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Reviews about the Work of Cherie Kropp-Ehrig
I have just finished reading your amazing book Preserving The Truth and just wanted to thank you for giving me this gift of knowledge. I left the 2×2 15 years ago. So many questions I had growing up that were never answered and finally everything makes sense. Thank you again.
September 5, 2022
A culmination of decades of work, Kropp-Ehrig has fully delivered a thoughtful, thorough, respectfully written book covering over a hundred year span of a little-known, but worldwide, Christian sect. Current members of the church should not fear what they will read inside the cover of this book. Using primary source material, Kropp-Ehrig has checked and re-checked her sources to ensure that no false, inflammatory, or accusatory material has been included. Multiple perspectives, drawn from the experiences of both current as well as former members of the church, are portrayed. Not only is the book professionally informative, it is interesting to read as well.
Lorraine Morrison, USA
August 24, 2022
What a Gift!!
This is an incredibly well-written, well-researched, well-documented, and well-cited work. The author has given all current and ex-followers of this sect/cult, a truthful, complete history. The hours and hours of research and documentation is apparent in this author’s publication.
Ingrid Hagen, USA
August 23, 2022
Important details regarding the Living Witness Doctrine
Ten stars for the author’s book! Every word amazed me, especially how gently the information is presented— without condemnation. Preserving the Truth details the people, places, ideals, experimental activities, development and changes in leadership and methods of this unique sect. The 200+ photographs provide visual proof. The quotations scattered throughout are provocative.
The purposeful lack of church buildings has kept this “church” hidden from public notice. The author’s immense amount of research, travel, collection of minute details, evidence and pictures prove “The Truth” started in 1897 when William Irvine and John Long preached their first mission in Nenagh, Ireland—and NOT on the shores of Galilee.
At the time I wrote my book, The Church Without a Name, I was upset with how the 2×2 rules, hidden history and false doctrines create divisions in families, putting parents in the position of enforcing unscriptural rules on their children. And it grieved me that my parents never understood why we left meetings because the workers took away The Secret Sect book and information we had given our parents before they had a chance to read it.
The author has done a great service to people around the world, peeling back the layers of history. I appreciate the time and money the author and others have spent digging into the topics and scripture, and also for the work she shares on the Internet, which has helped so many.
Preserving the Truth is encyclopedic in scope and uncovers fascinating details regarding the Living Witness Doctrine in Chapter 19: Birth of Exclusivity— The importance of this chapter must be emphasized because it details how the workers came to the self-righteous conclusion that no one could be saved outside their approval and association. Chapter 23 records the reasons Irvine’s senior workers denounced him. They resented his control. Chapters 34 and 35 cover the evolution of their Unwritten Rules and Doctrines. The in-fighting and immoral behavior among the leaders is shocking!! I feel sorry for the workers under them.
Chapter 46: South Africa and Chapter 47: US Black History. It was astounding to learn that racial discrimination exists among people who claim to love all people. My parents and the friends we knew were not prejudiced. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have surprised me. I think many people feel that the workers look down on them. We never felt good enough. I was aware the leaders had quite a bit of money but was shocked to read how destitute other workers were, to the point of starvation! I had assumed that the leaders looked out for the workers in their areas. I had not known about Irvine’s strange Omega doctrine that he claimed as visions, or of his false prophecies, and his delusional arrogance that he was to be one of the two witnesses in Revelation. I had assumed he just faded out of his preaching days completely.
This book reveals how many lives around the world from so many generations have been harmed by Irvine’s experiment at restoring the first-century church. I pray that many Christian pastors will read it and study this secret cult as carefully as they have studied the origins of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and other groups that were started by Masons. Page 525 of Appendix B quotes William Irvine’s letter to Fay Sheeley, “I also am a Free and Accepted Master Mason. My Mother Lodge being 547 – Stewart Scotch for the past 45 years.” Research online.
I recommend buying multiple copies to share with others. The public needs to be aware of the spiritual, natural and emotional dangers of this invisible cult. Consider donating a copy to seminaries and to your city libraries, especially in areas near convention grounds. Contact a local pastor or donate a copy to a cult watch ministry. Be aware that in the past the preachers have been known to “borrow” members’ books and not return them, and also burn them. I strongly encourage everyone associated with this sect to read this comprehensive, astounding book.
Kathleen Lewis, USA
August 22, 2022
Author of The Church without a Name
WOW! I just finished your book. That is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of irrefutable damming evidence ever compiled concerning, not only the suspect origin of this cult, but the nefarious and underhanded lies being perpetrated upon unsuspecting members even to this day. Unfortunately, some are much more comfortable living with this lie than admitting that they were lied to. This meticulously detailed and flawlessly documented account will have you laughing and crying at the same time because converts are innocent victims.
