V.P. WIERWILLE RESIGNS UNDER PRESSURE
V.P. Wierwille's break from the Christian Church became clear when he resigned from his pastorate in 1957 and from his ministerial standing in the Evangelical and Reformed Church on May 23, 1958.
Wierwille's biographies typically state that he resigned from his pastorate in order to devote full time to The Way ministry unfettered by the pressure of parish ministry and "man-made rules" of his church body.
As the newspaper article above shows, the E & R Church was investigating Wierwille and found apparent wrongdoing on Wierwille's part which called for serious action:
"Mr. Wierwille's resignation came a few months after the northwest synod had, on Feb. 13, 1958, authorized appointment of a judicial committee 'to investigate and bring forth recommendations for actions' about him... it is eminently clear that if Wierwille had not resigned, or 'voluntarily withdrawn, his dismissal would have been forthcoming on the basis of a judicial council,' according to former E and R president, Dr. Emil Bassler." (Lee Steele, "V.P. Wierwille Got Out Just Before the Ax Fell," The Blade Sunday Magazine, March 26, 1972, p. 11)
While the records do not specify charges, denominational officials agree that Wierwille created embarrassment for the church while he was visiting India on his own. Dr. Bassler reports that certain speeches Wierwille made
"...were embarrassing to the missionary program. As a result of that, there were letters from missionaries in the field which indicated the workers were concerned about the harm he [Mr. Wierwille] was doing to the missionary cause." (The Blade...)
Wierwille's recollections of the event mention none of this.
It is likely that Wierwille's teachings, which had drifted farther and farther from both Biblical and E & R teachings, were also part of the cause.
For more details on Wierwille's resignations, see From Vesper Chimes to the Way International pp. 16-18 by Morton and Juedes.
Dr. John Juedes, 2007, www.abotuthewway.org
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