Brad Lewis - About
I, Brad Lewis, was born and raised (B&R) a 2x2. I professed in meetings held by workers at about age 10, baptized by workers shortly after and became a worker at the age of 18 under the direction of Howard Mooney, the Oregon overseer. At age 33, I began believing the Bible, left the cult and soon afterwards came to know God.
I don't think that many people understand the affects of a cult on a person. So I will be clear and precise to help drive the point home. Perhaps after you see how I was lied to and treated as a child and all my years growing up that you will understand the importance of getting to know God so that you don't go into the bondage of a cult and live in despair of life.
My Grandparents on my father's side were Marion and Lois Lewis. Lois married Marion Lewis against her parent's counsel and didn't receive her parent's blessing. Marion didn't profess, but his mother was a 2x2. That's how my grandmother go involved with the 2x2 religion and forsook Jesus Christ. My grandpa "professed", I think, maybe once or twice, but never bought into the workers' religion too much. Both Marion and Lois have died.
My grandparents on my mother's side were Jim and Mable Beck. They both professed and raised several kids: Russ, Don and Lynda. Russ, the eldest, never professed that I know of. Don did until he quit at the last. And my mother Lynda is still in the cult.
I was born to Joel and Lynda Lewis.
My dad's mom Lois professed. Dad went to meetings for years. Dad professed in a meeting held by workers. Dad went to sings for professing people. A "sing" is a gather of professing people to get together in search of a spouse.
My mother had a professing father and mother. She went to meetings for years. Mom professed in a meeting held by workers. Mom went to "sings" for professing people. This is how she and dad met.
Both parents were professing. We had a "professing" household or home.
My Culture, My Heritage, My Life
So, since both parents were "professing" and most of my nearest relatives were "professing", I was really steeped in the workers' religion. This was the culture that I was raised in. This was my way of relating to people. People were either professing or not professing. This culture and mentality seemed normal to me because I never knew any different. What even pagans would call "prejudice, hatred, ignorance" of myself, family and relatives and the friends of the workers was considered "love" to me. This is what I perceived god to be: a riddle, full of confusion and contradiction. What God-fearing men of faith would call "darkness" and "sin", this was what I called my "light" and "truth" that I walked by.
Brought to Meetings
I was brought to the workers' gospel meetings as a baby and my parents always took me to meetings. That is the way it was. I had nothing else. I didn't know God. I took what my parents told me as "the truth", literally. I believed my parents. I didn't believe they would like to me about these things. After all, weren't they my guardians and didn't parents love their children? Children in general perceive what their parents to be the truth. I was deceived by my parents, who were deceived by their parents, who were deceived by the workers and we were all deceived by Satan who lies about who God is.
Please consider this important point. For years on end, I was taught lies by grandparents, parents and the workers. I sat in meetings for years on end, listening to the workers lie and deceive me about who God is. I cannot tell you how devastating that is to a child. I cannot tell you how that undermines and sabotages the growth of a child. Since my idea of love was the lies, deceit and hypocrisy of the cult, what do you think that turned me into as a child? Quite simple, a child of Satan.
Will It Ever Stop?
Once when driving to a gospel meeting, I leaned forward between the front seats and asked mom and dad, "When are we going to quit going to meetings?". My parents told me that we were always going to meetings. I sat back in my seat and tried to take that in.
Workers' Pressure to Profess
People don't understand the pressure put on kids to profess or join their parents' religion. Let's start with where the pressure begins.
Overseers run the 2x2 organization at the state level. Their motivations and perspective are much different than the common worker. They have a guaranteed income. They get their money through trust funds handled by elders, inheritances, large donations and taking collections from the workers at their home conventions. Since the overseers make more money and want to increase in popularity, then they put pressure on the workers to get people to profess. The workers know that the overseers are keeping track of their performance and so they feel the pressure and put this pressure on parents of professing kids.
Parents of professing kids are taught by the workers that their kids need to profess. And if the parents kids don't profess, then the workers need to impress an urgency somehow on parents to get them to pressure the kids to profess. This pressure often comes in the form of "judgments" by the workers.
The judgments of the workers come in the form of "If your kids aren't professing by such and such age, then the parents must not be really believing." And so you have workers pressuring parents in their preaching about people who are "professing and not possessing" and ....And frankly right now, it's hard enough for me to write about this, so that's all the examples I will give. It took me years to write this page, and even editing and updating it with more detail, this is all that I can emotionally manage.
I was a bright kid with lots of potential. I was a child, made in God's image like any other child, and this is how I was treated. And many other kids were treated the same, and many worse than me. I know one man younger than I who had a nervous breakdown at the age of 13 due to the pressure of workers and relatives even after he had professed. These people cannot be pleased and take pleasure (or appear to enjoy) making people miserable with performance standards that cannot be accomplished through their will or a persons' self-will.