For the record, I spent the first 40 years of my life as a member, and I can honestly say that I was unaware of the history of this cult. My hat is off to the Cherie for a superb and unparalleled account that is not only informative, but a real page turner to boot.
Fred Printz, USA
August 1, 2022
The Encyclopedia of The Truth
A definitive account of the founding and history of the sect. A must-have volume for anyone interested in the group. Extensively researched, and professional and even-handed in coverage and narration.
Bob Williston, USA
August 7, 2022
An Awesome Book!
We are in awe of and indebted to Cherie for her tremendous effort in researching and recording the truth about “the truth!”
Linda Josephson, USA
August 3, 2022
Excellent unveiling of a lifetime mystery
As someone who was born and raised in this sect, I greatly appreciate the author’s ability to present factual and historic research without judgment, bias, or condemnation. I highly recommend this book to anyone associated with the “Truth/2×2” sect or interested in non-mainstream religious history. Well done.
Anita Everette, USA
July 25, 2022
An Excellent Read!
Thank you for being factual and not opinionated in your writing of this book. This book has opened my eyes to so much. It explains so much of the life I lived. I am also thankful that this book cannot EVER go out of print as this is so important for the future. Thank you and bless you for your 30 plus years of amazing research.
Amy Hensley, USA
August 15, 2022
Thanks for documenting the history of the Two by Twos.
Cherie, thanks for writing this history. It’s important that it’s documented- for those of us who got out- and for those still involved. I still have copies of our communication years ago when the internet was new and we were able to start researching the Two by Two beginnings and beliefs. Your book is an excellent documentary of this history.
August 17, 2022
A High Quality Book!
Cherie deserves full marks for the amount of work and dedication required to produce such a high quality work, and for making the effort to visit the places in UK/Ireland where it all began, as part of her research.
This book is up to Cherie’s usual high standard of work—interesting, detailed and well documented. It covers the beginning of the 2×2 Church, profiles of early preachers, its expansion, beliefs, rules, practices and much more. She objectively presents the history and founding of this church, its ideals, accomplishments and warts, without critical or derogatory remarks, and encourages change through lessons learned from past mistakes.
Included is factual information that has been missing/hidden for decades that uncovers the 2×2 Church as it was, how it developed and how it is now. The hidden founder, William Irvine, was expelled and finished his life a lonely man in exile. In 2022, very few people would even know his name or who he was, including current 2×2 members. This is not honest.
This book is invaluable because it is the ONLY book in print that “Preserves the Truth” about the history of this church and reveals its true founder. I highly recommend this excellent book to anyone wanting to know more about the Church without a Name and its founder.
Robin Rodgers, Australia
August 10, 2022
I just ordered the book. I was born into this group. It is very secretive and little is known about it. I know the author. She will have done due diligence. I’m sure I will learn things I didn’t know, even though I lived it.
I left the group after “accidentally” getting saved by praying the prayer in a Christian book. I was being “rebellious” by even reading a Christian book. I was a rule follower and a good girl. I followed all the rules of the group but it never seemed to satisfy the hole in my soul. I never seemed to be able to reach the peace and joy that they promised. It took time to leave as I had no friends outside the group. I didn’t know the normal social mores of the real world. I only knew the social norms for the group. Leaving meant losing friendships and identity. Ultimately I left over doctrine.
Read the book. It will blow your mind.
July 1, 2022
Congratulations on the publication of your book, the cumulation of a huge amount of research and many years of investigation for which many of us are very grateful.
I think this book may turn out to be the closest thing there is to a definitive history of the 2×2 church and while the history of the sect is no longer the grubby secret it once was thanks to the internet, this book will do exactly what it says on the tin and preserve the true history of the 2×2 church in print.
I think it’s a good thing that the term “Cooneyites” appears on the front cover as this helps to dispel one of the most enduring myths promoted by the 2×2 church, that the 2x2s aren’t the Cooneyites.
It’s also good to see on the front cover a photograph of (a bearded) William Irvine. The last conversation I ever had with a worker involved him telling me that he “knew nothing about William Irvine” something I didn’t believe for a second. A man with a beard always has something to hide but there can be no hiding from the truth about Irvine and his 2×2 legacy now.
Of course, as one for whom truth is more important than belief, it would be remiss of me not to point out that our religious conditioning in the 2×2 church encompassed much more than belief in the doctrines and teachings peculiar to the 2×2 church.
It also included more mainstream Christian beliefs including belief in the bible, the Christian God, the resurrection, a returning Jesus, the immortal soul, Satan, heaven, hell, miracles, talking animals, angels, the power of prayer and a day of judgement where a supposedly just and caring God who supposedly loves us all will cast a huge proportion of us into everlasting hell on the basis of our unbelief in a God who insists on remaining completely invisible and for whom we can find no credible evidence of existence despite much searching.
