by Cherie Kropp
of pages 517-542 of the book
The Apostles' Doctrine & Fellowship
A documentary history of the early church and restorationist movements
By Dr. Cornelius J. Jaenen
Legas Publishing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2003
Revised February 25, 2016
Since Dr. Jaenen's book was published in 2003, many people have asked my opinion of his book. It is for this reason that I have written this critical analysis. I am a third generation former member and author focusing on the early history of the Two by Two church and ministry. My Critique covers these three areas: apostolic succession/doctrine, founder issues, errors and omissions.
Dr. Jaenen wrote his book from a professed bias standpoint and for that statement, I, as a writer, give him high marks. When someone writes as an apologist, they are at liberty to present their case as they choose. However, Jaenen wrote as a credited historian and a self-professed apologist--not solely as a historian. And as such, his presentation should include all available information without prejudice.
If Jaenen was writing solely as an apologist, he would be free to set side what might be viewed as negative points of reference in order to present his subject in the best light possible. This Critique was compiled since Jaenen wrote as a credentialed historian and did not make use of many historical sources that were available to him.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Overview of Book and Author
Chapter 2 - The Apostolic Succession Thesis and the Remnant Church Thesis
Chapter 3 - Apostolic Doctrine – Continuing the Apostles’ Teachings
Chapter 4 - What is a “ Restoration Movement ” ?
Chapter 5 - Seven Groups who supposedly “came together”
Chapter 6 - Was it Started by William Irvine?
Chapter 7 - Errors
Chapter 8 - Significant Omissions
Chapter 9 - Footnote Discrepancies & Bibliography Comments
Chapter 10-Critiquer’s Conclusion
OVERVIEW OF BOOK AND AUTHOR
In 2003, a book titled: “The Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship: a documentary history of the early church and revisionist movements” was written by Dr. Cornelius J. Jaenen and published by Legas Publishing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The book title was derived from Acts 2:42 (KJV): “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The back cover provides the author’s credentials: “Cornelius J. Jaenen, Ph.D., LL.D., FRSC, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Ottawa, is presently Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Canada and member of the executive committee of the Research Centre for the Religious History of Canada, Saint Paul University. He was founding president of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association (1971–73). President of the French Colonial Historical Society (1986–88), and president of the Canadian Historical Association (1988–89). His publications cover an impressive range of historical issues and he is in great demand as a lecturer on the national and international circuit.”
The introduction states the book is a “…compilation of documents illustrating the nature of the early church, its later development, and finally attempts to restore what was conceived to be the primitive ideal, like all historical works, is a reconstruction of a segment of the past.” (p. 23)
The bulk of the book consists of overviews of select Christian sects in existence from the 1st through the 20th centuries A.D., focusing on particular doctrines (teachings) and practices. The third and last section of the book contains a section titled “Select Restorationist Movements,” which discusses a “nameless spiritual fellowship,” also referred to as “Irish restorationist movement,”“Two by Twos” and “Cooneyites.”
Jaenen refers to his work as a "documentary history.” The word "documentary" is an adjective which means pertaining to, consisting of, derived from or based on documents; i.e. documentary evidence. The book’s introduction includes his comment: “…I cannot as an historian claim to be completely devoid of beliefs, which some might qualify as bias, even prejudice.”
Jaenen’s purpose in writing his book was: “This compilation of documents is in good measure a response to two clusters of questions which I have been asked on several occasions during my teaching career. The first query concerns the nature of the first century Christian church. What did the early Christians believe? How did they worship? What problems did they face? Were they different from the Jews or other religious groups of their day? What documentation is available to suggest the thesis that the early church was intended to serve as the model for a continuing church?
“The second set of questions concerns the continuity of original Christianity. Has there been a continuation of the essentials of Christian belief and worship? Is it even possible to ‘continue in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship’ in the 21st century? Were there sporadic or continuous efforts over the centuries to keep alive or revive the original tenets and practices of the first Christians?”
The book contains 556 pages and is divided into three parts:
Section A (“Love and Sacrifice: The Primitive Christian Churches”) gives a broad, interpretive overview describing how the early church functioned, its structure and doctrine (teachings) drawn from the New Testament and other early Christian writers. (pages 35-222)
Section B (“Power and Prestige: Evolution and Devolution”) details how the mainstream churches have deviated from the original practices in the view of the author. (pages 223-408)
Section C (“Faith and Hope: Revivals and Survivals”) describes various movements that have attempted to return or restore the practices and doctrines (teachings) of the early church, including the Two by Two church. (pages 409-542) The description on the back cover reads: “A final section documents attempts within the mainstream and also in heretical movements, from at least the fourth century to the present, to retain, reconstitute, or restore the original Christian model.”
The Two by Two Church is discussed in Chapter 9, Section C, pages 517-542 and the Faith Mission on pages 492-493. This Critique focuses on those pages.
About the Author, Dr. Cornelius J. Jaenen
Cornelius J. Jaenen was born February 21, 1927, in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan, Canada to John W. and Rosa A. (Minet) Jaenen. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Manitoba in 1947 and 1950; and his Ph.D from the University of Ottawa in 1963. (Source: "Contemporary Authors Vol. 85-88", edited by Frances Carol Locher, Gale Research Company, p. 279)
Jaenen stated: "I was raised a Roman Catholic, studied under the Jesuits for a time, and worked in an Orthodox country." (Source: Jaenen’s Letter to Darrell Mansur, Dec. 28, 1995)
In 1935 his parents professed (became members of the Two by Two church) in a gospel mission held by two preachers (aka "workers") in the country schoolhouse where Cornelius received his elementary education in Antler, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Later the family moved to Manitoba, Canada. Cornelius attended a Catholic college "because I wanted to find out for myself if the Catholic religion or the faith of my parents was the Truth…it was while I was in college, steeped in the scholasticism of the Jesuits, that I attended some meetings held by two of God’s servants and I took my stand to serve God too." (From Account titled “On Ethiopia” related by Jaenen at Antler, SK Canada Convention, July 1, 1956)
He married Ina May Turner. In 1952, he obtained a three-year work contract as history master at a school in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. He moved there with his wife, mother and two children. They provided the first “open home” (a home made available for hosting Two by Two ministers and their missions) to be located in that area in many years. After three years, their contract was not renewed by the government for a second term, and they returned to North America. (Source: “On Ethiopia” account by Jaenen)
How and why Jaenen wrote his book
Jaenen states he "conceived the challenge more than half a century ago" to trace "the apostles’ doctrine and fellowshipfrom its first century Palestinian origins to some of its restorationist manifestations." (2003 minus 50 years = 1953).
The year 1954 in which Jaenen conceived this project coincides with the date Douglas S. Parker’s pamphlet, "A Spiritual Fraud Exposed" was distributed. Parker stated his "study was motivated originally by the disparity between the sect’s claims of being the only true historical remnant of the primitive Christian church and the opinion of a number of people that it was the movement that was known formerly as the Cooneyites." Parker’s pamphlet provided details discovered in his research about the physical history and Founder of the Two by Two sect. This pamphlet was distributed by mail in North America, Australia and other regions around the world. It caused much consternation within the Two by Two church members and caused some followers to leave the 2x2 church.
Parker’s pamphlet stated ministers of the Two by Two church had been representing to the world and to their members that their church started when Jesus sent out the twelve disciples "two and two" from the Shores of Galilee. However, Parker’s extensive research revealed that the Two by Two church was actually started in Ireland around the turn of the 20th century (a difference of 1900+ years) and that the Founder was a man named William Irvine, born in 1863 in Kilsyth, Scotland.
As a result, some 2x2 members began researching their church history and delving into ancient church history to determine if their church fellowship and ministers descended in a direct line from the apostles (i.e. was of “apostolic succession”) as they had been told. Among these was a 27-year-old Canadian high school history teacher, who would later become a Professor of History and eventually the head of the History Department at the University of Ottawa. His name was Cornelius J. Jaenen.
In response to Parker’s pamphlet, Jaenen wrote a one page tract that was widely circulated within the sect, titled: "Following up the First Century Christian Church." This tract appears to have been made available to the Two by Two church members very soon after Doug Parker’s pamphlet A Spiritual Fraud Exposed was distributed.
Jaenen stated that his purpose for writing "Following Up" was: "A number of tracts and pamphlets directed against us have identified ‘William Weir Ervine’ as the ‘founder’ of our faith in Nenagh ( Tipperary County) in October 1897. The fact is that William Irvine was in contact with people who believed in the ‘apostolic faith,’ notably the Gill family in England, before that time. [Critiquer’s Note: the Gills were not from England; they were from County Meath, Ireland and they professed through Wm Irvine.]
His tract gave a brief version of a secessionist "remnant theory," where the “true seed”“remained faithful with apparently an itinerant ministry of men and women.” It emerged and became an "open ministry" at the turn of the 20th century, where “the last historical remnants of these ‘early believers’ seem to have centered on Ireland, Scotland and parts of rural England. There had been no ‘open ministry’ probably for some centuries or at least a century when the nineteenth-century revival erupted in Ireland….In a sense, ‘Ireland is the mother of us all’ in the 20th century.”
However, years later in 2007, concerning his tract “Following Up,” Jaenen stated: “The write-up under my name you refer to is unscientific and undocumented and should not be in circulation.” (Personal Communication, Feb. 6, 2007)
Sometime after acquiring his Ph.D in 1963, Jaenen gave some lectures which he described as “informal talks given almost fifty years ago to the Inter-Varsity Christian Movement in Winnipeg [which] were copied and widely circulated as authentic historical research.” (August 11, 1997 Letter to Kevin N. Daniel). These two lecture essays are titled:
(1) The Nature of the First Century Church, and
(2) Glimpses in History of Simple Christian Peoples (aka Glimpses)
Jaenen stated that his lecture Glimpses was put together hurriedly many years ago in response to a query as to whether there was any trace of a continuation of primitive Christianity after the first centuries.
As a history teacher, and later as a university professor, Jaenen’s opinions were highly respected by the Two by Twos, and his education and profession provided weight to his words. It is highly unlikely that a 2x2 member would write or distribute a tract on this subject without the ministers’ approval or without their specific request for him to do so.
The large number of 2x2s who have copies of Jaenen’s tract and lecture transcripts suggests that the 2x2 ministers approved of these documents and encouraged their distribution. Historically, the 2x2 ministers have directed that written material not meeting their approval should be destroyed or burned. However, these documents have long been used as evidence that their ministers have or could have continued in an unbroken line from the apostles to the present, suggesting they were approved. Further, many 2x2s who have read Jaenen’s lecture essays reached the conclusion that their ministers can be traced in a successive chain back to the 12 apostles (a concept known as “apostolic successionism”)—even though Jaenen’s essays do not show a continuous existence of any group from the apostles to the present that resembles a currently existing sect, church or group.
Concerning these three documents, Jaenen stated in a letter: “Since none of the papers commented upon purport to be either scholarly papers or definitive statements of Christian teaching as adhered to by the Assemblies of Christians, I shall not at this juncture attempt their wholesale defence.” (Critiquer’s Note: The term “Assemblies of Christians” is another name used for the Two by Two church). (Source: Reinventing the Truth," by Kevin N. Daniel, p. 191, letter dated August 11, 1991)
In 1994, a book titled “Reinventing the Truth” by Kevin N. Daniel was published, which critiqued the three lectures by Jaenen, as well as some other accounts that have also circulated within the Two by Two church regarding their origins. (ISBN 0-9639419-0-9)
Almost ten years later, in 2003, Jaenen, published his book titled: “The Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship: a documentary history of the early church and revisionist movements.” He was 76 years old at the time of publication.
Critiquer’s Introductory Statement
The Critiquer has noted errors, omissions, misrepresentations, misleading comments, discrepancies and erroneous conclusions found in Jaenen’s book “The Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship.”
In this work, Jaenen further attempts to portray the Two by Two church as being started by a group of men and women who came together collectively and then consented to Wm. Irvine assuming leadership of their group.
Jaenen fails to make mention of his long involvement a member and elder of the Two by Two church. It is usual in scholarly work, and demanded of authors in scholarly journals, to declare any affiliations which present a conflict of interest with the subject being dealt with (e.g. direct personal relationships, financial gains, political and religious affiliation, consultancies, funding of research, competition with competing views, etc.) which could call into question the objectivity or reliability of statements and conclusions of the work.
Had such a declaration been made, the selective and slanted reporting in some sections of Jaenen’s work would have been more understandable. Jaenen is entitled to publish his views toward the conclusion he advocates. However, readers would be wise not to assume that his work is presenting a reasonably complete or unbiased look in regards to the history of the Two by Two church.
Because the contemporary records prominently picture Irvine as the sole Founder and the primary motivational force behind the early movement, Jaenen’s downplaying and omissions of Irvine’s role produces a seriously flawed picture of the movement’s beginnings.
The Two by Two church is included in the selection of Restorationist Movements in Section 3, Chapter 14 titled “The Contemporary [Irish] Restoration Movement.”
Page 518: Jaenen states: “This nameless spiritual fellowship, sometimes condescendingly referred to as the Two by Twos…” (aka “2x2s”). Since the church has chosen not to provide the public with a proper name to use when referring to their group, it isn’t surprising that it has been saddled with a number of descriptive nicknames, some of which they dislike. Currently, the three names most often used by scholarship and media worldwide are “Two by Twos” (2x2), “Cooneyites” and “The Church Without a Name.”
“Two by Twos” is not a newly coined name with a negative connotation. It is a highly descriptive term that helps identify a particular church. Wikipedia contains a page titled “Two by Twos.” Wiki requires articles to be titled with the name most frequently used in third-party references, and the name “Two by Twos” meets their requirement.
Some books used the term “Two by Twos” as early as the 1920’s,  and this name also appeared in journals during the 1930’s . By 1983, the term was being used in newspapers,  and was still being applied as recently as November 4, 2010 . This last occurrence was printed in two 2010 advertisements placed by Tommie Gamble, Overseer of Ireland, in the “Church Notices” section of the Tyrone County Constitution (a Northern Ireland weekly newspaper) regarding Gospel Meetings held by “The Present Day 2 by 2 Apostles T. Gamble and H. McKnight.”
