People occasionally write this web site complaining that it is wrong to identify Christian Educational Services (CES) with The Way International )TWI) because they differ "so much" from TWI. They do not teach believing equals receiving, their take on the manifestations is different than TWI (especially interpretation of tongues), their work on one God is more thorough, and they teach that sexual purity is a must.
It's true that there are differences between CES and TWI. Some differences, such as eliminating believing equals receiving, are very significant. However, these changes are mostly comparatively minor. On the major teachings CES is a close copy of TWI.
For instance, while CES does define SIT and interpretation a bit differently than TWI, the larger issue is that they hold the "all 9 all the time," holy spirit being the return of human spirit, learning to SIT and interpret, and related issues. So to an objective observer, they are a pretty close TWI copy, and quite different from Christian teaching on the varying distribution of gifts to believers, the Holy Spirit being the personal, divine being, and a much less mechanical approach to "learning" to use the charismata.
The CES book One God and One Lord is more thorough than Wierwille's Jesus Christ is Not God (JCNG). But they hold essentially the same teaching on one God as TWI, and it contrasts sharply from historic Christian teaching (even though they call Jesus god sometimes, this is essentially barely different from TWI calling him lord). If there had been no Wierwille and his book JCNG, there would be no CES and no CES book One God and One Lord. The similarity to TWI is obvious.
Even more, the dependency on TWI is obvious. CES didn't open the Bible one day and discover their teachings. All its leaders, and almost all its followers, took TWI's classes- Foundational, Intermediate and Advanced Power for Abundant Living and read avidly all Wierwille's books. Only after that did they "discover" the Bible teachings they now hold. CES started when whole limbs (statewide organizations) of TWI left TWI in mass, stopped calling themselves "limbs of TWI" and started calling themselves CES. They already had TWI structure and practices, and kept most of that, too. These was especially obvious in the early days, before CES packaged the same TWI teachings under different titles. Even CES books are mostly remakes of TWI books, producing their own versions of Are the Dead Alive Now and JCNG. CES didn't start with their Bibles and discover these things, they read them first in TWI and later tried to rewrite the same TWI things in longer forms.
Like TWI, CES and its followers always say that anyone who doesn't agree with their conclusions are just locked into teachings of deluded denominations and never dig into the Bible themselves as CES does. They don't even seem to consider the possibility that they are locked into the mind set of TWI (continued by many CES followers) which hinders them from even considering the possibility that the deity of Jesus Christ and Trinity are actually taught in the Bible. In fact, in my experience most ex-followers of TWI are almost completely closed to even considering taking an objective look at evangelical Christian teachings.
It is very nearly a lie that the CES book One God... has a lengthy bibliography which never mentions any book by Wierwille or TWI. When they copy some of TWI's interpretations of verses about Christ being deity, they don't mention that they read them first in JCNG, which would be a forthright thing for an author to do. They aren't honest with their readers or with themselves about why they teach what they teach and where they got it from.
In some ways, CES has become even more like TWI in recent years. They are now taking applications from home fellowships to be affiliated with CES. As CES approves these applications, it is exerting a kind of authority over them (imagine how quickly it would show if one of the affiliated fellowship suddenly switched to orthodox Christian teaching!) and establishing itself as a kind of denomination. It's only a matter of time until CES starts its own "Corps" to train fellowship leaders just as TWI did.
When researchers (or learners) examine religious groups or movements, they look for "families" of groups. It is quite obvious that CES and TWI are the same
family, and that CES is a direct child of TWI, dependent on TWI, and like it in the great majority of major and minor teachings and practices. It is a myth for
CES followers to somehow think that they are radically different from TWI and somehow discovered all their Bible teachings by reading the Bible alone.
Wierwille said the same thing straight out-- and he was found to be a big-time plagiarist and copier.
Dr. John Juedes, 2005
Return to New Menu