Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries



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4/15/2014 9:34 am  #1


Street preachers' response - a video series

This video series is a cooperative effort between Cross Encounters Ministries, Christian Apologetic & Reseach Ministry, and Striving for Eternity Ministries. The purpose is to ask specific and concise questions of the elders of the Church of Wells. This group of men originally mentored "The Texas Boys," supported them, provided resources and traveled with them.

For more information, see these websites:
www.carm.org/church-of-wells
www.strivingforeternity.org/questions-church-wells
www.crossencounters.us/2014/04/will-elders-of-church-of-wells-answer.html



 

 

4/18/2014 12:00 pm  #2


Re: Street preachers' response - a video series

http://strivingforeternity.org/questions-church-wells/
 
Questions for The Church of Wells
By Andrew Rappaport
 
There has been much media attention lately on a group known as the Church of Wells (CoW). Some people started asking whether the CoW was a cult or not. Tony Miano of Cross Encounters spent three hours of his radio show with guests including myself to discuss this question. This sparked a firestorm of discussion. Many parents and friends of those that are lost to the CoW began contacting us.
 
As there was growing concern over the doctrine and practices of the CoW, it got the attention of Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). After Matt spent many hours researching, studying, and interviewing people, he released an article about The Church of Wells. In this article, Matt has offered a challenge to the elders of the CoW, seeking to get answers to questions.
 
In an attempt to get answers, the three of us have put together a series of questions that we would like the elders of the CoW to clarify about their doctrine and practices. We believe that these questions would help many to understand the beliefs of the CoW. In an effort to get clarity and answers, we openly ask that the elders of the CoW respond to these questions.
 
Here is our introduction to the questions.
 
1.  Please explain your understanding of the biblical doctrine of persecution, and explain the relationship of this doctrine to the Church of Wells. Please also provide specific examples of how the Church of Wells has been persecuted prior to April 1, 2014.
 
2.  Please explain the Church of Wells doctrine of “unwilling sin.”
 
3.  Given that it has been stated by the elders of the Church of Wells that a person can lose their salvation, please explain the following:

        John 8:29 “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
        John 6:39 “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”

If Jesus always does that which pleases the Father, and the will of the Father is that Jesus lose none, and that those who are given to Jesus will be raised (to glory), then how is it possible for Jesus to lose somebody by them losing their salvation?
 
4.  According to the Church of Wells, what must a person do in order to obtain and retain salvation?
 
5.  Please explain where Scripture supports one’s ability to declare a person’s salvation upon first meeting them.
 
6.  Can a person whose salvation is once lost return to a state of grace?
 
7.  Do any of the elders of the Church of Wells have formal, theological training?
 
8.  How were the elders of the Church of Wells qualified and selected?
 
9.  Is the Church of Wells a true church, and if so, can the elders provide the names of other true churches?
 
10.  Do the elders of the Church of Wells believe that Paul Washer once walked in the light, but no longer does? If so, why has the Church of Wells’ opinion of Paul Washer changed?
 
11.  The Church of Wells website shows the faces of men, implying that the church sees them as the church’s “cloud of witnesses.” Many of the men shown hold to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. Will the Church of Wells be removing the images of these men since it believes a Christian can lose his salvation?
 
12.  When did each of the elders of the Church of Wells come to faith in Jesus Christ?
 
13.  Has any of the elders ever lost his salvation? If so, how did he regain it?

 
Video link above
 
My History with the Church of Wells
 
This is a little summary of my interaction with them and where we are today. Several years ago, three young men from Texas came to New Jersey for the summer to work with a friend of mine doing open air evangelism, also known as street preaching. It was then that I got to meet Sean Morris and Jake Gardner. I believe Ryan Ringnald was also there. I supported them financially as they were being sent from a local church and working with Shawn Holes, a man whom I trust.
 
These three men were given a RV to travel with Shawn for the year. My first concerns came in the fall of 2010 when Shawn explained that they went out on their own and were no longer under his guidance. Shawn had started to rebuke them for their doctrine and practices during the previous summer and continued until they cut off all communications with him. Shawn said, “If it were not for the wake of tragedy that they have left behind, no one would be concerned about them. The only reason that anyone is focusing any attention on them is because of whom they hurt.”
 
Many times young men that have no real accountability to a local church or godly men and can allow their pride to get the best of them. I have seen them at different events over the years along with others that became part of what is now called the CoW. As I would interact with different members of the CoW, I grew more and more concerned over their doctrine and practices.
 
These three young men originally referred to themselves as the “Texas Boys.” They later started the Church of Arlington. One of my immediate concerns was the lack of accountability in their lives. It is always a concern when a man sets himself up as a pastor that has no outside accountability, and he does not even have anyone that ordained him to that position. Scripture gives warning against having novices in the position of elder (1 Timothy 3:6).
 
Over time, I started hearing from several different people about the style of examination of people’s salvation that Morris and Gardner were using. They reported that the two men believed that they had a spiritual gift to determine someone’s salvation by looking into their eyes. They would use an aggressive style of examination and come into families and interrogate children apart from the parents. There were reports that people would welcome these men into their homes in Christian hospitality, and the men would interrogate and cause division within families. Some children of these families left their homes to go to Wells, Texas, refusing to talk to their family members again.
 
Many people have attempted to reach out to the CoW to understand their doctrine and practices. It appears that they are selective about with whom they are willing to share their beliefs. However, there is a YouTube video of some men from Australia who are in communication with the CoW. This particular video is very informative because it is the elders speaking for themselves on their doctrine and what they believe, which will be addressed in detail in later articles.
 
Video and more about the Australian connection here 


 

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