NO Name, 2X2: Dialogue Ireland Director is going to the Van der Hum Convention in Co. Laois June 17-20

Craig Fulton Richard Hughes

240px-Gill_Irvine_Walker

I have had a lot of contact with Craig Fulton over the past month and met him with another member of the group John Delaney on Monday. We had a very fruitful conversation. We have agreed to continue discussion on a number of crucial areas. This will remain confidential until we reach agreement or if not then I will share my own observations as will no longer be bound by confidentiality.
In the meantime I am going to participate in the full Convention of the Van Der Hums from June 17 to June 20.*

The Convention will be held at a private property on a farm near Carrick, Co. Laois about 3 miles from Cullahill on the old main road to Cork and between there and Rathdowney. There is a river where baptisms occur on the property.

300px-Dippersdippingt1907

Interestingly enough we are talking about Conventions and they obviously as I argue later have their origins in the Faith Mission and Irvine was a “Faith Mission Worker.” Not far from Carrick is the town of Durrow where the Faith Mission has a Centre.

http://www.faithmission.org/bible_teaching/irishmidlands.html

img19
*Growing up in South Africa I remember a liqueur called Van der Hum.
http://englishdictionary.education/en/van-der-hum
ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD VAN DER HUM
Of uncertain origin, but possibly derived from the humorous uncertainty of the name, equivalent of “whatshisname.”

Surely if we are going to hold a totally reductionist view of names, we should not call Craig by that name or use Fulton. You are the Van der Hums- the “What are their names.” If God called on Adam to name the animals it suggests that classification and categorisation are deeply embedded in our nature.
However reading over my post after meeting Craig and Richard nearly two years ago I gave them ample opportunity to reply to me. From the day I met them to this I have received no response. Why? Because the Van der Hums hate the idea of having to give a reason for the hope that is within them. They hate to deal with definition or just plain giving an answer to a simple question.

Convention

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/di-director-meets-with-two-workers-of-the-home-fellowship-of-christians/

I realised after my last meeting on Monday the same was going to happen again and asked Craig – (should I use his name?) to give me written replies to some of the issues I was addressing.
However, how can I make observations about the Van der Hums unless I go to one of their “””Conventions””” and participate as a participant observer?

Did you note I used a term which they use and it is not in the bible, so why do they use it? I found this link which has a devastating critique of the use of this non biblical idea.

http://2x2ministry.org/conventions/index.php

He writes, as follows: How Did Conventions Start?

“Being raised in a professing home, I knew that the workers preached against against church buildings and church property. And supposedly Sunday morning meetings were a continuation of passover (or so I was told). And Bible studies were held in homes. And “gospel meetings” were supposed to be like Paul preaching in synagogue on Sabbath? So then the unanswered, nagging question I had as a kid and as a big kid was, “Where are conventions in the Bible?” If we are following the Bible, then where are conventions in the Bible?”

 

He hits the jackpot with this conclusion,

“When Conventions Made Sense

When I learned that William Irvine was a worker in the Faith Mission and that the Faith Mission had conventions, then all the questions about conventions finally made sense. We weren’t having conventions because they were in the Bible, we were having conventions because William Irvine got the idea of conventions from the Faith Mission for which he used to preach.”

This then brings me to the issue of organisation and what you do in these areas?
Child Protection.
Who is providing the training and is independent of the Workers who are if I understand it correctly are living with families with young children. Who is part of your committee and have you got the systems in place?
https://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/Publications/ChildrenFirst.pdf

Charitable Registration
Incorporation?
Taxation
Bequests
Capital Acquisitions Tax
Capital Gains.

I felt that there was a head in the sand attitude to these issues and at all costs no structure was to be put on anything. This is not a biblical concept but rather an anarchic one. I am waiting for responses from Craig and John Delaney on these issues. After a comment was left after I posted this article suggesting that this was not anarchy I found this helpful article on the subject.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

Here as I responded to a comment on this post we are not thinking of people with guns and beards squatting in someone’s house.

Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on

<blockquote>voluntary institutions</blockquote> . These are often described as stateless societies,[1][2][3][4] although several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][6][7][8] Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.[9][10]</blockquote>
I alluded to the lack of a name after my first visit with Craig:

I mentioned that there used to be a Church in Abbey Street, Dublin 1 called 12C. Why? Because the Christians there just wanted to be known as Christians. However, people did not find that adequate so they called them 12C! They seemed to have no sense of their origins other than what had been passed down to them by oral means by former workers.” Irvine Grey in a sub title to his book called them a shapeless movement. I think they clearly have a shape of home meeting with from say 12- 20 people which are made up of the workers and the local members. Then there are public meetings like the ones advertised below. So rather than calling it shapeless I would say it has very clear sense of identity but it is anarchic.

 

 

 

meetings

Below is someone who is clearly a supporter and read this:

http://www.thetwobytwos.com/About_Us.html

The Church with No Name

“This is not entirely true, we do have a number of names as you can obviously see. What we don’t have is an incorporated name. Most Churches in the USA incorporate and take on an “official” documented name for legal reasons. But really there is no real structure to the Church, there are no buildings, no required donations, no vehicles, no salaries etc…etc..none of the general trappings of an incorporated Church. We are really an unincorporated Church, and it works.”
There was a time where one worker did try to incorporate the church, but it came to nothing, lesson learned.”

Let us unpack this further.

What we don’t have is an incorporated name.

Note his emphasis on a name. The issue here in Ireland is not what name you have but whether you are registered as a charity. You are actually acting under false pretences. You are pretending to just be a unconnected group of individuals whereas you have all the marks of common purpose. So I would not be surprised if you are reported and may receive a visit from Revenue at a Convention or one of your Sunday locations.

Note he continues and says there is no structure but concedes you are a church. He furthermore suggests you have no buildings when we all know as the earlier article on Conventions shows you do have these things and are in fact disguising the fact.
You are definitely, different from other bodies, but is it because you are not recognising Caesar?

“But really there is no real structure to the Church, there are no buildings, no required donations, no vehicles, no salaries etc…etc..none of the general trappings of an incorporated Church.”

He is clear where he stands,
“There was a time where one worker did try to incorporate the church, but it came to nothing, lesson learned.”

“We are really an unincorporated ***Church***, and it works.”

The charity I am Director of is also an unincorporated body, it is called a Trust.
It works and I am registered and submit accounts annually.

The Van der Hums are unincorporated and it is not working as I suggest with the long list above. I am looking forward to getting replies to my concerns and in the meantime I am going to get a Pastor who is an accountant on my board to look through what I have written here and see if it needs revision. See you all in Laois this Saturday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_by_Twos

 

6 Responses

  1. […] Dialogue Ireland on NO Name, 2X2: Dialogue Ireland Director is going to the Van der Hum Convention in Co. Laois June&nbs… […]

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  3. Traveller thanks for your comment, it is good to have you back commenting here. As you can imagine I can’t reply to you as I will be technologically challenged till I get back from the Carrick Convention on Tuesday. In the meantime could you tell me how you deal with Child Protection issues in your Christian group? I will get back to you on your very positive reply and will also call you to give you my impressions of the Convention.

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  4. The name issue:
    We DO take take a name! We unequivocally and unambiguously DO take a name!
    So what name do we take? We take the name of Christ and choose to own no other name or identity. Why would or should we also or instead of take some inferior denominational name?
    I am often asked in pursuit of our evangelical efforts “What is the name of your church?” A fair and understandable question in the 21st century with its 30,000+ Christian denominations! My response is that we take the name of Christ and own no other name or identity. Why should we?! I mention that if you asked Martha, Mary or Lazarus what church they belong to they would; with a puzzled look their face answer “Jesus Christ’s church of course! What other name could it could it be?” People get it! They say “yeah that is how is should be!” However from those for whom an identity and name other than Christ’s is necessary; the ‘2×2’, ‘no name church’ ‘cooneyite’ e.t.c. labels have spawned.

