For many years we have been disturbed and have eventually become fully enlightened about:
- That while the workers reiterate their ministry is the only right way and the truth, they keep the body of Christ completely hidden. The little publicity given to gospel meetings via cards in boxes and occasional small adverts is totally inadequate in view of the total lack of publicity/knowledge of the existence of the body backing up the gospel meetings. Our appropriation of the words “the truth” is very wrong.
- Connected to this is the fact of our exclusiveness and members are cut off in large part from many realities and kept in deliberate ignorance of so many facts, an example being the large amount of successful evangelism done by other bodies in foreign lands (ours is mere token).
- The superficial nature of the workers’ relationship with us and their refusal/reluctance to discuss the scripture, doctrine, and be open and on a level with us.
- The lack of clear doctrine especially in gospel meetings is bewildering. In fact, we wonder if they understand what the true gospel of Jesus Christ is—they far too often take verses out of context and weave a good-sounding message around it without any regard whatever for the whole context and what God is really saying. They say we do not need deep knowledge of the scripture, only to be willing to do it, but how can you have the “spirit” of it or do it–if first you do not fully and correctly understand it?
- It is becoming increasingly clear that the workers are almost totally ineffective in bringing souls to Christ. We get the strong message that they are more concerned about keeping OUT any doubtful or potentially troublesome people (i.e. those who are likely to ask questions and expect answers thereto), than about bringing them to Christ.
- A lot of mindless repetition of phrases and cliches, one example being: “I want to have more faith”—without specifying: faith in THE BIBLE, faith in the life and plan of Christ, faith in THE WORKERS, faith in THE WAY or WHAT. Another is: “I want to be a good example”—which really means “I WANT TO BE WILLING TO APPEAR TO GO ALONG WITH THE STATUS QUO.”
- The lack of real study/understanding of the Bible (young fully excused) is appalling BUT MORE SO is the complacency and indifference about same.
We have tried to speak to the workers for some years about our concerns in all the above matters and have become saddened by their evasion and lack of honest attempts to talk. Instead, their implied condemnation that we would DARE TO QUESTION “God’s servants” and told we have a wrong spirit, etc., etc. We know down the years many have tried to witness to the workers, but they remain impervious for obvious reasons, and will be held responsible by God.
We are now FULLY AWARE that the workers themselves are victims of the WAY which WAS NEVER RIGHT. It is just a man-made fellowship founded on ignorance, maintained by deceit and controlled by intimidation. God has given plenty of time to correct original errors, but succeeding generations of workers have chosen to cover up. The doctrine is basically a gospel of contention against orthodox Christianity and is a mixture of truth and error.
Since God has gently and kindly led us along the path to this knowledge, we now have no option but to leave and to trust fully in Him for the future. We cannot do any longer what kind friends have suggested, i.e. we “go along” with SUPPORTING a false gospel.
Please feel free to talk with us at any time. Truth can stand any investigation. We overlook being ostracised by some, they have done it in ignorance. We appreciate the love shown by others and hope it will continue. We want no whisper campaign, all is above board and open, you can ask us any questions, and we hope you will.
WE HAVE NOT BEEN INFLUENCED to go out by others—we arrived at our decision independently over a period of time, and only after much prayer and study.
Letter to Workers
March 1, 1993
Dear George and Norman,
As there is no value put on openness, reasoning, honesty, there is obviously plenty to hide. It is a sad fact that many errors could have been put right down the years by above. The Bible is inerrant, but the workers or ‘the. Way’ are not infallible.
By your non-negotiation, you force people to be reluctant hypocrites i.e. “going along” with what they don’t really believe, not daring to ask questions, etc.—questions that should be able to be answered. They are forced into either “going along” with it outwardly but inwardly all the while having doubts. Others simply go their own way, but attend meetings and appear to be in total agreement with you. Only the few honest ones are forced to a decision to leave. And it is a very difficult decision to make, we can assure you.
It is quite clear to us that the workers would much rather have a DISHONEST ADHERENT than an HONEST DISSIDENT. We just have to move on from this no-win situation.
We want to make it absolutely plain that we have nothing personal against you or any other worker, only great sorrow that you should be a part of a great deception, and unable to be open about it all.
Neither have we got a bad spirit and an unbelief in God or his salvation and the need to live righteous lives. Going “out” does not mean going out from the presence of God. Rather the opposite.
We feel we have tried to witness to you and to make it plain just what is unscriptural. Even in recent gospel meetings, you have not shown that the sacrifice and righteous life of Jesus as our propitiation is the CENTRAL ISSUE OF THE GOSPEL. God knows better than we do ourselves our inability to meet the righteous standard He requires and to pay the price of salvation. So He planned it accordingly.
We feel today there is no use in us saying any more. We don’t doubt you will turn it all around just say we are unwilling.
By Charles M. & Susie O. McConnell
March 1, 1993