If we are truly interested in seeking truth we should subject all our religious beliefs to the same level of scrutiny and investigation as those of the 2×2 church and see how they stand up. A study of the true history of the New Testament and of the early Christian church is likely to be just as revealing and belief changing as the true history of the 2×2 church.
And in the pursuit of truth we should never underestimate the power of religious conditioning, our capacity for being duped, our readiness to embrace religious myths, our ability to believe things that aren’t true and our willingness to blindly accept what our parents and religious leaders teach us. This book is a reminder of that. Thanks for producing it.
Matt10 (Truth Meeting Board, TMB)
June 19, 2022
***Thanks Matt10 for all your great help. It really made a difference! Cherie
This book provides a comprehensive account of the development of a relatively obscure Christian fellowship known internally as The Friends and Workers or The Truth and externally as the Two by Twos, Cooneyites and other names.
The author has collected detailed reports, letters, accounts and photos since the late 1800s and created a detailed report of the development of the group, as well as various splits and disputes. The stunning commitment of Workers who gave up all personal ambition and committed their life to preaching is unfortunately detracted by the cases where Workers and Overseers have advanced personal agendas and exercised harsh authority that conflicts with the ideals of Christianity.
The book provides a very interesting account of the early years when William Irvine transitioned from an itinerant preacher with Faith Mission to creating his own group, based substantially on the Matthew 10 report of Jesus sending his disciples ‘two by two.’ The critical roles of other key people, including John Long, Eddie Cooney, Goodhand Pattison and Alfred Magowan with their Faith Mission or Methodist Colporteur backgrounds are also detailed.
The phenomenal growth of the group and its international expansion, first to English-speaking countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and then to other countries, is described with full supporting details.
The movement began as a revolt against ‘organised religion’ but soon became an organised group itself. The group’s focus on ‘meeting in the home’ and ‘hearing the Gospel from Two by Two Workers’ as defining differences to other religions, and its deliberate avoidance of new bible translations and modern scholarship has left it in a niche that is being encroached by other worship groups. The results are a significant and ongoing decline in the number of members, both Friends and Workers.
The narrative clearly shows the changes in doctrine over the years and leaves the reader to wonder whether the group is stuck in an irretrievable 1900s time-warp that has become much less relevant or appropriate, or if it will evolve and represent the current best understanding of how Christianity should be applied, both personally and as a collective.
[by someone who wishes to remain anonymous and has been very helpful to the author]
Firstly, I must say that “Telling The Truth” is the most non-judgemental, non-bitter site I have come across as far as “the Truth” is concerned. I have given the first page of this website and the details of the website to many now.
I have only in the past few years, 6 years to be exact, left “the Truth” as we knew it. I can say today, that I, along with my family are closer to God than we have ever been. Many, along with my siblings, struggled with the “thought” was the meetings the only way and was it right??? So Telling The Truth has laid to rest a lot of doubts and fears. We were never given the privilege of reading other material as “knowledge is power”.
The meeting morals were good. But now, we have found heartfelt JOY. I feel Jesus’ arms around me, and God is giving us strength and his wonderful grace every day. Isn’t it so, you just wish you could give many this insight and this joy in serving our loving God with gladness and thankfulness for having opened our eyes. Thank you for your good work!
August 22, 2012
My early years were in this church. My grandparents both professed in Washington state and took me to church with them for years. I eventually professed myself, although it never really “took.” I later became – and still am – a Christian, attending more contemporary style churches.
When I was growing up, occasionally my Gramma would say interesting things about the church but wouldn’t talk about it in any detail. Through the years, I would ask and dig and never really get any kind of history or information from her. So when I really started to “google” a few years ago, I was surprised to find your website. I wanted to say thanks for the information–and so much of it. It really did help me piece together a bit of the story and a really interesting part of my heritage.
A long time ago I saw a picture of my Grandma’s mother sitting with her sister on some steps wearing black stockings. They stood out to me because her sister didn’t have them on (so I knew it wasn’t seasonal). When I discovered the “black stocking religion” connection to my grandparents’ church, it was exciting–like another key to figuring it out.
It’s strange to think that someday there won’t be “Gramma’s house” with the closets full of folding chairs for Union meeting, the piano with the extra copies of Hymns Old & New and the doily with the framed picture of two dozen conservatively dressed people kneeling on convention grounds with a big green tent in the background…but I guess when all else fails, I can always find it on your website. I guess it’s true – you can find anything on the internet! Best to you,
August 22, 2012
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
The other day I typed in “not ordained, women servants, women wear hair in buns” and I landed on your website. I have gone through the whole site and am amazed at all the info on it. I am 61 years old, and I have been trying for years to find info on this religion. My parents joined this religion in about 1970 when I was 20 years old. My three younger brothers all joined, but I refused to because it sounded like a cult, with all the rules they had to follow, such as no TV, hair in buns, no movies, not being able to associate with friends and relatives and so on. I was the black sheep in the family and was put down and shunned. This eventually led to the split up of our farming operation, with me having to leave and go on my own.
