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  • Church of Wells aka "You Must Be Born Again"

    This new "church" is responsible for the death of a baby. It wasn't merely faith-healing. They hoped to resurrect the infant from death.
    Is this now part of evangelical Christian doctrine?

    Is this becoming common?

    Started a new thread and linking it here.

    http://factnet.org/vbforum/showthread.php?23494-Church-of-Wells-aka-quot-You-Must-Be-Born-Again-quot&p=436549



    Last edited by Polaris; 12-26-2012, 06:59 PM.

  • #2
    Feedback from ministers, pastors, preachers would be great.

    Comment


    • #3
      Polaris I am neither of the above, but let me ask you this was the child resurrected? Just asking? If not then something you need to be careful of is what else might be being taught. What caused the infants death. Second of all was the infant killed, or was there anything else that could be done for it because of illness? You need more facts.

      Comment


      • #4
        I realize I didn't provide any info. I sort of thought there would be broad familiarity. Sorry about that.

        http://jacksonvilleprogress.com/loca...s-baby-s-death

        http://www.cbs19.tv/story/18660945/ba?clienttype=printable

        http://www.cbs19.tv/story/18711060/pastors-discuss-wells-religious-group?clienttype=printable


        The "You Must Be Born Again" Ministries released audio from the Friday memorial service for Baby Faith.
        One of the group's leaders,Sean Morris, delivers the message.
        "After that child died, we believe it was God's will that the child would be raised. We don't believe that was a presumptuous thing for us to believe," explained Morris.


        "was the child resurrected?"
        No. Part of my alarm is that I don't know anything at all about ecumenical claims of powers of resurrection. I thought that was God's purview.
        I am very aware of faith healing and have some level of belief - but only in combination with common sense. If God allows hospitals and modern medicine to exist, I consider that God's endorsement.
        I am unaware of ANY resurrection by any human being. Not that I would necessarily know.

        "What caused the infants death." The baby was a home delivery. The father says he delivered her. The infant lived three days. She was in respiratory distress for the last day before she died. After the baby died, 20 to 30 church members spent another day attempting to resurrect the baby. The Sheriff's report indicates signs of livor mortis.

        "was the infant killed"
        Not sure how to interpret this or answer. I do not know. Only thorough investigation could reveal the true circumstances of this baby's death. The infant died in the care of her parents, who were acting under the direction of the church's extremely youthful "elders."

        "was there anything else that could be done for it because of illness?" With routine medical intervention, this baby would most likely have lived. The coroner ordered an autopsy. The infant had a correctable heart condition, detectable during routine prenatal care. The mother didn't seek conventional prenatal care during her pregnancy. No medical care was sought for the infant at any point after birth and prior to its demise.

        ~~~

        Church of Wells/You Must Be Born Again (YMBBA)
        : a group of early 20s to 30s young adults, mostly single college students. They started in Arlington, moved to Grande Prairie and from there to Wells, Texas, where they live communally, buying properties and land, building their church and associated business ventures.

        The "church" was started by three young men who participated in revival-tradition street preaching around the country, mostly on college campuses. There's a strong possibility that the group is an offshoot of the "Local Church" movement, dba "Christians on Campus" organizations located on various college campuses.

        In about two years' time, they've gone from 14 people to at least 75, possibly as many as 200. They refer to themselves as "saints" and "God's Remnant."
        Marriages are arranged between members, with short engagements of a few weeks to a couple of months. The elders direct the group; men seek the group's permission; women seek the men's permission.
        They believe they must keep themselves separate to avoid being contaminated by sin. To this end, they cut ties with family and friends, rationalizing it as a worthy necessary sacrifice to God and obedient to scriptures. That God requires it of true believers, that God is a hateful vindictive God, and that true redemption and salvation is not possible without complete total sacrifice and retreat from the world.
        www.thechurchofwells.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Okay here is what I think, the leader is really young, he needs a senior pastor. Two the baby's death, though from what you say it could been treatable, however this is the problem medical field has. Religious views and abuse. Did the parents have a choice or feel they had a choice when they realized the baby was needing physical help to go to the hospital and if not, why not. The issue is not so simple. When does religious view interfer with government laws and right to believe. Did by faith they believe their baby would be healed or resurrected. There are stories in Christian heritage, I have read where people have died and they have been resurrected. There one particular I think of, but I have to think on who the minister was. The problem is how do you draw the line in common sense and what God tells you to do. Did God really tell them baby would be resurrected. Well the answer is yes probably, did they understand no.

