Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: May 07, 2018 11:56PM
I did mentioned to many people during my time in TLWF (30+ years), including shepherds, about what had happened to me as a kid, and there was very little response. Both individuals left TLWF in the 70’s and it was now basically a moot point. The problem was, I still had to deal psychologically with something that no 15 year old should have to deal with. The wounds did not leave with the people who caused them – just as is the case with other types of abuse that many others have suffered. It caused a deep mistrust towards pastors and Apco, as well as causing me to question the validity of the worship songs I was singing. Many times I questioned whether any of this was really of God, or was I living in a horror movie?
On top of that, there was the underground culture of drugs and sex that I willingly consented to. I know leaders were aware of what was going on because I got high with some of them - and I’m not referring just to alcohol. Somehow, knowing dirt on many of the pastors helped me excuse my own behavior. The truth is, you reap what you sow and everyone eventually lives in the consequences of their own actions – good and bad. You can hide from other humans – even if they claim to be Christ in the flesh - but not God.
It’s almost comical now thinking back that I, as well as many others, needed a six-pack of beer to survive an elder’s meeting – they were such godly events. I thought it was normal behavior and those that had a problem with it were just being religious. I had no clue I was self-medicating wounds I did not understand and just trying to survive in a very unhealthy atmosphere - and so were all my peers. As I began to get healthy again, my drinking, language, cynicism, and sense of humor naturally changed for the better. Just establishing healthy boundaries was a life saver for me – especially learning to say “No” without another’s permission. Unfortunately, many kids watched their parents act like teenagers, while calling themselves mature sons of God, and the next generation was also twisted.