Within the structure of the 2x2 system there is a type of class
distinction. This is understood but not talked about within the
group. (This distinction does not include the workers who have
their own class distinction.) One could say that the "friends" fall
into one of these four categories:
1. The Snubbed Saints
The ones who have re-professed several times. Those in divided
homes, the very poor, the widows, those with handicaps, disease,
obesity, single mothers, the families with special problems. These
are the forgotten ones, the ones no one invites to dinner, to sings,
Former "Snubbed Saint" writes:
"It is clear to me now that I started out as
a "Celebrity Saint" having professed as an adult "outsider."
I gained notoriety in that first year and was paid lots of
attention-it seemed like I gained instant friends! But as
time went by I soon became a "Snubbed Saint." After all, I
didn't have an "in" with the big professing families and worst
of all I was from a divided home! The fact that my kids went
to meeting for years, yet never professed, was another reason
for my low status! But there is still another reason, as I
now so clearly see it, for my low standing in the "Way." I
never did quite catch on to the deportment of the group-that
necessary quiet demeanor, soft speaking voice, lack of "worldly"
talk and use of slang, and seemingly gentle spirit which seemed
to count for so much!" - S.G.
2. The So-So Saints
These are just the run of the mill, ordinary ones. They aren't
ostracized, but neither do they enjoy any privileges or attention.
They notice they are left out but aren't sure just what the reason
may be They are the main body of neglected "friends." They often
have problems with their families leaving the church. They try hard
but fail often, having little comprehension of what they believe.
3. The Celebrity Saints
These are the ones who by virtue of professing in only three
meetings gain reputation. Or, they may be some personable,
wealthy or religious person. These usually have money or status
which lend credibility to the church. They also include the older
fourth or fifth generation members who have workers for relatives.
Newly professing people are in this category for about one year.
Then, they too, join the So-So Saints. A change in status often
occurs when people move from one location to another.
4. The Superior Saints
These have meeting or convention on their property. Or, they have
influence with the head workers. Some of these families even have
more influence than some of the workers. Their homes are approved
for all gatherings. They are aware of many of the situations in the
church that the others never know about. They bear the brunt of
most responsibility and privileges. These people are usually better
able to verbalize the church beliefs than others.
Former "Superior Saint" writes:
"I have read with interest the discussion on the beliefs among 2x2's
re: salvation. The understanding of what is taught hangs
precariously on one's history in the group. Those of us who were
raised in it, and had generations (in my case four) of hearty service,
were 'privileged' to participate in discussions that 'babes' would
I have heard workers and friends alike discussing in our home, and
in my presence, issues regarding the 'understanding' of babes...what
they were 'getting' and what they weren't, where they were 'growing'
and where they weren't. These issues were never discussed in
Because I grew up in that 'confidential' atmosphere, I believe the
things I understood were the intended meaning behind the 'double
speak'. I would hear contrary things in the presence of the 'babes' in
the guise of protecting them because they 'weren't ready for it.'
I think one's beliefs and understanding about the 2x2's depends a
lot on how long a person (or their family) has been professing and
how exposed they were to the 'inside scoop'."
Check out these books about the 2x2 church!
Click on the book covers to learn more about each book.
Cult to Christ: The Church With No Name and the Legacy of the Living Witness Doctrine
Elizabeth was born and raised in a nameless and secretive worldwide cult that claims exclusive origin from the New Testament apostolic ministry and blatantly describes all other churches as 'false'. A fourth generation member, she professed faith at the age of sixteen and fully intended to remain there, even when she discovered that the system she believed in was based on a lie. A love story both human and divine, a journey from spiritual bondage to freedom in Christ; this confronting and deeply personal account gives an inside perspective into the mindset of cult members, and reveals the fear and trauma associated with being forced to investigate your own beliefs even if it could mean destroying the very foundations of everything you believe.
The author, Elizabeth Coleman, is one of our moderators at the TLC Forum!
Reflections: The Workers, the Gospel and the Nameless House Sect
This is the first of a series exploring the varied experiences of those who have come out of a supposedly nameless, world-wide religion
which has managed to elude the attention of outsiders for much of its history. The accounts collected here have been written by
former members, worker/ministers, and relatives. Together, they present a fascinating and rare glimpse into a religious system all
but unknown to outsiders. Most of the former members who have written here were passionate believers in "The Way," before being
jarred into reexamination by encounters with serious issues and inconsistencies.
Far from being a clinical examination, these accounts are sometimes stirring, even heart-rending, and always bear the stamp of genuine personal experience.
Reinventing the Truth: Historical Claims of One of the World's Largest Nameless Sects
They meet in homes and in rented halls, presided over by itinerant preachers known as "Workers." This religious fellowship usually goes under the
names listed above, although its members vigorously deny that the group bears any name. As to its origins, the group positions itself as being a
direct continuation of "the New Testament Church." And even though they deny having any organizational structure, the activities of this nameless
sect are world-wide in scope.
It is often very difficult for the outsider to gain any concrete knowledge of this group's doctrine, structure, or history.
Reinventing the Truth
examines these issues, focusing on the historical explanations the group has offered for its origins.
The Church Without a Name
This secretive group has been called by various names over the years: The Two-by-Twos, White Mice, Black Stockings, Pilgrims, The Meeting, The Workers, The Truth, the Secret Sect, Die Namenlosen, Les Anonymes and many others.
But they claim no name of their own. Outside of the group, little has been known of the ways and the diverse belief found among believers in this homespun religion.
Here is a book that exposes the origins and the unwritten traditions of the Two-by-Twos.
The purpose of this book is to summarize the teachings of this religious group in order to encourage people to draw nearer to and obey God.
It is an attempt to bring to light what the workers have tried to hide from the public for over a century.
These are doctrines and behaviors that have been observed and learned by an ex-member whose family has been part of the group for five generations, since the founding of the religion in the late 1890s.
Reflected Truth: Former Workers and Followers Unmask Life in a Large, Little-Known Sect