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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Chaos1952 ()
Date: July 13, 2013 01:35PM

Yea, "designated relationships" is simply "shepherding" which is standard in cults all over charismania. That would never fly in the South, we are too rebellious for that, the South all blew out as soon as JRS died and jezebel took over the Walk anyway. All the churches here left in about 1984, with the exception of one and that guy mainly stayed in because his papers was with the Walk and he though he had to have papers to minister, which is a bunch of garbage to begin with. He didn't stay long, I think what finally got him was when Gary and Marilyn started talking about JRS visiting them at night in their room. LOL.....

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Chaos1952 ()
Date: July 14, 2013 03:18AM

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larry bobo
In Matthew 23:8-11 Jesus says,"But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant."

Why does it take a lifetime of suffering before we will finally listen to His words? When we finally obey, His light begins to shine into our lives and make us whole. His directives were always there to protect us. We have to accept personal responsibility if we choose to follow another course. I know I have allowed others besides Jesus to be my Rabbi, father, and leader - every time there has been negative consequences. In hindsight I was being sold something they didn't even possess themselves to sell. Only God can give you a nature change - no human can. Does anyone question how you can give resurrection life to your obedient followers, when you do not possess it yourself?

Every "apostolic movement" I've seen has leaders that want to be king of the mountain, with everyone else in subjection. I don't see anyone fighting over who gets to be the servant of all. Humans build hierarchies - Jesus said he didn't come to be served, but to serve and lay down his life. The picture Paul paints of his apostolic ministry in 1 Cor. 4 is much different than today's "apostle" that appears more like a rock star - e.g. "For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor....." Obeying Jesus' words, the way he says to obey them, is the real door to the Kingdom - the others are thieves and robbers.

VERY good post.

chaos

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Chaos1952 ()
Date: July 14, 2013 04:15PM

I apologize for writing so many posts. I started posting here so that I could maybe draw out some of the people that have stopped posting, or have slowed down a lot. I would like you all to consider that God is doing a lot in the world today. I don't think that most of us will ever fall for things we have in the past, I believe it is time though to get involved again if any of us are harboring bitterness, bitterness is not hurting anybody but ourselves. You need to realize that if you were deceived, it was your own fault. That is a hard thing to say, but for whatever reason, you ignored the red flags, you knew that the Walk was strange while you were in it. I know I did. When I was young, I think with me, it was the fact that it was different, I felt special to be affiliated with something that seemed different than everybody else. That was part of it anyway. I have found that I have to sort things out, take what is good that I can use and leave what is just plain stupid out there. But God is still alive and well on planet Earth, and He is involved.

chaos

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 14, 2013 11:03PM

Chaos wrote:

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You need to realize that if you were deceived, it was your own fault. That is a hard thing to say, but for whatever reason, you ignored the red flags, you knew that the Walk was strange while you were in it.

(Am offering this as an outsider. I got burned in other things)

This is difficult to sift out.

Its not helpful to say people recognized thigns were strange while they were in the Walk.

Some of us will recognize a group or church is 'off-key' but continue with it.

But there are those among us who cannot easily identify that something is 'off key' or 'strange'.

Those of us who grew up in strange families.

We learn to ignore, rationlize even 'normalize' the strange behavior we witness at home.

For example, my mother drank all the time.

I learned to ignore the smell of alcohol on her breath.

To this day, it takes me many extra minutes to recognize alcohol on people's breath.

Yet I can pick up the aromas of other body odors, coffee, garlic, ocean breezes - to name but a few.

Thats where growing up in some strange environments can lead people to ignore signals of danger or boundary violation.

and may lead them to ignore red flags in a potentially bad relationship, job or church.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Chaos1952 ()
Date: July 15, 2013 04:28AM

My current wife tells me about a cult she was in. It was a non-denominational Pentecostal church. The pastor of that church didn't allow people to go to a doctor or take any medicine. That is until he started having chest pains himself. Then it was different. That is the way it always is, those that want to control you, whether they be a religious leader, or a politician, have one set of values for you and quite another set of values for themselves.

There were dozens of ideas this joker had that contradicts the bible, but nobody seemed to notice. Now, why is that? If it is a Christian group, why can't they see what their bible says? It's because they only read the misquotes whereby a scripture or part of a scripture is applied to a pre-conceived idea out of context with the rest of the chapter of the bible, and nobody notices because they don't read the bible for themselves. In that case, it is their own fault when they believe a concept that is unscriptural.