    Acts 4:12
    12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    Acts 11:26
    26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    They “hate the idea of having to give a reason for the hope that is within them. “
    I fail to understand the basis for this statement. We have no fear or disinclination to give the reason of the hope within us. It is contained within an nut shell in Colossians 1:27
    To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    Conventions
    “a devastating critique of the use of this non biblical idea.” is that an accurate factual comment?
    Is the word convention in the Bible? No
    What is the origin and basis for our conventions? Yes; 120 years ago Christian conventions were not an uncommon feature on the Christian landscape. There was the well known Keswick convention, yes the Faith Mission held conventions and numerous other conventions were held and still are held. My understanding is the conventions we have held from the earliest of our days would come from that environment. Am I ashamed of this; this ‘non biblical idea’ Absolutely not!

    Is there any Biblical basis for having a ‘convention’? Perhaps that question could be asked of the Keswick Convention folks or the Faith Mission convention convenors? But with respect to the conventions that we hold I will make these brief comments. In old testament days and including the times when Jesus was a child God’s people observed seven feasts in a year and for three of these they were required to journey up to Jerusalem. I’m not aware of these days they were all together being detrimental to them. No God planned that. There are instances; like after John the Baptist’s death that Jesus called his disciples to come for a ‘retreat’ out to a quiet place. That also did not seem to be detrimental to them. Today when our people go for a three or four day retreat /convention I haven’t yet seen anyone come away with a ‘scowl’ on their face! They almost without exception come away with ‘their cups running over’ from what they have heard and experienced.
    Is that a devastating critique of a non biblical idea? Not to those who come away satisfied and fed from their days away from the normal daily life. But yes I guess to disaffected ex members or non members who see and experience it a different way.

    Incorporation

    “Charitable Registration” “Incorporation”,”Taxation”, “Bequests” ,”Capital Acquisitions”, “Tax Capital Gains.”

    I have no knowledge of the laws of the Republic of Ireland and thus can only comment with reference to my country of residency. There is no need nor requirement for such under the laws of our country. This statement is made on the basis of professional advice that has been sought over the years. Interestingly our people do not expect in fact do not want that any gifts/offering they make to support the ministry would have tax exemption.

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  5. Mindmuser do you work in PR or as an attorney? You are certainly in quick before the ink is dry. I have been very busy but would like to reply before heading to the Convention. This might take two replies as it is time for bed over here.

    Glad to hear you are attending convention. You would have a fairly slim chance to get into a Sunday morning fellowship meeting…..for good reason (nothing personal). Not that there is anything nefarious going on there, but since everyone participates individually from young to old, it is a safe place for them to speak from the heart and there would be some unsettled if they knew they were being observed like lab mice.

    Not sure where this came from, I was only talking about going to the Convention and not a Home meeting and though it was suggested I was free to bring up any issue, felt I should have a low key role, but still engage with people in an open way.

    Regarding the financial aspects: taxation, charitable organization, etc. I think you are headed down a rabbit hole on that one DI.

    It is my considered position having consulted with an accountant on my board that it is the Van Der Hums who are going down a rabbit hole.

    Governments in most countries do not want groups registered as charitable organizations.

    The statement is bit sweeping, and it is exactly the opposite in this jurisdiction. There is a new Charities Registration Authority and it wants those engaged in charitable activities to register and clarify what their activities are. I assume you saw that Tanner was jailed last year, so the issue of Child Protection is a massive one in this state and the practice of men and women workers living with families and at the same time not having a properly constructed structure to address these terms could have very severe repercussions for the VDH. Who will guard the guards?

    Here in Canada, there is a high bar to register one. Why? They are a drain on the public purse.