Many favor the name “Two by Two” and use it due to its ease and convenience with no intent to be offensive. “Two by Twos” is a term that will arrest the attention of most who have ever been associated with this particular church. Of the nicknames applied to the church, “Two by Twos” works well for identification purposes, uses the fewest number of words, and can be shortened to three keystrokes: 2x2.
The Encyclopedia of American Religions states: “The group of Christians called ‘Two by Twos’ in this text are also referred to as ‘Cooneyites,’ ‘Go Preachers,’ and ‘Tramp Preachers,’ but they claim no name but Christian. All of these names have been placed upon this somewhat anonymous group by outsiders...The distinctive feature of the movement has been sending forth, two by two, unmarried teams of preachers who, ‘as they go, preach’ ”(Matt. 10:7). Encyclopedia of American Religions, 8th Ed. By Dr. J. Gordon Melton, The Gale Group, Inc, Detroit, Michigan USA, 2009 Pp 554-555 (ISBN-10: 078769696X; ISBN-13: 9780787696962)
In the movements Early Days, the names most often used by newspapers were: “Pilgrims, Tramp Preachers, Go-Preachers, Dippers and Cooneyites.” Another term fondly used by the early 2x2 preachers who left the United Kingdom to preach in other English speaking countries is “the Old Country” which refers to their native country, sometimes abbreviated in correspondence as “O.C.”
Some other names applied to this church by themselves or by others, include: “The Truth ,” “The Way,” “The Fold,” “The Friends and Workers Fellowship,” “The No-Name Church,” “Christian Conventions,” “Assemblies of Christians,” “The Testimony,” “The Testimony of Jesus,” “Nameless House Church,” “White Mice,” “Black Stockings,” “The Jesus Way,” “The New Testament Church,” “Reidites,” “Irvinites/Irvineites,” “Alberta Society of Christian Assemblies” and “The Damnation Army.”
Jaenen uses a variety of terms to refer to the Two by Two church, including but not limited to: “the contemporary Irish movement, the/this movement, Irish movement, the late nineteenth century Irish restoration movement, restorationist movement, the church, the primitive church, Assemblies of Christians, nameless spiritual fellowship, Tramp Preachers, poor, itinerant, Go-Preachers, the Irish revivals, the retentionist and Two by Twos.”
Another name associated with the church is “Christian Conventions Representing Assemblies of Christians.” Although the 2x2 ministers claim not to have an official name for their church, at times they use formal printed letterheads with this name. View letterhead.
NOTICE: For this Critique, I have chosen to use the term most frequently used by media today for this church, the “Two by Twos,” abbreviated to “2x2s.” Other terms used to refer to the church are: “fellowship,” “group,” “movement,” “sect” and “church.” The members are known as “friends” or “saints.” The terms “workers,” “ministers,” and “preachers” all refer to the same position. This choice was made for convenience and to avoid confusion. After reading my explanation and reasons for selecting this term, I hope there will be no offense taken. There is none intended.
Critiquer's Footnotes to paragraphs above:
 Books that used the term “Two by Twos” include:
Through Western Canada in a Caravan by F. H. Eva Hasell (1st edition 1925, 2nd edition 1927 p. 244)
Christian Truth and Religious Delusions by Casper B. Nervig (3rd edition 1941, p. 136; republished in 2010)
 The Lutheran journal Concordia Theological Review (vol. 9, 1938, p. 863) contains an article titled “Two by Twos” which begins: “Reports from Canada and from Illinois indicate that a new sect, known as Servants of God, Followers of Jesus, and Two by Twos, is causing disturbance in our congregations. The group has no official publication, nor an official name…”
 Newspapers Early: June 5, 1983, p. 1 “Spokesman Review” ( Spokane, Washington) “Two by Twos: Victims of Anonymous Cult?” By Bart Preecs [RE: Convention at Post Falls, Idaho]
 Latest Newspaper Article: November 4, 2010 advertisement placed by Tommie Gamble, Overseer of Ireland in the “Church Notices” of the Tyrone Co. Constitution, a Northern Ireland weekly newspaper. [RE: Gospel Meetings by The Present Day 2 by 2 Apostles]
See also, The Secret Sect by Doug and Helen Parker, 1982.
THE THESIS OF APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION
THE THESIS OF THE REMNANT CHURCH
Jaenen states that “As the movement expanded beyond the Irish counties and the British Isles…This eventually gave rise to questions of origins and founders.”
This is true and is not surprising, especially after the church began to obscure the facts surrounding the events and personalities involved at its commencement. Questions of origins and founder/s are still arising. Hoping to discover the answers to these questions, some have turned to Jaenen’s book “The Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship.”
Following are some explanations often given by the friends and workers to questions about the group’s “origins and founders:”
It was originally started when Jesus sent out the 12 disciples on “The Shores of Galilee;” i.e. it is of “Apostolic Succession.”
It was started, revived, restored by a group of individuals; i.e. a restoration movement.
It was started by or restored by a man named William Irvine, born in 1863 in Kilsyth, Scotland.
It has always been in existence.
It was started in heaven before the creation of the world.
The Thesis of Apostolic Succession
The term “Apostolic Succession” normally means a continuous, unbroken chain of people who have directly and personally passed on the “mantle” of spiritual authority and administration within a continuously existing organization, such as an established church.
Many 2x2s believe there has been a continuous existence of the Two by Two church as a spiritual fellowship or church sustained by a line of apostles (workers), from the time of Christ until the present day. In other words, many 2x2s believe their church and ministers have come down to the present day by “apostolic succession.”
A “thesis” is “a proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof.” Summarizing his studies and research, it is Jaenen’s opinion that the “Thesis of Apostolic Succession” has problems as it relates to the Two by Two church.
Many 2x2s who were aware Jaenen was in the process of writing a book expected him to trace a direct line of ministers back through ancient history all the way to the feet of the twelve apostles. This expectation was predicated on his earlier lectures, as well as the 2x2s’ trust in their leaders who taught that their ministry was started by Jesus on the “Shores of Galilee.”
Jaenen candidly admitted: “I…will confess there was a brief period when I too thought there was an unbroken apostolic succession of ‘workers’ from the first century to our day…There was no unbroken consistent line of ‘workers’ from the first century to our day…but the Spirit was always working in the world to retain faith until Jesus returns. And so there were almost certainly ‘true believers’ in every age and century somewhere, but not in the sense of a constant visible community or fellowship.” (Personal Communication, Feb. 6, 2007)
An Irishman named John Long was physically present when the 2x2 movement began in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. He wrote a detailed Journal chronicling the sect’s Early Days, and gave August of 1897 as the starting date. [John Long’s Journal, August, 1897]. Jaenen’s date range of 1897-1904 for their starting date concurs with Long’s date. Jaenen wrote:
“By the last decade of the nineteenth century, a number of religious activities in the British Isles gave rise to a movement which FIRST manifested itself at Nenagh, in County Tipperary, and soon spread throughout Ireland, and eventually throughout the world by the end of the twentieth century.” (p. 522)
Note the two bolded references below where Jaenen refers to “at the beginning” and “the origins of this Irish movement:”
“The movement did not follow the major lines of development in mainstream Christianity at the beginning of the period when it began to propagate its message on a world-wide basis…The fundamentalist notions of ‘creation science’ were not yet hatched. In any case, there was in the origins of this Irish movement no indication of any disagreement with the scientific views of a progressive fossil record, the antiquity of the earth, the evolution of species, etc.” (pp. 533-34)
The “Remnant Church” Thesis
(also known as: Remnant Theme or Remnant Theology)
A reply occasionally given in answer to questions about 2x2 Apostolic Succession is that the early church was hidden “underground” or “lay dormant” with a “remnant” of God’s people. A “remnant” is a small piece of something left over from the original; something that remains or survives and implies that some process, catastrophe or judgment took place which eliminated many or most of a group.
Some 2x2s believe their church is “The Remnant Church” which was preserved by God from the New Testament days through the Dark Ages to the present. They believe that there were true spiritual believers in every age and century somewhere, even though there was not a constant community or fellowship visible. Many find the remnant view compatible with Two by Two Apostolic Succession. As one man expressed:
“Up until a year ago…we had never doubted for a minute what we were told in the beginning of days for us, nearly thirty years ago now. That this way in which we have been a part was from the BEGINNING, because that was the way Jesus sent His disciples out into the world; and there had never been a break in that lineage to this day, as there has always been a ‘remnant’ in the world. This we heartily accepted as gospel truth…God’s true way brought back to the world after the Dark Ages.” (Ralph Derkland Letter written prior to Oct. 1955)
Jaenen refers to this belief as the “The Remnant Church Thesis.” Further, he states he does not find evidence to support the conclusion that “there has always been a ‘remnant’ in the world” in the form of an unbroken chain of meetings and/or preachers from the early centuries until now. He does NOT imply or assert that the Two by Two church is a “ Remnant Church.” Jaenen clearly states that he was NOT able to trace a continuous physical line of succession for ANY group or fellowship from the early centuries. His conclusion is summarized in these two statements in his book:
“In our efforts to trace the continuity of primitive Christian ideals over the centuries, no unbroken successions or continuous activities of a particular identifiable group have been documented.” (p. 535)
“The thesis of a ‘remnant church’ ALSO remains problematical... we have been unable to establish from the documentary sources accessible to us a continuous, unbroken chain of either conventicles [meetings or gatherings] or poor itinerant preachers from the early centuries to the present.” (p. 538)
In using the word “ALSO,” Jaenen is pointing out that neither the theory of Apostolic Succession NOR the theory of a Remnant Church can be established by documentary sources.
CONCLUSION: Jaenen has clearly stated that he found no documented evidence showing that a particular identifiable group, assemblies of meetings or itinerant preachers was physically handed down from the first century from one preacher to the next, generation to generation, in a particular church.
Working in reverse, this means that Jaenen found no evidence tracing the Two by Two church back in a direct line to the time Jesus sent out His twelve disciples on the Shores of Galilee. He found no human line of succession to or from the Two by Two church.
After The Secret Sect book was published in 1982, various remnant and restoration explanations of their origins began to be preached. One was Willie Pollock with his “stump theory” (e.g. there has not always been a tree, but somewhere there has always been a root, remnant or stump of Truth, etc.) Another was that Wm Irvine was a prophet raised up by God to restore God’s way/remnant which had been underground. Another was to view Irvine as a “finder,” rather than the Founder. Also the wheat seed analogy (no matter how old, a wheat seed found today and planted will still yield the same crop: wheat), etc.
Unfortunately, the facts were downplayed or called lies to those asking questions, and the perfect opportunity to right a wrong by confessing the truth about their history was lost.
When first we practise to deceive!”
(Sir Walter Scott, in his poem, Marmion)
APOSTOLIC DOCTRINE – CONTINUING THE APOSTLES’ TEACHINGS
Apostolic Succession, as described in Chapter 2, is the method by which the ministry of the Christian church is believed to have come from the Apostles by a continuous succession of ministers. Biblical scholars generally acknowledge that the only church that has chronicled a continuous line of bishops all the way back to the Apostle Peter is the original Roman Catholic Church. Jaenen wrote: “even the Roman Catholic succession is tenuous at times.” (Personal Communication, Feb. 6, 2007)
Regardless, most workers have taught for decades that the Two by Two church physically began with the Apostles and has continued in a direct line (succession) of workers, from one to the next, right up to the present day manifestation of their church. In other words, they claim Apostolic Succession, even though they rarely if ever use the term.
Unsuccessful in finding documentary evidence that the Two by Two church is of Apostolic Succession, Jaenen downplays this lack as “problematic.” The chief reason many have remained in the 2x2 system was because they believed that the its origin could be traced in a direct line back to Jesus--and thus, it followed that it was God’s authentic only true church on earth. Discovering that the 2x2 church began around 1900 has “turned the world upside down” for a great many 2x2 members. (Acts 17:6)
Finding the lack of evidence to prove apostolic succession to be “problematic,” and recognizing that this will greatly disturb many 2x2 members, Jaenen changes the focus and presents a different way to view the term “ApostolicSuccession:”
“Nevertheless, we have not discounted entirely the thesis of apostolic succession. We have come to understand it in a DIFFERENT manner than the commonly enunciated dogma. What we can conclude is that there has been a chain of witnesses of the apostolic doctrine and fellowship over the centuries.” (P. 538)
The above quote is merely another way of saying that when viewed physically or naturally, there is no evidence of Apostolic Succession; but when viewed spiritually, the faith and traditions go back to Jesus and the apostles.
Further, Jaenen does not identify “We” in the above quote. This leads to the questions: Who are “we”in “…we have come to understand it…” and “We have come to understand it in a different manner…” and “What we can conclude? Does “we” refer to those in authority in the 2x2s? Who besides Jaenen has formed this opinion?
This “new conclusion” is an attempt to change what was a foundational platform of the unchanging 2x2 church for most; i.e. that it started with Jesus on the Shores of Galilee. That made it the genuine authentic original church of Jesus Christ. And further, it is hoped the members will just roll over, accept it and be happy with this “new conclusion.” Simply amazing. As can be seen by the number of members making their exit, pulling this foundational platform out from under them is not viewed as an insignificant change.
Jaenen attempts to minimize and diminish the lack of proof of a direct line of succession from the Apostles to the Two by Two church as something that “matters little:”
“Therefore, it mattered little to them whether they were part of a chain of faith, a survival of truth, a succession of believers, or a restored church. They held to the apostolic doctrine and fellowship, they possessed an apostolic ministry and church on the New Testament model, and they were led by the Holy Spirit. Whether the Spirit of God had restored the true faith after a lapse in its manifestation, or whether the Spirit had rekindled some smouldering embers of a small obscure remnant, mattered little. What was important was that those who would be led by the Spirit would be the children of God. God did not reveal all the secrets of his work with humanity. Those were views held in past centuries and we should not be astonished to find they are held by some in our day.” (p. 540)
Jaenen’s introduction of the “Apostolic Doctrine” concept is a “red herring;” a diversion that minimizes the present concern as insignificant. At the same time, a red herring may also maximize appreciation of another perspective. The goal of a red herring is not only to redirect attention, but also to change minds, focus and perspective.
Jaenen attempts to persuade the 2x2 reader to accept his concept of spiritual “Apostolic Doctrine,” and disregard physical “Apostolic Succession,” hoping some 2x2s will take stock, forget about the deceptive information they were taught and believed without question for years, get over it, adopt another belief (that of Jaenen’s “Apostolic Doctrine” concept), switch focus to the substitute belief, focus on it, and be happy with the exchange.
