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How TWI leaders used Way theology to get sex

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Former TWI president Martindale resigned after female followers of TWI filed lawsuits against him, alleging he exploited them for sex. His first thought must have been- "but I haven't done anything wrong." According to TWI theology, he indeed had not done anything wrong. We have a new article on www.abouttheway.org called

The Way's Theology of Sex: How Way Leaders Used the Bible to Promote Promiscuity and Adultery

it describes in detail how leaders used Way theology to persuade women to have sex with them, and how the Way's sex class prepared students for promiscuous sex. It includes accounts of Kristen Skedgell's sexual experiences with TWI leaders from her book Losing the Way.

link: www.empirenet.com/~messiah7/sut_sextheology.htm

It is striking that they used core Way teachings to do this. This is much different from clergy scandals in the Christian world (like Jim Baker/ Swaggert) in which the men never try to use the Bible to defend and promote promiscuity.

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Thank you for that article. It really helps to have someone's encounter put in perspective to see how this deception took place. It's eye opening to me even today that The Way International was dirty and not godly from the very get-go. It's too bad that many people who were searching for God got deceived.

I sat through The Christian Family and Sex Class many times. I remember thinking something wasn't right, but I couldn't put my finder on it. I was 19 years old, and I was already indoctrinated enough that I didn't dare question what I was taught.

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good read. thanks for taking the time to research and write it, and for continuing to maintain your website.

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I personally was never subjected to this other than an incident my wife reported to me about a leader taking the practice of "greeting fellow believers with a holy kiss" being taken to the extreme. However, I was always a wierded out by the kissing of believers and back rub thing...I thought perhaps it came out of the hippy influence on the way. Way too much familiarity and violation of my personal space for my liking. VP really crafted a doctrine for this time, the height of the sexual revolution. At my level in the way (well down the pecking order), I clearly thought it was taboo. If this theology would have been brought down to the level I was at, some of these clowns may have got the crap beat out of them or worse. I would most defintely would agree that CF&S was bizarre to say the least. Even subjecting people to pornography who may have been seeking deliverance in their lives of this obsession, could well have sent the wrong message that it is somehow OK. I suppose I was amongst the naive who really had no idea, however after hearing the first hand accounts from those who were abused, I definitely believe them to be true.

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Quote from the article:

The fact that core Way teachings can so easily be used to promote immorality is a good indication that those Way teachings are false, too. Bad fruit of immorality indicates a bad root of theology.

I disagree in part with this premise. It purports to infer that if immorality is present, the theology is false.

What it fails to mention is that immorality likely will be present whether or not the teachings are true or false.

I do agree that twi failed to adequately teach that adultery and fornication is sinful... which likely helped along the increase in these sinful practices; but this does not mean or equal that the teaching on the seven administrations was evil or false. That is folly, and flawed logic.

Where did VP get the seven administrations from, Bullinger?

So since Bullinger was of good moral character, shall we say that it was the fruit of the seven administrations teachings?

After all, good fruit or morality indicates a good root of theology?

Not really. I think the two should be separated.

Accordingly, I think the teachings should stand or fall on their own, irrespective of the behavior of the students.

The sins of the students do not negate the truths (or errors) in the teachings.

Edited by oldiesman

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Good fruit comes from fertile soil.

or something . . .

I'm a very bad student.

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Very good Doctor, I like it. Very direct, but also very hard for us. Because you do not give an opportunity to the Way theology. Is bad a very bad theology.

Edited by themex

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Without a doubt..........the dots connect back to wierwille.

No weasel room on this one. Wierwille OWNS the full burden of the CF&S material, the adultery sidesteps, and the sensual comments on those breasts and genitalia photos. The doggie porn in wierwille's "library" is the exclamation point.

By the late 70s, Howard was known for his tongue-in-mouth kisses.....and more than once, he publically stated that he wore those shiny red boots to look up womens' dresses. He also made claims to running down wierwille road with a woman jogger......cause he liked to watch her boobs bounce. Others can say alot more......

Then, of course......the whole issue of wows going to cities and single men & women housed together. Could it be that one of the attractions for some going wow was this arrangement? Even some newbies thought that this housing arrangement implied "free love" with my wow sisters.....and on three or four occasions, I had to show them the door.