          Many churches believe in infant baptism so this is so far fetched. They believe the child is saved or cleanse, so upon death it will be resurrected when Christ returns, or does the baby go on to be with the Lord. Well depends on if you beleive a baby is saved until a certain age or not. If there is age of accountability. If the child is raised from the grave then he did not go immediately to heaven as the saints and if the baby has a time til age of accountability then the baby is in heaven. This is theologically speaking. What I think child resting in the arms of Jesus.


          Now from a political point of view is it child abuse. Child is not at age to be able to seek help, the child is not of age to say no religiously. Parents had a choice to call 911 earlier then what they did. Yet they did not either because of pressure not too, or because of fear. Fear factor in a crisis in a factor here. Needs to be taken in consideration. Psychological evaluation needs to be given to both parents and psychological counseling needs to be given if it has not. Perferably with a christian counselor to help deal with issues of faith as well as something the baptist minister mention that was question about the issue with this group and that how their faith works out in their personal life and social life. It can be a problem. They may have some mental health issues because of the group or their own family background that needs resolving. The courts have to decide if mental health issue or down right murder. Should they be accountable for religious beliefs. That issue for courts to decide.


          One more thing I like to add if it was satanist preforming a satanic ritual and sacrificing their child, would the courts say murder, yes of course. What is the difference. Mentally at time not capable of function because of religious and social pressure, or fear factor.
          Last edited by turtle; 12-31-2012, 08:41 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for the response and your thoughts. Good perspectives.

            I don't know what this group believes about salvation for babies and children. Again, I know nothing about churches resurrecting dead people. Never heard of it myself. I thought that was blasphemy to assume God's powers. Very interesting subject.

            There's a lot of misunderstanding and incorrect interpretation of First Amendment constitutional rights. Freedom to worship as one pleases is guaranteed in this country.
            Contrary to religious leaders' understanding, the First Amendment does not give a free pass to any and every action done in the name of religion.

            Originally posted by turtle View Post
            The issue is not so simple. When does religious view interfer with government laws and right to believe.
            This has been tested many times. It IS pretty simple. The problem is that it gets interpreted again and again and again in different jurisdictions, by different child protection agencies, law enforcement and judicial authorities, who all have varying levels of education and ignorance. Different backgrounds and agendas.

            It has been established that an adult has the right to refuse life sustaining treatment, but laws do not allow parents or guardians to deny children necessary medical care. The US Supreme Court said:
            “The right to practice religion freely does not include the liberty to expose the community or child to communicable disease, or the latter to ill health or death...Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves.
            But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion. . . . ”



            Prince v. Massachusetts - 321 U.S. 158 (1944)

            "...the family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. Reynolds v. United States,98 U. S. 145; Davis v. Beason,133 U. S. 333. And neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. Acting to guard the general interest in youth's wellbeing, the state, as parens patriae,may restrict the parent's control by requiring school attendance, regulating or prohibiting the child's labor and in many other ways. Its authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child's course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, he cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death. People v. Pierson, 176 N.Y. 201, 68 N.E. 243. The catalogue need not be lengthened. It is sufficient to show what indeed appellant hardly disputes, that the state has a wide range of power for limiting parental freedom and authority in things affecting the child's welfare, and that this includes, to some extent, matters of conscience and religious conviction."

            Here's where it got complicated and less simple and how it happened.
            In 1974
            the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare required states receiving federal child abuse prevention and treatment grants to have religious exemptions to child abuse and neglect charges. With federal money at stake, states rapidly enacted exemptions for parents who relied on prayer rather than medical care when their children were sick or injured. A decade later nearly every state had these exemptions in the juvenile code, criminal code, or both. A few cases of children who died because of religion-motivated medical neglect have received national press coverage, but most get little or none.