Jaenen cites an 1854 statement by Dr. H. L. Martensen, a high-ranking bishop of the Church of Denmark, who seems to employ a rationale similar to that which Jaenen used in formulating his own “Apostolic Doctrine”— despite the fact that Two by Twos accord no credibility to pastors of other churches. Jaenen summarized Martensen:
“In his conception of apostolic succession, of a holy chain from the apostolic age to his day, he made no reference to a continuity of ordinations or an authority transmitted from ordainer to ordinand. Rather the chain consisted of witnesses, of finders of truth in each century…From the man (Jesus Christ) whose precious remembrance fills our hearts, our thoughts go back to that whole series of witnesses of truth which like a holy chain stretches through the times from the days of the Apostles to our days. But all of them are unanimous in this testimony: The Times change and vary, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and for ever…The teachers, the witnesses of truth in the Church of Christ, change and vary from generation to generation, but the Gospel of Christ is the same yesterday and today…and the Spirit of Christ is the same yesterday and today, although it fills its function through various instruments.” (pp. 538-539)
Jaenen’s endorsement of Bishop Martenson’s view that there has been a “chain of witnesses" and “finders of truth” in other sects or churches contradicts the Two belief and teaching that their church is God’s only true church; that salvation is only possible through hearing and coming into fellowship with their particular “chain" of preachers; and that all other churches and preachers are “false” and headed for eternal damnation.
A “chain” is a series of objects, people or events connected one after the other. Jaenen’s “chain of witnesses” does not fit this definition, for the links are not physically connected one after another. The “Apostolic Doctrine” concept is not a “succession,” for it is not “continuous,” and starts up and fades out periodically over the centuries.
In the closing pages of his book, Jaenen describes the characteristics of an “Apostolic Model”church comprised of “the ideals of apostolic preaching and evangelical poverty, participatory worship in the homes of the laity, and observance of the ordinances of immersion baptism and frequent communion (p. 518); and an itinerant ministry, evangelical poverty, lay participation and rudimentary sacraments (p. 538). Not incidentally, all the elements of Jaenen's “Apostolic Model” perfectly describe the Two by Two church.
In their testimonies, the 2x2s frequently use the contrasting terminology of “naturally speaking” and “spiritually speaking.” Jaenen is suggesting that “naturally speaking” (or physically) the Two by Two ministry and church doesn’t trace back to the first century, but “spiritually speaking” it does. One is a literal, physical person-to-person chain on this earth, while the other is an intangible, spiritual chain. On the other hand, what Christian church doesn’t legitimately claim a spiritual basis in the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the Apostles?
CAUTION! When reading Jaenen’s book, pay close attention to whether the term used is “apostolic succession” or “apostolic doctrine.” While the two terms sound similar, the meanings are vastly different. Jaenen’s newly introduced term “Apostolic DOCTRINE” is NOT a synonym or a substitute for Apostolic SUCCESSION. Jaenen has infused a meaning into “apostolic doctrine” that is poles apart from the common definition of “apostolic succession.” Be careful not to confuse Apostolic DOCTRINE, with Apostolic SUCCESSION.
Importance, significance, value and priority are matters of opinion--not fact. They are individually determined and cannot be proven. Readers have a right to differ with anyone’s opinion as to what is and is not important; what matters and what doesn’t matter.
How can evidence be considered unimportant that proves you were intentionally deceived? Would a court find the evidence unimportant that proved a car dealership had deceived a buyer regarding the mileage of one of their cars? Details about the Founder, Wm. Irvine, his life, ministry and legacy are of maximum importance because they reveal the deception about 2x2 “Apostolic Succession.”
When confronted with evidence proving someone has not told the truth, or has repeated something not knowing it’s false, the person has at least three choices: admit it, deny it or evade it. Minimizing the significance by diverting attention is an evasion. Beware.
WHAT IS A “RESTORATION MOVEMENT”?
Having found no documents to support the Apostolic Succession Theory or the Remnant Church Thesis, Jaenen goes on to portray the Two by Two church as a “Restorationist Movement.”
“Movements” by their very nature often defy exact definition, yet they share some common elements. These elements make it possible to group them, however loosely, under the common denominator term of a “movement.” There is no precise set of beliefs or practices which define a Restoration Movement, and the term encompasses a wide range of sects which may have some incompatible beliefs.
Restoration Movements are founded with the aim of restoring a supposedly lost “true expression” of Christianity. Their methods are derived from the New Testament, and may be augmented by revelations received by their founding figure/s.
Wikipedia’s explanation: “In Christianity, restorationism (or Christian primitivism) is the belief that a purer form of Christianity should be restored using the early church as a model. Fundamentally, this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies [in the church] by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model.”
“Restorationism” is a term applied to movements which endeavor to make a new return to an idealized form of Christianity, according to their own conjecture or interpretation, as existed in Biblical times. The word “primitivism” is often used as a synonym for Restorationism. Rather than reforming, reviving or returning to the roots of a pre-existing church (reformation), Restorationists start afresh. While claiming to base their ideals on the Biblical example, such movements are selective as to what they restore. Restorationist Movements are NEWLY formed churches.
The importance given to the Restoration ideal and the extent to which the restoration of the early church is believed to be essential to salvation varies considerably among the various Restoration churches. Examples of Restorationist Movements include Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Holiness and Methodism, the Church of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many others. Jaenen gives a good description of two views in the introduction to his book:
“I return to the conceptual framework of this documentary history. The whole restorationist movement over the centuries hinges on this. Two main hypotheses of the nature and intentions of first century Christianity confront each other.
“On the one hand, there is the view that the primitive church was just that — a primitive form or expression of the faith that would evolve, develop and mature in time and space. It began with a largely evangelistic mission conducted by an apostolic ministry and grew into a primarily pastoral mandate under the episcopacy while retaining some missionary responsibility.
“On the other hand, there is the view that the primitive church of the apostolic age was the model for all time and all peoples and its ministry was an exemplary model for all Christian service. The churches the apostles left behind were to be replicated in every land and every century. These are the two poles of interpretation, with variants between them, to be sure.” (p. 31)
Jaenen asserts the Two by Two church is a Restorationist Movement that originated in southern Ireland during the period 1897-1904, based on restoration, resurgence, recreation and revival. The person/s responsible for “restoring” this church will be discussed later. Jaenen provides his definition of the restored Two by Two movement:
“By the last decade of the nineteenth century, a number of religious activities in the British Isles gave rise to a movement which FIRST manifested itself at Nenagh, in County Tipperary, and soon spread throughout Ireland, and eventually throughout the world by the end of the twentieth century. This nameless spiritual fellowship, sometimes condescendingly referred to as the Two by Twos, espousing the ideals of apostolic preaching and evangelical poverty, participatory worship in the homes of the laity, and observance of the ordinances of immersion baptism and frequent communion, did not fit into the sociological models of sect, cult, or denomination.” (p. 518)
The following quotes from Section C show Jaenen’s preference of a Restorationist Movement explanation. Quotes are in order by page number.
Page 519: “The question remains as to why the fire of apostolic revivalism would occur especially in southern Ireland, rather than elsewhere in the British Isles or on the European continent.” Jaenen goes on to give four factors which “combined to provide fertile ground for the resurgence of an ancient religious ideology.”
Page 520: “Those involved intimately in the restoration events of 1897-1904 would attribute it to Divine intervention…Several events coalesced to produce a restorationist movement in southern Ireland.”
Page 523: “…the first step in restoration was separation from the established churches…this movement entered a second stage in Ireland with the establishment of a restored apostolic ministry and a visible fellowship or church.”
Page 524: “So it was that a number of men and women from various religious groups came together as the nucleus of what they believed to be a revival of an apostolic ministry.”
COMMENT: Note that Jaenen does not say these early men thought of themselves as possessors of apostolic succession, but rather that they saw themselves as reviving an apostolic style of ministry.
Page 528: “There is sufficient evidence to support the interpretation given by one of the original participants, George Walker, presented to the American Selective Service authorities in 1942.”
COMMENT: Jaenen refers to George Walker as one of the “original participants.” He quotes Walker’s letter which does not cite a connection with any pre-existing apostolic style group, but rather states that it was “through their study of the Scriptures…in the several churches of which they were members” that they formed their convictions which led them to launch a new movement.
Page 534: “In any case, there was in the origins of this Irish movement no indication of any disagreement with the scientific views of a progressive fossil record, the antiquity of the earth, the evolution of species, etc.”
Page 542: Jaenen queries, “Will the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship survive, or need to be restored again, in the twenty-first century?”
COMMENT: Note the word “again. This clearly indicates that Jaenen views the group as a newly started restoration group, and not as a succession group. His question raises the possibility that just as previous groups who may have exhibited some similarities to the Apostolic Model church did not survive, so also it is possible that the Two by Two church may not survive either, thus opening the possibility that another group could then arise and “restore again” those characteristics.
The Two by Two workers have long presented their church as the modern representation of the New Testament church. In his book, Jaenen places the Two by Twos at the current end of a stream of older Restoration Movements which shared some of the Two by Two’s characteristic beliefs and practices. He ignores the serious differences and incompatibilities between Two by Two doctrine and practice and what is found in these other groups. Were these older Restoration Movements in existence today, the question could be asked would they share communion with them or accept them as fellow Christians? Why aren’t they joined with the current day Waldenses?
CONCLUSION: The Two by Two church fits the criteria for a Restoration Movement. It started as a Restoration Movement and the early adherents knew it was one. This changed.
With the implementation of the Living Witness Doctrine, the 2x2 authorities began claiming their origin began when Jesus sent out the twelve Apostles on the Shores of Galilee. Subsequently, a good number of workers taught this and the majority of those hearing them believed they meant it came physically in a direct line from Jesus. There are third, fourth and fifth generations alive today who have heard and/or believe that the movement came both physically and spiritually from the Shores of Galilee. This is not true.
It wasn’t until the Two by Two history was publicly revealed in 1982 when The Secret Sect book by Doug and Helen Parker was published, that some 2x2 authorities started to portray the 2x2 church as a Restoration Movement when questioned about their origins. After the internet began publishing documentation regarding its origins, Dr, Jaenen wrote his book, and the theme of the church being a Restoration Movement began to be spread more widely.
Currently due to the exposure of Parkers’ book and the internet there is a movement afoot among the 2x2s to rewrite the history as Jaenen’s book illustrates so well. To portray it as restorationist in nature, which is true spiritually--but not physically as has been taught Of course, all other Christian churches also point to Jesus as their spiritual founder.
Discussion about the “Contemporary [Irish] Restorationist Movement” (aka 2x2 church) is the climax of Jaenen’s book. This placement was no accident. It clearly reveals Jaenen’s agenda to lead the reader to believe that the Two by Two church is currently the closest restoration of the original primitive New Testament church--according to his standards for “closest.” Jaenen’s less than accurate and incomplete portrayal of the available history mixed with his personal bias combine to make it difficult for the reader to get a complete and accurate picture.
If the group had been portrayed as a Restoration Movement from the time it started to the present, rather than a Remnant; and if they hadn’t attempted to rewrite the 2x2 history, many books and websites would not have been needed to correctly reflect the history. Much confusion and heartache would have been avoided. Beware of cunningly devised fables concocted on half truths and manipulated facts.
It’s the right of everyone who has ever associated or come into contact with any church to have all the facts at their disposal about the history of the church in order to make reasoned, critical evaluations. The Bible itself is largely history book that purports to supply a reliable overview of the history of the Jewish nation and early church, including uncomplimentary faults, failures and mistakes. Accurate history is important.
SEVEN GROUPS WHO SUPPOSEDLY “CAME TOGETHER”
The reader will recall that Jaenen’s book has established that the Two by Two church does not trace back in an unbroken line to Jesus sending out the 12 disciples on the Shores of Galilee: “In our efforts to trace the continuity of primitive Christian ideals over the centuries, no unbroken successions or continuous activities of a particular identifiable group have been documented” (p. 535).
Then where, when and by whom did the 2x2 ministry and church start? Jaenen attempts to show that it was started by a “number of men and women” and also a few groups. His theory is that some individuals and groups of individuals from a variety of religious backgrounds all “came together” around the same time, which resulted in the birth of a new Restoration “movement.”
A thorough investigation of the various “groups” mentioned by Jaenen, reveal some interesting numbers and dates. Some of his “groups” were made up of only two individuals; one “group” gathered only one time; and another group was not even associated with the Two by Two movement--it was a Methodist Restorationist movement. Also, these particular alleged “groups” did not simultaneously come together to form a new movement. Some of them became associated over a period of three years--from 1899 to 1901.
Before discussing these seven groups, a Scotsman named William Irvine needs to be introduced. Jaenen uses his name as little as possible in his book, possibly because Irvine’s excommunication in 1914 was a blight on the reputation of the group he founded.
BACKGROUND OF WILLIAM IRVINE
William Irvine was born in Newtown, Kilsyth, Scotland, on January 7, 1863, the third of eleven children born to John and Elizabeth (nee Gressam/Grassam) Irvine, who were married in 1858. By the age of 30, he was General Manager of William Baird & Company’s Boswell Collieries in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and appeared to be well on his way to the top of his profession. A Colliery is a coal mine, including all buildings and equipment.
Irvine was born into a Presbyterian family. On January 8, 1893, when he was about 30 years old, he had a conversion experience (professed faith in Christ) in a meeting held by the well-known Presbyterian traveling evangelist, Rev. John McNeill. After his conversion, Irvine studied with the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, Scotland (aka Glasgow Bible College which ceased operating in 2014).
When Irvine was 32 years old, he became a Pilgrim Worker with The Faith Mission, which is a Protestant interdenominational evangelical movement. Their records show he entered their service on June 14, 1895 and left later to “found Cooneyites in S. Ireland.”
