TWI president L.C. Martindale (LCM) is consumed with replacing the phrases, classes, programs and teaching of founder V. P. Wierwille. Here is a list of some of the current terms Wayers must use, along with what they mean. Followers are harshly corrected when their jargon isn't current.
"ABUNDANT SHARING" (and "TITHING")
Every person owes God a tithe (ten percent) of his or her income, so true giving begins after the "minimum payment" is made. The portion over the tithe is called "abundant sharing" and (with the tithe) is paid directly to TWI headquarters (at one time it meant giving this to people in need, not just to TWI). The unchanging "Law of Prosperity" is that the payment of one's "debt" of the tithe assures that the payer will not experience financial collapse, health problems or accidents. Giving 11-15% is only sowing "sparingly,"while giving 16% and up is sowing bountifully. Only those who give over 15% can attain wealth and receive abundance of revelation and inside knowledge of the Word. Leaders also advocate "plurality giving," determining one's needs and giving all income over that amount to TWI.
Wierwille adapted E. W. Bullinger's ultradispensationalism which divides history into seven administrations (dispensations). This system teaches that water baptism should no longer be practiced and that only the seven "church epistles" by the Apostle Paul are meant for Christians today, thereby placing little stock in the other 59 Biblical books.
"ATHLETES OF THE SPIRIT"
LCM twists many meanings of Greek words in order to make all the military images in the New Testament (such as the armor of God in Ephesians 6) into athletic ones. Martindale starred in a dance production based on the concept.
"BELIEVING" ("LAW OF BELIEVING")
one unchangeable law in the universe is that positive believing (being convinced that good things will happen) produces prosperous things in a person's life, while negative believing (fear) produces bad things. This has nothing to do with God, and works for believers and unbelievers alike. Wierwille claimed that one mother's fear that her boy would be hurt was what caused him to be killed by an automobile. Wayers must not use words like "luck" or "fortunate."
All Christians who are not a part of TWI. Martindale calls their churches "stained glass whorehouses." Wayers must not use Christian words like "Christmas" and "Easter."
"CHRIST IN YOU"
The natural man is born with a body and soul, but not a spirit. When one is born, God creates a custom-made (human) spirit in him or her. It makes it possible for God to work with someone. The spirit is also called "Christ in you," "holy spirit," "inherent spiritual power," "power from on high," "spiritual abilities," and "the mystery." It is not Jesus Christ Himself.
"CONFRONTING" (similar to "REPROVE," "ADMONISH")
leaders criticize and accuse those beneath them of error, mistakes, not using current jargon, and of not doing enough (or the proper things) for TWI; may include yelling, berating, screaming or not allowing the subjects (victims?) To leave the room until leaders are finished convincing them to obey leadership on even small matters. This is a major theme in TWI ever since the power struggles that began after Wierwille's 1985 death, and is widely practiced and frequently taught. See "Living on a 24 Hour Basis."
"CORPS" ("WAY CORPS")
TWI's three year leadership training program, paid for largely by donors the Corps students recruit. It includes Corps (singles) and Family Corps (couples with children) which were trained at different locations when TWI was larger. Corps numbers are inflated because they count Junior (children) and Mini (small children) Corps. Recognized Corps status has been granted to long time workers who didn't take the formal training. Since large numbers (perhaps 90%) of Corps grads left TWI, they have been categorized as Active, Emeritus, Alumni (in TWI but without Corps privileges) and Dropped (including DFAC [T]- dropped during in-residence training and DFAC [G]- dropped after graduating).
"CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND EARTH"
LCM's WAP class devotes several segments (much more time than it devotes to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ) to the creation, destruction and recreation of the earth, attempting to integrate popular science with the Bible. This is not an innovative theory, as Bullinger mentions the general idea in his Companion Bible (from around 1905) and detailed versions of this have existed for decades (eg- Derek Prince)
"THE DEAD ARE DEAD"
Believers are dead and unconscious until raised by God at "the gathering" before the tribulation (similar to "soul sleep"). This and "Jesus Christ is not God" are strongly emphasized in TWI.
Invisible devil spirits (evil spirits) are repeatedly blamed for any doubts among Wayers or opposition to TWI.
"FIGURES OF SPEECH"
some phrases in the Bible are to be taken figuratively, not literally, and are expressions designed to illustrate or emphasize a point (eg- "God is a consuming fire"). These are widely known and understood, but TWI makes a big deal of highlighting technical names for different kinds of figures of speech, using material from E. W. Bullinger's huge book Figures of Speech (one of several books by Bullinger which V. P. Wierwille plagiarized).
