Milo Wicks, 2x2 Elder in Portland, OR USA
Milo Wicks, a 2x2 elder, lives in Portland, OR with his wife Lois. He has a son Jay Wicks who is a preacher in the 2x2 religion.
Milo and Lois Wicks
Milo Wicks, Portland 2x2 Elder
Most of the 2x2s in the Portland area know Milo Wicks. He's one of the 2x2 elders that has a Sunday Morning Meeting in his home. I grew up near Portland, OR and have seen Milo for years at gospel meetings, conventions and at special meeting times. He's well known and is very friendly with most of the workers. Some don't like him because they believ he is racial prejudiced, but most people don't mind. He did host some people from a foreign country once.
My Witness and Opinion of Milo Wicks
Years ago, when I was living south of Portland, I got a call from Phu Nguyen, asking for help. He was going through a separation with his wife and needed someone to be his friend. Phu invited me several times to stay at his house. I prayed about it and decided to move up there. While staying at Phu's house, Phu complained to me about what Milo was doing. Milo was going out at night with Phu's wife. And Hoa, Phu's wife, was saying things about Milo to make Phu jealous. I was very concerned, but what could I do? Even a person off the street would be concerned about what Milo was doing I told Phu, "You need to talk to Milo about this. I cannot do anything to fix it." I read with Phu and prayed with him. Phu was still upset about things Milo was doing. Phu and I prayed earnestly. We came across these verses in the Bible:
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Phu listened to what the Bible said. He knew this was the Word of God. Phu considered Milo Wicks his brother in Christ, and it was clear that Milo was trespassing against Phu by what he was doing. We knew how upset Milo would be if he was going through a separation and someone was going out at night with his wife! So, Phu called Milo and made an appointment with him. I encouraged Phu to keep things simple and narrow his complaints to three things that Milo was currently doing that Milo could correct. I don't know the three things Phu talked with Milo about. All I did was read and pray with Phu and encouraged him to follow the Bible. Phu did what Jesus Christ said to do and met with Milo.
Phu Meets with Milo about Milo's Offenses
Phu met with Milo at Milo's house. Phu talked with Milo and told him the offenses. That's what Phu told me. Later, Phu came back and was astonished. You see, Phu had been an elder in Vietnam. This is where he first heard the 2x2 preachers. He had been taught that the 2x2 way was the only way that led to heaven and that this 2x2 way was the church that Jesus Christ had founded. So he put faith in the workers and elders that they were men of God. So, now that you know that, remember that when Phu came back, he was astonished. And what Phu told me about the conversation, astonished me and caused me to doubt Phu. Why did I at first doubt Phu to some degree? Because I was raised believe in the 2x2 way and believed the same things Phu had been led to believe. Here's what Phu told me. Phu told me that Milo said, "This is America, I can do what I want. If you don't like it, you can move back to Vietnam."
Phu and I talked about the conversation. I could hardly believe it. I was bewildered. I had never heard of such a thing. Phu and I read further in Matthew 18, the chapter where Jesus Christ tells how important relationships are, how God feels about people who offend, and how to deal with offenses. Here's what we read further:
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
After reading the scripture and believing it, the next step was clear. Milo had clearly been approached alone with Phu. Milo had a chance to make things right, but instead had basicly told Phu that he would do whatever he wanted to. The Bible was clear. Things were not resolved, so Phu needed to take a witness with him and talk with Milo again. I suggested to Phu that he take a well-reported witness with him. Phu needed someone that the 2x2s in Portland would believe. Phu agreed and started to ask around.
Dinner with Milo and Lois
I was going to college at the time, but I talked with Phu and suggested that we invite Milo and Lois over for dinner. I thought that perhaps Milo didn't know Phu well enough, and so he didn't care for Phu's feelings and the situation. I thought that some good dinner and conversation could help Milo realize that people from Vietnam are human beings just like Milo, and that Milo should have some respect for Phu and treat him as Milo would want to be treated.
I bought some nice steaks, some beans, potatoes and things that I knew Milo liked. I cooked the steaks on low heat, cooked throughly with some roast potatoes and beans. We sat down and gave thanks for the meal. We ate the food and both Milo and Lois commented on how good the food was. I was pleased. Things were going well. We had a decent dinner conversation. Afterwards, Milo was sitting on the couch and talked with me. He talked about these verses in the Bible:
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Milo explained to me very clearly that he believed that if we (I took it that he was preaching to me) obeyed the workers, then we would bear "fruit", but that without the "workers" we could do nothing. I saw very clearly that Milo was telling me to obey Dave Nealon, the Portland area 2x2 worker at that time.
I didn't realize it fully at the time, but evidently Milo had talked with Dave Nealon (the 2x2 Worker assigned to Portland that year) and Dave Nealon was upset with me reading and praying with Phu. So Milo was trying to use these verses to enforce Dave Nealon's dislike for Phu and I reading and praying together.
I don't remember much after that conversation, but they soon said their goodbyes after eating the meal and headed home on a decently cheerful note. I told Phu that I thought it went well and Phu half-heartedly agreed. Phu had reason to have his doubts.
Milo had some time to think about Phu's complaint to Milo. I encouraged Phu to give Milo some time to think about it. Phu had done good to Milo in voicing his complaint alone and the meal was a very good gesture of good will. But despite this friendly gesture, Milo kept going out at night with Phu's wife.
Milo started teaching Phu's wife how to drive a car. Milo and her got in a wreck and flipped the car. Phu went over, frantic for concern for how his wife was doing. Nobody would answer the door. Hoa was renting a house from Milo Wicks, and so Milo Wicks lived across the street. There was a worker out there watching things. His name was Max Bowman. I talked with the worker who had been preaching in Ecuador and explained the situation (back when I felt obligated to explain things to workers who didn't have a care for people's souls). I saw how things looked from his perspective (not that I agreed with him), and encouraged Phu to leave. I could see that nobody cared that Hoa's husband was concerned about her well being. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was a sign from God when people don't even have natural love for others.
Romans 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Things were obviously not getting better, but rather worse. And I could see that Max Bowman was in a situation where he wanted to please Milo. Why? Because Max Bowman was a preacher who wanted money, room and board from Milo and evidently did not care for the welfare of the souls of Milo, Phu or Hoa.
Second Visit of Phu and Milo
Some time later, Phu told me that he had tried to find a witness, but no one would go. Nobody wanted to witness Phu telling Milo his offenses. Nobody wanted to displease Milo. Nobody wanted to be a true witness to the church of Milo's trespasses. Phu asked me if I would go. Given that Phu had asked around and tried to find someone else, I agreed to go. How could I not?
Phu called Milo, and Milo agreed to meet again. Phu and I drove over to Milo's house and we all sat down. Phu was very pleasant in his small chat in opening the conversation. Milo and him were talking nicely. Phu patiently (and ever so calmly and patiently) explained to Milo that Hoa was his (Phu's wife) and that he didn't want Milo going out with Hoa at night, taking Hoa to dinner at night without Milo's wife being there etc. Now please contemplate for a second the guts it takes to confront an elder doing such a thing with such calmness. I was amazed and downright pleased with Phu's pleasant approach given the gravity of the situation!!! And if I remember right, Milo insinuated that Phu didn't have the right spirit. Which was probably a provocation given that Phu was so well restrained.
Pro_16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
The trespasses of Milo were laid out clearly, calmly and understandably. Phu told Milo that he didn't want him going out at night with his wife. Phu told Milo that he could take Hoa to MEETINGS (Phu was still going to MEETINGS at this time) with Milo's wife present, but not to take her out at night for dinner etc without Milo's wife present. I could tell Milo clearly understood them all. Milo never denied anything that he was doing. I repeat, Milo never contested the offenses. Milo at some point towards the end told Phu that same thing he had told him before, "This is America, I can do what I want. If you don't like it, you can move back to Vietnam." I now believe that this was of God, that God made Milo repeat the exact same outrageous phrase to Phu so that I could witness it. God was showing me that Milo Wicks and these workers were not of God and did not have the fruit of the spirit. I could see the value of being a witness. I knew first hand now that Phu Nguyen had told me the truth about Milo Wicks.
Yes, to all of the 2x2s in Portland reading this, I personally witnessed Milo saying this to Phu. I was appalled. Milo Wicks never contested the offenses of which Phu accused him. Other 2x2s and people have been told about this, but cannot believe Milo would say this. I witnessed this first hand. I was present with Phu Nguyen and with Milo Wicks in Milo Wicks house. Phu asked Milo to stay away from his wife at night and Milo refused.
Later in the conversation Milo told Phu to the effect of "You're accusing me of having sex with your wife." I slowly looked over at Phu and then back to Milo. I cut in to the conversation and told Milo that I had never heard Phu ever accuse Milo of having sex with Phu's wife. And I obviously had not. It as Phu that was offended, not me. It was then that I noticed Milo's white shirt was soaked with sweat about 5 inches down from his armpits. Now I really began to wonder what was going on between Milo Wicks and Phu's wife while Milo's wife Lois was away at her parents. I was stunned. This was a whole new aspect and explanation.
The conversation was clearly over. Milo had graciously been given a second opportunity in the presence of a witness (me), and Milo Wicks had refused to hear Phu in the matter of the offenses.
When people ask me even today about how I got out of the 2x2 cult and became a Christian, and I tell them this story about Phu, Milo and following God's Word, specifically Mat 18:16. Even the most unGodly people are outraged at what Milo did. Even they know it's wrong and not of God.
Phu and I (now that I was a witness who needed to tell the church) went about to follow the rest of the commandments given by God on dealing with offenses:
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
We called around and found the meeting hall that was used for GOSPEL MEETINGS. We prepared to rent the room. However, long story short, the workers told the 2x2 friends in Portland not to come to hear the matter.
Because of these events and others, I quit going to the 2x2 gospel meetings and so did Phu. Both Phu and I are very happy that we did so. Phu and I began having Real Bible studies.
I became a Christian and Phu now fellowships with a local church in Portland. Hoa and Phu are divorced now. As far as I know Milo is still an elder in the 2x2 cult.
Years later, Phu has read about the "friends" in Vietnam who also left the meetings and are happy also.
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Claude & Martha Axtel
|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.|