Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: March 18, 2018 06:09AM
> I largely agree, although I think there's a middle
> ground. I believe I tried reading Woodrow Nichols'
> book at one point in the 90s. It was easy to write
> off as you said, I believe the individual who
> showed it to me simply explained that Nichols did
> not "have a revelation of who John was," and
> therefore could not possibly understand what he
> was seeing. Nichols was very heavy on theology,
> and as soon as he started writing about Christian
> Dominionism I likely tuned out--agreeing that what
> he had experienced couldn't possibly be described
> in theology, void of the living, breathing,
> revelation we had of a "living word." Mysticism
> has a funny way of cementing itself in your
> emotional experiences that way through group speak
> during prophesy, and marathon worship sessions and
> what not.
> I'm of the opinion that if we had a more concise,
> layman's version of what he wrote, it would be
> harder to write off. The research has largely been
> started here. Perhaps a preface on what a cult is
> as RR described in his 10 or so attributes of a
> cult. Perhaps a history that explains why JRS
> found himself at odds with the Latter Rain mvmt,
> and how much of his family saw through the
> charade, for example his wife, children, and the
> bickfords. There's so much more to why some of
> these churches closed, or where the money went
> like in the case with South Gate. A concise
> history of this church, especially what they don't
> tell you, that doesn't get too verbose on theology
> might be really helpful to some of those on the
> fence both inside the body and recently out.
Interesting thread here. I can look at this from 2 sides of the fense now. I don't think I ever read Nichols book. Years back I read some books about TCLW written by outsiders. At the time I wondered, "where did this author get this idea? " Still I wonder where did they com eup with some of this stuff about shiloh?'
I think some of theology is to market a book; controversy and the extreme sells.
I think we all have a challenge to undo some of the patterns of not so healthy behavior that we picked up when we were involved.
( feel free to disagree with many anytime)
I also think every one went into the wlak with a varity of alrady established pre-conceived notions taht affected how we engaged in the not so healthy activies in the walk. If my diea isa fact this maybe be why the challenge to pul it together is so different for so many.
We all listened to the save words whitehr in person or on tape.I am guessing we all kind of got the same message" from JRS. But the big difference was who was leading our local flocks? That I think, may be a key issue as to interpretation and how our friends got hurt.
I am quite honestly stradeling the fense on jrs. I knew him since I was 7 or 8 years old. I knew and loved so many people who knew him asa teen. I was a afraid of most men, so my child's mind is not all that relaible. In some ways even I was vey respectful of him he seems like big Teddy bear. He was always kind to me.
On the other side of the fense he devloped a life style and made cnoices that were not consistant with the Christian values I was taught. I kind of passed it off as me being a Polly Anna Iowa girl. After a while as an adult being married to a TCLW memeber who covered up a lot of lies and the leaders in the church cvered for him as well as themselves and jrs...
..what do I say? The lies about alcohol and drug abuse were the norm that I did not know how to live with.
Reaching out for help out side the group was not acceptable in the group. Getting out side help left me with no support system. I will guess that "no support system" is why so many stayed for so long.
On my childish side where I was JRS as a Teddy BEar I have to ask what may be an offensive question. How much was JRS really responcible for 100's of cover ups by leaders in the church? Was that JRS or was it the individuals choices?
What was the real power the cult had over us all?
Personally when I called in dhs for help with my children's situation. ( Taht is an issues when peple like me have an education and job that made me a mandory reproter.) I knew I did right. Social Worker told me if I wanted my kids back I had to kick out my husband. Well, according to the walk I was wrong and I was treated horribly by walk members when I went grocery shopping or walking child to school...you know... put on the prayer list. Thre was nothing spiritual or christ like about that behavior from other members.
The walk in Anaheim was already being red flagged for a lot of things that few people knew about. Some leaders were is big legal trouble. did anyone every wonder why some leaders were moved to other cities and states to minister? or to Sholoh where they did not have to pass a back ground check to rent a apartment/ house or get a job?
"We" all had to make our choices. Why did "we" stay? Who realy was pulling our strings in JRS days?
I am not afraid to let it out. I do worry that I may offend some one who is not ready to open a can of worms. I am certainly not being led by any spirit. And my opinion may not jive with another survivors recollection.