It led me to study the Bible more, listen to the “Bible Answer Man/Hank Hanegraaff” and find a church based on the gospel and scripture. So that is the one thing I can thank them for. I know what I believe to be true based on scripture.
It is such a relief to know the truth about this organization. They are living a lie. I thank you once again for all the work you have put into this website so that we can have access to the truth. I will pass this info along to as many people as I can. Thank you,
January 3, 2012
I wanted to thank you for all of your research and consolidation of information about the 2×2 faith. My grandmother, now 91, grew up in this faith. Thankfully, my father left the group when he was in his 20s.
I was forced as a child to attend meeting with Grandma so she could show me off and try to give me some religious foundation. I was left with a feeling of isolation in not being able to identify our religious practice with a name and in the realization that as a child with bangs, who wore pants the other six days of the week, whose mother wore makeup and had short hair that I was out of place with the Friends. When my friends were taking ballet and gymnastics, I was forced to take piano lessons, as that was deemed more appropriate.
Eventually I was allowed to attend Vacation Bible School with my friends (small F), much to my Grandmother’s dismay. We did not have a television in our home until I was 8 years old in order to not upset my Grandmother.
Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that my Grandmother, as well as my Aunts, Uncles and cousins who were part of “the Truth” were lacking in their knowledge of the Bible and seemed to have no knowledge of the history of organizational structure of their sect. I was shamed for asking questions that they could not answer, or they changed the subject or sidestepped the questions. Eventually as a teen and young adult, I attended real churches with other friends. I think my grandmother would have rather thought of me as a whore than a Baptist.
Now, at the age of 42, I am married and still struggle to describe my religious upbringing to my husband or to anyone throughout my adult life. When I describe it, people wanted to identify us as Quaker or have even suggested that I was on the fringe of a cult.
At this time, I do not attend church. However, I am delighted with the sermons I hear on radio or see on television, particularly those of David Jeremiah and Charles Stanley. I still struggle to wrap my mind around the Trinity since I’d never heard much about the Holy Spirit and couldn’t really tell you if “the Truth” believes in the Virgin Birth. Nonetheless, I was never told that Jesus was God. I don’t know that I ever understood Jesus to be a sacrificial lamb, but rather believed that He was a persecuted martyr and role model.
I’ve found some of the exit letters that you’ve posted just fascinating. So Cherie, again, I just want to thank you for posting all of this information. In one day I’ve learned more about “the Truth” than in all of the questions that the Friends have evaded over the years. In fact, I’d never heard of “Christian Conventions” or “2X2” before yesterday. I’m just grateful to have a name to put with my bizarre religious foundation. Now, with a name to go by, I’m thrilled to be able to Google the subject for more understanding.
October 10, 2011
Just wanted to send a note of appreciation for the enormous amount of work and effort you have put into the Telling The Truth website. In my opinion the appearance is very professional and very suitable for the kind of content involved. As well, I appreciate the objective way the information is presented — by far the most objective source of 2×2 information on the net…I most often have chosen to express and describe ‘feelings’ which are far more subjective by definition — I believe that as human beings’ feelings are also an important aspect of truth and important in appreciating the spirit of Christ. Nevertheless I am well aware of the need of a beautiful objective source of information such as yours.
Wishing you the very best,
Edgar Massey, Sweden
July 15, 2008
Greetings Cherie: Finally the truth is being told. Thanks be to God.
Dear Cherie, I have enjoyed reading your website TTT from time to time. Every few months I feel the need to get on the Internet to see what’s new on the various sites devoted to the Truth. Sometimes it is cathartic, sometimes it is painful. I was raised in this religious tradition but left around 16 years ago. I have a number of questions that the often confusing haze of message boards more than obfuscates. Some are doctrinal, some are historical. But more than anything, I would love to hear something about your rich experience since leaving. My interest arises from my own engagement with these issues recently. I am trying to put to rest, perhaps to reconcile, some of the more painful memories I have. Perhaps we can minister to each other in some small way through a talk. I’m hopeful. Grace and peace,
I am a former member of the 2×2 church and have been out for several years. I want to thank you for all your great effort and time you put into your websites, Telling The Truth and The Liberty Connection! They have been a help to me, even so many years later.
Lately on a whim, I went to your websites and read everything I could find. It brought it all back. Floods of negative memories, but struck a real note with me, so I kept reading! Remembering about when I was having doubts, no peace, no spiritual food and literally hated the way I felt…so alone! I had no help, no one to relate to! How I wish I could have talked to anyone at the time! Anyway, now I too have complete peace and joy walking daily with my Lord!
