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Does the Church of Wells Teach a False Gospel?

Over the past several months, the Church of Wells in Wells, Texas has received national media attention, most recently by the ABC show Nightline Prime with Dan Harris, which aired on 4/5/14.

Background

Concern about the group first rose to prominence when the church allowed a baby to die in the summer of 2012 rather than seeking medical attention for her. They then prayed over her dead body for 14 hours in the hopes that God would raise her from the dead. The church also practices shunning of family members who disagree with the group’s teachings.

Patti and Andy Grove

Andy and Patty Grove, via ABC Nightline Prime

The Nightline Prime episode focused mainly on the Grove family. Patty and Andy Grove claim that their daughter, Catherine, was brainwashed by the group and has been kept from leaving. When a crew from ABC tried to interview Church of Wells members last month, group members refused comment or quoted King James Bible verses at reporters.

On Saturday, 4/5/14, two members of the Church of Wells were injured in a fight after they upset parents at the Wells Homecoming Parade by preaching hellfire and judgment against passersby, including small children.

It is my policy on this blog to refrain from mentioning specific groups unless they have already garnered media attention. Since reporters and public officials refuse to call the Church of Wells a cult in order to avoid libel lawsuits, I will also refrain from doing so.

Behavior Exposes Belief

While this group is in some ways unique, I think there is something we can learn from it which applies more universally to many other unhealthy groups: the practice of a church betrays its doctrines. Put another way, how a group behaves exposes what it believes. Behavior doesn’t lie. Thus, by allowing a baby to die without medical help, and by harshly shunning even professing Christians, the Church of Wells has behaved quite badly. This tells us that there is something wrong with the doctrine behind the behavior.

Oddly, if you talk to the elders of the Church of Wells they insist that their behavior is kind and loving. They say they are practicing true Christian faith, follow the Bible literally, and that they are acting in love toward family and community members.

sean_morris_church_of_wells

Church of Wells elder Sean Morris, via Church of Wells website

They also believe that they are doctrinally pure. Church of Wells elder Sean Morris has repeatedly said that he believes that salvation is by grace through faith — he said this to me in private Facebook messages in the summer of 2012, and he has maintained this whenever accused of teaching a works-based salvation. If his claims are true, this would put him in agreement with the major creeds of the church and with the majority of professing believers around the world.

And yet a question presents itself: Why, if the members of the Church of Wells follow correct biblical doctrine, do they cause so much damage in every relationship in which they find themselves?

It is because the members of the Church of Wells behave as if they do not believe that salvation is by grace through faith. Instead, members are told that they must work hard in order to get saved, and that even upon salvation they are always in danger of falling from grace. Outsiders who do not live as ascetically as Church of Wells members do are considered to be sub-biblical or unsaved. This then allows church members to treat these people as sub-human contaminants to their own hard-won salvation. Church elders quote extensively from scriptures which talk about faith evidenced by works (James 2) and the necessity of Christian obedience. Yet many other churches teach these same principles without the corresponding harshness demonstrated by the Church of Wells.

A False Gospel Buried in 718 Pages

While most observers understand that there is something “off” with this group, it can be hard to pin down exactly what it is, beyond a simple lack of balance. This is made more difficult when Church of Wells elders refuse to answer phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, or in-person requests for interviews or clarification of their doctrine.

condescension_of_God_by_sean_morris

“The Condescension of God” by Sean Morris

Fortunately, the group’s doctrine is clear based on their extensive writings posted to their website and now available in book format from Amazon.com. In “The Condescension of God,” Sean Morris teaches a false gospel, but I suspect few will make it through the 718 dense pages to discover it.

There are plenty of extensive scripture quotations in the book, but scripture can be used for any purpose and to buttress any argument, no matter how twisted. So as I read through the book, I looked for interpretive statements by Morris which would clarify his position on what saves a person. In the end, it became obvious that this book teaches a false gospel of works-righteousness and confuses sanctification with justification.

Here is a quote from chapter 19 which neatly summarizes Morris’s view of salvation:

“The Church, upon regeneration, is initially saved, and to be initially saved, then you have undergone the gospel experience called ‘imputed righteousness’. If you have imputed righteousness, then, lawfully speaking, you have the righteousness of Christ covering you. Therefore at this point, you are savingly in perfection/completion; you are savingly, perfectly, and completely joined to Christ! If a man has imputed righteousness, but then fails to maintain his saving faith, this is a failure to maintain unity with the life of the righteous Christ which indwells him; therefore he will not produce Christ’s works righteousness (called ‘My works’ [Rev. 2:26]). If a man does not have works righteousness, then he has dead faith, and if it is not revived or made alive again, then he too will be judged dead, without God, Christ, and imputed righteousness – thus he has fallen from perfection into blame. If a man falls from a saving relationship with Christ, which is by saving faith apart from works, and then those inward, immediate, and empowering qualities of the gospel are not walked out, which means that the powers of initial salvation are not presently and progressively experienced by the individual, then there is no present progressive works righteousness. If a man falls from works righteousness and yet pleads for salvation because he once had imputed righteousness, he is arguing for mercy because he once believed the gospel which he no longer believes at present. Scripture overwhelmingly declares that such a man will not be saved except by the restoration of faith and repentance.” [emphasis added]

The New Testament knows nothing of this two-step process of salvation, with the first step depending on Jesus and the second step depending on human effort. Ladies and gentlemen, salvation depends entirely on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

If salvation really is a two step process, as Morris claims, where Christ’s work is the first step and our work is the second step, then we are all doomed. This is an inaccurate understanding of the scriptural text, which Morris arrives at by jettisoning accepted church teachings and instead creating his own categories and paradigms. This is what happens when someone rejects the clarity and simplicity of the gospel in order to create a 718-page contortion to explain why everyone else in the world is wrong and he is right.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul says specifically that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-10). In the book of Galatians, Paul says that Christians are both saved by the Spirit and sanctified by the Spirit (3:1-4). Works are excluded. Paul also rebukes anyone who teaches a false gospel based on works righteousness. Such teachers, Paul says, are accursed (Galatians 1:6-12).

This is Christianity 101.

The elders of the Church of Wells should repent of teaching a false gospel of works righteousness and should instead humble themselves and embrace salvation by grace through faith alone.

Update, 5/15/14: There’s a helpful new website about the Church of Wells which questions its doctrine and exposes some of its harmful practices. You can find it here: http://www.thechurchofwells.org/

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475 comments on “Does the Church of Wells Teach a False Gospel?

  1. Well stated Dale! Moses said: ” The relationships could thrive if these families show interest in matters of spiritual significance that could promote a relationship” Again Moses you are assuming we haven’t. Years into this we have spoken of the scriptures MANY times with our loved ones. Assuredly this is a one way conversation. There is not an ear to hear on COW side of anything different from what they believe. I have asked repeatedly to have an e mail conversation about scripture with my child. This is so I can take the time to pray and search the scriptures. The only way they will do it is by skyping. There is no middle ground. No attempt to meet half way. Please do not assume until you know all of the facts and even then assuming is not productive in these conversations. Unfortunately we have been dealing with this situation a lot longer than you have and have tried everything to mend our relationships, save supporting them and denouncing our true faith only to be in communication with our children and grandchildren. That is where I draw the line. My Lord and Savior and the true gospel comes before my child.

    • Dear Concerned Person, I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling with your situation for a long time. I agree with you that God should come before family members, and this is the primary reason why so many of the church members are separated from the family members, because their relationship with God is more important than family. I do not know you, particularly since you withhold your identity. What was the point of contention between them and you? What do they say is the sin issue that you need to deal with? Do they consider you as non-regenerate, or backslidden, and unwilling to discuss spiritual matters? Why do you not want to discuss with them through Skype? I can ask them for an explanation about your situation if I knew your identity, and hear their side of the story as well. Love in Christ, Moses.

  2. Each adult group member represents at least two people outside of the group – parents. Add in siblings and a beloved grandparent here and there. People who’ve had a lifetime relationship with the group member. Then there’s aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, college roommates, pastors, social group friends, employers, and a whole host of others who have varying degrees of affection for each group member.
    Literally, several hundred people. Reality is several _thousand_ people. You can confidently say ALL these people need to be saved “from their unregenerate state, or from a backslidden state.”

    • Have you met all these people? Know them well enough to evaluate each one’s personal beliefs and spirituality?

    The three ‘elders’ built relationships with many religious leaders, pastors, deacons, and their congregation members. Used them as resources. Traveled with them, preached and prayed together, ate and slept with them, stayed in their homes, met their children, were fed and housed and financially supported by them. Have you met them all, Moses, and know these church men and their families to be “unregenerate and backslidden”?

    How do you know this to be the truth of things, Moses? Because someone told you?

    Your personal religious beliefs and doctrine are in line with this group. It makes sense that your daughter would be drawn to them, as you raised her this way. No mystery there.
    You are acceptable for a relationship with this group, even though you remain in your own town, with a secular job, and did not move to live with them, which seems to be a determining criteria for condemnation and rejection. Logically, this can only be about your theological structure and beliefs, rather than some measure of intrinsic goodness that they couldn’t know because they haven’t known you long enough.

    ► You say these people are “unregenerate” and “backslidden.” You believe hundreds of people you’ve never met, never spoken to, don’t even know their names, refuse to discuss the gospel, Christianity, the bible, “…anything about God…”

    How do you know?

    • He believes it because Sean Morris and the other elders have decreed it is so. And we know if they say it, it must be true.

    • Dear ATHB, I said that the church members are praying intensely for the salvation of their family members. I do not know the family members, but they do. I know that the church members have a high view of God, and He is the highest priority in their lives. Their lives are founded on the Word of God, and they rely heavily upon prayer for every day decisions. In contrast, I see many professing christians love the world more than Christ, and their lives are founded upon including Christ as one of the many things in life, and they are comfortable in their lukewarm position. Sadly, most of the so-called leaders overseeing their spiritual condition are themselves engrossed in the world, and its desires, therefore, they lack spiritual sight, or deceived themselves by the doctrines of man. They surround themselves with teachers who do not have command of God’s Word but teach from a human point of view. They subscribe to a theology that helps their complacent life of roaming on the broad road to destruction, and cause the little ones to stumble as well. It is concerning such people that Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”~Matthew 18:6,7 (NIV)
      May the Lord wake up the sleeping generation of professing, and backslidden christians to see and acknowledge the plight that we are in!
      Love in Christ,
      Moses.

      • You judge several hundred/thousand people that you’ve never met as “unregenerate” and “backslidden” — because the Church of Wells elders said so.
        You believe people you’ve never spoken to “refuse” to talk about God and the gospel — because someone said so.
        • You don’t see anything wrong with this.

        A prior ipetitio principii adque circulus in probando.

    • Dear ATHB, If the church members know their family members (neither yourself , nor me know them like they do) and love them enough to have the intense burden to pray for the salvation of their souls, why are you so bitter against them? And why do you hate them for their desire to follow after God’s call to love? Love in Christ, Moses.

      • The question is simple and genuine: how you _know_ what you believe. It isn’t a trick. The question is not rhetorical, allegorical or argument.

        Peer review is not condemnation, bitterness or “hate.” It’s curiousity and information. If I ask how you know what you believe about the qualities and characteristics of a specific compound or process in the laboratory, you can answer. You are able to say how you know.
        Not only that, but you would expect to document and provide proof of your findings. What you say must be repeatable by other scientists, anywhere. You write a lab report that communicates and articulates what you believe in a format that can be understood. It must be consistent and predictable, documentable and repeatable, or it’s of little consequence.

        When you present your research, do you view this convention as “bitterness” and “hate” towards you?

      • “Why are you so bitter against them?”
        “Why do you hate them for their desire to follow God?”

        These statements are empirically untrue. Divisive and constructed. You may not have the conscious intention to be deliberately deceitful, but it’s difficult to assess. Any legitimate question is restated as a criticism, attributing malicious and negative thoughts that are absent from the speaker’s original thoughts, and results in incomprehensible confusion and misunderstanding.

        The term “loaded question” is sometimes used to refer to loaded language that is phrased as a question. This type of question has an unspoken and often emotive implication. Such a question may be asked merely to harass or upset the respondent with no intention of listening to their reply, or asked with the full expectation that the respondent will predictably deny it.

        For me, this constitutes lying. Plain and simple – being untruthful and intentionally misleading.

        Verbal Trickery and Fallacy
        When did you stop beating your wife? So, how much do you drink?
        The structure of the question is disturbing because any response condemns you.
        A loaded question or complex question fallacy is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption.
        This is used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to only those that serve the questioner’s agenda. The traditional example is the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question and narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious.
        When the presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question, the argument becomes fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example, the question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.
        Sometimes this is a deliberate attempt to characterize the responder’s actions as negative no matter what they say. Sometimes it’s someone tipping their hand and showing their unconscious bias.

        There’s an entire sub-speciality in human psychology devoted to the rephrasing of another’s voice into negative and pessimistic criticism.
        Belief-Desire model, the Ideal of Rational Action, and Goal-Intentional Action model:
        “Existing literature has widely corroborated the fact that social behavior is greatly affected by the causes to which people attribute actions. In particular, it has been shown that an individual’s interpretation of the causes of behaviour reflects their pre-existing beliefs regarding the actor’s mental state and motivation behind his or her actions. It follows that they draw on the assumed intentions of actors to guide their own responses to punish or reward the actor. This concept is extended to cover instances in which behavioural evidence is lacking. Under these circumstances, it has been shown that the individual will again draw on assumed intentions in order to predict the actions of the third party.

        Although the two components are often used interchangeably in common parlance, there is an important distinction between the goals and intentions. This discrepancy lies in the fact that individuals with an intention to perform an action also foster the belief that it will be achieved, whereas the same person with a goal may not necessarily believe that the action is able to be performed in spite of having a strong desire to do so.”

      • Dear ATHB,
        1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NIV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

      • More of the same rhetorical bible quoting.

        Yes, I know. If I were in Old Testament times, I would be killed.