            The public - and religious leaders - have confused the state-enacted religious exemption laws with United States Constitution First Amendment rights to religious freedom.

            "The scope of religious exemption laws varies widely. Some protect only a right to pray or a right to rely exclusively on prayer only when the illness is trivial. For example, Rhode Island’s religious defense to “cruelty to or neglect of a child” allows parents to rely on prayer, but adds that it does not “exempt a parent or guardian from having committed the offense of cruelty or neglect if the child is harmed.” Delaware’s religious exemption in the civil code is only to termination of parental rights, rather than to abuse or neglect, and does not prevent courts from terminating parental rights of parents relying on faith healing when necessary to protect the child’s welfare. Many state laws contain ambiguities that have been interpreted variously by courts.
            Some church officials have advised members that the exemption laws confer the right to withhold medical care no matter how sick the child is and even that the laws were passed because legislators understood prayer to be as effective as medicine."
            Source: CHILD, Inc. (http://childrenshealthcare.org)


            The Free Exercise Clause: the provision in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits government discrimination based on religion, protected them from prosecution. Almost all courts would reject this argument because when people violate laws because of their religious beliefs, the Free Exercise Clause, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, offers only limited protection. T
            he Free Exercise Clause protects religious beliefs, but it does not insulate religiously motivated actions from a law unless that law singles out religion for disfavored treatment.
            http://www.pewforum.org/Church-State...d-the-Law.aspx


            Here's the American Academy of Pediatrics official statement on the matter: "The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that all children deserve effective medical treatment that is likely to prevent substantial harm or suffering or death."http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/AAP3/#n4


            Child is not at age to be able to seek help, the child is not of age to say no religiously. Parents had a choice to call 911 earlier then what they did...
            Should they be accountable for religious beliefs. That issue for courts to decide.



            I think you're right, Turtle. After much thought, I don't think there's any other answer.

            Last edited by Polaris; 12-31-2012, 11:24 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Beware they still need a mental evaluation. Let me explain from my own experience. I was in funeral home and assisting a minister. We were back in the room with the family before they go into the chapel of the funeral home. There was speaking in tongues and it was if God said by His Spirit the Lord is coming and then the woman began speaking in tongues and crying. Now I really at that moment expected the roof to come off the funeral home. i actually looked up expecting.

              Here the point if this couple had the feeling that this child was going to live through prayer, or be resurrected, was it hypnotic state? Then are they accountible and if they are not then are there leaders? My example above is just to prove the point of illusion caused. i am not saying it wasn't of God, what I saying it is not the norm. Misinterpretation of what God said is confusion from a religious perspective and then is it of God. No I think not. With information I gained from the history channel on some of the technology of mind control, I am wondering if it was not involved in this case. If it was it something that needs to be investigated. These people yes there was neglect, but something else might of been going on. Wondering what I am talking about the history channel, as a show called the Conspiracy Theory, but the wrestler/former governor of Minasota Jesse Ventura is involved in some of this research. Is there any validity in it. I don't know. Do I think it possible, I don't know to what extent, I believe it. If so there is another responsible party and it not the parents. If so then it needs to be investigated and something done before it continues to effect nationally.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by turtle View Post
                Misinterpretation of what God said is confusion from a religious perspective and then is it of God.
                ...If so then it needs to be investigated and something done before it continues to effect nationally.
                So, we're back to the group. The 'church', sect, cult, whatever you want to call it.

                Does anybody know anything about this?

                Characteristics
                • Started by three young Texans in 2009/2010
                • Appears to have been part of the Local Church of Arlington. Moved to Grande Prairie, then Wells.
                • Mostly young adults
                • In college or newly graduated
                • Many recruited from "street preaching" on California and Texas campuses:
                  • Baylor, Texas A & M, Abilene Christian University
                • Singles are quickly married after short "courtships" of several weeks
                • Very aggressive in approach
                • Self-appointed preachers. Are not conventionally ordained as pastors or ministers. Not seminarians.
                Beliefs

                ♦ Christian-based model
                - Reformationist Puritan, 17th-century English theology, controversial preacher Paul Washer.