That cult is extremely damaging and claimed most of my life! I was saddened to read about people who also grew up and lived with severe dysfunction, and in many cases, destroyed their lives and health! My family is still ripped apart because of this horrible cult, but it’s OK because I have a new family! My brothers and sisters are the TRUE church, and JESUS is the way, truth and life!
The wish I had been able to fellowship with those who could relate to a lifetime of so much pain, and then ultimately coming out, losing all friends and family, to limp down a lonely road for whatever might remain of ones messed up life! Fellowship is the one thing I have longed for, because if one has NOT been raised in this cult and has been drug through hell, forced to eat crap every day and live a miserable existence for most of your life, then one cannot possibly begin to understand the bondage and pain!
I have not read any of the recommended books on the TTT website but would like to. My son, Zach Price, gave me your email address so I could thank you for all you’ve done! Would love to hear from you, if you can find the time to drop a line! Maybe some day I will get to meet you in person. That would be wonderful!
Cinda (Watkins) Price
November 23, 2018
Dear Cherie, I can’t thank you enough for opening the door to the “truth about the truth” for me. Even though I had been out of the 2×2’s since I was 20 (and fence sitting long before that), I still had that veil of “truth scripture” over my eyes through the years. Then I found out through you that William Irvine started this church, and not Jesus when he sent his disciples out two by two.
That eyeopener allowed me to begin to search scripture like I had never searched it before. It allowed me to explore churches without guilt. I bought a Bible I could understand. I was scared to death when I went into that Christian bookstore to buy my Bible. Here I was, forty-something years old and had never been allowed to buy my own Bible before, had never entered a Christian bookstore, because the Workers had to order them for us. It was like that veil was torn from my eyes, and I could see what I’d never seen before.
I thought about how you broke free of the legalism, through the pain of people’s criticisms, gossip, etc. Like David, you didn’t just ask for this freedom for yourself; others could see and hear what you were doing and have that same freedom to worship as we were meant to, honoring God instead of man. You have brought so many through that same pain to break free.
I, for one, am thankful to you for your courage. Thanks to you, I can say today I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and I can say it boldly. What a gift this is that we’ve been given. I never want to take it for granted.
Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m amazed that this many years later there are still those out there who are being misled. They need to hear the truth about the history and founder of this church. They need to be able to search without guilt. It is very freeing. Thank you for being the one to free me to search for freedom in Christ.
Judy (Montgomery) Bates Temple
August 13, 2018
I read the chapter by you in the book, Reflections. I am so thankful that you didn’t back down on anything. You have helped many people make the exit from what we thought was the only way to be saved. I was one of them and remember vividly when I made the right step to get out and leave the convention grounds. I have forgotten lots of my past but not the most wonderful step I ever made! I just wanted to write a note and say how much I love you for going against the whole system and facing the Workers the way you did. Many people have come out when reading your story or being in contact with you in person. I’m a proud mom and love you bunches!
Mom (Dot Berry)
June 19, 2018
I want to tell you thank you once more for compiling and making available in a public manner all of your website’s historical, narrative, and evaluative content. Despite not having attended meetings since I was 18, marrying “outside”, and reading the bible myself, I never really felt free of the 2×2 church’s social-gravitational pull injected in me since childhood. It seemed an impossibility that I’d actually ever meet another soul who could authenticate the sense of illegitimacy I felt respecting the 2×2 church. This never ceased to put me in conflict, my 2×2 dogma/exclusivity challenging thoughts on the one hand, my emotional-familial, inertia-like loyalty on the other. I felt half-baked to overconfident, frequently unclean; in this state I was hindered from growing up, and it drained vital energy from my marriage.
In the last three years, through reading the thoughts and experiences of others like yourself who dared to think and dared to question, grasping for the first time the historical dinosaur of William Irvine and associates, having finally been able to trust my thoughts sufficiently to be joined by my heart, having finally been able to shed the nagging neurotic shame, I feel reborn to life, desirous of learning new things, open to the journey, whatever it entails for good or for bad I’m much more open and able to discuss the relevant with other people. For the first time, Christianity is the religion, the truth that I personally embrace instead of rejecting, through endless invalidations. I realize now I was just projecting onto Christ what I always felt towards the 2×2’s.
Your historical work helped me to come to terms with the 2×2. It’s helped me see it realistically, not through the idealistic lens of my parents and their peers—the primary community in which I was socialized—their interpretations, idealizations and idolizations of their sect and the leadership. It launched me onto a quest to understand Christianity better, and to find a place within its ideological framework. I’m still growing and learning today, thanks in large part to the dialogue your research and hard work made possible for so many of us.