But now......it's agonizing to see it all laid out [no pun intended] in full view some 33 years later..!! And, to think that there are still wierwille-apologists that think the guy walked by revelation.

Looks like wierwille reveled in something within his own grasp. :blink:

Edited by skyrider

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Dispensationalism lives at the very core of Way theology.

Wierwille based his whole "if you can handle it" philosophy on the concept of the Grace Administration.

His "to Whom it is written" thinking is addressed very early, session 5 to be exact.

Is the administrations line of thinking valid?

That's a topic best discussed in another forum rather than veer off course on this one.

And, in fact, a search will reveal that this very topic of administrations has been discussed previously.

I think Wierwille knew he was off base on the Grace Administration concept.

(Bullinger or no Bullinger)

That's why he carried it a step farther by teaching that when "adultery" was mentioned in the Bible, there was a secret, profound meaning behind its usage. Simply put, he taught that adultery was really referring to worshiping false gods. He even assigned it its very own devil spirit in the Advanced Class, the "spirit of whoredoms". Then he used the administrations lessons to "prove" it. Not satisfied to stop there, he instituted the "lock box" and even resorted to vile methods to insure the lock box stayed closed. He was really no different than the common child molester that tells his innocent, young victim that their relationship is a very special one and must be kept secret.

As John so aptly noted, the difference between what Wierwille did and what others such as Swaggart, Baker and others did is that Wierwille actually used theology to justify his actions. That is simply inexcusable for a man in a position that is supposed to be above reproach.

Edited by waysider

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Not to make this a topic about dispensations, but from H. A Ironside, a strong believer in dispensationalism writing about ultra dispensationalism. . . which is what I think TWI practiced and how VP justified alot of evil things.

“no hesitancy in saying that its fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands; it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth.”

"Other heresies that are common to some types of ultra-dispensationalism include such things as soul sleep and annihilationism. Still others proclaim a brand of universalism that grants salvation even to Satan himself. Without a doubt whatever name you want to call it, ultra-dispensationalism is a dangerous error that almost always leads to other even worse errors and often outright heretical teachings."

http://www.gotquestions.org/ultra-dispensationalism.html

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Wierwille probably appreciated the Grace administration not so much because it offered grace (even Moses did, through sacrifice, which is what the Mosaic law speaks so much of), but because it eliminated law. So he could eliminate restrictions against adultery, promiscuity, drinking, etc.

It is striking that Wierwille defended and promoted adultery not using orthodox Christian teaching, but doctrines such a the 7 administrations and separation of body, soul and spirit which are very uncommon among evangelical Christians.

It's likely he didn't come up with his teaching, then find rationalization in it for adultery. But rather that he was attracted to those doctrines because they suited his desire for sex outside marriage, greed and other moral failings sins). Way theology lends itself to immorality more than evengelical tecahing does, and Wierwille and others made use of it.

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It's likely he didn't come up with his teaching, then find rationalization in it for adultery. But rather that he was attracted to those doctrines because they suited his desire for sex outside marriage, greed and other moral failings sins). Way theology lends itself to immorality more than evengelical tecahing does, and Wierwille and others made use of it.

No idea if that was the case. What I do know was that adultery was not taught or practiced amongst the rank and file. Every once in a while you would have a corp person come around and pull the old "date and switch," but limb coordinators seemed more likely to turn their heads the other way than to be involved in such activity.

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Course it wasn`t taught to rank and file believers...that was one of those *you have to be spiritual enough to handle it* teachings.

When you heard one of *those*, you didn`t want to act like you WEREN`T mature enough.