"GREASE SPOT BY MIDNIGHT"
leaders may threaten followers of becoming harmed ("a grease spot") if they don't do what leaders require in a given situation; they may assert that any negative thing that happens to a followers are because they were disobedient to leadership
"THE HOLY SPIRIT"
The Holy Spirit (the first letters of which are capitalized) is another name for God the Father, as Bob is another name for Robert. God, who is Holy and is Spirit, is the Giver who gives his gift, holy spirit, to believers. (See "Christ in You" for a description of "holy spirit," which is not capitalized.)
homosexuals are considered the most perverted of sinners, and are believed to be controlled by devil spirits; LCM's class teaches that a homosexual relationship between Eve and the devil was the first sin in the Garden of Eden, followed by Adam's acceptance of it
"HOUSEHOLD" ("HOUSEHOLD OF ZION")
Those who follow and obey Martindale. The "Corps Household" are Corps grads who are obedient to Martindale; they are separate and superior to ordinary non-Corps believers. The "Trustee Household" are current and past trustees and their spouses who still follow Martindale.
Jesus is not God, but a perfect human who came into existence when the Father created sinless sperm and implanted it in Mary.
God established immutable laws which govern human situations, such as the law of believing, law of prosperity and law of tithing. Accordingly, what one does, believes or confesses (affirms) causes either good or bad to come to him or her, depending on the degree to which he has carried out the laws.
"LIES AND MALARKEY"
any criticism of TWI, even when entirely accurate and factual
"LIVING ON A 24 HOUR BASIS"
reprove any sin committed by anyone by confronting the offender either on the spot or before 24 hours pass
obey every command or desire of TWI leadership without hesitation or question
"MEEK" is an attitude of "loving obedience"
"THE MAN OF GOD"
L. C. Martindale is the only real "man of God" who God has appointed to lead believers (similar to Moses or Jesus Christ). He gets revelation directly from God, and followers must obey him without question or hesitation
"MARKED TO AVOID"
or "purge, mark and avoid;" the penalty for disobeying leadership or leaving TWI is that followers then "mark" (label them as erring) and "avoid" all contacts and conversations with them; this often prompts great stress in marriages, and sometimes divorce. TWI hoped this would result in a "clean household." The "cop-outs" who leave TWI on their own and those who are forced out by TWI leadership, are both labeled "mark and avoid."
"MOVE THE WORD"
getting paying students to take TWI's WAP class, as well as getting them to buy other classes and publications, and to support TWI; Christian activities such as distributing Bibles and translating the Bible into more languages are considered devilish (activity of the Devil and his devil spirits) since they do not teach LCM's class WAP so people know how to read the Word
"OPERATE THE MANIFESTATIONS"
Followers are taught how to speak in tongues, interpret tongues and prophesy, and are expected to do so instantly when called on by a leader in any meeting.
"PASSIONS OF IMFAMY"
a favorite Way phrase based on Romans 1:26 which indicates an illicit, unbridled lust. The most central of these is homosexuality, since the first sin of mankind in the Garden of Eden
The current teaching of Martindale, which all Wayers must follow no matter how much it differs from past TWI teaching. Leaders are told to teach from current issues of The Way Magazine and not to rely on TWI's past publications. This implies that past teaching and teachers were untrustworthy and that Martindale may introduce new teachings which must be accepted. This was necessary because most TWI teachers of the past accused Martindale of serious error and left to form their own groups, and because Martindale wants to shift allegiance from founder Wierwille to himself.
LCM is replacing the traditional Way phrase "Word Over the World" with "Prevailing Word."TWI now uses the title "The Victor Paul Wierwille Prevailing Word Auditorium" instead of the old "VPW Word Over the World Auditorium" for its meeting room in New Knoxville.
"PROSPERITY" ("THE LAW OF PROSPERITY")
When believers give a tithe and more of their income, they will become financially prosperous. Way Corps Principle #4 is "Practice believing to bring material abundance to you and the ministry." Actually, few are financially prosperous because career advancement is to be sacrificed in order to serve TWI completely, and TWI has had to greatly reduce their material holdings in recent years as income has fallen.