August 13, 2018
Because I have so little time left, I have been going over my records seeing if I have failed to thank anyone who has made a great effort for my knowledge and education. I believe you are such a one, so: THANK YOU, Cherie! Wish I had known all you have helped me learn and confirm many decades ago, before being misled by Workers (and intimate family.) Guess this also must serve as a “goodbye.” Smile.
February 16, 2018
After reading a draft of Cherie Kropp-Ehrig’s book, it is my conclusion that it is a study based on the truth of historical documents. It is factual and documented as a record of a most important religious movement. It is an outgrowth of revival and missionary initiatives rooted in the years around the beginning of the twentieth century. This movement deserves serious study due to its claims to be a primitive connection back to Jesus Christ Himself and His command that His servants (witnesses) go out two-by-two into all the world. Hence the movement has extended to all parts of the world, covering most existing countries with “house churches” and periodic regional conventions.
The great value of this book is being rooted in history–facts, dates, truth, real people, genuine experiences, biblical doctrines, and sincere opinions. God is the power behind truth because He is truth. God never lies. He never deceives. He always brings light to darkness. His truth is the fact that exposes fiction for what it is. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers who were harassed and hindered by those who sought to deceive and destroy their witness and work for Jesus’ Church, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8).
This book is valuable as a statement of truth. We are living in a day when most people embrace truth as relative and personal. For those who hold to such a view there is no standard by which one can judge or determine if a statement is false. One of the important points in this book is that Truth exists and that it is God’s reality and revelation. The Bible is God’s revelation and against that standard all of man’s ideas, revelations, relationships and thoughts must be judged. The author has clearly revealed her search and study of this important movement in actual sources, individuals, testimonies and experiences.
This historical narrative establishes the relationships and dynamics involving the 2×2 movements. The founding is documented, and the individuals involved are clearly and factually established by the author. The documents, the oral testimonies and surviving materials (letters, lists, journals, newspaper articles, pamphlets and books) undergird the narrative giving the true story of the movement. An important part of the author’s story involves the details of one founder’s (William Irvine) shifting to questionable beliefs, moving farther and farther from the Bible. The emphasis on Matthew 10 focus and making this a biblical essential for salvation in all cases is part of this story. It is one illustration of many that clearly portrays how a flawed interpretation leads to a flawed movement tormented and treacherous in influence.
One founder, William Irvine, in 1914 went radically astray and changed his message. The emergence of Irvine’s Omega Message marks this change. This study is valuable as a resource showing how the movement strayed from the essentials of the Gospel. Reading and studying this text gives the nature of the 2×2 beliefs and how they originated, developed over time and through different leaders and groups.
The author also carefully presents how the 2×2 movement changed, often embracing appealing ideas. One such idea is well-documented and insightfully presented as a major change in Chapters 11-20. The “Living Witness Doctrine” (LWD) discussion is one of the most useful, particularly regarding those who came to disagree and refuse to follow the LWD teaching and what resulted from that dissention.
Irvine’s Omega Message and the extra-biblical revelation and deviations beyond Scripture are important to the story. This book explains and chronicles the development of the 2×2 sect’s development and divergence from the Gospel and Word of God. Focusing on some single biblical passage and developing dogma based on that single passage is well-presented and explained.
Along with this the author effectively presents how exalting one or two or regionally dominant figures establishes problems while ignoring Scripture and the Gospel message. She shows how the problem of legalism and the harsh emphasis on minor points and ideas related to dress and practices aggravate the movement. Along with this problem emerges the inconsistencies in the lives of some Head Workers (HW), particularly as to “central funds” and the refusal of some HWs to assist those with special needs. The unreasonable application of some Scriptural passages as those pertaining to clothes, not having even one change of clothes to assure proper washing of worn garments shows in such cases absurdities.
Irvine’s experience and several of his associates also illustrate the fallacy of aligning the biblical “message” with current events–his “Alpha Message” prior to World War I and his “Omega Message” after 1918. He also required his followers to agree with him, accepting him as God’s only messenger and no other. Irvine claimed to be God’s “gate” and that after 1914 the Gospel was not to be preached, only God’s judgment. Scripture clearly insists that Jesus is the Judge of all men and nations.
The confusion and conflict resulting from Irvine and Edward Cooney’s work and witness together can serve as a legitimate warning in judgment of emerging movements. The early leaders sought to connect the movement directly to Jesus and the early Apostles manifest this movement as having elements of religious primitivism and restorationism. Indeed, Primitivism and its associated companion known as Restorationism can be identified in a number of different leaders and ideas they express relating the movement as rooted in early Christianity. Both of these have been related to revival, Pentecostalism, holiness, the Oneness movement and anti-trinitarianism from time-to-time through history. See: The Believers’ Church: The History and Character of Radical Protestantism by Donald F. Durnbaugh, London: The Macmillan Company, 1968, pp. 147-172.
