Articles Books Discuss News Database Sites [Last updated: Jan. 19 2009]
Also known as Workers, Friends, The Truth, Cooneyites, Nameless Church, Nameless House Sect, 2 x 2, 2 by 2, and many other names... This movement makes exclusivistic claims. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity, and teach salvation by grace plus works, and then only if one has been baptized into - and is part of - this group. Therefore, from an orthodox, evangelical Christian perspective, the movement is considered to be a cult of Christianity.
The two-by=twos are briefly addressed in Ronald Enroth's book, "Churches That Abuse" (Chapter 7: Abusive Churches Foster Rigidity).
Officially registered with governments under names of: Christian Conventions in USA; Assemblies of Christians in Canada; The Testimony of Jesus in England; The United Christian Conventions of Australia and New Zealand.
How they differ from orthodox Christian beliefs -- in what they believe
Fact Sheet Telling the Truth
How they differ from orthodox Christian beliefs -- in what they do not believe
Fact Sheet Telling the Truth
"We compiled a list of 47 different cult characteristics," says lawyer Arends. "The Two-by-twos meet all the points. They are extremely secretive, have no written doctrine or records, you can't get a straight answer from them, and yet they claim to be the only path to salvation. Their 'friends' must give unconditional obedience to the workers, or they're guilty of backsliding. And if they backslide, they're damned." Mr. Arends says his case is bolstered by California academic Ronald Enroth's work Churches That Abuse, Port Coquitlam author Lloyd Fortt's In Search of 'the Truth', and the testimony of a dozen former members in Alberta. However, Gordon Melton, the California-based editor of the Encyclopedia of American Religions, argues the Two-by-twos are simply an "old-line, 19th-century Christadelphian sect," an isolated subculture of non-Trinitarian Christians. They are not a cult because "there's no real threats or violence," he says. "A good comparison is the Amish. They keep to themselves, with a minimal creed; they stress community, and their faith is passed from generation to generation. The big difference is that the Two-by-twos blend into the community, own houses and work normal jobs."
Doubts about a mystery church, Alberta Report, Sep. 15, 1997
J. Gordon Melton is known as a cult apologist. A group or movement is, of course, not determined to be a cult merely by the presence of threats or violence, but rather by a number of sociological and/or theological characteristics.
In this regard, the two-by-twos' rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity makes the group theologically a cult of Christianity. But Melton, who has admitted that he does not know how to tell the difference between orthodoxy and heresy, does not see a problem in calling the group "Christian," even while they reject key doctrines of the Christian faith.
Fact Sheet Very helpful general overview of the group's history, characteristics, beliefs, etc.
Reflected Truth : Former Workers and Followers Unmask Life in a Large, Little-Known Sect by Joan F. Daniel. Accounts of former members and relatives of members.
Reflections by Daurelle Chapman. A compilation of accounts by former members.
Reinventing the Truth by Kevin Daniel. An examination of the two-by-twos historical claims.
A Search for the Truth : The Workers Words Exposed Emphasizes the terminology of the two-by-twos.
The Secret Sect by Doug and Helen Parker. One person's review at Amazon.com: I had looked for this book ever since it first came out and the workers at the Edgewood Convention in NM warned people not to read it. I was delighted to find it on Amazon. It is a very informative and well written account of this sect. Being in it most of my life, I had figured out many things, but there were still some shocking facts (which I don't doubt) in this book. I highy recommend this book to anyone still in this sect. It would also be very good for people who have relatives or friends in the sect.
Items added after August, 2002:
» Religion News Blog News Collection, various sources
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)
Convention List (Pro) Merely a list of convention locations.
The Lying Truth (Contra)
Telling The Truth (Contra) Lots of background information. "[T]he largest collection of 2x2 historical documents on the Internet".
Research and Information Services (RIS) (Contra) Research and Information Services publishes books and other information regarding three related and little-known nameless sects. The largest of these calls itself ''The Truth'' and is presided over by a homeless, itinerant ministry known as ''Workers.''
Veterans of Truth (Contra) Extensive, very informative site by ex-members.
Looking for more information?