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What is TWI's definition of an unbeliever?

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In the Power For Abundant Living class (aka PFAL), Wierwille teaches that when a person is born into the world they are a twofold being. They have body  and soul. Body is simply your physical being, your skin, bones, pinky toes and so on. Way theology defines soul as being one's "breathlife". In accordance with that definition, soul begins with the first breath and ends with the last and, as such, is only temporary. The spiritual component is absent. (Soul is sometimes referred to as the spirit of man and not to be confused with the spirit of God.) A third component, known as spirit, enters the picture if and when a person becomes a born-again Christian. The spiritual component is thought to be eternal. At that point, they are considered to be a believer. Without spirit, they are considered to be an unbeliever. That's the simple definition. As you delve into Way theology, however, it becomes progressively more nuanced. Calling someone an unbeliever is sometimes meant to have dehumanizing implications. Wierwille goes to some length in the PFAL class to differentiate between someone who has not heard enough to choose the new birth and someone who has heard but still rejects it. Those who lack the spiritual component are thought to be empty vessels, sometimes referred to as "empties floating by". There is definitely a sense of elitism that accompanies self identification as a believer. It becomes progressively more nuanced and elite, the deeper one becomes involved and committed to the organization.

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My recollection was that TWI taught that a born-again believer was somebody who confessed Christ as Lord and believed God raised him from the dead.  (Romans 10:9).   At that point you were a member of the body of Christ.   An unbeliever, then, was one who did not do this.

 

Those who were of "the household of faith" or simply "the household" were exclusively active TWI believers.

Edited by oldiesman

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5 hours ago, socks said:

I would also add in general agreement to many of the comments above that TWI's definition of an "unbeliever" was a mix of theology and what I'd call social prejudice. 

I'll explain - 

Those of us involved from the late 60's through the 80's know that the Way advertised itself as a non-sectarian and non-denominational group.

At the same time the Way was creating it's own denomination, so defined because -

if it succeeded in it's goals of "Word Over the World" (not Craig's later lack of interest in continuing to try and just declaring by sacred fiat that voila! it had been achieved)

then it would in essence create a new, "true" body of the Church that would stand out separately from all other denominations and churches by it's own, "accurate" and correct theology. 

While the Way liked to give lip service to the truth and fact that the New Testament teaches that the "church of believers" is ALL those born again of Christ, using the simplest and sparest of essential points of doctrinal requirement.....

They/We didn't live that, didn't apply that, didn't believe that part of God's Word. 

VPW taught that the "family" of God might include all born again believers, all "sons", all those who were born again but - 

The "household" was all the accurately taught and actively believing believers. "Standing" believers. And he taught from the epistles from the perspective that the "true believers" in the Way were the same "household" as the "true standing believers" in Pauls day. 

Within that he created sub groups of "corps", and "staff" and "WOW Ambassadors", and other forms of commitments that allowed for specific application of time, talent and service within that household of "standing believers" .....

............

 

In one's attempts to understand Twi's evolving definitions.....it's comparable to parsing the stages in Scientology.

In biblical terminology, the word that is being danced around here is.........seduce.

Those who got involved in wierwille's twi in the late '60s-mid-'80s.....were seduced into his denomination, cult.  Sure, many of us remember him standing next to Debra and singing "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" [look full in his wonderful face....].........BUT, did we do that?  NO. 

Men like Heefner, Doop, Anderson, and Wade saw it "up close and personal"........and EXITED.

IMO........anyone who stayed after 1978 was seduced into his cult.  Definitions, groupings, specific applications of service.......look at all the nuance and levels of "commitment" created by wierwille. 

  • Unbelieving Believer
  • Inactive Believer
  • Standing Believer
  • Believing Believer
  • EGADS........

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As of just a few years ago, the term "believer" had devolved to mean someone standing with TWI.  This is what was promulgated from the upper levels.  But we did have some individuals in my fellowship that understood there were believers all over the world that had nothing to do with TWI.

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I remember one of the earliest descriptions given by wierwille was in PFAL. Something along the lines of (with the exceptions of things like figures of speech) we were to take the Bible as literally true – with a mathematically exactness and scientific precision – his words at one point in the class.  What wierwille pushed was basically a Fundamentalist type view of the Bible – however it continually grew to an increasingly wierwille-centric interpretation.

I think over time how TWI defined a believer morphed on an ad hoc basis – whatever was needed to focus the mindset of the masses. Folks here have occasionally quoted an old TWI statement that clearly lays out the fundamental characteristics of a believer:

"The Way is a fellowship of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ for the manifestation of the more abundant life. A follower of The Way is filled with and manifests power from on high, holy spirit, and freely avails himself of fellowship meetings for spiritual nurture and growth. The Way fellowship is cemented together by the Spirit of God with each individual believer being transformed by the renewing of his mind according to the Word of God."