While preaching in Ireland, William Irvine met John Long, a Methodist colporteur (a seller of Methodist literature). Long obtained for Irvine the use of a Methodist Church in Nenagh, Ireland, where Irvine held some very successful missions in August, 1897. As Long wrote in his Journal, from “there began the work that has spread so far.” After hearing Irvine preach, other men and women were also moved to go preach as he did. In Nenagh, over 30 were converted and in nearby Rathmolyon about 30 more were converted. Most of these entered the ministry a short time later. Among the converts were members of the Carroll, Gill, Hughes and Hastings families who went on to fill important roles in the new movement. (Source: John Long’s Journal, August, 1897; and Accounts of the Early Days by G. Pattison). Other successful missions followed in Cloughjordan, Roscrea and many other small Irish towns and villages, which resulted in many more recruits aligning themselves with Irvine also. Timeline of Early Days ; Map of First Missions 1897-98
John Long and many others viewed the Nenagh mission held in August, 1897 as the beginning of “The Go-Preacher movement” (aka 2x2). While holding a mission in Kilkee, Ireland, Wm Irvine and John Long studied Matthew 10, which caused them to seriously consider the “Faith Lines” concept of preaching . “Faith Lines is a preacher going forth without any fixed or stated salary, neither any public collections at meetings, but just trusting in God to put it into the hearts of God's people to give to the support of them who ministered in Spiritual things. If more came in than necessary, learning to abound; if less, learning to suffer lack…” (John Long’s Journal January, 1899)
This significant Bible study is alleged to be the pivot point which led up to the eventual founding of the 2x2 ministry and church which ultimately grew into a worldwide group of followers numbering from approximately 75,000 to about 150,000 and which has endured for a little over 100 years. (Figures are estimated as the group doesn’t provide a census.) It is estimated that there has been a decline in membership of 40% since 1993.
A number of Irvine’s converts wanted to preach full time. Some applied to the Faith Mission; some were accepted and others rejected. Some went out preaching independently; and others joined Todd’s Mission. Until Irvine started the 2x2 movement, there was no cohesive movement where volunteers “left all” and “went on Faith Lines.” While he was with the Faith Mission, Irvine began operating “along independent lines” and eventually resigned.
Meanwhile, it is obvious that someone was directing traffic and running the operation behind the scenes. Someone was arranging for the building of portable wooden halls/baches and moving and making them available for the workers’ missions. Someone was arranging for special all-day meetings and conventions. Up until 1901, that person was Wm Irvine, at which time Ed Cooney joined him, and came to be viewed by many as the co-leader—especially in his native County Fermanagh. Someone was assigning and moving the new workers around, developing the evolving doctrine and encouraging unity. (Accounts of John Long and Goodhand Pattison). At times, both Cooney and Irvine sent workers to John Long for training. From 1898 thru 1902 Long trained or preached with at least 12 male workers. Irvine had been loosely superintending his converts who became workers up until the time he united them into one body in 1903. When he left the Faith Mission, Irvine was already the leader of 28 workers: 4 sisters and 24 brothers, some of whom had previously worked with the disbanded Todd’s Mission.
In July 1903, Irvine held a three-week long convention at Rathmolyon, Ireland on Willie Gill’s land and seventy or more workers attended. Here a number of independent workers united into a single group with workers already working under Irvine and agreed to submit to Wm. Irvine’s authority and leadership. This included John Long, Ed Cooney, George Walker, Willie Gill, and some others who had already been preaching independently on Faith Lines or with the Faith Mission.
Jaenen presents Irvine merely as the group’s leader and infers that he became the leader through group consensus. However, he fails to overtly repudiate the overwhelming evidence that shows that Irvine was the Founder.
In 1914 the senior workers banded together, decided they would no longer allow Wm. Irvine to be their leader and refused to submit to him any longer. Irvine wrote Wm. (Bill) Carroll, “Six years ago in April, I was rejected and despised and cast out to die, my birthright divided among my children and enemies...The Jesus Way was stolen, confiscated, misappropriated. I remember seeing and hearing you take it over in my presence.” (June 29, 1920 Letter to Wm. Carroll).
Confirming Irvine’s excommunication, Jack Carroll wrote: “It is just 4-1/2 years ago since the older workers in (the) Old Country told William Irvine that they could no longer recognize him as leader, or again as being in the ministry, unless there was a complete change in his manner of life” (April 16, 1919 Letter by Jack Carroll to “My dear Brother or Sister” from Santa Barbara, CA).
How important was Wm Irvine? Would the 2x2 ministry and church have been started without him? Here is Irvine’s answer: “If there had been no William Irvine...There would have been no Testimony...” (Sept. 16, 1938 Letter to Edwards and (Feb. 7, 1927 Letter to John Hardie) “Testimony” is the term Irvine used for the 2x2 church.
In sworn testimony, early worker Wilson McClung stated: “Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotchman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him (June 21, 1906 Impartial Reporter). Later Wilson McClung became the Overseer of New Zealand.
Edward Cooney’s answer in a sworn testimony to the question: Were you the Founder of this sect?“No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago. I cast in my lot with him as a fellow-preacher and preached a good deal in the north of Ireland.” Impartial Reporter Dec. 18, 1913 (NOTE: 1913 minus 16 years = 1897)
DISCUSSION OF JAENEN’s SEVEN GROUPS:
Jaenen had been laying the groundwork for his theory that several groups joined together simultaneously to show that the 2x2 movement was not founded by one man named William Irvine. He presents the following seven groups: (1) Faith Mission, (2) Matthew 10 Bible Study Group at Kilkee, (3) 1899 Scotland Bicycle Mission Group, (4) Todd’s Mission Group, (5) George Walker’s Group, (6) Hamilton-Donnelly Group and (7) Collective Group.
GROUP #1 - FAITH MISSION GROUP:
In the following quotes, Jaenen discusses the various “groups” who “came together” with the same idea…and eventually “coalesced” into “this movement”:
Page 492: “A number of these Faith Mission evangelists became involved in the late nineteenth century Irish restoration movement.”
Page 521: “A number of Faith Mission workers…both men and women, became disillusioned with the apparent unscriptural basis of their ministry.”
ERROR: From Jaenen’s choice of words, one could easily get the mistaken idea that Wm. Irvine took a group of several Faith Mission workers with him and together they started a new religious movement.
However, t here were just two men who made up “a number” of Faith Mission workers who left at the time the 2x2 movement “consolidated.” They were William Irvine and John Kelly. Actually, Kelly left AFTER Irvine did—not simultaneously. Altogether, there were only 6 Faith Mission workers who joined Irvine’s group of workers over a span of 2 to 6 years. The names of the others were: Harry McNeary, Joe Burns, Alex Hinds, May Carroll and Elizabeth (Pendreigh) Betty. None of these became leading workers.
According to the Faith Mission Official List of Workers, Wm. Irvine’s name was removed with the notation: “June 14, 1901 - founded Cooneyites in S. Ireland.” The names of Irvine and Kelly are shown at the very top of the List of First Workers, July 1905, both with the notation “18__” (with a blank for the year they entered the work.) If any other Faith Mission workers had left around the same general time as Irvine and Kelly did, it would be consistent for their names to also be shown in the same manner, but this was not the case.
GROUP #2 - MATTHEW 10 BIBLE STUDY GROUP:
Page 524: “In June 1898, several of these workers who were still affiliated with various denominations, met in Kilkee to consider ministerial requisites as described in the tenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel and related scripture…”
Page 524: “John Long, Fred Hughes and William Irvine decided to launch out ‘by faith’ like the Twelve Apostles. Others joined them, including Edward Cooney… Ben Boles , William Gill , Tom Turner  and John Sullivan  gave up their employment to become poor, itinerant ‘Go-Preachers’. ”
Page 521-22: “From the Methodist John Long launched an independent itinerant ministry [January 1, 1899] and was soon joined by Tom Turner , Tom McNaught, Dick Norman and Alex Given . William Irvine , who was the Faith Mission superintendent in southern Ireland, and his companion John Kelly , had also begun to work somewhat independently.”
NOTE: The years these men entered the work have been added to the above quotes [according to the List of First Workers, July, 1905].
COMMENT: The names of the so-called “several” workers who studied Matthew 10 at Kilkee are well documented. There were four: Wm. Irvine, John Long, Ed Cooney and Fred Hughes (John Long’s Journal July, 1898). Irvine was older, invariably cast in the role of leader and driving force, and presumably both led the study and directed its course.
These four men didn’t, as a group, simultaneously “launch out.” Fred Hughes only briefly assisted Irvine in some Faith Mission meetings ( G. Pattison), after which“Fred Hughes went back to merchandise” in August, 1898 (John Long’s Journal August, 1898). Irvine officially left Faith Mission in January 1901, but was preaching independently long before that (Bright Words Sept 1901). Ed Cooney did not become a Worker until June, 1901. Turner joined Todd’s Mission in 1899 (Source: G. Pattison). Boles, Gill and Sullivan were not enlisted as workers until 1900.
John Long resigned as a Methodist colporteur in November, 1898 and on January 1, 1899, he started out as an independent evangelist preaching on Faith Lines. He remained a Methodist until November, 1899, but his ministry was not affiliated with a particular group or church.
He wrote: Faith Lines is a preacher going forth without any fixed or stated salary, neither any public collections at meetings, but just trusting in God to put it into the hearts of God’s people to give to the support of them who ministered in spiritual things. (Source: John Long’s Journal, Jan. 1899). After his excommunication in 1907, he returned to preaching on Faith Lines as an independent Evangelist for the remainder of his life, and is considered one of the important influences in the development of British Pentecostalism.
GROUP #3 - SCOTLAND BICYCLE MISSION GROUP:
Page 524: “In 1899 William Irvine, who had not yet been disaffiliated with the Faith Mission, proposed a bicycle tour of Scottish towns to a number of these independent evangelists. This was followed by an all-day meeting on the Feast of St. Stephen at Nenagh, which is sometimes cited as the moment of consolidation of the various contributing elements.”
This mission group included eight men, shown in a widely distributed picture. (View photo) Their names and the dates they entered the work are: Jack Douglas-no date; William (Willie) Gill-1900; George Walker-1899; John Hardie-1900; William Irvine pre-1899; William (Bill) Carroll-1903; Irvine Weir-1900; Warren Hastings-no date.
The Bicycle group was an experimental mission. It was not a coalescing event or a joining of forces. It disintegrated. Douglas and Hastings did not become workers. Hardie joined Todd’s Mission; Gill, Walker and Weir preached independently and Carroll entered the work when the group consolidated in 1903. Irvine was associated with the Faith Mission, while also preaching along independent lines.
COMMENT: Jaenen relates that SOME point to this particular December 1899 meeting in Ireland as the time and place where two or more individuals (“elements”) united into a single group (“moment of consolidation”) which caused this meeting to come to be viewed the group’s kick-off meeting. (No source given by Jaenen.)
On the other hand, G. Pattison and Patricia Roberts do not address the “start date” in their writings. John Long viewed the beginning date of the Go-Preacher Movement as the Nenagh Revival in 1897. Pattison wrote about many who attended the all-day St. Stephens Day meeting in Nenagh, but did not report that it was the “consolidation” meeting. William Irvine himself indicated the revival began in Nenagh in 1897 (Letter to Dunbars, Oct. 13, 1920)
The experimental Bicycle group disintegrated and did not continue as a cohesive group. Some of this group joined Irvine’s other workers at the 1903 Rathmolyon Convention.
GROUP #4 - DERRYGONNELLY GROUP:
Page 524: “In 1900 another group joined forces with them. Robert Hamilton and David Donaldson in Derrygonnelly became so dissatisfied with the ministry of Patrick O’Donavan in the Methodist church that they withdrew and started their own meetings in the Hamilton home. Within three years of joining forces, their assembly produced six persons who sold their possessions and went into the ministry. At this time, some of the lay people, as well as the itinerants, did some evangelizing. Robert Parker of Springfield, for example, held a mission in Rosculton which resulted in a number of converts being won.”
C OMMENT: The Derrygonnelly group was made up of two men by the names of Robert Hamilton and David Donaldson--plus six unnamed persons. When asked to provide the source of this information, Jaenen replied that this group had no connection to William Irvine:
“The Hamilton-Donaldson group were part of a Methodist restorationist movement that met in homes and sent out itinerant ministers in pairs. Unfortunately, it was only after the publication of my book that I realized I should have included a section on these Wesleyan Methodist restorationists. Patrick O’Donavan, the minister, was a Methodist convert from Catholicism. I do not know the names of the six “workers” from that group, except that they were ordained apparently between 1901 and 1903.
“I have no reason to believe that R. Hamilton, a farmer, and D. Donaldson, a grocer, ever entered the full-time itinerant ministry. Robert Parker, it appears, did hold some home meetings in Springfield and Rosculton, and he died at a young age leaving a wife and six children. I think his great-grandson may be Alan Cooke, the ‘worker.’ It may be that Willie Donaldson in Australia was the son of David Donaldson. In any case, this group had no connection with William Irvine in coming into fellowship with other groups.” (Letter dated April 4, 2010 to Cherie Kropp)
So by Jaenen’s own admission, this group should be disregarded as it had no connection to the Two by Twos.
GROUP #5 - TODD’s MISSION GROUP:
R. R. Todd and his wife Jeanie were pilgrims with the Faith Mission when Wm Irvine joined them. The Todds left Faith Mission in November, 1897 to start their own independent mission. It was commonly called “Todd’s Mission;” newspapers referred to it as the Evangelistic and Missionary Alliance. After 4-5 years, in 1901, Todd’s Mission closed. Some of Todd’s workers came over to Irvine’s mission while others joined the Faith Mission.
Page 521: “In 1897, a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Todd, from Oldpark Presbyterian Church in Belfast, who had been active Pilgrims, abandoned the Faith Mission practice of directing converts to various evangelical churches or chapels and began organizing their own assemblies under the Irish Christian Workers Union, an association of several groups.”
Page 524: “In 1901 a number of Todd’s Christian workers joined forces with the ‘Tramps’ or ‘Go-Preachers’.”
COMMENT: It would have been more correct to state that it was just “a few of Todd’s Christian workers.” Newspaper reports have confirmed that when Todd’s Mission disbanded, possibly 8 of Todd’s workers joined William Irvine’s group of workers. They were John Hardie, Thomas (Tom) Turner, Emma Gill, Andy Robb, Alex Givan, Jack and his brother Wm Jackson and George Buttimer. Some of Todd’s workers joined Faith Mission. The total number of Todd’s workers is unknown. Also, Todd's Mission was not the ICWU--Newspapers report early worker Andrew Robb stated to the court that it was the Evangelistic and Missionary Alliance.