                ♦ Adherence to scriptures, King James Bible only. However, lines of scripture are cherry-picked out of context and strung together with unrelated scripture to construct rationale for various topics.

                ♦ They write and sermonize in a version of 17th-century Early Modern English syntax and grammar.

                All Christianity is "false" except for themselves. They are the only true Christians. They are exclusively saved.

                ♦ The "elders" openly and publicly denounce all pastors/ministers, denominations and congregations they've been in and have contact with. ALL are false. NO ONE has salvation. NO ONE is "born again."

                ♦ Directly confrontational and adversarial in churches they've been invited to witness/preach in. They've been asked to leave many times.


                ♦ Similar to Westboro Baptist Church, God hates everyone. God is fearful, humans must fear God for true salvation, God does not like happiness and fun.

                ♦ They must all live together communally sharing living quarters and separate from the world. They cannot "fellowship" with anyone outside of the group. To be in contact with outsiders means they will be corrupted.

                ♦ Their dogma rationalizes that cutting off family and friends is righteous in God's eyes and demonstrates loyalty to God, and is also for their own good. They cut them off because they love them.

                ♦ Oppressive hierarchy - the men take direction from the "elders" (the three who started it), women and children take direction from the men.

                ♦ Gender-specific roles and behaviors
                Women:
                • Must be obedient and submissive to husbands in all things.
                • Expected to be solemn and suppress laughter, eyes cast downward.
                • "Modesty" translated to poor grooming and shabby clothing. A generally disheveled appearance. Not allowed to make themselves attractive in appearance. Being attractive is "immodest" and "prideful" and against scripture.
                • Responsible for the collective of children and the majority are pregnant at any given time.
                Men:
                • Well-groomed and conventional clothing.
                • Always carry a backpack, even in church. Kind of amusing, as if they are ready to run at any time.
                • Very worldly. They travel, they all have computers, iPhones and the applications that go with them. They upload and download. They have Facebook and Instagram accounts.
                • Look and act like any other American man, except for the 17th-century Early Modern English affectation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Translation of the Bible are they using??

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by turtle View Post
                    Translation of the Bible are they using??
                    I don't know. Maybe someone else can shed some light.

                    Comment


                    • concerned
                      concerned commented
                      Editing a comment
                      King James version

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Polaris View Post
                    I don't know. Maybe someone else can shed some light.
                    Sorry missed where it said kjv only. However it may take some time to hear from anyone connected to the group. Good luck with your research, I be keeping up with this thread possibly. I find some of this interesting. What bothers me is a group of people moving, what caused them to leave. Was it leading of God or legal authorities, or religious zealots or none religiousthat did not like them. Be patience someone will show. And your post are informative. Good luck.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Polaris,

                      Have you reviewed the Church of Wells Statement of Faith and the Church's "Our Manifesto?" The incident you mentioned happened in May 2012 and it does not seem that any legal charges were filed. The Statement of Faith and the Church's goals seem pretty True and Solid.

                      A young church like this makes mistakes. Most of the time these Church's have a King/Servant discipleship and rely too much on their leaders for guidance. The LORD Jesus Christ will correct their errors, and they do seem open to His correction. Remember what Gamaliel said about the Disciples in the New Testament.

                      The point they bring up about "Seeker Friendly," (Cheap Grace, Sloppy Agape, Greasy Love), are all valid criticism of the Christian Church at large in the United States. The current form of Christianity we have in the United States is mostly marketing and hogwash.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Hi Polaris,

                        www.thechurchofwells.com

                        I have been studying Wells Church from their website. I am also looking at the characteristics that you have pointed out about Wells Church. These characteristics and ideas are very similar to the Shepherding Movement of the 1980’s, still there is one huge difference between the Shepherding Movement and Wells Church. The Shepherding Movement had five strong people in ministry at the top of the movement – Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Don Basham, Ern Baxter, and Charles Simpson. Derek Prince was a very respected Bible teacher, even by a person like Bill Bright.