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I agree that the theology pertaining to sex wasn't specifically taught to the rank and file. In fact, in Fellow Laborers, if one were caught having sex, it would result in a rapid dismissal. Looking back, though, lots of little pieces to the puzzle come together. For example, why would Wierwille teach the sorts of things that were taught to the rank and file in CF&S? Grooming is the only explanation I can think of. Why, in the Advanced Class, did he teach that adultery was really referring to "spiritual adultery" and, more or less, denigrate those who weren't "spiritually mature enough" to understand its deeper meaning? Why did he teach in the AC, that there was a devil spirit responsible for blinding peoples' understanding of "deeper matters"? (Surely you wouldn't want to admit to not understanding deeper spiritual matters, would you?) Lots of incidents that seemed to make no sense at the time, suddenly become much clearer in view of the larger picture. And, it goes beyond just the sex. There was his inordinate "fondness" for alcohol consumption that was passed off as necessary because he was carrying such a heavy spiritual weight and had renewed his mind to handle it. (Don't let your common sense trick you into considering something may be out of line, just "renew your mind".) That was his way of saying that his way of thinking was right and yours was wrong. Even as early as the PFAL class, he was promoting his attitude on this subject when he taught about smoking and non-smoking Christians. "Do as you fool please", he said. (paraphrased) And there was the phrase "Do what you like as long as you like what you do." which he delivered with a wicked grin. He used his bogus interpretation of dispensations, artificially giving unprecedented significance to different Biblical eras to rationalize his loose morals. He promoted a foot loose and fancy free life style for the "spiritually mature". At the same time, he promoted a line of thinking that seemed to imply that if you weren't seeing "truths" that were deeper than what was written, you were a spiritual weakling (or worse), thus encouraging people to come around to seeing things his way whether they really did or not. It wasn't a secret he kept hidden from the masses. It was an entire, distorted belief system that he openly taught and endorsed. It was right under our noses the whole time, hidden in plain sight.

edit: spelling

Edited by waysider

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"If you love God, and love your neighbor as yourself, you can do as you fool well please."

=============================

Ok.

Take a minister who leaves his denomination with stories of "inappropriate behavior with his secretary".

Then send him to where there are Christians and some people pushing "free love" and orgies.

Why is he there?

http://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/index.ph...st&p=160989

Jim D explained it.

" As we relaxed and had a second drink, he asked Judy and me to describe what is was like

to attend an orgy. We were taken back by the question and embarrassed by it, because even though it was part of our testimony in our deliverance from sin to God's righteousness, no one had ever asked us to describe what it was like to go to an orgy.

We found his curiosity shocking. But we gave him a brief description which is really all we could give him since our encounter with an orgy had been so brief. We had attended one orgy sponsored by the San Francisco Sexual Freedom League, but we were so overwhelmed by the spectacle that we had left after twenty minutes.

"You know that's all available," V.P. said. "God put it in I Corinthians 7:1 which He said 'It is good for a man not to touch a woman.' If it wasn't available to have sex outside the marriage God would have said 'best' instead of 'good.'"

I could not believe what I was hearing. I responded with, "I just thank God that He pulled our soul out of that pit of debauchery." When Judy and I went to bed, I said to her, "I don't believe what he said tonight, and I'm going to forget it. I must have misunderstood him."

vpw told Jim God said orgies were "available."

==============

""Weirwille sought things to validate his position. He did NOT research the word and change his opinion to IT. I becamed pretty good friends with Jim D*0p. He told me that he, Jim, had a ministry where they were sexually loose and an anything goes kinda group out in California. Weirwille flew out there, telling folks it was to talk with Jim about the Bible and witness or something to him. Jim told me Weirwille flew out there to LEARN from Jimmy about the free sex thinking. Weirwille said he always believed sex should be free and allowed with as many as you feel you want to be with -- but could NEVER prove it from the Bible. He was there to see if Jimmy could prove it was okay via scripture.

D0*p never really could and was more of a hippie minister than a sexual pervert looking for Biblical validation.

Weirwille had these concepts, notions, urges, illnesses and tried to find a way to SELL them to us. He was not about to CHANGE his thinking according to scripture. He was not a researcher. He was similar to a lot of cult leaders. He had an idea and looked for people who would buy into it. Like Charlie Manson."

=================

""He also told a small group at Emporia one night to teach their children about their bodies, "you can brush their nipple with your hand and show them how it hardens. You can show them not to be ashamed of their body reactions" Then he shared about the African Tribe where the Father broke the hymen of the daughters to get them experienced in sex to prepare them for marriage -- he thought it to be beautiful.

VPW had already let me see his dark side. Sitting there I thought OH MY GOD, this is subtle but

he is teaching this group that it is beautiful to teach your daughters how to have sex, it is just not accepted in our culture!

He was standing behind his sex problems and setting us up to have sex with our godly "family" as well as the earthly one."

Edited by WordWolf

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Course it wasn`t taught to rank and file believers...that was one of those *you have to be spiritual enough to handle it* teachings.

When you heard one of *those*, you didn`t want to act like you WEREN`T mature enough.