An important feature of this work on the 2×2 movement is the family connections and influences associated with the conversions and the calling of workers. Factions and separatist groups emerge. Disfellowship and dismissal of members, whole families and even their house churches because a HW held something against one or several in a family or group is an important part of the story documented and discussed. In relation to this aspect of the author’s work is the bibliography of resources, published studies and the explanations in regard to online resources and resource documents available.
This book presents the global history of a fascinating movement establishing the international linkage of the movement’s history and expansion. The movement has extensive work in most countries, including China, Russian, Vietnam and Korea and Africa. Several aspects of this global experience impacted the expression of the 2×2 witness in the West, particularly in the Southern United States. For example, the struggle with Apartheid and segregation in South Africa and the United States South is an important part of this study of the 2×2 movement and how this played out through both the international setting and the local expression of the movement in the southern states. The courage and determination of those who resisted and contradicted those who practiced segregation and exclusivism racially in the United States are commendable and valuable.
By Dr. Jerry Hopkins, Historian/Pastor/Retired University Professor
Marshall, Texas, USA
December 30, 2018
I read with interest your letter and many items on your site. I married into a family which belonged to this group and found it very interesting, especially the indoctrination required by the members. I floated around them for 25 years and found much of what you say interesting, especially the part of asking the questions and given answers meant to side-track the asked question.
I admire you putting a website together with the information and history. I know most of them do not know the first thing about the history. They follow blindly and do not like questions from outsiders. I truly know that issue.
What amazes me is the continued blind following of the ideas and belief system, the control of the Workers, (yet insist the Workers are not controlling). It has destroyed my daughters’ lives in many ways but yet, the righteousness of the meeting people is incomprehensible. It is hard to explain to anyone who has not lived it. It is an unforgiving force.
For that reason and others, hats off to you for separating fact from fiction, taking the time to think and stand up to them for what you believe. I do know what it is like to stand up for yourself and truly admire someone when they can.
July 20, 2011
I wanted to take time tonight to thank you for your website. “The Truth” definitely is a religion that needs to be carefully explained to others. I was once a member and really agree with your efforts to expose this group for what it is: a very manipulative and dangerous group of men and women that should be avoided.
The whole idea that there is a set of rules that say “Workers can and Workers can’t” and a different set of rules that say “the saints can and the saints can’t” is just something that some man made up. It does not represent anything that God or Angels would want to be the guide for any human being.
Thank you again for your efforts.
October 20, 2013
Hello there. This is from India. I have read the TTT and found so many truthful info. It was not easy for me to know that it is not from the beginning. As you say, if this church has the age of less than 200 years then what happened to those who followed Jesus 2000 years before. So no history of Christians for 1800 years? Anyway,
January 27, 2014
I am so very delighted to discover your website. I was raised in this cult religion you write about here. It is called “The Truth” in my part of the country. My parents and some extended family are still deeply involved and committed to it. I cannot begin to tell you the damage this cult has brought into my life, my lack of ability to communicate and relate with my own parents and family. Instinctively I could see the unhealthy control the church held on my parents and other members. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for creating this website and telling this truthful story.
January 8, 2014
Hi Cherie: I wanted to make contact with you. I have appreciated reading all that you’ve written about the “the truth”. When I was a young teenage girl, I became involved with the Truth, but have since left. Interestingly there are still days I find myself still wondering about my salvation even though I have come to know Christ through his saving grace and love. I’m not sure why it still has the impact on me after all I’ve learned. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you wrote. My mother attends meetings and I’m certain is praying for my lost soul, but I find comfort in all that I’ve learned on my own and with stories such as yours. I now attend a conservative church with my family — the truth is biblically relevant, and I have to come to know more about my Saviour in a loving way as opposed to guilt. Thanks for being brave and sharing.
Dear Cherie, Thank you so much for getting back in touch with me! I remember very well that you were the first one I contacted on the internet when I was trying to sort out my mixed feelings about my upbringing in the Truth. I will never forget what you said back then. You signed off your emails with the very simple words “I care”. Your loving kindness helped me so much, it meant the world to me back then as it still does today. I think of you often. We must talk further, I have much to tell you…All the best, Cherie, I am glad we are in touch again.
Helen Susan Maclean, England
I would like to thank you for the vast amount of info that you have put together for me and others to read. When I first stumbled onto your site I was devastated, yet the doubts or questions that filled my mind before now all made sense. I have also been corresponding with others that have left, I find myself in the rather awkward position of making the decision to leave and break ties. The hardest is that I have had discussions with my parents regarding this and find it very difficult to convince them that we have all been misled due to the very foundation of this system being founded on men’s ideas instead of the truth that is only found in Jesus.