  3. “Spiritual pride often causes persons to act different in external appearance, to effect a different way of speaking, to use a different sort of dialect from others, or to be different in voice, countenance or behavior. But he that is an eminently humble Christian, though he will be firm in his duty, however different — going the way of heaven alone, though all the world forsake him — yet he does not delight in being different for difference s sake.
    He does not try to set himself up to be viewed and observed as one distinguished, as desiring to be accounted better than others — despising their company or conformity to them — but on the contrary, desires to become all things to all men, to yield to others and conform to them and please them in all but sin.” Jonathan Edwards

    This comes from one of the men they so highly esteem. The rest of the sermon is pertinent as well, especially the section about spiritual pride and a harsh spirit. It’s worth a read: http://www.grace-abounding.com/Articles/Sin/Pride_Edwards.htm

    COW take heed!

    • Dear Concerned Person, The reason they speak differently is not because of wanting to put on a show, but because they are so much into the Word of God, and they have chosen to use the King James Version, and much of their conversation proceeds from their familiarity of the verses from the KJV version of the Bible. It is wrong to condemn a Christian because he/she does not fit in with the pattern of the world around them. For them, everything circles around God and His Word. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • To question is not to condemn.
        It is foolish to condemn _anyone_for not fitting into society and culture (the pattern of the world). In fact, most people find it difficult to fit in.

        To speak in Biblical English is a contrivance; not familiarity. No one speaks this stylized form of Elizabethan-period Early Modern English. Not then; not now. It’s a romanticized form of writing, specific to the translation of the bible.
        An interesting paradox – it reflects being MORE worldly, not less.

        Our fadir that art in heuenes,
        halwid be thi name;
        Thi kingdom cumme to;
        be thi wille don
        as in heuen and in earthe;
        giv to vs this day our breed ouer other substaunce;
        and forgene to vs oure dettis,
        as we forgeue to oure dettours;
        and leede us nat in to temptacioun,
        but delyuere vs fro yuel.
        Wycliffe (1389)

        O oure father which arte in heven, halowed be thy name. Let thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be fulfilled, as well in erth, as it ys in heven. Geve vs thisdaye oure dayly breede. And forgeve vs oure treaspases, even as we forgeve oure trespacers. And leade vs not into temptacion: but delyver vs from evell. For thyne is the kyngedome and the power, and the glorye for ever. Tyndale (1534)
        http://archive.org/stream/englishhexaplaex00schouoft#page/22/mode/2up

        Gif ȝe, throw curiositie of nouationis, hes forȝet our auld plane Scottis quhilk ȝour mother lerit ȝou, in tymes cuming I sall wryte to ȝou my mynd in Latin, for I am nocht acquyntit with ȝour Southeroun. Ninian Winȝet, Letter to John Knox (1563)

        The English speach doth still encroche vpon it [Cornish], and hath driuen the same into the vttermost skirts of the shire. Most of the Inhabitants can no word of Cornish; but very few are ignorant of the English. Richard Carew, The Survey of Cornwall (1602)

  4. In response to my comment ~ ” If the CoW had strong faith they would not need to cut off relationships with loved ones, they could be like Christ to them and treat them with love, as commanded in Scripture.”

    Moses replied ~ ” The church members are pouring out their hearts through prayer to Almight God for the salvation of their family members, either from their unregenerate state, or from a backslidden state.”

    The word of God says ~ 1John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

    We have another saying in the western world you may not be familiar with Moses, it goes something like this ~ “Talk is cheap”

    Christians are not known by “their words” but by “their fruit.”

    Enough of these empty words from CoW it is time to see some action. It is time for these so called “Christians” in CoW to start acting like it, and to begin acting like Christ towards their loved ones.

    Moses also said ~ ” It is wrong to condemn a Christian because he/she does not fit in with the pattern of the world around them. For them,(CoW) everything circles around God and His Word.”

    Well Moses David, it appears that it does not “circle” enough around the Word of God because much of the body of Christ is rejecting their teaching and understanding of Scripture and calling on them to repent, look ~

    http://www.thechurchofwells.org/statements-concerning-church-wells/

    Who is correct Moses ?
    Men of God who have proven themselves faithful in the above website or your buddies who have only been saved a few years and have never been to seminary, never studied Systematic Theology nor Hermaneutics or the original languages ??

    Waken up!

    With respect

    • Dear Dale, The intense and burdened prayers of the Church of Wells members for their family members are not EMPTY WORDS, but God will answer them in a way that will bring Him the greatest honor and praise in His due time. The rejection of the multitudes of professing believers will not thwart their authentication by Almighty God Himself. Some trust in chariots, and others in numbers, but the authentic people of God will trust in the Name of the Lord, the Maker of heavens and the earth

      • Moses said ~ “The intense and burdened prayers of the Church of Wells members for their family members are not EMPTY WORDS”

        I think you missed what was said to you previously Moses, let me show you again.

        The word of God says ~ 1John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

        Prayer is wonderful, however distancing yourselves from loved ones and posting condemning articles on the internet while praying to be reconciled to those you have hurt is well…..idiotic.

        With respect

      • Dear Dale, Would your assessment be the same concerning the public exposing of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by Jesus and baptist John? Would they be idiotic actions if they lead to repentance and eternal salvation for the family members? LIC, Moses.

  5. “The rejection of the multitudes of professing believers will not thwart their authentication by Almighty God Himself.”

    How do you know the Almighty God Himself “authenticated” the Church of Wells?

    Serious real question. You either know this or you’re just saying it. If you know this, you have a reason. If you don’t really have a reason, that’s also a legitimate reasonable answer.
    Thanks.

  6. Dear ATHB, The rejection by the multitudes will not thwart their authentication by Almighty God as long as they stay true to the Word of God and His will in their lives. From what I know about them, their foremost passion, unlike many professing believers that I know, is to please God according to His Word, and to fulfull His will on this earth by submitting to His Holy Spirit. Ultimately God knows who are His children, regardless of how many professing christians oppose them. That’s the point I was trying to make since you seem to make the point that they must not be authentic because so many people are against them. LIC, Moses.

    • I made no ‘point’. I asked a question. In plain simple easily-understood English. In 13 words.
      Do you read some kind of case built leading to a point? There’s 34 more words – defining the question as a question and helping you to comprehend that there is reasonably an answer.

      I wonder how you know (or anyone else) that God authenticated Church of Wells. Can’t help my curiousity. I wanna know what happened. “Authenticate” is a verb. An action word. Not a concept. God DID something. What did you see and/or hear God do?

      The word comes with contextual nuance. The inherent context is relative to fraud, forgery, genuine, fake, questionable veracity — an ‘authenticated’ signature, piece of artwork, currency, antique, literature, etc. Whether something is real, as opposed to not real. Interesting word choice.

      ~~~~

      “Loaded question” refers to provocative assumptions phrased as a question. This type of question has an unspoken and often emotive implication. Such a question may be asked merely to harass or upset the respondent with no intention of listening to their reply, or asked with the full expectation that the respondent will predictably deny it.

  7. Moses asked ~ “Would your assessment be the same concerning the public exposing of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by Jesus and baptist John? Would they be idiotic actions if they lead to repentance and eternal salvation for the family members?”

    You see my friend, there are major flaws with how you and the CoW apply Scripture and only God can open your eyes and theirs to see it.

    If you fail to see the wickedness and spirit behind family members at CoW being encouraged to seperate from loved ones and very publicly criticise them on the internet, instead of doing the loving thing and being like Christ to those who have been given to them by God, and who they are commanded to show love to.

    The word of God says ~ 1John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

    It is time for the CoW Christians, if there are any, to prove it by being Christ-like to their loved ones and show love to them not only in words but in deed, in actions.

    Because distancing themselves and criticising people they are commanded to love publicly is NOT Christ-like but satan-like.

    If you or anyone else cannot see that Moses, I’m afraid there is no hope for you.

    With respect

  8. An interesting observation here…. Baby Faith’s parents recently gave birth to another child. In a medical facility. Does that now mean they lack faith?

    • The understanding is that the three elders direct births. Presumably all other medical care as well. The three elders sit in the room, monitoring and overseeing. They decide who else can be in the room, who attends the labouring mother, and what the midwife can and cannot do (if there is one). They decide when she is examined and how. They decide what kind of comfort and medical assistance and procedures the woman will have. They decide if/when episiotomy and amniotomy are done. I don’t know how they find midwives that will go along with this.
      They sit there and pray, clearing the room of the devil and demonic spirits. Unconfirmed reports:
      • Younger first-time pregnant women are ordered to attend so that they can witness the punishment for their sinfulness.
      • An attending midwife told the elders that an amniotomy was necessary for a woman in stalled unproductive labour. They prayed over the idea and said no. The impression is that God told them no, that she was unrepentant, needed to get right with God for labour to resolve. Or that someone in the room was causing it to happen.
      There’s no way of knowing if these are real midwifery services (Texas licensing prohibits midwives from performing medical procedures with a sharp cutting instrument) or one of the group functioning as a midwife.

      It can be assumed that for hospital and birthing center births, Sean Morris, Jake Gardner and Ryan Ringnald gave permission after praying about it. This sounds like the group practices “Zion births,” an extremist religious birthing “method.” The Pursleys had the books.

      • Dear ATHB, This is nonsense! I was just over there at Wells with my wife on Thursday, and in Sean’s house when we heard about Jesse Morris’ wife being taken to the hospital because of complications in pregnancy 5 weeks pre-term. We urged Sean to leave for the hospital if necessary. He chose instead to pray! All of us kneeled down and prayed for a safe delivery, and protection of both mother and baby. Within three hours, we heard the good news that the delivery was successfully completed in the hospital, both baby and mother in good health. Sean left later in the evening, and came back with a video recording of the baby and mother! I was very touched by Sean’s love and faith. My wife made the comment to me later, “I think Sean really loves little babies!” Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Very glad to hear Jesse Morris’ wife gets medical care.
        Be careful saying a report is “nonsense” if you weren’t there and don’t know about it.

      • Dear ATHB, You should be careful about posting unconfirmed and assumed reports. I am reporting from first hand experience with the church members whom I love and understand. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • I am careful. As evidenced by using language that communicates this: “the understanding” (instead of ‘is’), “presumably,” “unconfirmed,” “impression,” “assumed,” and “sounds like.”
        These are all words that avoid unequivocal statements that may or may not be accurate. Thus, an interpretation and evaluation. Not statement of fact. The opinion of the voice.
        You might consider this yourself. You make statements as fact that you cannot empirically know.

  9. Moses said: “Dear Dale, Would your assessment be the same concerning the public exposing of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by Jesus and baptist John? Would they be idiotic actions if they lead to repentance and eternal salvation for the family members?
    First of all this in context of the conversation suggests that the all of family members of COW who are not in regular communication with their children are hypocrites. Second of all, if that is true, this method evangelism is not working over 3 years in!

  10. Moses wrote: “The reason they speak differently is not because of wanting to put on a show, but because they are so much into the Word of God, and they have chosen to use the King James Version, and much of their conversation proceeds from their familiarity of the verses from the KJV version of the Bible. It is wrong to condemn a Christian because he/she does not fit in with the pattern of the world around them. ”
    I was only referring to a sermon by Jonathan Edwards in whom, they highly esteem and quote, on spiritual pride and he used this as an example. If you read that sermon in its entirety you will see that he refers to many things they do not just separate speech. Also a not which I find interesting, when they talk to us, they do not talk that way so I am assuming they only talk in that manner to those they feel are “saved”. The fact that they will ONLY read and adhere to the KJV of the Bible is another issue entirely!

  11. Report from visit to The Church of Wells, TX
    I was blessed to visit Wells on 5/8,5/9, and returning back on 5/10, stayed in Sean’s house. Following are some things which I noted:
    1) All of the young men were diligently doing physical work, and earning money for their families: in the lumberyard, in the gas station, in the grocery store, working for other businesses, in tree-cutting service, etc., very hard working, diligent, cheerful, and professional in their work.
    2) They built an impeccable 2-bed room house for some people using the cedar wood which they produced in their own lumberyard, great quality of workmanship, and sweet odor of cedar within the new house
    3) The young babies were in great health, and being taken care of by their Godly mothers.
    4) Each family unit manages its own household, sometimes shared with other families, cooking separately in their own homes, and managing their finances themselves, and yet everyone was willing to gladly share of their possessions with others, truly loving one another. One family brought us breakfast, and another family brought us fruit!
    5) Great reports of the Wells rally, after which the church members had blessed meetings with the towns people for several hours. Several reports of people asking for the church members’ forgiveness, some longer-term friendships established.
    6) We had a blessed fellowship with many church members, the love of Christ truly manifested in all of the interactions, much prayer, worship and bountiful teaching of God’s Word.
    7) A brand-new healthy baby was born in the hospital with God’s blessing, both mother and baby doing well.
    8) The joy of the Lord was evident in each of the members that we have seen and interacted with.
    9) We had the privilege to go for long walks with just our daughter and no one else where we discussed about her life, and what God had been teaching her. She is truly blessed to be there, and God had been faithful to her!
    10) The elders are truly blessed to serve the church without other distractions, truly giving of themselves to the church members, devoted to much personal prayer and studying of Scripture, and loving care of their families, truly wholesome families!
    Love in Christ,
    Moses.

    • Your number 5) is wrong. The CoW did not ask for forgiveness they denied any wrong doing. I was there. I also have numerous videos. They stood there and denied any wrong doing. And trust me, there was no friendships made.

      • Oh no, I just re-read #5 and it was the townspeople asking for CoW’s forgiveness. And, of course, the report came to Moses David second-hand and we all know that the elders never exaggerate or color the truth to make themselves look righteous.

      • I stand corrected.. there were still no asking of forgiveness from either side. The town wants them gone!. there is no forgiveness when you tell a 4 year old they will go to Hell and the family of the 4 year old has to deal with the child’s nightmares. The CoW deny any wrong doing or that there were even children present even though there were many children that day attending the homecoming parade. There were lots of discussions but no asking for forgiveness

  12. Dear Moses
    I am glad you had a positive experience with your daughter as well as other members in the church. Thank you for the positive report about their lifestyle including the hospital birth. Have they changed their tactics since baby Faith? And…you mention you had a walk with just your daughter and no one else…that should be expected…you are advertising it as a promotion for normalcy. They are not normal in their interactions. Just a thought..

