THE WAY, INTERNATIONAL
About The Way:
The Way is a high intensity Christian faith group
which requires a strong commitment from its followers. It was founded by
Victor Paul Wierwille (1916-1985), as an outgrowth of his radio program,
Vesper Chimes. In 1955, (or 1958; sources differ) he incorporated
his ministry as The Way, International (a.k.a. TWI). He
took the name from Acts 9:2 in the Bible.
"The Way" was a name used by some of the early Christians to
identify their movement. Wierwille is reported as having claimed to have
received audible revelations from God who promised to teach him Christian
truths that had been lost in the 1st century CE.
Various problems, including at least three lawsuits and the
death of the founder, reduced the number of TWI supporters from about
100,000 to perhaps 3,000 by the turn of the century.
Beliefs about homosexuality:
There is no consensus about the cause(s) and nature of homosexuality. The two
principal beliefs are as follows:
||Many conservative Christians believe that everyone is
born a heterosexual. However, some individuals become addicted to
homosexual behavior or make a conscious choice to engage in homosexual
||Gays, lesbians, mental-health professionals,
human sexuality researchers, most religious liberals, and others
generally believe that a homosexual
orientation is a normal, natural orientation for a minority of
persons. It is not chosen, and is unchangeable.
President Martindale of TWI promotes a third path. He
defines the cause of homosexuality to be "devil-spirit possession."
-- that is, possession by an indwelling demonic spirit. There are many
passages, largely in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) which describe
various mental and physical illnesses as being caused by indwelling demons.
However, mental health professionals abandoned this belief in the 19th century.
During Wierwille's leadership, gays were only dismissed if they were actually
caught in the act. During the mid-1990s, concern within the group over
homosexuality seemed to reach a fever pitch. Anyone who was suspected of being a
sexually active homosexuals was purged from within the leadership Corps of the
organization. Gays and lesbians are not allowed to join TWI. Some events:
||In 1993, President Martindale augmented the TWI Five-Point Family
Plan to include a sixth point: "Prepare and do what it takes to
protect your mind and the lives of your children and families from the
homosexual devil-spirit onslaughts that are coming."
||In 1994, TWI cancelled the commissioning of hundreds of Word Over
the World. (WOW) Ambassadors after almost 10% were discovered
to be homosexuals. 1
||Also in 1994, President Martindale blamed the concentration of "practicing
homosexuals" in the leadership Corps on "the homo logic"
present in many Corps members. He criticized them for their lack of
passion "about the truth of God's Word -- God's holy, magnificent
Word -- as it stands totally against homosexuality in any form or
fashion." 2 In a letter to Corps members,
he implied that gays were no longer permitted to remain in the
leadership Corps. However, if they honestly sought help for their
condition, they could still "be a part of Way Ministry fellowships."
Gays and lesbians were given biblical teaching about homosexuality,
direct confrontation, and help to cure them of their behavior. They were
expected to convert from homosexuality to heterosexuality; they were not
allowed to remain celibate gays and lesbians with homosexual fantasies.
Those gays who did not lead a celibate life were formally abandoned "to
Satan for the destruction of the flesh." The members and supporters
of TWI -- are instructed to have nothing to do with any abandoned
||In his letter, he claimed that the Bible says that gays and lesbians
are the "lowest of the people." We have been unable to find a
reference to this in the Bible. He described lesbians as "female fags,"
male gays as "wimp-ass fag men" He refers to homosexuals
generally as "an abomination to God," "detestable and
despicable and repugnant and worthy of death." 2
His attack on gays and lesbians is too strong to be further quoted here.
Rev. Horney reported that '163 sodomites...had been purged, marked and
avoided' by January 1995." 3
Copyright © 2002 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2002-SEP-30
Latest update: 2002-SEP-30
Author: B.A. Robinson