My life has taken a dramatic turn over the last 3 years. I do believe that my course in life has been altered.
January 28, 2016
In reading Cherie’s book as I helped with proofreading, my impression of her as relentlessly persistent in pursuing details was greatly reinforced. The history of the nameless church often referred to as the “Two by Twos,” has been shrouded in much generality and denial of historic events and decisions, rendering it vital for someone like Cherie to pursue numerous avenues of information in setting forth the history for those who care to know. Cherie digs out information that has both confirmed some of the stories about the group’s origins and sometimes has had to leave it as “we cannot ascertain for sure.” I appreciate this kind of honesty and fairness.
I am one of those, having been a member for 50 years, including 18 years as a minister. My eventual departure from the fellowship had nothing to do with this dismissal of knowledge regarding origins. I had always wondered about it, but I didn’t make claims of its being “from the shores of Galilee” in the sense of an unbroken chain, and I didn’t realize how many people invested their lives in the fellowship because of believing it to have descended directly from Jesus
For me, though the actual “founding date” was of interest, I was much more intrigued with decisions that have been made throughout the years and the early years in particular—that formed the basis of much of what we believed and taught. There was a certain point at which Workers decided to essentially “purge” William Irvine’s name from their talk about the “early days.” This not only served to erase his name and early history, but it also tended to an aura of secrecy and to making statements such as “Those aren’t the things that really matter.” I was part of this, having often repeated this kind of advice, and like many, I was innocent of knowingly attempting to deceive anyone—I simply was part of it, and this was our “culture.”
I later received a degree in Ethnic Studies, and this type of socio-historical analysis fascinated me, as I saw the forming of a culture within it all, which we were not only afraid to challenge, but we scarcely had the means of knowing what to challenge. I appreciate Cherie’s research into the names, dates and events that formed the culture in which I grew up, giving me a framework in which to understand my experience.
Cherie’s copious work on the internet and in this publication has proven of enormous value to me and many others, as we have struggled (at least initially) to sort out our own experiences. It helps immensely when leaving a group that has engaged in “cultish” practices, to read of and from others who have endured similar experiences. These cultish practices are not overtly so—we didn’t do strange rituals or anything—but the discouragement from seeking other avenues of information certainly occurred, which is a form of abuse often used to gain control, even in non-religious institutions.
Cherie’s work includes many testimonials, statements, lists, photos, and newspaper articles. It would be difficult to enumerate even the types of materials included, but it has proven cathartic to many to both share their experiences and to read that of others, and it also can prove very informational, to members, former members, and anyone from the general public who may be interested.
Cherie is doing us a favor by accumulating this type of information concerning the history of the “2×2” religion. She has done the most exhaustive research that I have seen on the subject of 2×2 history—even though what she has put together only scratches the surface of this armor-plated religion. When people are implored and encouraged to burn, shred, and otherwise DESTROY any evidence that we may have that shows a traceable history to report, it must be a daunting challenge for Cherie to put together a comprehensive accounting. People also KNOW a great many things which they COULD tell but go to their deaths never to reveal ANY of it. I admire Cherie’s continual determination to attempt to document our history on a largely fair and balanced basis, in the face of much resistance and stonewalling. As Always—Keep Digging, Cherie! Thanks!
December 22, 2000
Thanks so much for your website “Telling The Truth,” from which I learned about the facts regarding the church I grew up in, aka “the truth” or “the way.” I also appreciate all the time, effort, energy and money you put into researching the history and providing information based on facts and not fiction. All the documents you have available on TTT are so helpful if anyone wants to double check the facts. Your website is a very useful tool for present and past members of the church. We can learn so much from the volumes of information on TTT and understand the church better in light of its history. I wish more in the church would embrace the history and learn from it rather than just ignorantly rejecting it. Truth will prevail at the end of the day, despite all the efforts to destroy, eliminate or twist it.
Thank you so very much for your website. It was so helpful during our exit and now we use it to equip us to answer questions of people still in fellowship. (Not that many will talk to us!) I have been into your site over and over for help and just thought it was time to tell you what a blessing it has been to me.
May 4, 1999
Hi there, I have just read that there is a hard copy of certain documents, etc. Does this mean a book, or just written documents? I was shocked when I first heard about all this, cried for three days and mourned for years. Still a 2×2 but not in heart. Thanks kindly,
April 16, 2017
Dear Cherie Kropp: Recently, there is someone ask us about the ex-friends in Vietnam, I show her the website Telling The Truth. In fact, it is very sufficient to understand the 2×2 in Viet Nam. Once more, thank you for your effort to help the others to know clearly the 2×2 in order they are not misled by the ignorance. Your work is very careful and exact.
November 25, 2016