    • I think the same. Doesn’t matter if I agree with religious doctrine; I’m glad this family is not divided.

      What we see here illustrates the stark difference between one family’s experience and virtually everyone else. Is it because all other families and loved ones associated with this group are evil, sinful, unrepentant, ungodly, unsaved, unbelieving reprobates? All lying about interaction and experiences? Untruthful about circumstances and conversations? Wickedly exaggerating because they don’t want “Church of Wells” to worship?

      No. It’s because this family’s religious beliefs and ethos are much like this group’s to begin with. Compatible. Familiar. Like-minded. Rather than being in conflict with Sean Morris, they agree with him. So their experience is benign and pleasant, while all others’ is conflicting and contentious.
      It appears to be beyond Mr. David’s comprehension. His perspective seems rather simplistic — Sean Morris is spiritually gifted. He’s right; Mr. David is right. If everyone same program and agree with them, everything would be fine.

      • Dear ATHB and Steve, Just because you do not understand the Scripture as they do (that saving faith requires a continual abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, and furthermore, that unbelief is damnable) and have come to conclusions about them based on internet slander, it does not give you a right to slander them additionally without first hand experience concerning baby Faith, or the experiences of other parents. The truth is that church members have the freedom to maintain relationships with their parents, and the reason why there are broken relationships is because a few parents have chosen to cut off any ties with their children because they do not want to hear their children preach to them that they are either not saved or in a back-slidden state. In my case, I consider this to be a very positive thing to be corrected of unrighteousness when I am straying from the truth. I pray that these parents would be willing to simply listen to their dear ones with the mindset to be corrected where they have strayed from the narrow path. Love in Christ, Moses.

  13. Mr. David, it is not slander if we have the written proof to back it up. You are also implying that ATHB and Steve do not have saving faith to understand the Scripture as they (CoW) do. Once again, you seem to be presenting the theory that Sean and the elders are always right in their personal interpretation of Scripture and everyone who doesn’t agree with them (and you) is wrong and damned. Also, what exactly do you mean by back-slidden state?

    • Dear ByHisGrace, I do not know if ATHB and Steve if they have saving faith or not, but my guess (I hope I am wrong) is that they subscribe to the free grace theology of Zane Hodges (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zane_C._Hodges), which does not require a sustained faith in order to be saved. Based on what God has revealed to me through His Word, I do not believe in this doctrine. I will never say that Sean and the elders are always right in their personal interpretation of Scripture, in fact, they themselves do not consider themselves like that, they are open to correction if someone who is presently in a right standing with God shows them of any error in their understanding of the Scripture. This is the reason they have been trying hard to meet with several men of God whom they esteem, but sadly some of these people have cut them off based on the internet slander against them. Regarding the question about the back-slidden state, it is the condition of a person who had true faith at one point, but who is presently in a state of “unbelief,” living a life that pleases his/her flesh rather than the Spirit of God, the state of a person living in continual willful sin without repentance or a desire to get right with God by turning away from sin to obey the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • I find it very odd that “several men of God whom they esteem” have “cut them off based on…internet slander”?

        I don’t know any “men of God” that would cut someone off based on internet slander…especially multiple men of God coming to the same conclusion.

      • Dear Richard, John 15:18-25 (NIV) “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

      • Moses, I must say: “wide is your river of Scriptural knowledge, but shallow is your stream of thinking.”

        In your misuse of John 15:18-25, you are confusing “the world” with “several men of God whom they esteem” (your words from the above conversation). Jesus says very plainly in vs 18-19 that it is the WORLD that will hate us, not our brothers.

        SO again, I say…I don’t know any “men of God” who would cut someone off based on internet slander.

        Moses, keep treading in this shallow water, and you may find yourself up a creek without a paddle.

      • Dear Richard, Sadly, the men of esteem are joining the world to condemn the people of God, and thereby shedding the righteous blood of Christ. This is exactly what happened to Christ at His crucifixion, when His own rejected Him, and pierced, “for they knew not what they were doing (to Christ)” Love in Christ, Moses.

      • And this is all based on “internet slander”….I see…of course.

      • “This is exactly what happened to Christ at His crucifixion, when His own rejected Him, and pierced, ‘for they knew not what they were doing (to Christ)'”

        Are you, or are you not, directly comparing them to Jesus Christ?

      • Dear ATHB, Just as Christ said, “I and the Father are one,” those who belong to Christ are one with Him. Christ laid down His life for them. So, whenever we persecute the children of Christ, we are persecuting Christ Himself! Love in Christ, Moses.
        John 10:15-18 (NIV) “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

      • Dear Moses, I have never read anything by Zane Hodges and am uninterested in his theology. I don’t need to follow a system of interpretation to tell me what the Bible says about salvation: not Zane Hodges’s system, and not the system of the young lads at the Church of Wells. Millions of souls have entered the kingdom of God without their help, and millions will continue to do so. To say that any one man has a corner on the truth about salvation is to create a false messiah. In other words, an anti-Christ. The gospel is simple enough that even a child can understand it. And the Holy Spirit is a more effective teacher than the Church of Wells gives him credit.

      • Dear Steve, You are right that the gospel message is very simple, even to the children, to whom the fear of the Lord must be taught to make them wise: Matthew 16:24-27 (NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” and Ephesians 2:8-10(NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
        However, there is an over-simplistic deception in man’s doctrine which is prevalent widely in Christian circles, which teaches that a person is eternally secure even while living in willful sin, enticed by worldly desires, and in subjection to one’s flesh.
        I am sorry to think that you believe in the “Free Grace Theology” of Zane Hodges. I thought you might have been indoctrinated by his teaching since you went to the Dallas Theological Seminary, where his classes very popular among the students.
        Love in Christ,
        Moses

  14. Moses said ~ “, I consider this to be a very positive thing to be corrected of unrighteousness when I am straying from the truth.”

    Moses David, you are very definitely “straying from the truth” if you cannot see the error in CoW theology. Don’t take my word for it, read what men of God who have proven themselves faithful have to say ~

    http://www.thechurchofwells.org/statements-concerning-church-wells/

    Now, do you still consider correction a “positive thing” …..or will you ignore it ?

    With respect

    • Dear Dale, The statements are not completely accurate about the church’s doctrine. God willing, they will respond to these people who have pitted so hard against them, if not God will vindicate them in a way that will bring Him the most glory! The elders are extremely busy shepherding their own flock that God has blessed them with, and I hope that they will get the time to respond to doctrinal misunderstandings about them, and their rebuke of the false doctrines of man which appear to be so prevalent in the mainstream christian circles today. Love in Christ, Moses.

  15. “The statements are not completely accurate about the church’s doctrine. ” What is incorrect? Since you agree with their doctrine, I am sure you can answer.

  16. • “you do not understand the Scripture as they do”
    Is it possible for you/them to know? How do you rationalize that? Serious real question.

    • “it does not give you a right to slander them”
    I agree. I am open to correction if you will outline specific examples of ‘slander’ by myself or any other person.

    • “The truth is…
    …church members have the freedom to maintain relationships with their parents…
    …a few parents have chosen to cut off any ties with their children…”
    I believe that you really believe that IS the truth. Because that is what you’ve been told. By someone(s) that you believe would not lie to you, and you are confident that you can tell deceit. You get the benefit of the doubt about _your_ honesty, even though you have not been as magnanimous and directly infer that everyone else (literally) is a liar.

    • “…they are open to correction if someone who is presently in a right standing with God shows them of any error”
    Yes. They’ve said that. Here’s the rub — no one is “right standing with God.” Right?

    • “…several men of God…have cut them off”
    Many men of God have questioned their beliefs and goals. They’ve had limits set on their disruptive bizarre behavior in other people’s space. No one to my knowledge has “cut them off.” They choose how they behave. They feel justified in antagonistic interaction. So be it.

    • “The statements are not completely accurate about the church’s doctrine” and “…doctrinal misunderstandings about them”
    They’ve written their own doctrine themselves and made it public in a variety of formats. They’ve been asked for explanation many many times. Any number of legitimate questions have been politely and reasonably asked. Sorry, they don’t get to say they’ve been misunderstood.

    “Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.'”

    1. No one “hates” the Texas Boys or their group. The end. Enough said.

    2. This pronouncement is self-serving and divisive. It’s a trick. It’s the group leaders telling the members: “Everyone hates you, see?”
    No church or legitimate leaders need to tell their flock that others hate them, in order to get them to be compliant and ‘worthy’ of God.

    3. Certainly, the members – the adult children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, loved ones – are NOT “hated” by the people who miss them.

    Why does Sean Morris believe he’s been specially appointed by God? Why does he think he’s a prophet? There has to be a reason. I’m not challenging his notion; I want to know.

    • Dear ATHB, Please pray to God and ask Him how you are grieving His Spirit by your slander of Christ through the persecution of His children. Please consider visiting the Church of Wells to talk to the elders yourself and hear from them firsthand, instead of merely hearing third hand reports and coming to conclusions about them. You are pitting against precious saints who have lost everything for Christ’s sake, to follow His Word with passion and authenticity, for the praise of His glorious Name. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • I don’t believe that I am slandering Christ, grieving His Spirit, or pitting against precious saints. If I did, I wouldn’t be. Kind of a strange twisted paradox that’s hard to get your head around.

        You cannot de-legitimize ‘third-hand reports’ as it suits you. If that were true, we shouldn’t listen to you either, and Sean Morris wouldn’t have a church.
        Police couldn’t arrest anyone, jury trials wouldn’t happen, a pastor wouldn’t preach to a congregation and professors couldn’t teach students. You wouldn’t have a job. Everything you do is predicated on second- and third-hand information and a company pays you good money to add to it. They believe you. They trust you.

        What you mean is – consider the _source_. It’s about credential and bona fides. Evaluating information with discretion and discrimination. Being careful to not just believe anything one is told.

        What makes you think no one else has first-hand information? How can you believe that no one else has spoken with Sean Morris?

      • Thank you.

      • Hi Moses, I am the mother of a coW member and I am adding you to my prayer list. I will include your name when I pray that the deception of the enemy will end and that the children of God will be set free from the lies of the enemy. I have spoken to Jake and William and Eric and Jordan. Neither Ryan nor Sean. came to see me while I was there. I understand that you believe that what is happening in Wells is right and it would be foolish for me to try to convince you otherwise, Only God can open your eyes and ears to the truth; only He can set the captives free. Until He declares “ENOUGH” and ends the battle in Wells (and we know how it ends) our most power weapon is prayer. Be careful who you put your faith in and be sure to check all against scripture, relying only on the Holy Spirit to lead and teach you. You and your daughter are in my prayers, Sue.

      • Hi Moses, I was down in Wells last summer and asked my son if I could see my grand daughter and he said “I fear letting you see her” It sure seems like this group is embedded in fear, shame and judgement. I know that Jesus Christ came to ‘set the captives free’. and scripture tells us “that perfect love casts out all fear” So why would a born-again child of the One True God make such a statement? Perhaps, he has been deceived by a voice that speaks untruths.

  17. Moses said: ” I will never say that Sean and the elders are always right in their personal interpretation of Scripture”. Ok now we are getting somewhere!

    • Dear Concerned Person, As I mentioned, the Church of Wells elders themselves do not think that their interpretation is perfect, and are subject to correction, as revealed in the following plea by Sean Morris of esteemed Spiritual leaders:
      Quote from Sean Morris’ letter to Marc Glass of HeartCry Ministries: “I beg and intreat you, Marc and Paul, that you would hear us in this way, following the proper biblical precautions set forth by the word of God, if indeed I have interpreted it correctly, of which I am subject to correction, for I am persuaded that an “outside perspective” only is not sufficient on this matter (as you said you have undertaken in our examination Brother Marc), and it does break our hearts in pieces to hear of all this news and all the harm that our internet persecutors are and have achieved to their cause around this country. My soul, wait thou only upon God.”
      Love in Christ,
      Moses.
      Philippians 2:3-11 (NIV)
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
      In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

      Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
      rather, he made himself nothing
      by taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
      And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
      Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
      that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
      and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

  18. ‘ in fact, they (the elders) themselves do not consider themselves like that, they are open to correction if someone who is presently in a right standing with God shows them of any error in their understanding of the Scripture.”
    I have known personally and talked to more that a few people who have a background in theology who have tried to voice their concerns either in person, via e mail, or phone conversation. Here is the problem. When challenged and the elders cannot further defend themselves, the conversation is ended. Silence. Or the other option is the elders determine that the person is not right with God. Too many variables here to make a good point on their behalf. They have all of the control in this situation….who is walking in the light and who isn’t so that is who they will listen to. Paul Washer was walking in the light until he pushed his point. Now even he is backslidden. Seems that EVERYONE preaches a false gospel if it isn’t in DIRECT alignment with Sean’s writings. That is a very dangerous place to be spiritually.
    Galatians 1:6-7-I marvel that ye are so removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

  19. Dear Concerned Person, They are still striving and praying for a face-to-face meeting with few remnant leaders that they esteem, including Paul Washer, but so far, they have been turned down! Sadly, many experts in theology have been poisoned by human doctrines, including the “Free Grace Theology” of Zane Hodges which teaches that a person’s salvation is secure even if the person abandons his/her faith! Love in Christ, Moses.

  20. Exactly my point Mr. Moses. They will only listen to leaders “they esteem”. But the only leaders they “esteem” are ones that are in full agreement. Once they challenge them they are deemed “poisoned”, “backslidden”, “reprobate” etc. I am surprised they still want to speak with Paul Washer being in a backslidden state or is the point of that meeting to correct his theology?

    • Dear Concerned Person, It is a wise thing that they are striving to do, that is, to only listen to those who value the Word of God more than human wisdom and doctrines, and to those who are presently in an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, and not living according to the pattern of this world which is perishing. Any other counsel will doom them into destruction. I am glad that Godly discernment and love are valued by them as being more important than earthly peace. Love in Christ, Moses.

  21. “I commend the high view of God that the Church of Wells people had in seeking the Lord’s help first (and last) for the healing of baby Faith, and to accept His will concerning the baby’s departure from this life.”