GROUP #6 - GEORGE WALKER’s GROUP:
Pages 528-530: “The Irish revivals produced a similar situation because leadership was collective and evangelization was not carried out by individuals…There is sufficient evidence to support the interpretation given by one of the original participants, George Walker, presented to the American Selective Service authorities in 1942.”
‘W e take this opportunity to state that during the closing years of the last century and the first years of this century a number of people in the British Isles and in America were exercised in heart and mind, through their study of the Scriptures, in regard to the methods of preaching and worship in the several churches of which they were members. They were deeply concerned about spiritual things, and became fully convinced that there should be a return to the methods and purpose taught and carried out by Christ and His first disciples…This conviction led to frequent earnest conversations and studies on the subject, which in turn led to religious meetings, and in due time a number of these people went forth to devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel according to the teaching and example of Christ as given in the New Testament…’ (Source: Footnote 226: Copy of Statement to Director of American Selective Service Board from George Walker (1877-1981), 24 March 1942)
COMMENT: The first three workers who came to America were men who had already “come together,” years BEFORE they set foot in North America. Once they arrived, they embarked upon evangelizing what was then an untouched mission field to persuade others to join their existing newly founded church. Their names were: William Irvine, George Walker and Irvine Weir. The people mentioned in Walker’s letter did not constitute an additional group that independently conceived of the Two-by-Two church and/or merged with it.
“Sufficient evidence” is a judgment call made by Jaenen from his assessment of the limited material he reviewed. There are some who agree with him.
On the other hand, many others have reviewed the available material and have arrived at an entirely different conclusion. They have found “sufficient evidence” to conclude that the Founder was ONE individual, a Scotsman named William Irvine from Kilsyth, Scotland. Anyone can state that there is “sufficient evidence” about any subject, but that doesn’t mean it’s true or that all the evidence has been presented and taken into account—it’s merely their judgment call or opinion.
While George Walker’s statement, standing alone, is vague enough to allow Jaenen’s interpretation, and although it does not mention Irvine or his role, it also does not say anything which would contradict the very many explicit references in contemporary documents to Irvine’s role as Founder. It is not surprising that Walker omitted saying anything about Irvine, given that at this time (1942) most of the American membership had been kept in the dark that Irvine had ever existed. In his statement to the government, Walker did not lie--he merely failed to give all the facts or mention Irvine. Some use Walker’s vague statement to deny Irvine’s role as Founder.
By 1914, Walker was one of a group of overseers who excommunicated Wm Irvine. After that event, workers acquainted with Irvine’s role in the founding of the 2x2 church rarely mentioned Wm Irvine, a practice that continues to this day. In retelling the story of his participation in the first mission to bring the Two by Two gospel to the Americas in 1903, Walker failed to mention the names of the two workers who accompanied him. When pressed as to their identities, he still would not mention Irvine by name—only allowing that one of those workers ( Irvine) later went off the rails.
GROUP #7 - COLLECTIVE GROUP
Page 528: “As the movement expanded beyond the Irish counties and the British Isles, a primitive hierarchy, or collective oversight by senior ministers, was established over the “fields” of an expanding worldwide community. This eventually gave rise to questions of origins and founders…The Irish revivals produced a similar situation because leadership was collective and evangelization was not carried out by individuals.”
Notice Jaenen’s omission of Irvine as Founder and original leader. The leadership consisted of a single man, the Chief Overseer named Wm Irvine who supervised senior ministers worldwide. As the head, he had the power to make heads roll, and he did, during the 20 or so years he was the head. Who selected the senior ministers around the world? How did they obtain their offices? To whom did they answer and report? Who was the authority over all the members? “ For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” ( Luke 7:8). It was one man, Wm Irvine, and none of those under him doubted it.
In sworn testimony, Wilson McClung stated: “Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotchman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him. I myself was a Civil Servant in Dublin. I resigned my post, sold all that I had and gave to the poor, and went out to preach.” (Feb. 16, 1905 Impartial Reporter) Later Wilson McClung became the Overseer of New Zealand)
Edward Cooney in sworn testimony, in the King’s Bench Division, London before Justice Darling in a case styled Edward Cooney v. The People Ltd: “Mr. Justice Darling—Were you the founder of this sect?—[Cooney’s reply:] No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago. I cast in my lot with him as a fellow-preacher, and preached a good deal in the north of Ireland.” Impartial Reporter December 18, 1913 (NOTE: 1913 minus 16 years = 1897)
SUMMARY OF GROUPS
Jaenen presents two very small possible groups: Faith Mission (from which two individuals were early participants in the new Two-by-Two movement) and Todd’s Mission (in which only 3, or possibly 4 would eventually join the new sect). George Walker was present when the sect began and his group of a “number of people” does not address the founding of the Two by Two church with any specificity, other than to note the general time period when it started. Jaenen mentions these groups and individuals in very vague and general terms without referencing any role or action taken by them. He doesn’t tell the full story.
The Derrygonnelly group should be disregarded as it was not associated with the Two-by-Twos. The Bicycle group disintegrated. He arbitrarily lumps some other individuals into “a group,” who had very little in common, other than they all would eventually become workers at some point in time.
Jaenen provides no credible support for the premise that multiple persons and/or groups came together to form the Two-by-Two movement. That people employing certain similar methods and/or beliefs may have existed at the time of the founding of the Two by Two church does not mean they were involved in its founding. It is known that a few who had been involved in other movements were later attracted to William Irvine’s new group, but there is no documentary evidence they were involved in its conception or formation.
It is a serious flaw in Jaenen’s theory that various individuals were simply drawn together and the Two by Two movement materialized as a consequence. Even more fatal to the idea of multiple founders is evidence Jaenen has ignored and omitted in his book, i.e., statements of contemporaries (including some made under oath) that William Irvine was the Founder of the Two by Two movement, etc.
It represents a remarkable degree of disconnection that a group that has consistently denied having ANY human founder could be persuaded to consider an alternate rationalization that it was instead some supposed group of people who were the founders or finders of the Two by Two church. Perhaps the point in Jaenen’s premises isn’t so much to encourage acceptance that some number of individuals started the Two by Two church, as it is to discount or cast doubt upon the historical documentation that exists showing Wm. Irvine was the Founder.
WAS IT STARTED BY WILLIAM IRVINE?
Jaenen acknowledges that a man named William Irvine claimed to have personally founded the 2x2 movement and that there are some who believe that he did. However, Jaenen does not acknowledge that Irvine was the movement’s founder..
For years, there were very few 2x2s living outside the British Isles who knew about the events leading up to the formation of the Two by Two church. It has only been since the late 1980s and early 1990s that historical information about the 2x2 church has become quite widely published and easily accessible. The number has steadily grown ever since of 2x2s who no longer believe the 2x2 movement was started by a group of men or on the “Shores of Galilee.”
There is a noticeable agenda of Jaenen to portray the 2x2 movement as being started by a group of men and women who came together collectively and consented to Wm. Irvine assuming leadership of the group. Pushing this unsupported viewpoint further, he also takes many opportunities to downplay or omit William Irvine’s role in the commencement of the 2x2 movement.
Many 2x2s were hoping Jaenen’s book would forever put away the story about William Irvine which some say “raises its ugly head ever so often.” Not so. Jaenen addressed the group theory, but like the workers who expelled Irvine in 1914, he wasn’t able to completely erase Irvine. When a woman gives birth to a child, nothing can change that fact. She will always be that child’s Mother, even after the mother or child are dead. Same goes for a founder. No matter what becomes of what he founded or what the founder does, that individual will always be the founder of the entity he started. Nothing can change that. It’s permanently engraved in truth. History cannot be erased.
The assertion that William Irvine was the original Founder of the Two by Two church has been raised many times by various people through the years since its inception. Though documented earlier, the first time the news came to the attention of the wider membership of the Two by Two church, in an unusual manner, was likely in 1954 with the distribution of Doug Parker’s pamphlet “A Spiritual Fraud Exposed,” published a little over half a century after the church was started. There were other events that caused members to become aware of Wm Irvine’s role as Founder back in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘80s, and some 2x2s discussed the matter with workers on various occasions.
Jaenen does not attempt to prove Irvine did not start the 2x2 church, nor does he address research that confirms that he did. That is not the scope of Jaenen’s book. He has chosen to portray the church as a restorationist movement started by several individuals/groups, and he stays focused on that point of view.
So it’s not surprising that Section C of Jaenen’s book is strangely quiet about the Scotsman named William Irvine. His name appears only 21 times. Ten of these instances are embedded in quoted material originating from others, and eleven appear in comments made by Jaenen which will be discussed below. Most of the instances where Jaenen mentions Irvine by name, he marginalizes his actions, portrays him as a minor character, depicts him in a negative light and even ridicules him.
Because the contemporary records prominently picture Irvine as sole Founder of and the primary motive force behind the early 2x2 movement, Jaenen’s downplaying and omissions of his role produces a seriously flawed picture of the movement’s beginnings. The few times Jaenen mentions Irvine in his book are discussed below, in order by page number.
Page 492: “Thefirst Faith Mission workers went to Ireland in 1892, where William Irvine became their superintendent for the southern counties in 1896 .”
ERROR: Irvine was f irst shown in Faith Mission Publication “Bright Words” as Superintendent in 1898.
Page 530: “William Irvine asserted at one point that he had personally founded the movement but it was a claim that was never admitted generally by the community. It was a claim resurrectedalmost a century later bydetractors of the movement who sought to associate it with one particular individual.”
COMMENT: It would have been accurate for Jaenen to state that Irvine’s role as Founder was not “generally admitted” within the Two by Two church after he was expelled and that only a few knew about it. Irvine’s role has been raised publicly through the ensuing years ever since Irvine started the movement: in newspapers, sworn testimony, court transcripts, letters, workers, writings, books, photographs, etc. Whether or not Jaenen and/or the 2x2 community admits his role as Founder has no effect on truth or history. It does not prove or disprove anything. Long before a century had elapsed, the claim was very plainly raised in 1954 in a pamphlet titled “A Spiritual Fraud Exposed” by Doug Parker and again in 1982 in Parkers’ book “The Secret Sect.”
Who brought William Irvine into focus again (“resurrected”), whether it was “detractors” (those who left the 2x2 group) or insiders, is irrelevant to the truth of who founded the 2x2 movement. The Founder was openly and repeatedly acknowledged during the movement’s early years. Newspaper accounts are plentiful reporting about the Early Days of this most unusual new sect, often covering who started it, when and where. (Click Here to read an Article). In 1908 in America, the press referred to the movement as “Irvinites,” an eponym derived from the Founder’s name. Early workers Wilson McClung and Ed Cooney, in sworn testimony in separate court cases, stated that Wm. Irvine was the Founder. ( McClung: December 21, 1906, p9; Cooney: December 18, 1913
Page 522: “In August 1897 there was a revival in Nenagh which spread to Rathmolyon, Birr, Roscrea and Cloughjordan. The Gill, Carroll, Hughes and Hastings families were prominent among the converts. In November 1897 there was a second revival at the Presbyterian church in Nenagh. George Walker came from Dublin to investigate and after spending some time with William Gill at Ashmont became convinced the work was of God. Similarly John West and others from Fermanagh came to hear the preachers at Rothmolyn (sic). It was probably here, in November 1897, that Edward Cooney also met William Irvine.”
COMMENT: It is significant that Jaenen mentions the preachers at some highly successful Irish Revival Missions held in Nenagh, Rathmolyon, etc. but fails to provide the name of the Revivalist! The principal preacher was William Irvine and possibly Fred Tapp, who were both associated with the Faith Mission at the time. Although John Long made arrangements to secure a place to conduct the Nenagh mission, he did not record in his Journal that he had a speaking part in these particular early missions (John Long’s Journal, August, 1897). Rather he stated, “It was a great privilege for me to get the benefit of those meetings; and to be a fellowhelper in pointing anxious souls to Christ” (John Long’s Journal, March 1898).
Timeline of Early Days
Map of First Missions 1897-98
Jaenen drops the names of George Walker, William Gill and John West, who all made a point to seek out Wm Irvine in his missions. Yet he only mentions Irvine’s name in connection with Edward Cooney meeting him, and nothing more. Further, Irvine didn’t just happen to meet Cooney in Rathmolyon. It was Cooney’s curiosity about Wm Irvine that brought them together in Borrisokane (not Rathmolyon).
G. Pattison wrote that at the Methodist Church “...while conducting the Borrisokane mission...Wm. Irvine first met Edward Cooney...” (G. Pattison in Account of the Early Days). Long wrote: “A Christian commercial traveller, named Edward Cooney, during his business tours, met some of the young converts and being impressed with the genuineness of their testimony was resolved to meet the Evangelist [Irvine] and have an interview with him” (John Long’s Journal, Jan. 1898).
It’s obvious that Jaenen doesn’t want to give his readers the slightest hint that Wm Irvine was the fiery principal preacher at these pivotal Revival meetings, where 30 to 40 professed in a mission. Irvine was referred to as the “red hot evangelist!” According to John Long, it was the August, 1897 Mission at Nenagh that started “The Revival.” John stated that he and Wm Irvine were “the two instruments used of God at the origin of that movement.” (John Long’s Journal, June 1907). A note from Long also appeared in the 1935 and later editions of the widely available book Heresies Exposed stating that the movement dated from 1897 and that Wm. Irvine was “the original leader.”
Page 522: “ William Irvine, who was the Faith Mission superintendent in southern Ireland, and his companion John Kelly, had also begun to work somewhat independently. John Long and John Morrison first met William Irvine in Kilrush in March 1897, and later they invited him to preach with them but he was neither their leader nor the chief evangelizer in the southern counties at this time.It was John Long who convinced Irvine that clerical stipends and salaries were inconsistent with preaching ‘by faith’." (See Footnote 219 PA-1-12 on page 522 to Account by Alfred Trotter)
COMMENT: The Critiquer has found no written evidence regarding who convinced who regarding “clerical stipends.”
