My wife and I tried several times to work with the Living Word Fellowship (TLWF) after we left over a decade ago. I was forced out in 1998 because I took exception to rubber stamped mandates being carried out in the local church without being submitted to the local elders for prayer first. I remember writing to the Hargraves that year, telling them that they may as well "take a shovel and bury the South Gate church" if things kept going the way they were. Of course, nothing changed, and South Gate ended up tearing itself apart. Last year I find out that somehow in the telling, that my wife had become personally responsible for destroying the South Gate church, manipulating me, and manipulating the pastor of South Gate at the time. Its strange how the leaders of the fellowship seem unable to take responsibility for what happens. It is always Satan, or a nephilim, or someone else, like my wife, that is the problem. I think that they tell themselves that if everybody would just be submissive, then all of these problems would go away.
I imagine all of the churches in TLWF (I have only been a part of seven of them), to one degree or another are infected with these odd ideas about Christ in the flesh, and it really did start with John Stevens who for all appearances did not really take correction very well from his peers and turned instead to an entirely new and younger generation. I still remember one service where John tried to correct people who were calling him "the Apostle," because as he explained it there were other apostles. One young man shouted out "our apostle is 'the apostle'." I am sure that John's generation has issues also, but it seems to me that putting all of those young people in charge of churches, without experience, training or a means of correction, was a recipe for disaster. Although well intentioned, I think all of those young people were just terrible pastors. Most, are still terrible pastors and now there is an entirely new generation being groomed who I fear will lower the bar even further.
I recall John Stevens himself saying that when you idolize someone, you always emulate the worst parts of their character. It seems to be a truth that is self-evident in the fellowship. Whatever John was, some say apostle, he was still flawed and I think he set the stage for what happened to the fellowship. The real problem with the Hargraves, and from what I can tell, most of the other leaders, is that they really do not listen very well to other people who might have a different perspective. After all, if you are Christ in the flesh, it is really other people who should be listening.
My catharsis has been to blog, for good or bad, you can find it written at letterfromamos.org.
Jesus probably should have explained that laying down your life for the brethren does not mean surrendering your mind to someone else.