    “Separation from family members is never the intended purpose, but to put away anything that comes in the way of having a proper relationship with God. The real problem is that the some of the families of the church members do not want the church members to discuss anything about God…”

    I thank Mr. David for troubling himself to dialogue. Here’s my understanding so far:

    • Sean Morris (or the group leaders) are Saints and prophets, specially anointed, have spiritual gifts that no one else has.

    • It was the Will of God that baby Faith died. They were glorifying God. (And they didn’t know she needed medical attention.)

    • People outside of the group misunderstand their doctrine.

    • Members of the group aren’t required to separate themselves. They do that so they can keep themselves pure and maintain their salvation.

    • The group doesn’t sever relationships with loved ones. A few parents who don’t want to talk about God have cut off their adult children in the group.

    • The reason the group is having trouble with the rest of the world is because virtually no one else is in a “right standing” with God.

    • They are True Believers. They are hated because of this and persecuted for their beliefs and worshiping God. Everyone wants to stop them. Why? I don’t know. Because everyone else isn’t?

    • Anything that anyone says is a lie. Reports of experiences and communication with the group leaders are not true.

    • Dear ATHB, Did you have any direct interactions with the Church of Wells members and the elders? Why does it bother you so much that I share my positive experiences with them? Do you consider the possibility that the majority could be wrong because of collective ignorance, unrighteous rage, or that, in the process of thinking to be wise, they collectively became fools? Do you consider the possibility that the righteous wrath of God is building up against the persecutors of Christ? Do you value the fear of God above a thinking hat? Do you love your neighbor enough to see the consequences of God’s wrath that might come upon them? May God have mercy upon the blind, and may He have compassion upon the crowds once again break the bread of God’s Word to the starving masses as He did by Galilee, so they may eat, and be satisfied, in His Food alone! Love in Christ, Moses.

    • Mr. David didn’t offer any clarification or correct my understanding. I will take that to mean this summary is an accurate reflection of Church of Wells.

  22. Your positive experience doesn’t bother me a bit; nor does it bother me that you share it. Why would it? It’s obvious that your daughter did not cut off her family. So no surprise; no contradictory shocking revelation. It all helps to answer questions about this group’s conduct.
    You may have made some false assumptions. It’s not about you and I; it’s about understanding the characteristics of this group and what the agenda is.

    • Dear ATHB, Are you sure that my positive statements concerning them do not bother you? Please re-examine your heart with humility before God, because He can see through your heart, even if we cannot, no matter what you might say to others. He will hold you accountable on the judgment day for any righteous blood shed.
      Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Yes. I agree. That is correct – God can see into my heart even if you cannot.

      • I’m thinking you probably have something confused. I don’t know. I’m not clairvoyant. You’re a bit hung up on your “positive experience.” It’s of little consequence. Not interesting, one way or the other. You operate from the same play book as Sean Morris. One would expect you to get along quite well. I would be surprised if you had a negative experience.

        What I find interesting is that you disapproved in the first place, when your daughter wanted to join these people. Aside from the natural disappointment of dropping out of university mid-term and the waste of scholarships and financial aid, there wouldn’t be anything for you to disapprove of, that I can see. You share common theology. You have a member of this group in your own home church. She needed a husband. Perfect.

        My curiosity is piqued by that. Not by the fact that you have a good relationship with them. I would expect you to.

  23. Moses wrote: “I pray that these parents would be willing to simply listen to their dear ones with the mindset to be corrected where they have strayed from the narrow path”

    Dear Moses. I have always admired your culture for the respect that children have for their parents even into adulthood. Looks like you have thrown this out of the window in agreement with COW. I do not feel that being admonished by my child is respectful. Even they do not know the condition of our heart or if we are “right with God”. How could they? Even if we weren’t before they left (and we were) they are assuming nothing has happened since they left to change that. If anyone is going to admonish me, it will be a Christian mentor that I communicate with and am accountable to. Oh, but you wouldn’t consider that person a Christian and saved either unless I had the COW elders examine his/her heart. What seems wrong to you about this scenario? I would also like you to answer a question I asked a while ago. How come you are in good graces with COW yet you do not live there. If they are the only remnant in America (which has been stated face to face with me) and you if you are in a saved state and are not going to their church, you will become in a backslidden state (which has been stated face to face to me) how come you are not moving their to join their church? Seems like a double standard to me! Just wondering.

    • Dear Concerned Person, I do not know the details of your interactions with them, except that your children are being shepherded well according to the pattern of God’s Word, Your children have forsaken the world to follow God’s call in their lives. They spend much time in prayer and true fellowship, being well fed from the Word of God. They have denying themselves, and have taken up the cross to follow Christ, They are special in God’s sight, forsaken by the world, but precious in God’s sight. They are like the ones that apostle Paul said, “they are my joy and crown”. Please be comforted in this. Regarding the remnant elsewhere, they do not believe that they are the only remnant, otherwise they would not contact remnant leaders from outside the church. I asked them specifically if they believe that they are the only true church, and they acknowledged that there are other true churches outside of theirs. They have not told me that I need to be a part of their church in order for them to consider me as a brother in Christ. Many of the church members are in good standing with their children, there is a concerted desire among the church members to maintain good relationships with their parents. I suggest you try to be open to re-establishing connection with them, but I plead with you to listen to them with humility before God, and not weighed by the popular opinion of the multitudes that are pitted against them. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Wow! Moses, I can’t believe that you are trying to feed us this info. We all know that many of the CoW members do not have contact with their family members. A matter of fact a few tried to tell us they’ve talked with family members on the Saturday everyone gathered in Wells. So, we got right on the phone and contacted the families of the ones that were supposedly contacted. We were told by the families that there has been no contact from loved ones in the CoW. Please stop believing everything that’s fed to you from the CoW. They will tell you what they want you to hear. Do some homework, most of what you’re saying is not true.

      • Dear ButGuessWhat, There were two other parents visiting their children during the time that I was there two weeks ago. One of the elders visited his parents prior to that. One young man said that his father, and possibly his brother were planning to visit there. My daughter and son-in-law were planning to visit us last week, but were prevented by flight cancellations out of Dallas. One unmarried girl contacted her mom by phone after many months of silence, and spoke to her for an extended length of time, while her father listened in, but their parents still give the impression that their daughter does not contact her. Other members of the church are praying that God will move her, to contact her parents again soon. There is truly a burden among the members to re-establish connections with their parents, but the church members’ spiritual emphasis is despised by a few parents. Things would improve greatly if these parents simply listened to the exhortation of their loved ones! Love in Christ, Moses.

      • I say this with no disrespect to you Moses, I am aware of the conversation you speak of. But it is also very sad that it took as long as it did for the phone call to take place. I don’t understand why this group doesn’t encourage communication with family more often. As it should seem to cause less chaos . It tends to make one think that there’s something not right about what’s going on. And only now that family members are being contacted after so many failed attempts to contact loved ones. It’s easy for you to not see what other families see since you have not lost contact with your daughter since she left. I myself have tried several times to understand what the CoW is doing. But with their method of teaching no one is allowed to speak except the Elders. If you try to talk to them in a normal fashion, one is considered unreasonable. A one sided conversation does not make it a conversation. I tend to not want to sit for many hours of listening to have my chance to speak. It’s not normal behavior

    • Concerned Person, I cannot reconcile the idea of an east Indian man raised in patriarchal Hindu society, converted to extreme fundamentalist patriarchal Christian, allowing his adult daughter to chastise and admonish him. A female child, student, entirely dependent, not allowed to wear pants. Correcting her father. I can’t conceive of it. And a man accepting rebuke from a man courting his daughter and then a brand new son-in-law! Allowing him to “admonish” and scold. I doubt it.

      • Dear ATHB, I am blessed to be raised in a home with God-fearing Christian parents who taught me the fear of the Lord at an early age. By God’s grace, in spite of my rebellion, God brought me to repentance and faith in Him! Thankfully, my daughter honors me, and tells me when I am straying from the truth out of love for me. I am also thankful for a Godly son-in-law who also loves me enough to exhort me, and will tell me when I stray from the truth. Why would I not want them to love me? I am blessed to have them in my life….I wouldn’t have it any other way, albeit with hypocritical respect! Love in Christ, Moses.

      • You were raised in one of the most rigid patriarchal societies on the planet. I think it’s very progressive and forward-thinking to let your daughter and her man admonish, scold, chastise, and rebuke you.
        I’m trying to visualize this man and your daughter scolding your wife in your presence. That has to be strange. What do you do? You just sit there and accept it?

  24. As I stated, they told me they are the “only true church in America.” I am aware they are in touch with leaders in other countries.

    • Dear Concerned Person, Can you reveal your identity, so I can confirm with them if they indeed told you this? With hidden names, anyone can claim anything without accountability. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Moses, it sounds like you are calling Concerned Person a liar. That’s not nice.

      • They should be able to tell you the truth, Moses.

      • Dear Richard, The problem is that words and claims are taken out of context and misinterpreted. It is always prudent to hear both sides of the story to make sure that it is understood correctly. I think the church is planning a response back to the misunderstandings and false accusations against them, and God-willing published soon, so there will be fewer questions about their doctrinal position. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Then _hear_ the other side. The name of the voice has no bearing on the circumstances.
        If it’s true, it’s true. If it’s not, it’s not.

    • Dear Concerned Person, I remember Sean telling me that the church of today is so far from its description in God’s Word, that even they fall far short of the Biblical description of what a true church should/could like. This is a cause of great sorrow and burden, that he said he weeps about frequently. Love in Christ, Moses.

  25. oh goody. A response. Will it be in book form, Mr. David?

    • Dear ByHisGrace, I know that there has been much prayer and burden concerning this, and I am sure that they will respond, God-willing, in a clear way, hopefully in an easier form than a book, for poor readers like me 🙂 Love in Christ, Moses.

  26. Dear all, let’s keep this civil. Strong emotions are fine. Disagreement is expected and important. But I’m wondering if it’s time to close this thread. We might be reaching the point of rehashing the same arguments. Thoughts? I’m okay leaving this open if ya’ll find it beneficial.

    • I don’t know. On the one hand, I think it’s come to rehashing. On the other, there’s always more to be said and another voice.
      I feel that Mr. David can’t/won’t appreciate this: his responses here have served some purpose and people have communicated very real stuff. So that’s a good thing.

  27. I feel the need to keep this tread open as long as we remain civil. I think Moses needs to see the other side.

  28. Moses, I also am a parent who is not allowed to talk to my daughter because they don’t think we are saved. How many times do we have to tell them they are not God. They can’t see our hearts, these young men without accountabiity to anyone, wanting to rebuke those who have been in the faith longer is not even bibilical. And yes many of us have talked to them but if we disagree with them they don’t want us around our children because we will give them ungodly counsel. Ryan gave us the 3rd degree, telling us how wicked we are but never gave us the good news, that Jesus paid for our sins. We all would love to have a relationship with our children again, but the fact is they are afraid to offend God because of Sean’s doctrine of judgement as if Sean was the only one with access to Jesus. They are causing division in the body of Christ which is offensive to God. Believe me there are more parents hurting because they are cut off from their children, then there are who are able to have contact with them. That is a fact plain and simple. How do they justify 1 John 4: 20-21?

    • Dear Sasha, Did you consider that the loving rebuke of a righteous man is of much more value than the affirming statements of false prophets who might be giving you a false assurance of salvation? I do not know you, and therefore cannot know where you stand with Christ, but if your daughter who loves you, and knows you more than any of us thinks that you are not saved, I plead with you to HUMBLY seek the Lord to know if you are truly of the Lord. There are many deceitful doctrines of man among the Christian circles today giving people the false assurance of eternal salvation, which will cause people to perish in hell. The loving thing is to warn people of the danger of eternal hell-fire, this should not be construed as causing divisions, but righteous judgment, to cause people to come into the saving knowledge of Christ. Your daughter loves you enough to warn you, please take her warning seriously. Please listen to her words of wisdom. Love forever in Christ, Moses.

  29. I am fed up with this entire group “Church of Wells”. You can talk about this until you are Blue in the Face…Bottom Line – The elders of the Church of Wells are Criminals! Stop trying to justify and rationalize this group. They ARE NOT a church and this IS NOT about religion. These men use Human Trafficking ABUSE & are TRAUMATIZING MANY Families all over the country. Moses himself as clarified these men work ONLY in the business’ that the group owns. This is control all the way around. These men have a young woman that IS NOT married and they are HOLDING her from her Family and doing it to ONLY PROVE a point and that point is that they are in CONTROL!! Moses sure did a 360…he called and wanted information about this group from The Grove Family, DID NOT want his daughter to join and was given DETAILED information about them…and yet NOW he “LOVES & SUPPORTS THEM and they are doing NO WRONG”. They are DESTROYING FAMILIES and HOLDING people (Psychological Abuse). Honestly, this has become so ridiculous that it is hard to believe… Parents of many other children (not just the Groves) have come forward and told the same HORRIFIC stories and we still are debating this. This group NEEDS to be STOPPED! I challenge the elders to hand their children over to STRANGERS and loose ALL contact with their own flesh and blood and see how they respond. They are willing to go to jail for “RECRUITING” and are willing to be “Martyrs” for the cause…can you only image what they would do to someone who had their children and had cut off all communication – think about it… What is everybody so scared about? This group NEEDS to be STOPPED and those that are enabling them should go down as well!! This group is EXPOSED and it is only a matter of time before they will be stopped and Catherine Grove will be free. The women married into this group are PITIFUL & ABUSED women who are just being “Submissive” to Narcissistic abuse and are missing out on life, love and FREEDOM!!! Jesus DID NOT want anyone to be a PRISONER. Let Catherine Grove GO…

    • Dear Brad, Your hateful attacks and rage against these saints will not prevent me from sharing my positive experiences with these men, women and children of God. Far be it that I deny Christ for the benefit of the praise of multitudes of men! Love in Christ, Moses.

  30. Dear Brad
    I will quote one of the many “screaming” statements you made: “these men are LAZY and DO NOT want to work a “REAL” job out in the world! They want to use Texans tax dollars, and “Love Donations” while they walk/lay around like a bunch of hippies ” Although I do not agree with COW or Moses’ views or doctrine, what you are saying are assumptions with no evidence. I know for a fact that this statement is not true about my family member. Your statements are slanderous. I do not feel this is productive in our conversations here. Do you have a family member in COW? Have they told you those things face to face? If not what resources do you have for your information besides the internet. I don’t and I would bet that no other poster on here trust the internet. Our information comes first hand or from trusted who have witnessed it or been there in person. Please consider!

