Introduction This account describes how I became associated with 'THE WAY', fondly referred to as 'THE TRUTH' and sometimes referred to as 'Cooneyites', although not by those who remain in it. It is then, a testimony of my involvement with 'The Way', outlining some of my experiences and the reasons why I am no longer involved. I have also included information about the origins of the group.
It wasn’t always so… THE BIRTH OF EXCLUSIVITY The Living Witness Doctrine (aka LWD)
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE WORKERS…
have not always believed and taught that the 2x2 church was God's only true way? have not always believed all other Christian preachers and evangelists were false? have not always believed all church buildings were false churches? have not always believed all other Christians were sincerely wrong and bound for hell? have not always held Sunday morning meetings? have not always baptized and re-baptised?
AT FIRST, in the Early Days, the workers were primarily evangelists or revivalist; their mission was to save souls. They were not a church or a sect. They had no established church meetings in homes. They did not serve communion/the emblems or baptize. They claimed their mission was unsectarian (not a sect and not associated with any particular sect or church). They took no official name and were nicknamed Tramp Preachers, Go-Preachers, Dippers, etc. Alfred Magowan, an early worker, described the mission of the early workers:
"We had only one commission and that was to make disciples as we had been made; and we had only one authority, viz., if the Lord was with us, we would so live and speak that He would use us in getting people saved. And as they listened to us they would recognize the voice of Him because of the anointing. That was the simple outline in the days of our beginning.
"There were no regulations and no asserting of authority. The Lord had mercifully set us free in spirit to worship and serve him under the guidance of the Holy Spirit through a good conscience; and there was neither machinery nor any of those things that religious people think necessary and which are necessary in sects under human control. There was nothing in the vision we had of 'the way in Jesus' that would have led us towards another kind of sectarianism, nor did we ever anticipate a time when we would become a strong people in an evil world." (January 21, 1931 Letter by Alfred Magowan to Wilson McClung, both early workers)
We believed that we were the last hope of the world and that ours was an honest-hearted revolt. We set out to form a brotherhood where all would be equal. We wanted to break from all tradition and become a people neither Catholic nor Protestant, with no regulations, no authority, no machinery or human control, to be free to serve God and make people free like ourselves. We put all worldly ambition behind us, none of this world's satisfactions or regards held an attraction, we had no theology to propound, no congregations to please, we saw ourselves as workers but not bosses. (Reminiscences of Alfred Magowan, November 9, 1953; Secret Sect by Doug Parker, Page 35)
1. THEIR ORIGINAL FOUNDATION WAS FAITH LINES: The method of ministers going two and two without a home or guaranteed financial support came together gradually over time. In 1898 a Scotsman named Wm. Irvine and an Irishman named John Long studied Matthew 10:8-10: "...freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat."
Here is the definition from John Long, the first early worker to try Faith Lines: "Faith Lines is a preacher going forth without any fixed or stated salary, neither any public collections at meetings, but just trusting in God to put it into the hearts of God's people to give to the support of them who ministered in Spiritual things. If more came in than necessary, learning to abound; if less, learning to suffer lack…" (John Long's Journal January, 1899)
They wondered if God intended for Jesus' instructions in Matt 10 to not only be for the disciples on their temporary missions to the Jews, but to also be universally carried out for all time. Would God provide for men in the 19th century to go preach as Jesus sent the twelve Apostles--solely on "Faith Lines?"
They began to experiment with the concept of serving the Lord solely on Faith Lines. In January, 1899, John Long launched out preaching solely on Faith Lines. In October, 1899, Irvine took some young male converts on a pilot mission to Scotland with their bicycles. They preached without any financial support arrangements and their needs were adequately met. They were successful in winning some converts. Because their experimental mission went well, they concluded it was God's will for the Matthew 10 method to continue to be used to spread the gospel.
From 1899 to 1903, more and more converts listened to Wm Irvine preach and were moved to go preach on Faith Lines, using the Matthew 10 method as their guide. Some preached independently, some with Todd's Mission, and some with John Long or Wm Irvine. The workers priority was going out preaching on Faith Lines, trusting God to provide for their needs. Their fundamental basic of Faith Lines was what set their ministry apart from others. They never asked for money.
At this time, there were no fellowship meetings in homes or baptisms or communion. Some of the early workers and friends believed they were saved before they met Wm Irvine or his workers, via their original personal salvation experiences. Others professed through Wm Irvine. At that time they accepted other Protestant pastors or preachers, Christians and churches as fellow Christians, their brothers and sisters in Christ. It was not uncommon for the workers to invite outside preachers to speak in their meetings and they attended the Keswick Conventions.
In their Early Years, there were no Sunday morning meetings. The choice was left up to their new converts as to where they worshipped. In other words, the first workers and saints continued worshipping in the denominations where they were members, or the Protestant church of their choice. "At this time we believed that all who were born anew including ourselves, in the denominations, were children of God, needing to become continuing disciples..." (Ed Cooney Letter to Alice Flett)
The workers did not always view their church as "God's only right/true way;" and themselves as "God's only true servants and saints;" and all other religious bodies, Christians and ministers as “false.” Newspapers frequently reported that the workers were highly critical of other churches, pastors and Christians…but they didn’t (yet) preach they were all false and going to hell.
2. THEN THEY ORGANIZED...click link at top to read how they groped their way and evolved over time...and concluded they were God's Only Right/True Way.
benar: Perhaps you clicked on the Coronavirus thread...
Feb 27, 2020 1:03:20 GMT -5
wally: proboards can be a bit buggy...i still get virus warnings when clicking on thread links...
Feb 26, 2020 22:04:28 GMT -5
ant_rotten: Does anyone else constantly have a pop up saying “do you want to download index.html” when using TMB desktop version? This happens to me both on my iPhone and iPad..
Feb 26, 2020 19:56:33 GMT -5
wally: you haven't asked me a question or anything or did i miss one?
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ant_rotten: What’s happening Wally? You’ve gone quite on me..
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wally: its no mystery apostate ant_rotten i am quite vocal...
Feb 17, 2020 9:12:28 GMT -5
ant_rotten: I’m not surprised to find wally in the shoutbox
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jetmech: Hello Dennis
Feb 15, 2020 13:39:39 GMT -5
kip: Looking for meetings in Maine.
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snow: Great jetmech, you found it!
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wally: welcome to the shoutbox
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jetmech: Hey everyone … this is my first time here
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