Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: August 18, 2019 04:37AM
It is so difficult to unwrap the damage from all types of abuse. I think our minds build up a defense mechanism that only allow us to see a limited amount as we can handle it emotionally. It keeps us from having a meltdown. For many on this site, it has taken years of serious effort and research, and in many cases professional counseling, to be able to have our current perspective. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It's good to give people space to go through the process at their unique pace. Most of us were kids when we became a part of TLWF and didn’t have the life experiences necessary to recognize a fraud – we were easy prey. I know this was the case for me. I certainly have understanding now that I did not have 50 years ago - even though the lessons were very difficult.
I would suggest a couple of plumblines, knowing they will be a trigger for some and helpful to others, in recognizing where we are in healing process. They are: (1) How do I view my current relationship with God? and (2) How do I view living my life in community again? Many want nothing to do with God or Christianity initially, but over time open back up after realizing the damaging areas of TLWF were never true Christianity in the first place. The first step of regaining our trust in God – that He is always good and faithful – is much easier than the second step. The more difficult step is developing deep relationships again with flawed humans who are also members of the Body of Christ – not to mention the rest of the world. After we have been deeply wounded, I don’t think it is even possible unless He gives us His love – which He freely does. He really can empower us to do what we could never do in our own ability. The greatest command was that we love God and then one another. Over time, I’ve become much less fearful of going back and reading the directions – especially when they are Jesus’ words. It’s also good to remember that just because our eyes have been opened to the flaws of church leaders and systems, it doesn’t mean we should stop loving Him and one another. That’s the true church – not the man-made system. A hand never realizes it's true purpose until it is a functioning part of the body.