THE WAY INTERNATIONAL
A Pubulication of Apologetic Research Coalition
INCORPORATED NAME: The Way International, Inc.
COMMON DESCRIPTORS: The Way, Way Corps, WOW Ambassadors
FOUNDER: Victor Paul Wierwille (d. 20 May,1985)
CURRENT PRESIDENT: B. Craig Martindale
DISTRIBUTION: U.S., U.K., Australia, South America
HEADQUARTERS: New Knoxville, OH
PERIODICALS: The Way Magazine (bi-monthly)
TV & RADIO: None (PFAL course is on films)
PUBLISHER: American Christian Press
EDUCATION INSTITUTION:Emporia, KA; Rome City, IN
Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of The Way Intemational, was
born in the kitchen of the family farm house on 31 December,
1916. In school he was a "C" student and even flunked out of
the 11th grade. After high school he received a Bachelor's
degree from Mission House Seminary (now defunct). In 1941 he
was granted a Master's degree in "Practical Theology" (no
Greek or Hebrew studies included). Wierwille's "Doctor's"
degree was issued from Pikes Peak Bible Seminary which is a
degree mill. Furthermore, Wierwille claimed to have taken
every correspondence course offered by Moody Bible Institute.
However, Moody Bibie Institute has absolutely no record of Wi-
erwille having completed a single course. Still more serious,
Wierwille's scholarship is seriously undermined since he
incorporated many large blocks of direct quotations from
others' works without attributing credit to them (some would
call this plagiarism). In 1942, after a year as a pastor,
Wierwille came to a spiritual crisis provoking him to throw
out his entire 3,000-volume theological library. He was
determined to study only the Bible and pursue the power of the
Holy Spirit. Although his "healing ministry" began in the mid-
1940's, it was not until November of 1950 that Wierwille
actually spoke in tongues. During the following three years
Wierwille developed his "Power for Abundant Living" course.
In 1957 Wierwille was asked to resign from the Evangelical &
Reformed Church. Upon resigning in May of 1958, he founded a
"Biblical Research Center" on the 147-acre famiiy farm in New
Knoxville, OH, calling it "The Way." The Way did not
experience significant growth until 1968, when Wierwille
filmed his "Power for Abundant Living" course and proselytized
a couple of new-born Christians from the burgeoning "Jesus
Movement." With the newly filmed PPAL course and a couple of
dedicated converts, Wierwille parlayed his small, rag-tag
group into a new religious force numbering over 110,000 in 61
countries. Since 1974 they have opened two training schools
(Emporia, KA: Rome City, IN). This pseudo-Jesus Movement even
has it's own "Rock of Ages" festival featuring Way rock bands
like Takit and Good Seed . The government of the Way is highly
centralized. Wierwille himself likened it to a tree (root,
trunk, limb, branch, twig), with the "twig" as the local
"church. "The informal "twig" meetings may occur several
times a week and are conducted in a home wiM singing, praying
and listening to Wierwille's tapes. The Way's missionies,
"W.O.W. Ambassadors" (Word Over Me World), support themselves
with part-time jobs. While the Way's financial 'cords are
closed, there is no doubt that they have taken in millions of
dollars since they own both a publishing concern and a record
company in addition to all the courses they offer. [The PFAL
course alone has ranged from $20(1953) to $200(1980)
back to $40 (1985).]
REVELATlON: Way dogma rests entirely upon Wierwillie's inter-
station of the Bible. His authority is carefully shaped,
controlled and preserved. While taking "the Doctor's" PFAL
course you are not allowed to ask questions or take notes.
Whereas one cannot question Wierwille's interpretations, it is
brought to light that Way members believe he spoke with
supreme and enfallible authority. His interpretations are
elevated virtually the level of scripture itself since
Wierwille claimed that God gave him a special revelation
which conferred authority on him not known since the first
"And that's when He [Godl spoke to me audibly, just like
I'm talking to you now. He said He would teach me Me
Word as it had not been kno# since the first century if
I would each it to others."
Wierwille claimed that the New Testament was originally
written Syrian Aramaic. moreover, Wierwille deified the
Christian scriptures when he proclaimed "The Word is as much
God as God is God."
GODHEAD: Wierwille rejected the Biblical view of one God
existing in three persons. He argued that the word "Trinity"
not in the Bible and that it was instituted at the Council of
Nicaea (325 AD). By contrast, the Way teaches that God is
Holy" and God is "Spirit, "therefore God is the "Holy Spirit"
(capital 'H' and 'S').
CHRlSTOLOGY: Like the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way
International adamantly rejects the deity of Jesus Christ.
Wierwille maintained that the Bible calls Jesus "Son of God"
50 times while calling Him "God" only 4 times. Therefore, 50
to 4, Jesus cannot be God. He also taught that the early
church did not believe that Jesus was God. Instead, Wierwille
asserted that Jesus existed only in God's foreknowledg before
Bethlehem. Wierwille also rejected the virgin birth of Jesus
Christ, holding at Mary was a virgin only at the conception of
ATONEMENT: Originally, according to Wierwille, God deeded the
earth to Adam. At this time man (Adam) was a whole person,
body, soul and spirit. Supposedly, he was to receive
instructions on ruling creation through his spirit. But when
Adam fell, man lost his spirit. Therefore, Adam deeded the
earth over to Satan, all very legal. Now, another complete
man was required to legally win back the deed to the earth.