Jaenen now deviates from his earlier theory that there was a group who started the new nameless Restoration Movement and gives John Long the credit. He makes Long out to be the motivating force behind the “campaign.” In a footnote, Jaenen quotes: "He [John Long] it was who fired the first shot in a campaign which was destined to re-echo around the world. And he was present on many momentous occasions, went out in the work and sacrificed much in the days of his youth.” (Account by Alfred Trotter to Edith Trotter 28 July 1976 p. 5--which document Jaenen has refused to provide to several who have requested it)
However, John Long considered himself to be “under” Irvine. He wrote: “I first met William Irvine...in the Methodist Church, Kilrush, County Clare, where he was having a mission. I was greatly blessed under his ministry and fellowship, and I used influence to get him openings which resulted in his holding a mission in the Methodist Church, Nenagh, County Tipperary, where a revival began in August, 1897. That Revival was the origin of the Go Preacher fellowship. Whole households got converted.” (Life & Ministry of Edward Cooney by Patricia Roberts p12-13)
And that particular Revival was conducted by Wm Irvine. It is commendable that Jaenen gives John Long credit he is due for making the arrangements for Irvine to hold a mission in a Methodist building in Nenagh where Irvine preached his highly successful Revival Mission. However, the building wasn’t what drew people, nor was it the building that encouraged the people to convert. It was the life and message of Wm Irvine. There is no written evidence that Long, a young Methodist Colporteur (a seller of Methodist literature) at that time, preached in either of these two early missions.
It appears that the first time John Long had a part in Irvine’s missions was at the meetings held at Borrisokane and Cloughjordan, for he wrote that “in both of them, I was asked to speak. I was very nervous and kept looking to the Lord for a message, and God gave me revelation, liberty, and power, and began to establish my way in presence of the Brethren.” (John Long’s Journal, January, 1898)
Wm Irvine wrote: “In November 1896, I was sent to the West of Ireland...After six or seven months there, I got to where the Carrolls were in Nenagh; and there began the work that has spread so far...” (October 13, 1920 Letter to Dunbars by Wm Irvine)
Page 521-22: “From the Methodist John Long launched an independent itinerant ministry…William Irvine, who was the Faith Mission superintendent in southern Ireland, and his companion John Kelly, had also begun to work somewhat independently.”
Page 524: “John Long, Fred Hughes and William Irvine decided to launch out ‘by faith’ like the Twelve Apostles. Others joined them, including Edward Cooney…”
COMMENT: Jaenen’s statements above can be verified, except for his inclusion of Fred Hughes, who “went back to merchandise” in August, 1898 (John Long’s Journal August, 1898). Also, the Faith Mission Workers List never shows John Kelly and Irvine as companions. These men didn’t all start preaching on Faith Lines at the same time or as a group (See: Bright Words, Sept. 1901 ). Wm Irvine and John Kelly left Faith Mission at different times in 1901.
In the above quotes, Jaenen attempts to get his readers to reject Irvine as the Founder by using John Long as a red herring. He leads readers to entertain the possibility that Long may have been the Founder, and gives the false impression that it was Long who started a new movement. By stating that Long “launched an independent movement,” and by placing Long’s name first and Irvine’s name last in the string of names, he further advances this suggestion. He hopes readers who are bent on there being a founder will accept John Long as the founder by providing a quote from a tertiary document (a copy of which Jaenen steadfastly refuses to provide): “He [John Long] it was who fired the first shot in a campaign which was destined to reecho round the world.” (p. 522)
An organizational convention was held in 1903 in Rathmolyon, where about 70 plus workers came together and agreed to submit to Wm. Irvine’s authority and rules. This is when and where the group coalesced and organized under William Irvine’s leadership and a cohesive new organization was born. A movement requires a group coalescing around advocacy advanced by a foundational leader/leadership and foundational ideas.
Page 524: “In 1899 William Irvine, who had not yet been disaffiliated by the Faith Mission, proposed a bicycle tour of Scottish towns to a number of these independent evangelists.”
COMMENT: Jaenen gave Irvine the credit he was due, for initiating the successful bicycle tour to Scotland of 8 or more preachers-in-training. (Click to View Photo)
Page 524: “ In March 1898, when Irvine was preaching in Borrisokane, in County Tipperary, Cooney approached him ‘each claiming the liberty to follow Jesus as [he] received progressive light from God by the Spirit.’ ”
COMMENT: This statement is true and can be confirmed. However, it is important to note that this was not the first time the two men had met.
Page 524: “William Irvine’s experience and contacts, despite his sometimes erratic behaviour, enabled him to assume a leading role in the movement. So it was that a number of men and women from various religious groups came together as the nucleus of what they believed to be a revival of an apostolic ministry.”
COMMENT: Again Jaenen does not acknowledge Irvine’s role as Founder and instead portrays him as merely a man who assumed a leading role due to his “experience and contacts.”
On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence now for many to believe that Wm. Irvine didn’t merely “assume” the role of leader—he WAS the Founder and Leader from its inception. And they also believe that it was Wm. Irvine who collected the group (his “contacts”) together into a separate cohesive body, who had been their leader behind the scenes all along. Wm. Irvine gathered and united them into one body at the Rathmolyon convention in 1903, at which time he set before them what would become their unified standards, doctrine and practices.
It was Wm. Irvine who was “the nucleus,” and all his “contacts” or converts to his method traced back to him and no further. He had personally converted some of the “nucleus” members and they helped convert others who helped others, etc. And the chain links all lead back to Wm. Irvine. Who was before Wm. Irvine? No one. He was the father, the Adam, the originator, the genesis, and the Founder of the Two by Two church. The chain of living witnesses began and ended with Wm. Irvine. The chain went out from him, and led back to him. To be accepted into the Two by Two movement, one had to profess through a representative whose could trace their faith all the way back to Wm. Irvine, the Founder.
Irvine stated, “If there had been no William Irvine…There would have been no Testimony...” (September 16, 1938 Letter to Edwards)
“I am the one God used altogether--not ‘most.’ No William—No Testimony” (March 2, 1923 Letter to Eddie Cooney) [Irvine used the term “The Testimony”for the 2x2 movement]
LINK to Letters written by Wm Irvine stating he started/founded the 2x2 church.
Page 530: “Only two early Christian ‘workers’ established a limited personality cult--William Irvine and Edward Cooney--and they were eventually expelled by their co-workers… In fact, after being excluded from the ministry for moral laxity, Irvine adopted outlandish millennialist theology…and repaired to Jerusalem where he awaited the expected Second Advent in 1914, believing that he was one of the two faithful witnesses mentioned in the Apocalypse !”
COMMENT: Irvine’s role as founder can be easily traced in documents from the early years of the movement. This includes explicit sworn statements by at least two workers in court cases (Read: Cooney's Statement, Irvine's Statement) and reports from a variety of news publications during the first 2 decades of the 20th century. The contention that Irvine’s role was invented later is deceptive and shows selective reading or lack of reading of the sources, at best. Also, Irvine’s millenialist themes were noted in his preaching at least five years before his ouster, and he moved to Jerusalem in 1919--not 1914.
[END of Jaenen's QUOTES containing Wm Irvine’s name]
CONCLUSION: The contention that Irvine’s role was invented later is deceptive and at best, shows a lack of thorough research or selective reading of all the available sources. Irvine’s role as Founder can be easily traced in documents from the early years of the 2x2 movement. This includes explicit statements by at least two workers under oath in court cases
By omission and unwarranted marginalization, Jaenen has endeavored, in a rather glaringly obvious manner, to paper over Irvine’s founding role in the Two by Two church, and to dismiss his claim of being the originator. Jaenen conveniently omits dealing with the great amount of surviving documentation from the early years of Irvine’s movement, which depicts Irvine as both Founder and head of the new 2x2 church.
LINK: What did the newspapers say about Wm Irvine?
LINK: Who said Wm Irvine was the Founder?
Following are some ERRORS found in “The Apostles Doctrine and Fellowship,” a few of which have been discussed above in more detail.
GEORGE WALKER’s 1942 LETTER
Pages 528-530: “The Irish revivals produced a similar situation because leadership was collective and evangelization was not carried out by individuals…There is sufficient evidence to support the interpretation given by one of the original participants, George Walker, presented to the American Selective Service authorities in 1942.”
ERROR: Insufficient material used to draw conclusion and willful omission of pertinent facts. “Sufficient evidence” is a judgment call made by Jaenen from his assessment of the limited material he reviewed, and there are some within the Two by Two church who would agree with him. On the other hand, many others have reviewed the evidence and found “sufficient evidence” to conclude that the Founder was ONE man named William Irvine from Kilsyth, Scotland.
That William Irvine founded the group and was its originator and initial leader was the most common view during the early years of the movement, and continues to be the generally accepted view based upon the available evidence. Anyone can declare that there is “sufficient evidence” for an assertion made about any subject, but such a contention without sound supporting corroboration offers no basis for concluding that such a claim may be true.
EDWARD COONEY and WM IRVINE MEET for the FIRST TIME:
Page 522: “In August 1897 there was a revival in Nenagh which spread to Rathmolyon, Birr, Roscrea and Cloughjordan…It was probably here, in November 1897, that Edward Cooney also met William Irvine.”
Page 524: “In March, 1898 when Irvine was preaching in Borrisokane in County Tipperary, Cooney approached him.”
ERROR: According to both John Long’s Journal and Goodhand Pattison’s Account of the Early Days, Irvine first met Cooney at Borrisokane in January 1898 (not November 1897 and not Rathmolyon).
IRVINE & COONEY
Page 530: “ Only two early Christian ‘workers’ established a limited personality cult--William Irvine and Edward Cooney--and they were eventually expelled by their co-workers. William Irvine asserted, at one point, that he had personally founded the movement but it was a claim that was never admitted generally by the community. It was a claim resurrected almost a century later by detractors of the movement who sought to associate it with one particular individual.”
ERROR: It is not true that Irvine’s early role as Founder and Leader was not made known until “almost a century later.” It is true that Irvine and Cooney were the best known workers in the movement in its Early Days. It may or may not be true that the “claim…wasnot generally admitted,” and consequently only a few have known that Irvine was the Founder. However, Irvine’s founding role has been repeatedly raised publicly from the movement’s earliest days and since; e.g. in letters, writings, books and newspapers. By his own admission, Jaenen deliberately chose not to take the numerous newspaper articles, etc. into consideration before printing his book.
Fortunately, the word is rapidly getting out these days, due to historical material becoming more accessible in books and the internet. It is true that the distribution of information can be largely credited to those Jaenen calls “detractors,” (ex2x2 members) and that most workers have not admitted nor made the information public. Whether the 2x2s do or don’t admit their history and Founder does not change, prove or disprove one existed. Truth is Truth. The name, life and ministry of the Founder was very plainly “resurrected” in a 1954 pamphlet titled “A Spiritual Fraud Exposed” by Doug Parker and also in 1982 in Parkers’ book “The Secret Sect.”
IRVINE’S ARRIVAL IN JERUSALEM:
Page 530: “In fact, after being excluded from the ministry for moral laxity, Irvine…repaired to Jerusalem where he awaited the expected Second Advent in 1914, believing that he was one of the two faithful witnesses mentioned in the Apocalypse !”
ERROR: Wm. Irvine arrived in Jerusalem on November 27, 1919 (not 1914). The explanations offered for Irvine’s excommunication vary considerably, and are not confined to moral laxity. To the Critiquer’s knowledge, there is no document to substantiate this was the reason. Jack Carroll wrote: “It is just 4-1/2 years ago since the older workers in (the) Old Country told William Irvine that they could no longer recognize him as leader, or again as being in the ministry, unless there was a complete change in his manner of life” April 16, 1919 Letter by Jack Carroll to “My dear Brother or Sister” from Santa Barbara, California).
THE IRISH CHRISTIAN WORKERS UNION (aka ICWU):
Page 521: “In 1897, a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Todd, from Oldpark Presbyterian Church in Belfast, who had been active Pilgrims, abandoned the Faith Mission practice of directing converts to various evangelical churches or chapels and began organizing their own assemblies under the Irish Christian Workers Union, an association of several groups.”
ERROR: It appears Jaenen erroneously attributed to Todd the reason most often given for Wm. Irvine’s dissatisfaction with the Faith Mission; that of his objection to converts lapsing while members of mainstream churches. However, Jaenen provides no source confirming Todds’ objection or that the Todds were ever associated with the ICWU.
Further, a requirement for membership in the ICWU was that one MUST belong to a local church. Also, the ICWU was located predominantly in the North of Ireland and the Todds were located in the South of Ireland.
The situation described by Jaenen could not be the case because the ICWU “assemblies” were not churches. Their assemblies were similar to Faith Mission prayer union meetings, in that the attendees were members of a local church. “The primary object of a Christian Workers’ Union is to provide a common platform upon which all believers may unite in whole-hearted and aggressive effort for Christ, irrespective of denominational distinctions or differences” (Source: To God be the Glory – Personal Memoirs of Rev. William P. Nicholson, pp. 110).
ERROR: The ICWU was not “an association of several groups” at that time--not in 1897-1901. It wasn’t until 1924, that the well known evangelist W.P. Nicholson was instrumental in merging several Christian groups into one and renamed the union: “The Irish Alliance of Christian Workers’ Unions.”“It was not opposed to, but is intended to be a complement to the existing work of the Churches. An important condition of membership to a Christian Workers’ Union is that members must also be members of a recognized evangelical Church.” (W.P. Nicholson Book, pp. 109-110)
ERROR: Since portable wooden mission halls were not used by nor constructed at the direction of Faith Mission at the time the Todds left, it wasn’t possible that the Todds “retained the use of portable mission halls.” A ccording to Faith Mission, in 1900, Wm. Irvine was independently directing the building of some portable halls which he recommended to Faith Mission. ( Bright Words, March 1900, pp. 56-57)
Page 524: “In 1900 another group joined forces with them. Robert Hamilton and David Donaldson in Derrygonnelly…”
ERROR: This information should be disregarded. Jaenen confirmed that this group had no connection with William Irvine and he regretted including their names in his book. (Letter dated April 4, 2010 to Cherie Kropp)
Page 492: “A number of these Faith Mission evangelists became involved in the late nineteenth century Irish restoration movement.”
Page 521: “A number of Faith Mission workers, both men and women, became disillusioned with the apparent unscriptural basis of their ministry…”
ERROR: It is misleading to state that Irvine walked out with “a number of Faith Mission workers.” The first two men who left Faith Mission hardly justifies the term “a number.” They were William Irvine and John Kelly. Irvine plus ONE. According to Faith Mission Official List of Workers, Wm. Irvine’s name was removed with the notation: “founded Cooneyites in S. Ireland.” John Kelly is the only one who could be regarded as someone Irvine“took with him,” and he left the month after Irvine left. Four other Faith Mission workers became associated with Irvine’s new movement over the following four years after he left .
