Current as of 2009
John Lynn's Letter to Way Believers
Dearest Way Believer:
God bless your wonderful heart super-abundantly in the precious and powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I love you very much, and I love God and His Word also. I know that you too love God and want to do His will. Thus I am writing you this letter, which I pray will speak to your heart. Remember, you have within you "the spirit of truth," and I believe it will confirm to you that what I say, though perhaps not all pleasant, is true. And it is the truth that makes us free. This is not an easy letter to write, but what else can I do but speak the truth in love?
I would guess that as a Way believer you probably recognize my name. During nearly 20 years of working for The Way, I was privileged to serve in just about every capacity except Trustee and Trunk Coordinator. I wrote three books that you may have read. Via these and thousands of live and tape teachings, it was my privilege to interact with tens of thousands of fabulous people like you.
I basically "got in on the ground floor" in 1967 and was near "the top" all along. This afforded me many, many personal encounters with all the original and current Trustees and other top leadership. I was a loyal employee and worked hard to teach and serve God's people. I certainly made my share of mistakes, but I always tried to treat all believers kindly and believe in them.
On April 1, 1987, I was fired by the Board of Trustees from my position as Limb Coordinator of The Way of Washington, D.C. Why? That's a good question, and one I asked Howard Allen that day. He refused to give me a reason.
Despite The Way leadership' s attempt to cover up, it's no secret to most followers of The Way that there are major problems. Many have been aware of them long before April 1986 when Chris Geer first read "The Passing of a Patriarch" and publicly exposed some things. Yet even that did not begin to expose the root of the evil.
In February of 1987, in conjunction with Ralph Dubofsky, Tom Reahard, Robert Belt and my wife Pat, I participated in writing a 37-page letter that we sent first to the Trustees. In it we confronted them with God's Word as to where they were in error, and called for a meeting of leadership to get out in the open and resolve them biblically.
We gave the Trustees ten days to respond, which they did not. Then we went "to the church," sending out about 500 copies to as many leaders and believers whose addresses we had. Since then we have continued to send them out, along with other pertinent and enlightening literature and tapes.
We mailed the letter to the Trustees February 26, and they did not respond until March 30, when Craig and Howard called me and asked me if I had heard Chris Geer's tape of March 25 to all The Way Corps, and if I still thought they were in error. Of course I did, because they had not specifically handled from the Word even one issue we brought up, and to this day they have still not done so. That was the whole conversation, and two days later Howard came and fired me, refusing to tell me why. I have a transcript of that conversation, which was taped.
What was Chris Geer's tape about? Besides accusing all the USA Way Corps of being "at enmity with God," he condemned our letter and us. How many Bible verses did he read? None. How many specific issues did he handle from the Word? None. Where was our letter biblically wrong? He didn't say. He did say that he had told the Trustees they were "the most qualified men on the face of the earth to handle the responsibilities that God had called them to," and that "the only exception is that they haven't yet turned back to the one True God." Huh?
You say you don't know what "The Passing of a Patriarch" is about, that you haven't read our letter, or heard Chris Geer's tape. Well then, how about John Schoenheit's paper showing from the Bible that adultery is sin (not a shock to most people)? Because of it, he was fired from the Research Department of The Way. Shortly thereafter, four clergy, Bo Reahard, Franklin Smith, Bob Mirabito and Dennis Hickman, were also fired for their "involvement" with the paper, and told they'd never run anything more than a Twig again.
Haven't seen it? OK, surely your leadership informed you about the November 1986 meeting where Chris Geer told the Limb Coordinators that over half of us were there "under the direct influence of evil spirits." How many Bible verses did he read in 90 minutes of talking? None. How much open discussion was there as in Acts 15? None.
This religious "caste system" has resulted in unhealthy competition, strife, ladder-climbing, currying favor, intimidation, and an abuse of people to the end that it has squelched the spiritual initiative of thousands. It is a big reason why today, for the most part, Way believers, who know much rightly divided Word, are bored with the Bible and living far below the walk of power available to every son of God.
First, idolatrous allegiance to men has, in practice, cut believers off from THE SON OF GOD Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body. In our zeal to proclaim the truth that Jesus Christ is not God, we relegated him to a "seated" position of virtual inactivity. He wasnít allowed in the "Athletes of the Spirit" production, even at the Gathering Together! Instead, it was "the minister" who was the mediator between God and men, and the believers served and worshipped him. It is only "holding the Head" (Col. 2:19) that will enable believers to live the Mystery, and in The Way, because of this doctrinal error, weíve never really been able to do so.
Second, money. I Timothy 6:10 makes it plain that wrong doctrine regarding money will have very detrimental effects on Godís people. The booklet "Christianís Should Be Prosperous" absolutely contradicts the Church Epistles, and its destructive effects on peopleís lives cannot be calculated. Dr. Wierwille was confronted about its error in the early 60s but refused to change it.
Work it for yourself. By page 3 one already believes he will "take the consequences" if he "withholds the rightful portion from God," and that he certainly wouldnít do less than his tithe if he desires Godís blessing. Ephesians 1:3? On the last page of the book it says, "Donít pray for prosperity if you donít tithe."