For me, it wasn't a matter of being spiritual enough to handle it. When I was confronted with the notion that I was not spiritual enough to handle the concept of date and switch, I told the guy that I had no idea what exactly he was being taught, but that there was clear verses regarding sexual behavior and that if he was in the situation where he had to do what he was doing to "bring someone to the word" that perhaps his believing was not up to par - as in not believing the class had value in and of itself.

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Quote from the article:

I disagree in part with this premise. It purports to infer that if immorality is present, the theology is false.

What it fails to mention is that immorality likely will be present whether or not the teachings are true or false.

The theology of twi oftentimes justified the immoral behavior.

...Was all of twi's theology wrong?...Absolutely! Why?...Because twi theology led people away from God and replaced God with men. Christianity is not an academic exercise...it's supposed to be about a practical relationship with God. Wierwille's theology was the antithesis to this...afterall, Christ was absent. Wierwille's sinful lifestyle was merely the bad fruit that came from a bad tree.

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Quote from the article:

I disagree in part with this premise. It purports to infer that if immorality is present, the theology is false.

It doesn't infer that if immorality is present, the theology is false. What it says is if immorality is practiced in light of clear scriptures regarding the immorality, the theology that allows the practice is false.

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The theology of twi oftentimes justified the immoral behavior.

...Was all of twi's theology wrong?...Absolutely! Why?...Because twi theology led people away from God and replaced God with men. Christianity is not an academic exercise...it's supposed to be about a practical relationship with God. Wierwille's theology was the antithesis to this...afterall, Christ was absent.

This is ridiculous. It purports to infer that those who believe Christ is absent or dead cannot have a practical relationship with God. So what about Jews, Hindus, Muslims?

What is more, TWI taught that Christ is alive and resurrected and seated at God's right hand, is our Lord and Savior, makes intercession for us, has fellowship with us, etc. Cherry picking one statement by VP out of its context is fraudulent and misleading.

Edited by oldiesman

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twi taught that christ has fellowship with us?

the other statements are just that, nothing more. they taught nothing.

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<snip>

"He also told a small group at Emporia one night to teach their children about their bodies, "you can brush their nipple with your hand and show them how it hardens. You can show them not to be ashamed of their body reactions" Then he shared about the African Tribe where the Father broke the hymen of the daughters to get them experienced in sex to prepare them for marriage -- he thought it to be beautiful.

</snip>

so, vpw actually encouraged incest. it makes me very sad to think there may have been some perverts in the room who took him up on the invitation.

funny, I head someone talk about this teaching when I was pretty new to twi. it seemed so "out there" that it didn't register on my brain as valid.

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twi taught that christ has fellowship with us?

the other statements are just that, nothing more. they taught nothing.

He is ALIVE in us via the holy spirit. "It's Christ in you, the Hope of Glory". Do you remember that teaching? I do. I'd say that qualifies as fellowship but you can believe what you want!

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He is ALIVE in us via the holy spirit. "It's Christ in you, the Hope of Glory". Do you remember that teaching? I do. I'd say that qualifies as fellowship but you can believe what you want!

Yep, theology was used to get sex.

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It doesn't infer that if immorality is present, the theology is false. What it says is if immorality is practiced in light of clear scriptures regarding the immorality, the theology that allows the practice is false.

I get what you are saying, but that is not what Dr. Juedes said. He wrote "the fact that core Way teachings can so easily be used to promote immorality is a good indication that those Way teachings are false, too." He is saying that because someone uses, for example, the seven administrations to excuse adultery, that the seven administrations teaching is false.

Folks, that is asinine, ridiculous logic!

The seven administrations teaching should stand or fall on its own, irrespective of how it is used, or the behavior of those who use it!

Conversely, here is an example of the seven administrations teaching being used to show that adultery in the grace administration is wrong. It is from John Schoenheit's adultery paper "Appendix A."

Appendix A

Reason:

In the Old Testament men were allowed to have more than one wife. Surely things are not stricter in the "Grace Administration" than they were under the Law. God must allow men to have intercourse with other women besides their wives, especially single women.