So, on the flip side – I would say an unbeliever is one who does not adhere to any of the above things I mentioned. My mindset when I was involved with TWI was as follows: If you do not stand with God's ministry which has more of the rightly divided word than anyone else, you are an unbeliever 

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5 hours ago, waysider said:

In the Power For Abundant Living class (aka PFAL), Wierwille teaches that when a person is born into the world they are a twofold being. They have body  and soul. Body is simply your physical being, your skin, bones, pinky toes and so on. Way theology defines soul as being one's "breathlife". In accordance with that definition, soul begins with the first breath and ends with the last and, as such, is only temporary. The spiritual component is absent. (Soul is sometimes referred to as the spirit of man and not to be confused with the spirit of God.) A third component, known as spirit, enters the picture if and when a person becomes a born-again Christian. The spiritual component is thought to be eternal. At that point, they are considered to be a believer. Without spirit, they are considered to be an unbeliever. That's the simple definition. As you delve into Way theology, however, it becomes progressively more nuanced. Calling someone an unbeliever is sometimes meant to have dehumanizing implications. Wierwille goes to some length in the PFAL class to differentiate between someone who has not heard enough to choose the new birth and someone who has heard but still rejects it. Those who lack the spiritual component are thought to be empty vessels, sometimes referred to as "empties floating by". There is definitely a sense of elitism that accompanies self identification as a believer. It becomes progressively more nuanced and elite, the deeper one becomes involved and committed to the organization.

 

So true.......it becomes progressively more nuanced in accordance with your commitment level.

  1. At first, you are born just "body and soul"
  2. When you receive holy spirit (via the new birth).....you become "body, soul and spirit" complete (#3 = complete)
  3. BUT......until you manifest this new creation within you (via speaking in tongues)....you are an "unbelieving believer"  (see the nuance)
  4. When you manifest holy spirit by speaking in tongues.......you know that you are heaven bound and all hell can't stop you from going (twi-version)
  5. BUT......you want to do more than THAT, don't you?  Therefore, you need to learn how to do "tongues w/ interpretation and prophecy"  (intermediate class)
  6. Thus, you now are able to EXHORT and COMFORT others in the ekklesia (the called-out body of believers) in orderly fashion in a believer's mtg
  7. BUT......you want to do more than THAT, don't you?  Therefore, you need to learn how to operate ALL NINE of the manifestations.
  8. Thus, you then need to sit thru twi's advanced class, memorize the 16 keys to walking by the spirit and all definitions of each manifestation.
  9. Now......you are FULLY TAUGHT (a mature believer)...........except you need to attend all meetings to be "faithful in the present truth."
  10. No matter how many decades you've been in twi.........the board of directors are always the LEADERS, and you are a lowly student.
  11. You cannot leave twi EVER.......or you become a cop-out, a greasespot-by-midnight, and if not dead, surely possessed.
  12. You are ONLY a "believing believer" as long as you jump thru all of their hoops, adhering to ALL OF THEIR MANDATES AND UPDATED CLASSES.

Okay, that's enough............now I've got a frickin' headache. 

 

.

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It would intrigue me if we could also get TWI to answer the question (the official line) and then further parse it out (even beyond the gracious answers from T-Bone, Waysider, and Skyrider) with the experience of current and more of the former followers of the sect.

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Outside of pfal,  vpw claimed that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever"- and demonstrated it by changing the definition of "unbeliever." Whereas in other places, an "unbeliever" was one who did not believe Christian (or, more to the point, twi) doctrine,  he made a different claim then.  He said that an "unbeliever" was supposedly someone who didn't "believe" , and that was impossible because they believed that they didn't believe, which meant that they believed.   To any person trying to make sense of that, he was saying that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever" because to think is to believe SOMETHING-  that water is wet, that things fall towards the Earth, and so on.    To any Bible reader (or anyone trying to be reasonable about it), an "unbeliever" is someone who does not believe what the Bible says, or what Christian doctrine says, or something along those lines.

 

Interestingly enough, that contradicted what he plagiarized in pfal (more evidence he often didn't understand what he ripped off.)  There, he said there were 2 types of unbelief- with 2 different Greek words-  apistia and apeithia  (from a-pistis  and a-pathos.)   He said that "apistia" referred to someone who hadn't heard and therefore didn't believe, and "apeithia" referred to those who knew enough to believe, but chose not to  (as in, they had apathy towards it-my words, not his.) 