Jesus Christ is more than a 90% Redeemer. You do not have to spend 10% to buy protection from a "God-father." Then we were taught that 15% gets you spiritual insight. And of course thereís Craigís famous line that if you give less than 10%, "God wonít even spit in your direction." Actually, that's trueHe won't. You do not give in order to get. You give because God has given to you.
We are not under the law. Malachi is not to us. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 is. And the Bible plainly says that if you do choose to give of your abundance (not your need), the way to do it in this administration is to give to other believers who have needs. I have a 3 hour tape on this subject, and a number of us are collaborating to write a very comprehensive book on it. When Godís people believe and apply the truth of His Word in this area, they will prosper far beyond what we have yet seen.
Third, sex. Now this is perhaps more sensational than the other points, but keep in mind that again the root of the problem is doctrinal error, not human weakness. More than one woman has personally told me that Dr. Wierwille taught her, verbally and by example, that sex outside of marriage is not only permissible, but profitable.
Ralph Dubofsky told me that in September 1986, after a woman had come to him, he confronted Craig Martindale about having sex with her. Craig admitted it, and told Ralph that Dr. Wierwille had told him that unless he "loosened up in this category of life, he would never be a great leader or lover of Godís people." I know this sounds unbelievable, but it is true.
Dr. Wierwille told people that without broadening their sexual activities beyond marriage, theyíd never be able to handle the things of God." A friend of mine told me Dr. Wierwille told her he thought that "a woman gets eternal rewards for blessing a man of God like this." Craig told Ralph that there have been "thousands of times it has been done in the love of God and ministered Godís healing wholeness and deliverance to people." And I have a copy of a phone conversation on this past November 24 between Craig and a Corps grad in which he told her that there is not a straight answer from the Word on adultery, and that sex is in the category of need, like food on the table, and God supplies our needs. Where did he learn this? Not in the Baptist Church, I dare say.
This esoteric doctrine has permeated the leadership structure of The Way to the end that believers all over the country know about it. This is the real reason why John Schoenheit and the others were fired. Chris Geer and the Trustees are trying to cover up for Dr. Wierwille and themselves. Hereís a good question: If it is spiritually beneficial, why isnít it being taught publicly?
If you want to, you can look up the definitions of "allegation," "accusation," "rumor," and then "fact." These statements are facts and what I have just told you about this issue is "the tip of the iceberg." I have another 3 hour tape titled "Overview of Events: 4/85-10/87" in which I do my best to chronicle the key events from the time Dr. Wierwille stopped to see Ralph in Boston en route to Scotland, up until this past fall. In it I go into more detail about the adultery issue. I believe it is important because this wrong doctrine strikes at the very heart of the Mystery, and it has ruined countless Way marriages and wreaked havoc on hundreds of other men and women.
I believe you can see for yourself the rejection of Godís Word by top Way leaders. How? Take the information in this letter, which is admittedly only skeletal, and start asking questions of your Way leaders. Better yet, get the biblical truth regarding what I have brought up, and confront them with chapter and verse. How can you get it? Well first, you can study the Bible, especially regarding the three main subjects I mentioned.
Also, believers all over the USA have tapes by Sue Pierce, Ralph Dubofsky, me and others on many of the subjects I listed. They also have our letter, John Schoenheitís paper and other literature. Ask around, and if you canít locate what you want, call me. Sue, Ralph, John, Mark Graeser, Mark Carli and I are all travelling also, so call if youíre interested in one of us coming to your area.
What has happened in The Way is nothing new. Man has long been afflicted by similar religious error. Rest assured that there is life after The Way. Although many of us have been victims of wrong doctrines and practices to varying degrees, I view my involvement as a steppingstone to greater scriptural truth. I can no longer grow spiritually within The Wayís tightening confines. Of the approximately 100,000 PFAL grads in the USA since 1953, about 80,000 have already disassociated themselves from the structure. Perhaps many of them felt as I do.
Local fellowships in many areas are finally "self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating," and they love it. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body, and he is coordinating the efforts of those members who look to him. No longer do you need to sit around like a "bump on a Twig." You can get involved any way you want to. It is wonderful to be free from answering to men, especially those enforcing a self-constructed false standard of righteousness and "spirituality" based on works of the flesh. It is electrifying to go to the Word without fear of contradicting previous teaching. It is stimulating to be able to think, question and disagree. And it is refreshing not to have to apologize for living your life the way you want to.
Hereís an analogy that has blessed lots of people: WE HAVE ESCAPED FROM EGYPT WITH ALL THE GOLD! Thatís right--weíre free, and we have all the right doctrine we heard, and the keys to learning more. So letís spend the gold! That sounds better than sitting on it and lamenting our time in Egypt.
The Bible still encourages us to pray, read the Word, fellowship with believers on the Word, speak the truth in love and share of our material abundance. Many who have left The Way are afraid to become part of anything else. I tell them theyíre already a part of the only thing they can join--the Body of Christ, and that is hardly "another bandwagon."
As we look to our true Head, knowing all that he has done (and is doing) for us, he will "choreograph" the functioning of his Body. Our hearts will be knit together in genuine love, and each of us can maximize the limitless potential of holy spirit within us. You can still live your lifeís dream, and help preserve the truth of Godís Word for your children and grandchildren.
love you with all my heart and will do whatever I can to help you.
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