People can blame someone else for their own foolish mistakes for the rest of their lives, or they can take this opportunity to wake up and look right in the mirror and say to themselves "for now on, I am going to take responsibility for my own actions, I am not going to bow down to some "designated authority" instead I am going to educate myself and walk with God myself as I should have all along.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: July 15, 2013 06:45AM

As another person with no familiarity with "The Walk" but extensive background in a different cultish milieu (they're all as similar as they are different), I would like to add that those who are in have powerful internal motivators that keep them hooked. Many feel that this practice, whatever it might be, however abusive it is, is their only lifeline and without it, they will DIE. I'm not being overly dramatic - this is what's typically operating deep within the person's subconscious, where they cannot even sense its existence. An abusive childhood plants those seeds deep beneath a person's consciousness, and from there, they play as on a repeating recording, over and over and over, driving the person without his awareness that's what's happening. And you'll find that child abuse is only actively recommended and condoned within certain sects of Christianity - it is yet another of Christianity's litany of shame.
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I don't think that most of us will ever fall for things we have in the past, I believe it is time though to get involved again if any of us are harboring bitterness, bitterness is not hurting anybody but ourselves. You need to realize that if you were deceived, it was your own fault. That is a hard thing to say, but for whatever reason, you ignored the red flags, you knew that the Walk was strange while you were in it. I know I did.
I know your heart's in the right place, Chaos. But a question, if you would indulge me - WHY, if you "ignored the red flags," did you do so? What was motivating you to set aside your misgivings and suspicions for as long as you did?

Because just as you remained in despite those warning signs, others are likewise trapped. It's not their "fault" per se - they are helpless to act. Somehow, you managed to get out (and I would *love* to hear the story of that!!), but they simply aren't at that point yet.

It's kind of like in the recent mortgage crisis in the US. I live in So. CA, where housing prices rose insanely high. My neighbors, a couple both of whom are only marginally employed (he driving a delivery truck, she cleaning houses) nonetheless bought a $535,000 house. It's not much, believe me! It's just that they bought at the height of the housing bubble. And thus, they've been in trouble financially for years since - I'm amazed they're still in the house. But anyhow, there are those who say, "People who bought houses they OBVIOUSLY could not afford should be foreclosed on - The End!" I have a different perspective. Buying a house is an enormously complicated procedure with specialized expertise needed at every step along the way. It is rare to find a house buyer who is accomplished in all these disciplines. People like my neighbors trusted the professionals who were supposedly assisting them along the way. They believed the appraiser who appraised their home at $535,000. Why should they not? The appraisal was a legally acceptable document to the mortgage lenders - and aren't they supposed to be regulated, anyhow? The mortgage broker sold them a "junk ARM" - so they were probably paying just $1,000/month for the first year or perhaps 18 months, at which time the rate would gradually begin ratcheting up. What they probably didn't realize is that the difference between the market rate payment and the $1,000 they were paying was being added on to their mortgage balance every month, further inflating the already insane supposed "value" of their property. The mortgage broker no doubt told them that, if their incomes don't increase to match their new payment when the interest rate begins to rise, they can always sell their house for more than they paid for it - win win no matter how you look at it, right?

So can we blame the buyers 100% when they TRUSTED the professionals who were supposed to be looking out for the buyers' interest in this process and not basically trick them into a situation that would ruin them?

I see the people still enmeshed in cults the same way. They were typically hooked in during a time of emotional distress (I had just separated from my husband when I was suckered in) - these groups prey upon a person's vulnerability and they're GOOD at it! Being in a weirdo cult leads to even more shame and guilt, as the person realizes that the weirdness is further isolating him from others in society. This makes him even more dependent upon the cult - see how it works? There's a reason that cults demand weird humiliating actions from their members, and it's all to keep the cult's bank account fattened.

Congratulations on your emancipation. I of course join you in hoping for others' emergence from the chains of obsessive weirdness, though having been in thrall to something of that category, I can't judge anyone else. Been there, done that!
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I believe it is time though to get involved again if any of us are harboring bitterness, bitterness is not hurting anybody but ourselves.
I disagree. You've of course heard that old saw, "Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me." Bitterness is rooted in self-preservation. Psychologists have noticed that people remember bad experiences in a different way than they remember good experiences, and often remember more bad experiences than good ones. The reason they have suggested is that the bad experiences are rooted in surviving, while the good experiences are more about thriving. Thus, remembering the bad experiences is (or was at some point) a valuable survival skill. What, pray tell, are you advising people to "get involved again" in, precisely? Hopefully not that weird cult!!

For me, I have arrived at the conclusion that religions are nothing more than the spiritual equivalent of a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream shop. You go in, and you can choose whichever flavor you like. Someone might choose pistachio, while someone else will choose rum raisin or triple chocolate mousse bomb. How bizarre would it be if someone lurked in the shop attempting to convince everyone that his favorite flavor (say pecan praline) was, objectively, the most tasty and that anyone who disagreed with him deserved to be punished - for all eternity?? People should realize that they're free to choose any religion they like the same way they're free to choose whichever flavor of ice cream they want. And those who don't want ice cream don't have to order any! They are free to remain free of ice cream - and religion. There is no reason to believe something there is no compelling evidence for. So let us all acknowledge everyone else's freedom to choose what suits them the same way we insist upon the freedom to choose whatever suits us.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Invisible ()
Date: July 15, 2013 12:41PM

For those who are or may be experiencing these things.

Today in 2013 - if you have a family member - who is a member of this church, and if you are not a member of this church - your family member who is in the church, whether they are your father, mother, or your children, you will find that they, as a member of this church - are unable to and do not really relate to you, as if you are their own real father, mother, son or daughter.

This is because they as members in this church have been taught to only relate openly with and to those who are members in good standing with in the church - as being their real family. They have been taught to believe that spiritual relationships with in the church - are the only relationships that they are to be involved in, or to honor and recognize as being their genuine family members.

If you were a former member of this church - If you have any kind of a relationship today - with a family member who is in this church , your relationship is probably not more - with them - than - a how's the weather kind of relationship.

From a family member who is this church , you may get a courtesy phone call on your birthday, on father's or mothers day or a special holiday. But outside of hearing from your loved one on special occasion days, there is probably no real connection or communication really taking place between you and your loved one - during the rest of the year. And they believe every thing is okay, because you pretend like every think is okay when you get a Happy Birthday phone call from your parent or child who is this church - You don't rock their boat by trying to get closer to them - so you can preserve the little time and minimal connection -you have with them in this life.

And you dare not try to tell them something is wrong with the kind of relationship that they have with you - nor try to explain what is wrong nor why it is wrong - especially in the light of God's Word , which is the remedy - for what is causing a separation to exist between you as a family, with your own family, the remedy - which is able to be found in the Holy Scriptures and in the very teachings and words spoken to all, by Jesus Christ Himself , preserved for all and any one - to be able to find what the truth is - concerning the distance and separation that exists between family members who are in and who are not in this church. .

You probably have tried every thing to talk to them but all has failed and you may have come to the conclusion that you now must keep silent and accept the shallow and limited kind of relationship they have with you or they may be told to avoid having any further relationship with you or they may be so caught up in the kind of thinking the church as a whole has about relationships - that they themselves ( your loved one may end - the little connection that they have or that they are being allowed by others , to have with you .

It probably is a rare occasion - if ever - that you will get a call from a loved one who is a member of this church, with them just wanting to visit with you because they love you or miss you, this is because there is not much of a connection between you and your loved one as being real family and they are unaware that something is lacking in the relationship they have with their own family members .

And you will most likely find that when you try to make more of a connection with your loved one - who is a member of this church - that you are unable to connect with them - because a father , a mother or a child out side of the church is related to by those in this church, as if they were not much more than a long time acquaintance - because all of their relationships have been dedicated by them as a whole - to relate to only church members, as being their real family.

At this time , I have come to the conclusion - that all one can to is love them and be there for them always and keep the connection and relationship you do have with them - even if it is not much more involved than a courtesy birthday phone call where they tell you they love you.

This is the truth - we love them and they love us - they are just not free yet to enjoy the freedom of relating to us in the way healthy families share in the joys of being a family.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: paleface ()
Date: July 15, 2013 01:28PM

Chaos, you don't need to apologize for posting a lot. I don't think anyone minds at all. We all learn from all of these posts. That goes for anyone, as long as you don't have some alternate agenda (then the RR moderator will step in). Also, I don't think anyone should tell someone else how their path of healing should go. We've all been damaged in different ways and our paths to healing will be different. Some will return to regular Christian churches, some will never. Some will heal quickly, some slower. Maybe we should not be telling people they need to get right back into another church. Some of us are not ready. (just my opinion). Much was sacrificed on the "alter of dedication" in the Living Word churches.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: July 15, 2013 03:22PM

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In that case, it is their own fault when they believe a concept that is unscriptural.
Chaos, what about the concepts for which there are diametrically opposed positions - in scripture? Cases in point:
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Attributed to Jesus:

Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

27Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”

Matthew 19:27-29 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
I can't help noticing that last bit is directed to men only - notice there is *no* mention of "or husbands"! And why are so many homeless people begging at the side of the road apparently Christians? Why isn't God providing for THEM?? But let's continue:
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Someone else:

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Which of these is a person wrong for believing? These positions are absolutely incompatible, and both are obviously "scriptural". Are you "Christians" or "Someone-else-ians"? Because Jesus supposedly said, "God will provide" so you shouldn't worry about providing for yourself (or anyone else). Heck, Jesus even supposedly said you're supposed to *HATE* everyone you're related to, everyone you know, and even yourself! (Luke 14:26) That doesn't sound real healthy to me - what do you think?

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: July 15, 2013 11:44PM

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sierradawn
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paleface
Pale Face,
I love what you wrote, it's so true. I distinctly remember a service where they were talking about how bad individuality was, that we all needed to be one and be led by others. WOW. We had to look at others as we were singing, to sing to "the Christ in others".

I'll never forget the first ministry I received from John. It was a 'marriage checkout,' quite common in the day. Anyway, my wife to be was commended for being 'submissive.' I was told that I had a 'freelance spirit'--characterized as being submissive at times, other times not. Anyway, something as seemingly innocuous as being labeled as slightly independent had the immediate effect of isolating/ostracizing me from my peers. Of course, I immediately went to work to correct the situation, finding ways to prove by devotion...as much to restore my good standing among my peers than to pave the way for a marriage approval--which we eventually did get.
Looking back, I obviously needed more of an independent streak. It would have spared me many, many years of fruitless endeavor, serving the agenda of a few at my family's expense. I finally took a stand in the mid-90's...the result that my wife and I, and two kids, were no longer subject to this daily mind warp. No one in the family, to this day, has blamed me for getting them out. Maybe they were just tired of singing to the 'Christ in others' (sorry--had to end this post with a bit of levity).

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