                        Wells Church has 3 Elders and 1 Deacon that do not have the qualifications that I would trust to become part of their Church. Turtle’s point on the leadership being too young is absolutely correct. These men can’t be considered as Pastors, and are not qualified to be Pastors. They have very little training to be called Pastors. Well’s three elders are, Sean Morris, (by his testimony he has been saved for only 7 years), Ryan Ringnald, (by his testimony he has been saved for only 6 years), Jake Gardner, (by his testimony he has been saved for only 8 years), the one deacon is Richard Trudeau, (by his testimony he has been saved for only 6 years). Contrast that to Derek Prince, and Derek had been saved longer than all those people put together when the Shepherding Movement began.

                        This is not to say that these young men cannot consider themselves Elders and Deacons, but there should be a Pastor, or Head Elder, with more experience. I’m going to go to the passage of Scripture that talks about the qualifications for Elders and Deacons and explain what I mean. I will give it from the KJV, so a person that is KJV-Only can understand the wording. I am very sorry, but I will be using the 4th KJV version, the Cambridge Edition, (I jest at the KJV-Only people on this point, since there really is 4 versions of the Authorized Bible). Normally, I use the NKJV, although, I like NASB Updated, and ESV also.

                        1 Timothy 3:1-16
                        1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
                        8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
                        14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
                        16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
                        Now, let us look at vs. 6,7 on the qualifications for an Elder - 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

                        My concern is:
                        1. These Elders are novices.
                        2. These Elders do not have a good report considering this baby incident.
                        3. Thee Elders have been fallen into reproach, based on pride that the baby would be healed by God, and the baby was not healed by God.

                        Now, let us look at vs. 10 on the qualifications for a Deacon - 10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

                        My concern is:
                        1. That the Deacon has not been proved yet, although this person may be qualified enough to hold the office of a Deacon.

                        The qualification for an Elder in Titus is as follows - 6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

                        My concern is:
                        1. That these Elders are not blameless in this incident with the baby dying.

                        Changing names, cutting off parents, submission to “Spiritual Fathers,” a demon under every rock, (that is because there really is a lot of demons), etc., became mistakes by the Shepherding Movement when the “Spiritual Fathers” became Master/Kings rather than Counselors over people. I am not saying that these people are not Christians, nor I am saying that everything they are doing is wrong. People make mistakes sometimes, and then they can get back on their feet and continue pressing on. I read Leonard Ravenhill’s book, “America is Too Young to Die,” and the points are valid. I am just stating a huge concern I have about the qualifications of their Elders and Deacons in the light of the Word of God.
                        Last edited by easeltine; 01-05-2013, 09:22 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Easeltine hi, hope you had a enjoyable vacation and are refreshed. I have one question with your premiss of eldership. See every church that ever broken off from another has this issue. However I do agree any young person breaking off could be dangerous. However the question were they ever connect to the group, or just acting participant of the group. See that is the problem. For instance if a minister or teacher walks into some groups and are force to join in leadership it can be a problem, with no counseltation or request. Is that person out of line perhaps not. If they escaping from a bad situation in the end. See God is control of a person's life, and moves a person intoa situation for a purpose then guess that person is still under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and may even want pastoring and other leaders that are of God. But can't get it because of history. These people may want outside help and leadership especially in the wake of such a public tragedy. I think that is something for a big brother in Christ to do is investigate and see if they need counseling and help. Not to over power them, but fellowship. A nursing situation so to speak. It not aobut controlling the group into a bigger group, but aiding them into responsible leadership role, or stepping into a position righ for them.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Ok Turtle,

                            It almost sounds like you talked to my wife this morning!

                            If there is anyone from Wells Church that is reading this my wife and I have a suggested ministry for you to contact, and that is Nathanael and Emmy LHeureux with Discipleship International. You people are Techy and you can Google it. Nathanael has a background of being a part of Communities of Believers. Nathanael and Emmy originally were a part of the Shepherding Movement, (Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Don Basham, Ern Baxter, and Charles Simpson). He would know where you are coming from and could help you on matters. He also has a degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

                            Comment

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