"PROTECTION OF THE HOUSEHOLD"
if people do not obey and fellowship with current TWI leadership, they will be under the control of devil spirits and bad things will happen to them. LCM wrote that if nuclear missiles exploded in America, "every community around you could disappear, but wherever the household of God stands strong, we remain unharmed" (TWM, SO97). This is used to instill fear in followers in order to cause them to do what the leaders demand and to keep them from leaving TWI.
the small number of LCM's devoted followers today, which are but a small portion of the number involved in TWI before V. P. Wierwille's death in 1985. To LCM, this tiny "household of The Way" is the only place on earth where true believers fellowship and hear the accurate Word of God. They gather in "twigs" (home groups) approved by TWI, in contrast to "sticks" where ex-Wayers gather.
conforming one's thoughts to the current teachings, terminology and practices promoted by TWI leadership
"RESEARCH" ("KEYS TO BIBLICAL RESEARCH")
TWI sees itself as a research and teaching center rather than as a church. The old Power for Abundant Living class taught keys to Biblical research which were simple and commonly known. The new WAP class de-emphasizes these. Many are used selectively in order to manipulate the Bible to make it appear to support TWI's preconceived theology. Although TWI denies it, leadership discourages personal research and instead emphasizes studying the research done in New Knoxville. Twig and other leaders are told to teach using the Sunday Service topics or current Way Magazine articles (older issues have too many article by defectors).
"SALT" ("KEEP THE SALT")
TWI uses ceremonies which use salt as a sign of commitment (eg- Corps dedication, ordination, marriage). This is loosely based on some ancient near eastern practices. Followers who actively support TWI and obey leadership are called "salted."
this ordinary human perception, judgement and decision-making is criticized as being invalid and out of touch with God's will
"SPEAKING IN TONGUES (SIT)"
SIT is the infallible evidence that a person has been born again. Believers are told to SIT constantly after being taught how to do so by Way leaders.
"STATUS" (includes "STANDING")
TWI classifies its present and past followers into five categories. "Standing" followers are active in TWI activities, obey TWI leaders and tithe and/or abundantly share finances to TWI. They may receive mail and buy bookstore items, The Way Magazine and tapes. "Inactive" are willing to be active in TWI but are unable to due to distance or incarceration. They may buy TWI items. "Not Standing" are people who have taken Way classes and are not willing to come to TWI activities even though they are not antagonistic toward TWI. TWI will not send them mail or sell bookstore items to them. Wayers on "Probation" are not allowed in TWI fellowships for a period of time because they have not yet fulfilled requirements TWI leaders have set for them (such as getting out of debt or moving closer to leadership). Those who are "Mark and Avoid" cannot receive TWI mail, bookstore items, magazines or tapes and are not allowed into TWI fellowships. When people call or write TWI, their names are checked against the status list which determines whether or not the inquiries will be answered.
"SUNDAY NIGHT SERVICE" (or "SUNDAY TEACHING SERVICE")
Wayers are expected to attend the weekly hymn and teaching service if they live within 250 miles of New Knoxville, or (if they live farther away) to have a live telephone hook up, or to buy the weekly tape subscription. When the time was moved to earlier in the day as a result of complaints from those who had a long drive home late at night, the name was changed to STS.
Wayers are expected to give a minimum of 10% of their income to TWI; this is considered a debt to God, not a gift freely offered. Leaders may check to see if followers have continued to give 10%, and may require "back tithes" when they are behind
any teaching of practice that differs from TWI, even if it is more Biblically accurate or chronologically much newer than anything held by TWI
devout followers of TWI who are assigned to certain cities to recruit new Wayers for six month periods; LCM established this program to replace the Word Over the World Ambassadors which did the same for one-year terms. They must be graduates of the WOAP Advanced class.
"WAY OF ABUNDANCE AND POWER (WAP)"
a videotaped, 24 segment class taught by LCM in order to indoctrinate new recruits in the teachings and practices of TWI; it has three separate levels, Foundational (24 segments), Intermediate (12 segments) and Advanced. A higher level of commitment to TWI is required in order to take each higher class; it replaced Wierwille's "Power for Abundant Living" class
the hierarchical chain of command beginning at the top with the root (President and Trustees in New Knoxville), Trunk (countries), Limb (state or multi-state), Branch (regional), Twig Area (group of home fellowships); leaders require complete obedience and approval or all activities. V. P. Wierwille initiated the Tree about 1970 in order to control the formerly independent fellowships affiliated with TWI across the country. The three Trustees, who are Loy Craig Martindale, John Reynolds and Rosalie Rivenbark, have absolute power, are placed in office for indefinite terms, and are accountable to no one.
Dr. John Juedes, C. 1998, rev. 1999
Back to "Quiz Corner / Photo Gallery" Menu