larry bobo Wrote: l
Date: September 19, 2018 12:01AM
I believe it is worth re-posting along with the rrmoderator comment.
thanks Larry and rr mod.
> kBoy said:
> “It would have been difficult for anyone who spent
> any significant time in the fellowship to have
> avoided the disaster known as 'designated'
> relationships, built first on the apostolic
> hierarchy of Ephesians, and then refined with the
> Elijah/Elisha and Paul/Timothy iterations of the
> JRS era. The G&M era saw a much more destructive
> version that built a chain of such relationships
> from the platform all the way back to the nursery,
> assigning virtually everyone a
> 'Christ-in-the-flesh'. The result of this great
> experiment was widespread devastation, as
> completely unqualified individuals were given the
> decision-making power over others. Those who seem
> to have avoided these dynamics were really not
> considered to be a 'part of the fellowship.'”
> First of all, I think it is important to point out
> that the “apostolic hierarchy of Ephesians” is
> what TLWF taught, not what Ephesians actually
> says. These ministries were gifts to equip the
> body so that they would not be “blown here and
> there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning
> and craftiness of men in their deceitful
> scheming”. Legitimate leadership would have
> protected you from the likes of the leadership of
> TLWF. I would suggest that most in TLWF have
> never even been exposed to leadership that is
> there to serve them, rather than use them for
> their own personal gain.
> There is a huge difference between a counselor
> that has been professionally trained and those we
> served under in TLWF. The lack of qualifications
> became even more apparent in designated
> relationships, but I would suggest that there was
> always a lack of qualifications clear to the top –
> including John. I don’t think designated
> relationships were ever about helping people, but
> about controlling and keeping tabs on them. After
> I left my local church, my former pastor, who had
> been kicked out of the fellowship, told me that he
> could not believe I would continue to do what he
> asked. It was never about helping me, but about
> breaking my spirit to become more obedient. I
> might also note that his strategies were being
> directed by Apco and Apco's strategies by G&M. As
> soon as there was an obvious problem, G&M would
> cut ties to the local pastor and claim the pastor
> did not have their spirit and therefore they were
> not responsible.
rr moderator Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 19, 2018 12:28AM
Thanks for that clarification concerning scripture.
Another thing that's quite important when dealing with supposedly bible based groups is to recognize how the leader may have twisted the scriptures.
Getting a good mainstream study bible and talking with a qualified biblical scholar with recognized credentials (i.e. seminary degree from a well recognized and accredited college and seminary) is very helpful.
A good study bible has footnotes to reflect what each and every scripture is understood to mean as based upon a historical consensus of biblical scholars. A biblical scholar of the New Testament often can read the original version in Greek, which is important in resolving a conflict. Old Testament scholars often read Hebrew and/or Aramaic.
All of this study may help a former member to unwind the manipulation of the group from a scriptural perspective.
This is not about telling people what to believe, but rather studying the common historical understanding and translation of the bible as it was originally written and historically understood. Good study bibles also reflect controversies regarding certain verses.
So often destructive supposedly bible based cults twist the meaning of scriptures for self-serving reasons.
The primary question should be -- How does this relatively odd understanding of a scripture empower the leader and afford him or her control over the members?
If the leader's interpretation is self-serving and affects people's lives it should be examined closely and studied to make sure it is historically and contextually accurate.
This is the difference between using the bible for faith, revelation and enlightenment, as opposed to using as a personal tool to leverage people and manipulate them.