were paid liars who were infested with greedy lawyers.

    No matter how you paint it, these are two specific cases where the ‘scholars’ got it horribly and catastrophically wrong. When you consider the methodology involved, and how it inevitably leads to not determining whether ex-member testimony is true or false, incidents such as these shouldn’t be surprising.

    Like

  479. Jesse your posting ‘The Validity of the Formula’ in opposing the use of the term cult ignores that the scholars you quote are sociologists and not theologians. There is little doubt that the theogolical definition of a cult is is different since its criteria is different. The term New Religious Movement may be the more politically correct term but if you read Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults or the definition of cult in Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology it may help you understand the use of the word from a theological perspective.

    You and I have travelled this road before and therefore you know that I am not condoning the use of the term, cult but we must be careful to not prevent one from expressing the conclusion that they have come to because of their experiences.

    Today someone handed me Heresies Exposed published in 1917, only a few years after the movement started and even then the movement stood accused of denying some doctrines that are fundamental to historic Christianity.

    Like

  480. Someone posted this on TMB about what I posted above;

    “And most of the public reading the article wouldn’t have a clue what you’re talking about and, furthermore, couldn’t care less. They will simply pass it off as someone blindly pounding the desk for their church.”

    If anyone does happen to care they can go to TMB and see for themselves if I or anyone else who questions the objectivity of this article is a brainwashed, beatdown, indoctrinated, automaton “blindly pounding the desk for their church.”

    Here’s the thread;

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=18841

    Like

  481. This is an accurate description for the USA also!! I was in for about 45 years – born and raised. There are six generations of my family involved in this church, and thank goodness at about generation four the younger people started making a different choice for their lives and are more “spiritually/emotionally” normal!

    Like

  482. I don’t see how posting this article’s link on TMB would draw anyone but TMB participants. Are you hoping for greater objectivity in a discussion here?

    Like

  483. Jesse the purpose of my posting the thread on TMB was not to get the discussion going on the TMB but to draw awareness to the posting and to get discussion going here which is likely to attract a greater cross section other than the usual TMB posters!

    Like

  484. Join teh discussion here if you’d like;

    http://professing.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general

    Like

  485. Here’s more;

    “The Validity of the Formula

    Scholars such as David G. Bromley, Anson Shupe, and Brian R. Wilson challenge the testimonies of apostates, who crying the word “cult” with stories often so compelling and frightening are just accepted as true by society and the media without question. One can almost imagine a similar situation centuries ago when a disgruntled former affiliate could conduce a woman before the establishment by simply accusing her of being a “witch”, and immediately bring upon her a terrible stigma—being able to use a known effective social weapon even for their own personal ends.

    Wilson found that hostile ex-members would invariably shade the truth and blow out of proportion minor incidents, turning them into major incidents. Bromley and Shupe discuss “captivity narratives” that depict the time in the group as involuntary and point out that the apostate is likely to present a caricature of his former group. Massimo Introvigne, president of CESNUR, found in his study of the New Acropolis in France, that public negative testimonies and attitudes were only voiced by a minority of the ex-members, who he describes as becoming “professional enemies” of the group they leave.[1]

    Wilson states “Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of law can readily regard the apostate as a creditable or reliable source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader.” [2]

    “Others may ask, if the group is as transparently evil as he now contends, why did he espouse its cause in the first place? In the process of trying to explain his own seduction and to confirm the worst fears about the group, the apostate is likely to paint a caricature of the group that is shaped more by his current role as apostate than by his actual experience in the group”—David G. Bromley, Anson D. Shupe, Jr. and J.C. Ventimiglia, “The Role of Anecdotal Atrocities in the Social Construction of Evil,” in Bromley and Richardson, Brainwashing Deprogramming Controversy, p. 156

    In a 1997 interview with Time Magazine, Gordon Melton (a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California) asserts that anti-cult figures give too much credence to the horror stories of “hostile” former cult members, which he says is “like trying to get a picture of marriage from someone who has gone through a bad divorce.” [4]

    References

    1. Wikipedia’s page on Cults: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult

    2. Wilson, Bryan R. (1994). Apostates and New Religious Movements. Oxford, England, UK.

    3. Wilson, Bryan R. (1992). The Social Dimensions of Secretarianism: Sects and New Religious Movements in Contemporary Society. USA: Oxford University Press. p.19. ISBN-13: 978-0198278832.

    4. Bonfante, Jordan (1997). ‘Apologist’ Versus ‘Alarmist’. Santa Barbara, USA. Time Magazine Vol. 149 No. 4: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1997/int/970127/religion.apologist.html

    Like

  486. There are a couple good articles about the psychology of Apostate’s testimony and their tendency to tell atrocity stories at the Religious Freedom Watch site, specifically;

    The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements (the section on types of departure)

    http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/religious-experts/credible-experts/the-reliability-of-apostate-testimony-about-new-religious-movements/

    Apostates and New Religious Movements

    http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/religious-experts/credible-experts/apostates-and-new-religious-movements/

    Like

  487. Absolutely spot on. How the author has described this church is exactly what it is and it is the same in Australia . This church is a cult that does lifelong damage and it brainwashes it’s members to live in a state of anxiety and fear. Sexual abuse is common although the church has become an expert at hiding this although a worker only just recently pleaded guilty in Victoria of this but had legal counsel provided by the church and received a suspended sentence.

    Well done on a very well written insightful accurate piece of writing.

    Like

  488. This narrative describing the “two by twos” (not a term used by those within it) is in my view both very accurate and very balanced. Those within the group (as I was for over 25 years) seem to not see the damage caused to themselves by the controlling nature of it. They do not seem to see the lies and have lost the ability to see anything for themselves.

    I have left now and it was the best decision I have ever made. You have to be outside to see in clearly!

    Like

  489. ‘Outsiders name us “Cooneyites” although that is a tiny faction that broke away from our group’. I am afraid this tiny faction did not break away from the group but Cooney was excommunicated in 1928 and a substantial number remained loyal to Cooney resulting in a breakaway faction. This group has now dwindled to a tiny faction.

    Like

  490. For a start we are not Two by two’s, and remember this is only one’s point of view among many thousands world wide who could give you complete opposite view.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: