The late Victor Paul Wierwille founded The Way International organization in 1967 on a farm owned by his family in New Knoxville, Ohio. V.P. Wierwille, who died in 1985, purchased a phony doctoral degree from Pike’s Peak Bible Seminary, which is known as a diploma mill, although he did earn a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. This may shed some light on his later teachings as it is doubtful that Wierwille’s theological training was rooted in historic, orthodox Christianity as this seminary is among the more liberal in the country. Afterward he went on to pastor a United Methodist Church of Christ in Van Wert, Ohio called Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In 1942, according to page 178 of the publication The Way: Living In Love, Wierwille claims “God spoke to me audibly, just like I am talking to you now. He said he would teach me the Word as it had not been known since the first century, if I would teach it to others.” After this “revelation” Wierwille’s doctrines began to move further away from orthodox Christianity, which would eventually lead him to have to resign his pastorate in 1957 before he was going to be dismissed. Over the next ten years he would gain a following through a radio program he had developed, where he would teach his doctrine over the airwaves.

It should be noted that Wierwille was a charismatic leader, and in the sixteen years or so after The Way officially began in 1967, the organization experienced great growth. In 1988 Christian writer Keith Tolbert wrote in Christianity Today magazine that “Wierwille founded and parlayed his new church into a multimillion-dollar empire, operating two colleges, two ranches, and a publishing concern. In recent years the group has shown a net profit of at least 26 million dollars.” There is little doubt that teaching over 100,000 people The Way’s law of tithing and abundant sharing, which Christian writer, Dr. John Juedes, of Personal Freedom Outreach, tells us “requires followers to give more than 10% even if personal needs go unmet”, would have much to do with that net “profit.”


Almost immediately upon Wierwille’s death The Way began to experience a series of controversies-which led to “over a decade of decline and splintering amid [serious] charges of mismanagement, authoritarianism, intolerance, plagiarism, and adultery”, as James Walker, Director of the highly respected Christian apologetics ministry Watchman Fellowship, points out. Walker also notes that Wierwille himself has come under attack as “criticism has [also] focused on the founder.”

In his article for the Christian Research Institute, “The Way Tree Is Splintering?” Dr. Juedes, a Lutheran pastor who has written extensively on The Way International, tells us that there was quite a bit of unrest as “ex-followers…held meetings of Wayers in many cities to expose the corruption and false doctrine in The Way, resulting in several alternative groups being formed.” The groups that have “branched off” The Way over these allegations-including rampant sexual sin by key leaders, and even V.P. Wierwille himself-are all following essentially the same doctrines as the parent “Tree“, where they were originally taught by Wierwille. At this point the wise person should consider what Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-23 regarding the fruit of, as well as the fate of, false prophets.

Christian Perspective

According to their official Website “The Way is a world-wide, non-denominational Biblical research, teaching, and fellowship ministry…designed to teach those who are hungering and thirsting for the truth how to understand the Bible (sic).” But then on pg. 2 of their Info Sheet we read: “The Word of God does not say of itself that translations of the Bible are without errors. Many errors have crept into the translations of God’s Word since its first writings.” This is the same false idea that Wierwille himself taught from the very beginning of The Way to open the door to his other aberrant doctrine.

Space does not allow a thorough discussion of well-documented charges that this so-called “Master Teacher” plagiarized large sections of other authors’ books and passed them off as his own doctrines-most notably E.W. Bullinger, E.W. Kenyon, and George Lamsa. Dr. Juedes tells us “anyone who is well-acquainted with Wierwille’s writings and reads Kenyon’s and Bullinger’s books is struck by the close parallels, even though one cannot always trace exact word-for-word plagiarism…Almost every one of Wierwille’s teachings can be traced to other sources…Wierwille’s stance that the whole Bible was authored in Aramiac, that parts of Scripture have been lost, that many Bible passages in popular translations were deviously inserted by pagans, and his Nestorian-like view of Christ (which drives a wedge between the ‘human Jesus’ and the ‘divine Christ’ all trace to mystic George Lamsa. Although Lamsa’s blemished ‘translation’ of the Bible appears in Christian bookstores, he held New Thought (Christian Science-like), not evangelical, beliefs.”

However, regardless of how Wierwille actually came up with these doctrines, the fact remains that they are still corrupt and heretical teachings that run counter to Church history and the Bible so they could not possibly have come from God. This should not come as a surprise from a man who authored a work entitled Jesus is Not God denying the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Bible clearly affirms as God manifest in human flesh-see Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 16:15-17; John 1:1,14; Colossians 1:15-16; 2:9).

Other important false teachings espoused by V.P. Wierwille include: The Father created all things, including Jesus, as well as the impersonal force called “holy spirit”, and God is one person, the Father. The person of the Holy Spirit is not a part of the Godhead, according to Wierwille, but simply a type of power that proceeds from the Father. He also taught that Jesus was never God, but simply a perfect sinless man. James Walker notes – “To support his position, Wierwille contends that the deity of Christ was a late invention of apostate Christianity and was never taught during the first three centuries of church history (Jesus is Not God, p.12).”

This is quite easily refuted by the fact that the Bible itself teaches the Deity of Messiah-Christ is Greek for Messiah-right in the Old Testament-see Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, not to mention that Jesus claimed Deity for Himself in the New Testament-see John 8:24; 58; 10:30-33. Also, there were a number of early Church Fathers who plainly taught the Deity of Christ in their own writings. Men like Polycarp and Ignatius-both disciples of the Apostle John, among others were Irenaeus (himself a disciple of Polycarp) and also Tertullian, who’s considered one of the best theologians of the early Church.


The truth is that 2 Corinthians 11:4 warns us that there will be those who preach a Jesus other than we [Apostles] preached, and clearly the Jesus that V.P. Wierwille preached is not the Jesus of biblical revelation. While there are many sincere people who have been deceived into following The Way, the light of the Bible clearly shows that this is not “the way” Christ Jesus of Nazareth spoke of in John 14:6 and must be rejected as a “different gospel” than that of historic orthodox Christianity.