When to Profess
To make matters worse, there are times when a child is expected to profess. Frankly many of these memories have been blocked out. And as I write this again, my heart is saddened and heavy, remembering the dread I had as a kid going to gospel meetings towards the end of the mission (series of meetings) when we knew the meetings would be tested.
So to recap, I had professing grandparents, professing parents, was brought to meetings by workers, knew no different, thought what was taught was light and was under the influence of the pressure of the overseers, the workers and my parents. As far as I knew, this dread was the will of God and pressure from God. As I child I thought this bondage and great stress was "love".
Workers test the meetings at the end of their "mission". A mission is a series of meetings held with the sole purpose of getting one or more people to "profess". Please don't even begin to make the mistake of thinking that missions are about telling people about God!
Getting people to profess: this gives the workers more income, more homes to stay in and more perceived credibility as these people continue to attend their meetings. Not only that, but overseers keep track of how many people the workers get to profess. So getting people to profess is important for workers. Missions normally "close" right before conventions.
Parents Pressure to Get Kids to Profess
For parents who want to please the workers and avoid being the subject of gossip, these parents encourage their kids. Parents tell their kids about who else professed. Parents tell their kids about when the meetings will be tested. Parents speak with reverence and admiration of other kids who profess. Kids who profess are treated better. And if you aren't professing, then well...you aren't professing. Who are you then? If you don't profess, then you are the black sheep of a professing family.
Of course you have the stories workers tell of how people didn't go to meeting and went somewhere else and died in a car crash. The lesson forcefully insinuated that if you don't go to meetings then something bad will happen, you will die and go to hell. Yet somehow this has to be reconciled that the professing people cannot know if they are going to heaven anyway!
But that's not it. What does a child know of the going-ons of the overseers, workers, elders and professing parents of kids? What do kids know of life and these relationships. Here is what I knew: If I didn't profess, when expected, I would be a disappointment to my parents, to our meeting elder and to the workers. And if I did profess, they would smile at me, and most importantly, the pressure would stop. Little did I know that the curse of professing was worse than the pressure to profess.
Children's Questions in Meetings
Children were asked questions in meetings. The workers call them "children questions." This is used to draw kids in. I remember one time when the workers asked "Who created heaven and earth?" I answered "Jesus". I was told "Close, it was the Father." Early on I was lied to about who Jesus Christ is. see John 1:1-3.
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Being expected to profess, I asked my mother about it. Since parents don't understand the 2x2 ways like the workers do, my parents talked to the workers, who in this case was Grace Ploegsma and Willa Dahlin. Then the workers had a talk with me. It was made clear that they would test the meetings. My mother told me they were going to test the meetings. The dreaded day of the meeting came. The older worker leading the meeting, Grace Ploegsma, announced they were going to test the meeting. ~If I wanted to show my choice for God (not join the religion as the case actually was implied) then I could stand to my feet while we sang the last 2 verses of the hymn. I was paralyzed with fear in my chair. I did not stand. I believed that I had failed. My poor heart was wrenched with emotion. I was led to believe that I had let God down. I had failed.
The next meeting came, it was tested again, the dreaded hymn was sung. Right at the last, the last couple words I stood up. I had professed at about age 10. After the meeting, I cried on the way home. My mom said I was "just confused". Really? Confused. Can you see why children just cry?
I will add more details later as I have energy.
Add details about going to meetings, taking part, emblems not allowed etc.
I got baptized by the workers at about age 12.
I became a worker at age 18 a few months after graduating.
I have learned many things from when I was a devoted worker. You may want to read this list of things I believed as a 2x2.
After 1.5 years in "the work", my mind could not resolve the contradiction of what I was supposed to believe and teach compared to what we did as workers. I could not handle the hypocrisy of the things I saw and heard. My companions Randy Russell and Craig Jacobsen taught one thing in meetings and did something completely opposite after the meetings.
After my health broke from the stress of all the contradictions and confusion, Craig Jacobsen dropped me off at my folks house to "rest".
I continued going meetings. I offered for the work at least two times again but backed out both times. Thank the LORD that I never became a worker again.
While in the 2x2 religion, and professing, I got a job driving a semi-truck, long haul (gone from home 2-4 weeks at a time). First I drove the 11 western states along the I-5 corridor, and then I drove the 48 contiguous (connected ie: not Alaska or Hawiia) states of the US. I attended meetings in almost every state. I had a book of all the workers lists from every state and got new copies each year.
When Sunday or Wed came along, I would check the state workers list and call the field in the area I was passing through to find out where and when meetings were. Then I would park at a truck stop and attend meetings there. I met a LOT of people doing this. It is amazing what people will tell you. From the affairs of overseers, to adultery to fornications, which workers they like and which they don't, who said what at special meeting or convention that was outrageous and what they believe and what they don't from the platform. They told me the lessons that they've learned about their marriages. I guess they figured I was just passing through, would listen and none would be the wiser.
So what I write on this website is from my experience. And that says a lot.
Years later, I had a friend in need. After reading the Bible for help and praying to God for help, I discovered the workers became my enemies. They told me I shouldn't read and pray with him. Where's that in the Bible? They started demanding that I obey them above God because they claimed to be the servants of God. I started asking questions to see what they really believe and compared it to scripture. I got serious. I found out according to the Bible they were not servants of God because of the doctrines they taught that were polar-opposite against God.
I quit going to gospel meetings because of the lies of the workers and the heresies they taught both in public and private. I couldn't stand to be around them. I thought I would still go to Sunday morning meetings. Why? I don't know.
After many of the friends of the workers began turning against me for believing in the Bible. I quit attending the Sunday morning meetings. This was about August of 2004, and I was about 33 years old. There are many reasons why I left the cult. I didn't leave the 2x2s and have a "church" to go to, that I knew of. I was just abhorred the workers' religion, their meetings, their elders and the way I was treated. It was not of God and I wanted no more part of it. What a change after being born and raised and a worker and giving so much time, creedance and money to the workers and idolizing the workers who I had thought were of God for so long!
A few years after getting out, I saw my sin and ignorance of God. I was very afraid when I realized that I didn't even know God after all these years. I acknowledged my sins and repented of them. I came to worship the God who created heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as told by the Bible. I came to understand that Jesus Christ is God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Ten years later, I still wrestle with their evil teachings; now rooting them out through faith in God's word. You can read my research work on the 2x2 beliefs and the scripture which shows their error. I thank the LORD for repentance from dead works in sin and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And I can praise the LORD from my heart. God is soooo good!
You can read a longer version about my life through my Memoirs
Short List - My Beliefs
Frequently Asked Questions
Why aren't you Mainstream Christian?
I am not mainstream Christian because I have faith in God's word. There are so many contradictions and divisions among mainstream Christianity. And I have sat in several churches and seen the conflicting teaching even among pastors of the same denomination. I have concluded if people don't fellowship with each other for issues that they deem so important but aren't even clear in the Bible, then their beliefs are not mine.
Also, so many mainstream "Christians" don't even believe in the Bible. Meaning, that when you sit down to talk with them, and show them what God believes, did and said, that they refuse to believe it in place of what they're taught by men who preached in their churches. I don't want to be part of this, having had my fill in the 2x2 religion.
Further more, I see people exiting the cult, and joining a "church" or religious organization and then comparing the 2x2 cult to their beliefs instead of what God said. I don't go for this. It appears that they have left one group and joined another and still haven't placed their faith in God. Why compare ourselves with other men?
I have chosen instead to put my faith in God and what I can understand in scripture. Many people ask me questions and I answer them to the best of my ability. If they cannot explain their position using scripture, I won't agree with them. If they try to give reasons why I don't understand something, I'm willing to listen. But I'm not going to listen to a "Christian" bad mouth the scripture or God.
What Church Do you Go To?
I don't "go to a church". The scriptural definition of the word "church" means a body of believers. I have faith in God, and am a child of God, so by definition I am part of God's church. And by this, I am not referring to the denomination "Church of God". I believe fellowship is a result of faith in God (I fellowship with people who have faith in God).
1Jn_1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Are you 7th Day Adventist?
No, I am not. I do believe the sabbath (7th day) is holy because God made it holy Gen 2:3. God has never made the sabbath unholy. But I disagree with 7th Day Adventist on many issues.
Do you believe in Salvation By Works - Specifically 10 Commandments?
No, I do not in salvation through the works of the law or through self-will. The Bible teaches that works can never save us. And salvation is of God so that noone can boast.
I believe in salvation through faith by the grace of God. I believe in justification by the works of faith. The Bible and especially the account of Abraham in Genesis teaches us salvation by faith in God and by the grace of God. Only God can save us, and that is through grace when we have faith in Him. I do believe that it is God's will that we keep his commandments. This is the New Testament in Christ's blood as explained by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 9 and 10. I have faith in God. By God's grace, righteousness and salvation is accounted to me because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Because I have faith in God, I have faith in God's Word and obey God/ love God out of a repentant, and thankful heart.
Brad Lewis - Home|
Letter of Apology
When I Professed
I believed as 2x2
My 2x2 Baptism
Why I Left
Mistakes I Made
Girls and Dating
How I Got Out
Memoirs 1 B&R
Memoirs 2 Offering
Memoirs 3 - After Work
Cannot Go Back
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|