KESWICK & POWERSCOURT CONVENTIONS:
Page 528: “The…annual convention at Crocknacrieve in 1904…About 500 people from all over the British Isles attended these meetings possibly patterned on the Powerscourt House conventions.”
ERROR: It is not likely that the Crocknacrieve convention was “patterned on the Powerscourt House conventions,” since the Powerscourt conventions had ceased 70 years earlier. None of the early 2x2 workers were old enough to have attended. Beginning in 1829, at Powerscourt Castle, conventions were held annually for seven years and ended in 1836, which was the year Lady Powerscourt died.
They could also very well have been patterned after the Faith Mission Conventions held at Rothesay, Scotland. It is far more likely that the Crocknacrieve convention was modeled after Keswick Conventions but Jaenen doubts this. However, Jaenen wrote:
“Footnote 222: It is doubtful that the Christian ‘conventions’ were based on Keswick which was a ministerial gathering. There were several other religious conventions in Ireland to serve as models.”
ERROR: Jaenen states that Keswick was a “ministerial gathering.” However, the Keswick convention was not restricted to ministers. From the first time it convened in June, 1875, Keswick was attended by preachers, evangelists and Christian believers from various denominations, and they also had an evangelistic outreach to non believers. (Sources: Heritage of Revival by Colin C. Peckham; and Spirit of Revival by I. R. Govan) Jaenen disagreed in his footnote with the following comment by Fred Wood, which Wood has stated at other times also:
“We were in Fermanagh...and had the privilege of looking over Crocknacrieve which was very interesting…Things were done on a big scale in those early days. There would not be very many people living today who were there at those first conventions. Originally these were copied from Keswick…” [Patricia Roberts, ed., Selected Letters of Fred Wood, 1890-1986 , Fred Woods Letter to Jim Roberts, 27 July 1976, p. 48]
Other early 2x2 documents state that Keswick was the model for Crocknacrieve, and none refer to the Powerscourt conventions. While Crocknacrieve Convention was being held, Cooney attended Keswick Conventions in 1907, 1908 and 1909. (See Impartial Reporter articles: August 1, 1907; July 30, 1908; July 29, 1909. )
The annual Keswick Conventions were quite well known at that time. They were started in June, 1875 by a clergyman from the Church of England named Dundas Hartford-Battersby in Keswick, England. Keswick was not a school of theology, not a seminary, and not a new sect, society or church. By 1895, attendance at the Keswick Convention tent meetings had risen to 3,000.
It is important for readers to ask these questions. Why does Jaenen attempt to draw attention away from Keswick? Why mention Powerscourt? Why disagree with Fred Wood? What does he have against Keswick?
CONCLUSION – The errors speak for themselves.
Omissions may consist of suppressed or selectively presented and partial evidence. Omitted information can be harmless or harmful. A harmful example is a situation where an author omits an important fact which deliberately leaves the reader deceived, or with a misconception, or a biased view.
Authors with integrity do not ignore contrary evidence even when it discredits or disproves their point. They do not overlook or disregard evidence that undermines their premises and conclusions. Presentations that are loaded or biased fall into the realm of rhetoric, sensationalism and propaganda, rather than being conscientious, factual and trustworthy accounts.
In researching his book, Jaenen stated he was “quite aware” of all the available historical documents. Yet he does not provide references for some of his material purportedly derived from significant primary sources. Possibly, this omission was because he did not want to help his readers locate certain sources that would undermine the viewpoint being pushed, such as works by W. C. Trimble and Doug Parker, which contain evidence that contradict Jaenen’s conclusion.
Before reviewing Omissions from Jaenen’s research and book, let’s examine what sources were available when he published his book. Which sources did he use? Did he make use of all the resources available?
When Jaenen published his book in 2003, the available primary sources of written historical information about the Two by Two church were:
Accounts by Goodhand Pattison (2)
Books by Patricia Roberts (3)
Documents by Doug Parker (2)
* The Impartial Reporter newspaper, Enniskillen, N. Ireland (over 100 articles)
* Numerous other contemporary periodical articles from Ireland, England and elsewhere
* The numerous Letters by Wm. Irvine written from Palestine after 1919 (over 400 letters)
NOTE: It wasn’t until after Jaenen’s book was printed in 2003 that he acquired a copy of Long’s Journal from the Irish source who made the first contact with the Journal’s owner in 2002.
The first 2 sources above were used by Jaenen (Pattison and Roberts)
The remaining sources were documents Jaenen stated that he was “quite aware of,” but did not use or quote from any of them directly.
He replied: “I am quite aware of the other sources you enumerated, particularly the Parker books based in good measure on the articles over time in the Impartial Reporter. William C. Trimble, editor and proprietor of this paper in Enniskillen, also wrote a vitriolic pamphlet circa. 1909 against the ‘friends’ and ‘workers’.” (Letter to Cherie Kropp dated April 6, 2010).
Source used by Jaenen: Instead Jaenen stated he preferred to support his account with: “The memoirs of the Methodist preacher, George J. Coulter, principal of the Ballinamallard Methodist School until 1938.” (April 5, 2010 Letter to Cherie Kropp). The Coulter Account, containing 2 brief pages about the commencement of the 2x2 church, can’t begin to compare with the volumes of information printed in the Impartial Reporter Newspaper over several years.
Page 534-535: In all of Section C, Jaenen quotes from only one newspaper: the Grand Rapids Michigan Press, dated November 17, 1990. It is interesting that Jaenen leaps from the movement’s origins to the present and quotes an entire article containing the observations of a reporter who attended a single gospel meeting. (Footnote 235, Ed Golder, “Gospel, generosity strengthen church,” The Grand Rapids Press, Saturday, 17 November 1990.)
OMISSION OF IMPARTIAL REPORTER NEWSPAPER: It is an astonishing omission that Jaenen does not draw from or make a single reference to the largest body of historical documentation available about the start-up of the Two by Two church, namely the material printed in the Impartial Reporter newspaper (W. C. Trimble, Owner) located in Enniskillen, N. Ireland.
This newspaper reported extensive details about Irvine, Cooney, the new movement, its preachers, their sermons and practices, as well as covering the local large scale convention at Crocknacrieve on the large farm owned by John and Sarah West. Materials from this and other contemporary newspapers have been available in print, through libraries and since the early 1990’s have been posted on the Internet, as well as books and articles concerning the Two by Two church. The Impartial Reporter is used as a primary source in a book by Patricia Roberts, from which Jaenen occasionally quoted.
Ignoring a huge mass of contemporary reporting could be compared to studying the life of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War without including newspaper accounts from the South because the writer didn’t care for the tone of the southern reporters. The study could not claim to be either complete or to being a historical overview.
OMISSION OF OTHER CONTEMPORARY PERIODICAL ARTICLES: It is a significant omission that Jaenen does not reference articles in the many other newspapers, periodicals and other contemporary published sources which documented the early history of the Two by Two sect. These readily available sources contain vital information regarding the founding.
OMISSION OF THE SECRET SECT by Doug & Helen Parker: Jaenen does not mention the Doug Parker or Parkers’ book; not in a comment, footnote or his bibliography. This omission is extraordinary since Parkers’ book was the single source that contained more documented history about the Two by Two movement than any other source at the time Jaenen wrote his book. Further, Jaenen’s book presents factual information that has solely been documented in Parkers’ book, without giving proper attribution to the Parkers. Again, Jaenen stated he was “quite aware” of this source.
OMISSION OF SOURCES: UNAVAILABLE SOURCES in FOOTNOTES:
Five Footnotes in Jaenen’s book list unpublished, private, personal documents that are not available to the public, and it is unlikely the public could verify or locate this information. These are discussed in Chapter 9.
OMISSION OF SOURCES for Significant Quotations:
Page 524: Jaenen wrote that in March 1898, when Irvine was preaching in Borrisokane, in County Tipperary, Cooney approached him “each claiming the liberty to follow Jesus as [he] received progressive light from God by the Spirit. “ Jaenen failed to provide the source of this quote. It is found in a letter written by Ed Cooney to Alice Flett in 1930 printed in Patricia Roberts’ book: The Life and Ministry of Edward Cooney, pp. 9–10.
Page 526: (This Footnote is a comment by Jaenen without a source.)
“Footnote 224: Not all the converts came from the working class or lower middle class, as the conversion in 1918 of Princess Victoria (1868-1935), fourth child of King Edward VII, indicates. It was the intervention of Sir Derek Keppell...that prevented her from attending a convention of the “stable religion” (as they called it) in Ireland and motivated her subsequent retirement from public life.”
Page 525: This significant comment about an event and formation of doctrine is without a documented source: “In 1903, a ‘convention’ was held on the Gill estate at Rathmolyon where some seventy of these ‘workers’ committed themselves to poverty, celibacy, and obedience…and they also renounced all religious denominations and secret societies.”
COMMENT: Jaenen was only able to provide the names of 34 workers who began in the ministry in that year, and stated his information was provided by “numerous individuals connected with ‘the early days’ in North America, Europe and Africa.”
Page 525: ( Omits the source, which was the Impartial Reporter).
“Subsequent conventions at Crocknacrieve, in County Fermanagh, saw a couple thousand gather each year…”
Page 522 – Provided source of an unpublished Account he quoted, but refused to provide a copy. “It was John Long who convinced Irvine that clerical stipends and salaries were inconsistent with preaching ‘by faith.’ ” Footnote # 219 PA-1-12)
Footnote # 219 PA-1-12: Account by Alfred Trotter to Edith Trotter, 28 July 1976: “He [John Long] it was who fired the first shot in a campaign which was destined to re-echo around the world. And he was present on many momentous occasions, went out in the work and sacrificed much in the days of his youth.”
COMMENT: Jaenen has steadfastly refused to provide a copy of Alfred Trotter’s Account out of “respect to some prior commitments to the family…If you want to see the entire document you would need to contact the family directly, as the permission is obviously not mine to give.” The Account is a very long handwritten letter that Alfred Trotter of Londonderry wrote to his sister, Edith Trotter, in Sydney, Australia. Trotter was born in 1893, professed in 1912 and died in 1995, age 101.5. He was not a worker and was not present at the beginning of the movement. The first page of Trotter’s letter gives the date of 8-1-1968, while Jaenen gives the date as July 28, 1976.
In a scholarly book such as this one, it is remarkable that Jaenen quotes an unknown, unpublished documentary source, for which he cannot or will not provide evidence, n or is it available through the book publisher. An Irish worker holds the original. Further, Jaenen prefers to rest his interpretation based upon a version supposedly given in this inaccessible account penned by an obscure character, giving it credence, while ignoring the many other written accounts and published statements by people who were on the scene and notable participants intimately involved in the formation of the sect.
With this unpublished, unclear, partial reference, Jaenen appears to be leading the reader to believe that it was John Long who was the Founder of the church, rather than Wm Irvine. Trotter does not explain what he meant by “He it was who fired the first shot in a campaign.” John was a helper of Wm. Irvine. Perhaps Trotter was referring to Long as being the first Evangelist to go on Faith Lines. Long helped by finding openings where Wm. Irvine held missions. Long described his role: “William Irvine and I…being the two instruments used of God at the origin of that movement.” Long spoke of his involuntary separation from the movement in 1907 as “…robbed me of my privilege, namely the right of fellowship in the mission I helped to start.” (Source: John Long’s Journal, June-July, 1907) In addition, Long consistently described William Irvine as being the motive force behind and sole leader during the sect’s formation.
Pages 536-7 (Omits translation of Latin words, leaving most readers to pass over these phrases, unable to follow the point being made or supported). Read translation in bold brackets below.
“Among the themes or ideals that run throughout the history of dissident groups, sometimes identified as heresies, are the concepts of an ecclesia spiritualis [the spiritual church], the need for an imitation Christi [sic, imitation of Christ] and the evidence of a vita apostolica [apostolic life]. The chief assumption was the apostolic life-style, the way of justitia, [justice] the conviction that Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles left behind a model ministry, a model church and revealed teachings to which all Christians were required to adhere. On this foundation Christianity was to be propagated throughout the world…Another assumption was that the distinguishing characteristic of the community of believers was caritas, [charity]a divinely inspired love, manifested most perfectly in paupere evangelica, [evangelical poverty] the itinerant self-sacrificing apostolate.”
Page 524: (Omission of source)
“In 1899 William Irvine…proposed a bicycle tour of Scottish towns to a number of these independent evangelists. This was followed by an all-day meeting on the Feast of St. Stephen at Nenagh, which is sometimes cited as the moment of consolidation of the various contributing elements.”
COMMENT: Jaenen appears to be stating that SOME consider the December 1899 gathering held in Ireland where two or more individuals (“elements”) united into a single group (“moment of consolidation”) as the group’s “kick off” meeting. On the other hand, Goodhand Pattison and Patricia Roberts do not address an actual “starting date” in their writings. John Long viewed the beginning date of the Go-Preacher Movement as the Nenagh Revival in 1897.
Page 531: (Omits proof of registration as “Testimony of Jesus” in London.)
“The movement grew and spread rapidly…in 1914…They became a registered sect to avoid military service during World War I. They were registered in London as ‘Testimony of Jesus.’ "
NOTE: Details Jaenen provided without attribution and which could readily be found in Patricia Robert’s books or Goodhand Pattison’s Account have not been listed above in “Omission of Sources.”
CONCLUSION - So, it appears that Jaenen deliberately left out of his book the two largest bodies of primary sources of documented historical information. This leads to the questions: Why did Jaenen do this? Why did he suppress this evidence? Could it be because he did not want to lead his readers to these two sources which may have contradicted his conclusions?
A glaring example of Jaenen’s use of omissions that allows readers to be led to a false conclusion is his sentence introducing the REVIVAL missions. The name of the Revival preacher is omitted. Goodhand Pattison and John Long Accounts confirm the preacher was Wm Irvine. In fact, t he only speaking preacher at most of the Revival Missions was William Irvine.
