The Christian church with no name, (aka. "Two by Twos")
Part 3 of 4
Attacks on the group. Worker burnout. 2X2 web sites and
discussion forums. Bibliography.
Attacks by the Counter Cult Movement (CCM) and by ex-members:
The Counter-Cult movement (CCM) coalesced in the 1960's, largely
in opposition to the many new, small Christian religious groups which were then
proliferating. They used the horrible experiences of members of a very few destructive cults in order to generate public fear and loathing
for a wide range of new, benign religious groups, primarily those who:
||placed high demands on their membership, and/or
||held beliefs which differed from traditional, conservative Christian theology.
The 2X2s appear to have been largely ignored by most of the counter-cult movement. The
group is not mentioned in any of the popular anti-cult books written by conservative
Christians. The criticism that does exist appears to be at the two by
twos' beliefs where they deviate from conventional evangelical beliefs. These include the group's:
Belief that individual cannot not be saved unless they first hear the Gospel from a 2X2
worker. This has been called the "Living Witness Doctrine."
Belief that salvation is only attained by
joining the 2X2 group, trusting in Jesus
and leading a devout life. (Most evangelical Christians and the CCM
critics claim that only repentance and trusting Jesus are necessary for salvation. Some of these do not even require repentance.)
Claim that they alone will mostly attain Heaven after death. All of those who do not belong to the group, (the
remaining 99.999% of humanity) will be sent to Hell for eternal torment without hope of
relief when they die.
Suppressed and/or forgotten information about their founding by William Irvine in the early 20th
Teaching that their group has been in continuous existence since the 1st
century, was founded by Jesus, and is the only true Christian church. They teach that,
over the centuries, the movement"
"... has suffered much persecution, which is the
principal reason for its obscurity and the low profile it continues to keep. Moreover, the
very worst persecutors have been the Christian churches themselves, which from the
earliest times have diluted and perverted the true gospel." 1
Beliefs that they have to follow strict behavioral codes throughout their lifetime.
They feel that they can lose their salvation at any time. (Many evangelical
Christians believe that once one trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior, one is saved for
eternity and cannot lose their salvation.)
||Alleged use of mind-control techniques on their membership, to control their thought and behavior
and almost reduce them to a zombie state. We have found no evidence of this in the 2X2s or
in any other religious group.
||Trapping members in the organization and not allowed to leave. We find no
evidence of this phenomenon either; members are free to leave the movement at
Because of the secretive nature of the group, there is no way to relibably determine which of the above are valid criticisms of the 2X2s.
The group does appear secretive about their historical background, and does have
unique beliefs about salvation. On some matters,
they are very similar to other fundamentalist Christians in their beliefs. Their doctrines on
heaven and hell differ little. Their main difference is over the history of the church and personal salvation.
Charges of mind-control "brainwashing" techniques have been
discredited by the mental health community and are believed to be groundless. Any member
is free to leave the 2X2s at any time and seek a faith group that is more to their liking.
Many manage this. However it is generally extremely difficult for them to abandon their faith group, because they
would have to discard much of their
social, religious and cultural supports. It is probably
not much more troublesome than it is for other fundamentalist Christian who are
members of very high intensity religious groups whose families of origin have
been conditioned through generations to conform to their denomination's teaching.
A unique problem: Workers suffering from burnout, or apostasy:
The life of a 2x2 worker is no bed of roses. They have no home, no income, no means of transportation. They must totally rely on other members of the group for support. They are required to remain celibate, unmarried, and lonely without a significant other for the rest of their life.
As Jack Carrol, the 2x2 Overseer of the Western United States said at the church's convention in San Diego, CA during 1951:
"The two fundamentals of the faith of Christ are the minister without a home and a church in the home." 2
By "faith of Christ," he is referring to the beliefs and practices of the 2x2 church, and not of any of the other 20,000 or so Christian denominations.
The longer that a person is a worker in the group, the greater the stressors. Sooner or later, they are bound to realize that they are required to lie to the membership. One example is the teaching that the group has been continuously in existence since the time of Christ. They deny that it was organized in the early 20th century in spite of the strong documented evidence that is a relatively new denomination. Meanwhile, a lot of workers probably suffer from cognitive dissonance over many conflicting matters. One is that they need to teach:
- The love the God and Jesus has towards humans, and simultaneously
That the 99.99% of humans --those who are not members of the Two by Twos -- will end up in the torture chambers of Hell after death with no hope for an end to the pain inflicted on them.
If a worker feels burned out, or disillusioned, or has feelings of apostasy, he may well be trapped with no home, no money, -- and if he leaves the church, no job. This can be an intolerable situation. Fortunately, there is a group dedicated to helping 2x2 workers in exactly this situation. Their web site It is called "Worker to Regular." 3 They state:
"We are a group of ex-Friends and ex-Workers who know the difficulties Workers face if they wish to leave the Work.¬ ¬ We know exactly what you are feeling, because we've been there too. You don't have to do it alone.¬ We have housing, job programs, college training, university programs, etc., all supported and funded by the loving donations of people moved by the Holy Spirit.¬ You've given so much of your life, and we want ensure that you¬ get a head start on your journey in your new life."
They have three locations, one each in California, Florida, and Texas. They are planning to open a fourth in Australia. and . If a burned out worker can somehow make it to one of their facilities, then -- according to their claims -- they will look after the rest.
Other web sites dealing with the 2x2's:
Telling the Truth maintains a list of 2X2 web sites
There are several forums online that discuss the 2x2 faith group.
However, since the group discourages ownership of computers by its members, they are out of reach for most members of the 2x2 group:
Three items in the following list were taken from the
religiousmovements web site
Keith Crow, "The Invisible Church." Unpublished Master's Thesis. University of Oregon,
Loyd Fortt, "A Search for 'the Truth'." Chelsea, Michigan: Research and Information Services.
Kathlene Lewis, "The Church without a Name," Global Publishing
(2004). See: http://www.2x2church.com/
This was previously published under the pen-name David Stone.
Doug and Helen Parker, "The Secret Sect," Sydney: Macarthur Press,
Willis Young, "In Vain Do They Worship."
"The No-Name Fellowship," Great Joy Publications, Carryduff, Belfast.
The following information sources were used to prepare the first draft of
this essay in 1998 and update it since. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Benton Johnson, "Christians in Hiding: The 'No Name' Sect,"
published in M.J. Neitz & M.S. Goldman, Eds., "Sex, Lies and Sanctity:
Religion and Deviance in Contemporary North America," JAI Press, Pages 37-55.
- "2x2s, 2x2 Religion, 2X2 Cult," Home page at the 2x2ministry.org web site.
The "Worker to Regular" web site is at: http://workertransition.weebly.com/
Copyright © 1998 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants
on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2015-NOV-17
Author: B.A. Robinson