  31. How is this ugly…its the facts and nobody wants to read them or hear them. Interesting that you want to attack me…I am NOT the one who has the children or is breaking hearts, destroying families, and using Texas State Taxes to survive. I am trying to fight for the same thing I thought you were fighting for…getting this group STOPPED and our children/grandchildren out!

  32. Stop fighting the parents and start fighting the Church of Wells/Elders – they are the CRIMINALS!!!

  33. This is why The Church of Wells is still around –It is Black & White people – NO GREY Get out of the “GREY ZONE”!

    • I agree that it’s time. This is basically the same reason the faithboard had to be closed.

      • Dear all,

        Because I have a WordPress.com site and not a WordPress.org site, I have some limitations in how I can block or disable comments on a particular post. I am able to disable all comments for a particular post, or I can disable comments after 14 days on all posts, neither of which I want to do. People stumble on this blog and make valuable comments on posts years after they were written.

        Let me suggest that we close this discussion at this point by common agreement. I will block any abusive users, and I will unapprove any abusive comments that come in.

        I am sorry that this thread had to end this way, but I’m glad that each of you was involved, engaged in helpful dialogue, and sharpened each other. Many blessings to you.

        Grace and peace, Steve

    • Dear Brad,

      I was away from the Internet for a while and have missed all these recent comments. All of these other folks have been engaged in meaningful and respectful dialogue for a long time.

      I can appreciate your strong feelings and respect your right to voice your opinions. However, I have a comment policy which operates the same way I would operate in my own house. I allow dissent and disagreement, but I disallow folks from attacking other commenters or screaming at them (ALL CAPS). For this reason I will unapprove some of the comments you have already posted which attack people personally and which scream at them. We should not behave any differently on the Internet than we would in person.

      If you choose not to abide by these policies (and you may not have known about them), then you are choosing to be blocked from making any further comments. I encourage you to consider your tone and to make a choice to stay in the conversation.

      Best regards, Steve

  34. Steve there is no need to block me I will no longer participate. I was not screaming at anyone -I have a real passion about this as well and am sad that you think I was attacking – I was attacking the Church of Wells (they have our children). You have others that I feel have attacked me and my comments (I am a parent who is fighting with the parents (not against them) for our children/grandchildren). I am only sad that you do not know me in person and know what a Christian I am and what I stand for! I stand behind EVERYTHING I posted – The Truth Hurts!

    • Dear Brad, thank you for respecting my words. On the Internet, all caps is generally regarded as screaming rather than as simple emphasis. I realize you may not have known that. I respect your decision to no longer participate. I pray that your loved ones are delivered from this group and that you are reunited. Grace and peace, Steve

  35. I am new to this forum and I personally don’t see why you were upset with the gentleman, Brad. I think he brought up a lot of great points and stated things that people don’t want to hear or have a hard time swallowing. Although he used (CAPS) I am not sure what the big deal was.? I am just saying… Everyone else seems to be able to state their opinions of what they call their facts. This is a very heated topic and everyone needs to be accountable for what they write/say/post. I find it in poor taste that you Steve would tell a man (not send him a private email – you do have the emails from when we register for this forum) that he should not behave any differently on the internet than he does in person and that you disallow folks from attacking other commenters or screaming at them (ALL CAPS) when you have other commenters being rude. I find very disrespectful. If I had a child taken by the Church of Wells I would like Brad on my team…it seems as though he is fighting and standing for what is right. When you teeter between what you truly believe and then you portray yourself in a different light by actions or words to the supporters of the CoW or to the elders of the CoW you really aren’t a person who is convicted or takes a stand. Brad is correct when he said GOD does NOT bow down to the Devil…God FIGHTS him and we should be fighting the elders of the Church of Wells!!

    • Hi Stacy, thanks for your comment. Brad is welcome to comment if he abides by my Comment Policy. Every forum needs guidelines to ensure that people feel safe to express themselves. All Caps and personal attacks don’t aid in that process. If someone refuses to abide by my Comment Policy, they will need to locate a different forum to express themselves. I have no axe to grind against Brad and he is welcome to comment so long as he follows the clearly stated rules as everyone else has for the last two years. Blessings, Steve

  36. This is a forum for Moses. No one is allowed to talk truth. We do need to be addressing the money. Satan really is around every corner.

  37. First and foremost I am very sorry for those of you that have lost your children to his horrific group. I also think it is a crime that the elders of this group are able to look parents in the face and say “I don’t know where she is” “She doesn’t want to talk to you”, “I would be fearful for you to see her” etc….to me that is admission of “holding” someone or “keeping” them from their own “free will”. That is criminal behavior!! Why is it that Moses is the authority of the Church of Wells? Moses for a man that was against his only daughter going to this group you sure changed you tune. You are smiling and happy in the wedding pictures, you post on behalf of the CoW constantly, you state that your are blessed to have Preethi and Sean in your life and you are stabbing the devastated Grove Family in the back that you once use to call on for help. I am very sad and disappointed that you have posted this “One unmarried girl contacted her mom by phone after many months of silence, and spoke to her for an extended length of time, while her father listened in, but their parents still give the impression that their daughter does not contact her.” This is far from the truth and you know it…We all know you are referring to Catherine Grove and your statement is very hurtful – any contact that Catherine has had with her Family is “controlled”, “guarded” and probably scripted ( we all have seen the videos of this young woman acting odd, crying, and being guarded by others including your daughter Preethi). In my opinion you have sold your soul to the devil. I feel as thought you have the same belief system as these twisted lost men and you are helping to destroy the family unit. There is no reason whatsoever anyone should have to have “Permission” to see their grown adult child or have the visit supervised by anyone in the Church of Wells!! You can try to justify the Church of Wells, their teachings etc. by scripture but this is not about Religion. This is about disrespectful, arrogant criminal young men “controlling & destroying lives”. How as a father can you feel proud and sleep knowing that so many all over the country are devastated by your son n law and now your daughter? If I were you I would not be defending them (just for a glimpse of my daughter or an odd controlled day to spend with her) I would be helping the other parents stop this group and not only remove their children/grandchildren but I would be removing my own daughter! I feel as though you are enabling and supporting the Church of Wells – you are acting as their sound board and I personally am sick to my stomach that any parent would go along with such a thing.. It is Abuse in many forms and one day you will have to answer for your participation. With a Heavy Heart, Stacy

    • Dear Stacy, You are right that I changed “tune” after I came to know these dear saints firsthand, rather than through second hand reports, which had poisoned my mind against them. I repented of my actions of believing second hand reports after I came to know the church members personally. After I came to know their love for the Lord and their joining with Christ in the suffering for the true Gospel, God put His love in my heart for them. I pray that the veil will be removed from the readers of this blog to know these people first hand, rather than through second hand reports, and be blessed by them. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Moses, I will state again for the sake of memory: Several of us have stated to you repeatedly that we have first hand experience. This is not second hand information. Please stop twisting the facts to suit your own vision of Wells. It is only helpful to dialog with one another if we are willing to believe reality. We don’t have to agree with one another, but for the sake of dialog, you really should stop twisting the truth that has been stated repeatedly. Many of us have FIRST hand experience with loved ones in Wells. Do you believe this?

      • Moses, all of this is second hand information (yours/ mine as well as everyone else). I have encountered these men you like to call “saints” and they did not have saint like behavior when I had interaction with them. I was personally invited into the home of Jacob Gardner and after a calm and peaceful conversation (odd conversation, he didn’t want to be reasonable about parents wanting to see their children -” Control”) only with him basically. His wife said nothing until I tried to include her in the conversation but he did not like that and tried to interrupt many times. Jacob turned on me like a rabid dog – all because I thanked his wife and wished his her and all the ladies of the CoW love and happiness and to go out into the world and make friends and laugh, Jacob not only accused me of being a worldly woman (insult) he then said that I should not tell his wife to go out and drink and party? I never said such )a thing nor did I imply that nonsense…Jacob went on ask Hannah (his wife) if she saw Jesus in my heart? He said it with such vengeance and control (as though he was demanding Hannah to respond to his commands). Hannah looked at me, at Jacob and said “No” and looked straight to the floor! I then told Jacob Gardner he was abusive and controlling and that I had done nothing inappropriate and that he abused his title of
        “Head of the Household” and that he was controlling and abusing his wife! I left and then Jacob called the “Notorious” Cherokee County Sheriff and had criminal trespass warnings filed on me! Ryan Ringnald filed one as well and I never met the young man nor stepped foot on his property. This is a tactic that this group loves to use – (because they have no legs to stand on). Normal and “Saint” like people don’t issue trespass warnings in these instances nor do the do so after inviting you into their homes. Ryan Ringnald lied to law enforcement! Eric had something to hide (like they all do) I watched Eric lock women and children in his house from the outside and I had my party phone 911. Eric made a video of me while I was on his porch trying to get someone to answer the door. Eric used his “saint” like attitude and felt the need to film me and tell me I was not submissive, and was not of sound mind! Moses there were plenty of witnesses to these acts of “saintly” behavior by the elders of the Church of Wells. Would you like me to post my paperwork? Catherine Grove is a single women and she not only ran away she asked to be taken to a Wome’s Shelter on November 4, 2013 and was denied by Captain John Raffield. I am wondering how you feel if Preethi ran away and wanted to be taken to safety and was denied? I don’t buy that God had put “love” in your heart about these men I believe these criminal men put “fear” in your heart that you would not see your daughter ever again just like they have done to others!! Moses – these men are Abusive and I pray the scales are removed from your eyes! How sad that you will not wake up/see or listen/hear the cries for help from so many families Nation Wide!!!

      • I can say that I have personally talked with a few members of the CoW. At first they do come off as very nice and polite individuals. And I have also in an instant listened to them spin and do an about face and become aggressive when the conversation was very cordial. And to have trespass warnings out on several people for no reason when we were nothing but kind and trying to communicate with them. I personally have been invited back but I fear of them turning once again and have me arrested for something that would be peaceful on my part or the people with me. And yes I have video of the whole encounter of the last visit.

      • Dear Richard, Why would the sharing of my positive experiences with the church members be twisting the facts, simply because it contrasts with your experience? As I mentioned before, they will rebuke sin when they see it, out of love, to save the sinner from damnation. They rebuked us the first time we met them when we acted in the flesh, treated them harshly based on second hand information and looked at them through the lens of the world. After we came to know the truth about them, we repented of our error, and have been in a position to understand them more and more. If you are not in a position to receive spiritual exhortation, it will be difficult to have a relationship with them, since their prime purpose in life is to share the Gospel message in its complete form, comfort of Christ where needed, and rebuke of Christ where needed, with the sole purpose of bringing people into the Light of Jesus Christ….to some Christ is a stumbling stone, and to others, He is the chief, precious Cornerstone. Richard, if they rebuked you for sin, I plead with you to examine your heart before God to see where you need to repent before God….our hearts are deceitful, and we want to surround ourselves with people who affirm us in our sin, but rarely do we come across people who truly love from the heart to rebuke us when we go against the Word of God. The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law thought everything was right with them, AND that everything was wrong with Christ, since He was the Rock of offense to them, the Stumbling Stone, the One who challenged their ego and was a threat to their very identity. Could this be true about yourself? If God were to examine you, what would He say? Would He say that you are a righteous man, or a hypocrite? At the end of the day, it is more important to be right before God rather than in our own estimation, and before other men, so I plead with you to examine yourself in light of God’s righteous requirements, even as I need to do that myself constantly. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Dear ButGuessWhat, I do not know the circumstances in which they issued tresspass warnings to the people concerned, but I know that it is their responsibility to protect their women and children. We have adequate proof of the violent rage against them from multiple incidents, which include physical assault for sharing the Gospel in a public place. Even the rally against them was titled “A small town with a big punch,” highlighting the aggressive intimidation by certain individuals who are bent against their destruction. During my daughter’s wedding, two police trucks came 15 minutes before the wedding along with a parent, in response to phone calls with a false report that there were terrorists at the wedding, and that there was a man with a handgun at the wedding. This action alone shows the aggressive oppression of the church members by certain individuals. In all of this, the church has maintained temperance without breaking any law, and in co-operation with the law enforcement officers. I am blessed to know these saints, who have endured great persecution and rage against them, and I pray that the Lord will grant them much endurance and perseverance in the coming days for the praise of the glory of His Great Name, the Name of Jesus Christ, against whom, no force of evil can prevail, even if it means suffering for a little while, He is coming in the clouds with His angels the judge the world of every lawless deed, and the hearts of all individuals. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Dear Stacy, I cannot comment on your interaction with Mrs. and Mr. Jake Gardner, but I leave the following link which has a video with three couples who are members of the church, a visiting parent, and a newborn baby, for the readers to determine how the families love each other, including how Mrs and Mr. Jake Garder interact with one another. Mrs. & Mr. Jake Gardner can be seen in the background in this video, standing against the wall and waving to the camera.
        https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=1438323949754107&set=vb.100007295460192&type=2&theater
        Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Moses, the video that you are talking about, yes we have seen this side to them as well. as long as they are the ones speaking and no one else. The day of the Trespass warnings issued was totally uncalled for. We were invited over to talk, It was a very polite meeting between 5 concerned people to talk with one of the “elders” one person made the mistake of being polite and speaking with the wife of said ” elder” and it quickly went aggressive on the ” elders’ part. which was unwarranted. no one was being rude, only kindness. and as we left the ” elder” made harsh comments, and as we were at a friends house 45 minutes later the Sheriff deputy gave trespass warnings to 4 out of the 5 of us. there was no warning before hand that we caused a problem. I have seen both sides of them. the kind loving side and the aggressive behavior side. Which has landed them in jail. One of them for threatening a life. and as for the protest you speak of and the fight. I believe they had that coming to them as they approach a group of 3-5 year olds and told them they were all going to Hell. I know the Grandmother and have met the father of one of the children that now have nightmares about them coming to get her and taking her to hell. I am sorry, but that is not Christian like. They deny any wrong doing and even seeing children present. There were children every where that day. it was hard not to see them. They have walked into peoples homes and turned their TV off and tried to run a family member out of their own home and told them that the program they were watching was false preaching and that she was going to hell for watching it. One of the Elders told me that he did not believe in the same God that everyone else does. I have a very open mind. I approach everyone and everything without judgment in my heart. until you give me a reason to not agree with you. I am open for reasoning. as long as it’s a 2 sided conversation. and you stated in an earlier post that the protest you’re talking about with the quotes of a town that packs a big punch.. you stated that friendships were made there. No disrespect to you but how can you now change your words? I am trying to understand both sides. but some keep flip flopping like fish out of water. It is beginning to become more confusing