Jaenen’s prejudice is revealed by his exclusion of historical data that supports an alternative viewpoint. An author’s failure to consider contrary, available evidence that could cast doubt on their conclusion does not give an honest and complete picture of the issues involved, nor does it allow readers to come to informed conclusions. Even though it is fair for a scholar to air his or her own preferred viewpoint, contemptuously dismissing, minimizing or ignoring swathes of vital, well-documented and firmly established evidence and attributing undue importance to other information produces a slanted and dubious presentation.
FOOTNOTE DISCREPANCIES & BIBLIOGRAPHY COMMENTS
Section C of the book titled “Select Restorationist Movements” discusses the Two by Two church from pages 518 to 542 (the end) and Faith Mission on pages 492-493.
The footnotes and bibliography contain errors, omissions and unpublished works that are unavailable to the public. These discrepancies are discussed below in detail.
Defining published and unpublished works
U.S. Copyright Law defines publication as: “the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not itself constitute publication.”
Unpublished works are those which have not been distributed in any manner.
Altogether, there are 19 Footnotes that refer to the Two by Two church. Three (3) of these Footnotes are merely comments by Jaenen (Nos. 224, 231, 234)
Concerning the remaining 16 Footnotes:
(11) are from published documents or books available to the public (Nos. 235, 218 227, 228, 232, 221, 222, 223, 229, 230);
(5) are from documents unpublished and/or unavailable to the public (Nos. 219, 226, 217, 220, 225)
(11) PUBLISHED DOCUMENTS:
(1) Footnote is to a 1990 newspaper article (No. 235)
(1) Footnote is from Faith Mission publication “Bright Words” (No. 218)
(2) Footnotes are to books written by authors never associated with the 2x2s (Nos. 227, 228)
(1) Footnote to article by Roman Catholic priest in Chile; I. Vergara, “Hermanos de 2 en 2,” El Protestantisino en Chile (Santiago de Chile: Editorial del Pacifico, n.d.), pp. 183-185. (No. 232)
(5) Footnotes are from 2 self-published books by Patricia Roberts (Nos. 221, 222, 223, 229, 230)
(5) UNPUBLISHED and/or UNAVAILABLE DOCUMENTS:
(1) Footnote is to a manuscript that is unavailable (#219 Trotter Acct)
(1) Footnote is to a letter by the U.S. Government that is unavailable (#226)
(2) Footnotes are to Goodhand Pattison’s unpublished Account (#217 and #220)
(1) Footnote links to an article that doesn’t contain the material quoted (#225).
Footnote #225, Page 527: Alfred Magowan,
“Outline of the History of a Peculiar People from 1900-1931,” Unpublished typescript, n.p.
COMMENT: The quoted material relating to Footnote #225 is NOT found in Magowan’s “Outline” document.
This document is written as a stage play and is not firm historical documentation.
Footnote # 219 PA-1-12, Page 522: Account by Alfred Trotter to Edith Trotter, 28 July 1976: “He [John Long] it was who fired the first shot in a campaign which was destined to re-echo around the world. And he was present on many momentous occasions, went out in the work and sacrificed much in the days of his youth.” p.5.
COMMENT: When requested to share a copy of this unpublished Account by Alfred Trotter, Jaenen refused out of “respect to some prior commitments to the family.”
Footnotes #217 and #220 refer to the same document by different titles.
Footnote #217 PA-11-7, Page 521: “The Work of God in Ireland in 1898,” Unpublished manuscript, May 1925.
COMMENT: This “unpublished manuscript” is the same document as #220, but uses a different title and omits the author’s name, which is Goodhand Pattison.
Footnote #220 PA-11-7, Page 523: “Copy of letter from John Pattison, Cloughjordan, Ireland, to his son, John Pattison Jr., in South America, May .”
COMMENT: This letter is not written by JOHN Pattison but rather by John’s father, Goodhand Pattison to his son John Pattison (the Jr. suffix is incorrect).
Footnote #226 PA-2-26, Page 530: “Copy of Statement to Director of American Selective Service Board from George Walker (1877-1981), 24 March 1942.”
COMMENT: This statement has been destroyed by the U.S. Government; however copies of it may be viewed on the internet.
“Select Bibliography” from pages 543 thru 556 lists particular Primary and Secondary sources which support statements and Footnotes made in Jaenen’s book. It is noteworthy that no books are listed by Patricia Roberts’ or Doug and Helen Parker, who are considered specialist in 2x2 church history.
In fact, there is not a single book listed in Select Bibliography that refers to the Two by Twos.
CONCLUSION: In a scholarly book such as this one, it is remarkable that Jaenen quotes unknown, unpublished documentary sources, for which he cannot or will not provide evidence.
Nor is this material available through the book publisher, who wrote: “With regard to your question whether Legas has an Archive Depository for materials cited in footnotes (or for that matter in any other part of the text) the answer is no. In fact the only archive it has is a copy of all books that it has published. You see, once a book has been evaluated and accepted for publication, any publisher is interested only in making sure that copyrighted materials have proper permission to be reproduced. Sorry we cannot be of any further assistance in this matter.” ( Sept. 14, 2010 Letter by Leonard G. Brocchi of Legas Publishing to Cherie Kropp)
A. For those who believe in the Remnant Church (Not of apostolic succession)
B. For those who believe in Apostolic Succession Thesis; Apostolic Doctrine
C. For those who believe in a Restoration Movement
D. For those who believe it was started by a group of men
E. For those who claim it was started by a single man
To his credit, Jaenen openly stated he was unable in his research to trace any Christian group, itinerant preachers or meetings in an unbroken line from the first century to now:
“In our efforts to trace the continuity of primitive Christian ideals over the centuries, no unbroken successions or continuous activities of a particular identifiable group have been documented.” (p. 535)
“The thesis of a ‘remnant church’ ALSO remains problematical... we have been unable to establish from the documentary sources accessible to us a continuous, unbroken chain of either conventicles [meetings or gatherings] or poor itinerant preachers from the early centuries to the present.” (p. 538)
To his discredit, Jaenen did not address the mass of readily available newspapers, documents and books that confirm Wm Irvine started the 2x2 “Irish movement.” He has dismissed and ignored numerous important primary and secondary sources of documentation.
As a long time member of the 2x2 church, he was aware that his failure to find support for 2x2 Apostolic Succession would stun, shock, dismay, distress, disturb, disappoint, dishearten, confuse and confound many 2x2 followers, and possibly lead to a significant exodus. To counter these reactions, Jaenen presented a smorgasbord of alternatives to pacify, appease, placate, mollify his readers; to shore up their confidence in the 2x2 church; and to provide a tiny sliver of hope for some to cling to.
A. For those who believe the 2x2 church is the only true church and is of Apostolic Succession (the Remnant Theory) which began on the Shores of Galilee, Jaenen reminds them of the Remnant Theory. However, Jaenen wrote: The thesis of a “remnant church” also remains problematical (p. 538). For those of this persuasion, Jaenen’s failure to trace an unbroken lineage does not trouble them nor does it prove the 2x2 church did not start on the Shores of Galilee. They cling to a sliver of hope that it did prevail--and turn a blind eye to the substantial collection of documents that prove Wm Irvine was the Founder. Some view this as “having faith.”
B. For those who still want to believe in a line of succession, Jaenen attempts to redirect their focus to what he terms “the Apostolic Succession Theory;” that “....there has been a chain of witnesses of the Apostolic Doctrine and fellowship over the centuries.” (p. 538). He diminishes the importance of a direct physical, tangible line of succession from the first century and substitutes a different viewpoint; that of a spiritual succession. In other words, he attempts to persuade the reader that it doesn’t matter that the physical lineage cannot be traced because the spiritual beliefs still go back to Jesus/apostles.
“It mattered little whether they were part of a righteous remnant or could trace their spiritual genealogy back to the first century. What mattered was that they considered themselves to be a continuation in their day of the apostolic faith and tradition . (p 536) This is certainly nothing new—most if not all Christian churches claim to base their beliefs in the spiritual teachings (doctrine) of Jesus and the apostles.
Jaenen endeavors to persuade the 2x2 reader to accept his concept of “Apostolic Doctrine,” and forget about “Apostolic Succession.” Hoping 2x2s will take stock, forget about the deceptive information they were taught and believed without question for years, forget they were victims of spiritual fraud, adopt another viewpoint (Jaenen’s “Apostolic Doctrine” concept) and be satisfied with their exchange. In other words, it doesn’t matter that the physical lineage cannot be traced because the spiritual beliefs still go back to Jesus/apostles.
C. For those who believe in a Restoration Movement. Jaenen views the 2x2 church as a Restoration Movement. The cover states the book portrays the Two by Two church as a Restoration Movement which started during 1897-1904 in an attempt to recreate the primitive New Testament church. This is true.
All Restoration Movements have a start and someone who started them. Wm. Irvine’s experiment to “restore” God’s true way to earth wasn’t a novel or unique approach. This very same ideal was embraced by many of the leaders of The Restoration Movement in the early 19th century; the ideal of restoring the primitive New Testament church and returning to the faith and practice of the Apostolic Age.
However, no matter how close, the 2x2 church still wasn’t presented to most of the laity as a Restoration Movement, nor as a recreated primitive New Testament church. Instead, they were told their church started when Jesus sent out His disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee which had continued until the present day in an unbroken line. This is spiritual fraud. And Jaenen has been unable to trace an unbroken continuation of the NT church.
The back cover claims to be examining movements “from at least the fourth century to the present,” but actually, Jaenen stops with a group started a little over 110 years ago, and he does not bring his research up to “the present.” Jaenen wrote: “ The last episodes in our historical itinerary are centered on Ireland and Scotland in particular” (p. 539).
Jaenen appears to be a “detractor” in the final pages of his book where he attempts to detract from the historical record and lure the reader into accepting that the “Contemporary [Irish] Restorationist Movement,” (Jaenen’s name for the Two by Two church) is an exceptional current restoration of the original primitive New Testament church. He leaves this thought with readers in the last paragraph in his book: The contemporary [Irish] movement would appear to be exceptional inasmuch as it has during a century of expansion into new lands and cultures evolved in its understanding of the apostolic faith while adhering to its first principles. (p. 542) Which it does not.
Placing discussion of the Two by Two church at the end of his book could lead a reader to think that the 2x2s are the last Restorationist Movement in the world; or that no other Restoration Movements have been started in the last century. However, there were Restorationist Movements occurring in the 19th century long before the 2x2 church appeared on the scene and others are still being formed. Some of the 19th century restoration churches Jaenen mentions are still quite active; e.g. Plymouth Brethren, Campbell-Stone churches, Mennonites and others. Would a non-2x2 historian have stopped their book with the “Contemporary [Irish] Restorationist Movement,” which started a little over 110 years ago?
D. For those who believe it was started by a group of men, Jaenen offers a very weakly documented view of the 2x2 church commencing as a result of some vague process by a group of dissatisfied individuals, in which William Irvine “ assume[d] a leading role in the movement.”
Out of seven groups Jaenen discusses, he presents only two that more or less fit the criteria of a startup group. One group is the Faith Mission (2 individuals of whom were early participants in the new Two-by-Two movement). The other group is Todd’s Mission (only 3 or possibly 4 who would join Irvine’s new sect). George Walker’s “number of people” does not address the founding of the Two by Two church with any specificity, other than to note the general time period when it started. Rather he mentions these groups and individuals in very vague and general terms without referencing any role or action taken by them. The Derrygonnelly group should be disregarded as it was not associated with the Two-by-Twos. The Bicycle group disintegrated. Jaenen arbitrarily lumps some other individuals into “a group,” who had very little in common, other than they all would eventually become workers at some point in time. Jaenen also throws in John Long as the motivating force behind the movement. John Long’s Journal proves this was not the case.
E. For those who claim it was started by a single man…William Irvine. “Detractors” is the term Jaenen uses to refer to those who claim Wm Irvine started the 2x2 movement. Jaenen attacks the messengers he refers to as “detractors,” instead of addressing the facts.
He doesn’t debate about Wm Irvine, nor does he address the vast amount of documentation showing Irvine as the 2x2 movement’s Founder, early leader and motivating force. He skirts around it by saying that “ Irvine asserted…that he had personally founded…that he had personally founded the movement” (p. 530). This is as close as Jaenen gets to referring to Irvine as the Founder. He rarely uses Irvine’s name, and when he does, it is usually to contemptuously marginalize Irvine. It is not to comment on the vast amount of primary documentation available about Irvine, of which Jaenen has confirmed he is aware. Jaenen qualifies for the title of “detractor” with his various attempts in his book to “detract” readers from documentation about Wm Irvine by using derision, errors and omission.
The Fallacy of Invincible Ignorance occurs when someone believes that new evidence need not be considered because s/he knows in advance that it is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of a belief. The person is convinced PRIOR to investigation that the truth of a certain belief is established, and any counter-evidence is explained in a way that preserves the belief. Does this describe Jaenen’s treatment of the facts about Wm Irvine?
Those seeking documentation of the early years of the 2x2 church at the turn of the century will not find much to enlighten them in Jaenen’s book. William Irvine’s role as Founder of the Two by Two church is well documented, yet Jaenen does nothing to address or counter the research of others showing Irvine founded the group, and ignores the sworn testimony during the first decades of the church which attest to Irvine’s founding role. Omission of documented information about Wm Irvine does nothing to disprove he was the Founder.
WHO WAS WILLIAM IRVINE?
Opinions usually fall into the following categories. William Irvine was:
1. The Founder, creator, originator, designer, author, father, genesis of the 2x2 church.
2. A worker in the 2x2 sect for a time.
3. One of several workers who started the 2x2 sect.
4. The selected leader for the 2x2 church at its genesis (leader--not Founder)
5. A man used by God to restore the 2x2 ministry and fellowship (restoration movement leader).
6. The finder of the underground remnant church.
7. A prophet of God, similar to the Old Testament prophets.
We may never know something with perfect, absolute, and infallible certainty. However, the probability and documentation is sufficient to warrant the belief that Wm Irvine is the Founder of the 2x2 church which evolved as a Restorationist Movement; and sufficient to reject the unproven, undocumented alternatives presented by Jaenen in his book.
Unfortunately, Jaenen paints an incomplete picture of Restorationist Movements with a bias toward a particular movement in which he is heavily invested. As a believer I am not against Restorationism, so long as the total focus is on the Saviour, Jesus Christ.