Enter Jesus Christ, who was created with supenatural sperm
placed in Mary. Although He had no sin (sin is passed on
through the blood), Jesus was still not a complete man for he
lacked the requisite human "holy spirit'(notice small case 'h'
and 's' refers to the gift). Jesus received His human "holy
spirit" at His baptism from the "Holy Spirit" (notice capital
case 'H' and 'S' refers to God). At this time Jesus became
the only complete man (body, soul and spirit) since Adam.
After he ascended he imparted the gift of the human "holy
spirit"(small case 'h' and 's') to the people in the upper
room. Now they became complete and eternal: they were 'body,
soul and spirit.' This was evident from their exhibiting one
of the nine manifestations of the "holy spirit" gift -
speaking in tongues. And when we accept what Jesus did for us
on the cross we too receive our human "holy spirit" (we are
'born again'), which also is exhibited by speaking in tongues.
As a consequence of receiving our 'holy spirit' we are
entitled to perfect health, success in everything we do and
REVELATION: It must be underscored that Wierwille's claim to
a "woo-woo" revelation from God does not confer any special
authority on him. God's word declares that scripture is not
of any private interpretation (II Pet 1:20), including Mr.
Wierwille's. Weierwille's pontification, "the Word says what
it means and means what it says," exemplifies his overly
simplistic approach to scripture. It is absolutely necessary
in extracting the meaning of any text to take into
consideration the language, history and cultural context in
which the text was written. Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, in his paper
entitled "Creek, Hebrew, Aramaic, or Syriac?" utterly refuted
Lamsa's belief (which was Wierwille's authority source) that
the New Testammt was originally written in Syrian Aramaic,
since the Syrian form of Aramaic did not evolve until the
third century. Jesus spoke "Palestinian" Aramaic, if any.
But most certainly the New Testament autographs were penned in
Jesus would renounce Wierwille's view that the Scripture is
"God just as much as God is God." Jesus proclaimed that you
"Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal
life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
There is no life in the scriptures! They are not God and do
not have life in themselves! The Father has life in Himself
(John 5:26), the Son is the bread of life (John 6:33) and the
scriptures testify of the one who has life (John 5:39).
GODHEAD: While it is quite due that the word "Trinity" does
not occur in the Bible, that does not mean that the idea which
the term "Trinity" represents is also absent. The word "Trin-
ity" is simply a technical term used as a short-hand notation
to refer to the God of the Christian scriptures. To attack
the technical term of a particular Biblical concept is not to
address the concept itself. This persuasion technique
employed by Wierwille is common to many forms of propaganda
referred to as the "straw-man" technique. Without using the
technical term "Trinity," we see that in the Biblical view
there is only one God (Deut.6:4). Further, there three who are
identified as God: the Father (l Pet. 1:2), the Son (Hebrews
1:1-12) and Me Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,4). However, must also
remember that the Father is not the Son (John 17:5), the Son
is not the Holy Spirit (John 16:7) and the Holy Spirit is not
the Father (luke 3:22). Wierwille's view that the "Trinity,
was instituted at Nicaea in 325 AD is a total
misreresentation. In fact, Wierville's lack of scholarship is
pointed the facts that he thought that the Council of Nicaea
was in Nice, France (Nicaea was in Turkey) and that the
majority of the bishops were from the the West (in fact
"Occident" means East). Over one hundred years before the
Council, Tertullian, one of the great defenders of the faith,
clearly enunciated a Biblical trinitarian view of God. There
is absoulutely no Biblical reason for Wierwille's division
between "Holy Spirit," (denoted by capital 'H' and 'S') and
the 'holy spirit" (denoted by small case 'h' and 's'). This is
a fictional invention on Wierville's behalf.
CHRISTOLOGY: The argument forwarded by Wiereille that Jesus
cannot be God because he is called the "son of God" more than
"God" is extremely simplistic (to be kind). If this reasoning
were employed throughout scripture, Jesus could not be the
"son of God" either because He is called the of "son of Man"
even more times (88). To the shock of any historian,
Wierwille claimed that the early church did not believe Jesus
was God. In fact, Polycarp, a disciple of John the apostle,
adamantly taught the deity of Jesus, as did Irenaeus' Wartyr,
Justin Martyr, and Clement. A cursory study of the Christian
scriptures reveals that the Word declares Jesus is, 'God
mamifest in the flesh" (l Tim.3:16: John 1:1:John 5:38: Heb.
1:1-2; John 8:58; John 20:28: etc.). EvidenUy, in studying
the virgin birth, which he rejected, Wierville must have
passed over Mat 1:25 - "And [Joseph] knew her not till she had
brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name
ATONEMENT: Wierwille taught that man does not have a "spriti"
until salvation after Pentecost. The Bible disagrees:
Job 32:8 - "But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of
the Almighty, that gives him understanding." Psalm 32:2
- "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count
against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Ecc. 12:7
-"... and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it." Luke 1:47 -
". my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..."...
John 20:21,22 - "Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you!
As the father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with
that He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holly
Jesus gave his disciples the "Holy Spirit" (the person!, capital
letters) before the day of Pentecost! In reality, Wierwille's
entire "spirit" scheme, "Adam lost it-Jesus found it-Jesus gave
back," is pure fantasy. It is not enunciated anywhere in scripture
It is merely a speculative model constructed in Wierwille's mind to
justify his preconceived conclusions. Clearly, Mr. Wierwille did
not "rightly divide the Word."