 

As time went on, attitudes towards "unbelievers" got colder and nastier.   It's ok to lie to unbelievers and so on, provided leadership told you to lie.  "God will cover", and obeying leadership was of paramount importance.  If twi considers you an unbeliever, don't expect the truth from them.  What kind of "Christian" organization recommends lying to non-members? 

 

 

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Definition of “unbelief” was defined in PFAL. Apistia, apeithia and was defined contextually by the relationship of the individual and “the rightly divided Word of God”. 

Insert not “walking in power” to “the rightly divided Word”, and that’s about it, with the underlined beliefs of “Jesus Christ Is Not God”, the dead aren’t in Heaven but are dead, and a full “operation” of the “9 manifestations.”

so...either you don’t know about those things or know enough, to believe...or you’ve heard and been taught but choose to not “believe”....making you an unbeliever.

In the Ways earlier population growth of the 60s/early 70s VPW didn’t have his organizational culture fully baked, as it became in later years when so much of The Ways striving to be relevant revolved around him and his own heritage and legacy. Emporia and the Way Corps program put a stamp of integrity on one’s faith that really defined The Way, as time went on and IMO significantly contributed to its implosion. 

= Unbelievers are those who aren’t members of the Way, meaning they haven’t demonstrated their beliefs in a meaningful way through participation and support in programs, meeting attendance and financial support. 

That has remained true over the decades, While they change what the “accuracy of the Word” is or what the current “man of God for our day and time” says (read: what the Pope of the Way declares) they still require you to go along with it, 100 percent. Or else you’re an unbeliever. 

Dr Weirwille died of cancer, and his “true believers” blame the unbelief of his unbelieving followers for his death. So.......apparently by that story the guy who taught it was an unbeliever himself. In many ways unfortunately the Way can be really understood by its failures, using that logic. 

 

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On 8/11/2019 at 3:05 AM, WordWolf said:

Outside of pfal,  vpw claimed that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever"- and demonstrated it by changing the definition of "unbeliever." Whereas in other places, an "unbeliever" was one who did not believe Christian (or, more to the point, twi) doctrine,  he made a different claim then.  He said that an "unbeliever" was supposedly someone who didn't "believe" , and that was impossible because they believed that they didn't believe, which meant that they believed.   To any person trying to make sense of that, he was saying that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever" because to think is to believe SOMETHING-  that water is wet, that things fall towards the Earth, and so on.    To any Bible reader (or anyone trying to be reasonable about it), an "unbeliever" is someone who does not believe what the Bible says, or what Christian doctrine says, or something along those lines.

 

 

My memory of this is a little different, and I'm interested in seeing whether others remember it the way I do.

I recall VPW saying there's no such thing as an ATHEIST, because atheists say they don't believe anything, but they do believe something -- they believe that they don't believe.

I took it as an example of poor humor at the time. Never really read anything into it because it was so demonstrably stupid that it wasn't worth arguing.

 

In any event, I always thought TWI broke it down this way:An unbeliever does not believe Jesus is Lord and/or God raised him from the dead.

You can be an unbeliever because you don't have information, or because you have information and you reject it. [As an aside, if you've ever heard atheists say all babies are atheist, they're using the same argument: they don't have the information to accept or reject a deity].

Either of those categories could be considered "rank unbelievers."

When TWI talks about believers, though, it's talking about followers of TWI. If I were to ask "is so-and-so a believer?" and the answer was "Yes," then I would assume that the person was a PFAL grad faithfully standing with TWI.

Then there were believers who are not like-minded. These are people who, we had every reason to believe, were born again but did not follow TWI. Basically, Trinitarians who spoke in tongues. While we could SUSPECT that others were non-like-minded believers, we couldn't know for sure unless they spoke in tongues. You could also call them unbelieving believers: they were saved, but they had not come to a [more perfect] knowledge of the truth.

Then you had people who said they were Christian, but who knew for sure. Probably not. Catholics. The "dearlybelovedbrethreninthelord" crowd. Couldn't rule out that they were believers, but nothing you'd bet the farm on.

And then rank unbelievers.

 

Anyway, that's my recollection.

Edited by Raf

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 12:05 AM, WordWolf said:

Outside of pfal,  vpw claimed that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever"- and demonstrated it by changing the definition of "unbeliever." Whereas in other places, an "unbeliever" was one who did not believe Christian (or, more to the point, twi) doctrine,  he made a different claim then.  He said that an "unbeliever" was supposedly someone who didn't "believe" , and that was impossible because they believed that they didn't believe, which meant that they believed.   To any person trying to make sense of that, he was saying that it was impossible to be an "unbeliever" because to think is to believe SOMETHING-  that water is wet, that things fall towards the Earth, and so on.    To any Bible reader (or anyone trying to be reasonable about it), an "unbeliever" is someone who does not believe what the Bible says, or what Christian doctrine says, or something along those lines.

 

Seems to me it'd take a bit of work to make that much more confusing than you did, WW.  But, to put it bluntly, guess I'm not buyin' it.

For starters, why so nonchalantly entwine the entire notion of believing (anything) with what it might mean to believe God? Granted, the whole "positive or negative" approach to what believing is or means might be (i.e., probably is) misguided, especially if trying to restrict it to its biblical usage.  Yet, I do recognize there is something (which I'll leave undefined) to positive (or negative) thinking that can and does have an effect on the reality that we live in.

So... it's not that I necessarily agree with what or how vpw taught as "believing," but I certainly don't recall it being as kinky as your above presentation of it.

However, it was long enough ago that... perhaps with what's been learned since then, I've parsed certain errors out of it and/or amalgamated certain incongruities in what was taught with what I currently believe to be the truth.      

That said, seems I recall that "believing" (in a more generic sense) was necessary to live. (Period.) In other words, if (or when) you stop believing, you die.  In that sense, and from that perspective, everyone that is alive believes (something.)  Perhaps this doesn't exactly fit with a more strict biblical definition (or usage) of believing... but I am inclined to think that there is something to it, even if "believing" isn't the perfect or most appropriate word to use for it.  Furthermore, thinking is not believing.  Thoughts and thinking occurs in the brain.  Believing is an issue of the heart.  And lastly, regardless of whatever this more (or most) generic "believing" is, or however (or whether) it is delineated and distinguished from "believing God," it denotes the active present.  It does not go forward or backward in time.  Yesterday is a record of what was believed.  Tomorrow has no believing, because it is not here yet.

In light of this, the word "believer" appears to have little or no clear meaning aside from the certain specific "one time" events affixed to it, as all living persons believe (and hence, are believers.)  Likewise, seems the word "unbeliever" would only make any sense when related to specific one time events.

Consequently, and regardless of how it was or wasn't taught or spoken of in twi, my perspective is rather simply on who or what a believer (or unbeliever) is or isn't. 

If in their heart (not merely the thoughts in their head), anyone ever truly knows (i.e., believes) that Jesus Christ died (for our sins, according to the scriptures) and rose again from the dead (according to the scriptures), then they are a believer.  If they don't (or can't), then they are an unbeliever.  Period.

Has not one single jot or tittle to do with vpw, twi... or anything else, for that matter.

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31 minutes ago, TLC said:

Seems to me it'd take a bit of work to make that much more confusing than you did, WW.  But, to put it bluntly, guess I'm not buyin' it.

For starters, why so nonchalantly entwine the entire notion of believing (anything) with what it might mean to believe God? Granted, the whole "positive or negative" approach to what believing is or means might be (i.e., probably is) misguided, especially if trying to restrict it to its biblical usage.  Yet, I do recognize there is something (which I'll leave undefined) to positive (or negative) thinking that can and does have an effect on the reality that we live in.

So... it's not that I necessarily agree with what or how vpw taught as "believing," but I certainly don't recall it being as kinky as your above presentation of it.

However, it was long enough ago that... perhaps with what's been learned since then, I've parsed certain errors out of it and/or amalgamated certain incongruities in what was taught with what I currently believe to be the truth.      

That said, seems I recall that "believing" (in a more generic sense) was necessary to live. (Period.) In other words, if (or when) you stop believing, you die.  In that sense, and from that perspective, everyone that is alive believes (something.)  Perhaps this doesn't exactly fit with a more strict biblical definition (or usage) of believing... but I am inclined to think that there is something to it, even if "believing" isn't the perfect or most appropriate word to use for it.  Furthermore, thinking is not believing.  Thoughts and thinking occurs in the brain.  Believing is an issue of the heart.  And lastly, regardless of whatever this more (or most) generic "believing" is, or however (or whether) it is delineated and distinguished from "believing God," it denotes the active present.  It does not go forward or backward in time.  Yesterday is a record of what was believed.  Tomorrow has no believing, because it is not here yet.

In light of this, the word "believer" appears to have little or no clear meaning aside from the certain specific "one time" events affixed to it, as all living persons believe (and hence, are believers.)  Likewise, seems the word "unbeliever" would only make any sense when related to specific one time events.

Consequently, and regardless of how it was or wasn't taught or spoken of in twi, my perspective is rather simply on who or what a believer (or unbeliever) is or isn't. 

If in their heart (not merely the thoughts in their head), anyone ever truly knows (i.e., believes) that Jesus Christ died (for our sins, according to the scriptures) and rose again from the dead (according to the scriptures), then they are a believer.  If they don't (or can't), then they are an unbeliever.  Period.

Has not one single jot or tittle to do with vpw, twi... or anything else, for that matter.

On the "atheist" and being an un

 

4 hours ago, Raf said:

My memory of this is a little different, and I'm interested in seeing whether others remember it the way I do.

I recall VPW saying there's no such thing as an ATHEIST, because atheists say they don't believe anything, but they do believe something -- they believe that they don't believe.

I took it as an example of poor humor at the time. Never really read anything into it because it was so demonstrably stupid that it wasn't worth arguing.

 

In any event, I always thought TWI broke it down this way:An unbeliever does not believe Jesus is Lord and/or God raised him from the dead.

You can be an unbeliever because you don't have information, or because you have information and you reject it. [As an aside, if you've ever heard atheists say all babies are atheist, they're using the same argument: they don't have the information to accept or reject a deity].

Either of those categories could be considered "rank unbelievers."

When TWI talks about believers, though, it's talking about followers of TWI. If I were to ask "is so-and-so a believer?" and the answer was "Yes," then I would assume that the person was a PFAL grad faithfully standing with TWI.

Then there were believers who are not like-minded. These are people who, we had every reason to believe, were born again but did not follow TWI. Basically, Trinitarians who spoke in tongues. While we could SUSPECT that others were non-like-minded believers, we couldn't know for sure unless they spoke in tongues. You could also call them unbelieving believers: they were saved, but they had not come to a [more perfect] knowledge of the truth.

Then you had people who said they were Christian, but who knew for sure. Probably not. Catholics. The "dearlybelovedbrethreninthelord" crowd. Couldn't rule out that they were believers, but nothing you'd bet the farm on.

And then rank unbelievers.

 

Anyway, that's my recollection.

 That's about the way I recall it yes, and with a twist of irony and salt on the glass of the remarks. More of a "I'm so smart, look at me thinking, those dummies don't think, they just think they think" kinda

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3 hours ago, TLC said:

Seems to me it'd take a bit of work to make that much more confusing than you did, WW.  But, to put it bluntly, guess I'm not buyin' it.

For starters, why so nonchalantly entwine the entire notion of believing (anything) with what it might mean to believe God? Granted, the whole "positive or negative" approach to what believing is or means might be (i.e., probably is) misguided, especially if trying to restrict it to its biblical usage.  Yet, I do recognize there is something (which I'll leave undefined) to positive (or negative) thinking that can and does have an effect on the reality that we live in.

So... it's not that I necessarily agree with what or how vpw taught as "believing," but I certainly don't recall it being as kinky as your above presentation of it.

However, it was long enough ago that... perhaps with what's been learned since then, I've parsed certain errors out of it and/or amalgamated certain incongruities in what was taught with what I currently believe to be the truth.      

That said, seems I recall that "believing" (in a more generic sense) was necessary to live. (Period.) In other words, if (or when) you stop believing, you die.  In that sense, and from that perspective, everyone that is alive believes (something.)  Perhaps this doesn't exactly fit with a more strict biblical definition (or usage) of believing... but I am inclined to think that there is something to it, even if "believing" isn't the perfect or most appropriate word to use for it.  Furthermore, thinking is not believing.  Thoughts and thinking occurs in the brain.  Believing is an issue of the heart.  And lastly, regardless of whatever this more (or most) generic "believing" is, or however (or whether) it is delineated and distinguished from "believing God," it denotes the active present.  It does not go forward or backward in time.  Yesterday is a record of what was believed.  Tomorrow has no believing, because it is not here yet.

In light of this, the word "believer" appears to have little or no clear meaning aside from the certain specific "one time" events affixed to it, as all living persons believe (and hence, are believers.)  Likewise, seems the word "unbeliever" would only make any sense when related to specific one time events.

Consequently, and regardless of how it was or wasn't taught or spoken of in twi, my perspective is rather simply on who or what a believer (or unbeliever) is or isn't. 

If in their heart (not merely the thoughts in their head), anyone ever truly knows (i.e., believes) that Jesus Christ died (for our sins, according to the scriptures) and rose again from the dead (according to the scriptures), then they are a believer.  If they don't (or can't), then they are an unbeliever.  Period.

Has not one single jot or tittle to do with vpw, twi... or anything else, for that matter.

That's all well and good... but that wasn't the question. :wink2:

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Thank you, Rocky.

TLC, please bear in mind the question that is being answered.

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8 hours ago, Raf said:

My memory of this is a little different, and I'm interested in seeing whether others remember it the way I do.

I recall VPW saying there's no such thing as an ATHEIST, because atheists say they don't believe anything, but they do believe something -- they believe that they don't believe.

I took it as an example of poor humor at the time. Never really read anything into it because it was so demonstrably stupid that it wasn't worth arguing.

I recall that, too, as Raf does....exactly... in Piffle. Thought about it last night.

But, we know there was more, too.

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Raf:

Quote

My memory of this is a little different, and I'm interested in seeing whether others remember it the way I do.

I recall VPW saying there's no such thing as an ATHEIST, because atheists say they don't believe anything, but they do believe something -- they believe that they don't believe.

I took it as an example of poor humor at the time. Never really read anything into it because it was so demonstrably stupid that it wasn't worth arguing.  

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

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


Oops.  Raf remembers it correctly, and his quote was not in error.   

However, even though it was in reference to "atheist" and not "unbeliever",  vpw ALSO conflated the two.   On more than one occasion, he said that being an atheist is impossible because "they believe that they don't believe- THEREFORE THEY BELIEVE."         So, he DID also say that in a way that disregarded WHAT was believed- the context was that he was saying that it was impossible to say you don't believe anything, but that was impossible because they believed that they didn't believe.   In effect, that's saying there's no such thing as being an unbeliever- since they'd have to believe that they don't believe.     That "explanation"- 

A) makes no sense to us now and didn't make any to me then, and apparently didn't to Raf, probably for the same reason

B) makes it clear that vpw defined "belief" by the active verb of believing without any regard to WHAT was believed

That he might have taught it differently other times-  such as "apisitia" vs "apeithia" doesn't change that.  As we all should remember by now, vpw often taught different and CONTRADICTORY things to different people at different times, and sometimes that was because he didn't really understand the people he was plagiarizing and relied on just regurgitating them convincingly.

So, I referenced his explanation of the wrong word- he was not OVERTLY defining the word "unbelief" or "unbeliever."   His explanation, however, showed that it was what he was referring to anyway without saying the actual word.     It occasionally happens that a fan of a fiction writer may understand the writer's fictional framework better than the writer, and quote something that's actually an internal error in it.  That happens when a fan knows the fiction better than the person who wrote it, and the author fails to remain consistent.  It is not likely to catch that for non-fiction authors, since they usually speak from what they know or understand.  It's possible with vpw because he often did NOT- he was passing along the work of others and not understanding it.

 

(Reposted because the formatting was wrong, and when I entered the previous post, it refused to let me edit it and show what was a quote and what was not.  Hopefully, it will work this time.)

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I would also add in general agreement to many of the comments above that TWI's definition of an "unbeliever" was a mix of theology and what I'd call social prejudice. 

I'll explain - 

Those of us involved from the late 60's through the 80's know that the Way advertised itself as a non-sectarian and non-denominational group.

At the same time the Way was creating it's own denomination, so defined because -

if it succeeded in it's goals of "Word Over the World" (not Craig's later lack of interest in continuing to try and just declaring by sacred fiat that voila! it had been achieved)

then it would in essence create a new, "true" body of the Church that would stand out separately from all other denominations and churches by it's own, "accurate" and correct theology. 

While the Way liked to give lip service to the truth and fact that the New Testament teaches that the "church of believers" is ALL those born again of Christ, using the simplest and sparest of essential points of doctrinal requirement.....

They/We didn't live that, didn't apply that, didn't believe that part of God's Word. 

VPW taught that the "family" of God might include all born again believers, all "sons", all those who were born again but - 

The "household" was all the accurately taught and actively believing believers. "Standing" believers. And he taught from the epistles from the perspective that the "true believers" in the Way were the same "household" as the "true standing believers" in Pauls day. 

Within that he created sub groups of "corps", and "staff" and "WOW Ambassadors", and other forms of commitments that allowed for specific application of time, talent and service within that household of "standing believers" .....

Who in our day and time just happened to be Way PFAL grads and who fulfilled some basic requirements of what I would call "non-membership", laughingly....those are people who go to a Way fellowship at least once a week (it had been once a month at one point), manifest "power from on high" and speak in tongues, and who financially support the ministry. 

Anyone who was around from the late '60's will remember how that language got introduced and how it slowly evolved into a set of expectations, requirements, traditions and rituals - all the components of a developing religious denomination.

It just did. I get frowns from Wayfers who have left at some point and who feel it didn't go that route, and especially those who adhere to all or some of what they learned from the Way. 

I do too but even allowing for differences of opinion I see it as both naive and facetious to not see that was happening as it did. And it's self serving to not recognize it now. 

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The term "household" as in the remnant must be uttered while stomping at least one foot and clenching a fist.  It helps with correct pronunciation in distinguishing it from other uses of the word "household".  God is not the author of confusion.

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32 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

The term "household" as in the remnant must be uttered while stomping at least one foot and clenching a fist.  It helps with correct pronunciation in distinguishing it from other uses of the word "household".  God is not the author of confusion.

I'm picturing a character from Loony Toons, complete with steam coming out of the ears, as I read this.

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For what it's worth: I tried to fix WW's post as a mod and could not. But I did try.

 

The dupe is gone. He's not crazy, for anyone reading. He did post the same thing twice. I just can't separate his post from the quote. Oh well. You can.

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14 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

In one's attempts to understand Twi's evolving definitions.....it's comparable to parsing the stages in Scientology.

In biblical terminology, the word that is being danced around here is.........seduce.

Those who got involved in wierwille's twi in the late '60s-mid-'80s.....were seduced into his denomination, cult.  Sure, many of us remember him standing next to Debra and singing "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" [look full in his wonderful face....].........BUT, did we do that?  NO. 

Men like Heefner, Doop, Anderson, and Wade saw it "up close and personal"........and EXITED. 

IMO........anyone who stayed after 1978 was seduced into his cult.  Definitions, groupings, specific applications of service.......look at all the nuance and levels of "commitment" created by wierwille. 

  • Unbelieving Believer
  • Inactive Believer
  • Standing Believer
  • Believing Believer
  • EGADS........

"Men like Heefner, Doop, Anderson, and Wade saw it "up close and personal"........and EXITED."

VAST over simplification of those 4 men, their involvement and reasons for leaving, not to mention many others who left and who stayed.

Where to start? Jim and I spoke a couple times the year before he died and I think we both got most of our mutual questions answered. I have great respect for him but it would be incorrect to say he didn't have his own issues and baggage he was dealing with even then. For a few months before that final night in Mill Valley that the fellowship saw, he was ready to quit, then back in, then going to quit and going back and forth. I remember him talking about what was going on. There's a myriad of reasons and one that I didn't even know until we spoke last, but the primary reasons at that time were a conflict that he would have preferred to work out. VPW didn't want to, and between them they would either one cut their nose off to spit their own faces - but Jim was more inclined to do so than VPW.

Jim returned to the Way, as I'm sure you know. I sat with him and Judy in '75, think it was, as he had returned to do work at the Way, was running some local coffee houses, and went into the Family Corps. He was assigned to Maine then later as Limb boss. His removal from there is something I have first hand knowledge of, having dealt directly with it. One of the saddest times of my time in the Way seeing what had developed.

And again, Steve had told him not do do it but he did anyway. And again, there were reasons. I felt a kinship with Jim and in the end he with me, and he told me he remembered how he and I and many others he'd known "know. WE KNOW, like you know your own fuking face in the mirror and nobody has to read it to you", is how he put it. I miss knowing that I may have a long wait to see him again.

I'm not going to debate it but "seduce" IMO isn't being danced around and doesn't explain exclusively anything, anymore than all of the earlier names you mention "exited" in some righteous reaction against VPW.  If that's how you wish to explain it, go for it. I will not say that everyone was seduced, when so many knew exactly what they were seeking to get out of the Way in return, be it, truth, spiritual enlightenment, knowledge, friends and fellowship, careers, lifestyle changes, a way out of a bad situation or a way into a good situation, a job, a good time and getting laid, power and position, etc. etc. etc. Lots of reasons.

 

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5 hours ago, socks said:

.......

I'm not going to debate it but "seduce" IMO isn't being danced around and doesn't explain exclusively anything, anymore than all of the earlier names you mention "exited" in some righteous reaction against VPW.  If that's how you wish to explain it, go for it. I will not say that everyone was seduced, when so many knew exactly what they were seeking to get out of the Way in return, be it, truth, spiritual enlightenment, knowledge, friends and fellowship, careers, lifestyle changes, a way out of a bad situation or a way into a good situation, a job, a good time and getting laid, power and position, etc. etc. etc. Lots of reasons.

 

Sure there are lots of reasons......

But in all that we (most all of us, anyway) were searching for.....concerning them that seduce you in I John 2 lays it out there.

  • We were seduced (away from) ....... having an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
  • We were seduced (away from) ....... knowing Him, and keeping His commandments
  • We were seduced (away from) ....... having the love of God perfected in us
  • We were seduced (away from) ....... having his anointing (holy spirit) that abided in us, help and guide us

Lots of reasons, yes.

My in-residence corps training had NOTHING to do with seeking and embracing Jesus Christ, the righteous.

My in-residence corps training had EVERYTHING to do with obeying twi-leadership and giving adulation to victor paul wierwille.

So, yeah.........as for me and my house, we were seduced.  If that's an oversimplification for you, then I just don't have enough time to explain myself concerning this cult's "truth, spiritual enlightenment, knowledge, friends and fellowship, careers, lifestyle changes, bad situations, good times, power and positions, etc. etc. etc."

 

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The evolution of twi..............

  • Involvement that was simple and carefree ........... before ALL of the evolving definitions
  • Involvement that was youthful and freestyle......... to rigid and legalism
  • Involvement that could be "when I choose" .......... to demanding and onerous
  • Involvement with "friends and fun activities" ........ to boring meetings
  • Involvement to live/see the power of God ............  devolve into religion and worse (cult)

Yes, in one's youth......far away from headquarters.........youth were inspiring youth to get involved. 

What I saw in the early '70s .........was a far cry from what was happening in the '90s.

BUT......when I sat back, studied and reviewed ALL of wierwille's history and character, it became obvious that what twi became......is what wierwille was hiding all along.  Mrs. Wierwille's book lays out all of the fringe ministries/elements that wierwille encountered.  Chapter after chapter.....she honestly lays it out how vpw was "ready to quit," disappointed, perplexed, unsatisfied, and searching for more answers.  The denominational environment (rut) was discarded (Dec 1957) when vic fully decided that he could build a class-based ministry like his teacher, Rev. B.G. Leonard in Canada.

YET......wierwille did not have the uprightness of heart before God to build his ministry ethically or spiritually on truth and experience.  Lots of story-telling to ad-lib his way thru..... but how little was his own life's experiences.  He plagiarized Leonard's class fully in the early stages and, with each passing year (1958-1967) added and augmented from Stiles, Bullinger and others, until it was filmed in 1967. 

SO........ in my youth, I did not connect all the dots of wierwille's behind-the-scenes marketing strategy of pfal.  Stories, one-liners, definitions, preemptive strikes against church and family, sleight-of-hand skewing of dispensationalism, rigid private-interpretation of the manifestations, standing in "the household of God," etc. etc. etc.  In my youthful exuberance to love and serve God.....it took years and years to see the deception of wierwille's marketing ploy.  And, it took years for OTHERS to see it as well......

Jimmy Doop came here to GSC in 2008 to give his last post......of what he experienced.

 

Quote

Originally posted by jimdoop:

Since it's my birthday, I would like to make a brief note. I turned 68 today- the same age as Victor when he passed away. I made my stand against him when he went back on his word and changed what he had taught me and many others. THAT was when the love and grace went out of his ministry. He set himself as the MAN OF GOD, and stopped acknowledging other men of God's contributions to his spiritual development.

I saw this coming in 1969. 1971 was when I heard his plan-how he was going to take over the states rights of all the fellowships, and he was going to control all of the states and their MONEY.

(That is, was, and always will be the root of ALL evil.) I was receiving more money into THE WAY WEST then he was at headquarters. The agreement was that I-"THE WAY WEST" would send H.Q. 15% each month, for abundant sharing each month. I did this every month. I kept my word.

I had spent 15 years in the "real world", and had learned enough to know that people lie, cheat, and steal. Victor was so sincere that I gave him a chance to prove himself. I believe that is what most of us did. As things worked out, he failed. His word wasn't any good. He taught one thing and did another.

All of are hearts have been broken-but not by God. His Word is always faithful. His Word is always truth. His promises work just as well today as they always have for getting the rent or house payment paid. Please all of you keep your brain and heart on God's Word. He loves us and will always bring us to victory. Filled with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. we THE BELIEVERS, have been given enormous power in this age of DARKNESS. Be prepared. LOVE GOD AND YOUR FAMILY OF GOD.

Thanks for putting up with me, and I hope you heard my message. We cannot expect any help from anyone other then from GOD. If you know of anything better, please contact me, .. at jddpp@yahoo.com

Serving Him,

Jimmy Doop.

2005, September 8th.

 

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4 hours ago, Taxidev said:

As of just a few years ago, the term "believer" had devolved to mean someone standing with TWI.  This is what was promulgated from the upper levels.  But we did have some individuals in my fellowship that understood there were believers all over the world that had nothing to do with TWI.

 Back in the 80s, I remember someone at a local fellowship, in a conversation, mentioning a Christian who wasn't in twi.  

"She's born again, but she's not a believer."

Other person replying: "She's a believer- she's just not a Way believer." 

So, that distinction has been around for decades, and, yes, from the top came "believer means in our group" whereas some locals knew better.

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Right, WE have the Truth.       *thumps chest*

 

 

 

(As in the royal WE)

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