      • Dear ButGuessWhat, The intent of the rally was aggression, as revealed by the theme for the rally, “A small town with a big punch,” including the picture of a clinched fist on the T-shirts. A large crowd gathered, but after the church members came and met the crowd to talk with them, there was verbal aggression by some people, but the church members had the blessed privilege to talk to many of the townspeople, which had been their desire for a long time. Finally, only a handful of people joined for the final rally after speaking to the church members and realized that they were people just like them, but simply following God’s call in their lives. Specifically, one of the men who physically assaulted the church members asked for forgiveness privately from one of the members who was hurt. Another lady visited a church member’s house the following day feeling sorry for her actions at the rally. The church member invited her into her house and had a cordial interaction with her, and a sustained relationship afterwards. Regarding preaching at the rally itself, Sean Morris was very clear in his statement that they were preaching to the entire crowd, and not specifically to the children. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Dear Moses,
        I can understand that you would assume that the logo on the T shirts at the gathering in Wells would seem to come off as aggression. It was not meant as such. I know personally that our town of Wells is tired of the things that are happening. I know personally from what went on that day of the gathering. I was there personally. I can understand how you can misunderstand what REALLY happened as you received your information secondhand. I made sure I took pictures of everyone there as well as video. I did not see you there. I even double checked through all my videos and pictures. The only upset people were the parents and grandparent of the traumatized child who is now seeking therapy. people did not leave the “rally” because they saw that the CoW were people like them. they left because we stood there for hours trying to make sense of all of it and were hot and frustrated. It’s like walking in circles. and some of the information you are fed is so off. I know the people personally that you are speaking about. there was no asking for forgiveness. There was a visit to a CoW members house. I am very aware of who it was and what was said. You speak of getting information wrong second hand. Things that you are told are mostly false. I am here. I have been here a very long time. I have a lot of friends in the community as well. I am sorry to tell you this but everyone in the town wants them gone. I have been mostly quiet for a long time. And this is the very last comment I will make on this thread or any other forum. We try to help the families and yet we get blocked out and booted off forums because one’s passion is stronger than others. Or someone decides to be obnoxious. But yet we are on the side lines taking pictures of loved ones and sharing them with those who are too far away to attend. and keeping tabs on who’s baby is now in the hospital with a serious life threatening illness.. I guess y’all didn’t know that one either. Try Houston hospital. Last comment. feel free to post away . if you are not there you should not talk about second hand information either Moses. With kindness and respect.

      • Dear ButGuessWhat, The baby returned from Houston hospital many days ago safely, much prayer and love from the church members for the family. My report about the rally is what I heard from the church members whom I believe, more than the aggressors pitted against them, I am not able to confirm if the persons they referred to, are the same as those you have in mind. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • This is getting strange.
        As far as I can tell, there isn’t any doubt that you have a good relationship with your daughter and Sean Morris, Mr. David. It doesn’t look like anyone is questioning your report of a “positive experience.” It doesn’t sound like anyone has accused you of ‘twisting facts’ in this regard.
        You seem to deny that others had a negative, unpleasant experience. You seem to doubt the veracity of any experience other than a complimentary one.

        But you didn’t really “change tune.” This religion matches yours. Their beliefs are consistent with your own.

        Here’s the disagreement — “aggressive intimidation,” “aggressive oppression,” and “saints who have endured great persecution and rage against them.”
        First – no, they haven’t. This is American young adults secure in their heritage of peace and prosperity and safety, First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble publicly. They absolutely know they “…derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.” They are tutored, practiced and skilled in knowing the protections the United States Constitution guarantees them. They know how far away to stand on the sidewalk. They know they can register for a class to gain access to school campuses. They know nothing about genuine persecution. They have experienced _disapproval_ and condemnation. Not the same thing.

        Second – no one, anywhere, is “bent against their destruction.” At least openly. This is simply not true. It’s false. It’s a lie. It’s deceitful and manipulative, self-aggrandizing and falsely pious, to continue to say this.

        They choose to be what our society views as abrasive and rude. Intrusive. Not respecting others’ privacy or space or beliefs. Trampling boundaries. They not only don’t care that others are offended and defensive, but they seem triumphant and pleased. They offend on purpose. They believe that they should. God wants them to. This is their choice.

        Third – others ARE bent on stopping them from invading their space. Others want to be free of proselytizing, free to think what they choose, free to enjoy their social events without disturbance, free to make their own religious choices. What the group characterizes as “a burden” and an altruistic spiritual gesture, other people see as getting in their face and behaving badly. This isn’t a mystery or a foreign culture. The Texas Boys know this. The group members know this. You know this, Mr. David.
        Then there’s families feeling loss of loved ones. You insist this is somehow not real or not true. It’s true. This doesn’t benefit from more explanation.

        You and Morris/Ringnald/Gardner are convinced this behaviour is fulfilling God’s agenda. Maybe. I see it as self-serving. They’re not doing everyone a favor. They’re doing it because they want to. It’s their own agenda. They do this because it satisfies their own desires. And they don’t want to be told ‘no’.

      • Moses, the readers of this blog _do_ know these people first-hand. Most, for an entire lifetime.
        Much longer than you’ve known any of them except your own daughter. Your daughter joined this group six months ago.

      • Dear ATHB, I put the link to the video is an attempt to let the readers of this blog to know that
        1) The church members love their parents dearly
        2) Some parents are in effective communication with their children
        3) The wives of the church members have inner joy, and are loved by their husbands
        4) The children of the church members are cared for, and loved greatly
        Although the video in of itself is not sufficient proof of all of my statements above, it does present a different picture of the church members than has been portrayed in this blog.
        ATHB, if you have been punched and beaten so severely, that a friend had to stitch your jaw, you were beaten so badly that you had to walk on crutches for many days, if you had police trucks show up at your wedding through false accusations, if you received death threats on a daily basis, and you had to face a mob in rage, if you were rejected by your own (Christians), you would know that there is persecution of the righteous saints right here in the United States, you do not have to go to a different country!
        Your attempt to link Sean Morris’s statement concerning the seed of the righteous not perishing, with the Mormon church, rather than to Proverbs 11:21 also shows how you are bent on persecuting the people of God. I saw worn out King James Bibles everywhere in the church, not anything from the Latter Day Saints. May the reader with discernment see through these lies.
        Love in Christ,
        Moses.

      • Okay, thanks for the explanation about the video. I get it. But it’s a reflection of the group leaders’ lives. They don’t need permission for their choices. They dictate to the group. The two Morris brothers, their cousin Cory McLaughlin, and Jake Gardner are the founders. Their affiliation and loyalty to each other has never been in question. This video is a greeting to their father, with whom they do not have a solid relationship according to their own publicized testimony. I wonder why these young men publicize this personal moment. The other founder, Ryan Ringnald and his wife are absent.

      • “Moses”,

        “The seed of the righteous shall not perish.” The Pursley’s baby Faith died. Are the Pursley’s not righteous?

      • Dear OutragedinMissouri, I don’t think we can say that Faith Pursley perished, nor even that God does not answer prayer…..God answered the church members’ prayer not in the way that we all might have liked, but by taking this baby to Himself. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • “Moses”,

        That is a typical response. Twisting the scripture to fit the CoW boys’ agenda. On top of that, it makes no sense. You can’t change the definition of “perish” and you can’t change history. We all know what happened to baby Faith.

  38. Buttguesswhat: Please don’t stop posting I agree with Byhisgrace58. We appreciate your input videos and pics. Please stay the course!

    • I know I said the last post was my last. But here is the reason I will not participate in any more forums. As I have stated in my last comment. I personally have ben booted off of forums for merely asking a question or just a simple post.( I and others) We are here to help not hurt. Some peoples passions are a little higher than others and are taken the wrong way. But to open up a portion of a different forum( that we were booted out of ) just to get information from the locals. Is now where I draw the line. I will not beg to be a part of the forum. But it’s sad that a handful of posters ruin it for the rest of the families as most of us are trying to help and I myself have done a lot of legwork. I have never been unruly or posted with lots of CAPS or even bee obnoxious,but I still get booted out for some odd reason. I sincerely hope that Moses is actually Moses and not his daughter pretending to be him. And I hope with all my heart that Moses can see two sides to every story as he once did. Not just the CoW version. I hope that everyone here with a loved one in the CoW has the opportunity to have them home soon. Thank you..

  39. I don’t understand the link Moses David posted above; the Morris brothers greeting to their father. I don’t get any of it – why these boys wanted the public to see what appears to be a private family video of a new baby; why Moses David posts it here; how it proves something about Jake Gardner’s behaviour.

    In the video, Sean Morris says: “The seed of the righteous shall not perish.”
    This bit of rephrased scripture originates from a piece on tithing in The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, No. 28, Volume XV, 1853, page 436.
    Why did he say this?

    • I am in absolute agreement with ATHB regarding the video posting. One word – contrived.

    • Dear TruthBeTold, Does it bother you that the truth about these saints was told in a manner that does not fit the description of them that are bent on slandering them? The truth is that they are loving people who love their families (even distanced ones) dearly, even if this is not perceived by those that have distanced themselves from everything that the saints in church stand for! Love in Christ, Moses.

      • While I do not know them all, I believe that members of this group _are_ loving people who _do_ love their families. Know how much they are loved. Have had a lifetime of loving relationships and the strength of good wholesome parenting, and parents, grandparents, and extended family who raised them with love, provided for them in all kinds of ways, spiritually and physically. For a much longer period of time than their membership in this congregation and long before they met these new people.

        While family may not “perceive” love returned from these young adults who have distanced themselves for acceptance by this group, family _knows_ these absent adult children love them still. Even if these young people cannot show it. These bonds are not fragile and not easily broken. The love of one’s family is carved out of DNA and tested by time.

  40. ATHB said “In the video, Sean Morris says: “The seed of the righteous shall not perish.”
    This bit of rephrased scripture originates from a piece on tithing in The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, No. 28, Volume XV, 1853, page 436.
    Why did he say this?”

    Because all cults think alike. I questioned a theologian about the remnant church, he said that is the first indication of a cult-when they think THEY are the remnant. Mormons began that way, Seventh day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses….they all began by a person thinking they were the true remnant church. If you google “remnant church today” MANY churches pop up but the second is the Seventh Day Adventists. COW is not unique in its thinking. They did not make this stuff up. They just copied and pasted to their liking.

  41. Moses, I am the lady you are referring to that visited a church member….the apology I made to that church member was not about the rally or the church or it’s beliefs! My apology was a personal one in reference to that particular church member as I had a conversation with them and felt it was out of place for me to be discussing a “blood” family member of theirs at the rally. Their family member’s actions are very public and sensitive subject concerning this particular member and felt I was wrong in bringing it up at a rally about a total different subject. I feel deeply sorry for this person as the actions of their family member has caused much pain and grief to many people including that church member and you know exactly what and who I am referring to! And yes we have had several conversations since then and I have been invited back but you misinformed or just not getting your facts straight if you think my apology was to CoW! I made no apologies to the CoW.

    • Appreciate that, thanks. We can sort of read between the lines on that one, although I never repeat an assumption just in case I’ve got it wrong.

      • I just don’t want to name anyone due to the sensitive nature of the church member’s relative’s situation, it has been well publicized all over the US and has lead to too much grief and sorrow for too many. I would not like for anyone to name me or my family member in a public forum, so out of respect I must refrain myself on here. But I can assure I am the lady that Moses was referring to in his above post.

      • I get it. Thanks again.

    • Dear LittleTxLady, Thanks for the clarification…I am unable to cross-check if you are the same person they were describing because your identity is unknown. These uncertainties further reinforce the weakness of second and third party accounts of the church members. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • “Cross-check?” You mean you need to verify something with Sean Morris and your daughter. To what end, I don’t know.

      • Moses, I can assure you I am who I say I am and that I am the lady you were referring to. I replied to a thinking human being in the above post you can read there if you like. You can take it or leave it…. I could care less what you think or believe.I know who and what I am and I am neither a phony nor a liar and I have no need or patience with anyone with either of those characteristics.
        D~

  42. One more time – these young men are not suffering persecution for their religious beliefs. They are experiencing condemnation for their provocative anti-social behaviour. There’s an obvious difference.
    They moved into a town a few years ago and have been antagonizing the people who were already there, ever since. They invade privacy, interject themselves in others’ lives uninvited, cross boundaries and seek out provocation. With aggressive street-preaching backgrounds, they are not only comfortable with negative responses, but feel justified and successful when they stir up angry responses.
    They attracted broad attention for their treatment of a newborn who died when they chose not to seek medical care. The group deliberately defies rules of conduct by going onto school grounds and interrupting worship services in local churches (an action that tramples on other citizens’ freedom of religion).
    They are not being “persecuted” because they are Christians, for packing around bibles, or for evangelizing.

    No sir, Mr. David. There is no attempt to link anything to the Mormon church. I don’t roll that way and it’s not an insult in my world. I have no strong feelings about Latter-Day Saints. I respect 5,000 years of world religion, gentile and Jewish, Buddhism, Catholic and Muslim. I don’t object to anyone’s religion, including these young men and this version of “local church.” I do object to oppressive behaviour and I don’t like mean-spirited preachers.
    I made an observation. I’m curious about why Sean Morris said this and what it means. It’s meaningful, without a doubt. The key message to that video. You could simply respond that it’s Proverbs 11:21 paraphrased. My question doesn’t ‘show’ anything except curiousity; certainly not indicative of a desire to persecute. Them or you. You answer rudely back and make an insult of it.

    Proverbs 11:21 – Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

    ~ That’s not what Sean Morris quoted.

    • Sean Morris said a sentence that is a direct quote from The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star in 1853. I could find no other source for that quote. Doesn’t mean it isn’t somewhere else and I just can’t find it. It’s not in the bible, even though it sounds as if he’s quoting scripture. If he meant Proverbs 11:21, why didn’t he quote it?

      I wondered what he meant. I still do.

      • Dear ATHB, Here is Sean’s response concerning his statement in the video, no need for guesswork anymore! Love in Christ, Moses.
        NOTE FROM SEAN MORRIS:
        Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
        Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
        Dear Moses,
        I did not mean any specific scripture in my cognizant thought process except that, I knew there were many promises in scripture which refer to the seed of the righteous, I knew that Jesse just had a baby boy, and I knew that the video was for my dad to see, so the first thing that came to my mind was that statement. I figured the statement was a mixture of scriptural truth, and after I searched it Proverbs 11:21 and Psalm 37:25 do identify with what I was talking about. I am sad to have to give such a defense, because apparently this man thinks that I am a Mormon or something. If I was a Mormon I would say it, ascribe to their faith, and preach Joseph Smith, and woe to me if I did. I have never even heard of or read, to my knowledge, the book that he is referencing, nor do I altogether understand what tithing has to do with what I was saying, according to the Mormons. I could wish that every “Latter-Day Saint” piece of literature would perish from existence, if it were possible, that the venom therein would no longer send so many thousands upon thousands to hell through Mormonism.

  43. Moses-

    Why do you call people who judge the Church of Wells elders “slanderous”?

    Here is Sean Morris’s own words:

    “do you not want to be judged? You have signed up for it! This form of judgment is for those who take upon themselves the honorable and privileged name, Christian. If you take it upon yourself to bear and represent God’s name in this earth, an earth full of people that know Him not, you had better represent Him rightly! And when you don’t, you better be ready to be confronted, corrected, and judged for your deeds which distort and profane His holy Name.”
    (Doctrine of Judgment – Page 14)

    We do indeed have permission to judge the Church of Wells elders.

    Even you, Moses, also have permission to judge them.

    Tell us Moses, How do you judge them by the Proverbs 6:16-20 standards?

    (Proverbs 6:16-20)
    16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
    20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

    We judge them this way:

    We cannot submit to or trust any teaching that comes from the Church of Wells, because they have a reputation of mis-handling God’s word, lying, being prideful, being hypocrites, sowing discord among brethren, and robbing God of the authority that belongs only to him. They are false teachers because of their bad fruits.

    They must repent of their bad fruits.

    Moses, stop listening to the false teachers and start being a humble student desiring to learn about how God extends Grace to believers who sin.

    • Well done Micah, but I’m sure your reply will not be addressed. Instead Moses will say only what he has been told. I have yet to see an independent thought.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  44. There seems to be a communication failure. I did not ask for your comments on value of prayer; I am already aware of that value. I commented on the arrogance and presumption of your telling bhg how her children (?) and grandchildren are doing. You failed to answer my very basic question as to how many children and grandchildren you are providing assurances about. This is a significant point, because if you do not even know the number, how can you know what their condition(s) are?

    • Dear Apple1, Yes, you are right…there is a communication failure. Please read my post….I was affirming the love and shepherding present within the church by righteous leaders, which should give great comfort to the family members who are distant. I am not judging by earthly measures, but in the spiritual realm…they may be forsaken by the world around them, but not destroyed…the love of Christ will sustain them, and give them an inheritance which will never perish, or fade away! Love in Christ, Moses.

  45. Moses, I am exhausted…This is not nor has ever been about Religion. We “all” are able to believe whatever we choose. This is about children who have given up everything (Family, Friends, School, Jobs) to join a group that is being “controlled” by young men. This is about children giving up everything they were and dreamed of and becoming people that we no longer know. We care about the children and the relationships that we once had and treasure them. We really are not interested in the CoW teachings, we are concerned with the lifestyle that are children are now living. We ask why are children are not allowed to communicate or spend time with us in a solid/normal way and all we get are Bible Versus and “Judgment”!! This I am convinced is the CoW’s way of hiding behind a “Religious Umbrella” and scream about their Civil Rights while they break laws and hearts of many families nationwide. Moses, there is no denying that this group is “Controlled” by these elders and you can not justify it by Bible Versus. It is heartbreaking…this is not a life of love or normalcy. The elders of the CoW have formed a community within their own group and they are not willing to open it up to the outside world. You can not justify this Moses and there are so many parents nationwide that stand firm on this. This is about each families “personal” love and heartbreak about their own child. This is about the community of Wells, TX being tired of this group “judging, condemning, yelling and scaring” children as well as adults. This is about parents who love, care and dream big for their children and do not want a group of young men standing in the way of their relationships with their children!!!

  46. Moses David
    May 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm
    Dear OutragedinMissouri, I don’t think we can say that Faith Pursley perished, nor even that God does not answer prayer…..God answered the church members’ prayer not in the way that we all might have liked, but by taking this baby to Himself. Love in Christ, Moses.

    Don’t think we can say Faith perished? Ummmm. Yep, she died. Perished. Lost over 2 lbs in her three days of life. Became too weak to even take nourishment from an eye dropper. And, according to a pediatric forensics specialist, would have had a 98% chance of a normal life had she received medical treatment.

    • Dear ByHisGrace, The pediatric forensics specialist is not the one who determines whether a person will live, or die, although he/she may bring some value and help to those in medical need. God’s perfect will was accomplished in baby Faith’s life…..are you willing to accept it, or fight it by trying to find every other way it might have been thwarted? King David tried that, but he accepted God’s will after the baby died. The baby did not perish…King David said, “I will go to him, but he will not come to me” “Perish” means destroyed forever, in a place called hell, separated from God completely. This is the eternal destiny of every one who rejects Christ, and His righteous requirement of abiding in Christ by faith and submitting to His Holy Spirit, who is the deposit guaranteeing eternal life. Love in Christ, Moses.

      • Yup. The baby died. Death.
        God’s will was not accomplished. It was the will of some Texas men. They decided.
        Sean Morris’ self-edification was a success, but the patient died.

        Mr. David, do you not know what a pediatric forensic specialist is? As a working published scientist, how is that possible. Nope, no help at all to someone in medical need.

      • “Moses”,

        There is another small child from the CoW in the hospital in Houston with Botulism. How do you righteously explain this? And, is this hospitalization being paid for by Texas state assistance or your love donations or the money you take from new members?

      • God’s will again? At least they sought medical care.

      • They are now seeking medical care because they were wrong to do to baby Faith what they did, and they know it. Moses is too prideful to admit it though.

      • Dear ATHB, Sorry for missing the point about the pediatric forensic specialist….agreed, no help to provide medical care!…..wasn’t reading carefully here, but the point remains that God is sovereign, dictating the exact time of every person’s death, either through medical care, or none.
        Love in Christ,
        Moses.

  47. I am new to this forum and would like to point out that Steve posted on May 17 ” Dear all, let’s keep this civil. Strong emotions are fine. Disagreement is expected and important. But I’m wondering if it’s time to close this thread. We might be reaching the point of rehashing the same arguments. Thoughts? I’m okay leaving this open if ya’ll find it beneficial.” I personally follow the other forums and I just read where the Admin of the Cowtalk [edited by moderator to remove name] blamed Brad for shutting the Liberty for Captives Forum down.? I was not aware that the forum was down (I am posting) maybe some of you are blocked? Anyway, Steve posted this to a response I wrote about Brad ” I have no axe to grind against Brad and he is welcome to comment so long as he follows the clearly stated rules as everyone else has for the last two years. Blessings, Steve” I think we should clear this up that Brad did not shut this Forum down. I have not seen Brad post since Steve posted his response? I am sad that another parent would be so rude and dishonest about a parent who is just trying to help. Maybe Brad did not deliver his message in the manner you like but he did get it cleared up with Steve. Please check your facts (they are actually in the above posts).

    • This is the kind of stuff that shuts down forums and communication. Could we just not do this? Please?

      • What shuts forums down?

      • The things that shut forums down are people going from one forum to another talking hatefully against parents that are posting ” their Opinions” that they don’t like. Posts that have made them feel guilty or shame…Honestly, through all of this, the posts and reading the other forums I can tell who I would not be able to depend on if I were taken by the Church of Wells. There are some who are focusing on the wrong parties and need to put that energy into what they feel keeps them focused on stopping this group rather than trying to stop other parents and their opinions. We all don’t always agree personally as teammates but we should have each others backs for the same cause

    • I have not blocked Brad. Brad is free to comment so long as he abides by the comment policy guidelines.

      I encourage everyone to leave issues from other forums on those other sites and start fresh here. Let’s refrain from naming names of fellow parents who have already been traumatized by what has happened. I believe we are all trying to help, even if our approaches are somewhat different. There is room for various approaches. There is no magic formula.

      Thanks everyone for your involvement in a gracious and mutually supporting way.

  48. per·ish
    ˈperiSH/
    verb
    suffer death, typically in a violent, sudden, or untimely way.
    “a great part of his army perished of hunger and disease”
    synonyms: die, lose one’s life, be killed, fall, expire, meet one’s death, be lost, lay down one’s life, breathe one’s last, pass away, go the way of all flesh, give up the ghost, go to glory, meet one’s maker, cross the great divide; More

    • Dear ByHisGrace, If Christ perished when he suffered physical death, there would be no meaning in Christian life, and the following verses would be in error (please note verse 11 concerning the Son, Christ Himself). There is hope for everyone who is IN CHRIST!
      Hebrews 1:8-12 (NIV)
      But about the Son he says,
      “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
      a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
      9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
      therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
      by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
      10 He also says,

      “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
      and the heavens are the work of your hands.
      11 They will perish, but you remain;
      they will all wear out like a garment.
      12 You will roll them up like a robe;
      like a garment they will be changed.
      But you remain the same,
      and your years will never end.”

  49. “Pride: Ministering in a Harsh Spirit

    It has been the manner of spiritually proud persons to speak of almost everything they see in others in the most harsh, severe language. It is frequent with them to say of other’s opinion, conduct, advice, coldness, silence, caution, moderation, prudence, etc. that they are from the devil or from hell.

    Such kind of language they will commonly use, not only towards wicked men, but towards those who are true children of God and also towards ministers of the gospel and others who are very much their superiors. Christians who are but fellow-worms ought at least to treat one another with as much humility and gentleness as Christ treats them.” Jonathan Edwards

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  50. What Sean Morris says in his video: “The seed of the righteous shall not perish.”
    I couldn’t find this piece of scripture in the bible. Here’s why – it’s not from the bible, but “a mixture of scriptural truth.”

    NOTE FROM SEAN MORRIS via Moses David:
    I did not mean any specific scripture in my cognizant thought process except that, I knew there were many promises in scripture which refer to the seed of the righteous, I knew that Jesse just had a baby boy, and I knew that the video was for my dad to see, so the first thing that came to my mind was that statement. I figured the statement was a mixture of scriptural truth, and after I searched it Proverbs 11:21 and Psalm 37:25 do identify with what I was talking about. I am sad to have to give such a defense, because apparently this man thinks that I am a Mormon or something. If I was a Mormon I would say it, ascribe to their faith, and preach Joseph Smith, and woe to me if I did. I have never even heard of or read, to my knowledge, the book that he is referencing, nor do I altogether understand what tithing has to do with what I was saying, according to the Mormons. I could wish that every “Latter-Day Saint” piece of literature would perish from existence, if it were possible, that the venom therein would no longer send so many thousands upon thousands to hell through Mormonism.

    Okay.
    • He didn’t mean any specific scripture. He wasn’t doing Bible quotes. He knows there are many scriptures which refer to “the seed of the righteous” so he just said it.
    • Maybe he’s so used to quoting scripture and speaking in Elizabethan English that it just sort of all rolls together and feels biblical. Or at least sounds like it.
    • I hope Sean Morris and the other group leaders are clear about that line where scripture ends and their own words begin. I hope this isn’t fuzzy.
    • He hates Mormons. Insulted at credit to the Mormons that this _exact_ phrase was uttered by Brigham Young and Heber Kimball, in print, 161 years ago.
    • “…venom therein…” What? It’s the same words. It’s venom if the Mormons say it, but scripture if Sean Morris says the same thing?

    “From what is already revealed Saints can see that their course of life in keeping the laws of God will have a bearing upon their children after them for Lord has decreed that ‘the seed of righteous shall not perish while the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’
    — The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, Volume 15. July 9, 1853.

    Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

    • Sorry, misquoted and can’t edit errors.
      “From what is already revealed, the Saints can see that their course of life in keeping the laws of God, will have a bearing upon their children after them, for the Lord has decreed that ‘the seed of the righteous shall not perish, while the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’”

  51. But is that not their very intent … to traumatize people calling it “love”
    pg 17 “Doctrine of Judgment”
    … “So destructive, alarming and vibrant is this sword wielding war, most men are left in perplexity and horror over it …. It is emotionally inconceivable that THIS house-dividing chaos is the blessed work of the Savior …”
    … YES … they being writers of the document have successfully traumatized our family, have “left us in perplexity and horror over it”, through their work and efforts ….

  52. But is that not their very intent … to traumatize people calling it “love” pg 17 “Doctrine of Judgment”
    … “So destructive, alarming and vibrant is this sword wielding war, most men are left in perplexity and horror over it …. It is emotionally inconceivable that THIS house-dividing chaos is the blessed work of the Savior …”
    … YES … they being writers of the document have successfully traumatized our family, have “left us in perplexity and horror over it”, through their work and efforts ….

  53. COW members are so worried about whether WE are in the right standing with God. I know they care deeply about their stance with the creator of the universe as well. They obsesses with sin and repentance and how vile everyone is. I agree that God hates sin and we need to repent and turn and bear fruit as a witness to our salvation. Here is the thing though. They need to ask themselves…”what if we are wrong in some of out thinking?”. If they do that they will find themselves wallowing deep in sin for what they have done and are continuing to do. They have gone against scripture on many issues: dishonoring parents, walking away from responsibility and children for that matter, many many other grievances against God. How does the world see COW? as a representation of the first church? Caring for widows and orphans as Paul instructed? Nope! COW is inwardly focused and full of spiritual pride as Jonathan Edwards warned. Take heed COW members and especially leaders who are responsible for where they are leading these people…ask yourselves…what if we are wrong? The implications are scary! Dare to ask that question. “What if we (or the elders) are wrong?”