Answer:

Men were allowed to have more than one wife in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15). That is not the case in the Grace Administration as Corinthians, Timothy, and Titus make clear. Timothy and Titus are specifically addressed to leaders in the church. According to I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6, a "bishop" (episkopos), i.e., one who is a ruling elder, an overseer, in the church, must be the "husband of one wife." According to I timothy 3:12, the "deacons" (diakonos), i.e., one who serves in the Body of Christ, are also to be the "husband of one wife". Thus the Word of God clearly states that any man who serves in the Body of Christ must only have one wife. More than that, however, the Word of God declares that every Christian man should have just one wife and every Christian woman should have just one husband.

Corinthians, which is addressed to every believer, addresses the one-husband, one-wife issue. Corinthians says "Let every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2). This verse clearly sets the monogamous Christian marriage. If the wife is sharing her husband with other wives, then the husband is not "her own," but is shared property. Similarly, a woman is not to have more than one husband, for then she would not be "his own." Thus although the Old Testament Law allowed for more than one wife, the New Testament does not.

Believers in the Grace Administration are not allowed to have more than one wife, and they are not allowed to "sleep around" either.

I Corinthians 7:1:

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The essential meaning of the word "touch" in this context is "touch as if the woman were your wife." Bauer's lexicon handles the word "touch" as sexual intercourse with a woman. In the Grace Administration, the wife is to meet the sexual needs of the husband and vice-versa.

Even though the Old Testament Law made provision for a man to have more than one wife, there were laws governing people's sexual behavior. Each wife was to be well taken care of, having food, raiment and sexual companionship.

Deuteronomy 21:10

If he take him another wife, her food her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

Adultery was forbidden in the ten commandments and was punishable by death (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10).

Deuteronomy 22:22

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that shall lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

If a man had sexual intercourse with a free woman who was betrothed, that was also considered either adultery or rape. If the act occurred in the city, the act was considered to be adultery and the man and the woman were stoned to death. If the act occurred out in the countryside, the act was considered rape and only the man was killed (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). Thus, whether the betrothed woman was willing or not, if a man had intercourse with a betrothed free woman, he was killed. If a man had sexual intercourse with a slave who was betrothed, there were still consequences, but they were less severe. The woman was scourged (whipped) and the man fined.

Leviticus 19:20-22

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.

And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

It is noteworthy that even though the consequences for adultery with a betrothed slave girl were less severe, the act itself was called a "sin" twice in verse 22.

If a man had sexual intercourse with a single woman, he had to marry her.

Exodus 22:16

And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

The one exception to this occurred if the girl's father absolutely refused to let the man marry his daughter. In that case, the man was required to pay a fine equal to the "the dowry of virgins" (Exodus 22:17).

Even if a man found a single woman and raped her, he had to marry her.

Deuteronomy 22:28 and 29

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away (i.e. divorce her) all his days.

These two verses refer to rape, according to the context. Verses 26 and 27, just prior to these, refer to rape, and the words "lay hold on her" in verse 28 indicate rape. The New International Version translates Deuteronomy 22:28 and 29 as follows:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.*

One reason the Law of Moses specified that single girls marry the man who seduced or raped them was that if a girl was not a virgin on her wedding night she could be stoned to death.

Deuteronomy 22:10-21

But if this thing (the woman's not being a virgin) be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

From the above information it can be seen that Israel under the Law was not a sexual panacea, where men had the sexual affections of women freely available to them. If they had more than one wife, they had to make sure that each was well taken care of. If he seduced or raped a married or betrothed woman, he was stoned to death. If he seduced or raped a single woman, he was forced to marry her.

People have tried to say that the Old Testament Law does not forbid a man to visit a prostitute or have intercourse with his slave girls. Although it is true that in practice men did visit prostitutes and take advantage of their slave girls, had the Law been properly applied, this would not have happened. Thus, if the Law was carried out, the master would have married his slave girl, and the prostitute would have married her first customer.**

From the above evidence it can be seen that the men of the Old Testament did not live in a society where they had vast sexual freedom. Yes, they could have more than one wife, while we today in the Grace Administration cannot. Although the reasons why God allowed more than one wife in the Old Testament but only allows one wife today may not be clear, one thing is clear: The Word of God does say that today, in the Grace Administration, marriage is to be monogamous. Having sexual intercourse with a woman who is not your wife is a sin.

John shows from the seven administrations teaching that believers in the Grace Administration are not allowed to have more than one wife, and they are not allowed to "sleep around" either.

So if the seven administrations are false based upon the immoral behavior of some, or encourage adultery, how would you explain the above??

Edited by oldiesman

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