I have been there...
Date: October 10, 2006 02:16AM
I found this site over the weekend as I mentioned my past endeavors with this church to a friend who then looked it up on the internet. He told me what he found and I was amazed at how much information is out there about the CLW. I grew up in this church starting in the early 70's and left when things were getting out of control shortly after JRS died. When the leadership started praying for John's return I felt it was time to bail and did. I haven't been back since. I still have a family member very involved in this church who has found a home there. It took me a very long time after I left to realize what was going on there. My father was a pastor at one of the churches and I saw his life get taken away from him because of it. When his money was gone he was abandoned. My father has seen the light as well. He still says to this day that there were good things about "the walk" and not so very good things about "the walk". I too have people involved there that I truly love to this day. I know a lot of people in this church as I too went to the Shiloh school when I was a senior. I actually graduated from Shiloh high school. Unfortunately, it wasn't accredited at the time so I feel that I really didn't graduate high school at all. I was living in the valley when John passed away. I worked just down the street from his house/Blix etc.
As a child growing up in a church in the southwest I found myself in church most of the time. So much so, that I have lived three liftimes full of church. I do not attend a church presently and have no desire too. I have found that my own thoughts of religion are not found in a building with four walls and someone telling me what to do and how to live as the way for me. Instead I choose to have a relationship with God at the beach, in the air that I breathe and each and every thing around me. I am a part of the whole. This has served me very well and I feel very adjusted and at peace. I have been gone now for more than 20 years and haven't missed it at all. I do miss some of the poeple however. I think they mean well, but I think most of the poeple who go there are people who need a leader as they are not leaders on their own. I found that when I was involved with the church I was in trouble most of the time as I questioned authority. I was therefore labled a trouble maker. Even then I saw two levels of seperation. The have's and the have not's. You really had to be someone to be in the inner circle. It was a status symbol if you were ever "lucky" enough to ride in "the van". I remember most of the direct family members of JRS. They were the ones who were in key positions in the church. If you weren't a family member then you really weren't anything at all. I remember so clearly the motor pool of vans and cars from the inner circle arriving as if JRS was the President. I was once told that I needed to start calling John my father. That didn't go over very well with me and I didn't. I already had a father. This upset quite a lot of people, even John himself I was told by several people was upset that I wouldn't. I could go on for quite a long time about my experience in this church. Some of you I'm sure will be able to guess who I am. I had a reputation there. All untrue. I had a very close friend in the church whom I considered a dear friend of mine. When I got married, I wanted him to be my "best man". He declined due to the fact that I was "blown out" and his elders told him not to. I'm still amazed by that. By the way, I did marry a girl from the church whom I am no longer married too. I spent quite a bit of time in a church in San Diego. The one in Spring Valley that eventually split from the walk. Great people there and I miss them dearly.