My Journey out of Spiritual Bondage
I was born and bred in the 2x2s, left at the age of 19, am now 22 and attend a mainstream Christian Church. I believe I have salvation by the grace of God through faith in the finished work of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I also believe in a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and I uphold the Word of God (scriptures as contained in the Bible) as the final authority for all Truth.
When I grew up in the truth I was quite content, lived by all the rules, honored the workers, etc. I had nothing to complain of, no really nasty experiences, and fitted in well, as I had a very large family all professing. When I reached the age of 16 I really began questioning things. You see – I had met some other Christians, and what they believed was very different from what I had been taught my whole life!
Well, I blocked everything out for a long time, but eventually, I was forced to face facts for myself. And I began to study the Bible in earnest. I was SHOCKED by what I found. There was NO SCRIPTURAL BASIS for the 2×2 ministry, their way of going about homeless and penniless, of buildings built for worship being evil, etc.
About this time I also heard about Jesus being God for the very first time in my life. And I didn’t believe it! NO WAY! So I set out to prove it false. But the evidence mounted, and I began to really look at the Bible passages. Eventually, I had to admit it was true!
And I started TO ASK QUESTIONS!!! At first, the workers tried to be polite, but it became obvious they had no answers for what I read in the Bible that contradicted their beliefs. Many times I sat with them with an open Bible, trying to show what the scriptures said. But they wouldn’t even open their Bibles! They just repeated over and over things like “What are you trying to prove?” “You must just have faith and believe what we tell you” “You are being led astray and blinded”.
I found out the RULES of arguing with a worker very quickly. You can ask a question, but must immediately accept the FIRST response you get from the worker. If you disagree or try to bring scripture into it – FEEL THE CHANGE IN CLIMATE!!! Things turned cold and nasty on me VERY QUICKLY.
Stress mounted continually, and I eventually had a nervous breakdown, suffering severe mental and physical effects. At this time I heard the True Gospel (at a University Campus, and later at a local church) and became assured of my salvation. I went back to the workers to tell them that real Christians did exist in other churches, and what I believed (from the Bible).
Well, I was told that a relationship with God outside of THE WAY was IMPOSSIBLE!! I was mocked, scorned, sneered and laughed at (literally) and then told I was the Antichrist! They then kicked me out in the cold and let me know very clearly that I would be sorry for this in years to come, and would have to come crawling back to them someday! I have to admit that I have never been so shocked in my life. Those lovely, helpful, gentle workers, NOT!! I only wished the rest of the friends could have seen their behaviour.
I have since read the testimonies of many other ex-members of the 2×2 church. For those of us who found the TRUE Gospel and challenged the workers on what they taught – all hell broke loose!
If you have not gone through a painful experience like this and exposed the REAL errors in the sect (including the huge coverup and deceit surrounding the founder William Irvine) you probably just consider the friends a quaint, gentle people. But I would suggest that maybe you have not really asked the workers any difficult questions!
The majority of the friends I grew up with were lovely, zealous God-fearing people. But what they have been taught is horrific; and the “doctrines” taught by the 2x2s are false. I would exhort anybody reading my testimony (who is still a member of this group) to search the scriptures for yourself, and pray to God our Creator who is all-merciful, all-loving and all-wise.
By Elizabeth Coleman
Elizabeth later wrote the book:
Cult to Christ: The Church With No Name and the Legacy of the Living Witness Doctrine