  54. Amen to that.

    Moses, it seems that anytime someone speaks the truth (such as having 1st hand experience with sinful behavior from the CoW), it seems that you resort to the same behavior the CoW does…. Judge and question the integrity, honesty, and intentions of the questioner. I believe that it is only because you don’t want to admit the errors of the CoW, that you resort to this tactic. What are you left to do but attack the other party? You know that you can’t attack the Truth. The Truth is the Truth. It will defend itself.

    This sort of behavior is actually the beginning step of slander and condemnation which stems from pride and spiritual blindness. You did it with me, and I see you doing it with several others on this forum.

    This indeed does seem to be the beginnings of “bad fruit” in your own life. Please call some of those men whom you used to trust. Ask them to assess your actions. Ask them to see if in fact they believe that you have been deceived by lying spirits.

    Remember Moses, Satan often appears as an angel of light.

    In Christ,
    Richard

  55. Here’s what it seems to be boiling down to…

    CoW is always right and truthful because we know they would never lie, is that correct? Anyone else who does not agree with their theology is wrong and slandering them. It’s like a vicious circle.

  56. Moses:”All I can say is that your description of what happened at the wedding is very different from what I HEARD from the other side”

    I capped heard for a reason!

    We will get no where in these discussions if we question the integrity of those posting. Richard had first hand information. He was there. Why would he lie about his experience? For that matter we could all question the identity of anyone here. Is that really you Moses? But at some point we have to trust that our motives for discussion are pure and we want the truth revealed for all involved.

    Moses, when my child discussed with me a certain subject which I knew about first hand, it was said that the elders told him something different. They aren’t always right! No one is! They have the capability to twist the truth just like anyone else. Why would you be afraid to privately discuss any subject? What are your motives Moses? Are you seeking to defend C of W for defense sake? Or to keep connected to your daughter? Or are you willing to “hear the other side” as you suggest we do? If your motives are pure you would search to know the truth at all costs.

  57. Dear Richard, No, I do not consider this dear man prideful, or a liar, but his assessment of CoW is not like how you are describing, and our hearts can be deceitful, to take a position of convenience to support complacency. Love in Christ, Moses.

  58. Can you answer what the burden of the Lord is? Do you agree with what the Church of Wells teaches is the burden of the Lord?

  59. I am glad that your uncle’s churches were CoW elder approved. You stated “not like the modern day superficial churches”. You are stating that every modern day church is superficial. How could you possible know? Have you checked out every one?
    You also stated “unlike the leaders of today,….my uncle though he could hardly walk, as an elder used to walk to at least two church families’ homes every day to pray…..” Does that mean no church leader today does anything like that? Again, how could you possibly know? It is dangerous to make all encompassing statements like that. Also by your last statement you are implying that he separated from his carnal family just like CoW, implying all of the families left behind are carnal. You don’t know us, you don’t know me. It is offensive to be called carnal in a blanket statement like that. You are exhibiting the same spiritual pride in my opinion that they do.

  60. This has gotten a little challenging to follow, with comments posting out of sequence and chronology. Thanks for hosting this, Steve. I hope we haven’t created extra work and over-stayed our welcome.

    Questions to Mr. David:
    • Have you/will you severe relationships with family and friends who don’t share your zeal for Church of Wells?
    • How do you manage in the workplace? It’s “of the world” and not conducive to bringing rules like this in.
    • If your daughter were to leave this group, would you stay? Would you separate from her to maintain obedience to them?

  61. Dear Micah68, Zechariah who prophesied after Jeremiah used this phrase in the following verse while speaking to the nation of Israel, so the problem is not in the mere use of the term. The message of Jeremiah 23 is that false shepherds who are misleading the people of God into sin and destruction should not claim themselves to be representing God. We see this happening a lot in many permissive churches today with authoritative pastors who are living in blatant sin, and not caring for the welfare of the people.
    Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

  62. Mr. David, it’s not my intention to debate you on matters of spirituality or doctrine. You and I are worlds apart. I’ll be me and I’ll let you be you.

    But what you do and what you say are contradictory. I wanted to ask basic simple plebian questions and gain some kind of understanding. Or at least some sense of why it’s this way.
    This isn’t persecution and not meant to challenge you or put you on the spot. It’s supposed to be _fair_. It’s meant to understand. And what you and the Church of Wells elders asked for. Your responses have driven the dialogue to contentiousness. I get it — you’re supposed to; God wants you to make people mad. That’s how you know you’re doing God’s work and proving your faith.

    My impression is that neither you nor the elders want questions. And don’t really intend to explain anything. Nobody ever said you had to.

    I can’t reconcile the voice behind these comments with a senior research scientist in a commercial laboratory, engaged in scientific investigation in the multinational chemical- and bio-engineering industry.

    Sean Morris, the phrase you meant is ‘cognitive’, not “cognizant.” ‘Cognitive thought process’.

  63. Dear Micah68, Please read the following verse from Jeremiah 23, in which the burden of the Lord is used interchangeably with the word of God. I do not see any difference between “burden of the Lord” and “burden of the Word of the Lord” Also, the judgment is specific to the situation in which Israel is in gross negligence by its leaders, both kings and prophets. Otherwise, we would be in trouble today if “every man’s word shall be his burden” Please do not pervert the words of the living God.
    Love in Christ, Moses.
    Jeremiah 23;36
    And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

  64. Dear Micah68, When you say, “he says no one is allowed to use this phrase,” is that your addition to God’s Holy Word, when clearly is talking about “one of this people, or a prophet, or a priest” the subjects of His reproach being the prophets that He is against? Where does God extend this to the true prophets that He is not against, the true prophets that are faithful towards God’s Word, like Zechariah? Is God against Zechariah because he said that “God saith” according to verse 31, or was God against Zephaniah because he said, “I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord” You are doing the very thing that God is denouncing in this chapter, that is to say something that God is not saying (i.e your insistence that true, faithful prophets of God are not to use the phrase, “the burden of the Lord”)

    Jeremiah 23:30-33
    30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

    31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

    32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

    33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.

  65. Moses, please stop yelling!

  66. Moses-

    What is hard to understand about this?

    The phrase “The burden of the Lord” is off limits because God said so. Not because I said so. I am not adding anything. God did not say the phrase “Thus saith the Lord” is off limits. He said “The burden of the Lord” is off limits. This is a direct quote from God.

    “38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’””

    Who do you think he is talking to? (When I sent you saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,'”) That is not to the false prophet because God did not send the false prophet. That is to the True prophet because God did send the True prophet. God told the True prophets not to say that phrase.

    You are the one that really has to twist things to give yourself authority to use that phrase. That is utterly prideful to give yourself so much authority. You dare to rob God of his authority.

    – The church of wells does not have authority to speak for God. When the true prophets from the Bible spoke for God, they directly quoted God word for word. You can find the quotation marks in every example of true prophets.

    This phrase is not used by most of the true prophets in the Bible… I wonder why? Could it possibly be that God clearly told them not to use the phrase?

    – Are you direct quoting God when you use that phrase? Are the Church of Wells elders/members direct quoting God when they use that phrase? NO!
    (There you go… You don’t have God’s authority to use that phrase!)

    – Are you saying that you and the Church of Wells are all on par with the Bible prophets? NO!
    – Are you saying that you are a prophet from the proper tribe and have been approved to hear direct quotes from God and repeat them word for word NO!
    (There you go… you don’t have God’s authority to use that phrase!)

    I am not claiming to hear and repeat the direct words of God, but you when you use that phrase.
    (You don’t have God’s authority to use that phrase)

    Moses, if you chose to continue to use that phrase even after God has told you not to, then you will be committing willful sin and you can read all about what happens to those who commit willful sin from the Church of Wells materials.

  67. Really Moses? Can you stop already? We are tired of it all. We love and miss our children and thats what its all about. You obviously don’t care. We are real people hurting. You and the elders know nothing about love.

  68. Moses, (Sean or Preethi) I think you are mistaken…I am reminding you out of brotherly love to not have rage when you speak. You didn’t like when others did so and I think that we need to keep the rules the same for you. My love is not cold Moses and I am not sure why you would even say such a thing.

  69. Dear Micah68, God also said, “Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.” By your rationale, God is against Zechariah, and Zephaniah, and Habakkuk, and Micah, and Nahum also…..so much for your stubbornness, to justify your shedding of innocent blood!
    Love in Christ, Moses.

  70. Dear Micah68, God also said in verse 31 ” Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.” Following your rationale, God is against Zechariah, and Zephaniah, and Micah, and Nahum and Habakkuk, because they said what God said……so much for your stubbornness, simply to justify your shedding of righteous blood!
    Love in Christ,
    Moses.

  71. My post did not display next to the post I was replying too. I thought I had that part figured out, but I guess not. This
    “Dear Stacy, I didn’t hear you whisper to ATHB either…..WHY????? Has love grown so cold?
    Love in Christ”
    is what I was referring to.

  72. Think it’s time to shut this down. It’s nothing but one chasing a tail. It’s getting no where. Someone is posting under someone else’s name. And they’re getting irritated

  73. Moses David (or whomever your are) – Stop pretending. I believe you understood what I said (and also understood what Stacy said). I will re-word: Using “love in Christ” in that manner is taking the Lord’s name in vain. And you then have the audacity to then compare yourself to Jesus.

  74. I agree, time to shut down, because we know those in wells never know when to stop. They dont’ care we are hurting, they just want to be right. They are sounding brass and clanging cymbals-all talk no love.

  75. Dear Micah68, Please see Sean Morris’ response to your posts concerning the “burden of the Lord” It would have been more God honoring if you had contacted him directly about this topic, and identitied who you were. Love in Christ, Moses.

    SEAN MORRIS’ RESPONSE CONCERNING THE BURDEN OF THE LORD:
    I do not know who this man is, but I am very sad for him, for he is very confused. This is a situation that astonishes me, that an accusation like this could be made at all…it is very apparent that this man has not studied the scriptures that he might show himself approved (2 Tim. 2:15), and now he is emboldened to condemn me because I am burdened by a burden that I believe is from the the Lord (backed and confirmed by inspired scripture)? This man is wresting the scriptures, and in so doing he is endangering himself by the merciless judgment of God (Matt. 7:1-5) – if we judge without mercy we can be judged by that same standard. There is a fearful warning in scripture that says a man should not condemn the righteous. Proverbs 17:15, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” Jeremiah 23 is not forbidding the use of that phrase, “The burden of the Lord”, he is condemning these specific men who claim to be prophets, who claim to be sent by God, who God did not send. These men and this generation had utterly forsaken God, they could not even be interceded for ( see Jer. 15:1, 23:33, 23:39), and certainly, therefore, they were not motivated by God to stand up and speak in God’s name! These men were self-proclaimed representatives of the Lord, claiming that they have “the burden from the LORD” when they didn’t. God explicitly states that he is against these prophets BECAUSE they have not been sent by him (Jeremiah 23:21), therefore for them to still go on and say they have a burden from God, this is the sin. God is not against the PHRASE, is he? This would be utterly unreasonable and foolish to assert!

    I would ask this man: Logically speaking, does he have “the burden of the Lord” for me? Is he not burdened that I would not have the burden of the Lord, or that I should not say the actual words, “burden of the Lord”, but what if I do have a burden from the Lord, should I not say that I have it, then is it ok to have it as long as I don’t say the phrase? If he is not ok with having a burden from the Lord, does he have a burden from the Lord for me? Is he not burdened that I am a false prophet? Furthermore, if God is speaking against the use of the phrase, or the act in the heart, or either, then by this mans terminology and grounds of condemnation, all these prophets are condemned, are they not? See below how this man is condemning the prophets of God:

    Zec_9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.
    Zec_12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
    Mal_1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
    Nah_1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
    Isa_13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
    Isa_15:1 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;
    Isa_17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
    Isa_19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
    Isa_21:1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.
    Isa_21:11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?
    Isa_22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
    Isa_23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
    Isa_30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

    As you can see, it is not about the phrase, “burden of the Lord”, but all men who spoke on God’s behalf had a burden from the Lord. Furthermore as Christians, we are possessed by the Spirit of God. Therefore we are supposed to do all things as motivated and inspired by God as much as we are enabled to do through God’s grace, and therefore one of the marks of a true Christian is to have burdens from the Lord. If we speak, it should be representing him, therefore it should be a burden. This is what Colossians 3:17 commands of us, and if we speak it should be as the very oracles of God according to 1 Peter 4:11 – IN OTHER WORDS, we should be burdened with the burdens of the Lord and act upon them, speak from them, in the fear of God, as long as the burden is backed by inspired scripture, confirmed by inspired scripture, and commanded by inspired scripture. This is called preaching. This is called Christian accountability. This is called love. Men of God are burdened with God’s burdens, thus they speak the truth in love!

  76. Dear Stacy,
    A spirit that does not convict of sin, and give false peace in the midst of abiding sin, and lacking in the reverent fear of God and His judgment is a seducing spirit, the one that is in the world! The world and its desires will pass away, but the ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF THE FATHER will live.
    John 16:7-11 (NIV) But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

  77. Dear Stacy, The spirit that does not convict when there is sin, gives false peace in the midst of abiding sin, and discounts the reverent fear of God and His judgment is a seducing spirit, which is in the world, the spirit who lives in the sons of disobedience. God’s Holy Spirit, The Comforter gives comfort and peace by giving conviction for sin and remind us to seek the Lord in repentance for forgiveness of sin. Any spirit that discounts this blessed work of sanctification by instilling the reverent fear of God is from the devil.
    Love in Christ,
    Moses
    John 16:7-11 (NASB) But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

  78. Dear all, thank you for a valuable discussion that helped shed a lot of light on the Church of Wells and their practices. I am now closing comments on this post. My new Comment Policy automatically closes comments on all posts older than 45 days. Grace and peace to you all, and may the Lord provide liberty for his captives.

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