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Cults and World Religions

The Way International



This is a more recent cult – and since they consider the Bible to be part of their beliefs, they call themselves Christian. Yet, it appears the Way International denies the Deity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the personhood of the Holy Spirit. They also deny salvation by grace.

Want to start a cult? Well, here’s the formula. Have God talk to you and give you new revelation. Go on radio or television (or maybe the Internet) and start preaching this new doctrine. Pretty soon you will have followers.

In the case of The Way International, this is the story of Victor Paul Wierwille, a minister in the United Church of Christ. In 1942, God audibly spoke to Wierwille, providing him with the proper interpretation of the Bible. Wierwille maintained the information silently until 1957 when he started a radio program teaching and expounding on this new revelation. Although headquartered in Ohio, the group has a college in Kansas.

Wierwille demonstrated his new power by speaking in tongues. He proclaimed his new “gospel” the Power for Abundant Living. He spread his gospel by teaching courses under this name. The courses were promoted to video and are sold for $85 a course. A course is apparently one three-hour video. There are twelve of them. 148 Once through this basic course which will answer 85% of your questions, there are follow-up intermediate and advanced courses.

And like all cults, it paints itself as a picture of Christ and the church. Consider the following quote from the pamphlet, This is the Way:

The Way International is a biblical research and teaching organization concerned with setting before men and women of all ages the inherent accuracy of the word of God (the Bible) so that everyone who desires may know the power of God in his life. The Way is not a church, nor is it a denomination or a religious sect of any sort. 149

Unfortunately, the title of Wierwille’s book, Jesus is Not God, sums up their entire position of this group. Wierwille makes a distinction between the Holy Spirit and the holy spirit. The Holy Spirit is the same as God the Father. The holy spirit is God’s power.

Further,

Wierwille has openly acknowledged that the terms he uses are the same as most Christians, but that they have different meanings. Why? While The Way International proclaims the sue of the Bible, it is a use based upon the interpretation of Wierwille, not that of orthodoxy. When you change view points, the meanings may well suffer in the process. So, like all other cults, the views of its founder are elevated to the level of Scripture.

Footnotes:
148. Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and the Occult, USA: Victor Books, 1977, 1990, 238.
149. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Handbook of Today’s Religions, San Bernardino, California: Campus Crusade for Christ published by Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1983, 106.

 

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November 14, 2018

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