    Here you have to show that you are in fact furthering religion in your case preaching the gospel, so whether they are a drain on the public purse is not relevant from my perspective. There is a need for transparency to give a reason for the hope within you. Explain what you are about. I believe in this discussion two issues are being confused. 1. Categorisation 2. Incorporation. You have failed to address my points on that at all.

    Government revenues are net higher with non-charitable organizations than when officially registered as charitable. I could take you through the numbers if you are interested but the principle is this: the ministry group and conventions are funded by after tax monies. A charitable organization is funded by pre-tax monies. Big difference. The net revenues to government is significantly different between the two…..and it is more stark for the more progressive tax structures. Where there is a flat tax, the differences aren’t as great but it still favours the registered church for their net cost for other reasons.

    You are really going on a bit of a tangent here. We are not debating what benefits the state, but what is required of VDH in regard to their fulfilment of discipleship. Though my financial adviser reminds you to remember what you call after tax is not in back after tax at all as there might be additional tax involved in these transactions.I think you have simplified this issue, but he will likely come back to you after a few days in reply.

    I note the following:

    On a biblical model for convention, I used to hear that it was loosely styled upon the early Acts Pentecost gathering in Jerusalem…..only nobody gets killed for not bringing 100% of their possessions into it. I’m not arguing in favour or against this being a good comparison, it is just what I have heard a few times.

    Did you mean to completely by pass the evidence I placed in my article by a former member of the VDH?
    I believe it is very unlikely that any terms you use are anything but part of the Faith Mission dictionary and practice. The Acts was based on Apostolic authority. Your movement tends to use the pre crucifixion and pre resurrection and Ascension narratives in regard to Workers being sent out.

    This what I published:

    http://2x2ministry.org/conventions/index.php

    He writes, as follows: How Did Conventions Start?

    “Being raised in a professing home, I knew that the workers preached against against church buildings and church property. And supposedly Sunday morning meetings were a continuation of passover (or so I was told). And Bible studies were held in homes. And “gospel meetings” were supposed to be like Paul preaching in synagogue on Sabbath? So then the unanswered, nagging question I had as a kid and as a big kid was, “Where are conventions in the Bible?” If we are following the Bible, then where are conventions in the Bible?”

    He hits the jackpot with this conclusion,

    “When Conventions Made Sense

    When I learned that William Irvine was a worker in the Faith Mission and that the Faith Mission had conventions, then all the questions about conventions finally made sense. We weren’t having conventions because they were in the Bible, we were having conventions because William Irvine got the idea of conventions from the Faith Mission for which he used to preach.

    And yes, there is a distinctive shape/organization. It “works” because it is not anarchic as you may think.

    Below is what I mean by Anarchism. Not violent revolutionaries but as it describes it.

    Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on

    voluntary institutions

    . These are often described as stateless societies,[1][2][3][4] although several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][6][7][8] Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.[9][10]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

    The organization part of it is also remarkably similar all over the world

    Yes it is organised chaos which is predictable but unlike the Freemen or those Christians who refuse to pay their divers licence and do not recognise the state, you do so it is just we disagree what is required of you. You are also going to produce a lot of psychologically confused people who are clear about their family name, and history but are unable to say who they are, where they came from without just saying we go back to Christ. How we must just accept it by faith.

    Just because the procedures and the polity are not written up in a church operating manual does not mean there is no system.

    I for one never suggested there was no system but it is a system which actually controls the flow of history tradition and thinking. It creates a conformist culture and not one that delivers critical thought. I by no means suggest it could not produce great scholars and thinkers but in my view it is in spite of your system.

    It very much exists in the hearts and minds of the workers and friends. I would suggest that the 2×2 church is well organized and anarchic at all.

    You have picked up a kind of revolutionary view of my use of anarchism, I believe I have explained it for you above.

    I would try not to confuse simplicity and accepted traditions with anarchy.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts on your post.

    Thanks for them and I will go with an open mind to hear what is said, eat and drink with the other pilgrims at the VDH CON VENTION

    You really did not address my conclusion or the fact that I am equally unincorporated and registered. Are you BC or AD?

    http://www.thetwobytwos.com/About_Us.html

    The Church with No Name

    “This is not entirely true, we do have a number of names as you can obviously see. What we don’t have is an incorporated name. Most Churches in the USA incorporate and take on an “official” documented name for legal reasons. But really there is no real structure to the Church, there are no buildings, no required donations, no vehicles, no salaries etc…etc..none of the general trappings of an incorporated Church. We are really an unincorporated Church, and it works.”
    There was a time where one worker did try to incorporate the church, but it came to nothing, lesson learned.”

    Let us unpack this further.

    What we don’t have is an incorporated name.

    Note his emphasis on a name. The issue here in Ireland is not what name you have but whether you are registered as a charity. You are actually acting under false pretences. You are pretending to just be a unconnected group of individuals whereas you have all the marks of common purpose. So I would not be surprised if you are reported and may receive a visit from Revenue at a Convention or one of your Sunday locations.

    Note he continues and says there is no structure but concedes you are a church. He furthermore suggests you have no buildings when we all know as the earlier article on Conventions shows you do have these things and are in fact disguising the fact.
    You are definitely, different from other bodies, but is it because you are not recognising Caesar?

    “But really there is no real structure to the Church, there are no buildings, no required donations, no vehicles, no salaries etc…etc..none of the general trappings of an incorporated Church.”

    He is clear where he stands,
    “There was a time where one worker did try to incorporate the church, but it came to nothing, lesson learned.”

    “We are really an unincorporated ***Church***, and it works.”

    The charity I am Director of is also an unincorporated body, it is called a Trust.
    It works and I am registered and submit accounts annually.

    The Van der Hums are unincorporated and it is not working as I suggest with the long list above. I am looking forward to getting replies to my concerns and in the meantime I am going to get a Pastor who is an accountant on my board to look through what I have written here and see if it needs revision. See you all in Laois this Saturday.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_by_Twos

    Thanks for your comments again

    I do not but I see a Pharisaic culture which is not simple and finds it hard by refusing to define itself caught in a complex web of complexity.

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  6. Glad to hear you are attending convention. You would have a fairly slim chance to get into a Sunday morning fellowship meeting…..for good reason (nothing personal). Not that there is anything nefarious going on there, but since everyone participates individually from young to old, it is a safe place for them to speak from the heart and there would be some unsettled if they knew they were being observed like lab mice.

    Regarding the financial aspects: taxation, charitable organization, etc. I think you are headed down a rabbit hole on that one DI. Governments in most countries do not want groups registered as charitable organizations. Here in Canada, there is a high bar to register one. Why? They are a drain on the public purse. Government revenues are net higher with non-charitable organizations than when officially registered as charitable. I could take you through the numbers if you are interested but the principle is this: the ministry group and conventions are funded by after tax monies. A charitable organization is funded by pre-tax monies. Big difference. The net revenues to government is significantly different between the two…..and it is more stark for the more progressive tax structures. Where there is a flat tax, the differences aren’t as great but it still favours the registered church for their net cost for other reasons.

    On a biblical model for convention, I used to hear that it was loosely styled upon the early Acts Pentecost gathering in Jerusalem…..only nobody gets killed for not bringing 100% of their possessions into it. I’m not arguing in favour or against this being a good comparison, it is just what I have heard a few times.

    And yes, there is a distinctive shape/organization. It “works” because it is not anarchic as you may think. The organization part of it is also remarkably similar all over the world. Just because the procedures and the polity are not written up in a church operating manual does not mean there is no system. It very much exists in the hearts and minds of the workers and friends. I would suggest that the 2×2 church is well organized and anarchic at all. I would try not to confuse simplicity and accepted traditions with anarchy.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts on your post.

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